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Justice (ST TNG)

First season Next Generation episode about a peaceful planet with strict laws

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Hmmm, break Starfleet's chief law or kill the most annoying character on board............

  • May 26, 2011
Star Trek The Next Generation may have been a landmark show but looking at it's first two seasons, you wouldn't know that.  While things improved slightly in season two before going into season 3 when the show miraculously became awesome, you had to deal with season 1 which was full of so much sanctimoniousness and smugness it would make George Clooney blush.  Not to mention that it had so many appearances of the prime offender of the show and a reason why demographics can suck: Wesley Crusher.  It's bad enough that he was pretty annoying early on (before becoming only a little annoying) but that he was always saving the Enterprise's ass when the ship is supposed to be staffed by the best and brightest in all of the Federation.  Thats embarassing.  Hard to get behind a crew when some teenager is always saving the bacon from the fire.

ANYWAY where am I going with all of this?  Oh yeah, the episode Justice which could be one of the worst episodes in the whole run of TNG.

The show starts with the Enterprise visiting an out of the way planet after just completing a heavy colonization on a neighboring system.  Normally Starfleet doesn't interact with the peoples of different worlds in danger of the risk of contaminating they're society or influencing them in different ways, but an exception is made since it's a tropical and idyllic little place with nice weather and plenty of skimpilly dressed hardbodies who are all tanned, oiled and free and easy.  Tasha even backs up that last part, of course.  What else did she do on the show?  Besides die.

Anyway, Wesley even goes frolicking on the planet and accidentally breaks a window.  Apparently this is harm and foul and the inhabitants have only one real punishment: kill the offender.  Wesley of course is alarmed and taken into custody after Riker interferes.  Picard is now charged with what to do:  Risk annoying the overseer of the planet, not to mention breaking Starfleet's Prime Directive to save Wesley's life, the son of Beverly Crusher, a widower and friend to Picard, not to mention that the crew was unaware of the rules and would have been more careful.  What to do?

If it wasn't for the scene where Beverly pleads with Picard to save Wesley, there would have been no drama or care in this episode since they are talking about a character whose death would have been met with great apathy or celebration from the audience.  They shouldn't have been on the planet, let alone Wesley be on the planet and then you are talking about the Prime Directive before Voyager ruined it and made it okay for genocide.  Sorry, but such a one sided issue fails to generate interest in me, thats one crime, a second would be Brenda Bakke looking ugly in that blonde curly do, and the third should be obvious.
Hmmm, break Starfleet's chief law or kill the most annoying character on board............

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June 11, 2011
Shades of Gray and The Royale were about as bad.
May 31, 2011
What really drove me crazy about this episode was the idea that there are places on the planet where the sentence is instant death to anyone who commits a crime in this area, and then they mark off the area. So I can't commit a crime in this little 10 foot by 10 foot carefully marked off area but I can right here? It would be just slightly less stupid if the orbital God/monolith chose a randomly assigned 1000 square kilometer area as the break any law and you die area but doesn't tell you where it is. Still stupid, though.
May 31, 2011
Oh yeah. First Season really had some growing pains.
More Star Trek: The Next Generation... reviews
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
A planet of oily hard bodies want to kill Wesley. Whats the problem? Oh yeah, Picard steps in to save him.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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