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

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Old September 30 2013, 02:48 PM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"





Yep. Two episodes in a row where the episode's teaser features a naked person with only one single butt cheek showing and one of the main characters giving us a meme worthy face palm. Since this episode takes place after Deja Q, I wonder if Picard insisted on a naked woman to cleanse the memory of seeing Q naked on the bridge.

*clears throat*

Our episode opens with another clone of the orbital office complex where Riker and LaForge are meeting with a Doctor Apgar. When Riker very insistently asks to be beamed back to the Enterprise, the station explodes in a giant fireball! O'Brien manages to get Riker back onto the Enterprise before he was fully engulfed in the explosion, to which Riker is surprised that when he gets back that the station just exploded.

Thus begins our trial episode of TNG where Riker is accused of murdering the good doctor Apgar and destroying the priceless model of the orbiting space office from TMP. Just kidding, it's just the murder. It turns out that our "Happy to flirt with any alien woman" Riker just somehow managed to get Apgar jealous when he started to have some alone time with Apgar's wife. What follows is one of the goofiest trials where the witnesses describe what they remember and it's recreated on the holodeck. Oh, yes. We get to see all sorts of depictions of the same event, and it's anything but dramatic. You would think that having Troi on the scene would help move things along by having her along would make things easier, but they don't. Forget about stating the obvious, she actually upfront says "It is the truth as each of you remembers it." I'm starting to think that the writers are just coming up with ways on making her more useless.

The most memorable moment of the trial is when Agpar catches Riker and his wife having an intimate moment. The depictions goes from Apgar not being able to punch Riker and falling on the floor, Apgar getting punched in the stomach twice by Riker and than finally Apgar actually managing to beat the snot out of Riker with Riker shouting that Apgar is a dead man. The newly restored HD version of this episode makes the shot of Riker punching Apgar all the more hilarious because now we can clearly tell that it's not only a stunt guy playing Apgar, it's also a stunt guy playing Riker. It's astounding.

We also get a funny scene where the prosecutors show Riker doing a quick 180º turn with his phaser drawn and shoots Apgar's experiment right as he's beaming away. Problem is that when we saw Riker beam back onto the Enterprise, he wasn't even holding his phaser. Does Riker or anyone bring up this little fact? Of course not. No one brings up the fact that Riker didn't even have his phaser out when he rematerialized back onto the Enterprise, or check the phaser if it had actually been fired. They just sit there like they just witnessed the most damning piece of evidence that might actually convict him.

In the end, it turns out Apgar wanted to kill Riker the moment he started to beam out by using his experiment to shoot a beam of death at him. It reflects back on itself and thus everyone concludes that this is the cause of the explosion. The end.

CONCLUSION:
This episode is a great one and for all the wrong reasons. It's one of those rare TNG episodes that fits into the "So Bad it's Good" categories of entertainment due to the silly acting, silly make up and even sillier re-enactments of supposed events. It's not every day that you get to see poorly acted characters watch themselves acting poorly and acknowledging it. One last thing to note is that this is the last whole episode where the universe is still 'normal'. I'm so excited.

STINGER:
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Old September 30 2013, 05:29 PM   #2
Use of Time
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

This episode is great. That scene where Apgar beats the shit of Riker is hilarious. Another cringe worthy scene is the one where "rapey" Riker slides the shoulder off of that woman's dress in what is an uncomfortable attempt at getting her to sleep with him. It is just such an awful scene.
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Old September 30 2013, 07:07 PM   #3
Anwar
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

What made me upset in this episode were the looks Riker was getting from the crew, most of them honestly acted like he was really guilty. Picard and Troi were the only ones who stuck by him!
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Old September 30 2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

This is nothing but a space opera version of the classic Japanese film "Rashomon" where the nature of truth is explored in ways that are engrossing and unsettling as opposed to silly here. In Rashomon, a couple of ordinary guys who witnessed a murder trial where the defendant (Toshiro Mifune), his lover(?) and her murdered (?) husband all have such differing versions of what happened that they can't be reconciled. In the original, a medium contacts the dead man after the judge hears the man and woman tell such different tales that he figures the only one with nothing to gain and no reason to lie is the dead man. That goes up in smoke when the dead man, speaking through the medium, tells a third version of the incident. Rashomon was a classic and even has given rise to what's called the "The Rashomon Effect". If you can find the original "Rashomon" pop it into your DVD and watch one of the great classics of 20th Century Cinema. If you stumble across "A Matter of Perspective" prepare for an hour's worth of mediocre, disposable distraction.
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Old September 30 2013, 08:25 PM   #5
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

