Jammer's Review

Star Trek: The Next Generation

"Redemption, Part II"

***

Air date: 9/23/1991
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Carson

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

TNG's fifth-season kickoff is an entertaining blend of the earnest and the absurd, highlighting the series at perhaps its most eclectically versatile — or tonally schizophrenic, depending on your point of view. With the Duras sisters making their bid against Gowron to take over the Klingon Empire — and the Romulans pulling strings behind the scenes — "Redemption II" rotates through a sprawling A/B/C-story structure.

We have energetic space opera in the form of boisterous Klingons engaging in glorious battle — and then drinking in the same hall in the evenings between engagements. Apparently civil war is a 9-to-5 job. (Amusing detail: arm-wrestling with knives thrown in for good measure.) We have a more grounded storyline where Data is put in command of a ship whose first officer does not think an android is capable of command. And we have the Enterprise on a mission to expose the Romulan involvement in the Duras' attempted takeover. Of course, the wild card here is the relative sci-fi soap opera that is the Sela situation.

Since they are all servicing the same plot, "Redemption II" finds an admirably workable balance between all of these pieces. For my money, the most engaging is Data's command story. While we've been down the road documenting the prejudices against Data before, this one is a suitably engaging retelling. Timothy Carhart as Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Hobson hits the right notes of a wrong-headed jackass whose public disrespect of Data should've landed him in the brig immediately, if not sooner. As always, Data's unflappable nature is the key here. He never gets emotional, although he raises his voice when deemed logically necessary.

As for the nature of the woman who looks exactly like Tasha Yar, that one is a little trickier. On the one hand, I appreciate the commitment of the writers in revealing Sela's backstory and the paradoxical implications that come with it, explicitly referencing "Yesterday's Enterprise" and bringing in Guinan to lend credence to the whole thing. If anything, the writers show a willingness to take a ridiculous idea and try to make it absolutely credible in TNG's sci-fi terms. On the other hand, casting Denise Crosby to play a character who looks exactly like the character's mother is just a dopey soap-opera conceit to begin with. (The paradox here: You can tell this story, but to do it with Crosby is to just remind us all that it's a conceit; but to not use Crosby means you don't have the story's WTF-baiting justification in the first place.)

In the end, the Romulan conspiracy is exposed and the Duras insurrection is put down (though Lursa and B'Etor themselves escape, naturally), thanks to the Enterprise's efforts and Data's ingenuity. Worf finds his two worlds in conflict, as he often does, and makes the choices we expect him to. Still, Worf's return to the Enterprise is handled a bit pat for my tastes. After the big deal that was made of his departure at the end of "Redemption, Part I," this feels like a swift and easy reset. As season-starting TNG cliffhanger resolutions go, this outing would become typical of the model.

Previous episode: Redemption, Part I
Next episode: Darmok

Season Index

33 comments on this review

Mentor397 - Sat, Apr 2, 2011 - 10:05pm (USA Central)
I didn't have much to say really, I enjoy your take on these episodes, even if I don't always agree with them. I wanted to point out, politely, before anyone else in a mean way might, that it's "brig" not "bring".

Seriously, good work.

