This has always been my favorite S1 episode.
I donít know whether it was the intent of the writers to delve into philosophical issues of the nature of good, evil, free will and justice, but for me, 18 years old at the time, it was very thought provoking. Given the manner in which Armus was created, itís inevitable that he would be evil. Would it make sense to punish such a being for his actions? Does he deserve his fate? The last shot of him and his terrible fate recall ďI Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.Ē Do you sympathize with him?
I like the way Armus is realized. I find his appearance and voice to be suitably creepy and a welcome departure from the never-ending procession of BHAs. (On the downside, the special effects when he moves across the ground or the shuttle look pretty bad.)
I agree with Jeyl
about the scoring. I find it to be very effective at maintaining the tension.
I havenít done a full series rewatch since the original broadcast, but Iíve done an abridged rewatch a couple of times, and this episode has an interesting place in it. It begins:
Encounter at Farpoint
The Naked Now
Where No One Has Gone Before
Hide and Q
Heart of Glory
Skin of Evil
A Captainís Log at the beginning of Hide and Q mentions that Troi has gone on leave. She is then unseen and unmentioned for the remainder of Hide and Q ó and, as it happens, she is also absent from Datalore, 11001001, and Heart of Glory. When Skin of Evil begins with Picard and Riker talking about how good it will be to have her back, she really has been gone for a while. Her return coinciding with Tashaís death is like trading one character for the other.
Fittingly, itís one of Troiís best episodes. I canít think of another episode that showcases her empathy and psychological skills to better effect. Unfortunately for the character, the ship is about to get a bartender who will get most of the best counseling scenes for the remainder of the series, leaving the shipís counselor without a clear role.
LYNCH [OC]: Lieutenant Commander Leland T. Lynch here, sir.
Heís kind of annoying when he does that.
LYNCH: Understood. Now. Prime matter-antimatter injectors. Set ratio at twenty-five to one
But in Coming of Age,
COMPUTER: Last question on the hyperspace physics test. If the matter and antimatter tanks on a Galaxy class starship are nine tenths depleted, calculate the intermix ratio necessary to reach a starbase a hundred light years away at warp factor eight. Begin.
MORDOCK: Yes, there is only one ratio with matter-antimatter. One to one.
LYNCH [OC]: Leland T. Lynch here, Captain. We now have minimum warp drive.
LAFORGE: Course plotted and set for Vagra Two.
PICARD: Warp eight.
LYNCH [OC]: I said minimum warp drive, Captain.
PICARD: You heard the order, Mister Lynch. Make it so.
LYNCH [OC]: Yes, sir.
Jean-Luc, youíre pushing. Your people know their jobs.