Star Trek: The Next Generation

"The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"


Air date: 9/24/1990
Written by Michael Piller
Directed by Cliff Bole

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The Enterprise's plan to destroy the Borg ship with a specially directed frequency of energy from the ship's main deflector dish fails when it turns out Picard's knowledge of the clever plan has been passed to the Borg and has allowed them to prepare a defense against it. "Your resistance is hopeless, Number One," says Locutus. The Borg proceed on their course to Earth as the Enterprise sits helplessly awaiting repair.

The episode's biggest plot conceit, obviously, is that the Borg don't destroy the Enterprise or assimilate its crew right then and there. Not being a threat, the rationale is that the Borg decide to simply ignore the non-threat and proceed to Earth. But come on. Obviously, the real reason is that it's the only way to permit the story to move forward. Granting the constraint that Picard and the Borg and the Enterprise must all survive the legendary "Mr. Worf, fire" setup, part two proves surprisingly effective as the solution to what seemed like an unsolvable problem. It's not an exercise in rock-solid logic, but it is an exercise in compelling TV.

The tension that was evident in the first part of the story does not for an instant wane here. The Borg are still headed for Sector 001, Starfleet is still woefully unprepared for the battle, and Picard is still in the clutches of the Borg. In an intriguing scene with harrowing implications, we see Picard being further transformed into Locutus; a streaking tear reveals that beneath Locutus still exists Picard, in torment. Aboard the Enterprise, Picard's absence fuels a solid character story for Riker, who must assume the role of captain under the worst possible circumstances and simultaneously step into Picard's shoes (and out of his shadow) for his crew while squaring off against Picard as the enemy. Guinan, who offered words of wisdom to Picard in part one, now bluntly tells Riker that he must let Picard go in order to do his job.

Meanwhile, the Borg march toward Earth. Starfleet's desperate stand at Wolf 359 ups the ante on the foreboding, and when the Enterprise subsequently arrives upon the debris of the wiped-out fleet, it's a particularly striking scene.

The secret to this story's success is its careful balance of elements and that it never loses sight of the fact that this is a TNG show, even amid the chaos. In addition to showing how the crew reacts and plans for this looming threat, Michael Piller's script keeps the story humming along on all cylinders; the details follow on the Borg ship, at Starfleet's desperate stand, and as Riker must hatch a daring plan to retrieve Picard from the Borg. This leads to some of TNG's most memorable action, in which Picard is retrieved but not rescued (the crew has his body but has not freed his mind). The show then shuttles into pure TNG problem-solving mode, in which the crew must figure out how to save Picard and stop the Borg, which might be one and the same.

Given that the story must resolve itself and Picard must survive, the solution is a clever one that allows the Borg to be defeated but without the brute force that part one had assured us was not possible. I find it highly unlikely that the access to the Borg's "sleep" system would not be under higher security, and even more unlikely that a self-destruct fail-safe would automatically ensue after that. But what the hell — the execution of the plot and the struggle and Picard's angst depicted in Data's hacking scenes bring it home as drama.

The show wisely keeps Ron Jones as the composer, bringing a musical continuity to this two-parter in a way that is more crucial than in virtually any other multi-part Trek on record.

Previous episode: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I
Next episode: Family

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28 comments on this review

Thu, Mar 6, 2008, 3:34am (UTC -5)
As an addendum with no real connection to your reviews:

In England, Best of Both Worlds part 2 was shown the week after Part 1 on BBC2 the first time around, as if it were part of the same season. Then there was a gap, and Season 4 started (with Family).

Once Sky started airing TNG, things went to their 'proper' order.
Fri, Mar 7, 2008, 12:32am (UTC -5)
I wouldnt give BOBW2 4 stars, it doesnt even compare to part 1 as far as I'm concerned. Nothing could, but its basically one big long plot contrivance to get them out of an impossible situation, and its all to easy.
Fri, Mar 7, 2008, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
It's nice to see Jammer give BoBW II 4 stars because I think it is a four star episode too. Both parts rank as my favorite two hours of not just TNG but Trek.

