Star Trek 214: Unification Part I

214. Unification Part I

FORMULA: The Search for Spock + Sarek + The Defector + The Enterprise Incident

WHY WE LIKE IT: Sarek and Spock return! We finally see Romulus.

WHY WE DON'T: Spock only appears at the very end? Awww.

REVIEW: Opening with a card commemorating Gene Roddenberry's death in '91, Unification was exciting at the time because Leonard Nimoy was guest-starring as Mr. Spock. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear until the very last shot! Fortunately however, he's not required to make this episode interesting. There's plenty more besides as everything is essentially set up for Part II.

We get the death of Sarek, and a last meeting between him and Picard before he leaves us. Touching and well played. We get our first real sight of Romulus, with its definitely Roman capital city. Beautifully painted when from afar, and interestingly ascetic in person. We get an update on the Klingon situation. Gowron's "rewriting history" and taking all the credit he can get, leading to some political maneuvering on Picard's part. And we get nods to the original series, such as Picard (and Data) pulling a Kirk in The Enterprise Incident and getting fitted with Romulan make-up.

The trip aboard the Klingon bird-of-prey has good sparring between its captain and Picard, and some comedy too, especially involving the "shelf" on which Picard must sleep while Data just stands there and creeps him out. There's both comedy and mystery in the Enterprise parts, as they find a Vulcan ship missing from a junkyard, with Klim Dokachin, the yardmaster, gruff and arrogant, playing well against Riker and Troi.

Oh, and there's a really cool "generic" combat vessel that should have gotten a lot more airtime in later episodes giving ugly Antares-types a break (I think it only reappears, inappropriately, in Voyager). Unconvincing explosion though.

LESSON: Restaurant chairs are for weak Federation worms!

REWATCHABILITY - High: Just a set-up, but manages to stay relevant and keep our interest enough that when Spock shows up, out reaction isn't "finally!" but rather "it's already over?".


rob! said...

man, i jumped outta my chair in excitement when Spock showed up at the end of this episode!


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