Isn't it kind of fitting that the first TNG Episode of the Week is Family? I know it's technically the second episode of Season 4, it's still it's first fully fledged episode that's not a direct continuation where the last episode left off.... Well, kind of. "Family" is for all intents and purposes a continuation of the last episode, just not an immediate one like Part II of Best of Both Worlds was. For all it's episodic intent, "Family" does make for a good third part in a three episode trilogy that began with Best of Both Worlds. I like stories that don't end solely on the climax but also include a nice timely resolution. Our episode opens with Worf and Riker on the bridge of the Enterprise while she's undergoing repairs from the Borg attack. Worf is head strong in his duty to make sure that every system is in peak performance which Riker thinks is a bit too much, especially with Worf's human parents coming to visit. We also get more instances of continuity when Riker mentions what happened on the Klingon home world. TNG, you changing too fast. In the Captain's quarters, Picard is readying for his trip back home for some R&R with his family. Troi comes in to ensure if he's fit for all this, and we get a nice subtle set up that will pay off later in the episode. Picard: Your help has been invaluable during my recovery, but, look, (raises his arms) I'm better. The injuries are healing. It's too bad everyone deemed Troi helping Picard recover was tossed in as a mere mention instead of being fully fleshed out. But that's ok because unlike a lot of episodes, we actually have a scene with Beverly and Troi together and talking about stuff. Let's roll the dice and find out what the two of them could bring to this episode.... *rolls dice* Wesley's daddy issues! Yep. We finally showcase Beverly and Troi together and it's to showcase that this show will never ever give them roles of equal importance to the male leads since all they ever care about is what goes on with the male characters. Bechdel test passer this episode is not. Honestly, who cares about Wesley's Daddy issues? This series so far has a crap ton of characters with daddy issues with only one mother issue being used for annoying comic relief. It would been nice to actually have Wesley get to know his own living mother a bit more instead of this character who we don't know or care about. We already have Worf with his daddy issues, Riker with his very forgettable issues and Data with his. Even at my age of 29, I still ask my mother stuff about her life when she was growing up. What it was like to be a kid, an adult entering the working world, why she said "yes" to Dad, ect. Why not have Beverly talk about his father? Why not let Wesley learn something about both his parents from the one person who actually lived it? I'm just tired of seeing characters like Troi and Beverly treated only as messengers. While Picard is having family issues of his own on Earth, we finally get to meet Worf's human parents and it's such a relief. They seem very proud, cheerful and eager to see what Worf has done since he left. When the issues of "Sins of the Father" is brought up, we get a nice little "slap" on the whole Klingon honor system when his parents tell him that they know he did the right thing and that they will always be there to remind him of that. Back on Earth, Picard is seriously contemplating on leaving Starfleet for good and take it easy back on Earth. His disapproving brother, Robert, keeps getting on his case about how jealous he was of Picard's accomplishments. After a few scenes of them bickering, the two finally lash out at each other in the fields, get covered in mud, and laugh it out. While Robert seems content enough, Picard's laughter is soon turned to tears when he starts confessing what it was like to be taken over by the Borg. It's a very nice moment in Star Trek that we NEVER see happen. About the only time Kirk ever broke down emotionally was when he was manipulated into believing he was losing command. So with Picard demons set aside for now (Hehe), he returns to the Enterprise to continue it's mission of exploration. Back on Earth, Robert notices Rene sleeping underneath a tree in a very star filled night. When asked if they should get him, Robert says "Let him dream". Ron D. Moore ladies and gentlemen. He creates these two characters who left a lasting impression on the show and decides that their next appearance should be that Robert and Rene both burned to death offscreen so we can see Picard cry. And this isn't even the worst thing you've done on this show Ron. CONCLUSION: A very nice "break" episode that is all about the characters. While some plots work better than others, I found Worf's parent plot to be my favorite. It's nice to see that Worf has a family that really cares about him and wants to make sure that despite his strong views of Klingon honor, they're willing to look deeper into the real meaning of what he did. That was a good smile by him in the end. Now that we've gotten this very male centric family episode out of the way, here's hoping our female cast gets a little love in the upcoming episodes! STINGER: "Arms raised in victory!" Come on, Trekcore! Don't make me go standard definition!