I've never understood those that say the second half is a let-down. I find it as riveting as Part I. I had no clue what would happen from scene to scene and I had no idea how things would ultimately end up and that included whether Picard would survive.

What impressed me is the fact Michael Piller wrote this months later with very little idea how he was going to resolve up Part I yet he effectively took advantage of the seeds were laid in the first hour that were there to exploit even though they weren't included with Part II in my mind since Piller had gone on record saying he planned on leaving TNG after season three.

For instance, it might have been just me but I never suspected, even for a second, that they would keep Picard alive by having the weapon fail to work due to Picard's knowledge that was assimilated by the Collective mind. In hindsight, I really should have. Yet it was all nicely set-up and Piller wisely seized upon what presented itself to get the crew out of a corner in the most brilliantly simplistic and ingenuous way.

Some writers plan ahead and intentionally go out of their way to put in place plot points in hour one that they know they’ll use to get out of a seemingly impossible situation in Part II but I never got that feeling here. This allowed for us in the audience to wonder a little longer about the fate of Picard as well as allowing the story, of course, to continue but it plausibly played off of the Borg’s pre-established MO making the hopes of a victory all the more unlikely given that the deflector was their ace in the hole—their best and only countermeasure to the Borg.

Jammer mentions the "tear scene". I agree it is such a simple scene but so powerful. It also worked so well because it continues to show how alien the Borg are. In Part I, Picard said that humans would rather die than be assimilated and here we see why and it helps to further provide insight into the alien nature of the Borg that is so appealing to legions of fans as well as showing the nightmare of assimilation.

They aren't doing this as punishment or torture but that is the net effect nonetheless. They see it as nothing more than a normal part of how they exist and they can’t even begin to understand the mental torture they are inflicting upon him as they leave Picard as not much more than a neutered silent observer passively watching as he is compelled to assist the Borg in the systematic deconstructing of his humanity.

This scene is so powerful because it doesn’t use graphic violence or conventional torture but is just as unnerving. The Borg cube is the equivalent of a 24th century house of horrors where unspeakable acts are committed.

And I like that these two episodes serve up a heap of fatalism. You've got Guinan talking about officers considering suicide, the end of the human civilization, Riker fully prepared to use the Enterprise in a suicide strike against the cube when all else has failed and the sight of a starship graveyard resulting in the loss of 11000 lives as we later learn.

Nothing comes close to the dramatic impact of this scene until years later with DS9 and the Dominion War.

Shelby begins naming off the destroyed ships and the crew takes a moment to absorb this and think of the lives lost in a solemn moment. I thought the touch of listing the [i]Melbourne[/i] as one of the ships destroyed since it added a touch of tragic irony for Riker.

Patrick Stewart gave a chilling performance as Locutus and his two best scenes included his confrontation with Riker right before the battle and his interaction with Worf in sickbay which was an intriguing look into the Borg mindset.

I also thought the episode did a superb job in generating real suspense and tension especially in the rescue of Locutus from the cube and in the final act as they reached Earth.

The battle between the cube and the separated Enterprise was well choreographed and an awesome sight to behold with the anti-matter sequence and shots of reactions on the battle bridge, the shuttlecraft and the cube.

The music was also just as effective as in Part I as Jammer mentions. I thought the score immediately following the destruction of the cube did a really nice job in capturing the sense of light breaking through the darkness and the final notes as the episode closes to be quite haunting.

Michael Piller really milked everything he could have had out of the Borg and this near-apocalypse scenario he crafted. In fact, it was with BoBW that I really became a great fan of his and continued following his work over the year like The Dead Zone.
Fri, Mar 7, 2008, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Glad to see you back at it. I've been anxiously for you to resume TNG.
Mon, Mar 10, 2008, 4:48am (UTC -5)
I meant to add: I generally agree that BoBW2 was a let down after the build up. But what choice did they have? The script was deliberately written as a "Now get out of THAT!" by a writer at the end of his contract (Piller).

It was indicitive of what was to follow in every subsiquent Trek seires (and most of TV-land).

