The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Code of Honor

Desperately in need of a vaccine that is only available on the planet Ligon II, Picard must deal with the Ligonians, a race of people deeply committed to honour and procedure. The negotiations seem to be going well – until Ligonian leader Lutan takes a liking to Lieutenant Yar, and abducts her in the hopes of making her his wife. Naturally, Yar doesn’t reciprocate this wish, but nonetheless she finds herself agreeing to a fight to the death with Lutan’s current wife, in the hopes of winning the precious vaccine.

Ah, the 24th century, such enlightened times! In this, a story that seems like it came straight out of the TOS bargain bin, we meet a simplistic and misogynistic warrior culture with a manipulative leader – who just happen to be all black. So it’s a double whammy of sexism and racism, as well as a drawn out story that requires no end of plot contrivances to all work out nicely at the end so that the Enterprise can fly away and never return.

Things which annoyed me about this episode

  • Wesley once again hangs around in the turbolift in a cable-knit jumper, and gets to sit at Ops, because he’s special. Or at the very least, because Picard doesn’t want to spoil his chances of getting into Beverly’s pants.
  • Yar and Yareena could have worked together from the start to outwit Lutan, instead of Yareena going all “you want my man, sister? Fight me, biatch!”, because obviously all women hate each other and would never be friends.
  • After Lutan proposes to Yar, Picard and Troi give her a hard time. Picard interrogates her, because obviously she must know something about this, and not be feeling awful for being stuck on an alien planet. Whilst Troi is all “you like the fact that he fancies you, don’t you? It makes you feel validated as a woman”.
  • This is one of those times when a character can be brought back from the dead, because plot. Although yes, even today people can be clinically dead for a very short time before being brought back, so maybe we can let them get away with this one.
  • Having procured the vaccine required for the deadly plague on another planet, the Enterprise heads off at a leisurely warp 3. People are dying – take the vaccine to where it’s needed at maximum warp!
  • The vaccine cannot be replicated (presumably in either sense of the word, although we’ve yet to be introduced to replicators) for purely plot reasons. I refuse to believe that the technology of the 24th century couldn’t reproduce the molecular structure of said vaccine.

Other bits and pieces

  • Geordi prefers shaving with an electric razor than using a more 24th century option.
  • Data is on a mission to tell a joke that will make someone laugh, but his timing and choice of material is suspect. He is also apparently susceptible to slips of the tongue.
  • This is our first look at the holodeck when no program is loaded.
  • Yar has an aikido sparring program that can have up to three opponents, and learns and adapts to the user’s fighting style. Much like the amiibo, then.

Summary – Code of Honor: Ah, see the enlightenment of the 24th century.

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