Grumpy - Sun, Apr 3, 2011 - 7:58pm (USA Central)
Revisiting TNG gives me a better sense of Ronald D. Moore as a writer, after seeing what he did with BSG. The grittiness, the darkness, the intrigue. Especially where BSG contrasts with what other TNG writers were doing.
angel - Tue, Apr 5, 2011 - 10:27am (USA Central)
Jammer,
If you want to consider Crosby playing her own daughter as a 'soap-opera conceit,' fine, but, based on your other reviews, if this had been a DS9 episode, I have the feeling you'd have given this 4 stars for precisely that reason.
lvsxy808 - Tue, Apr 5, 2011 - 9:22pm (USA Central)
I get the feeling the entire idea behind Sela was that Denise Crosby regretted quitting in season one once TNG got famous, and begged to be on the show again. Then they had to come up with a plot to make it happen. In one way it's nice that TNG never forgot the character (she appeared at least once per season after she died), but in another way, it's a pretty transparent attempt by Denise to ride on TNG's coattails.
Matthew - Thu, Apr 7, 2011 - 10:35am (USA Central)
@ angel: Yeah, except that DS9 would have done it better - and Denise Crosby's performance would never have been allowed to be so over-the-top both here and elsewhere (Reunification).
angel - Fri, Apr 8, 2011 - 10:54am (USA Central)
How the hell do you know DS9 would've done it better?
Knowing that show, we would've gotten a threesome with her, Dukat, & Nurse Ratched
Lenore - Sat, Apr 23, 2011 - 4:03pm (USA Central)
Agreed about Crosby as Sela - what was the point? (I know in real terms, it was "Denise wants to play one more time", but other than that...) What difference does it make to have Tasha's daughter involved in the plot? Momentary confusion for the crew, and then... nothing. She's just another Romulan bureacrat. Her lineage has no significance at all.

Her appearance bugs the hell out of me. Are Romulan genes so recessive that she looks like she sprang direct from her mother's forehead? Couldn't they at least have given her a black wig, or a little prosthetic lump on her forehead, or sallow skin, or something? Lazy and moronic.

Then again I always felt the "unprofessional jackass won't follow Data's orders" plot was pretty dumb too - by-the-numbers and tedious. When Data ignore's Picards orders, why doesn't he just explain what he's doing? He can multitask, we know that. A dumb episode all round.
Paul - Thu, May 12, 2011 - 11:59pm (USA Central)
I really dislike this episode in the same sort of way I dislike DS9's O'Brien&Bashir VR Section 31 episode. It had such promise, but the guys at the top really missed the mark here. They abandoned everything that made Part I interesting in favor of stuff that was completely irrelevant to matters at hand.

Part I essentialy had two related storylines: political turmoil in the Klingon Empire and Worf's struggle to regain his family honor. Though the episode wasn't perfect, I think it was a very good culmination of the arc that had been brewing for two years. It is anenjoyable hour, especially when put alongside its great thematic predecessors "Sins of the Father", "Reunion" and "In the Mind's Eye". Part II, though kinda OK when viewed on its own terms, inexplicably drops all this rich backstory.

Klingon political manoeuvring, scheming and backstabbing? Virtually gone, replaced for unknown reasons with Romulans. It's not even Romulan *scheming and backstabbing*, just a random and uninteresting plot involving Romulans smuggling some supplies, without the episode even trying to devote some time to fleshing out their motivation and to delving into political repercussions of this whole affair.

Worf's storyline was especially butchered. The guy spent the whole episode imprisoned; no tough choices, no impact on anything transpiring on the screen. It's obvious screenwriters didn't know what to do with him, so they just eliminated him as a player in the unfolding drama.

Basically, they abandoned the two main storylines of Part I and replaced them with unrelated material that belonged in a completely different episode -- Tash...err, Sela's reveal, Picard's blockade of the border and Data's first command. I'm not saying it's utterly uncompelling, but it simply has no thematic cohesion with the plot points set up in the previous episode.

And lastly, I just have to mention the ridicilous notion that a fleet of twenty ships can blockade (in three dimensions, remeber!) the whole Klingon-Romulan border that is probably dozens upon dozens light years long. It has a similar vibe of nonsensicality :) as the idea in "Unification" that you can conquer a planet with 2000 soldiers.

Yeah, I really didn't like this one...
........ would have done it better - Sun, May 22, 2011 - 8:58pm (USA Central)
never really understood why fans of star trek are become divided over which show was better (ds9, voy, tng, ect.) Why can't you just enjoy all things star trek and leave the petty bickering to the old ladies.
Jay - Sun, Sep 25, 2011 - 10:15pm (USA Central)
@ Paul...