Instead of writing a two episode arc, the writers wrote a cliffhanger with no thought on how to wrap it up. Then they had to write themselves out of the corner they had just painted themselves into (To mix metaphors... badly)
Tue, Mar 11, 2008, 5:04am (UTC -5)
Just wanted to say thanks Jammer for the reviews. I usually agree with them, although I think your critical analysis far exceeds my own.

I three am a long-time lurker; made heavy use of your site last year when while I was trying to sift out re-runs of VOY that were worth catching on Spike TV. While I don't know I've really changed my mind about acknowledging the show, I'm glad to finally say that I've at least seen its more 'viewable' installments.

And now to stick my foot in my mouth: Based on what reviews of yours I've read, I think you'd probably really enjoy Babylon 5 as another 'epic' sci-fi series. I'm NOT suggesting you review it; just think you'd find it rewarding as a series that fires on a lot of the same cylinders as DS9 and BSG, with its serialized format, complex characters and heavy emphasis on politics/mythology. And that's the last I'll say on that subject (aside from that if you ever did Netflix it, you'd probably want to skip 1st season).

Curious to know what you think about the direction of the new movie, what with recasting Kirk/Spock and all...

Alexey Bogatiryov
Wed, Mar 18, 2009, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
I must say Jammer, even though "Best of Both Worlds, Part 1" was certainly one of the best episodes of TNG (second only to "Yesterday's Enterprise" in my book) - I do not believe part 2 deserves 4 stars. The ending was too contrived - resetting the Borg and violated the premise (which was set up before) that the Borg cannot be defeated technologically. I would have also liked to have had Captain Picard removed from his rank for a while and perhaps have a Starfleet Intel debrief episode prior to "Brothers." Alas, proabaly the best TNG season show-for-show.
Wed, Nov 28, 2012, 9:25am (UTC -5)
This was on TV the other day, and something bothered me that I hadn't noticed before.

I understand Admiral Hanson died at Wolf 359. But some part of Starfleet had to survive after that. Why didn't the Enterprise hear anything from Starfleet headquarters -- or from the 40 ships the Klingons were said to be sending.

I suppose Riker could have talked to Starfleet off camera. But the fact that the only thing we see of Starfleet (other than the Enterprise) in the second half of the episode are two shuttle-type ships from Mars? It's really weird.

If nothing else, shouldn't someone on Earth have been hailing the Enterprise when it entered the Terran system? If not Starfleet, than the Federation Council?

Also, the Borg self-destructing because of a malfunction was a little too easy. It would have been more believable if the Enterprise had destroyed the ship after a malfunction, IMO.

Quibbles aside, this was a great episode, even if it wasn't as good as part 1.

Fri, Apr 26, 2013, 11:28am (UTC -5)
I caught this edited for feature length on a theater screen last night at one of those one-night-only Fathom Events where they cross promote the Blu ray release. "Wow" is the only single word that comes to mind. This two-parter should have been the template for the TNG movies. While, we all know it was not to be, this was the first time in over a decade I came back from a Star Trek theatrical event smiling ear-to-ear instead of depressed (see: Nemesis and Trek 2009). There was a big applause from the packed audience in the auditorium as the credits rolled. And as I was leaving I saw a 11 or 12 year old kid say to his parents "thanks for taking me". The seed had been planted for another generation!

As for Jammer's 4-star rating for "part II", I say RIGHT ON! It's amazing how organic part II is to part I. It was wise to keep Cliff Bole, Michael Piller and Ron Jones to wrap this up. And you're absolutely right, this is compelling television. If there are plot holes, I was too wrapped up in the ride to notice. Seeing the series edited as a feature length movie, I don't think a first time viewer could have believed that part II was not planned alongside part I from the start.

One of the smartest things was not trying to destroy the Borg through conventional means. We don't see the Battle of Wolf 359 which would have been the television equivalent to a hand-job to the audience (we see it in the DS9 pilot instead). Instead, we simply seeing the aftermath; it's a dramatic punch to the gut. That is a stroke of storytelling genius on Piller's part which amps up the dramatic stakes a 1000-fold.

Part II has so many great moments I can scarcely name them all but my favorites are:

*Guinan's speech to Riker about there only being one captain of the Enterprise ("It's the only way to beat him; the only way to save him.")

