Star Trek: The Next Generation


1 star.

Air date: 2/1/1993
Teleplay by Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore
Story by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Cliff Bole

Review Text

The Enterprise arrives at a Starfleet relay station along the Klingon border and finds it deserted, absent its usual two crew members. There are some biological remains and signs of a struggle, leading the investigation to point to the possibility of murrrr-derrrrr. Geordi views the personal logs of one of the crew members, Lt. Aquiel Uhnari (Renee Jones). Naturally, because it's Geordi, he's instantly smitten by the image of a woman who cannot return those feelings (being that she's, y'know, presumed dead).

Ah, Geordi — how hopeless he is in these matters. Instead of investigating with the clinical detachment the situation warrants, he comes to "know" this woman through the personal transmissions meant for her sister. But then Aquiel turns up not dead after all — the Klingon border patrol, who were the initial suspects in this mystery, find Aquiel in a nearby shuttle. So if she's not dead, then that means the other crewman, Lt. Rocha, must be. Aquiel is not the victim, but she might be the killer. And now Geordi might be falling for her!

"Aquiel" is as bad as "Ship in a Bottle" is good. It's the epitome of pedestrian plots, made worse by fairly awful characterization. Not only do we have to put up with Geordi initially idealizing someone whom he met solely through her logs (again), we then have to sit through the completely forced nature of his developing feelings for Aquiel once he meets her for real. All the clues point to her being the killer, but he's going to prove her innocent, dammit! The dialogue is rote, Renee Jones' performance is wooden, and the two characters have zero (0) chemistry. Ultimately, there's a kiss that becomes the basis for the characters realizing what a deep connection they suddenly have. None of this is remotely believable.

An example of this story's lack of conviction and embracing of clichés that don't typically surface on this show: There's actually a scene where Aquiel, looking guilty and feeling the walls close in, runs to her quarters and grabs a suitcase. Yes, grabs a suitcase. "Running away isn't going to help prove your innocence!" Geordi helpfully offers. No, it won't. But I was too busy thinking: She's going to flee a murder investigation in — what? A shuttlecraft that's already been impounded? With the Enterprise sitting out there? Well, at least she has a suitcase!

The romantic embellishments are mostly embarrassing, making me think this would've been better with just plot, but then again, maybe not. A sci-fi angle emerges in the final acts, where it turns out an alien lifeform that absorbs, and then takes on the appearance of that which it absorbs, may be on the loose. So Aquiel might be a shapeshifting absorber! Or maybe it's one of the Klingons! But no: It's the dog! Alas, the fact that I didn't see that particular twist coming is not offset by the unadulterated lameness of it.

Previous episode: Ship in a Bottle
Next episode: Face of the Enemy

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107 comments on this post

    It's weird, I look back at the first season and see a lot of not just clunky episodes but absolute horrors. At the time though I enjoyed them.
    This is the first episode I can actually remember that I watched at the time and thought 'Jesus this is bad.'
    It also seems to be the episode that is always on when I spot TNG on a cable channel somewhere.
    I think you're 1 and half stars to generous. This is ytter bilge.

    One of the later season lowlights, though not quite as awful as Imaginary Friend (because what could be?)

    This is, unquestionably, an awful episode.

    That said, the premise itself is not a problem. For one thing, it worked extremely well when it was a film called Laura (1944), about a detective falling in love with a dead woman when he sees her painting. And it's certainly in character for Geordi, considering that we've been through the Leah Brahms thing and I didn't see that much evidence in Galaxy's Child that he grew out of it. But in order for the story to work, the creepy fetishization of an imagined girl has to be emphasized more, which is a little beyond TNG. There is something dysfunctional about Geordi falling for Aquiel (and Leah) more than he can fall for an actual human person -- dysfunctional in the same way that Barclay's recreation of the crew in Hollow Pursuits is a problem. It is understandable and sympathetic, and could even carry over into a commentary on fan identification with celebrities or other people we understand only through a screen between us. But the episode has little interest in actually discussing that element.

    "This is the first episode I can actually remember that I watched at the time and thought 'Jesus this is bad.'"

    You put your finger on the feeling I had earlier with "Realm of Fear." Not that there weren't bad shows before (and we didn't realize how bad it was back in '87), but suddenly in Season 6, bad shows were the default. I don't know where this expectation came from. Months earlier, in the back half of Season 5, TNG had some of its strongest episodes ever, mixed with some of its worst late-period turds (the aforementioned "Imaginary Friend," "Hero Worship," all the Alexander shows), so the Season 6 malaise was not based on past experience. Maybe it was a subconscious awareness that, as the producers took their eye off TNG to prep DS9, the quality had lapsed -- more so in Season 7, when Jeri Taylor was in charge of TNG while others focused on the movie and developing Voyager.

    @ William B.

    The connection to "Laura" did not even occur to me till you mentioned it, but you're right.

    I would honestly give this stinker 0 stars. I don't think many of TNG's episodes sink to that level, but this along with "Imaginary Friend," "Code of Honour", "Shades of Grey," and "Parallels" outline some of the worst sci-fi one can find.

    @Elliot: Thanks!

    Though I agree with the rest of your picks -- Parallels, really? I thought everyone liked that one.

    @Elliott (continued):

    Apologies for my carelessness in spelling your name. Also, having read a few more of your comments, which I enjoyed, I want to take care to mention that I don't think that the popular opinion of any episode should determine its actual quality -- I just haven't heard many strong arguments articulated about Parallels. In truth I haven't thought about it much one way or another (it has been, really, years and years since I watched TNG) and am curious about why you think that Parallels is not just a failure, but a failure among the very worst of the series.

    Yes, you are all right, this ep is unwatchable. I just think that there were quite a few I remember watching in season 5 being unwatchable (imaginary friend). If given the choice I would probably rather watch this one, but I would still rather be tortured by Gul Madred than watch either of these!

    Now, in defense of the 6th season, generally speaking, when one of these pop up on cable, most from this season are pretty watchable. I would say this was way stronger than season 5 or 7, but, yeah, there is definitely a drop from season 4.

    If it was obvious to me watching this at the age of about 10 that the dog was the alien, it should have been obvious to one of the crew members. I remember watching this and thinking it was patently unbelievable that while they were suspecting either Aquiel or one of the Klingons of being the creature, everyone had conveniently forgotten about the dog.

    Completely agree that this episode is awful, *but* I do have to protest against "not only do we have to put up with Geordi initially idealizing someone whom he met solely through her logs (again), we then have to sit through the completely forced nature of his developing feelings for Aquiel once he meets her for real". That was exactly why I always liked Geordi the most, I thought he was the most well-rounded pre-DS9 character, he seemed to be the only TNG character with flaws. He could be really quite pathetic, but TNG never sold it as "haha look at this guy", but more "witness the sad life of Geordi LaForge". It's *ridiculous* that he forms feelings for her so fast, but he's lonely and a little desperate. So the forced nature of his feelings is probably completely spot on. He doesn't love her, but he wants to.

    Anyway, I have had a new appreciation for Geordi over the years. But yes, doesn't save a horrible episode.

    I always forget about this episode, and when/if I do encounter it, I am confused and want to point to it far away...

    Just a note to everyone, I'm really enjoying reading the reviews and all the comments. I'm watching all the Star Trek series on Netflix in "chronological" order (meaning from Enterprise on, yes, I am that much of a nerd!). This one was bad, I mean bad. My first thought was the dog did it before I even knew there was a crime. I mean, really, why else show a dog!?!

    But I completely agree with David. My feelings weren't "C'mon LaVar" but "No, not again Geordi."

    As hokey as it sounds, I actually found myself halfway through this episode asking "Poor Geordi. Will you ever find true love..."

    "Witness the sad life of Geordi LaForge" has got to be one of the best and most succinct summaries of TNG I've ever heard. It made me laugh and cry a little at the same time.

    @Wlliam B

    I had intended to wait until the review for "Parallels" was posted as I hate to digress on the page for a different review, but since it will be some time before that happens (no ill will towards Jammer: please, take your time), I'll give a sufficient if brief answer now.

    What little "Parallels" offers one to chew on is incredibly bland, unconvincing and tired. It's like TNG's version of "Twisted". Worf is by this point a shell of the character he was in "Redemption" and the totally false and forced romance with Deanna is distracting. In most bad episodes of TNG there is something--the acting, the music, the production, the philosophy, something. Here, the performances are sub-par, the music is wallpaper, the production lacklustre, the philosophy vacuous. If an episode is about nothing, it is, in my book, automatically bad. If it's boring to boot, it's kicked right to the bottom of the barrel.


    Thanks. It might be worth waiting for Parallels for a longer discussion, but a quick response:

    My confession is that it's been years since I've watched TNG at length, so I have no direct responses to your criticisms of the episode -- in particular, also, I'm not sure how I do feel about Worf's later season development now. Generalizing away from Worf, the central element of interest, it seems to me, is something that ties in with the themes of Tapestry. Tapestry was an episode about accepting the choices that one has made, and fits in with Picard's story, in particular because of Picard's age. But Worf is younger, and Parallels presents him with alternative possibilities of what his life could be which lead to him actively trying to change his current life, to bring in pieces of the alternate presents to integrate himself and live more fully, with the main instance being the Deanna romance. I find that interesting, and I also think that it works very well in line with All Good Things, in which Picard's being given the chance to see an imagined future (and to revisit his own past) both saves the universe (!) and also gives the crew a chance to figure out what is important to them now. This theme appears elsewhere in season seven as well, with e.g. Future Alexander coming back to give Worf the insight required to really see his son (which is, I think, a nice resolution to the admittedly not very good Worf/Alexander series arc, albeit sadly undone by remaking Alexander into an incompetent soldier in DS9). It also ties in with one of the most fundamental functions of fiction in general and science fiction in particular, the ability to imagine alternate ways of living, to spur the creativity so that people can live fully. In this read, Worf's romance with Deanna has to come from him living it out in an alternate universe, because as a man with very rigid view of himself he would never be able to imagine that role for himself otherwise. Of course, this all falls apart if you believe that Worf/Deanna is a waste of time romance that adds nothing to either character, in which case it seems that Worf's learning from his alternate universe selves doesn't actually have any particularly good effects, especially since it does seem as if Worf/Deanna's relationship never actually goes past first base. (I'm being flippant about that point.) I don't think it's necessarily a terribly complex idea, but it's actually IIRC the first instance of a "what if?" episode within the Star Trek mythos being actually transformative for the main cast and allowing them to reimagine their life: Mirror, Mirror, City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday's Enterprise, and Tapestry for example all present alternate universes or alternate possible presents are obviously, unilaterally worse than the "correct" version of the present, though both City and YE demonstrate that the fact that the world is better comes at the cost of individual loss. As an episode where the ability to imagine a current present have value other than as a cautionary tale I think Parallels has some value.

