Fri
Dec 28 2012 3:00pm

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Descent, Part II”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II“Descent, Part II”
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Alexander Singer
Season 7, Episode 1
Production episode 40276-253
Original air date: September 20, 1993
Stardate: 47025.4

Captain’s Log: We get a summary of the relevant portions of Part 1, then pick up right where we left off. Lore speechifies for a bit, and Troi can now feel emotions coming off Data. Lore still has the emotion chip Dr. Soong placed inside him in “Brothers,” and he claims to have allowed the Borg and Data to both break free of being mindless automatons, but are passionate now, and with a purpose.

Picard asks if Lore has given them emotions, but Lore confirms that, in fact, Picard did that when he sent Hugh back to the collective. Hugh’s sense of individuality spread through the Borg like a plague, and Lore had to come in and clean up the mess. The ship Hugh was on was lost and directionless—they were incapable of handling individuality and emotion. Lore plans to bring the Borg to the perfection that he and Data represent: wholly artificial lifeforms. Then Lore tells Data to take the prisoners away.

On the Enterprise, Crusher’s skeleton crew is trying to pierce the EM interference when Riker calls, saying he’s lost touch with the captain. Crusher can’t raise him either—and then one of the new Borg ships shows up. Crusher starts beaming teams back, but they can’t get everyone before the Borg ship is in firing range. The Enterprise and the Borg ship exchange fire, but the Borg ship does not pursue the Enterprise as Crusher follows Picard’s orders and heads to the transwarp conduit.

On the surface, 47 people remain, including Riker and Worf. Riker orders the team leaders to hole up and avoid the Borg, thus saving them having to hire extras.

Data and some Borg stick Picard, Troi, and La Forge in a cell, removing their combadges (though he’s still wearing his for some odd reason), and also confiscating La Forge’s VISOR. Data announces that his quest to become human was an evolutionary step in the wrong direction and that he’s not Picard’s puppet anymore. Troi notes that she’s only sensing anger; when asked about other emotions, Data declares that there are none.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

On the ship, Crusher refuses to leave without those last 47 people. She has Ensign Taitt (who has only been on the ship six weeks, and is a bit nervous at being thrust into the fire so soon) prepare a buoy with their log entries to send through the conduit back to Starfleet. Then she goes back, trying to see if she can get back to the planet and beam the remainder up before the Borg ship engages them.

Lore has instructed all the Borg to remain linked to Crosus, so when Crosus brings one in to say he has disconnected himself, Lore is disappointed, and gives the confused Borg a pep talk. Then Data takes La Forge away for an experiment—but not before the engineer reveals that he saw with his VISOR a carrier wave moving from Lore to Data. He theorizes that Lore has found a way to project the emotion chip onto Data, and has also disabled his ethical program.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

Riker and Worf find Lore’s HQ, but before they can approach, they are ambushed by Borg who take them, not to the stronghold, but to a cave system, where they meet up with Hugh. He provides the same exposition to Riker and Worf that Lore did. (Riker and Worf are oddly unsurprised by the revelation that Lore is behind the Borg, even though they had no way of knowing this before they met up with Hugh.) However, once Lore started experimenting on some Borg, to make them over into his image, Hugh and many others broke away, taking refuge in the caverns. Hugh, who’s pretty pissed at the Enterprise crew, too, refuses to help Riker and Worf directly, though he relents when Riker reveals that La Forge is one of the ones captured.

Data straps La Forge down to a table, deadening his pain receptors, and then sticking probes into his mind in an attempt to make his cognitive functions stronger, but he only has a 60% chance of surviving. La Forge’s attempts to get through to Data, including mentioning that Lore’s controlling him, fall on deaf ears.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

Picard and Troi almost manage to escape using the sick-prisoner bit, but they engage it just as Data returns with La Forge. However, Picard was able to grab a piece off the Borg he tricked that La Forge might be able to convert to a technobabble solution that will reboot Data’s ethical program.

Crusher, with the help of Taitt and the relief tactical officer Lieutenant Barnaby, manage to get most of the remaining people off the surface. Transporter Chief Salazar says they’re only missing six—which raises the question, does he mean Picard, Riker, Data, La Forge, Troi, and Worf? If so, what about the security guard who was part of Picard’s team, whom nobody but Picard, La Forge, and Troi know is dead? Or wasn’t Salazar counting Data?

