Star Trek: The Next Generation

"Galaxy's Child"


Air date: 3/11/1991
Teleplay by Maurice Hurley
Story by Thomas Kartozian
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Dr. Leah Brahms (Susan Gibney), the designer of the Enterprise's engines, comes aboard the Enterprise. Geordi is ecstatic, because he met — and kissed — a holographic version of her in last season's "Booby Trap." This can't end well. His boundless optimism only makes it that much more obvious when we learn that Brahms is, in reality, kind of a pain in the ass. Her first words to Geordi after stepping off the transporter pad: "So you're the one who's fouled up my engine designs." The payoff is so telegraphed that if "Galaxy's Child" were on cable, she would've used a different word starting with F.

Last season's "Booby Trap" was an engaging enough hour, so I guess it sort of made sense to do a follow-up on the whole Geordi/Leah thing. It's funny but also cringe-worthy to watch Geordi get so worked up over this woman whom he met on a holodeck (in a best-computer-guess simulation) and who doesn't actually know him. Reality. Fantasy. Two things. Watching Geordi confess to Guinan this 16-year-old-boy-like crush is embarrassing enough, but then Geordi arranges a date in his quarters where I'm just feeling bad for when Brahms walks out perplexed. Because Brahms is married. And Geordi doesn't know this because, what, he never bothered to find it in the computer? Uh-huh. Look at it this way: If you found someone on Facebook you wanted to date, don't you think the first thing you'd look at on their profile is whether they're, you know, MARRIED? Just wait until Leah finds herself in last year's holodeck program. (Her reaction was over the top, in my opinion, and when Geordi defended himself I was nodding in agreement.) This is either hilarious or sad; I'm not sure which.

The sci-fi plot, which is sort of an afterthought, involves the Enterprise studying a creature (sort of like a whale in space) that suddenly attacks the ship with deadly radiation. In defense, Picard fires phasers (minimum setting, of course). Priceless is Picard's devastated reaction when the phasers accidentally kill the creature. It's so wonderfully Picard: We came out here to study this wonderful creature and we have killed it; thus we have failed our mission. But then it turns out the creature was pregnant, and the baby survived in the womb, is born, and starts following the Enterprise around like its mother. How cute. Until it latches on and attempts to breast-feed all the ship's energy away.

Leah and Geordi must work together to figure out how to get the creature off the ship without harming it. In the process they reach an understanding and mutual respect (and make a natural technobabble tag-team) — but, come on, did you really expect them not to?

Previous episode: First Contact
Next episode: Night Terrors

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63 comments on this review

Captain Tripps
Thu, Sep 22, 2011, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
From Galaxy's Child

"Just wait until Leah finds herself in last year's holodeck program. (Her reaction was over the top, in my opinion, and when Geordi defended himself I was nodding in agreement.) "

I don't know, this guy she's never met has been hitting on her since she beamed aboard, and now she finds out he has her simulated on the Holo-Sex-Deck. Justifiable reaction is justifiable. Geordi should have told her upfront.

Same ep, didn't they meet another spacefaring creature? Tin Man? That doesn't justify as "similar phenomennon"? I half suspect they reused the same, "retrofitted" prop.
Nick P.
Fri, Sep 23, 2011, 9:02am (UTC -6)
@Captain Tripps (love the king reference, BTW)

I don't think I agree with you about telling Leah up front.

"Hi, I am Geordi LaForge, I am the Chief Engineer, I have a flirtatious holodeck recreation of you, but it is not sexual, hope you don't mind....Are you busy later?"

I think the proper move would have been to delete the program as soon as you saw her name on the guest list.
Captain Tripps
Fri, Sep 23, 2011, 9:20pm (UTC -6)
Well by upfront I mean during one of those dozen or so times where she asks him how he knows so much about her. Instead of the cryptic "I read your file". I think she would have found it interesting, if he had shown it to her while explaining the circumstances he was under at the time.

Or what you said, at the very least, delete her character/scale it back to the generic version he started with.
Sun, Sep 2, 2012, 8:03am (UTC -6)
More like a floating giant cheese ravioli in space.
Tue, Oct 23, 2012, 3:01pm (UTC -6)

I usually agree with most of your reviews, I thorougly enjoy them and thank you for your hard work. However, on this one, I have to wonder why you found Brahms' reaction over the top:

She meets a man she's never seen before; he seems to know a lot about her, he invites her on a romantic dinner, he obviously hits on her and then she finds out a holodeck version where the other she says: "Every time you touch it, it's me"...

Put yourself in her shoes and tell me you wouldn't have reacted badly ? ;)

I like Geordi very much, but here, he responded with hypocrisy (he wanted only friendship, really ?) and put her on defense. What I regret most is that Brahms didn't argue more. She's shown as a strong woman with strong ideas (sometimes obnoxious) and suddendly, she's melting and gets along with Geordi, which doesn't suit with me, at all (of course, it suits TNG).

It also poses the question of holodeck's ethics (same question in "Hollow Pursuits" with Barclay's use of living beings). Shouldn't use of real persons be prohibited ?

As for the reference of "Tin Man", I see those aliens of the week more like giant space whales, not sentient beings like Tin Man.

PS: sorry for my poor english :p
Thu, Dec 20, 2012, 10:02am (UTC -6)
Lesson of this episode: always use password for your private files...
Thu, Apr 4, 2013, 11:00pm (UTC -6)
The more I think about the missing follow-up from "Booby Trap," the more I'm convinced that this episode dropped a ball I never realized was in the air. The question raised here -- why did the computer lead LaForge into thinking Brahms would be interested in him? -- could've had a more interesting answer. Not because the simulation was imperfect or because LaForge never asked, but because it was the *Enterprise* that was interested in him, using holo-Brahms as its voice.

