Star Trek 205: The Mind's Eye

205. The Mind's Eye

FORMULA: The Undiscovered Country + Reunion + The Manchurian Candidate

WHY WE LIKE IT: Creepy Geordi. It's part of Work's arc.

WHY WE DON'T: Very minor things like Geordi joshing with the computer and Worf's performance as Security Chief.

REVIEW: Star Trek does The Manchurian Candidate, but does it well enough that it doesn't matter if the episode's roots are showing. TNG has gotten rather good at political thrillers and The Mind's Eye serves as a sort of follow-up to The Drumhead's Romulan threat and a set-up for Redemption's Klingon focus in which the shadowy figure's importance will be revealed. And it's also the first episode in ages where Geordi's been interesting.

The VISOR has always made it difficult for the viewer to identify with Geordi. He just can't show the full range of expression others can with that thing on. In this instance, it helps make his "possession" extra-creepy. We get a nice scare when he makes a move for the real O'Brien. And what a great turn it is to have him investigate himself. The tight direction also keeps the suspicion off Kell for a long time - at one point I thought there really WAS an inside man as per Norah Satie's belief as a crewmember gave a strange look to Geordi.

Data's own investigation was, for all its technobabble, gripping. We already KNOW the answers, but it's a matter of how quickly the android can get them before his friend commits murder. Troi also gets to show how a counselor would actually be useful aboard ship when she helps deprogram Geordi, and her fishing for gossip when he returns from Risa is amusing. Small detail: Who else thinks Krios looks like they crossed the Klingon homeworld and Angel One? Looks nice in any case.

LESSON: News travels fast aboard a starship, and we know why.

REWATCHABILITY - High: A tense thriller that leads into the season finale (2 episodes away), and possibly the best Geordi episode ever.

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