The Borg ship attacks, and Crusher breaks orbit. But the Borg weapons took out the warp drive, so the Enterprise can’t outrun the Borg ship to the conduit. So Crusher sets a course for the sun. She tells Barnaby to dig up metaphasic shielding out of the data banks and incorporate it into the shields. That allows the Enterprise to enter the sun’s corona where the Borg ship can’t follow. However, the Borg ship does take up position relative to the Enterprise, waiting them out.

Because the notion of surveillance within a prison cell has somehow never made it to the Borg (or to Lore), Picard is able to adjust the doodad so that it’ll reboot Data’s ethical program. He doesn’t do so until after Data has taken La Forge for another session. La Forge keeps trying to get through to Data, this time by reminiscing.

Data goes to Lore, expressing some concerns, and Lore thinks that maybe he’s not handling his emotions very well. Using classic behavior modification techniques—or, just generally, the way you deal with a junkie—he withholds some emotions from Data, then gives them back after Data begs for them.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

The Enterprise’s metaphasic shield is starting to fail, and they don’t have warp drive yet. Taitt suggests kicking up a solar flare that will envelope the Borg ship, which works nicely, allowing them to escape.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

Data takes Picard to the main room. The captain tells Data that La Forge will die if he has another session, but Data insists it’s for the greater good. Picard immediately takes the semantic opening, pointing out that Data’s knowledge of good comes from his ethical program, and what is it saying about this whole situation? Before Data can answer, Lore shows up. He wants Data to close the door on his past, and he needs to know he can count on Data, so Lore tells his brother to kill Picard. But Data can’t do it, as it would be wrong. So two Borg grab Data.

Lore announces that he’s asked the Borg to make many sacrifices, so now he’s going to show how awesome he is by making a sacrifice of his own: killing his beloved brother.

But before he can, Hugh stops him, and he and his fellow rebel Borg attack, as do Riker and Worf from the rafters. Lore quickly runs away, Data chasing him. Eventually, Data shoots his brother, though he does not do so until such a time as it is in obvious self-defense. He then deactivates Lore, though not before Lore says that he loves his brother.

Hugh laments that they no longer have a leader, but Picard thinks that’s not entirely true. The Enterprise comes into orbit, and everyone beams back on board.

Data recovers the emotion chip from Lore’s body before it’s disassembled, and it’s also damaged. Data intends to destroy it—gaining emotions was what led him to torture La Forge, and he values their friendship too much—but La Forge stops him, saying he wouldn’t be much of a friend if he cost him a lifelong dream. They’ll hold onto the chip until he’s ready.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

Can’t We Just Reverse the Polarity?: A framistatal thingamabob on the Borg can be converted by total non-engineer Jean-Luc Picard, based on instructions from a blinded La Forge, into a doohickey that can send out a nonsense pulse that will reboot Data’s ethical program without his noticing it. Youbetcha.

Thank You, Counselor Obvious: Aside from helping Picard with the sick-prisoner scam to try to escape, Troi serves no function in this episode, which is too bad, as the psychological issues of Part 1 were worth continuing to visit.

If I Only Had a Brain...: Apparently turning Data’s ethical program off is enough to turn him into a completely different person.

I Believe I Said That: “I love you, brother.”

Lore’s last words.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

Welcome Aboard: Jonathan delArco returns as Hugh, following “I, Borg,” and he’s way crankier. James Horan returns as Barnaby, having played Jo’Bril in “Suspicions.” Brian Cousins returns as Crosus, Brent Spiner once again does double duty as Lore, and Alex Datcher plays Taitt.

But this episode’s Robert Knepper moment is Benito Martinez as Transporter Chief Salazar. Best known as Captain Aceveda in The Shield (one of your humble rewatcher’s favorite TV series), Martinez is currently appearing on Sons of Anarchy as a drug lord/CIA agent.

Trivial Matters: Data will indeed revisit the emotion chip, though it will look radically different, in Star Trek Generations, where it will cause all manner of problems. The chip becomes increasingly irrelevant as the movies progress, being switched off in First Contact, being left home in Insurrection, and not even acknowledged in Nemesis.

Star Trek’s AIs and the Soong legacy are the subject matter of the new TNG novel trilogy Cold Equations by David Mack.