    No comment on the production value -- you may be right (again, been a long time).

    Clarifying one point:

    When I said "it's actually IIRC the first instance of a "what if?" episode within the Star Trek mythos being actually transformative for the main cast and allowing them to reimagine their life" I meant specifically it's the first instance where someone actually improves their life by taking on aspects of what they see in an alternate universe. Picard's life is enriched by the Tapestry experience because he comes closer to accepting his youth, e.g., so it's not as if there was no insight gained in the other what if episodes, just not the particular "oh, maybe I should try getting out of my current roles" insight.

    @William B.

    Sorry Jammer. I've outpaced you and need to talk. I completely agree with you william about Parallels. I know that I've seen tons of negative comments about the 7th season in general, but I wonder if it was really more viewer fatigue than anything TNG did wrong. Actually, for me rewatching on netflix, season 6 was terrible, the worst, but by the begining of 7 you could tell they knew it was the final season and really did a fantastic job of tying up loose ends and bringing the characters to a close. I never watched DS9 growing up because I hated the 2 or 3 episodes I saw, so I'm not sure what happens with these characters there, but I find season 7 to be the best by far in both terms of character development, story closure, and universe settling. Knowing that they're done gave them license to finish things right and they did a good job of forcefully imprinting TNG's values onto the Star Trek universe as well. I hear DS9 went bad with the dominion wars, but everything after this bears that stamp of Picard's moral authority, and when they violate it it is certainly with an apologetic glance back at TNG's fans.

    Sorry Jammer. I'm eagerly awaiting your season 7 reviews.

    Wow. It says something about "Aquiel" that much of the comment thread has become about "Parallels."

    I can see what the producers were going for, in terms of developing flawed characters as single lonely people. But the mystery plot really botched the premise.

    It certainly doesn't help that Berman, Jeri Taylor and Cliff Bole ended up casting a sub-par soap opera actress for the role of Aquiel.

    No self-respecting casting director should use Days of our Lives as resume content for selecting an actor.

    This is the episode that confirms Geordi has space Asperger's. Think about it: he spends most of his time alone in the ship's basement with his electronics; devoid of all social skills; prone to falling in love with women he's never met; does not get along with other autists like Barclay.

    Neall is right. If you consider that rarely in Star Trek is something present for absolutely no reason, then once the dog is shown, you realize something about the story has to have something to do with the dog. Then Critical Thinking 101 gets you to what the dog's point is.

    Apparently, Troi has all but completely lost her empathic abilities at this point.

    Hmm, apparently I rate this episode differently than Jammer - Zero Stars! Honestly, I can't find a single redeeming scene or line of dialog - in a sense, there's no reason to watch it!

    As for the Parallels discussion - I really like that episode. It's fun to see Worf's reactions when his world has been turned upside down. The scene where he "jumps" to fighting with the Cardassians and doesn't know how to use the tactical console (what Starfleet doesn't believe in labels for their controls?) was priceless.

    I'm not certain what I feel about the Troi/Worf romance angle. Sirtis and Frakes obviously had some chemistry (you could tell by their body language), so perhaps they should have stuck with that. And somehow, I just don't think the 5'3" Troi with a petite body, would fare too well with Klingon Mating Rituals.

    Geordi's at it again. This guy seriously needs a few sessions with Troi. He's always falling for women he's never met in person, then when he does meet them he goes all 'puppy dog' on them. "Hey Geordi, I know I'm a murder suspect but let's share this device with me. "
    Anyway I enjoyed this episode for one reason. I first watched it with a friend, and seeing that I don't like dogs ( They started i), from the moment I first saw the dog I started saying that the dog did it. Throughout the entire episode I kept telling him 'you watch, it's the dog .' I loved looking like a prophet at the end.

    After a series of strong episodes, this comes and. Yeah. Anyway, here are some of my favourite moments:

    1. Somehow, the whole episode's premise relies on the idea that Geordi is not only the natural guy to unlock the logs, but all of Aquiel's logs himself, and do reports on them, including once it becomes clearer and clearer that it's a murder situation. Clearly murder investigations should be the purview of security or command officers? But logs are "technology," so they fall to Geordi, I guess.

    Anyway, Geordi demonstrates his dearth of investigative skill when he decides to watch all Aquiel's logs, including her personal logs, in chronological order, GOING FORWARD. SOMEHOW both people on this station died or went away, they have no idea why, and they are investigating, but Geordi doesn't bother to check the very last log entry to see whether she said "Oh no! I'm about to be murdered by Rocha," or "There's a deadly virus on the station that transforms us into goo! I hope someone gets this message!" or some such? Geordi even makes a report to Picard partway through watching the logs that Aquiel had mentioned Morag three times, prompting Picard to start investigating Morag, BEFORE CHECKING THE LAST LOG ENTRY. Or even, you know, getting Worf or Riker to take over the investigation.

    2. While Worf is scanning around the station with a tricorder, he and Riker have this exchange:

    WORF: Commander, there are DNA traces here. Klingon.
    RIKER: So Klingons did board the station?
    WORF: Yes, but (looks at tricorder quizzically) I only found DNA from...ONE Klingon so far. I will continue to scan.

    Oh, only one Klingon, huh, Worf? Ahem. Think about it for a second.

    3. In Ten-Forward, Geordi "lets it slip" that he knows what he's seen in her logs.

    AQUIEL: How do you know about that?
    LAFORGE: Well, to be honest, when we thought you were dead I needed to review your logs and personal correspondence for any possible clues about what happened.
    AQUIEL: All of it?
    LAFORGE: Most of it, yeah. (Aquiel goes and wanders toward the window, looks out for a while.) You need to understand that we thought you'd been murdered. We needed information.
    AQUIEL: I'm sorry. It's just that I tell my sister things I wouldn't tell anyone else. I guess I was feeling a little exposed.

    What's great about this is the way Aquiel apologizes and uses the past continuous ("I was feeling...") as if she's talking about how she reacted hours or days ago, and not her huge emotional reaction of getting up and wandering over to the window.

    In general, this hints at one of the biggest problems with Aquiel: not only do they try to cast her as a femme fatale, the dangerous woman Geordi should stay away from because she could plausibly be a murderer, they emphasize again and again how Aquiel is belligerent and emotionally flighty. This makes it even more obvious when in *every* *scene*, Renee Jones performs Aquiel as if she's just bored and sleepy.

    4. After we've heard Aquiel describing how Rocha is a madman who attacked her, who was belligerent from the get-go, we cut to Riker and Picard having this exchange:

    RIKER: Rocha's file is spotless. Two decorations for valour, three outstanding evaluations from his previous commanders. Doesn't sound like the same man that Lieutenant Uhnari described.
    PICARD: What did you found out about Uhnari?
    RIKER: I checked into her record, too. Her last posting was on Deriben Five. I spoke to her commanding officer there. He said she was argumentative, quick to take offence. He also told me he transferred her to that relay station because she was hampering their efforts. To be honest, I'm having trouble believing her story, sir.
    PICARD: Why?

    Hahaha. Why indeed? What's amazing is that Patrick Stewart actually delivers that "why?" as if he is genuinely surprised at Riker bringing up that he has doubts about Aquiel, as if he *hasn't* just read out loud that the personnel files completely contradict her version of events and put her in a bad light.

    5. The whole Klingon thing. I like the scene of Picard playing the Gowron card well enough, though it was put to better use in "Unification." Still, Morag's "I DON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THESE WILD ACCUSATIONS! RRRRRAGGGHH!" tone can never be not funny.

    6. So, here is some insight into Aquiel's thought process.

    (she grabs a case and starts packing)
    LAFORGE: What are you doing?
    AQUIEL: Getting out of here.
    LAFORGE: Aquiel, running away isn't going to prove your innocence. Facing the situation will.
    AQUIEL: I'm scared, Geordi.
    LAFORGE: Look, we'll get through this. I promise you, okay?
    AQUIEL: Then you believe me?
    LAFORGE: Yes, I do.
    (Geordi kisses and hugs her)

    [one short scene with Beverly follows, and when we return:]

    AQUIEL: I haven't been this close to someone in a long time. I don't want to let go of it.
    LAFORGE: Neither do I, but I've got six hundred logs to go through.
    AQUIEL: All right, but first there's something I want to share with you. A way that we can become more intimate. My people are partially telepathic. We use something called the Canar to help focus our thoughts. We also use the Canar for a stronger emotional link during love.
    (Aquiel picks up a crystal from her display stand)

    What? So, wait, what? Aquiel goes from "I am so scared that I will run away!" (which, as Jammer points out, is ludicrous in and of itself -- run away where?), to "Oh, forget about those 600 logs -- time to party!" And eventually comes the "You will never be closer to anyone than you are to me right now!" moment, wherein apparently Geordi and Aquiel's transcendent connection transcends...uh, everything. And clearly, Geordi and Aquiel do a wacky crystal ritual because wacky crystal rituals look suspicious, and the episode throws anything resembling coherent characterization out the airlock, or on a shuttle, wherever Aquiel was planning on taking her suitcase to, in order to make a crass mislead to make us think that Geordi is in danger from Aquiel. But no, of course it's the dog. ("Hey, pooch!")

