Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Captrek, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Child (episode) at Memory Alpha
    The Child at Chrissie's Transcripts


    We're back! Wow, the offseason just flew by, didn’t it? The new season brings many changes. The most important change by far is that they got rid of that damn rainbow sweater.

    Dr. Crusher has left the Enterprise and we have a new CMO. I like Pulaski as a character and will be sad to see her go after the season. According to a [thread=147818]poll[/thread], most TrekBBSers prefer Crusher to Pulaski.

    The ship now has a bar and a bartender who dispenses good advice. I always like the Guinan scenes.

    Geordi is now chief of engineering and has a gold uniform. I don't know why they thought they didn't need a regular chief engineer when the series started, but it quickly became obvious that one was warranted and Geordi is a good fit for the role.

    Worf is now chief of security, which is obviously the perfect position for him. He also has a gold uniform, the sash, and better makeup.

    Riker has a beard. He looks much better, and somehow more competent.

    The title of the episode kind of irks me. "The Child," as if the Enterprise will only encounter one child ever. It feels like the writers just got stuck for a title when they go with "The [very generic noun]." Other examples include The Battle, The Bonding, The Enemy, The Price, The Hunted, The Offspring, The Loss, The Wounded, The Game, The Outcast, The Chase, etc.

    This is a nice little scene. It seems more real than we usually associate with the series. Good, natural performances from Stewart and Wheaton, and nice directing from Rob Bowman giving them room to perform instead of, "Chop chop, guys, we have to leave room for the commercials." Perhaps a benefit of the writers' strike?

    Maybe I was just in a generous mood when I watched it, but it seems to me the acting is improved all around.

    Pulaski's habit of interrupting the captain is one he will come to resent, but in this case I think she does him a favor by interrupting rather than allowing him to continue making himself look like a jerk.

    Perhaps another effect of the writer's strike, they cribbed a lot of material from sources with expired copyrights, like the Gospel of Eugene:
    Plagiarized or not, it's another nice bit of directing.

    Actually I like a lot of the angles and composition in this episode.

    This may not be a great episode, it's kind of a lame story that has been told better before, but they're gaining competence in the way they put it together. Season One often felt like amateur hour.

    The preview makes it look like she's talking about the child. How obnoxious.

    Can't the ship's weapons reduce it to atoms? Or tractor-beam it into a star or black hole? Oh well. Maybe the writers would have fixed this if they hadn't been on strike.

    It's okay, Deanna. He's not dying, he's just returning to his natural state. But if it feels right to you to mourn him as dead, go ahead: at his rate of development the mourning period will only last a few hours.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I liked Ian when we first see him.
    "Hello."
    And Picard just stares at him, dumbfounded, trying not to show his alarm.
    "Hello, Ian."

    (The transcript link isn't working for me.)
     
  3. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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  4. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Plasma plague??????

    Another episode that I have been guilty of remembering too harshly. The opening five minutes with the introduction to the crew and their new roles is nicely done, not "hitting you over the head" with it. In fact, all the goodness of this episode comes with setting up season two and our characters. The A-story of "The Child" and the B-story about the plague are quite forgettable.

    A very obvious "Pro-choice" vibe going on here -
    "Captain, do whatever you feel is necessary to protect the ship, but know this: I'm going to have this baby."
    "Then it seems that the discussion is over."
    Regarding the development and birth, I find it hard to believe that Troi would become attached to the child after such a short gestation with no pain or lasting effects. And any television birth that shows the mother on her back with her legs in the air never fails to have my wife and I screaming at the television. Having had two natural births ourselves and having studied anatomy and physiology, we always scream at the mother to get on her feet and let gravity and anatomy assist!

    Regarding the HD transfer. The scenes on the bridge are very "grainy", any reason for this? I'm not saying I don't like it, I think I'm on the side of grain versus DNR, just distracted me a little. Also, the big debate over the season two sfx - not nearly as bad as I'd feared, although nowhere near season one standards.

    Is this O'Brien's first appearance since Farpoint?

    This episode gets mentioned again during the Destiny trilogy as the reason for Riker and Deanna's inability to conceive.
     
  5. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    I think this episode was strange from Deanna's point of view. I felt like she was just way to calm about the situation as if it were just a normal baby. How about "what the hell is inside me?"
     
  6. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    The Child.