When Crusher asks Barnaby about metaphasic shielding, the latter says he’s heard of it, which is doubly amusing since Barnaby is played by James Horan, who played Jo’Bril, the Takaran who tried to steal the shielding when it was introduced in “Suspicions.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

The role of Taitt was originally intended for Reg Barclay, but Dwight Schultz was unavailable.

La Forge and Data remember a time when Data jumped into a sea, and sunk to the bottom due to insufficient buoyancy, and he had to walk along the bottom in order to resurface. This is at odds with Star Trek Insurrection, in which Data can apparently act as a flotation device. (Perhaps he installed the buoyancy stuff after his and La Forge’s sailing trip?)

Any similarity to Lore’s deactivation scene and the deactivation of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey is purely intentional.

Hugh’s comment that they can’t return to the Borg Collective makes it clear that this is merely one ship’s worth of Borg that were “tainted” by Hugh’s individuality, and the bulk of the Borg remain as usual (as will be seen on Voyager and in Star Trek: First Contact). Hugh and his gaggle of individual Borg will go on to appear in several works of fiction: the comic book Star Trek: The Next Generation #75 written by Michael Jan Friedman, the short story “Seventh Heaven” by Dustan Moon in Strange New Worlds II, and the novels Avenger by Wiliam Shatner and Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, the Millennium trilogy by the Reeves-Stevenses, and Greater than the Sum by Christopher L. Bennett.

Make it So: “Goodbye, Lore.” And so TNG’s final season begins, not with a bang, but a whimper. Seriously, what an unholy mess. After ending Part 1 with Data and Lore declaring that they’re going to destroy the Federation, they then do absolutely nothing to further that goal thus proving that it was just a cheap way to add artificial suspense to the cliffhanger. We put Crusher in command and then get a bog-standard technobabble adventure, in which the only thing Crusher brings to the table is her knowledge of metaphasic shielding—because what the world was really crying out for was a callback to one of the worst episodes of the sixth season. We bring Hugh back and then pair him up with Riker and Worf—two characters who were all but irrelevant to “I, Borg”—rather than reunite him with his friend La Forge, which would’ve provided a helluva lot more dramatic tension.

And then we get the climax, when Hugh and his Borg are able to show up in the main room of the compound alongside Lore’s Borg without anybody noticing, including the two hyperobservant androids that can do billions of calculations per second, but apparently can’t count. Or recognize faces.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Descent, Part II

But the worst sin committed by this episode isn’t the fact that, after waiting three months to get the followup to an episode that’s all setup, none of it pays off in an interesting manner. No, it’s that it makes Lore boring. Say what one will about “Datalore” and “Brothers” (and I said plenty), they were both enjoyable to some degree due to Brent Spiner’s magnificent manic lunacy as Lore. But here, it’s horribly subdued, as Lore is reduced to a cardboard-cutout villain who isn’t at all fun to watch. He sneers more than anything, and it’s just dull. Where’s the crazed shtick, the histrionics?

Plus, it remains unclear what, exactly, the plan is. Is he trying to make the Borg more emotional? Or more machine? Or what? And what’s the goal, since destroying the Federation seems to have fallen by the wayside?

And ultimately, who gives a crap? This episode is a small sound and very little fury, and it still signifies nothing.

 

Warp factor rating: 2


Keith R.A. DeCandido wishes everyone a happy new year, and is looking forward to finishing off this rewatch in 2013. And who knows what the future will bring?

