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-   -   Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family" (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=234838)

Jeyl January 6 2014 01:17 PM

Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
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Isn't it kind of fitting that the first TNG Episode of the Week is Family? I know it's technically the second episode of Season 4, it's still it's first fully fledged episode that's not a direct continuation where the last episode left off.... Well, kind of. "Family" is for all intents and purposes a continuation of the last episode, just not an immediate one like Part II of Best of Both Worlds was. For all it's episodic intent, "Family" does make for a good third part in a three episode trilogy that began with Best of Both Worlds. I like stories that don't end solely on the climax but also include a nice timely resolution.

Our episode opens with Worf and Riker on the bridge of the Enterprise while she's undergoing repairs from the Borg attack. Worf is head strong in his duty to make sure that every system is in peak performance which Riker thinks is a bit too much, especially with Worf's human parents coming to visit. We also get more instances of continuity when Riker mentions what happened on the Klingon home world. TNG, you changing too fast.

In the Captain's quarters, Picard is readying for his trip back home for some R&R with his family. Troi comes in to ensure if he's fit for all this, and we get a nice subtle set up that will pay off later in the episode.
Picard: Your help has been invaluable during my recovery, but, look, (raises his arms) I'm better. The injuries are healing.
It's too bad everyone deemed Troi helping Picard recover was tossed in as a mere mention instead of being fully fleshed out. But that's ok because unlike a lot of episodes, we actually have a scene with Beverly and Troi together and talking about stuff. Let's roll the dice and find out what the two of them could bring to this episode....

*rolls dice*

Wesley's daddy issues! :klingon: Yep. We finally showcase Beverly and Troi together and it's to showcase that this show will never ever give them roles of equal importance to the male leads since all they ever care about is what goes on with the male characters. Bechdel test passer this episode is not.

Honestly, who cares about Wesley's Daddy issues? This series so far has a crap ton of characters with daddy issues with only one mother issue being used for annoying comic relief. It would been nice to actually have Wesley get to know his own living mother a bit more instead of this character who we don't know or care about. We already have Worf with his daddy issues, Riker with his very forgettable issues and Data with his. Even at my age of 29, I still ask my mother stuff about her life when she was growing up. What it was like to be a kid, an adult entering the working world, why she said "yes" to Dad, ect. Why not have Beverly talk about his father? Why not let Wesley learn something about both his parents from the one person who actually lived it? I'm just tired of seeing characters like Troi and Beverly treated only as messengers.

While Picard is having family issues of his own on Earth, we finally get to meet Worf's human parents and it's such a relief. They seem very proud, cheerful and eager to see what Worf has done since he left. When the issues of "Sins of the Father" is brought up, we get a nice little "slap" on the whole Klingon honor system when his parents tell him that they know he did the right thing and that they will always be there to remind him of that.

Back on Earth, Picard is seriously contemplating on leaving Starfleet for good and take it easy back on Earth. His disapproving brother, Robert, keeps getting on his case about how jealous he was of Picard's accomplishments. After a few scenes of them bickering, the two finally lash out at each other in the fields, get covered in mud, and laugh it out. While Robert seems content enough, Picard's laughter is soon turned to tears when he starts confessing what it was like to be taken over by the Borg. It's a very nice moment in Star Trek that we NEVER see happen. About the only time Kirk ever broke down emotionally was when he was manipulated into believing he was losing command.

So with Picard demons set aside for now (Hehe), he returns to the Enterprise to continue it's mission of exploration. Back on Earth, Robert notices Rene sleeping underneath a tree in a very star filled night. When asked if they should get him, Robert says "Let him dream".

Ron D. Moore ladies and gentlemen. He creates these two characters who left a lasting impression on the show and decides that their next appearance should be that Robert and Rene both burned to death offscreen so we can see Picard cry. And this isn't even the worst thing you've done on this show Ron.

CONCLUSION:
A very nice "break" episode that is all about the characters. While some plots work better than others, I found Worf's parent plot to be my favorite. It's nice to see that Worf has a family that really cares about him and wants to make sure that despite his strong views of Klingon honor, they're willing to look deeper into the real meaning of what he did. That was a good smile by him in the end. Now that we've gotten this very male centric family episode out of the way, here's hoping our female cast gets a little love in the upcoming episodes!

STINGER:
"Arms raised in victory!"

Come on, Trekcore! Don't make me go standard definition!

Trek Survivor January 6 2014 04:07 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
One of my top 10 episodes, easily. I thought all three of the plots worked well, especially love Worf's and Guinan's few lines were class. Maybe I'm just getting sentimental in my old age.

When the BBC here in the UK first premiered this episode (April 1994; Sky TV had first shown it a year earlier) it had been almost two years since it had shown BOBW. As such, it edited together its own 5 minute summary of BOTH parts to preface "Family". I don't think it has ever been shown again, or used in any other context.

