The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Sarek

When the Enterprise is chosen to participate in important negotiations with a new alien race, they are joined by legendary Vulcan ambassador Sarek. These negotiations will be the crowning glory of Sarek’s illustrious career, but when his presence causes extreme outbursts of emotion amongst the crew, Picard begins to suspect that something must be amiss.

Remember that time when Sarek came aboard the original Enterprise for some important negotiations and he was secretly ill? Well, this is TNG’s take on Journey to Babel, albeit a very different slant on the same basic story. There’s no father-son angst in this episode; instead we get to see the Enterprise crew freed of their perfection – there’s sniping, slapping and even a good old-fashioned bar brawl in Ten Forward. We also get to see a Vulcan slowly stripped of emotions, with Captain Picard of all people having to bear the brunt of that.

The life of Sarek

  • Amanda is described as Sarek’s first wife, even though in Star Trek V we learn that he had a union with a Vulcan princess/priestess which resulted in Spock’s half-brother Sybok. Either this isn’t widely known, or it doesn’t count as a marriage.
  • Sarek has once again married a human – clearly he’s grown to like the company of female humans.
  • Vulcans over the age of 200 can sometimes suffer from Bendii Syndrome, a disorder which causes a loss of emotional control.
  • Even though they are usually touch-telepaths, Sarek is able to broadcast his intense emotions all across the ship.

Negotiations, negotiations, negotiations

  • Picard claims that the benefits of successful negotiations with the Legarans will be incalculable – presumably incalculably small, as they are never heard from again.
  • Wesley has managed to score a date with a full ensign – i.e. a girl at least four years older than him.
  • In this episode, Data says he is programmed to perfectly emulate over 300 violinists. On his previous performance, he made a conscious effort to develop his own style by combining the styles of two disparate players.
  • Picard says he was present at Sarek’s son’s wedding – presumably meaning Spock. Who did Spock marry? Was it Saavik?
  • The Coridan admission to the Federation, which was to be negotiated shortly after the events of Journey to Babel, was apparently successful.

Summary – Sarek: Crusher slaps Wesley; Wesley and Geordi get personal about their love lives, and O’Brien instigates a bar brawl. Good times.

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