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

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Old June 2 2013, 08:44 PM   #46
R. Star
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

T'Girl wrote: View Post
That's something I hadn't considered, that Riker problem with Jellico stemmed to a large degree from Riker not being given command of the Enterprise in Picard absence.

Riker had to know that his previously upwardly mobile career was stalling, here he was the bright eyed boy who was offered one command after another, but when the command that he really wanted opened up, he was passed over in favor of someone else..

Riker had every right to think he should get command of the Enterprise. He did the right thing at first there when Necheyev said Jellico was getting command... he waited until everyone left the room, then quietly brought up his concerns.

Necheyev then proceeded to deball him, and I suppose that's her privilege. While she may have a point that Riker doesn't have much experience with the Cardassians, she really didn't need to rip into him like Wesley Crusher was asking for command or something. This is the guy who saved Earth and the Federation, and should be entitled some due respect for that.

As I said, I have no problem with Riker standing up for himself there and in that manner. He did everything right there. Though once he started to undermine Jellico in part because he was pissed off that he wasn't in command, that was highly unprofessional. The purpose of the first officer is to carry out the captain's orders. He can offer alternatives, but once the choice has been made, it's his job to... get it done.

To Jellico, when Riker's constantly challenging his orders, in front of others too, he's becoming a liability to the mission. He doesn't have time to argue with Riker about his orders, especially in a critical moment with the possibility of war hanging over their heads. He should note his objections quietly and in private for the record, then say yes sir and do his job like a professional. In part two especially he was coming across as very childish because he wasn't getting his way and that's sad.
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Old June 5 2013, 07:18 PM   #47
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Exactly. I could barely stomach watching Riker make Jellico beg to get him to fly that stupid mission. It would have been nice to see Picard lay into Riker for that one later. Yet Jellico did it because he was able to take the higher road and not play the ego game with Will.
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Old June 6 2013, 12:53 AM   #48
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

^^
Riker really was an ass in that scene, right up to the end with that smug look on his face and the "you're welcome" back shot as Jellico was leaving. And really ... there's "no joy" ? You're on the brink of war, Commander. STFU. Jellico should have ordered his ass to do it instead of asking.

I don't know if it was the intention of the writers to make Jellico look like the "bad guy" and Riker the "good guy" but in my opinion, in the end, Jellico gets more points from me.
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Old June 6 2013, 06:59 AM   #49
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Still that's one thing. Expecting the crew to work themselves to exhaustion immediately before entering a potent armed conflict with a bunch of Cardassians is another thing entirely.
There was the likelihood of an armed conflict with the Sheliak. That didn't stop Picard from working people to exhaustion. What's necessary is necessary
Hardly the same thing. A conflict with a fleet of Cardassians is a great deal more serious than a fight with a single Sheliak ship, and the Cardassians are much more agressive. And Picard wasn't working the whole engineering staff to exhaustion.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Also add to the fact that Jellico expected the crew to make an awkward change to a four shift rotation instead of three just because he felt like it, even when Riker tried to explain why it wasn't a good idea.
It's never stated that the reason he changed the shift rotation is solely due to personal preference. It's also clear that Riker hasn't been told everything about the mission specifics. Bottom line is that the captain is in charge despite objection, & he's privy to info that his subordinates don't have
Perhaps, but I can't imagine a situation where the ship is lost because they didn't have the correct number of shift rotations.

Riker objects without really explaining anything, except that dept. heads think it will be difficult. When Data is XO he explains that even though things will be difficult, they can be done. Jellico's response is to tell them do the difficult thing. He knows. Nothing about this mission was going to be less than difficult, & it's presumptuous to think it's all because of Jellico's personal preference. Nobody knows that
If Jellico was a good captain, he should listen to his crew and take their opinions into account. Instead, he ignores their opinions and asks them to do difficult things with no clear benefit.
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Old June 6 2013, 09:35 PM   #50
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

After reading a lot of the responses here, I'm finding myself drawn to this episode even more. To watch it again with a critical eye on Jellico.

So yes... despite the "set up" for us to hate Jellico because he effectively replaces Picard and to feel for Riker because he misses his captain, the unlikable Jellico is really a man who is faced with a very difficult situation and must make the most of it. No honeymoon with the crew. He has to "get the job done" with everything else a lesser priority.

When Deanna was gently trying to play nice with Jellico and tell him sweetly how the crew would only love him if he showed some warmth, it was... well, rather like a "reset" in perspective. How unprofessional she looked in saying this. And then for Jellico to knock her back in line with the bit about wearing a uniform. It was like "it's about time!"