    7. At the end, Aquiel forgets about her deep connection to Geordi, thank goodness, and then plans to shape up and improve her attitude so that she can get posted to the Enterprise eventually. Good to know this story has a happy ending, about how Aquiel realizes the wrongness of her ways of taking offense easily and being so anxious she tries to run when it's impossible to do so and so on. The idea that Geordi and Aquiel have a real connection is dropped as hafl-heartedly as it is introduced.

    Anyway, this is terrible; it is certainly worse than the season's previous low point "Man of the People," and I think this is worse than "Cost of Living," which makes it the worst episode since...season two? 1 star, though maybe that is being too generous.

    Honestly I didnt think this ep was as bad as all that. TNG has admitttedly had some stinkers but I didn't think this was one of least not to be counted amongst the worst. Its main fault was casting the dog as the killer; but hey, you can't say it wasn't a LITTLE surprising! I liked the Laura-esque theme, and poor ol' Geordi shouldn't be ragged on for standing up for the woman he loves, even if it wasn't real love, blah blah blah. Give the guy a break. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the romantic episodes but it kept my interest.

    It wasn't THAT bad. Yes, the romance was cheesey, but LeVar did a great job acting and it was a fun mystery story with a great twist at the end.

    I suspected the dog was going to be a shapeshifting alien within 10 seconds of it arriving. Why? Because of the 1984 movie 'The Thing'. As I turned out I was more right than I could ever have imagined. The episode is a complete rip off!

    Obviously the episode would have worked if they casted a stronger female lead. Pam Grier for example, would've been a solid choice. And why not have her be responsible for the murder? Geordi falls for her charms, and he tries to help her, only to be played in the end.

    Then maybe he has some realization as a character at the about how dangerous it is to be so infatuated with women you hardly really know. Instead he's got to defend himself from a dog morphed into a poop blob.

    It's definitely not one of TNG's worst episodes. It's something you put on to fall asleep at night.

    Ok, I'm the absolute minority here. I just watched the episode and as usual I came here to check Jammer's score (and the discussion) expecting a 2, 2.5. I honestly don't understand why all this hate (and I went through all your reasons), I thought this was a good episode for Geordi and could have become something more should they have decided to keep Aquiel on the Enterprise...

    OK, let me get this straight. Lieutenant Roker (or whatever) is a Blob when he arrives at the signal station. At some point the Roker Blob gets the dog and splits in two, so now we have Roker Blob and doggie Blob. Roker Blob then goes for Aquiel. She runs for the weapons locker gets a phaser and blasts away. She begins to be absorbed by Roker Blob (stripping her memories) but hoses Roker Blob down with the phaser before being fully Blobbed. She then traps doggie Blob in a tube (??) and escapes by shuttle.

    Is this right ?

    By the way, I thought this was the sloppiest murder investigation ever. Love the way Worf finds the phaser, grabs it with his sticky hands and starts pressing away on the buttons. No wonder they found Klingon DNA in all the wrong places …

    "LAFORGE: Maybe the reason you don't remember anything that happened after Rocha attacked you is that the coalescing process had begun. (drinks arrive) Thank you. Remember when you said you felt like the memories had been drained right out of you? That's probably exactly what was going on.
    AQUIEL: Then maybe I did take the phaser.
    LAFORGE: Whatever happened, at least you got away before the process took hold.
    AQUIEL: So he turned on Maura."

    He never split. Doggie blob happened after he failed to get Maura. Being blobbed doesn't leave us with 2 blobs, it leaves us with a new blob.

    That should have read Aquiel. Must not post before coffee.

    The alien needs to switch bodies to live. When the process failed on Aquiel he switched to the dog.

    Yeah bad episode but I thought it was random/hilarious that there is a scene towards the end where Geordie is laying on his bed in his bedroom and Riker is standing over him talking about the case. So Geordi buzzes in his commanding officer and just yells "yeah I'm in the bedroom come on in"

    Poor Geordi. He finally gets a girl he has fallen in love with from afar and helps acquit her of murder charges, only to have her politely brush him off at the end. I mean, he tells her of a job opening on the Enterprise, offers to put in a good word for her, and she says she'd rather "make it on her own merits." I'm sorry, but the old advice about "It's not what you know, it's who you know," is so often true when it comes to employment. (Well, I'd say knowledge does matter a great deal -- but networking is extremely helpful.) Well, maybe that's another thing that has changed in future.

    In any case, I was thrilled to see a cute dog on Star Trek. I think the last time around was on the TOS episode "The Enemy Within," when they had the poor doggie wearing this ridiculous costume to make him look like an alien pooch. That doggie died, and so did this one. Sad. It was a bit ridiculous that it was revealed that the dog was not a dog at all, but a creature apparently modeled on the one in the Star Trek animated series episode "The Survivor."

    I was annoyed by the way the blob "modeled" Crusher's hand. For one thing, wasn't the blob supposed to be dead matter from the creature's most recent victim? Since the creature took on the dog's form, that presumes the cellular stain they found was the original Maura the dog, not Lt. Rocha as they presumed, since it turns out the REAL Rocha never even made it to the relay station. But, even assuming part of the "coalescing life form" was included in the mass of cells Dr. Crusher managed to cobble together from the deck stain, the episode established that the creature, in order to take on the shape of a new donor, kills the donor. So, wouldn't Dr. Crusher have died, or at least lost her hand, when the blob took on the form of her hand?

    Between another pathetic and slightly desparate Geordi romance, puzzling aspects of the alien creature, and a rather silly murder mystery plot, I agree with the single star Jammer gives this episode.

    Just watched this episode for the first time and it's bad. Very bad. Following the storyline didn't it seem that she actually killed her partner? I feel like the episode would have benefited from a rogue star fleet officer as that would add another dimension and complexity to the star trek universe. Kind of a prelude to Star Trek Insurrection so to speak (meaning that not everything the federation does is good or the people in it). Instead the dog blob? Really? That's the best they came up with? If that's the case, the blob should have attacked in the beginning.

    Aquiel seemed way too suspicious. I felt she got away with it. Then the explanation just didn't sit right. Geordi sums it up "it must have gone onto you and you escaped and it killed Lt. Roche". Worst ending. The ending was atrocious. Too many plot holes. Geordi looked like a complete chump out there.

    I'd give it 1-1/2 stars. I thought the cute pooch is enough misdirection to possibly fool some in the audience. I also liked that Geordi redeemed himself from the mistake of the Leia Brahms episode, here he tells her he was snooping in her logs and why. Ah honesty is great Geordi.
    Some have suggested Aquiel gives him the brush off, and yes the actors don't have much chemistry so one might think that. In reality she just wasn't a recurring character so they had to do the reset button. The whole crystal ritual is the writers saying it is serious, though the actors say otherwise.

    Troy, sadly Geordi didn't redeem himself at all. He only revealed that he had looked through her logs after she called him out on accidentally revealing he knew about her family home. As pointed out above, her response was mild and quickly soothed.

    Aside from all the high stink mentioned by other posters, I'd also add that it bothered me that in 1987 (and still later with Cassidy in DS9), Trek still couldn't show physical affection between black humans and white - even with non-humans like Aquiel. For my little theory, I'm positing Worf as sufficiently non-human-looking to get a pass with Troi & Jadzia!

    Well, I was right. So ends a really good run of episodes, with one really, really bad one!

    Let me just start off with this - "So Aquiel might be a shapeshifting absorber! Or maybe it's one of the Klingons! But no: It's the dog! Alas, the fact that I didn't see that particular twist coming is not offset by the unadulterated lameness of it." Wow! Really, Jammer? Really?! You didn't see that coming? This episode doesn't exactly leave an impression (at least not in a good way) but, in all honesty (really, I'm not kidding or joking here) if there is one thing I remember from the very first time I saw "Aquiel" it's that I saw the supposed twist coming from a mile away. As soon as we found out that some shape-shifting, absorbing alien is in play, this was literally my thought process.... 1.) Okay, Rocha was this alien. 2.) He tried to absorb Uhnari. 3.) Obviously he failed because she got away with a phaser that was used on the alien. 4.) He couldn't have absorbed Morag since he wasn't there yet. 5.) So, where did he go? 6.) The dog. The dog is the alien. Seriously, from a mile away. So, that's one of the many, many problems of "Aquiel" - it's a mystery story without an actual fucking mystery! It was SO, SO, SO telegraphed in; you know, like all of Dan Brown's "mystery" novels.

    Everyone here seems to be well on-the-ball about the problems with the LaForge-Uhnari quote/unquote romance (seriously, did we really need another episode where LaForge falls in love with a woman he doesn't even know?) so I'll skip all that trite nonsense and focus on a problem everyone seems to be overlooking. That problem, simply, is the Klingons. Why in the hell are the Klingons suddenly (and from completely out of left field) so antagonistic here? Did the writers just forget that the Klingons and the Federation were staunch allies or something? Why is Morag harassing the relay station? Picard, at one point, says that there haven't been any Klingon raids into Federation space for seven years. At this point, it's been twenty-five years since the Empire and the Federation signed the Treaty of Alliance and over seventy-five years since the events of "The Undiscovered Country," when hostilities between the powers ceased and relations became neutral. Why would the Klingons be raiding their own allies, ones they've spent three quarters of a century coming to trust? If these were rogue Klingons without any ties to the Imperial government I could understand it. But we don't get that as an explanation. In fact, we get no explanation at all. For that matter, why is the Klingon governor so hostile to Picard's inquiries? Why was he so scared of Gowron looking into the matter personally? Was he a Duras family supporter during the Civil War and so doesn't want Gowron looking through his affairs? Do any Duras connections mean he's hostile to the Federation at large? Of course, we don't get any explanation for this either. It's like the writers just said.... "We need some kind of villain for this story, any ideas?" "How about Klingons?" "Sure, that beats having to actually work to come up with one that makes sense!"

