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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 March 13 2014, 04:31 AM   #1
Clark Terrell
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Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

I'm watching "The Enemy" and am reminded (again) of why Crusher bothers me so much. Her handling of the situation between Worf and the dying Romulan was completely inappropriate, not only because she attempted to force Worf into undergoing a medical procedure without his consent but also because she failed to consider the Romulan's wishes. He didn't want Worf's help anymore than Worf wanted to help him.

Given the way Worf was treated during the episode, I thought he showed remarkable restraint. I don't agree with his choice to let the Romulan die, but I understand his feelings and am appalled that Crusher wasn't disciplined for her behavior.
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Old March 13 2014, 04:37 AM   #2
Tosk
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

She tried to talk Worf into helping, she's a real monster.

What disciplimary action would you recommend for this heinous behavior?
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Old March 13 2014, 04:41 AM   #3
Clark Terrell
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

Tosk wrote: View Post
She tried to talk Worf into helping, she's a real monster.
No, she tried to guilt him into helping by treating him as though his feelings didn't matter.

Tosk wrote: View Post
What disciplimary action would you recommend for this heinous behavior?
What I think warranted disciplinary action was her insistence on doing the procedure despite the Romulan not wanting Worf's help. Even if Worf had agreed to do it, the Romulan made his own feelings clear.
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Old March 13 2014, 04:45 AM   #4
Tosk
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

After the Romulan says that he would rather die, we never see Crusher insisting again.

The next reference to it is Picard pleading with Worf to agree, then the Romulan dies. So should Picard discipline himself?
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Old March 13 2014, 04:53 AM   #5
Clark Terrell
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

Tosk wrote: View Post
The next reference to it is Picard pleading with Worf to agree, then the Romulan dies. So should Picard discipline himself?
Picard asked once and then let the matter drop, advising Crusher not to ask again. His behavior was appropriate given that a captain has to look at the larger picture.
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Old March 13 2014, 05:05 AM   #6
Tosk
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

So what's the problem then?
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Old March 13 2014, 06:07 AM   #7
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

I didn't agree with Worf in the episode, but I've never been in that kind of scenario and don't know how I'd react. Was Crusher out of line to try and guilt Worf? No. A: she was his superior officer and has full authority to make him come by sickbay and see the situation. She didn't force him to stay, he could've walked out the door right after he walked in. B: There were clearly going to be real consequences of Worf refusing to help. It's important that he understand them before it's too late.

As for Crusher being out of line for pursuing Worf about it without the patients consent, there's no issue here until she actually could get Worf to consent to the transfusion. I'd assume she was dealing with one problem at a time, once she'd gotten Worfs cooperation, she would have worked on getting the romulan to consent to the transfusion. It's possible that if Worf agreed and she couldn't get the Romulans consent, Picard might have stepped in and ordered her to do it or they would have contacted Tomalak and possibly gotten him to talk the patient into it.
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Old March 13 2014, 07:12 AM   #8
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

As a Starfleet officer, Worf is expected to accept and, more importantly, help others regardless of his personal views. His bigotry is what should be questioned, granted he has a personal grievance about the Romulans (their attack on Khitomer that killed most of his family), but if that was the case either he should have requested another officer take his place or Picard should've insisted on it.

Crusher was simply trying to be a humanitarian and, as an enlightened and open human being, didn't expect Worf's racism.
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Old March 13 2014, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

Indeed. Worf has supposedly sworn an oath to serve in Starfleet, and that requires him to do as told. In contrast, nobody swore an oath to give a shit about his feelings. But Crusher by profession is supposed to protect life, even if her oath actually conflicts rather severely with her employment in an agency tasked with killing. Trying to talk Worf into helping is a good way to accomplish her assigned task; ordering Worf to do it at phaserpoint and/or through threat of ruination of his career would be another.

Worf of course is an enemy agent within Starfleet, fighting against its strategic goals by promoting Klingon agendas. That he is tolerated at all, let alone to the degree witnessed, is in turn nicely in concord with those strategic goals... But sometimes there are limits.

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Old March 13 2014, 11:44 AM   #10
Mutai Sho-Rin
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

Speaking strictly as a fan, I think the OP's perspective is ridiculous. If I were in a situation similar to the Romulan, I would want that level of advocacy from my doctor. If I were the Romulan, I also hope I would accept any source of salvation without the bias.
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Old March 13 2014, 12:02 PM   #11
starburst
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

This isnt such a black and white issue even if the characters see it that way...

For Worf there is no choice, this man may be dying but he is an enemy to both the Klingons and the Federation and to Worf he cant ignore the fact the Romulans killed his parents. This is a part of Worf's character arc which doesnt start to resolve until much later during the events of Nemesis.

For Crusher and Picard there is also no choice, they want to help this man, it doesnt matter that he is a part of an enemy nation, they want to provide assistance when ever and where ever possible...

