"We'll Always Have Paris"
We'll Always Have Paris is a quote from the 1942 film Cassablanca, spoken by the character Rick to his former love Ilsa as she is about to leave his life forever. It's one of the most famous lines of all of motion picture history, showing that even though Rick may not have gotten the girl in the end, he will still have the memories that the two of them shared when all was right in the world.
The TNG episode "We'll Always Have Paris" is an attempt by the writers to capture the romance angle from Casablanca by having Picard meet a former love of his life. The problem is that we know that this relationship will go no where for four reasons.
1. She's married.
2. Rick never gets the girl, and neither will Picard.
3. This is an episodic series where she will most likely be forgotten (and conveniently is).
4. Feels more like an episode of TOS where Kirk meets a former fling he had in the past that also went nowhere.
The execution of this romantic subplot doesn't help matters either. While I think Michelle Phillips does a good job with the role she has, her wardrobe is one of the most embarrassing pieces of clothing I've seen all season. Sure, the Edo wear only four feet of cloth, but those are aliens. Jenice is a human. It looks like she's wearing one of those wearable rugs with the sides cut out. I just can't take it seriously.
Where this episode really works is how the our characters deal with the time disruptions. It starts out small with some scenes rewinding for a couple of seconds to full blown chaos where the characters will start seeing BOTH their past and future selfs. The sequence with the Turbolift is one of my favorite time issue moments in TNG because of how well executed it is. Having the perspectives switch between one time based crew to another while they still carry on the same conversation is a great example of keeping things consistent while still throwing the viewers off.
And that scene where Data is trying to seal the hole is pretty well done with cool looking props, great sound editing, cool looking visuals and a nice resolution.
Not a bad episode for season one. Very watchable with some nice character moments and some really well executed camera trickery. While the romance element can be predictable and boring at times, there's enough good stuff going on for our characters to deal with to avoid this episode being a 'skip'.
The two second shot of Riker