That revelation could've been a twist ending to this episode, but it also would've opened a can of worms thst changed TNG forever. From that moment, the Enterprise would've been recognized as alive, a new character in the ensemble. Suddenly, Geordi has more girlfriend than he ever wanted; Data is a mentor to an emerging AI; and Picard has to wonder if a sentient ship will obey his commands. Given the b-plot, this episode would've been the perfect launching pad for a "living ship" arc.
William B
Fri, Apr 5, 2013, 12:20am (UTC -6)
@Grumpy, I liked your comment in the Booby Trap thread and I like it here. It'd be particularly interesting to play *this* revelation against Geordi's hopeless crush for Brahms -- maybe even a two-part episode in which part one ends with the discovery that the ship was communicating with Geordi, and a second part in which Brahms stays around to help diagnose the ship as the primary expert on the Enterprise's construction. Actually, the idea of revealing that the ship was communicating love to Geordi via a female image reminds me reminds me of Zefram Cochrane finding out about the entity being in love with him in TOS' "Metamorphosis" -- so aspects of this are in keeping with what Trek had done before. Given that LaForge has very few good stories after "The Mind's Eye," this might be an interesting way to go.... They gestured at the computer gaining its own intelligence in "Emergence" -- but the ideas never quite gelled within this series.
Sat, Jun 1, 2013, 8:46am (UTC -6)
Galaxy's Child could just as easily be called "Geordi's Big Miss". As much as I want to like Geordi, he is a probably the least developed of all the main characters. He basically just spouts Trekno-babble to rationalize and prod along ship-in-peril stories. Little is known about Geordi the person. My sister, a lifelong trekkie like me, calls him dull.

What few times we get a Geordi-centric story, it's usuall with him being just inept with women and never more so than in this episode. The way he gushes and giggles in front of Picard when he is told that Leah Brahms is coming for a visit is just short of silly for any grown man. And it only gets worse when he explains his "admiration" to Guinan. At this point we can already see we're all being set up for his big letdown. It's the next logical step.

Now, enter Leah, who of course is a block of ice on wheels. Not that it matters to Geordi who still keeps babbling oddly creepy over-reaching things just begging for a restraining order. Truly no grown man could be this bad at charming a woman. Not even Wesley.

Plot B, the giant ship-sucking space-baby that provides the ship-in-peril stuff, feels like an afterthought. It does give Geordi and Leah the necessary motive to ends their squabbling and work a problem together.

Overall it's not a bad story as long you can believe Geordi or any other grown man could be so awfully clumsy with women.

Oh, by the way, in case you didn't watch or pay attention to "All Good Things", the series finale, some time in the future Geordi and Leah eventually marry.

William B
Mon, Jul 1, 2013, 11:24am (UTC -6)
I think the B-plot does connect to the A-plot in at least one way -- but a way that is not very flattering to La Forge. The baby space alien mistakenly believes that the Enterprise is its mother, follows the Enterprise around for a while, and then starts sucking energy out of it. The Enterprise can only shake the baby off by "souring the milk" and pouring some figurative vinegar into what they give it, until it finally gets the message that maybe it is not actually wanted. I wonder how Leah could ever have come up with this. Replace the space baby with La Forge, the Enterprise with Leah, and "mother" with "potential girlfriend" and you pretty much have the episode's A plot, except that Leah's various attempts to shut down La Forge's puppydog interest basically never work, which means that Geordi is slower to catch a hint than a space baby who had just been born. I suppose Leah's "sourness" eventually gets through to Geordi and pushes him away -- but mostly it's actually her saying that she's married which gets Geordi to stop pursuing her. In principle, I guess, Geordi and Leah can only be friends once he has stopped latching onto her in a role which she emphatically does not want in his life; the Enterprise crew want the best for the space baby but they need to find a way to convince it to stop sucking all the life out of it.

I think Leah's reaction to finding the holoprogram of herself, saying that every time Geordi looks at the engines he's looking at her, every time he touches the engines he's touching her, etc., is entirely reasonable and perhaps even measured. Geordi has been not only clueless, but actually creepy for most of the episode -- demonstrating again and again that he knows personal information about her and trying to find artificial ways of spending time together when she has not indicated any interest, and of course the holoprogram's deep and abiding love pretty much explains how Geordi got all his information and his inappropriate fixation. Geordi *hadn't* actually had sex with holo-Leah as she implies, but it's not unreasonable given his recent behaviour and his repeated lying about why he was acting like he knew her to assume that his "relationship" with the holographic version of her went much further. I understand why Geordi tried turning it around on Leah the way he did, because it's pretty hard to deal with criticism and all, but claiming that his great sin was offering her friendship is disingenuous at best and awful and manipulative at worst. No, his sin wasn't "offering her friendship" but refusing to engage with her as a human being, being sullen and angry with her for not being as personable as the computer's version of her and pushing a relationship she didn't want. None of these are unforgivable, but they are *not* "offering friendship." The episode ending with Leah apologizing to Geordi and sharing a drink and a big laugh with him is messed up, ultimately, because while she was wrong about how far his holo-fantasies went, Geordi's own fantasy of his relationship with Leah had clearly gone to unhealthy extremes and so I don't think she was wrong in spirit. (Let's remember that Geordi is so out to lunch that he says "You remember!" to Leah regarding the design modifications made in "Booby Trap," and it seems to take a few seconds after Leah says that she has no idea what he's talking about for him to remember that that was the computer.)

