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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.

View Poll Results: Did Riker stun or kill the alien at the end of 'Schisms'?
Stunned 7 70.00%
Killed 3 30.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 18 2010, 02:59 AM   #1
Location: Bouville, France
Did Riker kill or stun the alien at the end of 'Schisms'?

I was just watching this, and while it's a small detail, it's bugging me: when Riker shot the alien at the very end of the episode before he jumps through the portal, do you think he stunned it or killed it?

You'd think standard Federation procedure would call for all phasers to be set on stun.

On the other hand, one could argue that they already perceived the aliens as hostile due to how they treated the Enterprise crew and Riker went in with his phaser on a much higher setting. They also show a second shot of the alien *still* lying on the ground (unmoving) after being shot - seeming to indicate that he wasn't just stunned (i.e. an easy way to show being stunned would be for the alien to start moving around groggily, etc.)

I'd like to get everyone's feedback.

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Old February 18 2010, 11:15 AM   #2
Re: Did Riker kill or stun the alien at the end of 'Schisms'?

It does seem that Riker is in the habit of using high settings against known hostiles - unlike Kirk, who stunned Klingons even at a time of declared war ("Errand of Mercy")!

See for example the end of "Conspiracy": the possessed Starfleet people fire hand phasers at our heroes, but with beams that do zero material damage and thus probably represent stun. Picard fires back with similar beams that don't even scorch the walls. But when our heroes enter the nest of the mother alien, in Remmick's body, Riker does not need to adjust his phaser (which supposedly always was his) in order to blow up the alien's head!

OTOH, stunned people supposedly stay stunned for several minutes - say, Kira in "Defiant" or LaForge in "Samaritan Snare". And even stun settings can leave scorch marks on the victim, if the budgets allow - such as in ST6:TUC.

I'd thus give Riker the benefit of doubt here and argue that he followed regulations and only stunned the alien. Perhaps even "Conspiracy" is a case of the mother alien being particularly susceptible to stun beams (even though humans possessed by these aliens are insensitive even to heavy stun, and may have to be shot with kill settings in order to get stunned!). Or perhaps Riker did ramp his phaser up and down when the camera wasn't looking.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 18 2010, 09:31 PM   #3
Lor'Vela's Avatar
Location: Wherever I happen to be.
Re: Did Riker kill or stun the alien at the end of 'Schisms'?

I think it would have been stun unless Riker needed a good reason to increase the setting; it just didn't seem necessary to kill. But yeah, you never know because if there is one episode of TNG that has me concerned over phaser settings, it would be Legacy. At one point, Riker shot someone, and then immediately blew a door down. That's impressive firepower for a stun setting, and I can't be certain what setting Ishara's phaser was at except when she threatened Riker and Data. Did she stun or kill two people?
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Old February 18 2010, 09:59 PM   #4
Admiral Shran
Location: In the Before Time - the Long, Long Ago
Re: Did Riker kill or stun the alien at the end of 'Schisms'?

I say he stunned the alien. This is "series-Riker" we're talking about, after all. If it was "movie-Riker," he would have killed the alien.
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Old February 19 2010, 04:42 AM   #5
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Location: Still in the Metrowest
Re: Did Riker kill or stun the alien at the end of 'Schisms'?

^Series-Riker unneedlessly killed an unarmed would-be killer, whose touch was only lethal to members of a certain family.
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Old February 22 2010, 05:27 PM   #6
USS Excelsior
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Location: Alpha Quadrant
Re: Did Riker kill or stun the alien at the end of 'Schisms'?

As for Geordi it's not known how he could have described the setting to which he was kidnapped, since he doesn't sleep with his VISOR on.
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