Yeah, this was an interesting episode. Just all the different views. Rape Riker was creepy and Rambo Apgar was hilarious. For some reason that scene where Riker fires the phaser as he beams out struck me as cool also.
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Old September 30 2013, 09:20 PM   #6
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

I like this one. It's fun to watch.
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Old September 30 2013, 11:12 PM   #7
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

I actually think it's good, rather than so bad it's good. The plot is a nice rashomon story that uses the holodeck in one of the best ways we've seen it.

It also shows a self awareness towards Riker's over the top flirting with everyone. Finally it blows up in his face and the crew probably doesn't know who to believe. I also like how what really went down isn't 100% explained.

I'd put it on my list of favorite Riker episodes
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Old October 1 2013, 12:09 AM   #8
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

I have to agree with what the reviewer for Cinefantastique said ages ago...this one feels like a leftover from Season 2.

FWIW, I always got the impression that Riker's POV wasn't completely reliable. He seemed to come off as a little too chaste in his version of events.

Jeyl wrote: View Post
You would think that having Troi on the scene would help move things along by having her along would make things easier, but they don't. Forget about stating the obvious, she actually upfront says "It is the truth as each of you remembers it." I'm starting to think that the writers are just coming up with ways on making her more useless.
Indeed, having recently rewatched seasons 4 and 5, one thing that leapt out at me was how they'd make the lamest excuses in exactly the situations where Troi should have been most useful. Somebody's out and out lying / pulling a con? "He's very focused" or "His mind is closed"....
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Old October 1 2013, 04:07 AM   #9
Anwar
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

Well, she's an Empath not a Telepath. She can't read minds, just moods. If someone has good self-control over their feelings then her powers would be neutralized.
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Old October 1 2013, 04:32 AM   #10
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
FWIW, I always got the impression that Riker's POV wasn't completely reliable. He seemed to come off as a little too chaste in his version of events.
Riker may have a bit of a roving eye but I don't see him resorting to flat-out rape, like Mrs. Apgar accused him of. She must have been lying, probably to protect her husband's reputation.
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Old October 1 2013, 04:42 AM   #11
The Old Mixer
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

^I didn't say that her account was reliable. The truth was probably somewhere in between the two extremes...he probably was flirting and things went too far.

Everyone's account was unreliable...even Riker's.

Anwar wrote: View Post
Well, she's an Empath not a Telepath. She can't read minds, just moods. If someone has good self-control over their feelings then her powers would be neutralized.
At the very least, empathy should be as good as a polygraph. What they're basically saying in situations like that is that she can only read obvious emotions...just like anybody else.
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Old October 1 2013, 06:21 AM   #12
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

This is one of my favorite season 3 episodes. Watching the same scenes over again with differences was neat. I enjoy Kurosawa, so a Rashomon ripoff was welcomed by me.

Frakes' sleight of hand routine with the phaser prop was neat, but why was it necessary? Why wasn't there just a phaser clipped to his belt to begin with? The investigator thinks that not only did Riker have and use a phaser, but he also had it in his hand all along, and only pretended to unholster it?

Another thought - if Apgar's wife was totally making up her side of the story about Riker going too far, doesn't it seem odd that an alien would drop a Rapunzel reference? Either the writers missed it, or Riker isn't as innocent as he would have us believe.

"YOU'RE A DEAD MAN, APGAR! A DEAD MAN!" That's always good for a laugh.

Another top notch score by Ron Jones as well.
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Old October 1 2013, 09:35 AM   #13
MikeS
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

Jeyl wrote: View Post



The newly restored HD version of this episode makes the shot of Riker punching Apgar all the more hilarious because now we can clearly tell that it's not only a stunt guy playing Apgar, it's also a stunt guy playing Riker. It's astounding.
I was going to bring this up. Could Frakes not throw a simple punch?

On the subject of the HD transfer - were they unable to find a few seconds in this episode? The bit where Riker gets up and circles the facsimilie of himself looks suspiciously SD.