Actually Deanna could really be one of those officers who wears a shawl or some other covering during her sessions to help tone down the "military look" of the uniform, then leave it behind when heading off for other duties. In any case, it was a nice evolution of her character to eventually dispense with the civilian clothes in the latter half of the series.


Anyway, with a little more careful attention to what transpires in this episode, it becomes clear of just how marvelous a performance Ronny Cox gives. He has had the habit of taking up a lot of unlikable roles in the latter part of his career, with a lot of sometimes forgettable minor characters, but the man does have talent. I hope he gets an opportunity to do some greater shining before he gets too old, much the way Jeff Bridges had his career revival late in his game.
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Old June 7 2013, 03:11 AM   #51
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Mojochi wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Still that's one thing. Expecting the crew to work themselves to exhaustion immediately before entering a potent armed conflict with a bunch of Cardassians is another thing entirely.
There was the likelihood of an armed conflict with the Sheliak. That didn't stop Picard from working people to exhaustion. What's necessary is necessary
Hardly the same thing. A conflict with a fleet of Cardassians is a great deal more serious than a fight with a single Sheliak ship, and the Cardassians are much more agressive. And Picard wasn't working the whole engineering staff to exhaustion
No, just his most important people. I don't suggest that the 2 situations are exactly the same, just that they share similarities in command requirements. Hence why the titles of those episodes are "Chain of Command" & "The Ensigns of Command". Plus, if it's as you say, a more serious threat, then perhaps it stands to reason that more demands would be placed on more of the crew.
It's never stated that the reason he changed the shift rotation is solely due to personal preference. It's also clear that Riker hasn't been told everything about the mission specifics. Bottom line is that the captain is in charge despite objection, & he's privy to info that his subordinates don't have
Perhaps, but I can't imagine a situation where the ship is lost because they didn't have the correct number of shift rotations.
but we don't run a starship. Perhaps it's not just a number, but protocol, like expecting all senior staff to be in uniform. At face value, they seem trivial, but they could be the protocols expected of a wartime vessel, that are not strictly observed in peacetime, but actually have applicable reasons, like the crew being sharper, for one.

It was stated that Jellico was given the ship "Enterprise" because the name carries weight, not because of the crew's methods, which Jellico made clear were in need of change for the mission right from the get go. He was the captain for the mission. The ship was the name they wanted there, and the crew would need to adjust accordingly. That was the directive handed down from HQ.

Ultimately, it is the duty of subordinate officers to assume the captain's orders have a reason, unless they have evidence to suggest he is an unfit captain, in which case, Riker should have assumed command, but that didn't happen, because he had no just cause, and just decided to sulk in his quarters
.
Riker objects without really explaining anything, except that dept. heads think it will be difficult. When Data is XO he explains that even though things will be difficult, they can be done. Jellico's response is to tell them do the difficult thing. He knows. Nothing about this mission was going to be less than difficult, & it's presumptuous to think it's all because of Jellico's personal preference. Nobody knows that
If Jellico was a good captain, he should listen to his crew and take their opinions into account. Instead, he ignores their opinions and asks them to do difficult things with no clear benefit.
The clear benefit is to save lives, and the opinions & suggestions he puts down could have been mission related. It's not logical to think he put down their opinions for personal preference reasons. That would not serve the mission at all, and since his plans panned out exactly as he expected, perhaps it's reasonable to assume he knew what he was doing, and he did only what he & Starfleet knew would result in mission success

Besides, the ever so frequented point about Jellico ignoring his subordinates' suggestions & opinions is just plain wrong. Riker would never have left his quarters if that were the case. It was the advice of Geordi that influenced Jellico to proposition Riker for the piloting mission in the 1st place. He considered that suggestion and followed through on it, an effort that required him to swallow his pride, go back on his executive decision to relieve Riker, and even drop ranks so he could personally ask Riker to take the mission, outside the chain of command. He did all that for the mission, on top of accepting a nearly impossible assignment to begin with

All Riker did was business as usual, and buck the chain when he disagreed or felt his importance was being overlooked. Riker should have jumped up and said he'd be proud to aid the mission to protect the Federation & perhaps save Picard, but instead took the opportunity to rub Jellico's nose in it, like the pompous twit he is
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Old June 7 2013, 03:42 AM   #52
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

The formal change of command was necessary in order to get full cooperation from the crew. Otherwise, if Jellico was seen as a substitute captain, there was a greater risk of him not being taken as seriously ("oh well, we don't have to be as loyal, because once the mission is done he's gone and we'll have Picard back"). In addition, with the high risks of Picard's mission, there was a fairly good chance of him not making it back... in which case Jellico would be captain anyway.

