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Wesley C
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

This is one of my truly favorite episodes. Like Nick P, I think there's something astonishingly awesome about letting the unknown remain unknown. Really glad Maurice Hurley didn't get his way about the ending! Jammer is right on for pointing out the pay-off of unexplained mystery in this episode as compared to "The Royale." I agree with others who said that this adds a layer of creepiness to the episode and to the idea of space travel.

As much as I enjoy the clean, technical, explanatory sci-fi of TNG's later seasons, I've also been a big fan of the way the series explores human consciousness as a complicated thing, and have always thought Troi was used to some very good effect in her confident, advisorly (versus strictly therapeutic) role of the early seasons. In this episode, the writers make her the pivot-point between the unknown event "out there" and the unravelling of real-Picard inside himself. He has a naturally difficult time confronting his own weakness, what he thinks is the cowardice of the other Picard who's only six hours older than he is. His cautious, cool-headed patience in "Where Silence Has Lease" is contrasted against Picard's second-guessing of himself in this episode. As digitaurus points out, the uncertainty leads Picard away from his natural instinct to stay and explore, and by pulling away, the ship gets sucked in. Danger increases with every effort they make to force their release. There's a kind of folkloric, even spiritual, message here about giving in, letting go, finding release ultimately by setting resistance aside. Such an interesting antidote to the idea that exploration equals acquisition. And yet, Picard kills his future self -- maybe for good reason so that the space entity doesn't think he's trying to escape (?), but which still adds a flavor of mystery to a captain celebrated for being so measured and humane.
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