Use of Time wrote:
I've also never bought into the whole premise that the XO is supposed to serve as this backup conscience to the CAPT. An XO is designed to simply execute the commanding officers intent and also serve as a chief of staff to the crew departments. Riker offering up opinions is all well and good but at the end of the day you have to do your job and execute the CO's wishes once the decision has been made.
Exactly. Well said
The bottom line is that there's only two officers who have the right to tell a captain he's wrong, beyond making their suggestions or objections & having them noted, the XO & the CMO, & there's only 2 circumstances when they are allowed to do that. The CMO can remove the captain if he's not medically fit to be captain, & the XO can remove him if he has shown signs that his actions will cause reckless endangerment of the crew, ship or mission, thus making him an unfit captain
Jellico showed no signs at all of being an unfit captain. Therefore, challenging his authority in the way Riker was is grounds for being relieved, & Riker's sense of self importance in expecting that he gets a say in the decisions the captain makes is no excuse. Frankly, Picard only gives him that liberty, because he is in a long term assignment with Riker & it helps to have not only a solid working relationship with his officers, but it doesn't hurt to have a few varied perspectives to draw upon, & opening up the crew to suggestions gets that
Perhaps in a long term situation, Jellico would begin doing the same, but in this mission, suggestions were not required. The decisions had all been made, very likely before the man even stepped aboard. Suck it up & follow orders. You don't have to like it. You don't even have to think it's fair. Hell, life & death situations rarely are, but you do have to respect the chain of command. They don't call it a chain because it looks good with a locket on it.