Jammer's description of the date scene as either hilarious or sad gets to what I think the episode's tone is; actually, it mostly reads to me like an episode of The Office without jokes -- a cringe comedy of errors, without really any comedy. It's just a lot of errors. I can relate to Geordi's imagining a relationship that wasn't there, because I have made similar mistakes when I was, like, 20, but the episode ultimately makes his behaviour a little too extreme to be believable and certainly too extreme to end on the redemptive note of total friendship with Leah. There are some interesting moments -- for example, Leah saying that she relates better to machines than to people basically shines a light on Geordi's whole problem; in "Booby Trap" he fell for Leah because she was essentially an avatar for the Enterprise anyway. Given that Leah considers the Enterprise engines to be her child in a way (another connection to the B-plot?), the end-of-episode bonding does make some sense; even if Geordi and Leah are not meant to be a couple (and how), they are in a sense surrogate parents to the Enterprise and can bond over her. Whether Geordi can build human connections that are not just projections of his feelings for the ship remains to be seen. (2 stars.)
Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 4:53pm (UTC -6)
This is yet another episode where Picard puts his ship in danger for some misguided notion of diplomacy, as usual to the detriment of everyone. First of all, he is constantly refusing to raise shields and power up weapons, as if being prepared is a hostile act. If he would have just adopted a hard posture earlier and raised shields he wouldn't have had to kill the alien. Instead he placed his entire ship and crew in danger and killed the thing he sought to protect.
Reverend Spork
Fri, Aug 30, 2013, 10:08pm (UTC -6)
I agree with William; Geordi comes off as utterly creepy. In the first ten minutes alone, he gives away to Leah Brahms his knowledge of future technology she presumed nobody knew of yet, and just happened to guess her favorite food. If I were Brahms, I wouldn't have gone within one parsec of his quarters. LaForge's behavior is also off-kilter, behaving more like wesley than a chief engineer. And the sub-plot of the suckling baby whatever was weak. One and a half stars for this one.
Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 6:10pm (UTC -6)
Add me to the group that was skeeved out by Geordi in this episode. No way can "when you're touching them, you're touching me" can be dismissed as just being friendly. It was so bad that even more normal dialogue from Geordi came off as creepy, like at the end when they are doing the milk souring and Geordi tells Leah to "take it down further".
Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 12:23am (UTC -6)
Jammer, I'm disappointed with you. What Geordi did was indefensible, and it makes him extremely creepy as a character that he would have a holo-replica of a woman for his sordid fantasies. It makes me think less of you that you think her reaction to finding this as "over-the-top". Quite frankly, MY reaction would be to bring this to the Captain, assuming I didn't beat the crap out of Geordi first. Brahms is quite tame by comparison, no?
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 7:37am (UTC -6)
Think I have to side with the "Geordi is a creep" brigade here. Brahms even gave him multiple opportunities to come clean about how he knew so much about her and he didn't take them - if his holodeck simulation was really so innocent he coudl have been open and he wouldn't have panicked when he found out Brahms was accessing it.
Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 6:19pm (UTC -6)
Seriously, I am going to have to be another person joining the "Geordi is a creep" brigade. Brahms' discovery of the holodeck program? Is roughly equivalent to this.

You are a young woman who has been invited to the home of a coworker for a casual dinner. You haven't been working at your job for very long, and you don't know the guy very well, but he seems nice enough. But when you get to his house, some things start to seem “off.” He knows your favorite foods, your favorite music, and other personal interests of yours, and you know you never told him any of this. Dinner’s pretty awkward. He just seems to know way too much about you, and it’s starting to make you a bit nervous, but you know that if you walk out now, when you go to work tomorrow he will cast the whole incident as you being a bitch, and everyone will believe him, because no one knows you very well, and when something like that happens between a man and a woman, the woman’s often considered to be in the wrong unless the man does something overtly threatening, even if every alarm bell in her head is ringing like a claxon.

After the meal, you move into the living room. He goes out of the room for some reason, and you notice a closet door left slightly open. Curious, you open it. Inside, you find a shrine to yourself, completely with hair and toenail samples. After that, you throw all social conventions to the winds and RUN.

You know what I call Geordi’s behavior towards Brahms in this episode? RED FLAGS. That’s probably how she saw them, too. And before you say “Oh, well Geordi would never do something like that”, ask yourself this question. How exactly is Brahms supposed to know that?

It’s a travesty that the scriptwriter or whoever decided that it would be more appropriate to have Brahms APOLOGIZE to Geordi for her (completely justified) behavior than, as one of the previous commenters suggests, bringing all of this to the captain and then refusing to ever work with Geordi again, ever speak to him again, or ever being in the same room alone with him again.
Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 11:51am (UTC -6)
While I would usually be in the "Geordi is a creep" camp, I'm afraid that I can't be here. I understand their arguments, but the Holo-Leah was not programmed by Geordi to flirt with him or say those things, it was just extrapolating on the records of her personality, with a certain margin of error. But Geordi can't be blamed for how the hologram unfolded. Now if he had purposefully programmed Leah to be like that, sure, he would be a creep, but that wasn't the case... He originally only conjured her up to help with an engineering problem. Now, having said that, Leah's reaction is entirely justified, as others have argued, but Geordi did not have unsavory motives when holo-Leah was created.
Thu, May 1, 2014, 9:34am (UTC -6)
@ Cheyne

Nothing in the real Brahm's "personality profile" that was used to generate the interactive hologram would conjure up a phrase like "when you're touching them, you're touching me".

Someone's a perv, and it's hard to buy that it's the Ent-D's computer.
Sat, May 17, 2014, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
I'm going to join the 'Geordie is a creep' brigade. It was bad enough that he never told her, despite having multiple openings to divulge the information in a non-creepy way. He used the information from the holodeck to try to manipulate her into being into him. It was a messed up thing to do. The worst part was when he gives his sort of rebuttal in the holodeck and the show goes on like that settles it. Geordie was just trying to be nice, even if he erred, and Leah was overreacting.
Mon, Jun 2, 2014, 8:31pm (UTC -6)
So glad to find this site and see some of the feelings about this episode.

