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laurence k
Sat, Aug 13, 2011, 10:17am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Yet another level on which this masterpiece works is on the level of gender. Picard, on the bridge, seems to have escaped the pull of the feminine principle. As it always does, that principle asserts itself powerfully in the form of the probe. Eline pulls Picard away from his purely male and single-minded focus on his role as captain, and forces him to experience children and to pay attention to her. "I thought I couldn't live with children," Picard says in the season of Eline's triumph. "Now I don't see how I could live without them."

The astonishing thing about this dramatic work of art is the economy with which it establishes at least three different and independent levels that all interact and are all going on simultaneously.
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laurence k
Tue, Aug 9, 2011, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Part of the subtlety of this incredible episode comes from the seeming ability of what must be computer-generated characters to be aware of their fate. For example, when Picard is first transferred to Eline from Ryker, she says, "well, Finally!" This comment seems appropriate not only for Eline, the character in the computerized "life story" of Kamin, but also for Eline, the character-in-charge of the computer program itself. After all, "she" had been waiting a thousand years by the time Picard finally showed up.

Similarly, when Kamin agrees to build the nursery, and Eline hugs him, we see in her face great sorrow as well as joy, as though she knew that the only children Kamin could ever have with her would be virtual ones.

This episode outdoes "The Sixth Sense" in requiring the audience to watch it over and over to get all the clues, and reinterpret the perspectives of the characters. I would love to know whether such was the explicit intention of the director. Margot Rose certainly seems to understand intuitively that her character works on two levels.
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laurence k
Tue, Aug 9, 2011, 8:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I've always felt that Picard would have insisted on going that one light-year to Kataan and finding whatever trace was left of the world he had just left. It is possible that stone could have survived the nova in some recognizable form. I imagine Kamin standing before those stone steps where he had played the flute while having a late night with Batai. As it sinks in on Kamin that the world of Kataan truly is gone forever, we hear that beautiful song one more time.

Picard would have felt driven, first, to reconnect with whatever was left of Kataan, and, second, would have felt compelled, like the Ancient Mariner, to tell the story of Kataan in order to remain faithful to Eline's last wish and final testament.

In subsequent TNG episodes, we should have at least seen evidence of Kataanian door decorations appear in Picard's quarters, for example.
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Laurence
Fri, Dec 31, 2010, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

The only problem I had with this excellent episode is the most interesting aspect is utterly ignored.

I wanted to know how Neelix and Tuvok integrated their bizarre experience once back in their original forms. Did both of them resent Janeway for her decision, or were they completely happy?

I hope with continuing episodes Neelix and Tuvok have a greater respect for each other, since surely they retain the memory of their fusion, just like Tuvix retained the memories of both. It would be nice to see an end to Neelix's highly irritating needling of Tuvok. But I wouldn't be surprised if the incident is utterly forgotten by the next episode.
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