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Old May 10 2013, 05:17 PM   #15
Re: Episode of the Week: 2x15 "Pen Pals"

But the thing is, no one knows what the negative consequences will be.
Which is why each and every such decision warrants at least seven and a half minutes of soul-searching - and Picard should fall like a ton of bricks on any officer who tries to skip that part. The discussion we saw took care of that for the case at hand, after which Picard could give his okay to the rescue plan.

why resort to a lose/lose solution by falling back on just "We don't know what the consequences will be"?
It's not like anybody fell back on that in the episode, though.

Picard: "Then your friend is in trouble."
Data: "Yes, Sir."
Picard: "What are you proposing?"
Data: "If we can determine the cause of these geological disturbances, we might be able to reverse the process."
Picard: "Violate the Prime Directive?"
Data: "I was hoping that you might have another option, Sir."
Picard: "We don't even know if this catastrophe is preventable. Call a conference in my quarters. All senior staff."
Data: "Yes, Sir."
Picard: "And Data, all communication with this life form must cease."
Data: "Yes, Sir. I understand, Sir."
Picard doesn't sound as if he's pondering a death warrant for these folks at all - he calls for a senior staff meeting, apparently to the exact opposite purpose. And he orders Data to cease and desist with his communications infraction even before the conference, proving that when he repeats that order, it has nothing to do with condemning the Dremans to death!

Timo Saloniemi
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