29 comments
Keith DeCandido
1. krad
Also a reminder to all and sundry that we'll be once again skipping Tuesday because of New Year's Day, and the next rewatch -- for "Liaisons" -- will go up a week from today on the 4th of Jauary 2013.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Joseph Newton
2. crzydroid
One of the things that bugged me is that they were able to beam up almost everyone who was on the surface (which should be several hundred, if they really only left a skeleton crew on board) in about 45 seconds...this should take at least an hour.
Rob Rater
3. Quasarmodo
What I remember most about this episode is, after waiting through the summer for the conclusion to a Lore/Borg team-up (golly!), after awhile i remember looking at the tv and saying "Is this thing still on?"
Theo16
4. Theo16
I have always wondered how Troi can sense emotions in Data. No matter how real his emotion chip might be, it makes no sense that it's "compatitble" with biological telepathy.
Theo16
5. Sean O'Hara
You really should add a "Family Reunion" section to the rundown since that's pretty much all this season is. Data's brother. Data's mother. Geordi's mother. Worf's brother. Crusher's granny. The long lost clone of David Marcus.
Theo16
6. Rootboy
This episode bodes ill for the coming season - rehashes and callbacks to episodes past without any real purpose. There's some good stuff coming up - particularly, of course, the finale - but the seams really show this year.
Mike Kelmachter
7. MikeKelm
@2 Crzydroid... thank you for this point. The Enterprise has a crew of approximatly 1000 (per the tech manual if I remember correctly). So even if they had 20 transporter rooms (I think the number is less than that) and each had 6 pads per room, it should take 10 cycles to get everyone. That's locate 6 people, lock onto them, transport them, get them off the pad, reset, and redo. This should take quite some time, not 45 seconds. And if you were going to start beaming people up, don't you t hink someone should grab the executive and the tactical officer first? For that matter if only 47 crew on board, where are they? Apparently there are 4 on the bridge, I guess 8 in transporter rooms, which leaves us only 35 people to do everything else... hope nobody needs a doctor.

But yeah... this episode sucked. When we last left our heros in the Power Ranger headquarters building Lore and Data were laughing maniacally about their plan to take over the galaxy... The whole point of this episode is a) Can the Chief Medical Officer fight off the powerful Borg Ship that looks like a building designed by Escher and b) Can we stop Data from lobotomizing his best friend. Apparently the answer to the first one is yes, because the all powerful Borg seem to be incapable of ever doing damage to the Enterprise and are stupid and sit still so they can make the sun explode into them. The answer to the second one is also yes, because as we proved in the first episode, Data has no password controls and can be manipulated via remote signal, which is apparently visible to LaForge. Because umm yeah- LaForge who can see the entire EM spectrum on the planet that screws up all sensors decides to randomly to go looking for carrier waves. And then the superintelligent Borg will let himself be mugged so archeologist/explorer Picard can hotwire his radio to reset Data, all while doing it in such a way that Lore fails to notice that his control beam doesn't do anything and that one of his Borg has apparently gone off the grid. Here's a question- if Lore sends Data a signal that controls him, and someone hits Control-Alt-Delete on him, shouldn't the beam just turn his subroutine back off after he reboots? But no... the super android who needs to upload Norton Anti-Virus stat fights his evil brother and kills him. Game over. And we are all fine now that our Data is back. And Brent Spiner can stop playing his entire family for a while...

I think KRAD is right, and thinking about it, throughout the series, Lore is competing neck and neck with Sela for "Worst Reoccurring Villain" over the course of the series. While Sela has really, really dumb plans that are cosmic in nature but easily unraveled, superintelligent and sociopathic Lore is very small minded. The first time we meet him, he decides to feed the entire crew to a snowflake because, um, well, he's evil. Then we see him again in Datalore, where he deals with some Daddy issues, then again a few years later where he has somehow ran into the one ship of wandering Borg in an entire side of the galaxy and because he is just that damned good, installs himself as their leader where his evil plan is to (do the same thing we do every night Pinky) try to take over the galaxy. Why, we don't know, nor do we care because he is evil. It's like the producers never got past the whole "Data has an Evil Twin" idea and made him use his superintelligence in any sort of way. With his capabilities, his plans should be grandiose, well thought out, and hard to beat- they are far, far from that.

One last thought- Hugh gets a personality in 2368 and Descent happens in 2369. So that means we have less than a year for the Borg to lose themselves, be found by Lore, taken over by Lore, rebuild their cube their new ship shape, find their evil lair, and then start blowing up colonies. That's quite a busy year....
Christopher Bennett
8. ChristopherLBennett
I have the same problem with Crusher here that I had in "Suspicions," only far more so. How many hundreds or thousands of individuals did she kill when she ordered the destruction of that ship? Okay, granted, there are cases where there's no other choice, but she didn't even seem to care, didn't give a moment's thought to the loss of life, even though she's a doctor.

By the way, most of those listed return appearances of Hugh in the tie-ins are incompatible with each other -- although it's not really an issue in the case of Millennium, since it's an alternate-timeline version anyway.
Theo16
9. adam2
I think I posted this for Descent Part I, but I was stunned at the time, and still am, that all it takes to change Data "into a completely different person" (excellent way of articulating that, krad) is an emotion chip and the shutting down of his "ethical program". Really?

