View Single Post
Old March 10 2013, 03:00 PM   #16
Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

That part where Picard beams down alone and asks the Baku how old they are, and then right after the conversation with Dougherty. Why doesn't EITHER of them suggest during the conversation, that now that contact has been made with the Baku already, that they should just go ahead and attempt to negotiate?
Who would be suggesting what to whom?

Picard is outraged that the Ba'ku have been victimized. He wants an immediate end to that, not any silly negotiated compromise. As far as he knows, Dougherty is a criminal, and by reporting to his superiors, Picard can get Dougherty thrown to jail and the Council to start talking with the Ba'ku.

But then comes a surprise twist: the Council thinks the abduction plan is fine, Dougherty is the hero and Picard is the villain. Who could negotiate with the Ba'ku now? The Council? They are not interested, as far as Picard can tell - at least until Picard can get a message out of the Briar Patch and sort things out, but that's a slim hope if the Council really is as villainous as it seems. Dougherty? He's certainly a villain. Picard himself? He is a lowly Captain who has absolutely no say on what happens to the Ba'ku. Not unless he uses firepower to gain a say.

There is nobody to negotiate with. Picard thinks there might be, but Dougherty straightens it up for him: the Ba'ku are allowed no say, because of course they would say no to the scheme that has already been declared to be a workable one.

The writing is subtle and clever on that. UFP Council made its decision under the delusion that the Ba'ku were primitives who could not be contacted and would not care. Picard tries to point this out to Dougherty, at which point Dougherty says he doesn't care. So Picard finally knows exactly what to do: one, inform the Council of the real nature of the Ba'ku, and two, stop or at least stall Dougherty who most definitely is a villain now, having openly stated that he still sticks to the original plan in face of contrary evidence.

It's the fault of the Briar Patch that negotiating THERE and THEN will get nobody anywhere - all the parties interested in talking with the Ba'ku are on the other side of the Patch. And negotiating LATER will only happen if Picard fights back Dougherty with arms.

So, not a plot oversight, but a carefully spelled out plot element.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote