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Old April 11 2009, 12:54 AM   #1
Rear Admiral
Half a Life

Plot Summary: Lwaxana Troi visits the Enterprise while the ship is conducting experiments to help save the dying sun of Kaelon II under the supervision of their leading scientist, Timicin. Timicin makes it clear that he is as attracted to Lwaxana as she is to him, but he is reluctant to begin a relationship with her, which she believes is because of stress related to his work. The engineering crew tests torpedoes on another aging star that has no planets, hoping to use Timicin's research to stabilize the star's energy output, but after initial success, the star's core temperature continues to rise, and the Enterprise barely escapes the resulting supernova. When Lwaxana tries to console Timicin by suggesting that he can try another experiment, he confides that he is returning home to die. She barges into a meeting between Picard and the engineers working on the solar problem to announce that Timicin comes from a planet of murderers - his people have a ritual called the Resolution in which they commit suicide at the age of 60 so that their children do not have to care for their parents and the elderly do not feel useless or infirm. Picard insists that the Prime Directive prevents him from interfering, so Lwaxana encourages Timicin to refuse to participate in the Resolution as a statement of protest. Because Timicin believes he has discovered the solution to saving his planet's sun - and because he has fallen in love with Lwaxana - he agrees, asking Picard for asylum aboard the Enterprise. But once Kaelon II launches warships and refuses to accept any scientific data from Timicin, and once Timicin's daughter arrives to beg him to honor the heritage he taught her, he changes his mind, choosing to return to the planet to die surrounded by family and colleagues. Because she loves him, Lwaxana accompanies him to take part in the ritual.

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Old April 11 2009, 02:24 AM   #2
Fleet Captain
Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Half a Life

MEG wrote: View Post
Sadly, it is not to be, because "Half a Life" chooses to focus on the emotional drama rather than the social issues. It's a brilliantly written emotional drama, but I can't help but feel that it's a bit of a copout for Star Trek, given that we've seen both Kirk and Picard lead social revolutions, stop centuries of war between implacable enemies, and overthrow deities with extraordinary powers.
I actually give this episode points for -
- making Lwaxana bearable.

- not allowing our heroes to judge and fix everything in 42 minutes. Instead of shaking a few hands and spreading democracy, the NCC teams doesn't change anyone's ideas. The clash of ideals causes Timicin awful personal pain, and he can't finally leave his society behind. It's a rare and powerful note to end on.
Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.
- Kurt Vonnegut
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Old April 11 2009, 06:12 AM   #3
Continuity Spackle
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Location: Unicron (quietly chuckling)
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Re: Half a Life

I'd have to rewatch this one again sometime. It was never a favorite growing up, but I keep an open mind.

"If you think you're brave enough to walk the path of honor, then follow me into the dragon's den."

Knight Exemplar
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Old April 11 2009, 08:06 PM   #4
Fleet Captain
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Location: Dinner to bug.
Re: Half a Life

I don't care much for this episode, but I liked the guest star and it managed to show a different side of Lwaxana.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves,
but wiser people so full of doubts."

- Bertrand Russell
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Old April 12 2009, 02:13 PM   #5
Lieutenant Commander
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Re: Half a Life

I like this episode. Sure, it's talky and preachy, but it redeems itself with the way it makes Lwaxana's character less of a joke and more of a real person. How marvelous to have an episode with minimal action and ageing guest stars as the lead characters - it was a risk, but they succeeded.
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Old April 12 2009, 07:16 PM   #6
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Re: Half a Life

This was Majel's greatest TNG performance quite possibly her best Star Trek performance, I loved the scene between her and Sirtis on the steps of the transporter room and it was darkened niced to focus on the two of them. Stiers also gave a great performance, you could see his pain of his decisions and the anger he felt when his work was being ignored after he became an outcast. This ep. also introduced Michelle Forbes to the Star Trek universe, she would of course later return as Ro Laren.
The greatest science fiction series of all time is
Doctor Who! And I'll take you all on, one-by-one
or all in a bunch to back it up!"
--- Harlan Ellison, from his introduction
to the PINNACLE series of Doctor Who books
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