I am more in the "Just come clean Geordi" or more specifically in the "Just shut up Geordi, a little professionalism would be nice Geordi!!" camp. I like his character. He seems to be a bright guy who gets things done. (Perhaps not smart enough to edit the embarrassing program)
Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Geordi's behavior is consistent with sexual harassment in the workplace, plain and simple. I'd hate to have to work with anyone who can't see that. It was also galling to have to watch Leah apologize to Geordi at the end of the show. "I'm sorry I overreacted when I saw your holo-sex-deck version of me say that when you're touching the Enterprise, you're touching me." This show comes off so differently as I re-watch it at age 39! Come on... if you have a daughter, would you want her to experience what Leah experienced in the workplace? I like Geordi's character, but the writer made his behavior consistent with a perpetrator in this episode.
Mon, Jun 23, 2014, 5:36pm (UTC -6)
@Jack: You say that as though you've read her personality files.

Cheyne's description of the chain of events was accurate. Watch Booby Trap again.

Maybe it's Leah who's the perv? Either way, it's not Geordi's fault that Holo-Leah came on to him. And also, Geordi said goodbye and shut her off the moment that mission was over.
Dave in NC
Sun, Jun 29, 2014, 11:53pm (UTC -6)
I just watched this episode and my goodness does Geordi come across as a stalker. If the episode had been edited differently and had a darker musical score, this could have been Fatal Attraction in Space.

The scene in Engineering about "souring the milk" had a creepy vibe to it, coming right on the heels of the confrontation on the Holodeck. Geordi was REALLY into that breast feeding analogy.

I laughed with incredulity when in the final scene in Ten Forward, it was Leah doing the apologizing and not Geordi. I told my roommate "I bet a man wrote this."

I was definitely entertained by this episode, but viewing this through the prism of "Aquiel" and "Identity Crisis" (and the Sherlock Holmes episodes), I'd say Geordi has a bigger holodeck problem than Barclay.

Dave in NC
Mon, Jun 30, 2014, 2:57am (UTC -6)
A few more notes:

Where was Counselor Troi when all this was going on? Instead of being an irritant to Picard on the bridge, she should have been addressing the Chief Engineer sexually harassing a distinguished guest. (A ship's counselor is kind of like HR, right? Just kidding.)

Also, did Picard remember meeting the holographic Dr. Brahms on the holodeck a year before, or not? At first I thought no, but the way the opening scene was edited, it seemed like he looked at Geordi a second too long to be mere coincidence . . . I rewatched this scene and I can't tell if that subtext is intentional or not, but it's most definitely there.

A final thought: I was kind of Dennis McCarthy wrote the score to this episode. While there's nothing super amazing out about it, it's 1000% percent better than most of his other (later) Star Trek music. (You know, actual chords and themes instead of droning french horns over atonal strings). My guess is that having to compete with a musical genius like Ron Jones made him try a little harder in the early days.

PS- to be precise: when I was comparing Barclay and Geordi, I meant to say Geordi is fundamentally more effed up than Barclay.
Sat, Aug 2, 2014, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
I would agree that Geordi was being a bit over the top with the way he acted with Leah but creepy and stalker like? I don't agree with that. I think people tend to be a bit over dramatic about such things and really have a little too much disdain or lack sympathy for people who don't know how to talk to women. Leah took the whole thing quite well until the hologram and then she was angry which I would agree that she should have been and Geordi's excuse didn't really seem valid enough to convince Leah.

I liked this episode quite a bit but not nearly as well as episodes in this season such as Data's Day ,Family, or First Contact. The whole thing with the space creature was OK but certainly took second place behind the Leah and Geordi story. I will say that when they killed the mother creature it was quite the sad moment and you could really feel the impact that it had on everybody on the bridge. For me I think the 2.5 stars rating is about spot on.
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 10:31pm (UTC -6)
With a modern day analogy, what Geordi was doing was like googling a person to the extreme and then attempting to use that background info to get on their good side. With a blind date or something maybe that's reasonable, but since she was just a coworker who barely knows he exists, it is well into creep territory in my opinion.
Sat, Aug 9, 2014, 11:05am (UTC -6)
2plix said:You say that as though you've read her personality files.

We're really going to drag in contemporary blame the victim logic here?
Dave in NC
Sun, Aug 10, 2014, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
@ Jack

It's not the first time I've seen 2plix make a questionable comment. Once I saw him say "Maybe it's Leah who's the perv?" I knew he was crossing into troll territory. No real Star Trek fan would be so blind to the truth.
Sun, Aug 24, 2014, 1:15am (UTC -6)
Geordi not telling Leah of the hologram, and using its insights (albeit apparently public knowledge) with her, could seem suspicious/creepy but the reaction still seemed excessive as the scenes in "Booby Trap" that she was said to be viewing seemed barely romantic and far from sexual (and the records would indicate that the program was created in response to crisis for information and only lasted through it). Geordi could/should have been annoyed that she wasn't even willing to see how it ended.
I was annoyed that there was so much time before she found out about the program, as was predictable, and that the reconciliation was told rather than shown.
Fri, Nov 28, 2014, 2:18am (UTC -6)
@Nissa What Geordi did was indefensible, and it makes him extremely creepy as a character that he would have a holo-replica of a woman for his sordid fantasies.

Get over yourself Nissa. I'm sorry but so many people these days over react when it comes to any sensitive issue. Geordi didn't create a holo sex toy for his "sordid" fantasies. What a joke.

In booby trap (and no that's not a sexist episode title) Geordi doesnt even mean to create a replica of Leah. He tells the computer to show him something. Instead of the computer highlighting the information it creates the real Leah. Then he just asked for some of her personality so he could congratulate her while he's trying to solve a problem. All he did was kiss her. He didn't do anything creepy. If you wanna see creepy go watch ds9 where quark actually tries to film Kira to replicate her so someone who paid him could have sex with her image. All without her knowledge. Geordi does act weird around women but if she would have watched the whole program she wouldn't have reacted over the top like jammer pointed out. I'm just surprised people are acting like Geordi is having threesomes with double Leah's inside the warp core. Ha.
Sat, Nov 29, 2014, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
Leah said, "If you wanna see creepy go watch ds9 where quark actually tries to film Kira to replicate her so someone who paid him could have sex with her image."

