The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Imaginary Friend

When Ensign Daniel Sutter is worried about his daughter’s attachment to her imaginary friend Isabella, Troi reassures him that it’s just a natural phase of growing up. But things take a darker turn when the Enterprise starts exploring an uncharted nebula and Isabella becomes real.

This is a largely unremarkable episode, saved only by Picard speechifying at the end about the importance of setting boundaries for children. That being said, there are some decent character moments sprinkled throughout to make up for the ‘red points of light living a nebula’ elements of the story.

Character moments

  • Data proves to be on form, sassing Geordi, Sutter and even Guinan.
  • It’s nice to see Alexander doing something other than being disobedient and arguing with Worf.
  • Troi gets attacked again – sucks to be her.
  • Geordi was a Starfleet brat, moving from posting to posting and often having to stay with just one parent. It’s nice to see that his mother was a career woman and command officer, although it doesn’t seem to have helped Geordi know how to treat women correctly.
  • Guinan had an imaginary friend in the form of a Tarcassian razor beast that she still talks to occasionally.

Other points

  • Another episode, another chance to talk about access controls. Why are children even allowed to open the door to Engineering. I feel a bit sad that Clara and Alexander are always just told to return to their quarters whenever they enter a forbidden zone – at least set up a safe area of the ship that they can roam around in, and don’t give them access rights to the operational areas of the ship.

Summary – Imaginary Friend: Picard saves the day with a Captain’s Speech.

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