Stellar cartography is always ignored. Even if the Romulans had managed to conquer Vulcan, how the hell could they hold it...Vulcan is in the hjeart of the Federation...supply lines would be nonexistent.

Even worse, on DS9, we had for a time the Klingons and the Cardassians at war, never mind the fact that the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire are geogr-, er, astrometrically on opposite sides of the vast bulk of the Federation.
Paul - Tue, Sep 27, 2011 - 3:10am (USA Central)
@Jay

Sigh... such is the life of a Star Trek fan... what are we to except to fanwank an explanation :)
Jay - Sat, Oct 15, 2011 - 11:28pm (USA Central)
Indeed Paul...we should write a novel about a ground war between Canada and Mexico which somehow has absolutely no effect on the United States whatsoever ;)
Corey - Wed, Apr 25, 2012 - 2:30pm (USA Central)
@Jay - while I love your analogy, a ground war between Mexico and Canada IS possible without affecting the US, if they both bought a huge number of tomahawk missiles to use on the other. Tomahawk is ground-to-ground missiles. But of course, without boots on the ground, no territory would change hands. U.S might be a bit annoyed about so much missiles flying over its territory.

As for the episode, I'm with Jammer, the Data command subplot was the most intriguing. But it did seem rather silly for Worf to resign, just to be captured until the end of the war!

I'm not sure why everyone are attacking Data's first officer, even today, we have people suspect of various technologies (e.g., anyone want screensavers free, that also come with malware?). Data is the ONLY sentient android in the entire federation, it would take time to get over people's misconceptions. At least Data's first officer's concerns made much more sense, than Engineer Logan abandoning his post in battle just to argue with Geordi in the episode, "Arsenal of Freedom".
Josh - Wed, Feb 6, 2013 - 4:00pm (USA Central)
I've always really liked this one, though I grant most of the flaws mentioned above. And I couldn't care less about the "geographic" nitpicking. Snooze.

The main problem is that a Klingon Civil War storyline could have covered more than a simple two-parter, perhaps even a brief arc with Worf's scenes intercut with goings-on aboard the Enterprise.

Unfortunately TNG never really departed from its episodic format sufficiently for such ambitious storytelling. I don't know if it's a flaw in the show, really, but it certainly didn't allow for the full realization of plots like Redemption and related episodes like Sins of a Father, Reunion, and The Mind's Eye.
mike - Wed, Mar 6, 2013 - 10:38am (USA Central)
I got a little weary of the tachyon net tedium. Just set the damn thing up and let's get this story going already. Ultimately it made the starship scenes another excerise in LaForgian technopoop. Thank God Wesley wasn't around to explain it all to us. I for one don't mind the operatic excesses of Klingon dialogue. Lursa and B'Etor are deliciously decietful and selfish. And please God somebody kill or breast feed that little poser Toral. His voice hurt my ears.
PeteTongLaw - Tue, Apr 2, 2013 - 2:37pm (USA Central)
The bridge for the USS Sutherland is sad, especially for a season opener. If they didn't have the cash to build a good set, the least they could have done was redressed the Enterprise Bridge a bit, or even the Enterprise battle bridge.
Dan - Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - 1:20pm (USA Central)
I think the Sela being Tasha's daughter plot is fanstastic. Compare with Voyager's Year of Hell, in which they decided to RESET BUTTON the whole thing with no consequences. The fact that the alternate universe of Yesterday's Enterprise has consequences for future episodes is very exciting, and makes Yesterday's Enterprise even more exciting.
mephyve - Wed, Jun 26, 2013 - 11:16pm (USA Central)
As you pointed out, the use of Denise Crosby was meant solely as a surprise factor, but unlike you and others, I enjoyed the heck out of it. As far as Denise riding ST's coattails, fact is they used each other and for me and many fans, it was a treat. It provided a concrete completion to the Tasha Yar character.
I do agree on the issue of Worf's reinstatement. The way it was handled was the only weak point of the episode for me. He was clearly denied extended leave so to let him back in Starfleet with no repercussions is unbelievable.
I give this saga four and a half stars.
William B - Sun, Jul 14, 2013 - 3:16am (USA Central)
I agree with Paul about much of how this episode comes across, though I think I still like it for what it is in spite of its...strangeness, is perhaps the best term to use. This episode is indeed bizarre -- really, it's not even a sprawling A/B/C plot structure but more like an A/B/C/D/E plot structure, where A is Worf's attempts to reconcile his moral views with Klingondom (and his adventures in getting captured), B is Picard's blockade, C is Data's first command, D is Sela's Tasha backstory, and E is, um, the Klingon Civil War, which is rather surprisingly backgrounded in a lot of ways. Obviously everything relates back to the Klingon civil war, but understandably the focus is kept on the role of current-or-past-opening-credits-characters, which means that the Civil War which seems to mostly be Gowron and Kurn fighting with ships that are supplied by Lursa and B'Etor mostly gets filtered through Worf hanging around not quite enjoying himself with Kurn and Gowron and scenes of the Duras Sisters trying to seduce a regular and/or talking to Sela.

