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

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Old September 11 2010, 05:17 AM   #1
Danny99
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Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Am I the only person who finds BoBW Part Two incredibly anti-climatic or am I just bringing up a dead horse to beat?

I know there's a certain budget for a television show that precludes a lot of special effects shots, but outside of the middle of the episode where Data and Worf bring back Picard/Locutus and they separate the ship, it seems like the episode is a lot of talking.

The previous season's music cue up to Riker's "Fire!" is not followed up with anything exciting as it takes forever for the deflector to fire.

Just my thoughts.
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Old September 11 2010, 06:56 AM   #2
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Danny99 wrote: View Post
Am I the only person who finds BoBW Part Two incredibly anti-climatic or am I just bringing up a dead horse to beat?

I know there's a certain budget for a television show that precludes a lot of special effects shots, but outside of the middle of the episode where Data and Worf bring back Picard/Locutus and they separate the ship, it seems like the episode is a lot of talking.

The previous season's music cue up to Riker's "Fire!" is not followed up with anything exciting as it takes forever for the deflector to fire.

Just my thoughts.
Trek has had a long history of having an extremely strong first episode and a weaker conclusion. However, while I think that applies here, I still think it's a very superb episode. Of course, it was pretty sore to leave the big battle happen off screen, but in hindsight it wouldn't have served the plot very much.

My own complaint: I thought the music in part 1 was epic and quite unique. The music in part 2 seemed to be a return to normal (since it's TNG, "normal" would have still been great, but the BGM of part 1 was especially memorable and a true high point in the series). Now whenever I watch the two episodes back to back, the change in music is jarring enough to take me out of the show for a bit -- from fantastic to back-to-business.
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Old September 11 2010, 07:35 AM   #3
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Yeah, I always preferred the first part for sure. Music was definitely part of that as well.

However they are both amazing episodes, anyway.
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Old September 11 2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

The flaw with the second part of the episode is the resolution to the Borg. It makes perfect sense...from a literary standpoint if you were dealing strictly with ideas as you would be in a novel or short story. But from a dramatic standpoint on television the idea for deactivating the Borg falls somewhat flat.
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Old September 11 2010, 01:50 PM   #5
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Agreed with most of the points above. The episode isn't bad, it's the ending that's a terrible cop-out. I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking, wtf? After all that, defeating the Borg is that easy?
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Old September 11 2010, 02:19 PM   #6
JWD75
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

I would like to know how Riker was going to escape after the rescue of Picard with the Enterprise in two pieces if the borg had decided to take a minute or two out of their busy schedule to press on their attack and destroy the Enterprise or at least retrieve Picard rather than conveniently allow the Enterprise to survive once again. A more credible climax to the sequence would have been if the saucer had been evacauted and automated before seperation and then rammed into the borg cube as the stardrive section made its escape.
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Old September 11 2010, 04:00 PM   #7
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

I've thought this for years. Glad I wasn't alone. The music change was strange, why not use the same style since its a two-parter? Also, seeing Picard back in command at the end didn't sit right with me. I would have preferred seeing Riker retain command for a few episodes while Starfleet tests Picard to make sure he's emotionally recovered fully, as well as making sure Picard wouldn't "go Borg" at a later date. Than after 4 or 5 episodes Picard could make a comeback.
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Old September 11 2010, 04:02 PM   #8
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Leathco wrote: View Post
Also, seeing Picard back in command at the end didn't sit right with me. I would have preferred seeing Riker retain command for a few episodes while Starfleet tests Picard to make sure he's emotionally recovered fully, as well as making sure Picard wouldn't "go Borg" at a later date. Than after 4 or 5 episodes Picard could make a comeback.
That's a good idea. And today a series could probably do that. But then, well...
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Old September 11 2010, 04:14 PM   #9
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

The concept of the Borg, while very compelling at first, is just hard to work with. They can't be stopped by any direct assault, they can't be reasoned with. Maybe putting the Enterprise on a collison course with the Borg cube at warp speed would do enough damage to destroy it, but that kills everyone on the ship.

Basically the writers are left with the option of turning the Borg's collective nature and desire to assimilate into a weakness, which is what happens in BOBW II, and of course again in later appearances. The problem then inverts itself: the weakness is so blatant and easily exploited that the Borg go from overwhelmingly powerful to extremely vulnerable in an instant.

With all that in mind, I think the BOBW II works well enough, but it was pretty much all downhill from there where the Borg is concerned. It's a hard concept to sustain and use to build stories, and the more it is revisited, the weaker it gets.
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Old September 11 2010, 04:31 PM   #10
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

I'm not a big fan of BoBW. It's not bad, and there's lots of good stuff, mostly with Riker feeling threatened by Shelby, but I just don't think it's as good as other people do. But I think there's some padding in the first part. I also like the "space battle so kewl we can't see it" in Part II.

And yeah, I think they painted themselves into a corner with the first part. And it's all over the place, if you think about it: most of it focuses on Riker coming to grips with taking "the chair," then in the last 5 minutes Picard and Data save the day, and Riker gives "the chair" up.

From a real world POV, I understand why Jonathan Frakes didn't leave the show, and I'm glad he didn't. I like him as Riker and I like his directing. From a story POV, though, there's no way Riker should have remained as first officer after the events of BoBW.

Maybe they should have promoted Picard up to Fleet Captain or Commodore and made him a "captain emeritus," there to take care of the diplomatic negotiations and (in RW terms) handle the major drama, while Riker gets promoted to Captain and runs the day-to-day ops--kind of like the chairman of the board vs. CEO.

