Episode of the Week: 3x16 "The Offspring"

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Jeyl, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still think you're reaching. The convention is often to have an opposite sex child when telling these stories. Troi had Ian in her "alien rape child" story and Seven had a male uber-Borg in a very similar story to The Offspring in VOY (offspring exceeds parent, then dies teaching them a valuable lesson).
     
  2. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Come to think of it, it might have been interesting for Lal to have been male. I wonder how different the episode would be with a father/son relationship. The actress did a great job however.
     
  3. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    If you're interested, I have a link to a script of "The Offspring" with some extended dialogue between Haftel and Picard, which personally I would have liked to see. I have no idea whether it was filmed or just existed on paper (and was likely omitted for time), but it gives a broader context to his desire to separate Lal from Data and makes more sense.

    Well, Data said in "Offspring" that he considered Lal's creation a necessity because he was the only functional Soong type android and her existence would ensure some part of him survived. But he never mentions Lore, and Haftel doesn't either even though his arguments for separation are based on whether Lal could develop in a dangerous direction (something which is more clear from the omitted lines). That Lal isn't mentioned in "Brothers" doesn't bother me because it isn't a huge necessity for that script.
     
  4. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Speaking of inconsistencies, don't forget "Clues". After Data is found to be lying about the cover-up, Picard reminds Data that he will likely be stripped down to his wires to figure out what's gone wrong, which Data acknowledges.

    That flies in the face of MoaM establishing that Data isn't Starfleet's property.
     
  5. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    That's probably the first time I've heard someone associate the word "valuable" with an episode like The Child, one of the most poorly adapted and poorly executed episodes of TNG's entire run. The fact that Ian is male kind of contradicts itself anyways.

    Pulaski: It's a male human, or in this case half-human half-Betazoid.
    Riker: Exactly the same as Deanna.
    Pulaski: In every way. In fact, there is nothing to indicate that there are any genetic patterns other than hers. ​

    It's like they wrote the story for Ian to be a girl, but when that didn't work out and they could only get a male child actor, Maurice just said "Just change that one line from female to male. Do I have to think of everything?!?". Except they forgot to change the following dialogue to acknowledge the fact why Ian is male instead of female despite being the same as every.

    Also, here's the difference between these "male children" dying when compared to Lal dying. Ian and that uber Borg willingly sacrificed themselves to save the day, where as Lal died simply because she malfunctioned. So going by the logic of what we've seen in Star Trek, male children are strong willed and brave, where as female children are absent minded, weak and will die at the slightest experience of fear.
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Accidently created sentient nanites, it's not like Wes planned to create setient nanites. Lal was a consious creation two slightly different scenarios. They tried to murder someone after he had murdered some of them, once again a slightly different sceanrio (yes two wrongs don't make a right).
     
  7. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Isn't that rather making the assumption that Betazed (or half-Betazed) sexual development must be primarily genetically determined, rather than environmentally (as quite a few species are)?

    (And even if it is genetically determined, that's assuming Ian is meant to be Troi's clone rather than what one might get from --- assuming Betazed genetics works like Earth-human does --- doubling up the chromosomes in one of Troi's eggs and proceeding from there.)
     
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always liked this episode but this is the first time I've seen it since becoming a parent and I recognised so many more nuances on this rewatch and found myself tearing up on more than one occasion. It is one of TNG's finest hours.

    I interpreted that scene so differently. I will always believe that my father lives on in my head, and in the heads of other people that loved him. That is because we shared memories, albeit from different perspectives. And if you remember someone, they're not really dead. It's a philosophy that I have taken with me through life, I'm not sure if it comes from my original viewing of this episode.

    I loved that Frakes "cameoed" himself into one of the cutest and funniest scenes of the episode.

