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Old February 7 2009, 12:17 AM   #1
TrekToday
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Clues

Plot Summary: Just after discovering a previously uncharted M-class planet, the Enterprise is pulled into a wormhole that makes everyone pass out but Data. When they revive, Data tells Picard that the crew lost consciousness for 30 seconds, though the sensors suggest they traveled for a full day and Crusher's botanical experiment shows a day's growth. A probe indicates that the planet they discovered is not M-class, but uninhabitable. Meanwhile, LaForge realizes that someone has tampered with the ship's chronometer and Troi senses that her body has been inhabited by some unknown personality. None of Data's explanations make sense to the crew, so Picard orders an examination of the android's systems, but LaForge reports that they all seem normal...which suggests that Data is deliberately hiding the truth. Worf goes to sickbay with an aching wrist that Crusher discovers has been broken and healed with her instruments - an event neither can recall. When LaForge discovers that Data tampered with the probe to send a false image back to the ship, Picard demands to know why Data is deceiving the crew. Data admits that he was ordered to do so by Picard himself. Meanwhile Troi begins to speak in the voice of an alien, telling Data that his plan has failed. The being inhabiting Troi tells Picard that her people are xenophobes who erase the memories of intruders and send them away, but since Data is immune to their manipulation, they intend to destroy the Enterprise. Picard insists that he now knows what he and Data need to do to prevent the crew from guessing that their memories have been altered, and the alien agrees to give them one more chance to remove all knowledge of their existence.


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Old February 7 2009, 12:32 AM   #2
Kail
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Re: Clues

I love this episode. It's one of my favorites.
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Old February 7 2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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Re: Clues

This is one of my favorites from season four. I always thought TNG excelled at these sorts of sci-fi mystery stories(The Survivors, Remember Me, Night Terrors, Cause and Effect etc).

I love mysteries and this was really a good one. I liked how the episode started out as another routine survey until the camera pans out to see everyone unconscious. Very effective teaser. It definitely piqued my curiosity as to what was really going on.

I also liked how the show continued for a while as nothing was wrong with the crew returning to their duties. Once again Beverly, like in "Remember Me" and "Cause and Effect", is the first to suspect something is amiss. The gradual discovery of unexplained clues(the moss, Troi's fright, Worf's wrist) made for several intriguing and unsettling moments.

I was totally taken aback by the revelation it was Picard had ordered Data to lie to him. I did not see that coming and floored me. Brilliant.

This was an episode that effectively employed the flashback technique. I liked the way the story used flashbacks towards the end to pull the fragmented clues together and show us an interesting replay of what really occurred in that missing day--sort of like LOST where our initial impression of the situation was not quite what it appeared.

The crew looked good in this episode as well whether taking smart sensible steps to confirm their suspicions such as Beverly checking the biological cycle of the crewmen to Geordi examining the ship's chronometer. Loved the writers remembering the little and easily overlooked details such as the beard growth which would have slipped my mind were it not raised by the characters. Sharp writing.

The idea of a stalemate was a fresh idea. Brent did a good job with Data steering the crew away from what really happened. And other miscellaneous stuff in this episode's favor--the Data/LaForge interaction, the cute little teaser with Guinan as Gloria from Cleeeveland, seeing Alyssa, the VFX.

Once again I pretty much disagree entirely with MEG. She can't seem to see the forest from the trees.
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Old February 7 2009, 01:20 AM   #4
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Re: Clues

I agree... Kail... love the mystery, and I loved not being in the know.

My logical mind says it's far fetched, like when the clocks are all wrong or mis-match to when they next email Starfleet. But I don't care too much... love the mystery.

And I like the ending, where we feel we share a secret with Data.

And why would the aliens do what they did? Well much like the Prime Directive they'll have their rules, but can interpret it in many possible ways.

Edit to respond to startrekwatcher's comments: I agree, good analysis. I do wonder if sometimes having to official review an episode makes one more critical. And episodes like Clues will never hold up as greats in terms of pivotal or groundbreaking stories, they are fun and enjoyable and shouldn't be scrutinised too hard.
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Old February 7 2009, 05:49 AM   #5
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Re: Clues

I think my main problem with Clues is that it only works the first time. After that, the story kind of does ring a little hollow, and Picard is way way to excited about "clues" in the beginning of the episode. It's not the worst of the season, but it's gotten a bit overrated over the years.
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Old February 7 2009, 07:17 PM   #6
Kail
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Re: Clues

One missed opportunity: When Geordie checks the ships clock, he states only two people could have done it, himself and Data. It turns out it was Data, but I thought at the time it would have been cool if it had been Geordie himself.
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Old February 8 2009, 01:02 AM   #7
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Re: Clues

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
I also liked how the show continued for a while as nothing was wrong with the crew returning to their duties. Once again Beverly, like in "Remember Me" and "Cause and Effect", is the first to suspect something is amiss.
Indeed. A few months ago I had a TNG mini-marathon with a friend, and, coincidentally, we watched both of those episodes, as well as "Clues". Afterwards, I couldn't help but think, "Wow, that Dr. Crusher is one smart lady! She always knows when something isn't right."

Anyway, I've always liked this episode. It's a neat, well-written little mystery (even if Picard's "Humans find a mystery irresistible" speech was a little ham-handed).

I do agree that it doesn't quite have the same effect after you've already seen it once, but unfortunately that's true of a number of mysteries.
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