But far worse than that, this two-parter, combined with Brothers which I otherwise liked, introduced the dreaded emotion chip, with serious repercussions on the quality of the movies, especially Generations. Ugh. Sorry for the rant, but I hate that thing. Data's character development sans emotion chip was far better; the movies used it as a plot device for cheap laughs.

Quick off-topic aside: anyone know how to get an accout re-eligible for posting? In the season 6 wrap-up I tried to post a link to a recipe for a cellular peptide cake (with mint frosting no less) and it got flagged as spam for moderator review which probably never happened. Thanks in advance.
David Mack
10. davidmack
Thank you, Keith, for plugging my new Star Trek: TNGCold Equations trilogy in the trivia section. You are a gentleman and a scholar, my friend.
Keith DeCandido
11. krad
Dave: How could I not? :) Besides, it has that incredibly brilliant dedication in Book 3............

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Theo16
12. Sanagi
Data's ethical program was apparently designed by the same people who made Krusty the Klown dolls with a Good/Evil switch...
Christopher Bennett
13. ChristopherLBennett
I don't think the ethical-subroutine thing is all that implausible. There are cases in real life of people who've had brain damage to just one part of the brain and undergone a radical shift in personality as a result. A study five years ago found that injury to a specific portion of the brain, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, can alter people's moral judgment, making them less compassionate and more likely to favor choices that would entail sacrificing a life (at least in the hypothetical). We humans underestimate how easy it is to change our personalities or perceptions just by shutting down a part of our brains. It's rather scary to realize how tenuous our cherished identities and values really are.

Besides, ethics isn't just some short, simple list saying "Helping = GOOD, Murder = BAD" or something like that. It's a complex set of behavioral, social, and interpersonal guidelines and dynamics, connecting to a lot of areas of thought and behavior. Ethical subroutines could take up a fairly large portion of Data's neural net and be intertwined with a lot of his behaviors and perceptions.
Theo16
14. Christopher Walsh
I like that Brent Spiner had been asked at conventions about "would Data swim?" and answered that no, Data would sink to the bottom and just walk. The show using that in an episode was the main thing I liked about this episode.

Didn't the producers also briefly consider crashing the Enterprise in this episode?
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
15. Lisamarie
In general I agree this isn't a great episode (the part 2s generally seem to be let downs) but a few things:
1)I actually kinda liked the callback to the metaphasic shielding since, for all that episode's flaws, I liked Dr. Ryega and was glad to see his work vindicated.

2)At first glance I laughed a bit at the comment that it was pretty easy to turn Data into a different people, but the more I thought about it the more it did kinda make sense. If you take away a person's sense of ethics (and perhaps it is a little hard to envision how something like this could be contained in just one program and how that would be programmed) and gave them only emotions (especially negative ones)...what would there be to guide them? I suppose one could use logic or memory or something like that to remember that they shouldn't do such things, but they might not care.

And then Christopher Bennet said it better than me so...yeah.

Also, I really hope the cellular peptide cake recipe gets through the spam filter because that sounds pretty awesome :D

Agreed on the emotion chip, btw - I much rather would have seen Data acquire emotions naturally, or maybe even realize that he had his own emotions, of a sort.

Just curious, anybody think Lore was lying or not when he said he loves his brother? I mean, he certainly could have been, but he also gives a kind of sad smile, but it's when he's facing the floor, so it's not really for anybody's benefit (except the audience's, so I may be overthinking). Their relationship could have had a much more interesting dynamic, I think...
Theo16
16. RichF
I didn't much care for this episode either, for many reasons already stated. But something else about this episode stuck with me through much of season 7, and not in a good way. I got the impression that Brent Spiner continue after this episode to speak with the same drier, flatter, and more monotone voice that he used when his ethical program was disabled. It made me think that he was never quite the same even after it was rebooted.

And did anyone else notice that the emotion chip itself looks completely different in "Generations" than it does in "Descent II"? (Possibly also "Brothers", but I don't remember clearly what it looked like in "Brothers".)
Joseph Newton
17. crzydroid
@16: Yes, I noticed it too, and so did krad, since he mentioned it in the review.

I think this one looks the same as in "Brothers" though.
Alan Courchene
18. Majicou
So apparently you can just reprogram regular-type shields into metaphasic shields in a pretty short time if you have the proper algorithms on hand, but they never use them again. Ever. Forgotten Phlebotinum ahoy!