It is of course the right decision not to focus on the Civil War at the expense of Worf and Picard's decisions, which are the most important thing here -- the outcome of the war and how it is fought is of little concern narratively except in what it says about the human condition. Still, I have no idea what is accomplished by having Worf be captured by the Duras Sisters for the story -- of all the choices Worf has to make, whether or not he should marry the Romulan-allied sister of the guy who killed his mate is not exactly a mystery. More on Worf later. Meanwhile, the blockade plotline reduces Picard's delicate balancing act to a matter of mechanics -- Picard has already decided exactly what he needs to do as of the teaser or act one (I forget when exactly) and just needs to implement it. The introduction of Sela

IF I were to try to find a common thematic thread to everything, I would say that ultimately the single most important moment of this episode is Worf's sparing Toral (and then using Klingon custom to protect Toral's life by arguing that Gowron gave Worf Toral's life, and so cannot give it to Kurn afterward). This moment relies on Worf recognizing, finally, 1) that he cannot just follow custom from Klingon culture and has to walk his own path, and 2) that the children are not their parents, no matter how similar they might appear; children should not pay for the sins of their fathers. (1) has a thematic mirror in the Data storyline, in which Data defies Picard's orders and, by his very existence as a captain, defies Hobson's expectations of what a commander can be. (2) has a thematic mirror in Sela -- who is Tasha's daughter, but has none of Tasha's virtues; that Sela is not like Tasha despite being so genetically and visually similar suggests that Toral may indeed not be like Duras. The second point ties in with the first by suggesting that Worf has a choice to be something other than what his blood dictates -- he is a Klingon, but the Klingon way need not be his way, anymore than Data needs to be confined to being "an android" or Sela needs to honour her half-human parentage. Or, maybe not.

It is interesting that in a plot that repeatedly has B'Etor trying to seduce main characters into betraying their principles, and in which the plot hinges on Duras and his father and his sisters having conspired/conspiring with the Romulans, that we are told that Tasha Yar, held up as a model of virtue and honour, became a Romulan consort, and like B'Etor tries to do, used the fact that someone wanted her as a mate to help her cause, and, indeed, it seems to me as if Tasha was right to do so. Actions should be judged on a case-by-case basis; motives matter (compare, for example, Ambassador Kell saying to Worf in "The Mind's Eye" that only humans care about motives).

