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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 July 15 2013, 06:29 PM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"


Memory Alpha Entry
Chrissie's Transcript

Sorry for the delay in posting. Just got done flying for 10 hours.

This episode is like a whole show focused solely on a balloon that's being used for no other reason than to just pop from being too full. We have to sit through 96% of the show watching this balloon slowly fill up until it finally explodes, with the ballon guy saying "There you go!" and leaving you with a "that was it?" feeling. That's the Survivor in a nutshell. It takes this important subject AND JUST ENDS IT without any moral, personal and dutiful discussion regarding how to handle such a dangerous presence.

The moment that Picard learns the truth, we're a whole minute away from the end. His last line sums up just how rushed this whole thing is.
Picard: We're not qualified to be your judges. We have no law to fit your crime. You're free to return to the planet and to make Rishon live again. *Later* Captain's log, Stardate 43153.7. We are departing the Rana system for Starbase One Three Three. We leave behind a being of extraordinary power and conscience. I am not certain if he should be praised or condemned. Only that he should be left alone.
The fact that Picard thinks that this creature should be "praised" is all the more unsettling. I find it hard to believe that the Federation as a whole has absolutely nothing when it comes to genocide. Picard doesn't seem to care one way or another. He doesn't even ask this entity what he thinks the price for such a crime should be. If he felt justified about killing a whole entire race that numbered in the billions, what would the appropriate justice be for his actions? Instead of actually spending this episode's time on such matters, we get scene after scene of our characters acting confused, drinking tea, and Troi in immense pain. While the space battle footage is nice and all, it's just wasted when it's nothing but padding.

CONLUSION: A great idea that's completely botched for being brought up too late and resolved too quickly. It's always disappointing when Star Trek takes a serious issue and makes a non-issue about it. Take "The Measure of a Man" for example. That episode's big issue was the hook of the entire episode and it didn't waste any time in telling it. We got to see more layers of this issue from many different characters' points of view. And really, did these writers learn nothing from "Encounter at Farpoint" that seeing Troi in pain is not a good use of screen time?

STINGER:
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Old July 15 2013, 07:45 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

He doesn't even ask this entity what he thinks the price for such a crime should be.
Umm, why would that answer be necessary, or helpful, or forthcoming? Supposedly, Kevin Uxbridge is satisfied with the situation as is - omnipotent creatures have no excuse for not being that! If he felt there was some price to be paid other than spending an eternity in confinement with an illusion of his wife, surely he would arrange for that instead.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 15 2013, 07:58 PM   #3
jimbotron
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

So the Federation has no laws against genocide? That's what Kevin did, to the absolute extreme. I'm pretty sure even today there are laws against genocide.

I guess their argument in the episode was that it was a crime of passion. He just happens to have powers so devastating that it goes beyond a mortal man's ability to judge. But Picard sugarcoating it at the end was BS. If you commit a crime, but feel remorse for it, that still doesn't change what you did. If he was a man of conscience, if Picard believed, then Kevin would have owned up to it immediately.

Kevin's power is on par or perhaps beyond the power of the Q. They cared about humans advancing too quickly? Hey Q, how about worrying about a race of immortal beings that can wipe out ALL life with a thought.

With the "incapacitate Troi" subplot, I guess it was just episode filler. They could have easily just set up one of his Dowd powers as fooling Troi's empathic powers.
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Old July 15 2013, 08:17 PM   #4
Dale Sams
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

jimbotron wrote: View Post
So the Federation has no laws against genocide? That's what Kevin did, to the absolute extreme. I'm pretty sure even today there are laws against genocide.
.
I think it's just a writer's mistake. A nit-pick. Replace 'law to fit your crime' with jurisdiction.

And yes, 'praised' is an unfortunate term. But if I could wipe out every single one of those big brown evil paper wasps off the face of the earth without a thought, I would.

And if I did, would not some people say, "I don't know if you should be praised or condemned".

And yes, I know wasps aren't sentient. As for the OP, I always enjoyed that ep

"Nice house, good tea."
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Old July 15 2013, 09:07 PM   #5
jimbotron
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Worf elevates this episode.

His grimace at the tea, and the lines "Good tea ... nice house" and "I like gall" were nice character moments. Plus poor Worf, he stakes his reputation on locating the ship, and then it magically appears (literally), and he's distraught over it.

For an episode not focused on Worf, he got good screentime.
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Old July 15 2013, 09:36 PM   #6
MacLeod
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

jimbotron wrote: View Post
So the Federation has no laws against genocide? That's what Kevin did, to the absolute extreme. I'm pretty sure even today there are laws against genocide.

I guess their argument in the episode was that it was a crime of passion. He just happens to have powers so devastating that it goes beyond a mortal man's ability to judge. But Picard sugarcoating it at the end was BS. If you commit a crime, but feel remorse for it, that still doesn't change what you did. If he was a man of conscience, if Picard believed, then Kevin would have owned up to it immediately.

Kevin's power is on par or perhaps beyond the power of the Q. They cared about humans advancing too quickly? Hey Q, how about worrying about a race of immortal beings that can wipe out ALL life with a thought.