    Then there are some major plot-holes. 1.) Again, why was Morag harassing the station? Even if I were to grant that the Klingons work as villains here, there is still no explanation for his actions. 2.) Why did Morag take the special sub-space messages? It's made out to be a rather big deal but is quickly forgotten about as soon as the shape-shifting alien is discovered. He admitted that he stole secret Federation communiques! What the hell happened to him as a result?! 3.) Why does the governor suddenly switch to being on Picard's side as soon as Morag shows up? Damn, talk about whiplash! We go from him ridiculing Worf for being in Starfleet immediately to him threatening to search Morag's ship against his will if he doesn't cooperate with Starfleet. What the hell?! 4.) The Klingons find Uhnari in a shuttle heading into Klingon space and say she was lucky she wasn't killed on sight. Umm, why? Again, they're allies! That would be like the British finding a French boat in British waters and thinking "it's clearly an enemy boat, we should destroy it!". 5.) What in the name of God was the shape-shifting absorber's plan?! It was obviously an intelligent being; so why didn't it attack and absorb Morag when he was alone on the station after Uhnari left? Apparently it was content to just remain a dog alone on a space station when it knew it had to move to a new host soon?

    Trite, cliched writing, zero chemistry in a supposed romance story, plot-holes galore, a disregard for continuity, senseless villains and a freaking dog as the killer (top keks for that one, I suppose, but wow is it dumb!).

    Damn, this was awful. I don't think it's the worst of Season Six, however. That's still "Man of the People." I did, after all, manage to care more about the main character instead of the guest character this time. And it did have one nice scene - between Riker and LaForge in the hallway after Uhnari is first accused of the murder (it was nice to see two main characters at odds with each other, if only briefly). It's also not offensive or downright unwatchable, so I won't give a zero score.


    Oh Lord, another "Geordi falls in love" episode and it's not even a likeable person. The only people worth watching were the Klingons. I can't believe I watched this all the way through. It's simply awful.

    Well, if there was one thing that we didn't need too much more of it was creepy stalker La Forge. But he's back - at least I suppose it shows character consistency.

    I guess this was mildly diverting for a while - it was something of a surprise for the Klingons to bring Uhnari back. The introduction of the alien entity was also something of a surprise - at least no-one is thinking changelings at this point! - and the recreation of Crusher's hand from the ooze was novel. And I didn't see the dog twist coming, although by the end I wasn't really concentrating very hard...

    Another one of those episodes that for me hearken back to series 1 - and the CGI blob at the end just goes to show that crap FX are crap FX however they're made. 1.5 stars.

    "It also seems to be the episode that is always on when I spot TNG on a cable channel somewhere."

    Literally just flipped on BBCA and this episode was on. The suitcase scene played and I Googled the name to see if it was really that terrible or if I was just imagining it - we watched through the whole series a couple years back and I couldn't remember this episode. I guess there's a reason.

    Another episode of Star Trek where these dudes have incredible trouble with women. Gene's real universe slips through again.

    Am I the only one here who made the connection that what attacked this station is the same alien from 1982s The Thing?
    And I may have missed something but this murder was left unresolved.
    The dog????

    That dog had presumeably been on the station with aquiel for 9 months. We know the aliens intention was to Consume and replicate other beings. If it was the dog it would Have "ate" aquiel and the other officer laroche replaced before he arrived. Its a possibility.
    A better explanation would be that laroche was infected before he arrived 5 days before the story we saw. He was only there for 5 days, long enough to learn from aquiel, copy, pass on all of the starfleet comms to whomever he was sent by. He then went to attack aquiel (as seen or heard in her logs) and her dog fought the alien/laroche long enough for her to escape in the shuttlecraft. He assimilated the dog and waited for rescue.
    And then we have Morag the klingon who could have been bitten by the dog or even brought the virus himself.

    My point is that any one of them could have been "The Thing" to start with, and being that aquiel and moraq have been returned to population.... wow!

    I agree with everyone here that aquiel was either miscast, miswritten, or misdirected. This could have been a better episode for its implications of the possibility that thing might still be in them out there. Alas no followup.

    And please quit picking on geordi, he has so much love and wants to be loved in return. Hes like most good men, hard to find love and harder to say what you feel to when you find them.

    I'm gonna buck the trend here - I thought this was a half-decent murder mystery, worthy of at least 2 stars. Yeah, Geordi is a little too keen to fall in love with women, but it's kind of understandable given that he's single. He didn't rape her or anything. And the dog being the killer at the end is a cool twist... I think I figured out that there was something suspicious about the dog half way through the first time I watched it.

    But all you people saying this is "unwatchable", erm, no it isn't. It's OK.

    Though not very good, I don't hate this episode as much as everyone else, apparently. But honestly?

    I liked the Dog twist. =p

    Another "ghost story but in outer space". Really? These episodes are always cliched and don't fit withe the overall tone of the series.

    I saw the dog coming from a mile away. The second they showed it with Geordi I knew. It's such an old cliche.

    Does Geordi have to be a stalker every time a woman is involved? Normally I like Geordi, but episodes where he gets "romantically interested" in someone make me hope said romantic interest is equipped with a rape whistle and some mace. Wesley was right about the guy always finding his women on the holodeck. They still haven't explained his appalling lack of common sense when it comes to women, either. I mean, he seems otherwise socially normal. Then again, his best friend is a robot and Picard did have to order him to befriend Barclay (arguably not too different from Geordi) so maybe not...

    Is it wrong the plot had me thinking of Inspector Clouseau's investigation in A Shot In the Dark?

    Why did the dog attack? Why not just stay a dog until a better moment came for - whatever it was the dog planned to do?

    The episode up until that point was okay, but this quick resolution just seemed much too rushed.

    And it's also too bad they didn't connect with Odo and DS9, considering.

    I have the entire series on my plex server now.
    Years ago when I was a night worker I would take my evening sleeps listening to TNG on my 8 hour VHS tapes.

    @kznate according to memory alpha, they acknowledge the ending was rushed and probably did not have the budget for better effects
    Anyway, I remember the episode well enough and was going to skip it due to the dislike for it expressed here. But the episode was not unwatchable. Cheesy? Yes. But it was a serviceable episode with a nice plot twist, albeit unoriginal.

    The romance subplot was forced and predictable and would have worked just as fine if their bond was more "platonic" but the "bonding" scene warranted some attraction I guess.

    Again, I don't get as worked up as some when it comes to these episodes. I try to enjoy them on their merit and I am ok with this one.

    Since the rise of YouTube came, it is more realistic to think someone would fall for another by watching video blogs. This episodes works better now because of this.

    Here we go again with Geordi and his "I feel like I know her" was interesting in 'Booby Trap' three seasons ago but now it's just tired. The actress playing Aquiel is wooden and unconvincing, as though even she knows the episode is a non-starter. Despite the relatively brisk pacing - things move along pretty well instead of dwelling endlessly on Aquiel's logs - much of it is just boring. When Governor Toe Rag (or whatever his name is) produces the still living Aquiel I just rolled my eyes, because I knew I was in for another throwaway Trek romance.

    Aquiel's hemming and hawing about Rocha was so obvious that I MST'd my way through the rest of the episode.
    AQUIEL: "Keith Rocha was obnoxious from the minute he reported to duty." (So I killed him.)
    GEORDI: "Why do you think he attacked you?"
    AQUIEL: "I don't know." (Maybe it was because I was trying to kill him.)
    Et cetera. Eventually we have Beverly's hand sticking out of a dish of refried beans and Geordi shooting some CGI whatsit, but I had stopped caring by then. Not exactly unwatchable, but pretty darn bad. I won't bother with this one again.

    2.5 stars. I think the bashing this episode gets is over the top frankly. It was a pretty solid outing except when it strayed into the romance stuff

    The payoff of whodunnit was decent I thought.

    I kinda think this episode could have worked if Geordi had displayed some - even a bit - of insight into the pattern he'd fallen into yet again. I don't even mind the eventual romance (if the actress had been better and had some chemistry with Burton...). But the development is all too pat and simplistic, with Aquiel playing too much of a "manic pixie dreamgirl" stereotype (at least in her logs, and oddly well before Garden State).

    It's funny because it's not as though Geordi is incapable of having a friendly but non-creepy relationship. Even if platonic, that's just what he had with that one in "Identity Crisis". The episode could have been a whole lot more interesting if Aquiel had actually been an acquaintance or friend (or more) from Geordi's past, maybe someone he never knew well. Gets to know her finally through her logs, *feels* and maybe mourns her presumed death, and then has more reason both to defend her when she does appear, with a much better developed romance.

    Now I don't know that Renee Jones and Burton really had the chemistry to pull this off, but maybe that reflects the weakness of the writing rather than the actors themselves.

    Anyway, it's still something of a clunker, but I don't really cringe through any scenes (as compared to, say, season one or even much of "Galaxy's Child").

    This was not so bad. The Moriaty plot was more consistent but this was ok. Geordi compared with Kim in VOY at least gets more room. What fascinates me about Geordis's character is the he sometimes appear like a schoolboy and sometimes like a real good manager in spite of his youth.

    Aquiel singing nine minutes into the episode sounds eerily similar to Tara the android singing I Feel Fantastic. If you don’t know what I’m referring to just do a YouTube search of I feel fantastic or Tara the android.

