Episode of the Week: 2x01 The Child

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

  1. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Kind of hard to relate to a man who makes that kind of a mistake who also preaches about how grand and noble the human race is. And you know what? I can imagine Gene Roddenberry going with this idea. After all, he preached about how in the future there will be no greed even though he himself was a greedy pill who actually ripped off talented folks who worked on the show.

    And I'm still dead set on the fact that there is almost nothing redeemable about Picard sleeping AND fathering a child with Beverly Crusher while she was still married to Jack. It's such a betrayal of his character even after he gives up those preachy antics.
     
  2. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Are you serious?

    She gets a promoted to head of Starfleet Medical and consequently transfers from the ship to Starfleet HQ in San Francisco. The plan is that he will join her in a few weeks, but he decides he wants to stay on the ship and she gives him permission to do so. It's not deadbeat parenting at all—it's more like letting him go to college out of state.

    Ironically, a year later she will accept a demotion back to her previous position and transfer back to the Enterprise, presumably out of a desire to be with her son, only to see him leave the ship for the Academy in San Francisco after another year.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    This is an assumption. Do we know whether Picard and Beverly had a relationship before she met Jack? It took several months for Beverly to decide what she thought of Jack. Jack might have assumed it was his child, and they married afterwards. All three parties apparently knew Walker Keel.

    And as much as I hate flashbacks, I wish we had seen the events leading to Jack's death, and Picard's grief.
     
  4. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They did not. From Conspiracy:
    Here's some interesting story background from the novels:

    From Memory Beta:
    If I remember it correctly, the situation Picard faced was similar to the one faced by Wesley in "Coming of Age" and by Spock in "Balance of Terror": he could have saved either man, but did not have enough time to save both. He rescued the one who was closer, which availed a higher probability of a successful rescue. That's the same triage decision made by Spock in BOT. Wesley made his choice on the basis of one of the two victims being uninjured and having an opportunity to save himself while the other one could only be saved by Wesley.
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Given that Picard didn't know Beverly when she met Jack, there are still those months she was undecided, and she could have met Picard then. She's not aware Picard was in love with her until "Attached", but you can have sex with someone without being in love with them.

    Really though, the writers just wimped out because they didn't want to nail it down.
     
  6. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    This is probably the only instance in Star Trek writing where I will gladly give the writers who wimped out a big bona fide gold medal for not pursuing this story line. The last thing TNG needed was developing more of Wesley's character at the expense of more likable characters.
     
  7. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    What TNG needed was someone who knew how to write convincing dialogue for a teenager. Then the Wesley Hate wouldn't be so strong. Even Wil hated him sometimes.
     
  8. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Early in the series run, especially the first season, they didn't write convincing dialogue for the adults either. Yar and S1 Worf were even worse than Wesley in that department.
     
  9. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This stood out to me last time I rewatched as well. Perhaps its one of those things which only becomes obvious in hindsight, but it did leave me re-evaluating the episode as being quite surprisingly topical in this sense. Shame the actual premise tends to let it down.

    I agree that it's stupid. I wonder if it was an oversight somewhere along the way, during the rewriting process? :shrug: The 1970's "Phase II" version of the script has Ilia giving birth to a female child.

    That turbolift exchange makes me :lol: every time. There's just something about Patrick Stewart's dry reading of that line... and the way he refuses to even make eye contact with Wesley as he says it. :guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw:
     
  10. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He's like fifteen or sixteen at the time. Even just leaving your kid on a starship alone for a "few weeks" is kinda irresponsible. Last I checked Colleges aren't regularly sparing with Romulan warbirds and other random bad guys of the week either. Really the whole concept of families on starships is kinda absurd. DS9/Voyager pretty much phased this out, assuming to the fact bad things kept happening to the families. Like Sisko's wife dying for example. Jake almost bit it too. Even during Best of Both Worlds no one even mentioned the possibility of evacuating the families and civilians before they confronted them.
     
  11. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Why?

    Last I checked, Seung-Hui Cho isn’t on the Enterprise.

    The risk that Romulan warbirds present to a teenager on the Enterprise isn’t affected at all by whether or not his mother is on the ship.
     
