The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Clues

When the Enterprise encounters a wormhole, the entire crew is rendered unconscious for thirty seconds – or are they? As evidence turns up indicating that the crew is actually missing an entire day, only Commander Data seems to know the truth behind what happened – but he refuses to reveal it. What’s going on, and what could compel Data to lie to Picard?

Season four picks up the thread of mystery and misdirection stories here, with an episode that is good the first time, but doesn’t really stand up to repeated scrutiny. The phrase ‘minor mystery’ is beaten to death as the crew tries to figure out what’s going on, but whilst the setup is good, the pay-off and ultimate solution is somewhat disappointing.

Crew hobbies

  • Worf leads a Klingon martial arts class, with Troi, Riker, Crusher and Geordi all in attendance. Unlike Klingon calisthenics, this is a much calmer, more tai-chi-esque experience.
  • Crusher enjoys a spot of botany in her off-hours.
  • Picard shows Guinan a Dixon Hill holodeck program. She is unimpressed, and I’m inclined to agree. At least we now know that she doesn’t wear those ridiculous hats because she has a hexagonal head. Picard also inconsistently tries to put on a Bronx accent whilst playing Dixon Hill.
  • Keiko appears to be trying to get Miles to share her love of botany, with little success.

A minor mystery

  • Surely second time around, it would be even harder to ‘reset’ the state of the Enterprise, since now 48 hours have passed instead of 24?
  • It seems inevitable that one day another Federation ship will stumble upon the Paxans, although I guess they’re much less likely to have their own sentient android aboard.
  • At some point in the future, a medical scan is going to reveal to Worf that he once broke his wrist, and he’s going to start asking questions.
  • Also, it seems likely that Troi will have some lingering PTSD from being possessed. Poor Troi, first she got space-raped and impregnated, and now this.
  • Ignoring the fact that the ‘cells have biorhythms that I can magically detect’ plot point is stupid, if everyone was in stasis, wouldn’t the cells have had very little time to deviate from their normal rhythm? Or, if the rhythms kept going regardless (which they can’t have done, because beards didn’t grow, etc), a complete 24 hours would have passed and the rhythms would have cycled back round to where they were at the start.
  • Given that Star Trek ignores the effects of relativity, what’s going to happen when the Enterprise compares diaries with the rest of Starfleet?
  • It’s just as well Data didn’t check everyone’s Outlook calendar to see why the rest of the senior staff were having a meeting without him.

Alternate ending

Riker: Maybe we should leave well enough alone.

Picard: You’re right. Let’s never speak of this again.

The remaining twenty minutes are dedicated to Crusher’s moss growth experiments.

Summary – Clues: “Warp 2? They might as well get out and walk.”

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