Star Trek 219: Violations

219. Violations

FORMULA: Journey to Babel + Dagger of the Mind + Night Terrors

WHY WE LIKE IT: Troi's nightgown (hem). Beverly's creepy memory. The final battle.

WHY WE DON'T: Not much of a mystery. A subject matter that makes you feel kinda queasy.

REVIEW: I have no love for rape stories. They must be very well done. Violations is not. Sure, it's a kind of "mind rape", so more easily glossed over... EXCEPT that the first memory "illegally" invaded is one of Riker imposing his manhood on Troi. It's never quite clear if he made a pass at her, and then Jev changed the story to suit his particular fetish, or if it ever did go that far. But it is much closer to physical rape than anyone would like (and in any case, rape is about power, not about sex). But if we're exploring the issue of rape, then Picard's apologist's speech at the end is inexcusable. And what, there are no laws against mind rape? Sure, ok, but what about for putting people in comas? It's still an "assault", right? And of course, there will be no long-term consequences for our characters, which again diminishes the importance of the issue. Frankly, I don't think TNG could do justice to the subject matter in its usual format.

Taken as a mystery, it doesn't quite work either. We know from the offing that Jev is the culprit, even when they try to throw a twist at us. The camera direction makes it clear from the teaser. The investigation itself veers into technobabble, with yet another scene of Geordi arguing with the computer (and I do so love those scenes).

As a character study, allowing insight into characters' memories, it has potential. Riker's date rape at least indicates he still has feelings for Deanna, and that might be something worth exploring. Most interesting is Picard returning Jack Crusher's body to his widow. It's a creepy scene, well directed, and it's fun to see the different hair, but there's not a whole lot of content there. The "Borg patch" is distracting as well (a medical device, but could be confusing). Riker's guilt at leaving a crewmember to die just doesn't ring true and is about as interesting as Keiko's teacup.

You know what saves it for me? Worf coming in and defeating Jev with a single, almost matter of fact, blow. To me, extremely funny. I could rewind and watch it all day. Good to see Deanna defend herself and smack him with a PADD too. But in the final analysis, this is an episode that actually contains a reference to the turkey of all turkeys, Shades of Gray. That says a lot.

LESSON: Remembering no means no.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium-Low: A couple moments bear rewatching, but these are 10-15 seconds each, tops. Isolate them and put them on You-Tube, but the rest is rather distasteful.



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