Agreed. But I still maintain that Geordi's behavior towards Leah, when he actually did meet her in person, was creepy - and this is why I am coming to the defense of anyone who has made that point on this thread. While I love Star Trek, I have been dismayed by some of the writing on TNG and DS9 (I haven't started Voyager yet; I only saw a few episodes of that show here and there when it was on air.) I blame the predominantly male writing team. There weren't enough checks and balances for some of the questionable story lines that involved male/female relationships. (As a counterpoint, I've gained a lot of insights/enjoyment from viewing relationships between fathers/sons, mentors/mentees, and 'brothers' in arms.) Re: Geordi/Leah and other questionable story lines, I'm heartened by the large number of men on this website who have come out to acknowledge the problems. It makes me feel better about how we're doing as a society.
Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 2:01pm (UTC -6)

Are you blind? Geordi was creating a holographic image of her so that he could create a fantasy with her, and then when she showed up in person, he had the intention of extending that fantasy to herself as a real person. Not to mention that the whole "touching" line was creepy as all get out. While I don't deny that the thing that happened to Kira was worse, just because it was worse doesn't mean that Geordi was innocent here. Geordi's reaction to Picard mentioning her arrival indicates he knew he was doing something wrong, so I don't want to hear it.
Wed, Dec 24, 2014, 2:51am (UTC -6)
Why all the disdain for a character in a television show that aired over 20 years ago? Sure what he did was over the top a bit, but our society nowadays tends to use the word "creepy" and "creeper" way too often. This I think is an example of that. No sympathy for the fact that Geordi was more or less inexperienced with women. Instead you have people disliking his character because he went overboard with one particular woman. Do I agree with what he did? No I don't, I wouldn't have done most of the stuff that he did throughout the episode. However at the same time I think there is the usual over reaction from people when it comes to this kind of thing.

I've known a few close friends of mine(both male and female) who were similarly inexperienced (and lonely)who went a little too far in their engagement of someone else and they received similar treatment. I think its great that our society condemns men who are actually creepy and potentially dangerous but Geordi's actions here are just ill conceived in my opinion and that's all.
Tue, Mar 17, 2015, 7:31am (UTC -6)
Nissa - you are completely over-inflating the issue.

Geordi was by no means innocent in the situation, since he obviously used some details from that program and assumably other research to know a bit more about Brahms (in his defense, what person doesn't try to learn more about someone they're interested in...). But the important thing is that he never created a holographic image of her to try and fantasize with. It was intended as a diagnostic simulation to try and figure out a solution to the issue at hand.

In the Booby Trap episode it was a degree of give and take with the computer that lead to there being a 3d image of her at all in the program. He never initially asked for it (the computer made the decision on it's own to insert a 3d image of her into the scene to assist with identification of certain items), but when confronted with an image of her that wasn't reacting like a human, he decided to instruct the computer to make the program act more like the real thing, so he could bounce ideas off it more effectively.

All the sexual innuendo was invented by the holodeck computer system, which in the process of making the invention seem believable was no doubt detecting that Geordi was somewhat attracted to the image (this does seem to happen on the holodeck occasionally...). Using this information it connected the dots, and made the holo version say those lines, and act the way it did. The holodeck doesn't know that what it's doing is creepy, it's just creating a mostly realistic simulation based on the information at hand, and parameters that had been defined.

I highly doubt that any reasonable person would look at this situation and assume Geordi was without fault, but they should also be able to see that the situation wasn't as creepy as you are insinuating.

His reaction to her outrage was wrong, but no-one said he was perfect. I also admit that the sudden turn-around by the episodes end in her reaction to him was a bit jarring, but from the way they are talking (with him acknowledging that he got a bit too attached to the holo-Brahms) it seems that we are seeing the end of a conversation, where the proper framing of why there was a holo version of her was explained and presumably understood.

The lack of a scene showing this sort of conversation, with Geordi apologising for the way he acted etc is definitely an oversight, but we must remember that TV schedules often cause pages of dialog to be left on the floor, especially in a scifi series, where the studio is often pushing for less talking and more action etc.
Wed, Mar 18, 2015, 12:34am (UTC -6)
To be honest I think the modern equivalent to all of this is a person I am attracted to opening up my search history and finding that I have looked them up on facebook prior to having conversations with them. Sure, Geordi could have told Brahms about the holodeck, just like I could mention that I had previously browsed an picture album on a facebook profile, but is that information that absolutely needs to be admitted? Sometimes things are better left unsaid because they can come across as really creepy, and as it is Geordi is a professional at that with his godawful attempts at flirtation. Furthermore, the costume designers deserve some recognition for the pink shirt that Geordi was wearing, no question.
Wed, Mar 18, 2015, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
Jammer: "Priceless is Picard's devastated reaction when the phasers accidentally kill the creature. It's so wonderfully Picard: We came out here to study this wonderful creature and we have killed it"

I'm glad you noticed this; it seems everyone else commenting on this episode is caught up in debating whether or not Geordi is a creep.

I thought the scene where they first discovered the life-form and the subsequent disaster showcased some of Patrick Stewart's understated acting at its very best. If you watch his face, you can intensely feel his sense of childlike excitement at discovering the unknown object in space, then he waxes poetic about living between the stars when he discovers it is a living being. He then shows caution and great sensitivity for not upsetting or alarming it; this turns to concern at the problems start to develop. Then when he realizes he is forced to use phasers, he hesitates so long in giving Worf the command, it's like he doesn't want to believe what is happening. Finally when it happens, the worst thing possible results: the creature dies before their very eyes.

