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Old March 28 2008, 10:37 PM   #1
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The Survivors

Plot Summary: The Enterprise receives a distress call from a remote colony on Rana IV, where it appears that the entire planet has been devastated except for a small patch with two inhabitants - the sole survivors out of more than 10,000. The elderly couple, Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge, are shocked to learn that they are the only people remaining on the planet but they insist that they want to stay in their home. Meanwhile, on the ship, Troi begins to hear the music from Rishon's music box, which begins to drive her mad. The ship that attacked the colony returns and Picard orders the Enterprise to take a defensive posture, but as soon as the Uxbridges believe that the Enterprise has departed, the aliens vanish. Picard begins to suspect that Kevin is controlling the attacks. When the warship returns and destroys the Uxbridges' house, the captain insists on surveying the planet until the house - and the couple - reappear. Troi is under heavy sedation yet still in agony, unable to read Kevin's emotions. Under questioning, Kevin admits that his home and his wife were in fact destroyed in the first attack, but he is a powerful, immortal being called a Douwd who survived the battle, although he would not defend the planet because of his pacifist beliefs. In his grief over the death of Rishon after the attack by the invading Husnocks, Kevin destroyed all the Husnocks in the galaxy...billions of individuals. Picard tells Kevin that he is in no position to judge a crime of such magnitude, and returns him to his private hell on the devastated Rana IV.


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Old March 28 2008, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: The Survivors

I really loved this episode. I loved the mystery, I loved the lonely house on the planet, I loved the eery music box that led to one of our characters being sedated.

I don't know if I can share Michelle's hatred of Kevin. People are prone to doing bad things in a fit of fury. It just takes one split moment, and they can do something bad. But what if you have greater power, and your damage is greater in return? The guilt that one person can feel over a fit of madness woudl be amplified thousands of times for someone like Kevin. A burden that no one could understand. I think that's the stance Picard too, and I did too.

Maybe it's all very easy to speak like this without knowing the other race. If we'd seen them, their families, who they were maybe it'd be a different story. But at the end of the day I felt it was a good story, and played out well.
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Old March 28 2008, 11:44 PM   #3
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Re: The Survivors

I love "The Survivors". The mystery was strong. I had no idea what was going up until Picard spelled it out. The actors portraying the Uxbridges brought themm so vividly to life which was essential in pulling off the tragic ending. TNG used battlescenes sparingly but the engagements between the Enterprise and the marauder were exciting.

It was also one in a line of many TNG Twilight Zone-inspired episodes with the bizarre and cool image of the lone tract of green land with a house in the middle of a barren wasteland or the maddening music that tormented Troi to keep her from seeing who Kevin really was.

It is an A episode and one of my favorites.
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Old March 28 2008, 11:56 PM   #4
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Re: The Survivors

The Survivors wasn't my favorite episode, but I also know don't think I could hate the character of Kevin as much the reviewer did. The fact is, his guilt of having committed such an extreme crime and having to live with that alone on a planet seemed like hell enough. I could be disgusted that he refused to help the planet fight off the invaders and angry that he killed off an entire species, but the fact that he knows that it was wrong and living with that guilt in his hell, well that's punishment enough in my book.
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Old March 29 2008, 01:46 AM   #5
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Re: The Survivors

Can't say I agree with the review. Jammer's review is one I'm more inclined to agree with.
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Old March 29 2008, 02:47 AM   #6
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Re: The Survivors

From the review:

Kevin's actions are as close to pure evil as we ever witness on Star Trek
LOLWUT

The Husnock attacked the apparently near-defenseless colony. What is "evil" about Kevin's understandable, if uncontrolled, response of wiping them out when they did what they did? Isn't it, gosh, I don't know, maybe the Husnock who were evil?
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Old March 29 2008, 04:03 AM   #7
dajames
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Re: The Survivors

I'm a little surprised by this review. surprised and a little...annoyed.

this episode is really just about perfect. and although everyone is entitled to an opinion, i have to assume the reviewer is so young as to never have acted rashly in the name of love.

i always took (and take) picard's address to kevin at the end at as wisdom...a knowledge that the scope of the crime is beyond human justice...as it is.

he could make speeches and pitch a fit, but the reality is this: kevin destroyed an entire race of people everywhere in the known universe.

love makes us behave badly, and sttng took this madness to a new level.

i hold this episode in very high regard.

dj
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Old March 29 2008, 04:47 AM   #8
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Re: The Survivors

To be fair, though, one could argue that a being as powerful as Kevin had other options at his disposal - once it became obvious that his illusions couldn't fool the Husnock, he could have teleported them away Q-fashion. Or taken some other action that wouldn't have violated his pacifism.
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Old March 29 2008, 05:17 AM   #9
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Re: The Survivors

I rarely agree with this viewer. She has a bad habit of going off on tangents and missing the whole point of the episode. Kevin isn't evil. In a moment of overwhelming grief and guilt he lashed out and being a superbeing that act was extreme. But he had just lost the one woman he had spent a lifetime with. I did agree with Picard that sometimes there can be nothing worse they could have done to Kevin than him living(presumably forever given he is a superbeing) with his own guilt of not helping Rishon and annihilating an entire species. Afterall this person isn't a cold-blooded monster with no conscience.
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Old March 29 2008, 05:22 AM   #10
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Re: The Survivors

I really loved this episode. The guy playing Kevin did a fantastic job. The actor's wife had died shortly before they made this episode so I think it enhanced his performance in some way.
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Old March 29 2008, 05:24 AM   #11
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Re: The Survivors

One other thing...I don't see how anyone can view this episode and think Kevin was evil. There's really nothing I can recall that would lead to that conclusion.
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Old March 29 2008, 06:39 AM   #12
Brutal Strudel
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Re: The Survivors

I like this episode--it used to be one of my favorites--but damn if MEG doesn't have a point.
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Old March 29 2008, 07:02 AM   #13
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Re: The Survivors

One of my top 10 TNG episodes; I've always considered it a vastly underrated and oft-forgotten gem.

I've been enjoying MEG's TNG reviews (generally), but agree with others who believe she completely missed the point of this episode, especially the ending. She's seeing it as far too black and white, though at least she seems to admit that in her closing lines. Kevin's confessional scene is heartbreaking and still brings a tear to my eye even after a dozen viewings thanks largely to the actor's devastating performance. He is clearly not an evil man; he made a mistake, albeit a grave one, in a fit of temporary insanity caused by his passion and love for his wife. It's tragic, sad, and beautiful all at once.
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Old March 29 2008, 03:00 PM   #14
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Re: The Survivors

But reading the episode the way we are meant to means that we have to be willing to let Kivin off the hook for genocide. The episode stracks the deck by telling us that the Husnock are the most vicious and brutal race in the Trek universe and suggesting that, had Kevin not wiped them out, the Federation would have a big problem on its hands.

I always got the sneaking sense that real reason Picard doesn't come down harder on Kevin is because he is secretly grateful the Husnock won't be a problem.
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Old March 29 2008, 03:29 PM   #15
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Re: The Survivors

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
I like this episode--it used to be one of my favorites--but damn if MEG doesn't have a point.
Really? And what, I wonder, do you and MEG think would have been a fitting punishment for Kevin? Hmmmm?

What would you have done in Picard's place? What would you have done if you had more power than Kevin(if you were a Q, say)? Consider your answer carefully. Then tell me again about the nature of evil and justice.
Who gets to be judge, jury and -- dare I say it? -- executioner?

I can't wait to hear your answer.
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