The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Bloodlines

Daimon Bok has escaped from prison, and he’s still eager to get even with Picard for the death of his son. To that end, Bok sends a message threatening the life of the son Picard never knew he had. Now Picard must find the young man in question and protect his life.

This is an episode whose very existence is questionable. It fits so many tropes of a series past its prime, and of Star Trek at its laziest – there’s the previously unmentioned family member, ridiculously stupid science, and the reintroduction of a pathetic enemy from season one who we didn’t even care about the first time. Picard’s apparent son is a bland and generic personality, making it impossible even for Patrick Stewart to save the relationship and exhibit some chemistry between them. I think we all knew that he was going to turn out to be a fake, but what a relief for Picard, eh?

For science!

  • DNA resequencing is gibberish – what can it possibly mean? I ignored the DNA bollocks in Genesis because it was almost unfair to mock the patently ridiculous, but now we have this as well. How could Bok actually achieve this? If he designed a retrovirus to incorporate Picard’s DNA into Jason’s, then Jason would slowly start to turn into Picard’s son as his cells died and were replaced with ones that had Picard DNA. But the feasibility of doing this utterly and completely without making a mistake or killing Jason is remote even for the 24th century. And it would surely take at least seven years for all the non-Picard cells in Jason’s body to die anyway – Bok only got out of prison eighteen months ago!
  • How did Bok even alter Jason’s DNA without Jason having any idea what was going on? How was he even able to find a child of just the right age to have been born from a relationship Picard had with a woman, and who didn’t know his real father?
  • The subspace transporter is clearly a massive threat to the Federation, but no one really cares beyond the bounds of this episode. If items and people can be beamed through shields, then starships are suddenly extremely vulnerable. What’s to stop someone from beaming in a bomb, or beaming away the warp core? Also, how does this differ from the inverter technology used by the Ansata?
  • Why are the sensors so easily able to pinpoint human life signs and determine their age and sex, when usually they are so imprecise?
  • Why hasn’t anyone beamed some replicators down to Camor V to ease the food shortages?
  • Picard claims he enjoys climbing, but this is the first time he’s ever mentioned it.

Summary – Bloodlines: Why isn’t contraception perfect in the 24th century?

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