Star Trek 197: Galaxy's Child

197. Galaxy's Child

FORMULA: Booby Trap + Tin Man + The Lights of Zetar

WHY WE LIKE IT: Susan Gibney returns hotter than ever. Some nice effects.

WHY WE DON'T: The whole relationship between Geordi and Leah grates on the nerves.

REVIEW: My favorite thing about Galaxy's Child is definitely the return of Susan Gibney as (the real) Leah Brahms. Sexier than ever with her hair down like that and a lot more spark - the holo-version was really sappy - she puts in an excellent performance. Bossy, outraged, confused, warming up to Geordi... she does it all quite well. Unfortunately, that relationship as scripted has quite a few problems.

It starts off ok, with Geordi at his most pathetic, hoping for a romantic connection with the real deal this time. He hasn't got a chance, of course, and at least, it's because she's married, not because he's blind. I mention this because they never do so on the show. Geordi is this total loser in love (aside from getting Christie in Transfigurations), but no one would dare say it's because of some inherent prejudice against his handicap, or obvious prosthetic, or more controversially, as Levar Burton hints at on the Season 3 DVD documentary, because he's black. That kind of thing would be unheard of in the future. Yeah right. It really feels like the character is being shafted for having these traits, but not being allowed to explore them. And so Geordi remains my least favorite character in TNG.

Some of the reasons why are showcased here, such as his ridiculous arguments with the Enterprise computer, all of which seem forced to create comedic moments. And his never being told she was married? If he'd read up on her after Booby Trap (which is mentioned), he would have, I'm sure. That plot device is straight out of sitcom land. I don't buy the argument in the holodeck for a second (strange delivery) or Leah's quick forgiveness. At the very end, making it seem like she did have feelings for Geordi, but was trapped in her marriage, was a mistake. Another good scene for Guinan in connection with this story however.

In the background is the story of Junior, which is pretty good. The effects are good, Picard is excellent when devastated by the death of the mother, and the solutions, though realized through technobabble, are rooted in a common sense approach that makes the drama engaging. If I have a problem with the plot, it's that it seems to occur too independently of the Geordi/Leah plot, with their turning off the warp core and crawling passages during a crisis, the threads only converging at the end.

LESSON: As Kirk also learned in The Changeling, be very careful who - or what - "imprints" on you. There are worst things than paying to put someone through college (only marginally though).

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Susan Gibney's performance is the real reason to watch this one, with the Junior plot being above average background sf drama. The romance element is mishandled however.

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