Anyway: the Sela plot is bizarre for any number of reasons, some of which are listed above. Rather depressingly (or amusingly, depending on your mood), after "Yesterday's Enterprise" gave Tasha a meaningful death after her pointless death in "Skin of Evil," we find out that alternate-Tasha *actually* was executed by Romulans for trying to escape from being a consort. The weird, almost sickening tragedy is that Yar, who apparently ran around away from rape gangs and whose first "centric" episode was about her nearly being "forced into marriage" in exchange for a vaccine ended up trading her body for other people's lives, and then was killed when she tried to leave. Somehow, there are other resonances here and there -- Sela refusing to go along with Tasha to what most people would obviously consider a better world, preferring to stay in her dystopia, seems a lot like Ishara's story, with Turkana IV and Romulus interchanged. If you take the plot seriously, it suggests that Tasha did something even more heroic than we had learned -- in that her actions saved many lives -- and more tragic, all just to justify the mere fact of a Romulan looking like Yar. And then Guinan tells Picard that *he* sent Yar into the past and so what is happening with Sela is his fault, which is a stretch by any reasonable means of "his fault" and even more so because I wasn't particularly sold by this episode that Sela herself is a mastermind of such proportions that the Romulans would be utterly incapable of supplying weapons to Klingons discreetly or threatening Federation starships if Sela didn't exist. I do like the idea, in principle, that even small actions, even actions one is unaware of doing, can have profound repercussions; Picard learning that the decision of an alternate version of himself could profoundly affect the quadrant lends a seriousness to everything he does, and emphasizes how important each choice is.

The Data story, taken on its own terms, is generally enjoyable; it's a good story for Data himself, I think, though Hobson is needlessly obtuse. I was talking with my girlfriend about Pulaski's bonding with Worf in season two, and she mentioned that there was some care taken to demonstrate that Pulaski's anti-android prejudice was not evidence of a more systemic racism. Hobson seems to be a racist; his comment about how androids are not suited to command just as Klingons are not suited to being ship's counsellors and [some race I have already forgotten] don't make good engineers is particularly funny, especially when you consider that surely every warp-capable society should be able to have some citizens who could potentially be engineers. Still, while Hobson is insubordinate to the point where he should have been relieved of duty and probably demoted, it is a bit strange that a story partly about Data "defying orders" to find a flaw in the grid, leading to Picard saying that it's good for Data not to blindly follow orders, also has Data making no effort to explain his orders to his first officer, whom he expects to blindly follow orders. While I can imagine numerous reasons why Data might not have wanted to tell Picard what he was doing (maybe the Romulans could hear transmissions, or something?), none were stated, so that it's hard to know whether his choice not to tell Picard was justified; in practice it seems as if Data not telling Picard outright what he is doing is a complication to make drama (and perhaps the thematic point mentioned earlier). This does suggest that it is not just Hobson's bigotry but Data's deprioritization of communication and relations with both his inferior and superior officers that causes conflict, and should ideally be something he works on.

I will perhaps write about Worf's story later. This episode really is crammed in with enough stories for a short arc.
Jack - Tue, Dec 24, 2013 - 8:47pm (USA Central)
"No one would suggest that a Klingon would be a good ship's councellor, or a Berellian could be an engineer."

So apparently its RDM that decided to paint entire species with wide, discriminatory brushes, any of which would make it nearly impossible for any of these species to be diverse enough to be technologically advanced and warp capable.
Jack - Tue, Dec 24, 2013 - 8:49pm (USA Central)
I also couldn't accept these middle-aged Romulan officers taking orders from Sela, who is all of 22. If I wanted to see that I'd watch Doogie Hauser.
IntrinsicRandomEvent - Mon, Feb 3, 2014 - 1:39am (USA Central)
Just re-watched this 2-parter... enjoyed it... but, here's what really stood out to me this time:

