Star Trek 225: Cause and Effect

225. Cause and Effect

FORMULA: Clues + Yesterday's Enterprise + We'll Always Have Paris (x5)

WHY WE LIKE IT: A very clever temporal paradox.

WHY WE DON'T: I know at least one person who thought the tv station had screwed up and restarted the episode a couple times before giving up on it entirely. Hehehe.

REVIEW: An episode that starts off with the Enterprise blowing up? They had me at hello.

The poker game has been layered into the last couple episodes, but here it's an actual - and brilliant - plot point, used to figure out what the heck is going on. Though events repeat 4 or 5 times, Jonathan Frakes keeps things interesting from segment to segment by varying shots, perspectives and moods (lots of anxious steady cam before the explosion, for example). And the script has surprises in store for us too, with Data's 3s layered in not unlike the 47 the creators have creep into the show almost every episode.

What surprised me most was that this was a very good Beverly episode. When you're remembering it, you think of Cause and Effect as an ensemble show, but it's really a detective story for Crusher, told through her eyes. Like in Remember Me, she excels at this, so I can see why they would cast her in other mysteries as the show progresses (not always with success).

The Bozeman as captained by Kelsey Grammer is pretty cool. Hey, a Reliant (I know, Soyuz, but they're very close designs) and the movie-era red uniforms! Neat! Here's a guy I would have like to see acclimatize to the 24th century a little, but alas no return appearance (except in the novels). My one beef is that Ro doesn't get to do anything here. She always betters her episodes in some way, but here seems wasted.

LESSON: If at first you don't succeed...

REWATCHABILITY - High: The episode that rewatches itself! Very clever with some fun interplay between the characters.


LiamKav said...

Rewatching the shiny blu rays of these episodes, and some things are standing out.

- Best teaser TNG ever did? Quite possibly.

- I really like how the episode begins AFTER the first loop, trusting us to realise that we're not watching something in media res.

- I know that Star Trek suffers from "the bridge crew are the only people on board a ship of 1,000 that can actually DO anything", but we can normally handwave that as it being an emergency. But Crusher is called (repeatedly!) into sickbay because Geordi fainted? Presumably she's off duty. Are there no on-call doctors who can check for an inner-ear infection?

- Along the same lines, can this crew wear nothing but their uniforms? Crusher is in bed, asks to meet Picard (who is presumably also in bed), and they meet in his ready room fully dressed, rather than just wanding over to one or other of their quarters in a dressing gown. (Ah, now I've gotten to a later point and have seen that Picard was reading in his ready room with the lights down low, for some reason. Also, he's wearing his turtleneck, which he's wearing at that point in the 3rd and 5th loop but not the 4th.)

- You have to admire how long Riker keeps his leg up on the Ops console after the collision.

- They make the same mistake that was made in "Time Squared" when trying to escape the loop... they refuse to change course because "that might be what started the loop in the first place". Except that they wouldn't have changed course originally because they would not have had a need to.

Siskoid said...

Maybe the ship works with assigned "family doctors". Crusher is probably responsible for the entire bridge crew.


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