Star Trek 222: Power Play

222. Power Play

FORMULA: Return to Tomorrow + Whom Gods Destroy + The Schizoid Man x3

WHY WE LIKE IT: Evil Troi. The crew being smart.

WHY WE DON'T: Data's possessed again?!?

REVIEW: The only things keeping Power Play from being a true classic is 1) its lack of any defining character moments and 2) its bland title. Because in reality, this is a tight thriller à la Die Hard, with genuinely creepy performances and the Enterprise crew acting like the smart professionals they are. Too often, plots only work if characters conveniently forget their abilities, training or available tools. Not this time. It's lovely how the aliens use thei possessed crew members' knowledge to take the ship hostage, and how the rest work to stop them. Everybody's got contingency plans, it's beautiful to see. I especially love how smart Ro Laren is, justifying Picard's interest in her. Ro makes every episode she's in better.

The episode is largely about plot, so the twist at the end works, but that doesn't mean there are no acting moments to admire. Sure, an evil Data is old hat by now (Brent Spiner simply puts his voice in the Lore frequencies), but the cold Troi shows a Mirror universe version of her could be terrifying. And creepy O'Brien hovering over his wife and child, that's damn intense.

LESSON: If you give them a chance, Australians will take over your body.

REWATCHABILITY - High: Crew possession is an old standard, sure, but there's rarely been an episode where the entire crew has been this smart at dealing with a situation. Possibly under appreciated.


Jeremy Rizza said...

Creepy O'Brien was the best thing about this episode, for me. Runner-up: Troi talking in a stilted Patrick-Stewart-circa-"Dune" type of voice.

These recaps bring back a lot of memories. Admittedly most of them are bad, since the show was a mess. But still--!

Siskoid said...

The blogosphere has a dual purpose.

If it's good stuff, we can praise it.

If it's bad stuff, we can laugh at it.

Either way, we win.


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