    I enjoy this episode too - I certainly wouldn't put it below 2 stars, and for me it's more 2.5 or 3. Yeah, it's obvious from the start that the dog (as a Chekhov's gun) is the culprit or must have something to do with the outcome. But I enjoy the twists of this episode, the fact it's in character for Geordi, and that Aquiel (who is well-played) comes over very much as a real, flawed person who isn't Starfleet-perfect. That she's not the killer - merely a somewhat labile and unprofessional person who is nonetheless relatable and human (even if she isn't) - works in the episode's favor. Of course, the scene where her and Geordi use the crystal - which we're meant to think is her about to take over his body - is totally corny, but again, that's part of the episode's charm. The Klingons are well-portrayed, both in their tensions with each other and Worf's reaction to them. The whole thing is rather ingenious and holds together well. I think it also works well for us to think Aquiel is dead for the first two acts, as it helps us see things from Geordi's perspective. Even if this is one of the less-good episodes from a season 6 perspective (bearing in mind it comes immediately after a run of 4 great episodes), it's light years ahead of the duff episodes from TNG's early years - the concept is good, as is the direction, the pacing is excellent, and all the guest actors are good in their roles.

    Another lame "Geordi falls in love" episode.

    First he's obsessed with a hologram of a cold-ass bitch scientist.

    Now he's perving on a young woman, going through her diaries...

    Aquiel started off as a pretty interesting episode. I was invested in the whole mystery of who done it, but it left a lot of unanswered questions and was a let down in the revelation. It didn't explain why the Klingon captain took the subspace communcations. What was in those communications that was so important? Then the revelation that it was the dog who was another organism was lame. Ok so let me get this straight: Roche goes to the outpost, but he isn't really Roche. He tries to attack Aquiel but she escapes. I guess he turns into the dog instead? Lame

    Oddly enough, I actually predicted the dog twist. Aquiel and the Klingon were so obvious I knew it couldn't be them. And the way the dog was trapped at the beginning of the episode made me suspicious of it because no normal dog could trap itself between the control panel and the hole in the wall.

    Definitely one of the weaker episodes of the season which almost seemed to get worse as it wore on! One of my peeves about Trek is when a very capable officer acts unprofessionally -- not a fan of Scotty falling all over certain women and Geordi's struggles with women as an underlying character trait/vulnerability doesn't make for a good contribution to an episode, let alone carrying one. The whole murder mystery thing was very slow and it just dragged and then the introduction of the coalescent alien nonsense was an example of poor sci-fi.

    With the dog introduced in the opener, one felt it had to have a purpose as the episode wore on and then when the BS about the coalescent alien comes about, it gets all too predictable that the dog was the coalescent. Like what does the coalescent alien actually want to achieve? Does it kill people to eat?

    Just really not much to say here. The actress for Aquiel was poor and I totally agree with Jammer that there was zero chemistry between her and Geordi. Yet another bad Trek romance episode. I literally started shaking my head when Geordi kisses Aquiel and says "We'll get through this." What garbage. Aquiel just came off as overly shady and forced and you're like "WTF is Geordi thinking??" but then we know his vulnerability with women...

    I also had to laugh when Aquiel packs her suitcase as if to run away from a murder investigation. How could this level of writing not get cut?

    The episode isn't all bad and it did make me think a bit about the case where 2 fairly junior officers could be stuck on some remote station in isolation with only a belligerent Klingon for the occasional "excitement". Shouldn't be surprising that some kind of conflict between the 2 takes place.

    1.5 stars for "Aquiel" -- didn't have enough stupid to fall into the 1-star realm for me but it came close. Perhaps some sympathy for Geordi is warranted although it didn't seem he learned anything, but I liked Riker's line to him about judgment getting clouded. The convenience / idiocy of the coalescent alien as the resolution was a downer along with the Aquiel character.

    This one is a hard one to score. It is all over the place. I liked the moody investigation. 10/10 for showing Geordie to be the douchebag of the crew. And then the alien action throwing a wrench in it all to cover up the shit investigation and unprofessionalism of the crew. I dunno 7/10? glad I watched it but ewww...

    First off, Picard tells us that there has been no Klingon raid in 7 years? I thought they were allies? This is the wild west of the Federation I guess.

    I enjoyed the eeriness of the opening. I kinda had glimmers of memory of this one but nothing definite. I like a good murder mystery especially when there were so many unanswered questions starting with, was there a crime?

    Geordie goes all in as a douche when asking Aqueil about why she did things to anger Rocha. She was right to ask him if this was a personal question or part of an investigation. In her logs she had described Rocha as angry all the time. She did ONE thing against his orders. Not the generalization of "things". And I got the impression from her logs that she was doing it to retain some sanity against a bully. Not that it was smart, or insubordination (something, me as a manager would find hard to take). But she also came across as young and inexperienced.

    Geordie is skating on thin ice and potentially screwing up a real investigation by asking her questions about Rocha in 10 Forward like that. Riker isn't much better. Don't they have proper police procedures for questioning etc? Good for Geordie for pointing the finger back at Riker. Neither one of them seemed to be conducting an investigation properly. Any police officers on this board that could weigh in?

    GROSS, Geordie a Star Fleet officer, investigating a murder then kisses the main suspect. Gee the one person who trusts her is now kissing her. I guess she better kiss back heh? Kudos for TNG for showing sexual harassment: Take one person with power over another who wants sexual attention and then acts on it! presto! There was no sign she was into him before that at all. And even if she was, it is still inappropriate Geordie!

    And for some lightness, cut to Crusher cooking red sauce in the lab. Give her a hand with her sauce would you?

    And now for one more plot device we have the crystal sex toy introduced. What happened to my nice moody murder investigation? I would have preferred this to be just the murder mystery. How do microscopic beings take over the body and consciousness of a higher being? Never mind.

    Hey look Aquiel doesn't want to work on the Enterprise with Geordie. I did like how she acknowledged she wasn't a perfect officer and was too impulsive rather than think things through. Bye Aquiel! Good luck with your career and impulsiveness.

    The Thing meets TNG.
    Geordi specialises in creepy stalky relationships so why not have another one.
    I did not see the dog as the monster until Geordi is left alone with her.
    The episode is down there with most of the others.

    Funny, i sort of remembered this episode, but only the mystery plot bit and not at all Aquiel or the Geordi romance thing. So much of that type fo character stuff on TNG just seemed like total fluff, to me. Oddly though, I actually enjoyed it when DS9 did similar explorations.

    The twist witht he dog being a life-absorbing "mimick" alien is, of course, straight out of Carpenter's take on The Thing. Not a bad thing to reference.

    Here’s the plot hole I don’t understand, which makes this unwatchable:

    If the blob is the dog, then who was murdered?
    If Aquiel phasered the blob into melted deck plate, how did it become the dog?

    How many blobs were on the station? The dog, and the deck plate that turns into Crusher’s hand in sickbay? So we are really looking for two blobs? But we only suspect Rocha was a blob when he came on the station?

    It’s like, oh no Aquiel killed a guy! But the guy was really a monster! And now the murdered monster is alive (except his body’s in sickbay) and is the dog and the monster wants to kill Geordi.

    Nope. Worst episode of TNG, first season excepted.


    You're comment intriuged me, so I went and read the Memory Alpha entry for the episode for clarification. Long and short of it is that Rocha was the guy murdered, by the creature. It went to attack Aquiel, she shot it, driving it away while also leaving a bit of it on the deck plate, alá a bloodstain. Then the wounded creature ate her dog, and became it.

    Residue in sickbay isn't a full creature, just some bit left over. I mean Geordie had to shoot at ole yeller for quite awhile before it went down, and presumably Aquiel couldn't manage to get that long of a shot of while under the pressure of wrestling with the creature. Much like the writers with this episode couldn't either.

    Eh, not tooooooooooo bad, but... eh. Knowing that "the dog did it" -- and not realising that till seconds before the dog transformed -- mostly just makes me feel a little stupid in hindsight. I guess I did fall for it. I do have a weakness for big, fluffy dogs.

    I do find the whole bait-and-switch on the crystal thing kind of amusing, though. Geordi thinks he's about to have some mindblowing crystal-assisted semi-telepathic sexual experience, but gasp, she's actually a shapeshifting entity trying to steal his form! But wait, no, actually, sometimes a mindblowing crystal-assisted semi-telepathic sexual experience... really just *is* a mindblowing crystal-assisted semi-telepathic sexual experience. Thanks, Star Trek.

    Borrowing from Phil Farrand, I always laugh at the fact that Troi speaks only one word this episode: "Concerned?"

    All these scenes with Renée Jones and LeVar Burton and no Emmy for outstanding acting? "i'M sCareD GeoRdi" should have been the clincher. At least the dog should have been honored. It was the best part of the show.

    LaForge is such a simp and ironically the opportunistic nice guy women need to be wary of, even though I realize that wasn't what they we going for. She gets him back, though, by dumping him the moment his advocacy no longer has any use in getting her out of murder charges. Not even a cushy job offering does it for her; she wants to get away from him that badly and with a "I'm doing my hair that day" tier excuse to boot.

    P.S. Just use a fucking putty knife to scrape some DNA off the metal plate! Jesus Christ how hard can it possibly be? God awful CGI on that goo, too. Yikes.

    Indiana Jones Last Crusade is on tonight so #Mom Rewatch2020 is postponed for this episode as it is so bad. I literally told my mom to keep watching this movie instead

    I'm always surprised when this one shows up because it feels like such a season 7 episode, similar in scope and pacing to Eye of the Beholder. I think the reasons is because season 7 has a sort of sterility that's hard to quantify. It kind of parallels the downturn of Mythbusters in its later seasons, even before it became the Adam and Jamie cinematographer wank fest following the dismissal of the build team.

