TNG: three you can’t let off the hook, three you can

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    Pretty self-explanatory: three episodes you’d happily drop off the face of the earth, and three that you react to better now than you used to.

    Three I can’t let off the hook
    Code Of Honor
    For all the effort that went into bringing Star Trek back to TV, it’s a slap in the face for the third episode to be a hot racist mess that betrayed literally just about every stride the original series made to show a future of equality for all. If this were the third episode of any modern show, the protests on Twitter alone would get that show cancelled by week four.

    Imaginary Friend
    Now that I’m older and have been a parent, I can let off the hook many of the “kid” episodes that most people, regard as stink bombs. New Ground, Hero Worship and Cost Of Living mean more to me now than they used to. This one could’ve said something incredibly valuable too, but instead decided to be Damien In Space.

    Force Of Nature
    Worthwhile message, but worthless execution if the script and resulting episode are simply so “afterschool special” that no one sticks around for the message. As one pop culture website observed, you know you’re in trouble when the entire teaser is about Data’s cat.

    Three I can let off the hook
    The Royale
    Yes, High-Roller Data is lifted straight out of Roddenberry’s “The Questor Tapes”. Yes, it’s goofy as hell. No, it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I’ve always really dug the “we have to go through the motions of the book to escape” idea.

    Night Terrors
    Also goofy, but unintentionally so. Knowing what I now know about the story and how they were at least trying to competently bring it to the screen, I can give this one a couple of points as a promising near-miss. Also, Riker always has a bed full of snakes, they just really freak him out on this one occasion.

    Man Of The People
    Having spent recent years listening to the ongoing conversation about feminism on the ‘net, and having done some minor copy-editing on a college paper on a related topic prior to that, I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot more going on in this episode than Troi Turns Into A Crazy Cougar, but it’s a case where the Trekkish metaphor filter is so thick you can easily miss it.

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