    Regarding Picard's apparent change of ethos. I don't believe as humans we are static in our beliefs - they aren't set in stone, a little maleable. Off subject, but to explain my point is a situation I recently found myself faced with. I consider myself a socialist (don't confuse "small s socialism with communism please America) and believe that history shows public services provide a better service when owned by the public and recycle their profits back into that service. But I found myself in a position to buy into the Royal Mail flotation here in the UK, and profit from it. I was faced with a dilemma, make a stance based on my principals and watch the sale go through anyway, or buy in, thereby benefiting my family and having a voice within the company. I chose to buy in. My principals haven't changed but I chose the practical option based upon the world we live in. I believe that Picard is also a pragmatist and was giving the opposing arguement to prepare Data for the controversy to come.

    I agree with you here Jeyl. Why would Yar willingly become the concubine of a Romulan?

    You never made it clear why you believe that this episode takes place into a different reality than that in A Matter of Perspective. What is so different here that makes you believe that Sela didn't exist previously?
     
  9. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    I wasn't trying to say that everything after "Yesterday's Enterprise" takes place in a different reality. Quite the opposite. I was trying to say that it takes place in the SAME reality only altered due to time travel. Yesterday's Enterprise did not depict time travel as a means of travelling through different realities where the reality they originated from is unaltered. If that was the case, we nothing would have been different when the Enterprise C when through the rift. But when it did go through the rift, we literally see this same reality being altered. When the Enterprise C goes back, this reality gets altered back to what it was, but with something... different. That's Sela.
     
  10. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The way I interpret it, the "C" always went to the future and then back again. Her Captain always died, Yar always joined the crew, Sela always existed. The "quantum reality" is the same in Matter of Perspective & The Offfspring. There is nothing that I can see that would support or disprove mine or your interpretation of time travel used in Yesterdays Enterprise.
     
  11. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Than why do things change when it does come back?
     
  12. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Things change to how they were before Yesterdays Enterprise.

    Think of Doc Brown's chalk board in Back to the Future II (sorry I am at work and cannot upload an image)...
    Replace the 1958 in Doc Brown's chalkboard with the Battle of Narendra III (2344).
    Replace Marty Mcfly's 1985 with the 2366 where the Federation and the Klingons are at war.
    Replace the "hell valley" version of 1985 (the skewed future) with TNG depicted as the "primeline".
     
  13. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If the "C" was always meant to go back in time, how do you reconcile the new JJ Abrams reboot? Was Spock and Nero always meant to go back in time? ;)
     
  14. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    If you're going by Back to the Future logic, that supports my conclusion even more. When Marty goes back to 1985 at the end of the first movie, things are vastly different. Not only are his parents now hugely successful, but the twin pines mall is now call lone pine mall. And at the end of Back to the Future 3, Clayton Ravine is now called Eastwood Ravine. Things may be back to normal, but it's not completely normal. That's what happened after Yesterday's Enterprise. Before the Enterprise C came through the rift, there was no Sela. When it went back through the rift with Tasha Yar onboard, there was.
     
  15. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Different writers different time travel rules. :bolian:

    Interesting point. Seems I destroyed my own arguement with my own logic. :rommie: I only recently spotted that they renamed it "Lone Pine Mall" - a fantastic bit of detail.

    The truth is, time travel rules depend on the writer - so we have no way of telling who's interpretation is right or wrong. That Sela did not show up before Yesterday's Enterprise is no indication that she did not exist before then. She may have done, she may not, we will never know. :bolian:
     
  16. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    No arguments here. I just can't help but feel when it comes to Yesterday's Enterprise, altering history in the same reality was clearly what these writers were going for. If you listen to the dialogue, everything that transpires in Yesterday's Enterprise is all about altering the history of the reality they're in, not following an already inevitable set path that will lead to the same result whose effects have already been in place. If everything was set in stone, not only would the reality not change, there would be no dilemma in the choice of sending the Enterprise C back in time. There HAS to be a dilemma of choice, especially when your characters are aware that things could be different.