*The look on Wesley's face when Riker orders him to set a collision course with the Borg ship as a last ditch effort.

*"Then take your best shot, Locutus because we are about to intervene."

*"Sleep, Data, sleep."

Part II is a classic episode in and of itself. Four stars indeed.
Fri, Apr 26, 2013, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
I also saw this in the theatres and I was so disgusted they decided to show the documentary before the show. I took my girlfriend who has only heard my hype and had no idea what a Star Trek was and the entire two parter was spoiled for her before it even started. Every single part was spoiled. What a crock.

As for the show, I agree with Patrick in that it was well done! The remastering was excellent and the episode doesnt seem all that dated for being 25 years old.

It was mentioned in the documentary that Micheal Miller quit the show without writing a second part. I had read years ago that there were a lot of head games being played between the writers, producers, actors and the media as to not ruin the ending of this two parter. They wanted people to believe this could be the end of Picard. So I actually think everything was planned out from the beginning to the end.
Sun, Dec 15, 2013, 12:56am (UTC -5)
While arguably the ending was too easy, it was consistent with what we know about individual drones, how they could self destruct if they suffered the "malfunction" of being injured or separated from the collective. Also, when the larger collective saw that the unauthorized sleep command had been issued, they may have triggered the destruction of the cube.
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
I didn't know there was actually any controversy about the conclusion until I discovered the internet; I always thought it was just as good as part I and not a let-down in any way.

The way the episode escaped from part I's cliffhanger is clever and logical. The Borg learn and adapt. They have the ability to make themselves immune from many different types of energy attacks. They work by linking all their brains together in the collective. So it's quite logical to assume Picard's brain would now be part of the collective. And quite logical that they would have noticed the big plan to defeat them first. Not sure how many fans guessed that back when it first aired, but it makes perfect sense in retrospect.

Likewise, the final resolution to both the Borg and Picard plots was also clever and logical. The Borg had already been established as beyond the weaponry of Starfleet. Thus, it would have been unbelievable if a brute force, technological solution were to be found. Maybe an entire fleet defeating the Borg could have worked, but special effects hadn't advanced far enough to show that battle yet. Instead, Wolf 359 acted as a punch in the gut and made our dread even more real. So brute force couldn't work. A deus ex machina would feel cheap, even if it did work in Q Who. So it had to be a clever non-traditional route would need to occur. But special tactics like the Picard maneuver might still feel like a let-down. And it doesn't explain how to get Picard back. So why not link the two together?

We still got the cool maneuver and special tactics. We got a call-back to Peak Performance, which showed Riker can be pretty innovative when pushed into a corner. And that's what we saw. We start with taking advantage of the Borg's inhumanity by appearing to mimic a plan hatched when Picard was around. The Borg never considered the possibility of a bluff; their machine-like thought process immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion. We then see an awesome fireworks display, which were some pretty impressive effects for that time. But all of this proves to be a distraction for the real ploy; kidnapping Locutus. The whole scene felt smoothless and came with a nice bout of action. Very well directed scene.

And so Locutus is used to hack into the Borg collective. But even that is too easy. So instead, we meet Picard half-way. Data's hacking serves to wake Picard up enough to give advice on how to get the Borg to go to sleep. And so the Earth is saved. And, conveniently, Picard is back. I don't think anyone saw that coming. But looking back on it, it's hard to see any other way it could have gone.

If I had to make one little change, it would be to not have the sleep pattern cause a self destruct. Instead, I would have had Data warn Riker that he doesn't know how long this will last. And so Riker gets a chance to blow up a defenseless ship. It would have made the mini-argument between Shelby and Riker (about whether to stop the Borg's self destruct sequence) make more sense, and also would have been a nice conclusion to the Riker sub-plot of part I. Riker still has the gumption to take risks when the need arises (as proven by the kidnapping of Locutus), but also understands when to call. Shelby might try to get Data to keep them in sleep mode as long as possible in order to study them, while Riker understands that they are completely out of options if the Borg do wake up. So he orders their destruction. But it's a minor point.

