Episode of the Week: Skin of Evil

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Jeyl, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's one of those episodes where everything is hitting on all cylinders, except for the purpose of the episode. Everything was great except for the circumstances of Tasha's death.

    It would have been a great episode without it. Rescuing Troi from Armus would have worked by itself.
     
  2. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But then you wouldn't get the funeral scene and that really was a great piece of writing. Ironically Yar's best-written and Crosby's best-performed of the series!
     
  3. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Couple of things:

    1) I don't understand people's complaints about the circumstances of Tasha's death. Shit happens. You're there one second and gone the next. And if you want to say, "If i wanted realism, then I'd look out the window..." Then can't you give it credit for inverting the usual trope?

    2) So according to Piller, Roddenberry told him (when Piller was presenting a second season script) "People in the 24rth century have moved beyond grieving over loved ones".....uhhhh...did they sneak this one past Gene? Did Sirtis just say "**** you, I'm going to do the funeral scene how I want." Admittedly, no one is out and out sobbing, and it makes it so much more effective, but they ARE grieving.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...I just wish they had done the mirror image of this in some later episode, fighting this hard for keeping some completely nameless yellowshirt alive, and succeeding in the end.

    That would erase the stain of favoritism from this one: it now looks as if the heroes put so much effort into Tasha only because she was a main character. But perhaps they do so offscreen for every yellowshirt? Actually seeing it happen at least once would be cute.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And Picard's reaction is kind of funny. "Gone?" (Are you shitting me?)

    Yes, gone Picard. Wern't you paying attention?
     
  6. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A pretty solid episode with a memorable villain and some good tense direction and some fantastic chances for the cast to show how they've developed over the year.

    They don't quite have the bravery to follow through on their intent with Tasha's death. It's supposed to be brutal and harsh and sudden and- as she says herself when she "Comes back"- meaningless. Which is well done, but the final funeral scene somewhat undoes this attempt at small scale realism by having her ghost float down from heaven (or if you want to be mean about the production values, Tellytubie land) and give a great big seemingly endless goodbye speech.

    Oddly enough, I think Data's wake in Nemesis (in one of the few good bits of that film) did what they were aiming for much better. The slightly stunned, awkward small talk would have felt much more real and human here.

    Though in both cases you've got to feel sorry that neither character apparently has any other friends outside the main cast who could be bothered to turn up.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    She was a security officer and knew she could lose her life at any time. In the funeral scene, I simply saw her say the things that were likely inappropriate to say to other officers in a military organization. She wanted the people around her to know the impact they made on her life.

    I thought the funeral was incredibly well done, especially the exchange between Picard and Data at the end. What undoes the realism of the death is the alternate-Yar non-sense in Yesterday's Enterprise and the entirety of the character of Sela.
     
  8. Danny99

    Danny99 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Two things said that I definitely agree with:

    1) Picard's exchange with Armus at the end is amazing. Patrick Stewart always shines in these kinds of scenes.

    2) Tasha's pink blood tattoo. Was makeup so behind the times in 1987?

    I know they wanted Tasha's death to be a surprise, but the dialogue before is just painful. It's an easy fix: show Armus in his goo, have him move still if you want to and then let them pass for a split second before killing Tasha. Cuts out that horrible "Enough!"
     
  9. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not really. Check out the episode preview.

    That horrible “Enough!” was actually in character. It’s like “I must!” in E@F and “You’ve gone too far!” in H&Q. If only she’d learned her lesson after the first two times, she’d still be alive.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Kind of sad that her outbursts were at Q and Armus, two superbeings. But Q actually showed her mercy instead killing her outright like Armus did.
     
  11. pepperminty

    pepperminty Cadet Newbie

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    Exactly. I recall reading a transcript of an online chat she participated in where she talked about how she didn't like the role (or lack thereof) her character was given--which is certainly understandable. It's no surprise that Crosby wanted to leave when the only character-centric episode she got revolved around Tasha being kidnapped by some alien who was weirdly obsessed with her. What's really disappointing, imo, is how much potential she had; I would have loved to see what was done with her character in later seasons (in a non-Yesterday's Enterprise universe), but I don't exactly blame her for not sticking around to find out.

    It would have been nice to have the character go out in a way that didn't involve a "wound" that looked like someone smeared jelly on her face, though.
     