Why wasn't Riker given command? Well, honestly I don't see any reason why he couldn't have been, with Jellico as the "negotiations officer". But perhaps the nature of the potential conflict wasn't within HQ's confidence that Riker would be the best man for the job. And as others suggested, a little pay back for his continued declining of other commands.
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Old June 7 2013, 04:04 AM   #53
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

It's apparent that Riker wasn't the man for the job by the end anyway. As soon as he found out Picard had been captured his initial reaction was to mount a rescue, an act that would have bullocksed up the whole situation and plunged the Federation into war, by playing right into their hand, as Jellico said

Frankly, Riker faired well enough with the Borg, with a great deal of help & coaxing from everyone around him, but he would have been too impetuous to handle this Cardassian situation, & we are shown why right in the episode. It's not even an isolated incident. He's rash & emotional & impulsive in Gambit, & Time's Arrow too. Any time Picard is in jeopardy, he goes all mushy between his ears

Not a good choice for captaining this mission imo
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Old June 7 2013, 05:21 AM   #54
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Mojochi wrote: View Post
There was the likelihood of an armed conflict with the Sheliak. That didn't stop Picard from working people to exhaustion. What's necessary is necessary
Hardly the same thing. A conflict with a fleet of Cardassians is a great deal more serious than a fight with a single Sheliak ship, and the Cardassians are much more agressive. And Picard wasn't working the whole engineering staff to exhaustion
No, just his most important people. I don't suggest that the 2 situations are exactly the same, just that they share similarities in command requirements. Hence why the titles of those episodes are "Chain of Command" & "The Ensigns of Command". Plus, if it's as you say, a more serious threat, then perhaps it stands to reason that more demands would be placed on more of the crew.
What do the names of the episodes have to do with anything?

And if it's a more serious threat, then you;d want to keep your crew in a state where they can perform their duties properly, instead of introducing fatigue caused by loss of sleep as they try to adjust their sleeping schedules to have the right number of duty shifts.

but we don't run a starship. Perhaps it's not just a number, but protocol, like expecting all senior staff to be in uniform. At face value, they seem trivial, but they could be the protocols expected of a wartime vessel, that are not strictly observed in peacetime, but actually have applicable reasons, like the crew being sharper, for one.
Again, I point out that it is detrimental to stuff up your crew's sleeping schedule in order to have the right number of duty shifts when it is likely you are about to enter an armed conflict.

I can't imagine any situation where three duty shifts instead of four would cause any increased damage to the ship. The Enterprise faced the Borg with three shifts, and that seemed to go just fine. Why then would three shifts be so bad against the Cardassians?

It was stated that Jellico was given the ship "Enterprise" because the name carries weight, not because of the crew's methods, which Jellico made clear were in need of change for the mission right from the get go. He was the captain for the mission. The ship was the name they wanted there, and the crew would need to adjust accordingly. That was the directive handed down from HQ.
I don't get what you are saying here. If the important thing was that it was the Enterprise, why the need to change the way they do things? Surely the name Enterprise carries the same weight either way?

Ultimately, it is the duty of subordinate officers to assume the captain's orders have a reason, unless they have evidence to suggest he is an unfit captain, in which case, Riker should have assumed command, but that didn't happen, because he had no just cause, and just decided to sulk in his quarters
And it is also the duty of every captain to ensure he is acting in the best interests of the ship, the crew and the mission.

Riker objects without really explaining anything, except that dept. heads think it will be difficult. When Data is XO he explains that even though things will be difficult, they can be done. Jellico's response is to tell them do the difficult thing. He knows. Nothing about this mission was going to be less than difficult, & it's presumptuous to think it's all because of Jellico's personal preference. Nobody knows that
If Jellico was a good captain, he should listen to his crew and take their opinions into account. Instead, he ignores their opinions and asks them to do difficult things with no clear benefit.
The clear benefit is to save lives, and the opinions & suggestions he puts down could have been mission related. It's not logical to think he put down their opinions for personal preference reasons. That would not serve the mission at all, and since his plans panned out exactly as he expected, perhaps it's reasonable to assume he knew what he was doing, and he did only what he & Starfleet knew would result in mission success
I still do not see any clear benefit in changing the number of shift rotations. As I said before, we've seen the Enterprise go into many dangerous situations with three shifts instead of four, and it worked just fine.

