Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993) – Lessons, and The Chase

Captain’s log: stardate 46693.1

Jean Louise Matthias and Ronald Wilkerson penned this episode that first aired on 5 April, 1993. It is a Picard (Patrick Stewart) story that sees the captain discovering love with one of his crew members, the head of the stellar science services, Nella Daren (Wendy Hughes).

As their relationship blossoms, and the crew sees their captain in a new way, Picard is put in a unique situation because soon he will be forced to decide between the mission and his emotions.

It’s a well-crafted, gentle episode that lets Jean-Luc Picard show an emotional side like last week’s action episode.

As much as many fans, including I, like the Picard and Crusher (Gates McFadden) dynamic (and she has a nice reaction when she learns of the new relationship blossoming), Nella Daren is a great addition to the crew (no matter how temporary) and she pairs very nicely with Jean-Luc.

There’s a nice nod to The Inner Light, and overall that word perfectly describes the episode, it’s nice, and Stewart gets to show another side of Picard, which after six seasons, had to be fun.

He still maintains his privacy, and Nella has problems with the public aspects of their relationship. He keeps things strict and by the book, and that troubles her, but he needs to maintain the decorum he expects of his crew.

And her relationship causes some chain of command issues that trouble Riker (Jonathan Frakes) because of her relationship with his captain.

Of course, Daren can’t stay on the ship, she’s only a guest star in the episode, and the series isn’t really adding any new cast members to the show, so you know that things aren’t going to end well, but Picard must remain true to himself when it comes to the decision he makes.

Picard_and_Daren_embrace

Captain’s log: stardate 46731.5

The Chase is a great episode, written by Joe Menosky from a story by Menosky and Ronald D, Moore. Jonathan Frakes directs this episode that first aired on 26 April, 1993.

Since the beginning of Trek a number (almost all) of the aliens encountered are humanoid, well it seems there may be a reason for it, and the Enterprise is in a race to recover archaeological secrets from around the galaxy that may give them the answer.

But they aren’t alone, a number of other galactic powers are chasing the secrets down as well. The Romulans, the Klingons, the Cardassians, they are all chasing down the clues, in the hope of beating the rest.

The revelations are fun, smart, work within the established Trek universe, and plays nicely with some very cool ideas. I also delight that the episode takes great pleasure in catering to Picard’s love of archaeology.

Frakes, once again, proves he is an exceptional director, and knows his material incredibly well.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday when I return to Deep Space Nine…

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