Another minor point, which I thought was quite impressive, was that Riker essentially failed his first moments as the designated captain of the Enterprise. I'm referring to his staff meeting, where he made two rookie mistakes. The first was to immediately undermine his new first officer by dissing her at the same time as promoting her. "Reluctantly"? You don't say that when promoting someone! You need to have full faith in your first officer and you need to ensure your other officers know that you have full faith in her. And yet Riker gives the most lukewarm promotion ever. Ouch. Next, he ends the meeting with some serious self-depreciation while trying to raise the troops' morale. No no no no no. Yes, the situation looks hopeless, and everyone feels that we're all doomed. But you don't reveal you feel the same way! That leads to breakdown of morale and increase in despair. Even if everyone suspects that you don't have a clue how to survive, you need to act at least somewhat confident. I may not be a starship captain, but I know that those were two mistakes.

And yet, it makes sense. This is Riker's first command, and has had no time to prepare for it. He's also stressed, probably tired, grieving, and to be blunt has a whole lot on his mind at the moment. It is perfectly reasonable that his first staff meeting would be a bit... unrehearsed. And it ends up reinforcing the next scene, which shows that Guinan needed to give him a kick in the rear to get things moving. Nicely done.

It also helps to keep that sense of dread going. There's a nice scene in Dune that mirrors this scene; a staff meeting with war looming on the horizon and a sense of things slipping out of control for the Duke of Arrakis. Frank Herbert was able to use words to explain subtle signs on the faces and actions of the staff members showed that the sense of dread was wearing on them, and the staff meeting just seemed to dissolve rather than have a crisp, clear purpose. And I think this staff scene on the Enterprise showed the same thing.

4 stars for me.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
Locutus throws the guard across the room, and Beverly doesn't bother to stop and tend to him. She is busy monitoring Picard's vitals, but she could at least page sickbay for someone to come tend to him. Even minutes later she's still preoccupied and oblivious while a patient continues to lie unconscious on the floor. Lovely.
Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Riker: "Based on our latest communication, we can assume that the Borg survived the fleet's attack."
Me: "Understatement of the year, dude."

I think this is one of the few Trek second parts that ever came close to surpassing the potential set by the first part; the closest competitors immediately coming to mind are VOY's "Scorpion Part II" and DS9's "Time to Stand". Trek cliffhangers usually nail part 1 and falter on part 2, to varying degrees. In general, though, setting up a good cliffhanger is relatively easy compared to actually resolving it in a satisfying manner.

Classic episode, and boy does Ron Jones' soundtrack make this two parter. BoBW would not have been nearly as thrilling without his soundtrack to match.
Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Speaking of good Trek cliffhangers, I can't believe I forgot to mention DS9's "In Purgatory's Shadow". Now THAT was one which really sent chills down my spine at the end.
Sun, Jan 4, 2015, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
I might be alone in this, but I really wanted to see the continuing adventures of Captain Riker and First Officer Shelby. I know Patrick Stewart gave TNG some much-needed gravitas and losing him might have caused ratings to plummet; nevertheless, I loved the Riker/Shelby dynamic and I would have liked seeing Picard, if not killed, then kicked upstairs to the admiralty after the events of this episode. They could have given us a couple of "Admiral Picard" stories every year where he has specific orders for the Enterprise, or Enterprise has to shuttle him around to vitally important diplomatic conferences. They could have even made Picard's stories at Starfleet Command an ongoing plot thread; I would have enjoyed seeing just how Starfleet Command works. This also would have eliminated all the "why is Riker still just a first officer" debate that hovered over the show for the rest of its run and also throughout the movies.

We still could have gotten great Picard episodes like "Darmok" or "The Inner Light"--after all, you would think Starfleet would occasionally send admirals to make important first contacts, and "Inner Light" didn't depend upon Enterprise's presence at all.

Alas, it was not to be.
Sat, May 16, 2015, 7:56am (UTC -5)
The Borg changed everything Brian, the Borg changed everything.
As soon as one Cube orbitted Earth (one century after V'ger!) after smashing a fleet, they knew their idealistic bullshit had to end.
After the stories of parasites infiltrating Starfleet at the highest levels got out, starfleet had to tighten it's security measures.
After the ROmulans resurfaced with a fleet of warbirds comparable to starfleets finest, and destablized the Klingon empire, Roddenberryism had to end.
They're through the looking glass people....
Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 7:35am (UTC -5)
A lot of people say that "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" isn't as good as "Part I." I have to agree with them, though probably not for the same reasons.