What they nor Starfleet can do, and this is where the grey comes in, is ignore Worf's feelings (be them right or wrong) and force him to give a transfusion. What if they had said he needed a kidney or a lung and Worf was still the only person who was compatible?

To change the situation if this had been around the time of World War 2 and trade the Starship Enterprise for the Carrier Enterprise who had rescued a badly injured German do you think it would be appropriate for a Jewish officer/crewman to be pressured into 'doing the right thing' if he felt so strongly against it?
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Old March 13 2014, 01:52 PM   #12
2takesfrakes
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

This episode went down some interesting roads. As far as Crusher going "out of control" in this episode, she does seem pushy, which she's been known to do. And it's been addressed before, in a very direct way, that Bev feels for her patients' suffering - and that her professional detachment in this regard is somewhat lacking. But what she's got is an excellent bedside manner, aside from being, probably, the best doctor in StarFleet - serving on its Flagship and all.

As to a real life situation of forcing someone to do something for someone they don't like, it's usually not life or death, but it happens so much in life. Where we are forced, because of propriety, our own upbringing, or because it's simply the path of least resistance, to do for people we just can't stand and want no part of. And this question of "how far do you let a grudge go" is an intriguing one to have been answered in this episode. Worf hates Romulans because of their ideology and because his parents died as a result of it. But is it more that that? Worse than that? Has he taken his grief too far? He's certainly lost his objectivity, where Romulans are concerned and for him to be forced to examine that more closely was probably an inevitable part of his chosen path. The enemy is not just there to indiscriminately kill, anymore - it's not the StarFleet way. I'm glad they explored it.
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Old March 13 2014, 03:57 PM   #13
Trekker4747
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

I thought Crusher was a bit out of line. We can say what we ant about the ethical duty she has as a doctor, Worf as another person/Starfleet officer but when it comes down to it Starfleet as far as we know isn't an organization that's going to force a person to undergo a medical procedure against their will.

And even though the "medical procedure" we're talking about her probably involved nothing more than a hypospray it's still something Worf should have the right to consent to and to opt out of. Once he said "no" that should have been the end of it.

"His body, his choice." so to speak.

Crusher continued to harass him about and then played her little game of making him face the dying Romulan. That's just cold.
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Old March 13 2014, 04:18 PM   #14
The Wormhole
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

The thing that always got me about this episode is that in the end the whole thing is a bit of a non-issue, isn't it. Worf, despite his feelings went ahead and spoke with the Romulan anyway. And the Romulan made it clear he didn't want Klingon blood "polluting" his body. So, at this point Worf is off the hook, he spoke with the Romulan despite his feeling about him, the Romulan doesn't want his blood. End of discussion, matter settled. And yet, the story still drags its ass with Picard having a heart to heart to Worf about it and Worf still professing his hatred of Romulans and then the Romulan dies.
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Old March 13 2014, 04:46 PM   #15
doubleohfive
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Re: Crusher Out of Control in "The Enemy"

The whole point of that arc in the episode was to demonstrate how different Worf was from the rest of the crew. For all the ballyhooing about Crusher being too insistent and all these other ridiculous expectations you guys have from a human perspective, you're ignoring what Worf's perspective on the matter would have been. I mean, the title of the episode is "The Enemy." I don't know how much more in your face it needs to be. From Memory Alpha's page on "The Enemy":

The plot point of Worf letting Patahk die by refusing blood met great resistance among some of the writing staff and Michael Dorn when it was suggested by Michael Piller. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, p. 107)

Dorn commented, "I called the producers and said I didn't agree. I thought [giving blood] was the honorable thing to do. I thought people would look at [Worf] as a murderer. The producers felt that Worf was getting to be too human...just a guy with a big head. When the opportunity came for them to show that Worf was not human, that he is not bound by the same morals as we are, they felt it was a wonderful opportunity." In hindsight, however, Dorn saw the wisdom of the decision, remarking how it revealed the different sides of Worf. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 188)

Piller noted, "Rick Berman knew instantly it was the right thing to do. Once he was behind me, it was a race to the finish line. And it was absolutely the right thing to do. You knew the audience was waiting for Worf to come around, because they always do that in television. But the character wouldn't do that and I think we made a really good decision. At first though, it was quite a shock and a controversial decision. But you end up talking about survival and survival among enemies. I think it was just a natural character development." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 188)

All that said, I've not been in the situation myself, and if I were, I'm 99% certain I'd agree to the transfusion. (there's just about two people in the world I might have to think about before agreeing), but for Worf, a Klingon orphan wronged by Romulan spies and Klingon traitors for nearly his entire life, it made perfect sense. Picard makes the point often that Starfleet and the Federation are all about respecting the morals, culture and traditions of other cultures. It's why he doesn't throw Worf into jail after he kills Duras. It's why he lets Worf come back to the Enterprise after the Klingon Civil War. This is just another piece of that puzzle and though the human characters don't like it, they at least respect Worf and his beliefs enough not to impose their own beliefs on to him.
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