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14

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Icarus Factor”

“The Icarus Factor”
Teleplay by David Assael and Robert McCullough
Story by David Assael
Directed by Robert Iscove

Season 2, Episode 14
Original air date: April 24, 1989
Star date: 4268.4

Mission summary

Though it’s not on their official itinerary, the Enterprise is stopping at Starbase Montgomery to diagnose some funky readouts, as well as receive “priority personnel directives.” Picard meets his first officer in the observation lounge, where he praises Riker’s impressive manual docking from their first meeting, with a straight face, even. Now he has new congratulations to offer: the captain of the USS Ares is retiring, and Riker has been offered a promotion and his own ship! It’s an assignment way out in the boonies, but it’d be his. He has 12 hours to make his decision, and to help him, a “special attaché” from the Federation has come to brief him on the frontier region the Ares is studying.

Riker goes to the transporter room to meet the attaché and it’s none other than Kyle Riker, Riker’s estranged father. Man-off to commence in 3… 2… 1…

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16

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Time Squared”

“Time Squared”
Written by Maurice Hurley, story by Kurt Michael Bensmiller
Directed by Joseph L. Scanlan

Season 2, Episode 13
Original air date: April 3, 1989
Star date: 42679.2

Mission summary

Riker decides to cook scrambled Owon eggs the old-fashioned way for his friends, but it turns out that while food prepared by the computer might lack “flair or individuality,” the resulting “artistry” is not necessarily palatable. Only Worf is disappointed when their meal is interrupted by an urgent call to the Bridge: sensors have picked up a signal from a Federation shuttlecraft out in the middle of nowhere, with one human aboard.

They intercept and pull the unidentified craft into their shuttle bay, only to discover that it’s one of their own—the El-Baz, shuttlecraft 5. What! Impossible! They already have one of those. When they open her up, they summon Captain Picard to take a look, because there’s another Picard inside. Inconceivable!

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27

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

“The Royale”
Written by Keith Mills
Directed by Cliff Bole

Season 2, Episode 12
Original air date: March 27, 1989
Star date: 42625.4

Mission summary

A Klingon cruiser alerts Enterprise to some strange debris orbiting around Theta 8, an unmapped, poisonous ball of nitrogen and methane. They beam a chunk of the debris over and it’s a panel from a 21st-century spaceship, with the American flag and NASA’s logo emblazoned on it. But we’re too far from home! How can this be?

PICARD: We’ve got ourselves a puzzle, Number One.

Do we? Must we? Can’t we just tape the pieces together, pat ourselves on the back, then maybe dissolve it in acid over a live flame?

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13

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

“Contagion”
Written by Steve Gerber & Beth Woods
Directed by Joseph L. Scanlan

Season 2, Episode 11
Original air date: March 20, 1989
Star date: 42609.1

Mission summary

Enterprise risks entering the Neutral Zone to rendezvous with her sister ship, the Yamato, which is suffering serious system malfunctions. As her dour captain Donald Varley tells them that he’s lost an engineering team and the Yamato is continuing to fall apart, Data downloads her ship logs and notices one tiny, insignificant hiccup in the process that probably doesn’t mean anything.

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15

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

“The Dauphin”
Written by Scott Rubenstein & Leonard Mlodinow
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 2, Episode 10
Original air date: February 20, 1989
Star date: 42568.8

Mission summary

The Enterprise picks up two mysterious otherworlders: a teenager and head of state named Salia, and her overbearing, somewhat slithery governess Anya. Troi thinks the two may not be what they seem, but can’t offer any more details or else it’ll ruin the twist. The two are headed to their home planet of Daled IV after a long period of exile. Salia’s parents were on opposite sides of a massive civil war that has engulfed the planet. They died shortly after her birth, and now it’s up to the dauphin to start the healing. Unfortunately she’s been in isolation her whole life and has built up a swell of hormones, so a chance encounter with Wesley and his superconductive magnet sparks a powerful attraction*.

*Believe it or not, I didn’t write this stuff.

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25

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Measure of a Man”

“The Measure of a Man”
Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass
Directed by Robert Scheerer

Season 2, Episode 9
Original air date: February 13, 1989
Star date: 42523.7

Mission summary

Data gets an important lesson in humanity when he joins O’Brien, LaForge, Riker, and Pulaski for a game of poker and loses to Riker’s bluff. (Which only worked because of the beard.) But life deals Data an even worse hand when Enterprise arrives at Starbase 173 and Commander Maddox comes aboard with orders to dismantle the android.

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47

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “A Matter of Honor”

“A Matter of Honor”
Teleplay by Burton Armus
Story by Wanda M. Haight, Gregory Amos, and Burton Armus
Directed by Rob Bowman

Season 2, Episode 8
Original air date: February 6, 1989
Star date: 42506.5

Mission summary

It’s National Brotherhood Week here in the Federation and one byproduct is the Officer Exchange Program, meant to foster understanding among the various Federation fleets. A Benzite ensign named Mendon, whom Wesley initially mistakes for Mordock (tact: he does not have it), beams aboard to join the crew. Picard summons Riker to some virtual skeet shooting and suggests that a Starfleet officer should probably participate in the exchange, too. There’s a nearby Klingon vessel, the Pagh, and he’s hoping for a volunteer. Riker raises his hand.

PICARD: Any particular reason?
RIKER: Because nobody’s ever done it before.

That’s the spirit!

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27

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Unnatural Selection”

“Unnatural Selection”
Written by John Mason and Mike Gray
Directed by Paul Lynch

Season 2, Episode 7
Original air date: January 30, 1989
Star date: 42494.8

Mission summary

With Enterprise en route to Star Station India to meet a Starfleet medical courier, Captain Picard is mulling over Dr. Pulaski, who has been on his ship for about seven episodes. He asks Counselor Troi if he should be worried that the irascible doctor is so good at her job that she might be bad at her job, but Troi assuages his concerns about her new BFF. He grudgingly agrees with her, and a timely distress call may provide the means to discover if he was right after all.

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20

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “The Schizoid Man”

“The Schizoid Man”
Teleplay by Tracy Tormé
Story by Richard Manning and Hans Beimler
Directed by Les Landau

Season 2, Episode 6
Original air date: January 23, 1989
Star date: 42437.5

Mission summary

The Enterprise has been sent on a priority 1 mission to assist Dr. Ira Graves, a cybernetic genius who has fallen ill and whose assistant has sent out a distress signal. But who has time for that when we can have a comic interlude! Troi and La Forge head to Data’s quarters because the android has something to show them.

LAFORGE: Did you damage your face, Data?
DATA: It is a beard, Geordi. A fine, full, dignified beard. One which commands respect and projects thoughtfulness and dignity. Well? Opinions?
TROI: It’s er, very different.
DATA: When I stroke the beard thusly, do I not appear more intellectual?
TROI: I’m sorry, I have to go now. Goodbye.

HEY COME BACK HERE. You have to sit through this, too!

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20

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch: “Loud as a Whisper”

“Loud as a Whisper”
Written by Jacqueline Zambrano
Directed by Larry Shaw

Season 2, Episode 5
Original air date: January 9, 1989
Star date: 42477.2

Mission summary

Enterprise has been tasked with delivering a famous mediator to a planet torn by centuries of war, with strict orders not to interfere directly. When they arrive at the mediator’s planet a long distance away, Riker interrupts Picard’s re-watch of The Planets so the captain can make a “simple ceremonial greeting,” though he urges Picard to be careful. There doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about because when Picard, an exceptionally grumpy Worf, and Troi beam down, no one is there.

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