The weekly thread starts a day late again. This week’s episode is Lonely Among Us. Hopefully this thread won’t be lonely among us. I said these weekly threads would be our way to relive the 80’s. At this point in the 80’s we were a little disappointed with the early output of the series and wondering whether the series would be a success. Today I’m a little disappointed with these early threads and wondering whether the weekly thread tradition will be a success. This episode exemplifies some of the worst of the crude judgmentalism that sometimes plagued TNG. Our heroes spend a lot of time talking about how superior they are to the aliens and 20th-century humans, when all they’re really demonstrating is a complete failure to appreciate the challenges faced by these supposedly inferior beings. The aliens are seen as so inferior and insignificant that the apparent murder and cannibalization of one of them makes for a lighthearted gag on which to end the episode. Blech. This is an early A/B episode, and most of my complaint is reserved for the B storyline. The A storyline isn’t offensively bad, but it’s utterly bizarre that when the captain takes the ship off mission, refuses to explain the decision, then outright admits to Beverly that an alien intelligence is in at least partial control of his mind, regulations still require the crew to follow his bizarre orders. I do like how, in the finest TOS tradition, the adversary turns out to be misunderstood rather than hostile.