The Great Star Trek Rewatch: Booby Trap

When the Enterprise finds an intact Promelian ship from an ancient war, Picard is delighted to have found a piece of history. But their discovery comes at a price, as the Enterprise finds itself caught in the very same trap that drained the Promelian ship of all its power. Can Geordi figure out a way to escape before the Enterprise suffers the same fate?

We’ve yet to encounter a stand-out story from season three, but we continue with our streak of “solid but not outstanding” episodes. The main story about the ship being trapped and losing power is pretty much standard Star Trek fare – what we really care about here is how Geordi deals with the problem. The teaser sets the scene for us, with Geordi going on a date only to get friendzoned, leaving him wondering if he’ll ever have any luck with women. Then, to solve the Enterprise’s problem, he needs the stored knowledge of one of her engine designers – Dr Leah Brahms. A little holographic wizardry later, and he’s interacting with a virtual Dr Brahms, who is pretty much his ideal woman. It’s a legitimate use of time, since he is solving the very problem he’s assigned to, but it’s also a moral grey area – and one which come back to bite him on the backside when the real Dr Brahms pays a visit next season.

Would you be okay with someone using your holographic likeness?

The holodeck is a wondrous place where you can create and recreate any fantasy, but what’s the moral limit? In DS9, one of Quark’s clients wants a hologram of Kira for intimate purposes, but is ultimately foiled; however, based on this episode, the patterns and personalities of living people seem fairly easy to create. Are there no safeguards in case people feel uncomfortable about strangers having sex with holograms of them? Does the system rely on 24th century humans being too evolved to do such things? If no real person is getting hurt or violated, does it even matter?

Other points of note

  • Picard gets to indulge his love of archaeology by visiting the preserved Promelian ship.
  • Riker has been keeping quiet lately about letting his captain go on away missions or get into danger!
  • Guinan has a thing for bald men – watch out, Picard!
  • Geordi bemoans his lack of success with women, and despite being an evolve 24th century man, still regards women as a mysterious other species rather than as, you know, people.
  • Picard proves himself able to manoeuvre the ship manually using just thrusters. He may be captain, but he’s got the skills!

Summary – Booby Trap: True love is just a holodeck program away.

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