    PICARD: Who is to say that this history is any less proper than the other?
    GUINAN: I suppose I am.
    PICARD: Not good enough, damn it! Not good enough. I will not ask them to die.
    GUINAN: Forty billion people have already died. This war's not supposed to be happening.​

    PICARD: If we send that ship back with new technology we will be altering the past.
    RIKER: But that's what you're talking about anyway, isn't it? Altering the past.
    PICARD: We're talking about restoring the past.
    LAFORGE: How could Guinan know that history has been altered if she's been altered along with the rest of us?
    DATA: Perhaps her species has a perception that goes beyond linear time.
    PICARD: There are many things about her species we can't easily explained. Yet it is very possible she is correct. A ship from the past has travelled through time. How can we know what effect those events will have on the present. Indeed, we shall never know for certain, if Guinan is correct. But I have decided the consequences of that possibility are too grave to ignore.​

    If Sela was always in the unvierse before Yesterday's Enterprise, it kind of diminishes these characters making a choice. But when you go by the logic that Sela didn't exist before Yesterday's Enterprise, than choice does matter. Tasha didn't have to go onboard the Enterprise C and everything would have truly been brought back to the way it was, but that's not what happened. She did go back and now things are different. Of course, you could argue that such a huge difference would have affected more things, but bear in mind that these are the Romulans we're talking about here. Take this dialogue from "The Neutral Zone" for instance.

    DATA: Since we have had no contact with the Romulans for fifty three years, seven months, eighteen days, we must consider that the information we do have, is out of date. ​

    And how far ahead did the Enterprise C travel?

    WESLEY: But that cruiser was destroyed with all hands over twenty years ago.
    DATA: Presumed destroyed. The Enterprise C was last seen near the Klingon outpost Narendra Three exactly twenty two years, three months and four days ago. ​

    So since no one in the Federation has made contact, or have even seen the Romulans for over 50 years, you can logically conclude that the Romulan's plan to stay secret was still intact after Sela was born, and it's thanks to Sela that certain events after the Romulans reveal themselves that things transpire as they do. Now this argument could also be used to say she was there the whole time anyways, but I'm still on the "Back to the Future" logic on this one. It makes the choices these characters make matter, and it clearly has a big impact on the series later on that would have been interesting to see if Sela wasn't around at all to begin with.
     
  17. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't usually get into brain-twisting time travel discussions, but reading these interesting posts has nevertheless got me thinking...

    On the surface, it seems to me that there's no reason Sela doesn't exist in the "regular" time line. The crew had not met her at the time of this episode, but she could easily have been around...just not known.

    Think about it this way: in Time's Arrow, Data's head had been discovered on a cave on Earth. Following the events of that story, the reason became clear as to how it got there and when. Couldn't Yesterday's Enterprise be similar, minus the awareness of Sela/Data's head? :shrug:
     
  18. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Regarding "Yesterday's Enterprise", my feeling has always been that Picard was right when he argued to Guinnan that 'their' universe might be the correct one. The Enterprise-C always goes forward in time in any event, that's a fixed point in time, so the "war" timeline *is* effectively the real one, as it follows on from that course of events, where the Ent-C vanished at Narendra III. The universe where the Enterprise-C was destroyed while trying to save the outpost *isn't* restoring the past, it is (as Picard rightly says) changing the past. Changing it for the better maybe, but still..... everything that we saw in TNG up to the start of "Yesterday's Enterprise" is basically happening in a changed universe, one where the Ent-C was sent back in time and altered history.


    Regarding "The Offspring" (yay, on topic! ;)), the thing that bothered me about this episode was (as the OP says) that it basically ignored the moral of "Measure Of A Man". Lal's sentience and her right to be with her 'father' should NEVER have even been in question, but they basically ignore the earlier episode simply for the sake of wringing a little extra drama out of her being wrenched away from him. Fail. :vulcan:
     
  19. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ I agree with you about the war universe being the "original" timeline.

    I know it appears that the discussion is off topic, but Jeyl had previously said that the reality in The Offspring is changed slightly from A Matter Of Perspective. That's why it's been raised here. :techman: