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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 June 24 2013, 01:53 PM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"


Memory Alpha Entry
Chrissie's Transcript
SFDebris' Review

After 21 episodes, we finally come full circle with the mixed bag that is Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. A season that started out badly, and with this episode it ends badly. Not in the same way like with "The Child" that ended up being a dumb and quite offensive episode, but in an incredibly lazy "I don't give a sh**" kind of way. Oh, Maurice. If there was ever a writer who summed up the reason why this episode is as bad as it is, you nailed it.
"I was on the way out the door."
How can you even call yourself a professional when there's such scathing evidence that showcases how you are a bona fide quitter who won't put in any effort into something just because it had to be a clip show? There are so many other cost effective ways of doing a show that takes place solely on the ship. "Where Silence has Lease" did a great job with this concept and as did many other episodes of Star Trek.

What little story there is in this episode all boils down to Riker being stung by a plant that is attacking his mind, and Troi and Pulaski have to work on forcing Riker to relive past memories in order to beat the infection. It's almost disturbing how much medical science has advanced in such a way that you can literally cause a patient to have nightmares. How anyone thought that would be useful in any situation outside of this I have no idea.

In regards to the clips themselves, there does seem to be real potential in using clips from previous episodes without outright being moments from those previous episodes. When the doctor first tries to induce a memory, it's when Riker is beamed onto the planet from "The Last Outpost". I could have easily have seen this as the present Riker being trapped and alone in his mind without simply going back to the events of the said episode. Don't know how long that would last, but at least it's something. If you check out SFDebris' review, he has some pretty good ideas in how you can build a story around a clip show in more interesting ways rather than simply relying on it to kill time. One idea he had was to have Lore try to acquire certain memories from Riker to use against the Enterprise. That way you don't have to hire a new actor for the role, and there are certain memories that Riker has that could very well be used against the Enterprise, like the self-destruct code for the Enterprise as seen in "Where silence has lease".

But if there's one thing about this episode that stands out as actually having some share of quality to it, it's Ron Jones. Throughout the entire length of the episode, he's the only person who is bringing in his "A" game into the mix and really puts in a great effort in trying to sell something that is flat out ridiculous. And as SFDebris pointed out, Ron Jones was the only person associated with this episode that Rick Berman fired at the end of Season 4. Yep, the one person who was responsible for the only good thing in this episode and Rick not only didn't want his talents on the show, he actually brought back Maurice Hurley to write another episode in a later season. How's that for quality assurance?

CONCLUSION: While this episode is certainly one of the worst, the elements that make it bad are thankfully limited to the writing being horribly lazy and unimaginative. It's not offensive like "The Child", it's not painfully annoying like "The Outrageous Okona" and it does have something that's kind of happening in it which is more than I can say about "The Manhunt". Overall, it's not an unwatchable episode, it's just an episode that, with the exception of the music, had zero effort put into it. At least when Xena: The Warrior Princess had a clip show, they used clips from Spartacus!

STINGER:
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Old June 24 2013, 02:45 PM   #2
LOKAI of CHERON
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

I just don't get the all out hate this episode apparently engenders? It's certainly no classic, but as far as clip shows go - I find it perfectly enjoyable. Indeed, it's actually quite a bit better than other season 2 entries such as "Manhunt" and "Up The Long Ladder".
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Old June 24 2013, 02:51 PM   #3
Charles Phipps
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

I've seen really great minimalist storytelling.

This was not.

Stick Riker and Picard in a cargo bay as the ship dies or something.
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Old June 24 2013, 02:59 PM   #4
MacLeod
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Perhaps what hurts it as well as being a bad episode is that it is the season finalÚ.
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Old June 24 2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

This was a bad recap of the entire first two seasons of TNG. I'm surprised viewers still stuck with the show after Shades.

I know they were going for a bottle episode, but I would have preferred seeing an episode about two of TNG characters stuck in a shuttle for an hour instead of this.
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Old June 24 2013, 03:31 PM   #6
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

You've also got to love how this episode takes a potential plot of Riker being killed by this disease/virus (BLEH!) thing and treat it as a mere inconvenience at the end. For an episode that relives Riker's past memories, you would think that being on that reliving those moments on while the brink of death and surviving at all would have a major impact on his character. Like maybe he should treat his relationship with Troi more seriously, or that he should stop being such an a**hole to others. Something!
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Old June 24 2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

I just realized that this was Pulaski's final episode on TNG. What a terrible episode to go out on! It would've been better if she fell to her death from a turbolift or something. At least that would have been a memorable exit!
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Old June 24 2013, 04:18 PM   #8
MacLeod
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Someone's been watching L.A. Law.
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Old June 24 2013, 04:34 PM   #9
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Dream wrote: View Post
I just realized that this was Pulaski's final episode on TNG. What a terrible episode to go out on! It would've been better if she fell to her death from a turbolift or something. At least that would have been a memorable exit!
I'd like to think that Picard got rid of her due to the fact that she can easily induce nightmares into his officers. That crap is just wrong.
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Old June 24 2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Dream wrote: View Post
I just realized that this was Pulaski's final episode on TNG. What a terrible episode to go out on! It would've been better if she fell to her death from a turbolift or something. At least that would have been a memorable exit!
Lol. I imagined that scene from that episode from friends where Joey's soap opera killed him off by having him fall down an elevator shaft but replaced all the characters with Pulaski and the TNG crew.
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Old June 24 2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Why was this the finale anyway? Couldn't they have just swapped the broadcast order of this and Peak Performance? I guess there was no concern with ending the show on a low note.

Both episodes would have been in the can around the same time.
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Old June 24 2013, 11:22 PM   #12
Mojochi
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Perhaps what hurts it as well as being a bad episode is that it is the season finalÚ.
It does feel awful having that be the last episode of the season. I also think a major issue isn't just that it's a clip show, but that the show is so stinking new still, that there's very little footage to select from, such that the clips drag the episode down, where as if the clip selection had been better or they'd have a more varied selection to choose from, they might have made a better go of it
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Old June 25 2013, 07:48 PM   #13
Dale Sams
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Hey guys remember that time we were talking about Shades of Grey and Lokai said,

I just don't get the all out hate this episode apparently engenders? It's certainly no classic, but as far as clip shows go - I find it perfectly enjoyable. Indeed, it's actually quite a bit better than other season 2 entries such as "Manhunt" and "Up The Long Ladder".
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Old June 25 2013, 08:21 PM   #14
LOKAI of CHERON
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Dale Sams wrote: View Post
Hey guys remember that time we were talking about Shades of Grey and Lokai said,

I just don't get the all out hate this episode apparently engenders? It's certainly no classic, but as far as clip shows go - I find it perfectly enjoyable. Indeed, it's actually quite a bit better than other season 2 entries such as "Manhunt" and "Up The Long Ladder".
Umm, what point are you trying to make with this post? Do you disagree with my opinion? Are you trying (and failing) to be "smart"?
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Last edited by LOKAI of CHERON; June 25 2013 at 08:33 PM.
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Old June 25 2013, 08:29 PM   #15
MacLeod
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Re: Episode of the Week: 2x22 "Shades of Gray"

Star Trek has never really done clip shows well, perhaps the best of the bunch is TOS's "The Menagerie". Stargate managed to do reasonable clip shows as for the most part they expanded on the mthology of the show or plot.
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