The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Family

The Enterprise has returned to Earth for a major refit following the Battle of Wolf 359, and for Picard, it’s a chance to recuperate from his recent traumatic experience by returning to his family home. Meanwhile, Worf must play host to his adoptive parents when they pay a visit to the Enterprise.

The A-Story

Picard’s return home is a fairly typical family story – he was the brilliant youngest son who excelled at everything and then disappeared off to Starfleet Academy, leaving his older brother Robert to be the good and dutiful one who inherited the family vineyard. Naturally the episode sees a lot of tension and thinly veiled resentment between the two brother, but they get it all out of their system with some typical MANLY bonding – i.e. having a bit of punch-up and then getting drunk.

Picard’s family:

  • Robert Picard: the gruff older brother who hates technology and modernisation. He’s a bit of a prick towards Jean-Luc, especially given that his brother has just gone through pretty much the most traumatic thing that could happen to a human.
  • Marie Picard: Robert’s wife and the kindly mediator who kept in touch with Jean-Luc whilst he was in space.
  • Rene Picard: Robert’s son, who longs to be a starship captain when he grows up. Unfortunately, both he and Robert will die in a fire at the start of Generations.

The B-Story

You know that awkward moment when your parents show up to visit unannounced, and start treating you like a kid instead of the cool person you aim to be with your friends? Well, that’s what happens with Worf in this episode.

Worf’s family:

  • Sergey Rozhenko: former chief petty officer aboard the USS Intrepid. He’s obsessed with Galaxy-class starships and has all the specs at home.
  • Helena Rozhenko: learned to cook Klingon food because Worf refused to eat human cuisine when growing up.

The C-Story

Wesley watches a holographic recording made for him by Jack Crusher when Wes was ten days old. It was supposed to be the first of many, but of course Jack died before he could make any more.

The enlightened sexism of the 24th century

  • Both Helena and Marie are the cooks of their family. In fact, it’s unclear whether they have careers or are full time homemakers.
  • O’Brien’s father spent his last visit to the Enterprise chasing one of the nurses round sickbay. Hey, that’s not a funny anecdote, that’s sexual harassment!

Other notes

  • All the French people in Picard’s village speak with British accents. I guess it’s better than fake French accents.
  • There’s a “Project Atlantis” on Earth which seeks to raise the ocean floor and create a new sub-continent.

Summary: Picard’s doubts about returning to space are quelled after he remembers how unbearable it is to live with his family.

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