About half-way through, when Lursa and B'Etor are flirtatiously offering Worf the chance to marry and join houses, and he understandably rejects them, Sela (Tasha's daughter) appears on a viewscreen and says "Enough! I need to know the strengths and positions of the Federation fleet, I don't have time for this..."
Worf is clearly looking right at that viewscreen, and there is no reaction. No reaction to the fact that he is looking at a Romulan that looks like Tasha, his former fellow officer. No perplexed look, no "Wha... Tasha?!? What is this Romulan trickery!?"
Bit of a mistake there... I can understand why the writers may have overlooked that, but in retrospect they ought to have been more careful. Or at least, pointed the viewscreen the other way on the set...
But, yeah, this 2-parter is a classic.
SkepticalMI - Sun, Apr 27, 2014 - 9:17pm (USA Central)
The problem with part 2 can be summed up in one word: Sela. Regardless of whether the idea of a daughter of YE Tasha was a good idea or not, it simply wasn't a good idea for this episode, as it sucked almost all the life out of what I thought was an excellent setup. And honestly, methinks the writers knew this as well. The problem with her is lampshaded practically every time she appears"

[Sela appears on viewscreen for the first time]
Picard: Tasha?
Sela: No, Tasha was my mom. Blah blah blah... But that's not so important at the moment. Leave this space!

[Senior officers meet in the conference room]
Picard: So, let's talk about Sela's ancestry. Blah blah blah. But that's not what I came to talk about so much... let's talk about the blockade.

[Guinan talks to Picard, so Picard invites Sela over]
Sela: Stop the blockade! But really, let's talk about mommy. Blah blah blah.... But that's not important. Blockade!

So yeah, the story knew it didn't fit in, but because she was introduced it kinda had to fit in somehow.

And because of that, the rest of the stories were compressed unfairly. Data's first command, for example, had to take a bunch of shortcuts. Because of that, the first officer was relegated to the role of jerkwad buffoon, which isn't fair to him or to the story. And also, to amp up the conflict, Data had to act like a bit of a buffoon as well. As others have noted, he could have easily told his first officer what he was doing; in fact he was communicating when he was discovering what was going on (of course, that makes the XO look even more doltish. He saw that Data had seen something in the inverse tachyon cloud, but instead of trusting Data he goes all contrarian on everyone). But then he stopped talking just to increase the dramatic tension. But there was also his first scene. The XO starts giving orders, some particularly related to safety, and Data gets all pissy about it. While XO may have overstepped his boundaries, Riker gives auxiliary orders regarding safety several times over the course of the show, with Picard right there, and Picard never complains. Data really should know better than to have to micromanage.

Sad to say, but I think freakin Wesley's first command was dealt with better than this.

And, of course, the whole point of the show (Worf coming to the realization that he doesn't belong in Klingon society any more than a human one) was compressed nearly to the point of nonexistence. Still, his scenes were pretty great. Complaining about the drunken revelry, complaining about the challenges to Gowron's authority, and just plain complaining in general. He clearly is a man uncomfortable with others. But it was so small. His scene with Guinan in Part 1 was so good, but he had to get freakin captured just so we could see B'Etor in heat. And in the end, what could have been interesting (seeing Worf in Klingon society) was cut short.

Still a good episode, but a disappointing conclusion.
Robert - Thu, Jun 19, 2014 - 2:03pm (USA Central)
The problem with Sela in this episode was not that she contributed nothing interesting to the Klingon Civil War. She didn't have to.

What WOULD have been interesting would be to have her appearance her PAY OFF somewhere down the line.

She showed up again in Unification, but then... gone? This could have been an interesting character to explore. We could have had Sela as the Romulan in "The Chase", or instead of Senator Cretak on DS9 or in place of Donatra in ST10 (my top choice). I think the total dropping of this thread lowers her appearance in Redemption from interesting setup to gratuitous cameo.
Grumpy - Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - 5:26pm (USA Central)
Robert, I think Sela reappearing in any of those roles would've been just as gratuitous. They don't advance Sela's story at all (save for Donatra's inexplicable sympathetic turn). Now, if she had turned out to be one of the defector-sicles in "Face of the Enemy," that would've opened up an interesting two-parter.