Picard's powerlessness to save it and the feeling of his childlike joy and wonder turning into horror at the realization at what he's done was so acute, I wanted to burst into tears. But he did all this just with a look in his eye and an expression on his face. Patrick Stewart really is a great A-level actor and his heavy duty dramatic presence is a huge part of why this show about space people in costumes and little models and CGI moves us so deeply. You can feel his character's great intelligence and sensitivity, his noble intentions, and he makes it all feel very real and believable.
Sat, Mar 21, 2015, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
^ That really is one of my favourite Picard moments as well. The sense of abject failure Stewart squeezes out of that scene is really, really effective.
Mon, May 18, 2015, 10:05pm (UTC -6)
I agree with the praise for Picard's wonderful moment there. I really felt it would have been stronger if they had left out the dialogue of "we're here to explore, not to kill"... yes, we know, and we recognized your joy and pain (and its motivation) from the acting, without the clunky speech for the cheap seats.
The Man
Wed, May 20, 2015, 6:15pm (UTC -6)
It's amazing that people are getting legitimately angry and calling Geordi creepy, a stalker and calling it sexual harrassment. A fictional character no less!
The Man
Wed, May 20, 2015, 6:20pm (UTC -6)
You don't want to hear it @Nissa? Clearly you're taking real life issues and extending f it to a fictional character. Clearly you're blind or haven't seen the episode "Booby Trap" she wasn't created for him to fantasize about she was a diagnostic program and the computer took personality traits from her appearances at caucuses in an attempt to give her a personality Geordi did not give her that personality.
Fri, Jun 5, 2015, 10:00am (UTC -6)
What the difference between sexual harrassment and flirting? It is flirting if you're attracted to the person. Geordi's ineptness with women does fit with the typical demographic of star trek fans, so it is good to have a character that is like this. Geordi seems stalkerish because in his own mind after interacting with Leia on the holodeck he felt he was ready for the next level. In normal reality he would have been. So it works on that level. I also like how Leia Brahms finds the holodeck program. She is just being thorough tracking down stuff from the logs. It obviously had to be done and it could have been done in a much less intelligent way. I didn't get the parallels between the star child aliens and the Geordi situation until I read the comments here, that's a nice bit of nuance. One thing about Geordi though, I'm sure a lot of women would find his blindness a turn off, especially since his eyes have that milk white pallor to them. Along with using another 'F' word during the introduction, "who fouled up my engines" during their bantor it would have been funny if Leia had said, "what are you BLIND...oops!"
Fri, Jul 10, 2015, 2:39am (UTC -6)
Remember that episode from Season Three where LaForge fell in love with a holodeck woman (or was it the computer itself?)? You know, the one that basically said that nerds shouldn't even attempt to get real girlfriends? Talk about an episode that absolutely did not need a follow-up!

Seriously, what was the point here? In "Booby Trap" LaForge can't get a real woman interested in him, so he retreats off with his fantasy woman. Now, in "Galaxy's Child," the real version of that fantasy woman shows up and LaForge promptly screws everything up with her because he can't distinguish fantasy from reality. Oh, those wacky nerds and their women problems, am I right?! Then, just to rub salt in the wound, they have the real Leah Brahms be married, so there' no chance of LaForge ending up with her even after they've become somewhat friendly.

I thought the rather lackluster "Transfigurations" solved these romance problems for LaForge. I guess not. Seriously, if this is the type of "romance" the poor guy is going to get, it would have been better if the writers simply didn't do anything romantic with him in the first place.

It's actually kind of sad that the rather disappointing tech plot is again, just like in "Booby Trap," the redeeming feature of this episode. Like in the previous episode, it's enjoyable enough for what it is - nothing great about it and nothing terrible about it. It's just "there." Though I do feel the need to point out that this is the THIRD time these people have encountered a space dwelling life-form and they still act like it's something they've never seen before.

Thu, Sep 10, 2015, 5:13am (UTC -6)
Mike- on "most" Geordi centric episodes being "about him having trouble with women"... actually, this is the only one *really* about that. Booby Trap shows the humorous scene in the teaser about him having trouble with a girl on the holo deck but the rest of the episode isn't about that. Transitions has one scene with him being shy when talking to that Christie girl but that's it. Otherwise none of his other episodes are about that. Identity Crises, Relics, Interface, The Next Phase, Elementry Dear Data, not to mention Aquel (where he does have success with a woman) all don't have him having trouble with women as a major or minor plot line int the episode.

I actually tend to like the Geordi episodes and I like this one, and one reason I think I enjoyed it more than many others is that I took it to be in the "semi-comedy" Star Trek genre and thought it was pretty funny (between laughing at Geordi and at Leah's grouchy attitude). And to all those who talk about his creepyness in "researching" Leah and it being like googling people, well it was t even on that level (something which btw is somewhat unadmirable but not crossing the line into creepy in my book) as the hologram he made to help save the ship in Booby Trap volunteered all that he knew about Leah to him, if you re watch that episode. Yes one could say he sounded kinda creepy (but more so odd or just dopey/foolish) in his continuing references to what he had learned (emphasizing "foolish" for how much of a hard time he had in not permitting himself to act as though he already knew her- the "you remember" line in parricular but also not realizing how you can only establish so many "coincidental commonalities" between you and someone (the fungilli, seeing engines as your children... *ahem*) before what you're up to becomes fairly obvious (having prior knowledge of the person and using that to curry favor in making it seem like you have so much in common) but I didn't mind these things in the episode because I always thought and still do it was meant to be funny and I grant those sort of Trek episodes more benefit of the doubt than others and because it was the comically awkward with women Geordi saying them (and his general attitude was funny too in how he acted like he thought he was being all clever and sly but he wasn't clever enough to not overuse what he knew and it all ended up blowing up in his face.