    The first season of Mythbusters was also just Adam and Jamie, but they brought in random helpers as needed, and they had interviews with experts. They also documented the difficulties of tracking down the materials and supplies they needed. In the shop, there'd be random people milling about in the background working on other things, and overall there was an active bustling atmosphere about everything. By later seasons, it was much more focused on only the hosts and special guests, and I noticed that the hustle and bustle was gone. It felt less like filming some guys in their workshop, and more like filming two TV stars on a set. They stopped documenting most of their acquisition process too because, frankly, they could call up anyone and get just about anything they wanted by then. Adam even commented once that while driving down the highway with a bunch of pig carcasses in the bed of his truck someone looked over quizzically until they realized "oh, it's the Mythbusters guy."

    TNG seems to have gone down a similar path. The early seasons seemed much more active, lived-in, and experimental. There were more people milling about on the Enterprise (especially notable in season 1), they visited planets with more than just three or four high-level government officials, and random characters would get a little bit of screen time, if not some lines. By late season 6 and season 7 though, it all seems much quieter. In a way there's more bottle (or near bottle) shows. That in and of itself isn't necessarily a problem, but it seems like there's nobody around except the people directly part of the story. Yes there's always some extras manning the rear stations on the bridge or lounging in ten-forward, but it still feels strangely empty. It's as if their budget was cut and they couldn't get enough extras to properly populate the sets. On the other hand, after 6+ years, the production crew had built up plenty of sets, props, and construction experience, so they could bang out some nice sets with less resources.

    Of course there's exceptions through to the end of each series, but the overall pattern seems to be pretty evident. Aquiel feels very much in this late-stage mold to me.

    This episode is a gem for one reason and one reason only: the way Riker has no idea how to interact with the dog and ends up awkwardly clobbering the poor thing’s muzzle every time he tries to show it affection. It gets worse each time he does it and everyone just continues on with a straight face as if he didn’t just do an extremely strange thing to a dog; it’s hilarious.

    I knew the future was going to be bleak after watching Demolition Man, in 2036. In that one, Huxley introduced Rambo to putting on a helmet, give him a towel, then proceeded to have mind sex. A few centuries later, Geordi gets mind fracked instead of doing the Hunka Chunka, you know, Fluid Transfer.

    Did this guy ever get a woman, even in the feature films? At least he got out his jollies with Leia on the Holodecjk. You know, one fro each day of the week? He never actually denied it. The only other female Geordi became insubordinate with his commanding officers was when he believed his mommy was trapped on a planet.

    Aquiel, was not one of my favorites episodes. It centered on one of the most uninteresting crew members on the ship, Geordi. As long as he is solving a problem by using Tachyon pulses, he is ok. Not with affairs of the heart.

    I didn't mind this one. It wasn't a good one, but it wasn't one of the awful ones either. It does have a lot to commend it - it's quite an original idea, and I didn't see the twist of Aquiel being alive coming.

    What I did see coming was the twist that the dog was the alien monster. I was already scratching my head about why they'd bothered with it, given that it was totally unnecessary to the plot. So the moment we found out that one of the organisms from the relay station was the villain: it's the dog.

    And that made the conclusion a bit anti-climactic. Even if I hadn't seen that coming, it seems to wrap up a bit quickly.

    There's a bit of the usual Klingon aggression and bravado, but not too much to be annoying. I notice that the Klingon vessel arrives opposite the Enterprise exactly 'level', as if they were ships meeting at sea. Just once it would be nice if two space vessels encountered each other sideways on, just to acknowledge that the universe doesn't have an up, or a down.

    The fully-formed hand rising out of the tomato puree is ridiculous, really.

    Why does Aquiel have to be an alien? Apart from the ritual with the object on the bed and the mention that she's telepathic, she seems not only to be culturally entirely human in her mannerisms and behaviour, but culturally entirely human American.

    At least sometimes the Star Trek franchise makes an effort. Klingons are believably non-human. Far too aggressive and overbearing. Vulcans, too. Cold, analytical, emotionless. The Ferengi. Not much human about their demeanour.

    But far too often all you get is a bit of facial prosthetics and that's it. Ensign Ro is a perfect example. There's nothing other-wordly about her at all. And it's the same with Aquiel. What, I wonder, is supposed to be the evolutionary reason for those fleshy bumps to appear on her species' foreheads? Perhaps in distant times her ancestors liked to head butt a lot.

    Anyway it was original and mildly entertaining. Quite nice to have Geordi falling for a person he knows only from a set of recordings, I like that that aspect of his character was reinforced.

    But pretty forgettable.

    Me, 10 minutes in - "Oh, I see - they're doing an update of Laura!"

    Me, 20 minutes in :"The dog's name is Maura? The dog's the killer!"

    I was amazed at the complete lack of legal process here. Crime scene was not sealed off, there is no lead investigator (is it Geordi? Riker? Worf?), no proper handling of evidence, etc. Worf picks up the phasers with his ungloved hands, the suspect is able to access station logs at will, and even beam down there at her leisure. Geordi is helping in the investigation despite being ethically compromised. Riker should have immediately removed him instead of having a friend to friend chat in hallway, and Geordi should have removed himself the minute he knew that his "other mind" was doing the thinking.

    Does the perfect 24th century have Miranda? Shouldn' t suspects have the right to remain silent and right to counsel? Data and that crewman with the Romulan grandfather got legal counsel appointed in other episodes, but I guess someone accused of murder doesn't get one.


    "I was amazed at the complete lack of legal process here."

    "Does the perfect 24th century have Miranda? Shouldn' t suspects have the right to remain silent and right to counsel? "

    That annyoed me as well until I relised that I was watching a television serie and not a docu soap.

    This episode is yet another example of TNG’s core failings: establishing a premise based on an advanced society exploring the unknown, yet having absolutely zero protocols for addressing the unknown.

    Crew members are suspiciously becoming sick? Let’s muse on it for a few days. Crew all experiencing nightmares? Let’s double down on the counselling and not tell senior officers. A shape shifting entity is discovered on a space station? Let’s ignore a third of the life forms on that station.

    It’s downright baffling how *stupid* this crew is when the unknown occurs when their sole mission is to discover that same unknown. SO MANY EPISODES could have ended far sooner with simple protocols to raise awareness to unexplained events happening on the ship.

    P.S. it was OBVIOUSLY the dog. There is no reason for a fucking *dog* to be in a TNG episode, people.

    Whole watching this episode, I figured out what Geordi's cologne brand should be.

    Geordi Vivre

    Okay, okay, there are five lights! Just don't make me watch any more "Geordi the Loverlorn Incel" episodes!

    I didn't even mind the quality of the episode that much. It's not good, but I've seen worse on TNG. Just a boring subpar episode to sit through in the rewatch and forget about again.

    What bothers me is the depiction of Geordi--again. At this time during my rewatch, I'm already tired of him being depicted as a creep/jerk in Geordi-centric episodes. First I thought "here we go again..." but this time it gets even worse.

    She's a murder suspect and it's not looking good for her--and Geordi is involved in the investigation (which she knows). She tells him she's scared and asks "do you believe me?", he puts his hands on her cheeks, says "yes I do" and starts kissing her.

    Geordi... wtf? He's shown inappropriate behaviour before, but this is on a whole new level. And the episode apparently tries to sell this as a romantic moment. This episode is going to be harder to forget than I hoped.

    Sigh. I'm very forgiving with Star Trek. As long as I'm entertained and don't have to stretch credulity too far, I'm pretty happy. Yes, I get more out of some episodes than others and I have my preferences regarding the various styles of the episodes. However, generally I enjoy a variety of styles and situations. I've been enjoying Season 6 more than I expected, with a few not so great episodes but all watchable.

    This is probably the first episode I can honestly say I was bored out of my mind. I really hated watching Aquiel's personal logs. Yawn. It didn't get better after that. Geordi actually kissed her during the investigation? And more? What!?! Oh Geordi, Geordi, Geordi.

    I forced myself through but next time I'm watching the series, this one will get skipped!

    I’m sure there are enough geeks on this forum who have already spotted that the whole Agatha Christie-style plot hinges around the misleading clue we were fed…

    GEORDI: What’s happened to log 46 45 9?
    Computer displays log number 45 45 9.
    POIROT: You see, mon ami, the little grey cells..

    The dog being the coalescent was pretty obvious from the moment that the plot veered in that direction; but then, I HAVE seen John Carpenter’s “The Thing”!

    Aquiel was clearly an alien species. She had an extra small ridge at the top of her nose, and two small dimples in her forehead. Totally non-human, right?

    I really couldn’t get involved with this episode. It dragged. It was quite well done, but just wasn’t interesting. 1.5 stars, sorry.

    I’m steering well clear of all dogs from now on, in case they’re actually hostile mobile giant Christmas tree baubles.

    Looks like I missed this episode when it originally aired, and I just saw it for the first time today. Mixed feelings for sure... great to see a "new" (to me) episode! But sad that it sucked. So many problems!

    1) This is a perfect episode where TROI SHOULD HAVE BEEN USEFUL. Having Troi in the room when asking Aquiel questions about the murder would have shed light on whether she was telling the truth or lying about "not being able to remember". Also, why didn't Troi shed light on Morag's statements...lying? truthful?, etc. She's barely present in the episode, but she should have been in almost every scene. The crew of the Enterprise is supposed to be smart, surely they would have realized this?

    2) As soon as they mentioned the shape-shifter angle, I assumed it was THE DOG THAT DID IT, and the Morag and Aquiel were diversions. It's an organism that can mimic anything. The crew of the Enterprise is supposed to be smart, how could they isolate 2 out of the 3 living organisms that had recently been on the relay station, and overlook the dog? Apparently, none of the crew have ever seen John Carpenter's "The Thing", lol. Saw this "twist" coming a mile away.

    3) As others mentioned, the guest actress' performance was sadly RATHER WOODEN, and the chemistry between her and Geordi just wasn't there. She's cute but the "forced" romance scenes were cringe-worthy.