    Well, the day has finally come. It was inevitable since both Gene Roddenberry and Maurice Hurley were in charge of the major story developments of TNG, so here it is. The episode that hates women.

    For starters, two of the three main female characters from Season One are now gone leaving Troi the only main reoccurring female character of the show. Incase you need a reminder, she's the only main cast member who doesn't wear a uniform. But the episode tries to sweep this under the rug by giving all the guys promotions which results in them taking over positions that at first were manned by female characters. We're already off to a great start.

    Also, Troi gets raped. I'm sorry, but that's what happens here. An alien force enters and impregnates her while she is an unwilling participant. So, how does Maurice handle Deana and Pulaski when Troi sees her about it? Why, by going to the bar of course! Screw Sick Bay, screw alerting the Captain that one of his senior officers was violated by an unknown entity. The ship has a new bar! God, at least Nemesis got it right when she went directly to Sick Bay immediately after going through a 'psychic rape' attack.

    And you gotta love that scene in the conference room where Troi is sitting AWAY from the rest of the crew when they're all discussing her pregnancy. It's not even until the very end when she finally chimes in to make the decision.

    And here's another fun example at how this story hates the female gender.

    That's right. Exactly like Deanna in every way.... except for the fact that it's male. WHY? Does this energy entity that lacks organic components carry a Y chromosome?

    And I haven't even gotten to the cargo plot yet.
     
  7. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Seriously?

    There were just two main female characters by the end of season one. There are three now (Guinan, Pulaski and Troi).

    Granted. I much preferred it when they gave her a uniform. Seemed more professional.

    The only person that got a promotion was Geordi, to full lieutenant.

    I don't think anyone has ever denied this but the way the writers deal with that event is what should be judged. As previously mentioned, I feel they went with a very "pro-choice" stance.

    I'm sorry, I really don't get where you're coming from with this one.
     
  8. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought the "Phase II" version wasn't very good, but still better than the TNG version.
     
  9. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ah, the beginning of one of my fave seasons of TNG!

    I absolutely love the first couple of minutes. The majestic music; Riker with a beard; Worf and Geordi's new uniform. There's a real great 'feel' to this episode that I really enjoyed.
     
  10. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Troi gets unwillingly impregnated by an alien and everyone, even Troi pretty much shrugs it off as if it's no big deal even before the end of the episode. How many rape victims do you know treat being raped the same way? How can you say that the writers actually care about such subject matters if they don't bother to make it much of an issue for the characters?

    Kind of hard to justify them as 'main female characters' when the credits list Whoopi Goldberg and Diana Muldaur as 'guest stars' in every episode they appear in. And how can we take their roles seriously when their positions are the doctor, counselor and bartender? Pretty weak positions when compared to the other more prominent roles of Captain, First Officer, Helm officer, Con officer, tactical officer, Chief Engineer. ect. All of which in the Child are filled in by male characters. Plus their roles in the episode do more harm than good since Pulaski is a condescending, unprofessional jerk, Deanna is treated more like a plot device than an actual person, and Guinan helped convince Wesley to stay onboard the Enterprise.
     
  11. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From The next Generation Companion -
    Whoopi may have been the bartender but she had a much better role and lines than Yar ever did, even though she was in the more powerful role. Did Whoopi ever consider Gene to be sexist? I doubt it.

    I agree, they could have dealt a little more with Troi's feelings about being "raped", but I stand by my "pro-choice" comments in proving that this episode was far from sexist. If it were sexist Picard would have ordered her to have a termination.
     
  12. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, I agree. I hold Guinan to be one of the most interesting characters in all of Star Trek, and Whoopi's interest in wanting to be a part of Star Trek is one of the coolest casting stories in any medium. You just don't get many big name actors voicing their interest in becoming a part of something they've been a fan of. Most of the time it's always treated as 'work' or doing it for the money. Not saying that's a problem, it's just nice to know that actors can be fans just like us.

    I just think it's a pity her first appearance is to help ensure that Wesley stays on the Enterprise. The one character I did NOT want to stick around.

    Granted yes, there was that element in the episode, but I doubt the idea of termination would have come from a political stand point since they're dealing with an unknown alien entity. And that still doesn't stop Picard from ordering Worf and two other security officers to look over the actual birth process. Pretty funny when you consider what Worf had to say during the meeting.

