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Thu, Mar 15, 2012, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

I just watched this episode again and found it somewhat disturbing. My main complaint is, whatever the story the episode wanted to tell, I wish that at least *someone* had retained the perspective that Captain Picard expressed at the beginning of the episode: that, given the Borg's non-negotiable intention to destroy the human race, the Federation had the right to do whatever it took to stop them.

Instead, the episode takes a somewhat soft-headed position that, because this one poor Borg was lonely and kind of cute, we should let him go without using him to attempt to destroy the Borg collective.

Does anyone on the Enterprise remember what happened at Wolf 359? Or how close the Borg was to assimilating all of Earth? Sure, Hugh is kind of endearing. But the Borg are not, and would kill or assimilate every last person in the Alpha Quardrant if giving the chance. The moral debate isn't that difficult, and clearly favors using Hugh to annihilate the Borg, if possible.

Setting aside my own moral views, the episode unrealistically portrays startling changes of heart by Picard and Guinan. The Borg tortured and mutilated Picard; would a Borg who said "I am lonely" really change his thinking so quickly? Similarly, the Borg essentially destroyed Guinan's entire race; imagine an alien species had destroyed humanity and then think of how quickly you would warm up to that species. It would probably take more than one conversation.

This episode too easily portrays the crew taking an "enlightened" view of the Borg. It presumably reflects the worldview of the comfortable Hollywood screenwriters who wrote it. The unyielding perspective that Picard and Guinan take at the episode's start is the less naive, more reasonable point of view.

The Borg are hell-bent on total assimilation of all non-Borg species; they have far superior weapons; in their collective mind-set, they will not negotiate or compromise. By failing to take the opportunity to introduce a virus into the Borg collective, the Enterprise crew has endangered all life in the Federation. This is a grave error. The supposed moral of this episode rings false.
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