Also, with much of Starfleet's officer corps slaughtered by the Borg at Wolf 359, you think they'd start rebuilding--and training new crews--immediately. As the man who saved the man who saved the day, Riker should have had his own ship, without a doubt.
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Old September 11 2010, 04:38 PM   #11
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

I dunno. The only reason the Borg were so vulnerable was because they stole a drone and used him as a direct conduit to the collective via Data. Any other federation ship wouldnt have been able to do this. Sure, they may have been able to abduct a drone, but they wouldnt have been able to link with it in the way Data did.

Add to that it was the fact that Picard, now able to fight against the collective because Data was eating up all the information that was being fed to locutus. This led to Picard being able to tell Data that regeneration was a weakness that they could exploit. Again, this may be an "obvious" weakness, but it was one they could only exploit in this specific set of circumstances due to Data/Picard being linked to the Borg.

Due to this, I don't think its fair to say that BOBWII made the Borg less intimidating. They still destroyed 39 ships and plucked the Captain of the Enterprise from his bridge and made him one of their own. The crew of the Enterprise got lucky in that by attempting to recover Picard they inadvertently gained the tools to destroy that one cube.

As First Contact demonstrated, even with updated ships and technology the Borg are still a powerful adversary and still managed to get a ship to Earth even after a much larger fleet fought a running battle from further afield than Wolf 359.
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Old September 11 2010, 07:47 PM   #12
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Dac wrote: View Post
Again, this may be an "obvious" weakness, but it was one they could only exploit in this specific set of circumstances due to Data/Picard being linked to the Borg.

Due to this, I don't think its fair to say that BOBWII made the Borg less intimidating. They still destroyed 39 ships and plucked the Captain of the Enterprise from his bridge and made him one of their own. The crew of the Enterprise got lucky in that by attempting to recover Picard they inadvertently gained the tools to destroy that one cube.
I think that's a fair point. And, again, I do think that, all things considered, the writers do a good job in BOBW II: the payoff may be slightly less awesome than the set-up, but I think the payoff is still pretty good.

Also, the "disappointing payoff" problem is probably not something that is limited to Trek. I think it's a problem that comes up pretty often in fiction due to the fact that, once you have created the expectation of a big payoff or event, the reality of what happens can seem disappointing no matter what it is. I mean, our minds just seem to work this way: how many times have you been looking forward to something in a big way, only to be disappointed by the reality of what happens?

Anyway, I think the BOBW II is pretty solid, but the main problems with the Borg concept are already present even in these excellent episodes, namely (1) that they can veer pretty quickly from incredibly powerful to extremely vulnerable and (2) that they are cool partly because they are not individualized and don't have a leader with a face and a name, yet it is pretty hard to work with them without individualizing them and giving them a leader with a face and/or a name.
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Old September 11 2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

I don't think Part II is weak, it just feels that way because of all that Part I set-up.

1. Riker firing on Picard-as-Locutus
2. The Wolf 359 battle
3. The Riker-Shelby rivalry


in the end, it just sort of fizzles out-The Riker career thing goes nowhere, the Shelby character leaves, Picard is restored as Captain with some mental trauma but otherwise no lasting effects, etc.


It suffers from TNG not being serialized, so everything in the episode is resolved to status quo bythe end of it.


I still think Part II is as good as it could have reasonably been given the constraints of the show
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Old September 11 2010, 09:46 PM   #14
sonak
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Quick addition-there was actually fan speculation in Summer 1990 that Picard would be killed, or no longer be on the Enterprise, Riker would be Captain with Shelby as the XO, etc.

Yet nothing really changed majorly in the show character-wise or premise-wise, another factor that leads to the anti-climactic feeling
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Old September 12 2010, 02:53 AM   #15
TV's Frank
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Re: Best Of Both Worlds Part Two

Leathco wrote: View Post
I've thought this for years. Glad I wasn't alone. The music change was strange, why not use the same style since its a two-parter? Also, seeing Picard back in command at the end didn't sit right with me. I would have preferred seeing Riker retain command for a few episodes while Starfleet tests Picard to make sure he's emotionally recovered fully, as well as making sure Picard wouldn't "go Borg" at a later date. Than after 4 or 5 episodes Picard could make a comeback.
TNG was primarily an episodic series, not serialized as most shows today, which has its strengths and weaknesses. Having your main, very talented, very expensive actor absent from the show for 4 or 5 episodes is insane from the studio's point of view and I can't blame them. The great strength about an episodic type series is that for the most part they have to resolve the story arc at the end of the hour. The writers can't just leave things unresolved and assume they'll figure it out later. I think this is what makes for great stand-alone episodes, whereas with more serialized series watching one episode is hardly satisfying.

And for the record, I love the ending of BOBW II. I appreciate that Michael Pillar invented such a creative way to defeat them rather that just unload a ton of photon torpedoes at them (such as in NEMESIS). And the music is perfect and actually utilized the most amount of players Ron Jones had for any episode, 49 orchestra members in all. The qualities inherent on part 1's score didn't need to continue, as Part 1 was all about the approach of the Borg and their potential threat, while Part 2 is more action-oriented as the threat is dealt with directly. And Part 2's score has many wonderfully epic moments, such as the cues "Intervention" and "Sleep Mode".

Last edited by TV's Frank; September 12 2010 at 03:05 AM.
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