What is on display here is just as good as "Part I." What brings it down for me is what isn't here. I simply cannot believe that we don't see any of the Battle of Wolf 359! The closest we get is a short snippet of the admiral on the view-screen during the battle with his flagship getting hammered around him. This is a monumental turning point in the history of the Federation and yet we have to wait until the first episode of DS9 to finally see some it. I hate to bust out the Pearl Harbor or 9/11 comparisons, but nothing else of equal significance comes to mind. Up until now (for almost a century in the Trek universe) the Federation has enjoyed such an idyllic and peaceful existence that it almost breaks the suspension of disbelief. Sure, they've had problems recently with the Romulans (and in the larger, and later, storyline, the Cardassians) but this is a whole new ball game. Starfleet just got the ever living hell kicked out of it. Earth itself was within a hair's width of being assimilated. Even if the writers weren't planning very far ahead from this episode, they simply had to realize that this was a game changing event. They knew enough to see that the events of "Sins of the Father" would require some serialized storytelling on their part. Could they possibly have been so blind that they couldn't see that a Trek version of Pearl Harbor wouldn't require the same? Apparently they did since we aren't treated to any scenes depicting the battle itself. Granted, we get that amazingly good scene of the Enterprise coming upon the wreckage, but come on! It could have been so much more.

I also cannot believe that we get no idea of what is happening on Earth during all of this. The barbarians are quite literally at the gates and yet we spend all our time with the Enterprise and the Borg ship. What is happening with the general public? What is Starfleet Command doing? The government of the U.F.P.? We get nothing. This story almost screams for scenes like that, to show how the larger picture is unfolding. When the Borg blast through the Mars Defense Perimeter, we should see admirals start panicking. (As an aside, Earth sure seems to always be rather undefended in Trek, doesn't it? V'Ger attacks and the Enterprise is the only ship in range. The Whale Probe shows up and one ship goes out to meet it. The Borg invade and three tiny ships from Mars stand against it. And it only gets worse from here in future episodes.) When the Cube appears in Earth orbit, we should see literal panic in the streets. But again, we have to wait for a DS9 episode to get even a hint at what is happening on Earth at this time - the episode "Homefront" establishes that a State of Emergency was declared. Well, that's at least something, I guess.

This story really needed to be more than two episodes long. I realize that it was something of miracle for it to be two episodes long, given that this is only Trek's second two-parter. And I'm not saying it should have been a six- or ten-parter like we eventually got in the last seasons of DS9. Still, it needed to be at least three episodes. The first part ends Season Three and sets up the turmoil. Then Season Four opens with its own two-parter, giving enough time to show the drama and action on the Enterprise and give us the needed scenes at Starfleet Command, the U.F.P. government and Earth in general.

All of that aside, however, "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" is a very worthy follow-up to "Part I."

Diamond Dave
Tue, Sep 8, 2015, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
Ah, after all that build up has there ever been a more crushing let-down that when the Enterprise's deflector beam completely fails to do anything?!

Despite the fact that this has some excellent action scenes and some wonderful character insight, I can't help feeling that it actually dragged a little in getting to its conclusion. I guess inevitably given budgets and everything else we see this play out from the Enterprise perspective, and yet that makes the episode feel kind of small - it's a subject that perhaps needed a grander stage to play out. 3 stars.
Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 4:09am (UTC -5)
These two episodes always bothered me for the very contrived solution. Quite frankly, the enterprise should have been destroyed. The cube waltzed through 40 ships like they weren't there, but the enterprise miraculously is largely unscathed?