  12. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a shame what happened with the Yar character, leading to her departure, BUT...

    Without booting her character, Worf would have never come center-stage. Worf would probably never make DS9 too. We might have never gotten the expanded role of Klingons that we enjoyed in Redemption, DS9, etc. They also would have ditched Troi. They only kept her because 2/3 of the female cast was already gone. Troi wasn't the best character, but if I had to choose between Yar and Troi+Worf, the choice is simple.

    Between that silver lining and Yesterday's Enterprise, everything worked out for the best. Crosby left on good terms, so she could come back in YE, as Sela, and in the finale. It's a shame DS9 never got Terry Farrell back. They could have brought her back for the mirror universe episode, at the very least.
     
  13. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Here's the thing. TNG's treatment of women was shameful boarding on offensive. Yes, Worf was a great addition and having his role expanded brought a great level of an 'alien' presence to the show. But as a replacement to Yar, it just felt too much like everyone was apologizing for putting a woman in an important position and rectified it by putting the most burly man thing in the whole franchise as her replacement. And when the writers decided to introduce the next season of the show, they had the only main female character raped by a space entity, and have Crusher's replacement be a complete unprofessional bigot. And even though they establish this alien child is exactly like Troi, it's conveniently male.

    And as for the portrayal of Klingon culture.... that's a different debate all together. In short, I have a hard time believing a race that's so obsessed with honor, death and glory would be able to build ships that not only rival that of the Federation's (A century old design that's decades old AND DEFECTIVE destroys the Enterprise D), but also have cloaking devices. Because having an honorable battle with a worthy opponent means you should sneak up on him to gain the upper hand.
     
  14. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Klingon honor doesn’t eschew sneakiness. There has always been a little ninja in them. “Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man.”
     
  15. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I brought that up in the "Treaty of Algeron" thread. In ST3, it was going to be a Romulan Bird of Prey, but the villains were changed to Klingons. The BOP remained, complete with cloaking device, and it became canon that Klingons could cloak.

    It ends up making no sense. The only reason the Romulans were anything was because they had cloaking technology, and they would rather kill themselves than allow it to fall in enemy hands.

    It ends up spoiling who both the Klingons and Romulans are. The "canon" explanation became that the Romulans and Klingons had a short-lived alliance, and shared technology. Psh, as if. And to make it worse, we later see proto-Klingon BOPs in Enterprise. Uh huh...
     
  16. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From Memory Alpha:

    The way Yar’s death was handled over the course of the series is really bizarre.

    WRITERS: Yar dies like a redshirt.

    FANS: :mad: :scream:

    WRITERS: Alt-Yar dies like a hero, saving billions of lives.

    FANS: :techman: :beer:

    WRITERS: Alt-Yar didn’t die like a hero as presumed in YE. She died like trailer trash.

    FANS: :wtf: :brickwall:
     
  17. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Technically she died a third time - in All Good Things. :lol:
     
  18. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    She actually died fewer times than everybody else in the cast because she wasn’t around for Cause and Effect.
     
  19. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    There's something very wrong with any world where that clip of Riker going "Dayda! Dayda, something's got meeaaaaayyyyeeee!!!!" doesn't become an internet meme. Let's make it happen! :guffaw:

    Love this episode, despite it's obvious cheapness. Armus is (conceptually) a strong villain, a being of pure unadulterated evil that even Starfleet's white hats can't reason with. And the death of Tasha Yar has got a genuine poignancy. For once, Roddenberry's instinct that it should be a "senseless death" was IMO dramatically sound, as it properly underlines that, regular character or not, the Enterprise's security force is a dangerous job, and it doesn't matter if you're the Chief or simply a nameless Red Shirt, you've got just as much chance of being swatted down as the next guy. There's a kind of dull surprise to her sudden death which adds an impact that a more theatrical, heroic death never could have done. In fact, would it be heretical of me to suggest that I actually thought the idea of giving her a specifically more herioc departure in "Yesterday's Enterprise" (ultimately nullified by the Sela arc, admittedly) was... less interesting?
     
  20. uberfalcon

    uberfalcon Ensign Newbie

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    I would like to second that opinion--just that shot of Riker clawing into the dirt... unlimited meme potential.