Star Trek 269: Inheritance

269. Inheritance

FORMULA: Brothers + What Are Little Girls Made Of? + A Matter of Time

WHY WE LIKE IT: Data's baby pictures.

WHY WE DON'T: Another hitherto unknown family member?

REVIEW: Another theme this season is the long-lost family member. Troi has a sister she didn't know, and later we'll meet Picard's bastard "son" and the stepbrother Worf never mentions. And in Inheritance, Data meets his mother.

It's actually not a bad way to discuss Data's "early childhood", when he still being programmed and tested, before he was discovered by Starfleet officers in the wake of the crystalline entity's attack. We learn that they had to write a modesty subroutine for him because he wouldn't wear clothes and most crucially, that there were 3 other early androids we know nothing about (how does B-4 fit this story?). Fionnula Flanagan is a good actress, and does her usual good job here, especially when stunned at everything Data's accomplished (i.e. Lal).

His doubts about her identity seem pretty human, but are based on things we would not have detected ourselves. The Blade Runner-like twist gets set up enough that it doesn't seem like a cheat, and Data's final solution is both sweet and well-judged (always listen to Troi on these things). Question though: How did Soong place an information chip in her head after she left him? In any case, the whole thing comes off as heartwarming, and it's sad that we never heard from her again.

LESSON: Watch people who are good at math. They might be androids. Also: People who blink according to the Fourier series.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Interesting and even sweet, but it seems like the series is running out of original ideas. Good, but not essential.

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