This morning at 7AM, I clicked on my Google news feed and the very first story had a giant picture of Commander Ro with the headline “Picard brings back fan-favorite character.” 7AM. The big reveal of the episode was spoiled for me at 7AM. I’m not one of those insane “spoilers ruined my enjoyment” guys, but c’mon, can we at least agree to give things a goddamn day before spoiling major details?
Anyway, I had a student call me a “bitch” today, so maybe I’m just on-edge.
Speaking of on-edge, man it must be really frustrating to be Shaw. He’s so palpably happy when the episode starts. He’s already called Starfleet security to arrest Riker and Picard. Riker protests, saying #actually we’ve saved the galaxy a few times, but Shaw has done his research and is like “oh yeah, like that time in All Good Things when you created a time displacement?!?!” He even gets to throw the ludicrous plot of Insurrection in their face!!
Then Starfleet shows up in a ridiculous-looking ship that makes the Titan look good by comparison. For dramatic suspense, the security team comes over on a shuttle and — spoiler — it’s Michelle Forbes as Commander Ro!!!! OMG!!!! But something’s off. She’s got a slightly different uniform than the rest of them. She’s clearly not happy. Which is ok, though, because Jean-Luc has a whole bunch of pent-up rage to throw right back at her. And so begins the actual episode. Engage!
Yes, it was spoiled for me by my goddamned newsfeed at 7AM, but still, I love Ro and I love everything about the character and I love Michelle Forbes. I also loved how they made Jean-Luc immediately indignant and self-righteous about her betrayal in TNG’s penultimate episode “Preemptive Strike.” The climax of their back-and-forth was cathartic for both characters, but especially Ro — she’s a complex character and Michelle Forbes knows exactly how to do complex characters.
The show juxtaposed the Picard-Ro stuff with Beverly figuring out the Changelings can pass blood tests now!!!! Which added a nice level of tension to the whole thing. In normal TV editing, Ro was clearly going to be the Changeling, but they twisted it around, which I liked. Of course, my mind immediately went to the fact that the Maquis were wiped out by the Dominion, giving the Changelings an opportunity to create Changeling Ro without chance of being exposed. But thankfully they didn’t do her dirty like that, and she was the real McCoy — as they say.
They also didn’t belabor the point: once the audience figured out Ro was for realz, they showed her two security guards were the real Changelings. This all led to a very emotional goodbye where Ro sacrifices herself… to make a point? I’m still not sure about that one, but hey, here we are. Was it way too close to her Battlestar Galactica role? Yes. Was it still great to have her aboard for an episode? Yes.
Also, she’s Worf’s intelligence boss, which was a nice addition.
Bev is actually doing stuff again!! This is great, I’m very happy that they’re making her a real part of this adventure, even if she’s stuck in sickbay the whole time. It’s too bad she’s always paired with that Jack idiot.
Raffi and Worf
I’ll admit it — they’re growing on me. I also liked the Vulcan Sgt. Toye being like “yes, it is logical that I will tell you everything now.” Well played. I also like that mobile emitters are just a thing that exists now. Because that’s how you use Star Trek references in a Star Trek — it’s just part of the world, it’s not an Easter Egg, it’s not a punchline, it’s just there.
Jack Crusher and everything related to Jack Crusher
My god, none of his story has been interesting since the first episode. And now that the overall story is focusing more and more on him, the boring factor just keeps getting ratcheted up. So anyway, now he’s not just Eleven having flashbacks to the Upside Down, but he’s also Jason Bourne capable of taking out 4 Changelings at at time. Also he’s maybe a Changeling, too? Who cares.
Remember when Changelings could go all Stretch Armstrong and strangle you from like 10 yards away? DS9 visual graphics were better.
Oh, look, it’s the exact same plot as “Conspiracy.” Cool. The highest levels of Starfleet have been corrupted! Mysterious personnel changes all across the quadrant! Investigations stopped for no reason! Old friends appearing out of character! Trust no one!
If these hacks were half the Trekkies they claimed to be, the Starfleet ship that came to escort the Titan would have been the USS Walker Keel. Or at least the USS Horatio. C’mon, Matalas, you know that would have gotten you another full day of fanboy fellatio — which is clearly your sole goal in this endeavor. What about USS Tryla Scott?
Anyway, the WHOLE ENTIRE FLEET is going to be at Frontier Day, so that should be fun. We’ll finally get an answer as to whether Starfleet has ~2,000 ships or ~10,000 ships, as commonly estimated among geeks who actually care about the verisimilitude of the world-building.
I understand why they keep reusing Guinan’s bar — y’know, like as a real life set, and all. But it makes no sense why the Titan just has this damn program running 24/7. Why isn’t it Shaw’s favorite bar? Why doesn’t the Titan have a bar itself? Why is everything in nuTrek so lazy?
First of all, Intrepid is possibly my favorite ship name ever, so this one hits even harder for me. But holy hell, did anyone actually look at this thing before approving it? Do I even need to spell it out any more than that? Every time I think nuTrek has hit a nadir in ship design they prove me wrong. So congrats on that!