Star Trek:TNG "Pen Pals" (S2E15)

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by doom1701, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

    26,534
    429
    May 15, 2001
    Grand...
    I watched out of order this week, and haven't gotten to this one yet.
     
  2. lalouque

    lalouque Quilter-Cat Slave TCF Club

    2,680
    370
    Feb 11, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    This was one of my favorite episodes. Even though Pulasky annoyed me the whole time she was on the show.
     
  3. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    39,636
    2,571
    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    Heh - in contrast, this was an episode that particularly bugged me.

    I sort of liked the "coming of age" B-story involving Wesley. It was a little annoying - but completely understandable - to watch him mired in self-doubt for the majority of it though. About the only part of that plot I didn't care for was the "parenting by committee" that apparently they did for him while his mother was away. Plus, it was another of those signs that this show loved it's meetings. I swear this crew would have meetings to discuss having meetings.

    As for the A-plot, as I said, a lot of it really bugged me. I honestly can't see Data, a Lt. Cdr. that is (AFAIK) third in command of the flagship of the Enterprise with a box full of commendations, to be that ignorant of the Prime Directive to think it's a good idea to respond. I also think that, according to the Prime Directive, as horrible as it might sound, Picard was right in the first place to order communications cut off. Data choosing to play the transmission to guilt him into changing his mind was just really kind of... offensive, if I had to choose a word.

    More specifically, I thought that the scene on the bridge with the parts scattered about the floor was just completely wrong. Being an android, Data would never leave parts scattered randomly about the floor. He would want to arrange everything in the most efficient method possible, minimizing the space used and maximizing efficiency in putting everything back together. To me, that just seemed to be typical of this episode - none of Data's actions in this episode seemed to be particularly android-like.

    One of the only parts of this episode I particularly cared for was seeing one of Picard's leisure interests for the first time, horseback riding. I liked that this wasn't just a one-off - they came back to this at least two other times in the series and the movies that I can think of. (Speaking of, I know it probably wasn't, but the location they used in this episode reminded me very strongly of the horseback riding scene from Generations.)

    I also liked the bit of dialogue between Riker and O'Brien. "You didn't see any of this." "Oh. Right, sir, I'll just be over here taking a nap."
     
  4. ke3ju

    ke3ju Ed Ludwig

    270
    64
    Jan 4, 2004
    Seminole, FL
    hard to believe Sarjenka is Nikki Cox in real life...
     
  5. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

    15,223
    1,816
    Mar 18, 2003
    North Dakota
    Give him a break. Dude is fully functional and programmed in multiple techniques and probably knew very well what she'd look like when she got older.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ke3ju

    ke3ju Ed Ludwig

    270
    64
    Jan 4, 2004
    Seminole, FL
    Hahaha!!!!!
     
  7. gchance

    gchance 4 8 15 16 23 42

    12,660
    20
    Dec 6, 2002
    Olivehurst, CA
    What's funny is that when I saw Generations, I remember thinking that Shatner must have pulled his weight around for the big horse riding scenes... I don't remember it in this episode (but do remember the Data scenes).

    Why does Picard keep "parking" the horse? "Computer, end program", why even bother?

    WWPD... What Would Picard Do? Have a meeting, of course.

    Mmm, Nikki Cox is in this episode! Wow, she's a hotti... oh, eh, nevermind.

    "I've woken up, sir." Heh.

    Greg
     
  8. Fleegle

    Fleegle Chef-In-Training

    7,349
    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    NIkki Cox USED to be a hottie, but she has had some horrible plastic surgery.
     
  9. gchance

    gchance 4 8 15 16 23 42

    12,660
    20
    Dec 6, 2002
    Olivehurst, CA
    Agreed. :(

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

    8,260
    0
    Mar 4, 2002
    0.7 miles...
    Now she looks more like a growed up Sarjenka. No ST:TNG makeup required! :p
     
  11. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    39,636
    2,571
    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    Picard's interest in horseback riding was also referenced in "Starship Mine," although no horse appeared in that episode.
     
  12. DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

    15,223
    1,816
    Mar 18, 2003
    North Dakota
    I think this one would have worked better if another character had been communicating with Sarjenka instead of Data. I almost hate myself for saying this, but I think that would have been a better Wesley story. I could see Wesley doing a pet project with parts laying all over the floor. I can see Wesley getting emotional and ignoring the Prime Directive because some sweet-sounding little girl was asking for help. Having Data do it just made it unrealistic for me.

    On the other side, the story Wesley did get worked fairly well. No real complains there other than, well..you know, it was Wesley. :)
     
  13. doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title TCF Club

    26,534
    429
    May 15, 2001
    Grand...
    Finally had a chance to watch this on the road this morning. My wife was driving, and I was streaming Netflix to my phone over the 3G network, with audio coming through my bluetooth headset. How did we ever survive without this technology? :)

    The episode kept flirting with being something great, and kept slipping up. I really loved the Wesley B plot. I've been that nervous, unsure of himself person put into a position of leadership. Everything that was said rang very, very true. That said, it still had it's fall-on-it's-face moments, such as the parenting by committee, and about half of Wesley's lines. I cringed when I heard him say "So you have to be a ship's counselor, too"...no, Wesley, people have been leading others way before someone dreamed up a goofy role to put a busty young actress into.

    The A plot had more rough patches. I really don't understand why Data needed to tear apart a computer terminal on the bridge. If he's modifying the sensors, it should all be done in code, or as actual changes to the sensor arrays. And, as LoadStar mentioned, Data wouldn't work that way, anyway. That scene was only included as some forced comedy relief--something that the show finally started to learn in later seasons that it didn't need.

    I also was really annoyed by the senior staff meeting in Picard's quarters (and I wonder why he had them meet in his quarters...but that's just odd, not an item that detracted from the plot). I thought that the simulations of Troi and Data created by Nagelum earlier in the season were more convincing than the rants of some of the senior staff in this meeting.

    But what bugged me the most was the planet itself. Star Trek does this a lot, and it always annoys me. Here is a more primitive society, or at least that's what we're told. But the girl has built a pretty powerful subspace transmitter. The "house" (which didn't seem to have a ceiling, but I couldn't tell for sure) was decorated with pelts and trinkets--because they're primitive--but it had a door that was technology on par with or beyond that of the Federation.

    My understanding is that the Prime Directive is meant to apply to pre-warp societies, but that seems like a weak classification. This civilization was obviously pretty advanced--maybe they didn't have an interest in venturing out into space. Would the prime directive apply to a civilization that had more advanced terrestrial technology than the Federation--perhaps even knew that there were other species out there--but they just didn't feel like developing the technology to go and pay everyone else a visit?
     

Share This Page