Star Trek 271: The Pegasus

271. The Pegasus

FORMULA: The Next Phase + The Battle + The Drumhead + The Neutral Zone

WHY WE LIKE IT: The tense relationships.

WHY WE DON'T: They're having to break the warp speed limit already. See what a bad idea that was?

REVIEW: This episode starts with Captain Picard Day, a most enjoyable sequence with Riker doing his best Patrick Stewart impression. Just a fun prologue before the drama begins, because boy, it's a tense show after that. Once again, we're delving into a character's history, this time Riker's, and finding a dark secret there. The revelations don't take away from his character, but rather helps build it, and maybe we start to get a sense of why Jellico was such a turn off for him. Because Pressman is certainly in that vein.

Pressman's orders put Riker in a difficult spot, one that leads to a most memorable confrontation between him and Captain Picard. Picard gets hard core, threatening to reevaluate the command structure of the ship. And if this tense triangle of leaders isn't enough, there's a brilliant chess game going on between Picard and Sirol, a Romulan commander particularly adept at verbal gymnastics (and historically important for showing the Romulans have a variation in skin pigmentation).

The mission's plot itself is good enough, with phase cloak technology making a comeback after The Next Phase, and the Enterprise entering an asteroid (unusual environment, well realized). When all seems lost, Riker makes the right choice and Picard really throws down. And that's just about when Pressman learns the true meaning of loyalty - no one will obey his traitorous orders. It's too bad that the show's format won't allow us to ever hear about this again, especially since it ends with Riker facing a court-martial. I guess it went well.

LESSON: Section 31 has always been with us. Always.

REWATCHABILITY - High: Tense character interactions and a progressively darker view of the Federation (thanks DS9!) are the brilliant centerpiece, but it's also one of the better episodes for Romulans.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It might (or might not) be of interest that the story of the Pegasus is almost certainly based on the urban legend and/or movie surrounding the "Philadelphia Project." Or a huge coincidence.

Matthew Turnage said...

This is probably my third favorite from the seventh season, behind "All Good Things" and "Lower Decks". It's a great episode for Riker, but it is annoying that the whole court-martial thing is never mentioned again. Perhaps that was another reason it took Riker so long to get a command?

Episodes like this are also fun to watch following the introduction of Section 31 in DS9. I also think the conspirators in The Undiscovered Country (Admiral Cartwright and Colonel West) were part of Section 31.

De said...

It's unfortunate that such a memorable episode had to be dragged down by the piece of crap ending for Enterprise.

 

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