The other dropped thread from this episode was Worf's departure from Starfleet: a big deal in part 1, easily reversed in part 2. Now, if resigning his commission meant working back up the ranks as a security grunt, he would've had somewhere to go. Plus, that opens up Tactical for someone like, say, O'Brien (still pipped as a lt.) to do Worf's button-pushing.
Paul M. - Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - 6:01pm (USA Central)
Speaking of O'Brien... how in hell did he get from tactical officer on Rutledge to a poor little transporter chief on the Enterprise? He must have really pissed someone off.
Elliott - Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - 6:34pm (USA Central)
Either that or the Rutledge had a crew of like 6 people.
Paul M. - Sat, Jun 21, 2014 - 6:12pm (USA Central)
Glorious adventures of runabout Rutledge! Sounds cool!
Robert - Mon, Jun 23, 2014 - 10:29am (USA Central)
I don't know... a Cretak kind of role where her wish to explore her human side led her to choose the assignment on DS9, would have been interesting. Especially if she was still very loyal to Romulus. They could even have had her character replace Dax to spare us Ezri.

I guess I feel like my point was not that future appearances would not have been gratuitous, but that the lack of any eventual payoff for this character makes these seem MORE gratuitous in retrospect.
Ian G - Mon, Jul 14, 2014 - 5:22pm (USA Central)
@Robert

I agree with you that Sela went nowhere as a character. Her appearances were pretty pointless other than providing a nice conclusion to the Tasha storyline. It would have been nice if she was used in DS9 or Nemesis, but Star Trek has a bad habit of creating entirely new characters to fill a role, when an established character would make much more sense and contribute more to the story. Nemesis totally bungled its Romulan political plot and it had literally no connection to or characters from DS9 or TNG.
Andrew - Sat, Sep 13, 2014 - 1:45am (USA Central)
I enjoyed Crosby as Sela (different enough from Tasha and also plausible enough as a Romulan leader) although Guinan trying to pressure/guilt Picard felt out of place. A big problem with both parts is that there's too little reason for why Picard, Worf and the viewers favor Gowron other than disliking Duras (and Toral coming off as ridiculous).
Robert - Mon, Sep 15, 2014 - 9:19am (USA Central)
"A big problem with both parts is that there's too little reason for why Picard, Worf and the viewers favor Gowron other than disliking Duras (and Toral coming off as ridiculous)."

Immediately after telling Gowron the Federation couldn't support him in a civil war Picard says this

"PICARD: The Duras family are preparing to move against Gowron.
RIKER: Backed by Romulans?
PICARD: I don't know. But there is too much history between the Duras and the Romulans to discount the possibility. "

Due to previous alliances' between the Duras family and the Romulans (see the following scene from the recent "Reunion"

"PICARD: How could the Romulans plant a bomb on board a Klingon attack cruiser?
WORF: It would be impossible.
K'EHLEYR: Not if the Romulans had help from one of the Klingons.
LAFORGE: Klingons and Romulans working together? They've been blood enemies for seventy five years.
PICARD: Perhaps Duras or Gowron wishes to improve that relationship.
RIKER: A new Klingon alliance with the Romulans?
DATA: If true, it would represent a fundamental shift of power in the quadrant. "

Picard is rightfully freaked out by the possibility of a Romulan backed Klingon faction winning the civil war. It was just a little more serious than not liking Duras and Toral coming off as ridiculous. They'd just spent 2 whole seasons painting the Duras family as traitors and Romulan sympathizers.
Susan - Mon, Dec 15, 2014 - 12:29pm (USA Central)
We the fans know Data and his abilities and character from previous episodes and therefore we trust him. Hobson didn't seem to know anything about him except that he is a legit 2nd officer on the Flagship. So it's true Hobson is being biased and prejudiced but he also had no experience with Data and his abilities. He also may have resented Picard advancing Data over him. It must be tough having to submit to a CO you don't have history with. If Hobson had been less jerky it would have made for a more intriguing story.

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