Star Trek 212: Disaster

212. Disaster

FORMULA: ½ Samaritan Snare + ½ The Wrath of Khan + ½ The Loss + The Poseidon Adventure

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Worf Comedy Hour.

WHY WE DON'T: Troi's clueless captaincy.

REVIEW: Star Trek's answer to disaster movies, this episode features a good mix of tension and comedy and obviates the need for a proper villain, monster or phenomenon. The damage is already done, let's move on, and with fairly good results. Of the five stories told here, the one that most worried me is Picard's. Having him trapped in a turboshaft with three kids is not my usual idea of fun. He's learned a lot since Season 1 however, and the good captain essentially turns children into a makeshift crew you can care about. I feel like I've met kids exactly like the youngest, Patterson, and you can't help but smile when Marissa responds to "Number One" at the end. And "Frère Jacques" is nowhere as massacred as "Auprès de ma blonde" was.

There's a lot of comedy to be had on Worf's side of things, as he delivers Keiko's baby (yes, she's suddenly pregnant, a lot can happen between seasons). Geordi and Crusher have a fun moment when she attempts to make him play a part in her new musical, but it turns to merely ok jeopardy after that. And Riker gets to fiddle with Data's head. The latter two teams both save the ship in their own way, as does the bridge crew, and that's something that pays off well in the script.

Most of the tension stems from Troi being placed in command of the Enterprise, and then showing she doesn't know jack squat about the ship. I can understand not being technically minded, but not knowing what happens when antimatter is exposed in the engine's innards? Doesn't take a degree in engineering. Her incompetence gives O'Brien a reason to shine, but relegates Ensign Ro to the part of antagonist. Neither woman seems sympathetic to me here, and though Troi was ultimately right, I think she was rather lucky. It was actually a bad decision on her part (in character though).

But what's with engineering being totally empty? One of many contrived situations to get characters together. You wouldn't normally have Crusher and LaForge working together. Or O'Brien on the bridge. Or some no-name to kill off in command. And so on.

LESSON: Don't let Lt. No-Name command the ship, no matter how many kids need guided tours.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: A couple of sweet moments, a couple of funny moments, a couple of tense moments, there's a good balance of elements in this one. But the dialogue could sparkle a lot more, and some of the situations seem forced, so I can only rank it at Medium.


rob! said...

has there even been a TV show that didnt do the "baby being unexpectedly delivered by the least likely cast member" plot at least once?

Anonymous said...

Police Squad.


Also Jeopordy, since Trabek is totally the obvious pick.

rob! said...

ah, if Police Squad had lasted longer than 6 episodes, they woulda done it, and it woulda been Norberg.


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