  12. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    A couple of observations:

    The title "The Child" comes from the original script, it wasn't changed for STNG.

    Rape: OK, technically this is true from a human point of view, but from the alien intelligence point of view, it basically sees a biological "receptacle" that will allow it to satisfy it's curiosity, it's not actually acting in the classic "rape" sense as an act of violence and power. This context is extremely important. It's lack of a frame of reference for human protocol and law might well get it acquitted in a court of law if we were able to judge a non-corporeal lifeform in the first place.

    Pro life: Well what would you expect from a generally progressive series? Oddly though, ST in general is pretty critical of most biological improvements or tinkering with humanity.

    Wesley: He's an acting ensign on a ship full of responsible adult officers. He's doing something almost no cadet in the Academy gets to do: get hands on experience. Why would Beverly harm that unique chance? I doubt she would.

    Plasma Plague: I actually liked this subplot...just because it showed some day-to-day science/medical operations that we hadn't seen much of up till that time.

    Not a bad little episode, though the ending might have been more profound.

    RAMA
     
  13. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Enough about Maurice Hurley. Can you please stick to talking about the alien entity please?
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So you'd be perfectly fine leaving your 15 year old kid alone with a few people you've just served with on a military base under threat of attack while you're posted back in the States just because he enjoys the experience there? That's pretty much what this is.
     
  15. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If it weren’t a safe place, I don’t think I’d have moved my kid there in the first place. You’re arguing against families being on the Enterprise in the first place, not against allowing them to stay when the parents leave. The people who actually live in the universe under discussion consider the Enterprise to be a safe enough environment for children.

    And it’s not “just because he enjoys” the experience.” Wesley’s interest in serving on the Enterprise isn’t hedonistic.

    As for me, if my son were 18 and qualified to serve, I would certainly allow him to do so. I might or might not be comfortable with it, but if serving in the military or Starfleet is what he wants to do with his life, of course I would allow him to pursue it. Wesley is about 17 years old at this point—Memory Alpha places his birth in 2348 and S2 in 2365—and physical durability isn’t as much of a requirement on the Ent-D as it is in present-day armed forces, so the situation is basically the same.
     
  16. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Meh. Not a particular fan of the Writer's Strike episode.

    But how can you call it pro-choice or pro-life or anti-women?

    How does one woman, making a choice to carry her own baby, have any political bearing whatsoever? Being pro-choice doesn't make you pro-abortion, and being pro-life doesn't make you pro-patriarchy. Plenty of women who believe in the right to have an abortion would choose not to have one themselves.
     
  17. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh because 17 is so much better. But the if your son was 18 argument is meaningless as it doesn't fit the premise of the question or situation. He's still legally a child no matter how you cut it.

    Crusher did abandon Wesley, a legal child on the Enterprise, a place with known dangers. Season 2 had Romulans, Ferengi, and the Borg alone among antagonists for example. Utopia view of the future or not, that's an irresponsible position to put any civilians in, nonetheless leave your child in while you're sitting at a cozy desk job far behind the lines.

    I always figured the families on ships thing faded away because of the danger and casualties taken among them. You see zero reference of them in Voyager, they fade quickly on DS9 and that's even a space station generally away from danger, and by the time the TNG movies come out the Enterprise E has no civilians. A good thought, but not realistic in a ship that's exploring the unknown. Columbus didn't take his family with him sailing to the New World for a damn good reason after all.

    Either way, back to Crusher, leaving her kid on the ship was grossly irresponsible. But the issue just got shoved into the corner and no one talked about it because we don't want a main character to look bad, while keeping Roddenberry's Mary Sue version of himself around, even though it makes zero sense.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Well the only way they could have done that was to fire Wheaton along with McFadden, and they didn't seem ready to do that. So Wesley stayed on board.

    You're trying to put a moral choice on a production decision. Maybe you'd prefer that Beverly was in stasis in a bottom drawer in Sickbay somewhere during Season 2.
     
  19. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Even in-universe, his moral arguments are without merit. He is by his own admission relying on a legal technicality of 21st-century America.
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Which may not have applied during the 20th century when the series was produced, and may be completely irrelevant in 24th century legal matters.