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

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Old December 28 2013, 05:16 AM   #1
doubleohfive
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Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

So, I was out having a lovely evening dinner and drinks with minidrag and her husband this evening and this topic came up in our random discussion.

As she hasn't posted here since we dated lo those many years ago, minidrag agreed to let me post this here.

Every once in a while, someone posts a thread asking "Why was Riker such a jerk?" or something along the lines of "Why Did Riker Have to be a Dick To Ro?" etc.

I myself don't think this applies, but our conversation was lively this evening and I quite enjoyed minidrag's logic here.

So, when you think about it, more often than not we always saw Riker on duty during the same duty shifts with Picard, which when you think about it makes little sense (most of the time, anyway) in terms of effcient starship operation.

Add to this that we very rarely ever saw Riker sleeping for any length of time - he's always being woken up or can't sleep ("Night Terrors," "Schisms.")

There's even an episode dedicated to his inability to wake up - "Frame of Mind."

Throw in to all this his usual gallivanting around with the ladies and it's easy to see why the man could be (from some people's perspective, not mine) such a dick to everyone sometimes -- poor guy just needed to get some sleep!








What do you guys think?
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Old December 28 2013, 05:32 AM   #2
Tosk
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

He'd have gotten heaps of sleep if he wasn't always trying to bone everyone.
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Old December 28 2013, 11:39 AM   #3
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

I'm confident Riker sleeps quite soundly when he Bags-A-Babe®. Tis Nature's way to recouperate ... to replenish, after orgasm. I find it less likely that "Riker's a dick" because of lack of sleep and more likely because that's just how so many in authority simply are. They tend to be rather more Book Smart, than People Smart. For example ...

In THE BIG GOODBYE, Geordi reports to Riker that there is a problem entering the holodeck. Riker shows up and asks LaForge if he's tried to make contact with the Captain, inside. Geordi answers in the affirmative and what does Riker do? He uses the panel by the holodeck door to contact the Captain. As if Riker's authority, ego and will are what's really required to make things happen. A nice wink at reality, I thought ...

It's so typical of people in that type of position to be so moronic and useless in a situation that they're ignorant about acting on. It used to be, like in the World War II days and before that, when people in charge actually had Common Sense and looked and acted like leaders. Now, all it takes is a college degree and leadership courses which reflect very poorly on reality.
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Old December 28 2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

Bah, he's a dick because he's a big sack of insecurities, a fact that is never better illustrated than when he is a dick to HIMSELF, in Second Chances. By all rights, Tom is the one who should be unpleasant. If I were Will, seeing a vastly less fortunate version of myself, I'd feel pretty stinking awful about it. I certainly wouldn't be puffing and posturing like an infantile showoff

Have some humility. You not only got back, you got rewarded, and he got abandoned and lost everything. Ultimately, Will got insecure because Tom was wooing Deanna, and Tom was getting a second chance at life, a life that he'd almost certainly not pursue in the way Will did, and that was clear to everyone, including Will, who then has to wonder about his own choices

Will was never the same after Shelby popped his balloon. He lost all that Kirk confidence that they'd started him off with, and was left with just empty bravado
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Old December 28 2013, 09:13 PM   #5
USS Triumphant
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

Personally, I think it's just because occasionally a little of Jonathan Frakes' actual personality can't help but poke through.

(Sorry, but I'm still bitter about the last episode of Enterprise. )
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Old December 29 2013, 08:30 PM   #6
WillsBabe
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
Personally, I think it's just because occasionally a little of Jonathan Frakes' actual personality can't help but poke through.
That's an interesting comment. I've never heard a bad word against Frakes on this board (or anywhere else, for that matter). Usually the comments are that Riker is a tosser but Frakes is a decent guy. OTOH I haven't been into the Enterprise forum - in there it might be a completely different story!
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Old December 29 2013, 08:40 PM   #7
MikeH92467
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

The XO of any ship (or any military organization) is not going to win any popularity contests. It's the Captain's privilege to be the impressive "old man" and make decisions and sometimes soften the impact when he/she thinks the XO is being too tough. It's a "good cop/bad cop" type of situation. I dont' see any reason why the roles couldn't be reversed with the Captain being the hard-ass, but I really think an effective leadership team will have one or the other playing those roles.

