“The Big Goodbye”
Written by Tracy Tormé
Directed by Joseph L. Scanlan
Season 1, Episode 12
Original air date: January 11, 1988
Star date: 41997.7
The Enterprise is en route to meet the Jarada, an insectoid species whose punctilious nature makes it difficult for the Federation to establish friendly relations. The Jarada must be greeted by the captain (and the captain alone) in their native tongue with no errors. Any failure on Picard’s part will result in unspeakable consequences. Despite another lengthy cram session with Counselor Troi (reknowned exolinguist?), Picard is at an impasse. Troi suggests he take his mind off the Jaradans for a while and try out the latest holodeck upgrades. Recess! Picard brightens immediately and agrees that a 1940s hard-boiled crime game is just the thing to take the edge off.
He begins the program of “Dixon Hill,” a sort of 1940s Philip Marlowe-cum-Sherlock Holmes, and discovers a beautiful woman sitting in Hill’s–his–office. Picard’s mildly interested in her flirting but is more fascinated by the cars zooming by outside the window. He only half-listens to her pleas for safety; she’s convinced she’s about to be murdered. But Picard’s really got to be getting back, so he puts the program on hold and calls a staff meeting to tell everyone what an awesome show this holodeck thingy is and I guess there’s some diplomatic thing he should be worried about but LOOK CARS DID YOU SEE THEM? He invites a 20th century historian and Dr. Crusher to join him next time. My instincts tell me it still doesn’t excuse them from the company retreat, but maybe it’ll look good on next year’s review.
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