David Mack, at least, explains the change in the emotion chip's appearance from here to Generations as due to the repairs Data and Geordi had to make to it. I can't remember if anyone else had said that.
Theo16
19. CPRoark
One of the first Star Trek novels I read when I got interested in the show was "Metamorphasis," by Jean Lorrah. Granted, this was about 20 years ago, so my memory of the plot is pretty thin.

However, I seem to remember a portion of the novel deals with Data falling into a large body of water and needing to walk along the bottom to get out. Anyone else read/remember this book/scene?

Also, wasn't it damage to Data's ethical subroutines that caused him to go wacky in "Insurrection?"
Alan Courchene
20. Majicou
@19: Really, it was that he received such damage that his ethical program was about all that was working, so he exercised his ethics and exposed the Starfleet/Son'a plot.
Theo16
21. John R. Ellis
Hmmm. Call me when we get to stuff like The Lower Decks.

Yeah, this one was pretty much a snoozer. They tried to make it a grimmer, grittier TNG story, but it just ended up kind of boring.
Theo16
22. CPRoark
@ 20: Thanks! I knew ethics were involved somehow (it's been a while since I've watched that one.)
Mike S2
23. MikeS2
Definitely true that not reuniting Hugh and La Forge was a major missed opportunity.

Was I the only one who thought Crusher's using the metaphasic shielding and then making the sun explode on the ship was reasonably clever? It's not "Balance of Terror" but the bar here is much lower, both for the episode in general by this point and for the doctor left in charge in a battle situation for some reason.

It really is hilarious how useless Troi is during this episode. "I'll watch the door." Yeah.

I assume unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny, considering how far everything else the episode aims for misses its targets. Considering she helped justify being a sociopath to Data with the whole nonsensical emotions-aren't-good-or-bad comment in part one, maybe it's best she kept to guard duty.
Alan Courchene
24. Majicou
@22: Can't blame you for not wanting to watch Insurrection very often.
Jenny Thrash
25. Sihaya
Just gonna jump on the, "Ugh, that episode," bandwagon. What it lacked in plot, it never made up for in characterization.
Theo16
26. Don3Comp
@ 15 Lisamarie: I think the last scene (Data showing remorse for his treatment of Geordi) proves, or at least indicates, that he didn't need the emotion chip. Soong probably didn't realize the extent of the capabilities he'd already given Data.
Theo16
27. Anthony Pirtle
Unlike you, and apparently most of your readers, I loved "Datalore" and enjoyed "Brothers." That's probably why I loathe this episode so much. It manages to waste one of my favorite recurring characters (two if you count Hugh, and three if you count the Borg in general). Together with part one this is still a bad story. By itself it's one of the worst episodes of the franchise as far as I'm concerned, because with all these awesome components it had no excuse to be so terrible.
Theo16
28. The Real Scott M
A couple of things: I thought the whole Crusher in charge of the ship thing was completely wasted. There was nothing she did that any other senior officer wouldn't have done. That is, replace Crusher with anyone else, and nothing need change.

Second, I started off liking Taitt (as I was supposed to), but I ended up disliking her. She frantically points out that Barnaby will hit the atmosphere if he isn't careful. Barnaby's reply is perhaps a tad snarky, but it's perfectly appropriate, as he is an experienced officer and she's just a 6-week ensign -- and they really didn't have much choice. But then when Barnaby rightly questions her ability to create the solar flare without destroying the Enterprise (especially considering they hadn't even considered any other options), she takes on a wildly inappropriate smugness and throws his comment back in his face. It was supposed to be a humorous/you-go-girl moment, but it completely misfired for me. You haven't earned the right, ensign.
Theo16
29. SpocksBrain
@ #23 MikeS2: This is far and away a delayed response, considering when this re-watch was undertaken--and when your own posting was written-- but, from a neuroscience perspective, emotions are neither good nor bad. In mammals and humans, they are built-in circuits to help ensure our survival, either by serving as protective in nature (FEAR, RAGE/anger, PANIC/sadness, etc.) or by enabling us to connect (LUST/love, PLAY/joy, SEEKING/curiosity, CARE, etc.). Although this predates any book published (these were established to exist by Jaak Panksepp in Affective Neuroscience in 1988), his research was published in peer-reviewed journals prior to compilation of his theories into a book.

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