Besides, the ever so frequented point about Jellico ignoring his subordinates' suggestions & opinions is just plain wrong. Riker would never have left his quarters if that were the case. It was the advice of Geordi that influenced Jellico to proposition Riker for the piloting mission in the 1st place. He considered that suggestion and followed through on it, an effort that required him to swallow his pride, go back on his executive decision to relieve Riker, and even drop ranks so he could personally ask Riker to take the mission, outside the chain of command. He did all that for the mission, on top of accepting a nearly impossible assignment to begin with
Irrelevant. The fact that jellico followed Geordie's suggestion in one instance does not mean that he never ignored his subordinate's opinions.

All Riker did was business as usual, and buck the chain when he disagreed or felt his importance was being overlooked. Riker should have jumped up and said he'd be proud to aid the mission to protect the Federation & perhaps save Picard, but instead took the opportunity to rub Jellico's nose in it, like the pompous twit he is
Oh my god, you really think Riker is so egotistic? He got pissed with Jellico because Ed was demanding the crew put themselves at risk. As I said before, Jellico's demands would have left the crew suffering fatigue as they tried to adjust long-established sleeping patterns. I'm a shift worker, so I've done it myself and I know exactly what it is like.
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Old June 7 2013, 05:27 AM   #55
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

^ To be fair to Riker, he did step up in BoBW and after an initial attempt to rescue Picard (in addition to scouting out more of Borg ship potential weaknesses), he did abandon hope of getting him back and ordered Worf to fire their "special weapon." Had the Borg not assimilated Picard's knowledge by then, the cube may very well have been destroyed, along with all hands.

In the Chain of Command, the Enterprise never does go to battle. It's all about posturing and investigating. But yeah, it would've been a sorry mistake if Riker had been in command and Jellico allowed him to mount a rescue attempt. The episode was fraught with touch-and-go elements. If the hidden Cardassian ships hadn't been discovered, Jellico wouldn't have had enough leverage to get Picard back. But if there's one thing you really have to give to Jellico, he knew the Cardassians inside and out. Despite running on a hunch, it was a strong one that was grounded in consistency of behavior.

In the end, what it's really all about is how Riker handled Jellico which, I think we're all in full agreement, was not professional. He allowed his feelings to get in the way of doing the right thing. The military is no picnic. When you're given orders, you have to follow them and not question your superiors, or do a variation on what is expected. TNG took a lot of liberties with what a military ship is all about. It became a gray area, where the Enterprise is both military, exploratory, and diplomatic vessel all in one. But when in a military role, it should be all business.
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Old June 7 2013, 11:01 AM   #56
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Couldn't all of this been avoided if Jellico had taken Riiker aside and told:
1. Picard's mission makes him expendable.
2. We may be on the brink of war.
3. Because we may be going to war, I need you to make sure that my orders are followed without question.
4. If you can't do that I'll reassign you.
5. You are ordered to not discuss this with anyone.
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Old June 7 2013, 04:11 PM   #57
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Vanyel wrote: View Post
Couldn't all of this been avoided if Jellico had taken Riiker aside and told:
1. Picard's mission makes him expendable.
2. We may be on the brink of war.
3. Because we may be going to war, I need you to make sure that my orders are followed without question.
4. If you can't do that I'll reassign you.
5. You are ordered to not discuss this with anyone.
I feel like all of those points go without saying though wouldn't they. Most of them seem like they should be a given except for number 5.

Regarding Jellico ignoring his staff I don't think thats the case either. Just because he didn't go with their suggestions didn't mean that he did not listen to them. There was no justification for Riker's behavior. Again, if we are comparing egos here Jellico asked Riker to fly a the shuttle in support of the mission even when Riker made him ask him to.
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Old June 7 2013, 06:06 PM   #58
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Opus wrote: View Post
Jellico was a dick.

But, he was a dick who was also in command of the Enterprise.

Jellico was right, and Riker was not. Yes, Riker dressed him down off the record quite well. But he was still wrong for not following orders and implementing Jellico's directives.
As stated in the episode, billions of lives were at stake if the Federation got pulled into a war with the Cardies. Jellico had experience with them and Riker did not. Jellico was an experienced captain and Riker was not. Jellico was the right person for the mission and Riker was not. Riker was written as whiny and, had he been written more in-character, he would've realized the importance of the mission, the nature and magnitude of the threat, and that his place was supporting the best person for the job.
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Jellico = A non-alcoholic Col Tigh?

To me Jellico seemed like a man commanding a military vessel. Big mistake, in Star Trek.
In this mission, the ship was a military vessel. Using your logic, he was the best man for this job.
Mysterion wrote: View Post
Jellico was correct in his actions. With the exception of Data, the regular crew acted unprofessionally and childishly. Especially Riker. How he eventually got command of his own ship after having turned-down multiple previous opportunities AND acting the way he did in the episode is beyond me. If this is the way Starfleet is being run, they deserve to get their asses handed to them by the Cardassians, Borg, or whomever else goes for it.
Riker's leadership abilities were just written poorly for this episode.
BillJ wrote: View Post
Jellico was simply right.