Jeyl wrote: View Post

We also get a funny scene where the prosecutors show Riker doing a quick 180º turn with his phaser drawn and shoots Apgar's experiment right as he's beaming away. Problem is that when we saw Riker beam back onto the Enterprise, he wasn't even holding his phaser. Does Riker or anyone bring up this little fact? Of course not. No one brings up the fact that Riker didn't even have his phaser out when he rematerialized back onto the Enterprise, or check the phaser if it had actually been fired. They just sit there like they just witnessed the most damning piece of evidence that might actually convict him.
It's like you're reading my mind.

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One last thing to note is that this is the last whole episode where the universe is still 'normal'. I'm so excited.
Do you not believe that Sela is present during the events of this and previous episodes?.. That the timeline as is, is the one reset to after the events of Yesterdays Enterprise?
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Old October 1 2013, 05:04 PM   #14
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

An interesting episode. Underrated, methinks. Also, I think that the three "interpretations" of what happened between Riker, Mrs. Apgar and Mr. Apgar are all very amusing, disturbing and bizarre...at the same time, in their own unique ways.

First off: Riker's interpretation. Is it believable that he would simply turn her down politely, like a true gentleman would under the same circumstances (that she's married)? Personally, I would say it's certainly possible. However, doesn't Riker seem a little too, well, 'innocent of guilt' in his interpretation? It's interesting...but then again, all three versions are so over the top that it's ridiculous, and this leads me to believe that, as Troi said, stupid as it might have sounded: "It is the truth as each of you remembers it". This must have been pretty much accurate because, let's just look at all three:

1. Mrs. Apgar comes on to Riker aggressively and seductively. He turns her down. Mr. Apgar barges in, attempts to punch Riker and falls on the floor. Seriously...that is what happened?

2. Riker comes on to Mrs. Apgar aggressively and even tries to remove her dress...forcibly! And then Mr. Apgar enters, tries to defend his wife and Riker punches him in the stomach and gloats...evilly? I think not! That simply isn't the Riker we know, no matter how much of an eye for the ladies he may have. In fact, it's important to mention that having an eye for the ladies does not in any way make someone necessarily a pervert or an attempted rapist.

3. Riker and Mrs. Apgar are making out and possibly about to do the nasty as well, although we don't know for sure. Mr. Apgar barges in, accuses both of them and then beats up Riker, leading to "You're a dead man, Apgar! A dead man!" Again, my response is...

Did any of these really happen exactly as was remembered? We already know that Riker would never have attempted to assault Mrs. Apgar, so the second one is a no-no. I also can't imagine Riker getting it on with Mrs. Apgar and then also getting annoyed enough at being punched by Mr. Apgar to yell the hilariously over the top "dead man!" line...what's the chances of that actually having happened?

From that perspective, the first option seems the most likely. Riker doesn't usually seem like quite as much of a perfect gentleman as he portrays himself here, and Mrs. Apgar does seem unrealistically sexually aggressive considering how her character is portrayed in the trial scenes. Then again, that could just be Riker's recollection being a little faulty. So what really happened?

It's also interesting that the question of 'which interpretation is actually the truth', or at least 'which interpretation is closest to the truth' is never fully answered. What really did happen in that room? Any ideas? It doesn't make sense that none of them were really right, and why would Mrs. Apgar have tried to seduce Riker and then lied about it and ended up believing, however incorrectly, that Riker attempted to assault her? It's pretty absurd, isn't it? That part of the plot didn't make any real sense to me. The third option was even more ridiculous. If anyone has any thoughts on what might have actually happened and why everyone remembered things incorrectly (presumably), I think it'd be worth talking about.
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Old October 1 2013, 05:32 PM   #15
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

MikeS wrote: View Post
Do you not believe that Sela is present during the events of this and previous episodes?.. That the timeline as is, is the one reset to after the events of Yesterdays Enterprise?
I'll go into depth more in next week's episode, but from my point of view Sela currently does not exist. I know this introduces some plot holes like how the Enterprice C would go through the rift if everything was as it should be. The moment the Enterprice C goes through the rift, it not only alters history, we actually get to see the present change as a result. No "alternate reality" here. So I see "A Matter of Perspective" (How appropriate) as the last episode that's set in the lass Sela-less universe.
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