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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Evolution”

“Evolution”
Written by Michael Piller, Story by Michael Piller and Michael Wagner
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Season 3, Episode 1
Original air date: September 25, 1989
Star date: 43125.8

Mission summary

Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher wakes up from a terrible dream about spending two years aboard an alternate version of the Enterprise, in which the crew often behaved as if their dialogue and actions were guided by poorly-written television scripts and their missions didn’t make any sense. Phew. Thank goodness that’s over. Unfortunately, Commander Riker’s wake-up call informs Wesley he’s late for Bridge duty; he’d fallen asleep at his workstation and forgotten to set an alarm. He hastily packs up his scattered equipment and rushes off to take his position at Navigation.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: Season 2 Wrap-Up

With the promise of better days ahead, we present our summarized ratings for season 2 and question the direction our lives have taken us. And let us never speak of this again.

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20

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Shades of Gray”

“Shades of Gray”
Teleplay by Maurice Hurley and Richard Manning & Hans Beimler
Story by Maurice Hurley
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 2, Episode 22
Original air date: July 17, 1989
Star date: 42976.1

Mission summary

Riker and La Forge are exploring Dagobah when Riker gets a scratch on his leg. *tension music* He think it’s just a flesh wound, but La Forge asks for an emergency beam-out anyway. Unsurprisingly, the transporter’s biofilters detect something low-budget within Riker and just to be on the safe side, O’Brien decides not to beam him up until Pulaski can unnecessarily risk exposure by beaming down herself. She looks at him, sees it’s a flesh wound, and they beam up. Efficiency! But by now Riker’s leg is numb…

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18

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Peak Performance”

“Peak Performance”
Written by David Kemper
Directed by Robert Scheerer

Season 2, Episode 21
Original air date: July 10, 1989
Star date: 42923.4

Mission summary

Enterprise is assigned to participate in a game of laser tag under the supervision of Sirna Kolrami, a Zakdorn master strategist. The scenario will pit the state-of-the-art flagship of the Federation against a decrepit eighty-year-old starship, the Hathaway, under the command of “Captain” Riker. So that’s fair. Picard had initially rejected this proposal because it’s a waste of time, but he figures maybe they could use the extra practice in tactical combat, what with the Borg gunning for them and all.

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29

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Emissary”

“The Emissary”
Teleplay by Richard Manning & Hans Beimler
Story by Richard Manning & Hans Beimler and Thomas H. Calder
Directed by Cliff Bole

Season 2, Episode 20
Original air date: June 29, 1989
Star date: 42901.3

Mission summary

Worf “Iceman” son of Mogh keeps winning at the weekly poker games, which is a sophisticated way of letting you know the episode’s going to be about him. Before he can clean out the bridge crew completely, however, someone pages Riker about some kind of Starfleet emergency. (Yeah, sure. I bet Riker has a panic button under that table.) Picard can’t get any answers out of Starfleet Command, but they do know that a “special emissary” stuffed in a class 8 probe will be arriving shortly to debrief them.

On schedule, a coffin-sized capsule beams aboard containing one lovely looking Klingon named K’Ehleyr. Riker greets her in Klingon but her English is impeccable. Pulaski is confused by her weird bio-readings (and her sense of humor!) and K’Ehleyr explains that she’s only half-Klingon; her mother was human. She makes her introductions pleasantly until she comes to Worf. They seem to know each other…

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25

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Manhunt”

“Manhunt”
Written by Terry Devereaux
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 2, Episode 19
Original air date: June 19, 1989
Star date: 42859.2

Mission summary

In the transporter room, Captain Picard greets a couple of fishy Antedean dignitaries destined for a conference on Pacifica—but they’re in a self-induced catatonic state, so he probably could have skipped the dress uniform. Yet his sacrifice is not for naught, because Enterprise has another distinguished, albeit unexpected guest: Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. And she is very appreciative of Picard’s legs. She happens to be going to Pacifica too, so she hitches a ride, to everyone’s inexpressible delight.

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21

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Up the Long Ladder”

“Up the Long Ladder”
Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Season 2, Episode 18
Original air date: May 22, 1989
Star date: 42823.2

Mission summary

This episode begins with an S.O.S. This is your only warning.

The strange signal, whose nature Riker instantly guesses despite it taking Starfleet a month, is a call for help used by Earthlings over three hundred years ago. Even though the distress call’s a month old no one has bothered to check it out yet, which winds up having been a strangely prescient move. Alas, Picard decides to save humanity’s “lost sheep,” in between healing some lepers and turning water into synthehol. Worf wants out of this episode and collapses to the floor of the bridge, thereby cementing his role as the most sensible person on this godforsaken boat.

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25

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Samaritan Snare”

“Samaritan Snare”
Written by Robert L. McCullough
Directed by Les Landau

Season 2, Episode 17
Original air date: May 15, 1989
Star date: 42779.1

Mission summary

It’s Starfleet exam time again for Ensign Wesley Crusher. While Enterprise looks at some stars, he’s going to take a shuttlecraft to Starbase 515 to justify his existence on the Bridge crew. But the boy gets quite a shock when Captain Picard announces he’s tagging along. Everyone’s curious about his mysterious personal business, but he plays it close to his chest. Anyway, road trip! (Er… star trek?)

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21

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Q Who”

“Q Who”
Written by Maurice Hurley
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 2, Episode 16
Original air date: May 8, 1989
Star date: 42761.3

Mission summary

The Enterprise has a new arrival: manic pixie dream girl Ensign Sonya Gomez, who tries to charm us by being polite to replicators, babbling on incoherently, and spilling hot chocolate (so much cuter than coffee) on an unsuspecting Captain Picard. The captain heads to Officers’ Quarters (really? They have their own district away from the riff-raff?) but the turbolift dumps him instead onto a familiar-looking shuttlecraft out in the deepness of space… with Q.

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34

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Pen Pals”

“Pen Pals”
Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass, story by Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Season 2, Episode 15
Original air date: May 1, 1989
Star date: 42695.3

Mission summary

Enterprise enters the Selcundi Drema sector to investigate unusual geological instabilities that are destroying its planets, and Commander Riker decides this would make a great test of young Wesley Crusher’s ability to command a survey team to study the problem. Wesley is eager as always, but apprehensive about his performance and whether he’s qualified to give orders to officers who are older and more experienced than him. Meanwhile, Data is experimenting with enhancing the ship’s sensors and picks up a troubling transmission: “Is anybody out there?”

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