He was preparing the Enterprise to go to war and didn't have time to hold anyone's hand. The crew were suppose to be professionals yet they came off as unable to show any type of flexibility. Much what many people blame Jellico for.
Exactly. He was quite cordial until the crew acted unprofessionally. In this situation, his response was fully appropriate. As he told Deanna, he didn't have the time for a honeymoon with the crew. He showed tremendous leadership in a very tough situation. And, he was right.
Captain McBain wrote: View Post
I don't hate Jellico, either, but he could've been a tad more 'human.' I wonder if he acted that way all the time or only specifically during critical missions. I also think that Jellico would've loved a shipful of Datas!
He displayed real leadership in a difficult situation. He was humanized in a few scenes prior to his having to deal with Riker's whining: his intro to Will (or do you prefer William?), his child's drawing that he shared with Deanna (IIRC), etc. His job was to prevent a war. An all out WAR! And he did successfully.
Pondwater wrote: View Post
I don't think he was meant to be a Captain (even if it was temporary) of the Federation Flagship. Riker had it spot on when he told Jellico off.

Although, I think differently if it were a combat situation.
Jellico was there to prevent a combat situation.
Melakon wrote: View Post
I felt that Jellico was sort of a control freak who wanted to be surrounded by yes men validating his decisions. He didn't seem receptive to suggestions after having made up his mind how to proceed. It may have just been due to the urgency of this particular mission, else it's doubtful he could have gotten to where he was in Starfleet.
It's called being an autocratic leader. And this is exactly the time and place to employ such a leadership tactic.
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Old June 7 2013, 09:27 PM   #59
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Jellico didn't push anyone beyond their limits. He pushed them beyond their comfort zone. As was later seen when Data explains to Geordi exactly how the captain's orders could be met

Many times during Picard's command, the crew needed to work extra hours, & achieve what seemed nearly impossible. They were willing to go that length for Picard because they trusted him from having built a relationship with him. Jellico had to demand that level of performance even though he had not yet had that opportunity. He had to just expect that it was "Starfleet's Finest Crew" & therefore they owed him that much, because they owe it to Starfleet, especially with the safety of the Federation on the line.

Riker was wrong in that he believed himself to be too important to be just a piece of the mission, instead of one of it's architects, who had a say in what should be happening. He succumb to hubris. (Not the 1st time for him, btw) He needed to be thinking his way through the difficulty & looking at it from all perspectives, instead of just becoming resistant

Excerpt From Ensigns of Command
PICARD: How are we progressing, Mister LaForge?

GEORDI: About like you'd expect. (Not at all)

PICARD: Splendid. (Do it anyway)

Picard EXITS.

WESLEY: He wants the impossible.

GEORDI: That's the short definition for "captain."
Odd that he forgets that being the case, when the captain isn't Picard. They worked their asses off in that episode, & no one bitched to the point of being relieved
People are much more willing to bend over backwards for someone they've had a longterm working relationship with. LaForge had been serving with Picard for more than two years at the time "Ensigns of Command" originally aired. Riker says as much during his confrontation with Jelico: "You don't inspire these people to go out of their way for you, and you've got everyone wound so tight that there's no joy in anything."

Additionally, Scotty spent the initial moments of the travel pod ride to the Enterprise in TMP complaining about the difficulties in having the ship's launch moved up becuase of the V'Ger threat, only to completely change his tune once Kirk informed him that he, not Decker, would be commanding the mission.
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Old June 7 2013, 11:09 PM   #60
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Re: So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Riker wrote:
"You don't inspire these people to go out of their way for you, and you've got everyone wound so tight that there's no joy in anything."
What I would have said is something more like this: "Sir, I fully appreciate the urgency of the situation at hand and that there's no time to build a relationship with the crew right now, but you'll get a lot more out of them if they feel like you care. Drive them hard, but also give them some breathing room in return."

Jellico was pushing hard relentlessly. He had to wait for Deanna to let him know how the crew feels. And rather than collaborating with Deanna on what to do about it, he just shoves the whole "morale boost" project onto her shoulders. "Get it done."

There is a difference between being firm and being callous. I just finished watching this episode again and there's a nuance to Jellico's personality. He doesn't make much effort at all to smooth things out. He's firm, coarse, and unforgiving. No, he doesn't need to mimic Picard to get the crew to work for him. But all he needed to do was just be a little less abrasive. That's what I see.
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