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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 20 2013, 06:15 AM   #1
Third Nacelle
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Will & Thomas

I'm working my way through all of Star Trek (not for the first time) and just made it to Second Chances, and once again it strikes me that the hostility between the two Rikers seems completely forced and inauthentic. In fact, except for Deanna, everyone's treatment of Thomas seems completely... off.

Maybe I'm over-thinking a mediocre episode, but would anybody really react that way upon meeting his double? Would you?
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Old May 20 2013, 06:30 AM   #2
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Will & Thomas

Ah, The Riker Within.

Another one of those good-in-concept-bad-in-execution episodes.
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Old May 20 2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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Re: Will & Thomas

Depends on how much you like yourself. We all have traits we dislike in ourselves, and tend to react poorly to the people who display those traits in ourselves that we dislike the most. I find it completely believable that Riker would not get along with himself. Thomas sees Will as a failure, not having achieved a captaincy yet. Will sees Thomas as a young, inexperienced officer chomping at the bit to climb the ranks, without regard for safety or politics. Naturally they wouldn't get along.
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Old May 20 2013, 06:39 AM   #4
Jimi_James
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Re: Will & Thomas

This episode has one of my favorite Riker quotes which I've taken as a sort of personal motto.
It's Riker's line to Thomas during the poker game.
"I know what I want and I know what I've got. And you'd be lucky to do so well, Lieutenant." I usually leave off that last part, but the beginning is a good message about taking stock of your life and identifying the things that are important to you, rather than holding onto the things that others expect of you.

As for the story and character interaction, it's been a long time since I've seen that episode, but I don't remember it feeling all that forced. If anything, I thought Troi might have fell too easily for Thomas, though he was laying it on pretty thick. It sort of came off to me as trying to date twin siblings, or brothers, which I guess they were in a way. You've dated one and then the other becomes available and they're so much like the twin/brother you dated first, that you can't help but fall for them. I'm not sure I buy that logic and it made her seem a bit foolish to me. Perhaps it's one of those things that can be written off as, the heart wanting what the heart wants. I'm not sure really.

I do think though had I been in Riker's place and seen my clone/twin, seducing the woman I still cared for, it would have definitely put a damper on my acceptance of Thomas. Perhaps that should have been the angle they played up more, though that's treading dangerously close to a soap opera style over triangle, and no body wants that.

Which of course is the cue for at least one fan to comment, saying they would like to have seen that. lol
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Old May 20 2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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Re: Will & Thomas

Yeah, I thought the episode hit upon the concept of looking at yourself and seeing the parts of you that you don't like. Riker by no means was a perfect character at all and it was easy for both of them to be critical of the other given how well they know each other.
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Old May 20 2013, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Will & Thomas

The key thing is that Thomas reminds Will of himself as a younger man. Will has moved on, but Thomas is, despite being the same age, effectively a pre-season one Riker, a very different person. We all become different as we age and our priorities change, and that's really the theme of the episode. Will remembers "being" Thomas, but has grown out of some of Thomas's more foolish character traits. So seeing them all up-front rankles him a bit.

The situation with Deanna is a prime example. Will never got over her, he always felt it had been a mistake to leave her and that if he'd had the maturity he does now back then he'd never have done it. Thomas lacks that maturity. Deanna is kind of flattered by Thomas because he reminds her of the Will Riker of old, but Will himself knows instinctively that his "younger self" is only going to run off and leave her again. And he can't bear to be reminded of that fact, especially the possibility it could break Deanna's heart.
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Old May 20 2013, 05:55 PM   #7
Marsden
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Re: Will & Thomas

Riker didn't hesitate to kill the clone of himself. That was a different situation, but maybe he's has a deep seated distrust/hatred of any copy of himself. It would be doubled because it would be a trait of both of them.
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Old May 20 2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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Re: Will & Thomas

Killing your own clone is still murder.
-Odo
I've never really liked Riker - either of them, so I can understand why they don't like each other. But if I met a person who had spent years alone on a planet trying to survive, even my worst enemy, I would never treat him the way Will treated Thomas. Or the way Picard or Worf treated Thomas. Even a total asshat deserves some compassion after going through an ordeal like that.
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Old May 20 2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Re: Will & Thomas

I too just chalk the animosity up to Riker being a douche, commander more so than lieutenant, but still
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Old May 20 2013, 11:18 PM   #10
Pavonis
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Re: Will & Thomas

Realistically, if such a word can ever be applied to any Trek episode, the stranded Riker should not have been allowed to participate in any of the work, in fact, he should not have been on duty at all. Eight years stranded alone, and he's put back to work like he was just off for the weekend.
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Old May 21 2013, 03:44 AM   #11
Mojochi
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Re: Will & Thomas

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Realistically, if such a word can ever be applied to any Trek episode, the stranded Riker should not have been allowed to participate in any of the work, in fact, he should not have been on duty at all. Eight years stranded alone, and he's put back to work like he was just off for the weekend.
Meh, you gotta give them some leeway there. This is the same show that put Picard back to work after the Borg assimilation, and they even threw old ass Scotty a bone after being retired for god knows how long & living out of date in knowledge

They seem to follow the logic of once an officer, always an officer, & let them work through it
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Old May 21 2013, 09:38 AM   #12
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Re: Will & Thomas

Thomas was lucky, Riker killed his clones in the crazy Irish TNG episode.
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Old May 21 2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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Re: Will & Thomas

I really didn't like Will Riker giving Thomas Riker the trombone, that was so condescending. Will gets the life, the career, the girl (although he dumped her) and the name while Tom gets the psychological damage and the friggin trombone that he presumably already owned before the split? Gee, thanks Will.
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Old May 21 2013, 06:10 PM   #14
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Re: Will & Thomas

There's a case to be made in arguing that Tom Riker really is just an accident and has no claim on the William Riker persona. The accident was caused by a freak interaction of a force field with a double-encased transportee. The one that got through was William Riker; the one that was reflected back to the planet was just an accident, a freak, unpredictable, unreproducible occurrence that shouldn't be considered a person anymore than a mirror image should be considered a person, and should have all the same rights any mirror image possesses.

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Old May 21 2013, 07:05 PM   #15
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Re: Will & Thomas

Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's a case to be made in arguing that Tom Riker really is just an accident and has no claim on the William Riker persona. The accident was caused by a freak interaction of a force field with a double-encased transportee. The one that got through was William Riker; the one that was reflected back to the planet was just an accident, a freak, unpredictable, unreproducible occurrence that shouldn't be considered a person anymore than a mirror image should be considered a person, and should have all the same rights any mirror image possesses.

So you're really arguing that because someone is different than everyone else, they have no fundamental rights to be alive, to have an identity and personal freedoms? It doesn't matter if he was born out of a womb, in a testtube or a transporter accident. Once he's alive, he's a person. May as well say he's less of a person because of the color of his skin.
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