With the "incapacitate Troi" subplot, I guess it was just episode filler. They could have easily just set up one of his Dowd powers as fooling Troi's empathic powers.
Of course genocide is a crime but did the UFP even have jurisdiction?

The being who committed the act was a Douwd, an energy being also a non-Federation member.

The Husnock attacked and wiped out the colony and in a momment of rage Kevin Uxbridge wiped out the Husnock with a single thought.

Wouldn't that be classed as extreme emotional stress? Do we always control our emotions?
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Last edited by MacLeod; July 16 2013 at 10:18 AM.
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Old July 16 2013, 02:37 AM   #7
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Kevin Uxbridge didn't think his action was justified. He acted in a moment of rage and loss and regretted it.

I guess it needed a more satisfying punishment, but I think if Picard had said "We're not capable of punishing such a powerful being" it would have come off better.
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Old July 16 2013, 03:55 AM   #8
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Timo wrote: View Post
Supposedly, Kevin Uxbridge is satisfied with the situation as is
Yeah, and attacking any ship that tries to figure out what's going on.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:25 AM   #9
jimbotron
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Supposedly, Kevin Uxbridge is satisfied with the situation as is
Yeah, and attacking any ship that tries to figure out what's going on.
And torture.
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Old July 16 2013, 10:24 AM   #10
MacLeod
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Just place the planet on the quarantine list.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:00 PM   #11
Captrek
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Sorry for the delay in posting. Just got done flying for 10 hours.
Who gave you permission to do that? Wherever you flew, I hope you did it boldly.

This episode is like a whole show focused solely on a balloon that's being used for no other reason than to just pop from being too full. We have to sit through 96% of the show watching this balloon slowly fill up until it finally explodes, with the ballon guy saying "There you go!" and leaving you with a "that was it?" feeling. That's the Survivor in a nutshell. It takes this important subject AND JUST ENDS IT without any moral, personal and dutiful discussion regarding how to handle such a dangerous presence.
I recall enjoying this episode more the first time it aired. It was interesting trying to figure out what was going on.

On a related note, my gf hasn’t shown much interest in TNG so far, but this is the second week in a row she has watched it with me and liked it. Maybe a new fan in the making.

Picard: We're not qualified to be your judges. We have no law to fit your crime. You're free to return to the planet and to make Rishon live again. *Later* Captain's log, Stardate 43153.7. We are departing the Rana system for Starbase One Three Three. We leave behind a being of extraordinary power and conscience. I am not certain if he should be praised or condemned. Only that he should be left alone.
The fact that Picard thinks that this creature should be "praised" is all the more unsettling.
While he committed an act that is not praiseworthy, it doesn't necessary follow that he is not a praiseworthy being. At least he felt guilty about his act of genocide, unlike the God of Abraham's many genocides recounted in the Bible, so if God can be praised, so can Kevin.

And really, did these writers learn nothing from "Encounter at Farpoint" that seeing Troi in pain is not a good use of screen time?
I was thinking “It’s so loud!!!” might have been your stinger.

Poor Troi. That one annoying melody, over and over and over. Kevin couldn’t pick better music?


jimbotron wrote: View Post
If he was a man of conscience, if Picard believed, then Kevin would have owned up to it immediately.
Just because you don't agree with every decision he makes doesn't mean he's not a “creature of conscience.” The nature of his pacifism demonstrates that he has a moral code to which he is extremely committed. His moral code evidently doesn't prohibit a little deception in some circumstances.


I thought Picard played a very dangerous game at the end. Here was his reasoning:
It's protecting Kevin and Rishon. It responds to their wishes. Indirectly or directly, I'm not sure, but that's what I'm going to put to the test.
Actually, it responded to one particular wish: the wish for the Enterprise's departure. For all Picard knew, the Uxbridges were the humans they appeared to be, and whatever power was trying to assist them in driving the Enterprise away would decide they were expendable if killing them was the only thing that would get the Enterprise to leave.

Also, since Kevin is so powerful, why did he assume the Enterprise was gone after four hours? Did he not have the power to check?
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Old July 17 2013, 09:45 PM   #12
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Captrek wrote: View Post
I was thinking “It’s so loud!!!” might have been your stinger.
Oh, no. I learned my lesson when it comes to Troi's performance. I thought Riker being upside down and denying Worf an opportunity to do something was just perfect.
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Old July 17 2013, 11:48 PM   #13
jimbotron
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

Captrek wrote: View Post
Just because you don't agree with every decision he makes doesn't mean he's not a “creature of conscience.” The nature of his pacifism demonstrates that he has a moral code to which he is extremely committed. His moral code evidently doesn't prohibit a little deception in some circumstances.
I don't think a "creature of conscience" would choose to torture an innocent woman for several days on end in order to cover up his own mistakes.

Everything was fine and dandy the next episode, but in reality, Troi would have been a mess for a long time after that.
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Old July 18 2013, 06:25 AM   #14
Dream
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

I liked this episode.

Worf gets all the best lines. No wonder he quickly became one of the fan favorites!
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Old July 18 2013, 11:14 AM   #15
MacLeod
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x03 "The Survivors"

^one of Worf's best lines omes up later this season in "Deja Q" when he replies to Q's question of how he can prove himself mortal.
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