The opportunity for Picard and La Forge to expand their characters makes this an excellent episode
Apr 6, 2009
Geordi La Forge is a man having trouble with the ladies, he never seems to be able to say or do the right thing. The episode opens with Geordi lying on a beach with an attractive woman and his clumsiness in trying to get her into a romantic mood generates your empathy. None of it works and he retires to Ten-Forward in order to drown his sorrows in drink and some kindly advice from Guinan. Suddenly, the Enterprise receives a distress signal from an old Promellian battle cruiser that has been floating in an asteroid field for over 1000 years. The Promellians were wiped out in a fierce war and most of the records of their civilization were destroyed. When their sensor sweep determines that there is no danger, Captain Picard assumes his persona as amateur space archeologist and leads the away team that boards the ship. They find the crew dead at their posts and they are able to extract some records of their final hours. However, when they return to the Enterprise, they discover that they are in the midst of an energy-draining field and that they are being bombarded with radiation that will be fatal within a half-hour of their shields failing. Geordi is frustrated in his search for a solution so he has the computer call up the knowledge base of one of the women designers of the Enterprise. The holographic woman and Geordi join forces and there is an immediate chemistry between them as their relationship allows each to pose possibilities that the other constructively criticizes until they reach a solution. Throughout this process, Geordi finds himself romantically attracted to the computer construct, as she is the woman of his dreams. Once the Enterprise is free of the energy-dampening field, they use their photon torpedoes to destroy the field and the Promellian relic. Although the Enterprise is in danger of being destroyed, the strength of this episode is the delight that Captain Picard demonstrates when he is able to explore the Promellian ship. Stewart plays his role as that of the eager archeologist to understated perfection. Burton is also masterful as he falls romantically for the computer construct; he quickly begins treating her as a real woman and their relationship as they professionally argue their way through to a solution is something that engages the viewer. The Enterprise is threatened with destruction in many episodes; the best ones are when some of the main characters are able to expand out their roles in new directions. This is one of the best.
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Charles Ashbacher (CharlesAshbacher)
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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As Picard (Patrick Stewart) and an Away Team investigate an ancient Promellian battle cruiser, theEnterpriseis seized by a mysterious energy drain. Trapped in a holding pattern, the ship is bombarded by increasing doses of radiation.
Searching for clues, Geordi (LeVar Burton) materializes a holodeck version of Dr. Leah Brahms (Susan Gibney), a beautiful and brilliant engineering expert. They determine that the Enterprise is being held by centuries-old Aceton assimilators used in the war between the Promellians and the Menthars. The assimilators attract energy, modify it and then convert it to the fatal radiation. Unless Geordi and Leah can free the Enterprise, the crew will die within hours.