BillJ January 6 2014 05:50 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
Really dull episode. Wish they would've just jumped to the next episode instead of wasting time on this one.

Lance January 6 2014 05:53 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
To be fair on the 'daddy issue' thing with Wesley, it isn't introduced in a particularly intrusive way. It's kind of off-handed, actually. Beverly gets a few odds and ends from storage and happens to find among them Jack's message for Wes. It isn't like she's obsessing about it, she even says she kind of forgot about the thing! And she even acknowledges that Wes hasn't got a 'daddy issue' anymore, and that's why she's the one who is slightly hesitant to let him see it now. She's worried that it might bring all that stuff back to the surface. But it never occured to her until now. As far as it goes it's a valid subplot, even if it is probably the most expendable thing in this entire episode.

Harvey January 6 2014 07:33 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
It's one of my favorite episodes, but I like simple character dramas. The Picard story, unsurprisingly, is by far the best.

sonak January 6 2014 08:26 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
Quote:

BillJ wrote: (Post 9091615)
Really dull episode. Wish they would've just jumped to the next episode instead of wasting time on this one.


disagree-giving Picard time to recover and heal from his experience in TBOBW added touches of realism and continuity to what was mostly an episodic show. I always thought it sucked that they didn't too a follow up to COC part II in terms of Picard recovering.

Use of Time January 6 2014 09:32 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
Always liked this episode. Nice calm follow up to an emotional roller coaster.

jimbotron January 6 2014 10:29 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
Quote:

I like stories that don't end solely on the climax but also include a nice timely resolution.
Here here! I found Endgame very unsatisfying because of that. Seven years of longing to get home, and the show ends as they are flying toward it.

Killing Robert and Rene offscreen in Generations is just one of the reasons I hate that movie. But I would say that killing K'Ehleyr in Reunion was a worse choice.

Season 4 begins the Trek career of Brannon Braga, so cue up space/time distortion and/or alien mutation episodes!

jimbotron January 6 2014 11:23 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
Quote:

Jeyl wrote: (Post 9091078)
Come on, Trekcore! Don't make me go standard definition!

TrekCore hasn't uploaded screenshots in over a month. I'm hungry for some season 4 comparisons.

Shamrock Bones January 9 2014 12:36 AM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
Quote:

sonak wrote: (Post 9092131)
Quote:

BillJ wrote: (Post 9091615)
Really dull episode. Wish they would've just jumped to the next episode instead of wasting time on this one.

disagree-giving Picard time to recover and heal from his experience in TBOBW added touches of realism and continuity to what was mostly an episodic show.

Quote:

Use of Time wrote: (Post 9092344)
Always liked this episode. Nice calm follow up to an emotional roller coaster.

Agreed. And it was something different.

When the show started syndicated reruns, they aired "Suddenly Human" the next day because it had the next production number and I was upset because I was looking forward to "Family".

MikeH92467 January 9 2014 06:07 AM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
This was an absolutely necessary episode. If it didn't go into enough detail about how hard a time Picard had in recovering from his assimilation at least we got a hint that it was difficult and traumatic. Everyone needed time to stand down and deal with their issues. It was also nice to see Patrick Stewart matched up with an actor who was every bit his equal in Jeremy Kemp. I'm not about to dis any of the regular cast members who are certainly competent at least and very good at their best, but Stewart simply is in another class and seeing matched up with someone on the same level is quite interesting when it happens.

MikeS January 9 2014 04:31 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
I echo the thoughts of those above that say this was a perfect way to bookend BOBW. The scene starting with the brothers drinking wine in their chateaux and culminating in them rolling about in the mud of the vineyard is easily the most emotionally charged and well-acted of TNG's entire run (IMO).

The Wesley / Jack bit at the end is saved completely by the beautiful lines about seeing everyone you've ever loved in your newborn baby.

I think what makes this episode so special is that it is so rare. Rarely do we see consequences in episodic television. Here the characters are shown to be Human. Something Robert mentions to Picard.

I tear up every time I see this episode.

Shamrock Bones January 9 2014 06:51 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
The "let him dream" bit was one of the best caps to an episode of Trek that I've ever seen.

jimbotron January 9 2014 07:16 PM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
Quote:

Agent Richard07 wrote: (Post 9103828)
The "let him dream" bit was one of the best caps to an episode of Trek that I've ever seen.

Yup. One of many reasons to hate Generations. :rolleyes:

The Dead Mixer January 10 2014 01:03 AM

Re: Episode of the Week: 4x02 "Family"
 
This episode is noteworthy for being the first time that Trek dared to do pure drama without any sci-fi jeopardy of the week in the mix.


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