    4) MANY SCENES ARE OVERLY LONG, and the episode drags because of it. They could have told the same story in 30 minutes with tighter editing. The story was like butter scraped over too much toast. Of course, they had to pad it to fill the hour.

    5) Lots of KLINGONS ANGRY FOR NO REASON. Like, seriously they're supposed to be friends of the Federation. Who do so many Klingons seem to be on the verge of going rogue and starting a war with every Federation interaction? It's just not believable.

    Miscellaneous thoughts... I was hoping the shapeshifter was one of the Founders from DS9, which would have been much more interesting. And I feel bad for Geordi, because the writers keep making him so stalker-y. And when Riker and Geordi had their conversation, Riker's reaction to Geordi's stalker behavior should have been concern & guidance, not bemusement. The episode was frustrating because the whole crew was acting dumb.

    Bottom line, 1 star at most.

    Something the episode seemed not to be clear about: once the coalescent organism has consumed another living being and assumed its form right down to its DNA, which part of that new form still contains the original organism? Judging by how the dog managed to grow hugely in size, there must have been a lot of not-a-dog in that definitely-the-same-dog dog.

    Phasers in Star Trek are a curious thing. When you fire at a ship and miss, how far does the beam travel before it disperses enough to not be of harm to whatever it encounters? There is also the curious situation where energy weapons can trivially destroy virtually all trace of a person — anyone can be wiped out of existence in a blink of an eye, and no body is left behind to be discovered. Remnants do remain if you know where to look, but that is all.

    In this instance, a phaser on its highest setting supposedly (so the crew stated) takes 10–20 seconds to vaporise a person (or what the crew believed was a person) — is that correct? I thought they could cut through solid rock in less time! I didn’t think to time it with a stopwatch, but Geordi seems to have no trouble vaporising the creature in considerably less time. (Quite where all rock goes when you vaporise it …) I don’t recall any precedent for such a large trace being left behind — phasers after all have this amazing ability to make all adjacent solid matter disappear without affecting the floor … (And why would an engineer keep a phaser in a drawer in his quarters? Was that normal practice?)

    Also, another instance of a character being given the wrong colour uniform — Aquiel’s should have been gold, not blue! (And who cleaned up her face after she was found? All the blood on it just vanished. I would have expected her to have had least a quick check-up by Dr Crusher to make sure she was OK!)

    With that said, it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be considering that I knew in advance of its very low rating here. (And Ship in a Bottle was much more absurd: how did Data and Picard reprogram the Holodeck from inside itself when the storyline had already established that all interactive access was locked out?)

    Unfortunately I had a pretty good idea that it was the dog from when I first saw the episode in the 90s. I just forgot the rest of the story.

    Oh man, just watched this one again after a few years.


    I’m SCARED, Geordi!

    Please…. lock her in a room with the dog.

    Put me firmly in the "I don't understand the hate for this episode" camp. It's certainly not the best episode ever, and it has quite a few problems, but ultimately it was a passable viewing experience. There are far worse episodes - The Masterpiece Society springs to mind immediately as being both dull and nonsensical.

    Problems with Aquiel:
    Geordi's behaviour is ridiculous and should result in him being sacked.
    Aquiel's acting is wooden.
    The plot is full of holes.
    The dog twist is beyond obvious.

    In its favour:
    Watching the mystery unfold is fun.
    The atmosphere is good.
    The plot holes are no worse than 75% of TNG episodes.
    It's like The Thing in space (but nowhere near as good).

    Two stars. Run of the mill.

    I don't care what anyone says, this was at least 2-1/2 stars for my money.

    I liked the story and the mystery, I liked the doggie (that's a star and a half right there! - beautiful breed), I like the Klingons (always, well, almost always, a dubious pleasure), the murder-chica was pretty hot, Geordie bonding with the dog near the start was damn adorable...

    Yes, Geordie behaved like a total moron though. What makes some men lose all sense and control of their faculties in the presence of a beautiful woman, especially a guy otherwise as accomplished and studiously professional as my G-man?!?

    I also don't get a murder suspect managed to abscond from the vessel and teleport herself to the station. Does Enterprise have NO security protocols in place AT ALL!?!

    Not really about this episode (which I didn't think was terrible), but back in 2013, William B. mentioned the episode "Man of the People." I googled this, forgetting which episode it was, without also including "Star Trek" in the search.

    Google returned a result for a short lived TV show from 1991-1992 called "Man of the People" - starring Kate Mulgrew.

    Quite a coincidence.

    Currently re-watching TNG and neither of us could remember this episode - watching it we can see why. It's not the worst of the show but it is utterly unmemorable.

    But good grief - Geordie is an idiot in this one. Even more than in the other 'LaForge falls in love with fantasy woman' ones.

    I'm surprised so many people hate this episode. I mean, it's not great or anything. However, I find it somewhat enjoyable and a lot better than say, Man of the People or Code of Honor.

    @Jay Nick P, @ Grumpy , @ William B HOW AAND WHY do you guys say Imaginary Friend is one of the worst?? It's in my TOP 19 TNG don't think it has a original and imaginative non human life form and a pretty original sci fi premise?

    I'm happy for Geordi. Hi's got a womam!!! Very butiful girl! That good.

    @Sintek It's been 10 years since you posted this comment and I have to say it's an underrated gem. And quite a funny one.

    I like this episode. Yes, it's full of plot conveniences so it can be a mystery and 40 minutes long. The crew doesn't know how to conduct a proper investigation. Troi's abilities suddenly are in airplane mode, etc. But then again every single episode utilizes plot conveniences like that. It's just grating when you don't like the episode. If it's put to good use then you wouldn't care. This episode made me think about Geordi La Forge and examine him more closely, so to me it’s a good one.

    Now the reason I think Sintek's comment is underrated is because this episode being an outing about space Asperger's makes perfect sense. Georgi is the biggest enigma of TNG. I know a lot of people talk about Troi being useless but at least she's frequently worked into the plot so she can exist as a character. For better or for worse, there's always something for Siris to work with. Yes, Troi is usually mishandled by the writers but at least she's all there, often.

    The same goes for all the characters. All of them except Geordi La Forge. He's the only one that has virtually nothing going on, ever. His friendship with Data is nonexistent. I know Data says Georgi is his best friend but we all know Data's real best friend is Picard. I get this feeling Data only says that because he senses something off about Georgi, and calls him best friend to cheer him up somehow. This is the biggest secret Data keeps to himself. He's not really Georgi's friend, I mean, not any more than he is friends with anybody on the Enterprise.

    Everybody on that ship only remembers Georgi exists when they need to fix/replace/build a gadget or MacGuffin. And that’s it. He’s obviously comfortable in that position because it’s clear he can’t function in any other capacity. Every other aspect of Georgi’s life is deep within the spectrum. In many ways even Data is more socially apt than him. Data also has more of a normal human life; he has a pet, a brother, had a daughter, and was even in a relationship for a while. We see his quarters way more often than we see Geordi’s.

    But if Geordi gets a pet? Yup, it's an alien blob killer. (this episode)
    If Geordi has a friend? He begins to turn into an invisible alien. (Identity Crisis)
    If Georgi tries to find a significant other? He gets confused, lost and turns everything into a mess. (Booby Trap)

    It’s like the universe is conspiring against this guy. Is he ever going to be allowed to exist outside his job? Well, he gets a chance in Aquiel, but does he, really? Jammer mentions the characters have zero (0) chemistry and he’s right. Aquiel is very obviously using Geordi. She doesn’t really care at all about him. And I mean zero (0). She sees this guy is important and the only one that believes her, so she makes sure to lure him in and use him to the best of her abilities. Once the coast is clear does she stick around? Of course not, she wants to get as far away as she possibly can from Georgi and I really doubt it’s because she wants to earn her position on the Enterprise. This place is the crème de la crème of Starfleet. She knows it’s not going to happen. Maybe on the Orville she would have a shot but certainly not here.
    Have you noticed how every episode revolving around Geordi’s personal affairs turns into either a horror mystery or a murder mystery or just plain alien abomination weirdness? If the tone of the episode reflects the character’s inner life it’s focusing on, then Geordi La Forge is one troubled individual. Yet outside the space Asperger’s spectrum (when he’s dealing with gadgets and engineering things) he’s shown to be quite competent. I guess they can’t push a social life for Geordi too much, otherwise it will inevitably bring the utter destruction of the observable universe.

    And then there’s LeVar Burton’s acting. He’s the only actor in there that I honestly, for the life of me, can’t tell if he’s really good or damned awful. He walks a very thin line there consistently from early seasons to late seasons and I just can’t tell. Does Geordi really have space Asperger’s? I think so. It would explain so much. He often makes a face that you can’t tell if he’s confused by a situation or aware beyond the abilities of the average human. Certainly part of the reason for that look is his visor. And interestingly enough, that’s often how his visor is described. He can see more than other people but he’s still blind at the end of the day. Quite an enigma.

    This was not immediately obvious to me at first. It took me watching all the way up to Ariel to finally notice Geordi La Forge. He was always there but finally I’m scrutinizing this character and realize what an oddball he is.

    Now let me quote this paragraph Jammer wrote for the episode Ship in a Bottle because it really ties in perfectly with this little La Forge analysis I’m doing here:
    “If there's perhaps an unsung moment in this episode, it's the reaction of the simulated Geordi as he listens to Data explain to Picard that the entire engineering deck is a simulation — including Geordi. It's simultaneously funny, sad, and weirdly eerie. It's like watching holo-Geordi as he falls through the rabbit hole; surely he wasn't designed to be self-aware, but merely an elaborate copy of Geordi based on personnel files and carefully programmed responses. And yet in this moment, it's like he has become self-aware by being informed he's not real, because the program is forced to deal with a reality it wasn't designed for. Holo-Geordi's reaction is one of confused, disquieted silence — as if that's all the program can do once confronted with this feedback loop. LeVar Burton sells it.”

