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Old August 12 2013, 04:45 PM   #1
Jeyl's Avatar
Location: Asheville, NC
Episode of the Week: 3x07 "The Enemy"

Memory Alpha Entry
Chrissie's Transcript

At the start of Season 2, Geordi was been promoted off the bridge to the lower decks as chief of Engineering. Pretty important for the ship, but not so much for the show or his character since a majority of his role will be spouting technobabble and being Data's buddy. Thankfully with an episode like "The Enemy", we get to see Geordi dealing with a situation without the direct guidance of the other characters.

I think one of the more crucial points that this episode further solidifies is the complete and utter change in the Romulan culture. They may have been like this in previous TNG episodes, but I think this episode all but confirms that these selfish, arrogant and heavily ego driven Romulans reflect their entire species. They don't carry the same weight as their TOS counterparts who had some semblance of honesty and self-awareness of their actions. These Romulans seem like the type who wouldn't admit that half of their ship is missing even if their lives depended on it. I guess this was the writers' idea of trying to make humanity look more glorified and saint like in comparison, since Picard spends a lot of time talking about how he will be the one to take the first steps towards a peaceful resolution.

But by far the most controversial part of this whole entire episode is dealing with Worf choosing to let an injured Romulan simply die because, well, Worf don't like Romulans because Romulans killed his parents. A lot of points are brought up from both Riker and Picard in how important it is that this Romulan remain alive as to show the Romulans that they don't want a conflict. Michael Dorn was against the idea of Worf just choosing to let the Romulan die because he thought that, since Worf was all about honor, he would do the honrable thing for the greater benefit of the mission. Unfortunately the folks in charge during this episode was Rick Berman and Michael Piller and judging by Piller's quotes,

Michael Piller wrote:
"Rick Berman knew instantly it was the right thing to do. Once he was behind me, it was a race to the finish line. And it was absolutely the right thing to do. You knew the audience was waiting for Worf to come around, because they always do that in television. But the character wouldn't do that and I think we made a really good decision."
This decision, according to Dorn, was based around the fact that they felt Worf giving the Romulan blood was making him "too human", and given how these two gentlemen were behind Gene's vision 110%, I wouldn't be surprised that was the actual reason. Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of having an character act more "alien" around the crew, but was this the only real way to do it? It sounds like the producers and writers idea of what makes characters human is their ability to actually get stuff done. If your characters makes a situation worse or doesn't the right thing, that character is not human. Now that's obviously bullcrap since we know that personal grudges against a whole race have a strong presence in human culture. Barely a year ago, a woman literally pushed a man into an incoming train, killing him. Her reason behind it? He looked Muslim. So the idea that this helps separate Worf from the human race is kind of, well, rubish.

What also bugs me about this decision is that outside of "The Defector" episode, no one seems to really care about Worf's decision at all. He literally almost turned a critical situation into an armed conflict simply because he was prejudice on a massive scale. When your chief of security won't even abide to the crew's wishes, especially when it will help stem the tide of conflict, what real good is he?

An ok episode if you don't mind the "Humanity is awesome and aliens are inferior" trope that fills this episode in more than one area of the story. What should have been the next big step in Worf's character Arc involving his past with the Romulans is really wasted by having his decision here have no real significant follow-up. It's also a great pity that the one 'thing' that showed Worf putting aside his differences of the Romulans wouldn't come until Star Trek: Nemesis. Yay......

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