S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Watch along and discuss a curated selection of episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation and join for weekly watch parties!
Post Reply
dnaphil
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:10 pm

S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by dnaphil »

This episode was selected because it is a good Holodeck Gone Wrong episode and its a set up for a future episode.

I liked this episode, and I loved the costume and London set.
It's an interesting premise, about Data being able to solve a real mystery.

That said, I dislike how Dr. Pulaski treats Data. From misnaming him in The Child, to how she discounts his ability to reason, in this one.

This one also relies on the trope of Picard coming to save the day. In this case, he comes to deal with Dr. Moriarty after Dr. Pulaski has been captured. Having seen Skin of Evil so recently, the solution for this episode reminded me a bit of that.

What did you think?
User avatar
GMGERRYMANDER
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:57 pm

Re: S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by GMGERRYMANDER »

This was interesting, and it was good to see the first "Holodeck Problem" episodes.

While I'm not a big fan of them, the costuming and campyness was a lot of fun. Plus seeing Data both in and out of his element.

But yeah, they did rely on Picard saving the day. A lot.
User avatar
RobAbrazado
Site Admin
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 10:52 am
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by RobAbrazado »

Now this episode is what I'm talkin' about! I feel like this is the first time I'm really feeling "Yes...I am going to like this show." The central conflict is really more of a question about the nature of life, artificial or otherwise. The problems that arose were all of the crew's own making (no external alien forces just wandered in to bust the place up). We get to see nerds just kicking it, basically...Geordi building a model ship, then finishing up to hang out with his android bestie so they can do a Sherlock Holmes LARP together?! Amazing. And there was no mission here...it was just "Hey, time for some space downtime here on the U.S.S. Enterpr-OH MY GOD WHAT HAS HAPPENED THIS IS MESSED UP." I love it. And finally, this episode gives me what I crave, which is more of Brent Spiner's amazing acting.

Pulaski continues to shit on Data, apparently for no reason. Geordi begins to expose his social deficiency, which I feel comfortable saying becomes quite pronounced over the course of the show. (Geordi takes Data on a holodate and when he deems it unfun, he basically just table-flips and bolts. Also I love that the two of them end up talking in Ten Forward...still in costume. :lol: ) I know people have been talking about Picard coming in to save the day, but honestly I haven't been taking much issue with that, and particularly with this episode.

We have Problem A, and it resisted many solutions. Let's start with the premise that the original way the issue was supposed to have been dealt with was Data was supposed to "out-think" Moriarty. Which, you know. Didn't happen. Then the conference room meeting sees a parade of potential solutions, all of which are rejected for being dangerous for Pulaski. Worf wants the "security" solution of basically raiding the place. Riker and Geordi try a "technical" or "engineering" solution, the rejection of which I found hilarious.
"Sure, we can set up a particle beam to wipe out the holograms, no sweat."

"And the hostage will be fine?"

"Oh, no. It'll wipe out human flesh, too. Sorry, I thought you knew that already."
LIKE WHAT THE HELL, DUDES.

Anyway, I'm straying. What I'm getting at is that they had a bunch of options for dealing with this, but in the end Picard handled it with the "diplomatic" solution, and honestly...that's what Picard's there for. Well...actually the argument can be made that it should be Troi, so I can see how this runs afoul of the same issue as with "Skin of Evil." But in the same way I can attempt to recognize problematic content while still enjoying the media, I'm willing to forgive them this one slight in exchange for the scene where Picard pops his top hat open.

Which reminds me. Did we seriously have to get Worf dressed up in 19th century London finery for absolutely no reason?! He literally goes through all the trouble of a complete cosplay makeover just to say, "I'll be here if you need me," and then not go into the holodeck. This show is wild sometimes.
Need help with the Forums? Hit up the Questions and Feedback board!
Support Misdirected Mark Productions on Patreon!
User avatar
GMGERRYMANDER
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:57 pm

Re: S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by GMGERRYMANDER »

Worf likes to feel pretty.
User avatar
RobAbrazado
Site Admin
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 10:52 am
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by RobAbrazado »

That is more than fair; he does seem really into the outfit!
Need help with the Forums? Hit up the Questions and Feedback board!
Support Misdirected Mark Productions on Patreon!
User avatar
pksullivan
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:51 am
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by pksullivan »

I love this episode. It’s so much of what makes Star Trek good to me. This is a holodeck episode but it’s not one where the danger seems to be the driving factor. It’s more of an exploration of sentience, consciousness, and humanity. I like that it’s Geordi’s own cleverness that causes the problem and that the solution isn’t violent at all. Plus it’s great to see the cast all dressed up in cosplay.
User avatar
JimLikesGames
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:04 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by JimLikesGames »

This is one of the early examples where they hint at the idea that Worf despite his grumpiness about it actually kind of digs playing dress-up and exploring the human cultural heritage that comes down from his foster parents. This another of those things that starts as kind of a throwaway but gradually becomes a trope for the character.
User avatar
Jared Rascher
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:45 am
Contact:

Re: S2E3 - Elementary, Dear Data

Post by Jared Rascher »

I really want to see a holodeck episode where they discuss the problems inherent in the media (Data proves the first mystery is a ruse, but no one challenges the negative Romani stereotypes that are introduced, for example).

Pulaski would totally be the type of person to post plot hole videos on YouTube. "This movie is the worst because I recognize the tropes used to make it!"

Nothing like helping the police punish a person that killed an abusive partner to protect herself. Yeah, I know, holodeck simulation, but also, no commentary on what the story is conveying with that story. I'm all about the meta-text in this one, I guess.

"Computer, can you make a cluster-f*** so big, even you can't shut it down?"

Also, Constellation Class ships are weird.
Post Reply

Return to “Star Trek: The Next Generation Watch Club”