    Yes, I agree with Jammer but I think his comment here is spot on well beyond the narrow scope of simulated Geordi. No, my friends, it’s not that the program is forced to deal with a reality it wasn’t designed for. The program is fine. I dare say it emulated Geordi La Forge perfectly. That confusion we see is not Holo-Geordi, it’s Geordi himself.That “simultaneously funny, sad, and weirdly eerie” expression? That’s not a software limitation, that’s just Geordi himself.

    To end this comment with another unsung moment in this episode, I love the scene where Riker storms Geordi’s quarters, phaser in hand and catches Aquiel ready to have crystalsex with her prey. Riker in a booming, commanding voice orders Geordi to get out of the way and what does Geordi do? He doesn’t move. Not an inch. He’s just there, gazing at Riker. He doesn’t look confused, he doesn’t look afraid, it’s like he’s processing something, something inscrutable.

    At that moment, if he had in his mind all the weird stuff they found over the years, all the dangers they had to brave through, Geordi would certainly immediately comply and get the hell away from Riker’s way. If he was concerned for Aquiel he would shout ‘wait!’, try to protect her, hold her perhaps. But no. He just stands there in a blank, confusing (not confused!) metallic stare.

    And that’s the reason I like this episode. If it weren’t for Aquiel it’s possible I would have never stopped and actually think about Geordi La Forge. Our enigmatic engineer extraordinaire, the hidden gem character of TNG, in my opinion.

    @ newbie86.

    I like the sort of analysis you're doing. However I would be cautious about arguing that any character who exhibits socially awkward tendencies must therefore be on the spectrum. And one thing that I feel really doesn't fit in your interpretation is how Burton speaks as Geordi. His speech pattern is very natural, and the nuances in his various expressions, smiles, and irony show that he has no difficulty understanding where others are coming from in ordinary social situations. He has a particular awkwardness around women, which makes him more comfortable around technology, but this plays into the general "more into things than people" stereotypes of men vs women, just going beyond interests and including capacities. That doesn't make him autistic, it just makes engineer. I mean, have you ever been in a row full of engineers? Geordi doesn't particularly stand out of the norm in that context, and in fact I suspect that's probably why so many actual engineers or physicists were inspired by TNG. It's not just the tech writing, but the tone Geordi brings, and probably Data as well.

    As far as Burton's acting in general goes, this is funny, because on Reading Rainbow we definitely saw charisma, but that's a very different gig. While I never saw incredible acting from him on TNG, it also wasn't really scripted in. He probably had the capacity to act very naturally, except for the VISOR. An interesting tidbit from one of his scene partners (Lycia Naff, I think, who played Sonia Gomez) is that Burton likes to rehearse prior to shooting, and according to her had this incredible connection with her in these rehearsals. But she said that when it came time to shoot and the VISOR went on, all of that nuance and chemistry went out the window and it was a bit disappointing in that regard. She believed that he conveyed a lot with his eyes during performance. You might imagine a comparison with Jeri Ryan, and try to imagine how successful the Seven of Nine character would have been if we'd put a giant mask covering Jeri's eyes. I think that would have been a disaster. But that's what Burton had to deal with. As a result I think it's a bit unfair to judge any awkwardness in his acting as being either due to technical failure, or due to it representing a character trait of awkwardness (and therefore autism).

    My take on Geordi is that the actor cast to portray a handicapped person was, ironically, given a major handicap in presenting that character.

    @Peter G.

    Of course you're right, Peter, and thank you for responding. I'm not in the slightest qualified to determine if someone is autistic, either in fiction or reality, all I know about the condition are the first paragraphs on Wikipedia. I don't really mean he's autistic, not the real thing, I'm just entertaining the idea he has the selective type, the fantasy type, Space Asperger's. There are so many moments in TNG he looks confused and out of place (when he shouldn't be), he stares at something for too long or his response to something is just a tad odd. In meta I'm pretty sure you're spot on. That huge clunker of a visor looks uncomfortable just to look at, let alone move around and act with it. Every time there's a close-up of Geordi I catch myself thinking 'How is he able to act at all with that thing on?' It looks really bulky and uncomfortable. It played perfectly into the character and only now I'm appreciating that fact.

    Regardless, the character is socially inept outside his professional capacity. His situation with women is only the exaggerated part of that. Like I said, his best friend is Data and I have to disagree with that assessment. Geordi is possibly the only character that doesn't have a deeper connection with any other member of the crew. We have Picard/Crusher, Picard/Riker, Picard/Data, Riker/Troi, Troi/Worf. So what do they do? Have Data say 'Geordi is my best friend!' I don't buy it! I still haven't watched the 7th season, let's see if they change that at any point. By reading comments here, apparently it focus on Worf and Troi a lot so I don't have any hopes going in.

    But more than that, I think his case is even beyond him. He's not allowed to have a life outside his function. Every time Geordi's social life is addressed the episode turns itself into a horror story. People die or show up dead. He turns invisible or is attacked by a Blob. The interesting thing is that he's the only one that doesn't have a life outside his job and that's why it stands out, but not at first. The fact creeps up on you. Or at least that's how it was for me and that fact makes the character all the more fascinating to me. It was in this episode I fully realized I know more about Barclay than I know about Geordi. I felt like I took the guy for granted the whole time and then I noticed the Enterprise crew is kind of doing the same. If Data has a problem? The WHOLE ship will stop whatever they're doing and focus entirely on Data. Geordi has a problem? He gets to have a 10 seconds exchange with a busy Guinan and she doesn't even bother to explain her point all that well, so Geordi misinterprets what she says.

    Would it kill Troi to visit La Forge once in a while? Once, even? Did we ever got a scene where Troi shows up to have a talk with Geordi about his life? I ask the veterans of this board, I'm sure if someone on the internet has the answer at his/her fingertips, then you're here in Jammer's board with us.

    Anyway, I'll take a look at some clips from Reading Rainbow on YouTube. I'm sure it's going to be interesting and odd to watch, I never saw the actor in anything else.

    @Peter G and newbie 86:
    "As far as Burton's acting in general goes, this is funny, because on Reading Rainbow we definitely saw charisma, but that's a very different gig. While I never saw incredible acting from him on TNG, it also wasn't really scripted in. He probably had the capacity to act very naturally, except for the VISOR. "

    This is a very interesting discussion, and sorry for jumping in. I was surprised to find that Geordi beat out Scotty on one website as the best engineer of Starfleet. Geordi was never my favorite character, but then Scotty wasn't either. These guys live starships, and I suppose getting assigned to the best of the bunch gives them the outlook that it's never going to get better than that. The fact that they're there when it's necessary was enough for me. That's their job.

    Back to Geordi. This is going to sound horrible, but that white eyed stare of his is creepy. Not many women would be attracted to Geordi for that very reason. It might sound shallow but that stare is a turn off. He wears the visor for most of the day, but it has to come off sometime.

    I know there was an episode where Geordi refused surgery that would bring him eyesight, but I always wished he would have risked it and succeeded. I never felt that blindness or the visor made Geordi a NG standout. It did keep the women away from him though.

    That said, one of my all time favorite TNG episodes actually features Geordi in a stand out role, and he does a fine job. The episode is "I, Borg". There's a lot of chemistry between Hugh and Geordi. I don't know what he's appeared in other than "Roots", and I never watched that. It was nice to see him take on a role and make it seem as though it was designed for the Chief Engineer. It's Geordi's approach to Hugh takes both Guinan and Picard a notch. Nice to see the lofty characters of the series taken aback by such a thing as friendship and what it entails. That, and Geordi's kindness and understanding toward Hugh are a credit to LeVar Burton's acting chops.

    Regarding Geordi's lack of friends, this particular episode seems to send a clear message that he does have more friends than just Data. Who they are is anyone's guess, but Geordi is adamant that friends are there to talk to when one is lonely.

    "The Thing" ripoff without the time to tell that sort of story.

    Interesting, "I, Borg" is one episode where you can detect Burton's Reading Rainbow persona creeping in (especially in the scene where Hugh gets his name).

    Oh wow, they must’ve mailed this script in on a rainy brain dead weekend. I don’t usually give the thumbs down on most any of these episodes but this one totally sucked.

    I’ll bet the production company gets hundreds of fan created scripts in the post every month; they could’ve closed their eyes and grabbed any one of those amateur-produced scripts from the pile and it would’ve been a wildly significant improvement over this train wreck of a plot.

    Oh yeah, what about that scene of Lt. Uhnari freaking out in front of Georgi, rushing into her room and packing her luggage claiming she getting out of there. Where the hell did she think she was going to go? Call a cab? Space walk out to the nearest asteroid bus stop? Or thumb a ride on an outbound comet?

    I wonder who came up with the idea of a malevolent alien tree stump as the space monster of the episode.

    And I personally don’t like or appreciate the idea of finishing off the story by the death of a dog ! (Invasion of the body snatchers style). Especially since the dog gave the best acting performance of anyone in this episode and didn’t deserve such an end.

    Doesn’t the starship’s transporter have some sort of bio-filter that screens out monsters and other pests hiding in people and their pets upon boarding the vessel?

    I did like the idea of an established routine Klingon “border patrol” that could possibly manage to file written report or two.

    Makes the empire sound a bit more grounded, organized, and bureaucratic instead of always warping in and out of the neutral zone in their clanking spaceships full of howling chest thump’n jerks flying up and down next to Federation territory causing trouble and screaming, “…honor to the death!!” “…WhooooAhh,” to anyone within earshot.

    "Doesn’t the starship’s transporter have some sort of bio-filter that screens out monsters and other pests hiding in people and their pets upon boarding the vessel?"

    Nobody ordered the computer to scan for alien shapeshifters.

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