On Leah encountering his holodeck program- sorry Nissa but you come off as someone sounding like they almost wanted to be offended especially with how you repeated your erroneous recollection of events even after you were corrected and referred to "Booby Trap" for what really did happen- yes Leah accused Geordi of doing creating a copy of her for sex but he obviously didn't, it was innocent and the facsimile said that line about touching engines=touching me on its (her?) own, and her being wrong about that and flying off the handle on him about something she was wrong about was why she apologized (and for her initially grumpy/somewhat unprofessionally confrontational attitude at first). But again, it was funny and I think that was at least half of that scene's goal. I also enjoyed the B plot with the space creature and thought it was a classically Trek/TNG plot and was particularly well suited for Picard, like others have said.
Diamond Dave
Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 1:24pm (UTC -6)
To me, this was more an examination of how - for want of a better word - socially awkward individuals sometimes just get things wrong when it comes to the opposite sex. Whether it's inappropriate fantasy figure, awkward attempts at seduction, misplaced indignation at rejection and confrontation, it's not malicious , just... very misguided. Whether Geordi making an ass of himself makes a whole episode is another question entirely.

The sub-plot is interesting enough, and worth the price of admission alone for Picard's quietly devastated response to killing the alien. That the Enterprise is presented with an immediate chance to make amends is of course a standard plot device. But it's nicely played nonetheless, and goes some way to ameliorate the rather on the nose main story. 2.5 stars.
Mon, Sep 28, 2015, 3:55pm (UTC -6)
The clearest evidence that Geordi - and the episode writer - knew that his behavior was inappropriate was the fact that he was panicked when the ensign told him she went to the holodeck to run his program. If it was all innocent and friendly, why care?
Andy's Friend
Mon, Sep 28, 2015, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
^ For a very simple reason: she would be unprepared to her a holographic version of herself, and might get the wrong impression. That does *not* make his behaviour inappropriate to begin with. I'm sure you can see the logical fallacy in that argument.
Fri, Nov 13, 2015, 8:03am (UTC -6)
Yes @Luke, I was thinking the same thing about Geordi being 'cured' of his ineptness with ladies in Transfigurations. I counted 16 episodes between that one and this one. He should still have the confidence he ended up with then. Looking at the writers, I believe they should have known this and dropped the ball. But they needed another storyline, not just the one where they discuss the engines over and over (that would get rather tiresome I suppose).

So I don't buy the premise of him being completely out-of-touch here. He drops a silly little message like "I make a great fungilli", then gives a knowing smile, as if she knows what is going on, or is flirting with him as well. And she's not. If he'd never said that line, things would have been much better. As it was, it made me cringe. Oh, I didn't believe Geordi was stalking her. That would've been going to her quarters over and over, watching her surreptitiously through the ship monitors, etc. No, I believe he was just being incompetent and clueless,...

Part of this episode did have a small ring of reality though, at least to me. He says earlier that he doesn't necessarily expect there to be anything romantic (just wants to be friends really), then later looks like someone just killed his dog after finding out she was married. Classic deluding himself, and people do that all the time. They say they aren't that interested in someone, when secretly the person is hoping against hope they will turn their eyes toward them. I totally believed that part of the episode.

Holodeck: Eh, she might have over-reacted a little, but I think it fit. After she thought about it a bit, and the circumstances surrounding the program, she seemed to realize it wasn't a big deal. But... in Booby Trap, why was the holodeck program recorded? Do they always record the goings-on in there? Why was there a program to be found of them? It should have just been Utopia Planetia, same as when Geordi started the program. There was no reason for her to ever see anything, because there should't have been anything to see.

Have a great day... RT
Thu, Jan 28, 2016, 10:50pm (UTC -6)
The writers of this show were probably not too aware of workplace sexual harassment issues.

In our time, which is supposed to be less evolved than TNG.....A guy invites a new female co worker to his apartment for dinner under the guise of a professional meeting, with dimmed lighting, music, casual clothing, etc....... well, she would have full grounds to report him and he may lose his job over it.

Then the holodeck thing. That would be today's equivalent of mounting a webcam in her office and then playing it on your home computer. So the co-worker finds this out; well, again the guy would likely be fired and maybe subject to a lawsuit.

The problem with the holodeck was it was made to be a lover of Geordi. I would assume the computer picked that up and pushed the personality in that direction. when you touch the engines you touch me..... there is only one way to interpret that, sexual. And, Geordi's talk with Guinan before Leah arrived made it very clear he was not looking at her from a friendship angle. He was wanting to be her boyfriend, right away, the day she arrived.

However, what I really disliked, was how they resolved it. They had Leah apologizing for her reaction! LIke who on earth thought that was a good idea? I guess with TNG they didn't like conflicts with their regular cast and it all had to by the end of the episode. Female's fault for over reacting, right? Is that how it is?

I guess back then, most of us were young and didn't notice this. I certainly as a man over 40, if I saw this first run now, would have likely disliked the LaForge character for the rest of the series, and have been disappointed the writers took a serious issue as a joke.
Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Add me to the "Geordi comes off as a creepy, obsessed stalker" list.

At the time the show aired, there really wasn't any real life parallel. Now with social media and other technology we are getting closer to where someone could create a virtual reality version of a person he/she had a crush on or an obsession with.

You would think the evolved humans of the 24th Century would have had developed a good code of holo-ethics that would forbid such behavior.

He essentially appropriated her 3 dimensional image, her voice, and and his approximation of her personality and used it to create a virtual version of her for his own fantasies.

I think she had every right to feel violated and even more reason to think Geordi was pathetic and creepy.

I think Geordi had at least as serious holodeck issues as Reg Broccoli...I mean Barclay.
Fri, Apr 15, 2016, 10:56am (UTC -6)
I may go out on a limb here and defend Geordi (and this episode). Yes, Geordi got caught up in a fantasy, but he never took it "too far".