It bothers me how many TNG loyalists refer back to this as how awesome the ship is, but it shouldn't have happened. The enterprise should be gone, and most if not all of those on board dead.
Fri, Sep 25, 2015, 7:38am (UTC -5)
Actually, knowing what we know now, I think its more likely the Borg Queen (which we don't know about here) detected the anomaly and also detected intruders on board. In order to maintain some secrecy about their intent and abilities, she then sets the self destruct. She may have even believed Picard would be a casualty. Or she wanted to keep him alive. Just thoughts.
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
This episode is let-down for me, but re-watching it it's not nearly as disappointing as I remember. The fact that the Borg don't take out the Enterprise is a complete plot contrivance. But I wonder though if Picard had some sort of subconscious effect on the collective to keep them from destroying the ship. And since the Enterprise in no way was a threat they could assimilate the flagship of the Federation after the fall of Earth.

Also, I *assumed* that the Borg feedback loop was due to the entire cube shutting down all at once. Surely an entire Borg cube wouldn't sleep all at the same time since they would be completely vulnerable.
Fri, Oct 14, 2016, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Like many others, I don't feel the 2nd part of this episode was as strong as the first. Everything just seemed too easy - the fact that they were able to so easily find Picard on a ship the size of a Borg cube was almost laughable. And why did the Borg only send 1 cube to earth? Wouldn't it make more sense to send at least 2, for redundancy? I do have to strongly disagree with someone else's comment that the battle of Wolf 359 should have been shown. Since the Enterprise wasn't there, there would be little point in showing the battle. From what point of view would we be seeing it? The aftermath of the battle was my favourite part of the episode - a very chilling scene (probably equivalent to seeing the twin towers destroyed). Realistically, though, I think at least a few ships should have survived the battle. I also found it absurd that at the end, they suggested that the entire fleet of 40 ships would be replaced within *a year*. That's 1 ship every 9 days! I think the figure would be more like 5 years, at least, since additional ship yards would likely have to be built to speed things up.
Walter E. Gough
Mon, Dec 19, 2016, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Solid solid solid.

Unsung: The closing scene of Picard, alone in his ready room, his headwounds bandaged, turning to peer out his window at the Earth below [fade].

Really beautifully done.
Sun, Dec 25, 2016, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
It's funny - Guinan did more actual counselling in her one scene with Riker than Troi did in all seven seasons.
John Harmon
Tue, Feb 14, 2017, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
I'm going through this series for the first time on Netflix. This is my first time commenting here. I'm glad I found this site. I love reading the comments and reviews after I watch an episode.

I just got through watching this one. Wow. Now I understand why Best of Both Worlds was always so highly regarded in the realm of television.

I have to say that both parts had me riveted. My only complaint about part 2 was how goofy Locutus seemed, walking around the sick bay, poking at people and telling them they'll be assimilated until they get annoyed and Beverly turns him off.
Thu, Mar 2, 2017, 7:17am (UTC -5)
I find this two-parter to be the most hyped episode in the history of sci-fi to be honest with you. I think it's a good 8/10, but people go on like it's The Inner Light or All Good Things. It is not. I can understand that it's exciting with the Borg and all, and people get sucked in to the idea of Picard becoming one. Ooooo, how will he be rescued?

But, come on, does anyone else here realize what they did to the Borg? They turned it from a savage killer into battle of the week, and it started right here. The very idea that Picard would be savable after this ordeal is just ridiculous. We were told originally that once you were assimilated, that was it. And, even if that were not the case (it was), it breaks all suspension of disbelief to accept they'd ever manage to find him and retrieve him from that deadly Borg ship. That alone knocks a mark off for me.

But the entire thing was designed to play on people's love and fear of the Borg. It's got a lot of fizz, but no pop. It's got drama (actually melodrama), but it's all artificial and phony. There might have been a real tension there if there were any chance that Picard could be lost forever, but we all knew that the main cast was protected from death on TNG.

I'd have to watch it again, but those things stood out to me - along with that awful Shelby character with her silly hair-do. I didn't take her seriously as an opponent for Riker, because she was poorly written and the acting was over the top. It was like she'd just come from some hair salon job and walked right onto the set to say her lines.

I'll have to watch this again soon, then I'll probably be able to give this some pros and some more cons.
Thu, Mar 2, 2017, 7:22am (UTC -5)
*over hyped.

Additionally, I thought the next episode, Family, was far better.

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