    As SFDebris put it, "That's Worf. He's not pro-life or pro choice. He's just pro-killing."
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Another one that I found immensely entertaining.
     
  14. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Now onto the second plot which involves Geordi's new rank and position of Chief Engineer. I'll always miss Geordi's original position because I liked the idea of the blind person flying the flagship of the fleet. While he will have many great moments as Chief Engineer, the position also means that Geordi will no longer take command of the Enterprise.

    Unfortunately, how the Child portrays Geordi as Chief Engineer will pretty much dictate how he handles critical situations all the way to the end of the TNG era. That being when something goes wrong, there is nothing he can do to stop it. Take that super duper container that's used to transport this deadly cargo. Hester wants to ensure that the container is working properly and that there will be no chance of any mistakes happening.

    Couple of things to note. If anything goes wrong with this container, it will most likely kill everyone onboard the Enterprise. That includes the crew and their families. And the other? It's not something that can be jettisoned out into space without possibly contaminating other ships or planets (which also brings in another plot hole). Even knowing this, NO ONE ever considers the possibility that this container might fail. And when it does, well, all Geordi does is say how impossible the situation is.

    Not the best start for his new position.

    Remember that bit about Hester saying that they can't jettison the container because if it comes into contact with a ship or planet, the results will be disastrous. Ok, why not just hurl it towards a sun so it can just burn up? And even if they had to jettison the container into space, It's not like the container would immediately come across another ship or a planet the moment it was jettisoned. Even Starfleet has protocols regarding hazardous areas in space, and we'll be seeing an example of that this very season in the episode "Unnatural Selection"!

    And you gotta love this bit.

    What? Why does Data use sensors to scan the container if the sensors are possibly malfunctioning? And if it's the container's sensors that aren't working, why doesn't the Enterprise's computer run continuous scans on the container to ensure that the results it is getting matches the results that the container is getting? Again, simple set up to ensure everything works properly, and no one ever considers it.
     
  15. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    I do like this one line from Picard in regards to Wesley potentially leaving the ship.

    I'd like to think that line implies that there are crew members who don't look at Wesley as the sweet perfect writer's pet that he is and are more than happy to see him leave the ship for good. It also serves as a funny TNG Recut moment where Wesley is condemned to death, Picard tells him the everyone has mixed feelings, and than immediately cut to Wesley about to be beamed into outer space alive inside a coffin.
     
  16. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well the Child is just an absurd episode that really falls in the lines of what the hell? So this space tinker bell pretty much makes first contact with species by raping women and then being born as one of them. I don't know if that is more disturbing or the fact that everyone was perfectly fine with it. Save Riker, who was just petty and jealous, and Worf who just wanted to kill something.

    As for the Crusher/Pulaski change? Well Crusher... I find it funny she just left Wesley there. Not that I blame her even if that is dead-beat parenting. Though I guess if you go for the theory that Picard is his dad, then one parent was still around. As for Pulaski? I can't say I cared for her too much, but she did bring one thing to the crew that was missing. Drama and conflict. Everyone in TNG is too hunky dory in their clique bubble and it's nice every now and then to see an outsider shake things up.
     
  17. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, my god. Do you have any idea how much of a bast*** that would make Picard if the show actually went with that? If Picard really was Wesley's father, than not only was Jack giving all his fatherly love to someone that was not his son, but Picard is also the person responsible for getting Jack killed on the away mission. This is the kind of action I would expect from an EVIL PERSON, not the show's central hero.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It's my understanding that Wesley getting bayoneted by the vicious animal things in "Hide and Q" was popular in some fan circles too.
     
  19. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nah, you don't even have to go the evil route. That could be the foundation of a dramatic character conflict. Jack Crusher was supposed to be a good friend of Picard's. But he sleeps with his wife, gets her pregnant and they have to hide it for the sake of the marriage which Beverly puts first. Then Picard gets Jack killed on that mission, in the line of duty, not out of spite, I could see that eating at Picard for years to come. Especially since he has to see both Beverly and Wesley daily. Which would also explain why Picard is putting up with that "presumptuous child" playing on his bridge. Alternatively Beverly could just not tell Picard and he doesn't find out until halfway through the series. Both would've been great character pieces that don't require Picard to be evil. Just a man who made a mistake.
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Or he doesn't learn the truth until Wesley's hair falls out.