He was nice to Leah, he invited her to dinner, he took her objections to romantic relationship seriously. That doesn't sound like the laundry list of stalker qualifications to me.

No, Geordi's only problem is that he didn't come clean earlier in the episode, and used the computers' knowledge to overwhelm Leah. But whatever his romantic intentions, he obviously did have professional intentions as an engineer too, as this episode shows.

Overall, I like this show. I suppose you could say it's ahead of it's time in terms of computers and social media. And overall the message is good; don't get caught up in a fantasy, especially when the real world is itself interesting. The space beast is also clever, and gets a shout out in "Relics".

3.0 - 3.5 stars
Thu, Jul 14, 2016, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
didn't someone ever tell you always delete your Holodeck history when we have guest over Geordi? or at least set up a password for Christ sake!
I sort of like this episode
2 stars
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 11:20am (UTC -6)
First time watching Star Trek. I'm really liking it but this episode (which I just finished) has me in a little shock!
There are quite some episodes where it is very clear that the script writers are males from the 20th century because the traditional gender roles are all over the place.

In Star Trek TNG I have seen more than a few cases of sexual harassment, discrimination towards women or sexism. And all are being seen as normal by bystanders/colleagues/crew members? Like in this case with Georgi too: He is acting totally inappropriate and unprofessional. He goes way over the line. Even has a holo-sex-thing with her and then SHE apologizes for being upset?
It makes it for me (as a young woman) sometimes hard to watch..

Also I am surprised that there are apparently no restrictions to the holodeck? Everyone can do whatever (and whoever?) they want? ... Can someone explain this to me?

(sorry for my bad english, i'm not a native)
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 12:40pm (UTC -6)

You're right in that this show was written in the 20th century and surely reflects on gender roles of its time to some degree.

As for this episode, I think you're being a little hard on Geordi. This episode is actually a follow up from season 3's "Booby Trap" where the computer actually went of its way to create a Leah Brahms character to help Geordi solve a serious engine problem. It might not be clear because this episode plays the scene for humor, but Geordi *never* used Leah's character for anything remotely sexual.

As for restrictions, I don't really see the point. The holodeck is supposed to be private and it's completely fictional. In our time, should someone be banned from writing a book about people they know and the fantasies they have about them? People are free to make these fictional creations, and, as we see in this episode, they sometimes have to deal with the consequences of their own imagination.
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 1:38pm (UTC -6)
The episode overtly depicts him conflating the imagined Leah with the real one, both in terms of their work history and of their personal relationship. Failure to distinguish fantasy from reality is pretty definitionally "too far."
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 1:46pm (UTC -6)

No one's saying Geordi didn't go overboard with his expectations with Leah. After Geordi's conversations with Guinan, that's a pretty clear Aesop for this episode. But Leah confesses she has her own interpersonal issues, making it hard for her to work with others.
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 1:49pm (UTC -6)
I thought the one restriction for the holodeck was that you couldn't make a character who's an existing member of the same ship. Or at the very least it's heavily frowned upon. I think they touch on this in the episode with Barclay making some of the crew into the Three Musketeers and mini Riker (lol). Troi says that it's no big deal until she sees he's made one of her too.
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 1:54pm (UTC -6)
The exact line is:

This is a violation of protocol. Crewmembers should not be simulated in the Holodeck...

Ah, Commander... I don't think there's any regulation...

Then there should be...

So, no, there's no regulation against it. However, if you had to access restricted crew profiles like Quark when he was trying to do this to Kira, then there's a problem.
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Chrome: "No one's saying Geordi didn't go overboard with his expectations with Leah."

No? I thought you were, back in April.
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 3:31pm (UTC -6)
In April, I actually I agreed he got "caught up in a fantasy". I also said he could've come off a lot better if he had explained what happened to Leah earlier instead of letting her find out on her own out of context.
Peter G.
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
I'd personally put aside the issue of Geordi coming in with preconceptions about Leah. We can just assert he wanted to romance her for whatever the reason; his rationale is more or less irrelevant.

The issue as I see it is really whether his conduct was proper or improper in attempting straight away to woo someone who came onto a Starfleet vessel to work with him. Whether his concept of her was accurate or not isn't pertinent to this point. The kneejerk answer will be that it was inappropriate of him to behave in that kind of unprofessional manner. However one potential lesson here is that manners in the 24th century might be more evolved than they are now. Right now making attraction for someone else felt has a better chance of offending them than anything else, and I personally view this as not ideal. I could see a case for a 24th century mentality where someone else's feelings or attempts to woo are understood and noted, but where offense isn't taken if the feeling isn't reciprocated. It would become uncomfortable, of course, were the wooer to persist over protests of disinterest. And even then we might suppose that people will be charitable enough by then that if they see someone feeling desperate or lonely they'd be understanding about it and not get upset if the person goes a bit too far.

That's not to say I don't find Geordi's behavior a little out of line, but then again I'm only a 21st century guy.
Thu, Dec 1, 2016, 8:15am (UTC -6)
Regardless of whether it's right or wrong, Geordi running into the holodeck room and getting caught red-handed was funny as hell!
Wed, Jan 11, 2017, 6:10am (UTC -6)
I know it's been a few years but to answer Captain Tripps point about the similarities between Galaxy's Child and Tin Man; Tin Man was a living space ship - bred (engineered) to carry a crew. Galaxy's child was a space whale.
Sun, Jan 15, 2017, 10:41am (UTC -6)
Ugh.... awful episode. Overmarked by Jammer I feel. Another Geordi has the emotional range of a 12 year old episode, only this time he acts like a creepy stalker as well. How is this remotely entertaining? The space whale baby stuff is cute but Geordi as a whole drags this episode down. 1.5 stars max.

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