It’s a Chief O’Brien episode about passion and reason and pain and understanding. It cuts to the quick because the pain from Bob Gunton as Captain Maxwell is very grounded. It’s a weighty episode and it works.
While TNG has flirted with continuity before, “The Wounded” feels like a moment where it really begins to spread the black wings of “Last time, on Star Trek,” and commits the franchise to creating The TNG Era of Star Trek. Or am I being dramatic?
Bria: So why aren’t you using fire? Rulah: My teacher gets judgey about it. Bria: Ularon is out cold. He won’t mind. Rulah: …fine. Flame Jet! Goblin: Skree! Ularon: uuuuugh Bria: Did he just roll his eyes while unconscious? Rulah: Probably.
It’s finally “Data Has Feelings but The Writers Won’t Acknowledge It: The Episode.”
“Data’s Day” is such a good slice of life episode. There’s the phenomenon where some folks who grew up with The Next Generation credit it for being a family to them when their upbringings didn’t give them a family. No episode shows that as well as this one.
I gripe about continuity, then turn around and demand better characterization. I think “Data’s Day” beautifully exemplifies how those two things, when they’re done well, go together. The touches that include things like Worf shopping for a wedding gift before he starts work in the morning show us good things about Worf’s character and about how the Enterprise works.
We learn the Enterprise’s shift rotations and I know it’s only here to support the literal day-in-the-life perspective of this story, but I like it. Does it really matter though? Does this minutiae make TNG better or is it just an indulgent scene for nerds, providing content which neither tells a story nor enriches the viewer, but exists just to provide visceral satisfaction?
I know a lot of these episodes are just delivery mechanisms for Patrick Stewart to give a speech, but we need to aim a little higher than “Final Mission.” We deserved–
Wil Wheaton deserved more than a flimsy B-plot separating him from the Enterprise while he went through the motions of an A-plot until Patrick Stewart could act a goodbye at him.
And then, after decades of Star Trek trying to use real physics, they ignore Newton’s First Law to make one story happen and use magical bullshit for the other one.
I get angrier about this episode the more I think about it. What makes me consistently, clearly, irrationally angry is that this episode introduces Boothby, a character that other nerds obsess over to the point that I’m ready to burn shit down.
Scale of one to ten, how infuriating is “Final Mission”?
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Man, Riker’s head is kind of terrifying. Or maybe I should say that the way the writers picture us picturing the inside of Riker’s head is terrifying.
In talking with Derek, he says that nothing happens in this episode. Given the multi-tiered nature of this story and its fiction-within-fiction, is it fair to mention that there’s a third layer where none of Star Trek actually happens?
If Borash came up again, would this story be more relevant? I have a healthy disdain for continuity, but I think he’s right. Even when the literal events don’t happen, Star Trek usually shows us an idea, or a character, or a moral paradigm that are real.
The ideas are real, as Benny Russell might point out. In that “Future Imperfect” doesn’t have those ideas or paradigms, and in that it barely has any characterization of Riker or Borash, there’s nothing relevant about this except for a few dramatic turns and a fun look at possible futures for our crew.