Also keep in mind that while I think Riker's job as XO was more clearly defined than Spock's, we saw very little of what he did as the person who really ran the ship. Being in charge of evaluations, assignments and most disciplinary matters is not something we saw much of and when we did it was pretty jarring.
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Old January 3 2014, 10:48 AM   #8
Darkwing
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

Simple explanation: He still had a low-level mindlink with Troi. When she has PMS, so does he!
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Old January 3 2014, 11:07 PM   #9
TenLubak
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

I like the condesending head shake as strides out of a room rolling his eyes and sighing annoyed with how dumb most of the crew are. (ie. people riker doesn't like so he cuts em down will riker style.)
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Old January 3 2014, 11:15 PM   #10
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

I always just chalked it up to bad acting.
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Old January 4 2014, 01:12 AM   #11
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

My observation of Riker at the time was how in Peak Performance, Picard goes on and on, sticking up for Rikers' command style to Kolrami, saying Riker's 'circumstantially inappropriate joviality' is "the means by which he creates that loyalty".

From then on, I noticed Riker's "command style" as described by Picard seemed to all but disappear after that!
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Old January 6 2014, 12:44 AM   #12
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

My Pet Theory is that Riker's Such a Jerk, Sometimes, because it turns Deanna on:



"Oh, Wil ... you know I love it when you're a bell's end. Come inside, won't you?"
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Old January 6 2014, 05:52 AM   #13
Lance
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

It was his beard.

The beard was in fact originally a parasitic alien life-form that engulfed our beloved Commander, ultimately overtaking all of his higher motor neuron functions. The last time we saw Will Riker alive was in "The Neutral Zone".

(He briefly managed to wrestle control of his body back from his beard in "Insurrection". But the beard had reasserted itself again by the time "Nemesis" came around, and had perhaps spread further talons through-out the entire rest of his body so that it can NEVER BE REMOVED AGAIN.)
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Old January 10 2014, 11:58 AM   #14
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

There's even an episode dedicated to his inability to wake up - "Frame of Mind."
Check again. The episode is "Schisms"

"Frame of mind" is also about him not waking up, but in a difference sense than what I think you mean.
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Old January 10 2014, 01:49 PM   #15
TheSubCommander
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Re: Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Bah, he's a dick because he's a big sack of insecurities, a fact that is never better illustrated than when he is a dick to HIMSELF, in Second Chances. By all rights, Tom is the one who should be unpleasant. If I were Will, seeing a vastly less fortunate version of myself, I'd feel pretty stinking awful about it. I certainly wouldn't be puffing and posturing like an infantile showoff

Have some humility. You not only got back, you got rewarded, and he got abandoned and lost everything. Ultimately, Will got insecure because Tom was wooing Deanna, and Tom was getting a second chance at life, a life that he'd almost certainly not pursue in the way Will did, and that was clear to everyone, including Will, who then has to wonder about his own choices

Will was never the same after Shelby popped his balloon. He lost all that Kirk confidence that they'd started him off with, and was left with just empty bravado
I never thought Will Riker was a dick, per se, or did anything out of the ordinary as First Officer. As MikeH92467 says, the XO is sometimes going to be the Ax Man for the captain, and sometimes will have to play the heavy. Even Picard tells Riker that part of his job is to make sure "he doesn't look like an ass."

As far as Second Chances go, I chalked Riker's harshness towards Tom Riker up to:

1. Being uber jealous that Tom and Deanna were getting together

2. Not knowing how to handle a duplicate of himself, and seeing something about himself he didn't like, in Tom Riker

Consider this, the same thing could have happened to Riker, as did to Kirk in the Enemy Within, and unknown to everyone else, Will Riker was the "Bad Twin," and Tom Riker was the "Good Twin," but it was far less pronounced than Kirk's, where both Rikers had enough of the original Riker's personality to be good or bad, as the situation called for. Will Riker ended up getting the stern side of himself that was good for being command oriented, whereas Tom Riker got a little more of the personable and empathy side.

I think evidence to this is that it seems after the transporter accident, Riker was supposedly almost obsessed with becoming captain, even breaking up with Deanna to do it. Tom Riker did come off as more gentle than Will Riker (at least until DS9), and had he been the one to come back instead of Will Riker, I think he would have chosen Deanna over career, or at least turned down the promotion to be with her. I think that can also explain some hostility on Will Riker's part, because he felt guilty he did break up with Deanna years later, and when Tom entered the picture, it made him finally confront that guilt. So, he lashed out towards Tom Riker.
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