So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Dale Sams, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The point of military combat readiness it to train, and train hard. Picard's crew needed shaking up and needed it fast. War was close to inevitable at that point.

    Every military combat person knows that Chain of Command is important. It makes different soldiers from different backgrounds work together as a single unit [Unit Cohesion]. The Enterprise crew could learn a few lessons from real combat military crews.

    I like the way Captain Jellico handled Troi's uniform issue. He asked if her rank was honorary, then told her to dress like the rank she held. It is still one of my favorite scenes from TNG.
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Speak for yourself. I'm not ignoring that at all. Jellico was wrong to put everyone on edge, but Riker was wrong to disobey him. Two wrongs don't make a right. Both guys needed to check their egos at the door and find a way to work together: Jellico because he was new and hadn't commanded Enterprise before, and Riker because he was first officer and the rest of the crew followed his lead when it came to taking orders from their captain, be it Picard, Jellico, or otherwise.

    Jellico shouldn't have assumed that the crew would immediately fall into step behind him just because he was their captain (even though the rulebook says they should have). They were used to Picard's style; Jellico was more of a micro-manager and didn't allow his subordinates the freedom they had under their previous CO. He would have been better served explaining the reasoning behind what he was doing. The crew may have been more willing to follow him if they knew where they were being led.

    At the same time, if Riker had behaved differently when Geordi and others whined about Jellico's duty-roster changes, things would have gone much more smoothly. Instead, he encouraged dissent by grumbling about Jellico himself rather than finding a way to work with him. Worse, he came perilously close to undermining Jellico's authority by going to Picard with a list of complaints. It was only after seeing how tired Picard was that Riker decided not to pursue the matter.

    --Sran
     
  3. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I liked that, as well. People often complain about it, but I took what he did as a show of respect for Troi. He treated her like any other officer, something a lot of people never did because her training was in psychology rather than a traditional bridge specialty. I don't have a problem with her wearing a casual outfit while seeing patients in her quarters or office, but Jellico was right to ask her to wear a duty uniform while on the bridge.

    --Sran
     
  4. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    He didn't order her because it was regulation, he did it because even he knew she looked better in the uniform.
     
  5. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commander Red Shirt

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    Haha and she did looked better in uniform :)

    Jellico was the captain and they were preparing for war.
    And Riker behaved like a little child, only wanted to do things his way
     
  6. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    Contrary to popular belief, an executive officer is not supposed to be this second conscience for the commanding officer. He is supposed to "exectute" the commander's intent. That's it. An XO is essentially a staff manager. Data would have been, and actually performed superbly as a first officer. We saw him actually side with Jellico on occasion saying his orders were possible when the crew was waffling.

    As for Jellico having the whole crew on edge. That is ridiculous considering what most of them had been through the first four seasons. If Starfleet Academy is as rigorous as they make it sound, then they shouldn't act like such delicate little flowers when they get a no nonsense CO. I bet the crew of the USS Cairo would have laughed at the Federation flagship's crew.
     
  7. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    He did not have them "On Edge". Riker described it as "Having everybody wound up so tight... there's no joy" Which is about the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard

    All he did was ruffle a few senior staff feathers, & take some people out of their comfort zone. The main objection of anyone on the crew was that business as usual should be good enough for Jellico. It wasn't, & since Jellico was conducting a mission direct from Starfleet... Boohoo... Get to work
     
  8. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ Exactly. If the officers had concentrated on executing the CO's orders instead of moping about the changes he was making they would have been fine. If they had acted professionally, they would have sucked it up, done their jobs and not been "on edge."

    The greatest disservice was done to the Riker character. He was portrayed as whiny, nearly insubordinate and unprofessional, and uncomfortably similar to another terrible unprofessional XO, Mr. Hobson of Sutherland in "Redemtion part 2."
     
  9. Chensams

    Chensams Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That part of the episode always bugged me. Riker's role in front of his subordinates is to reinforce his commanding officers orders as long as they are causing danger. He can listen and understand what they are going through. But he should have never joined in. One on one with his commanding officer, he could went after him but behind his back, he needs to support his commanding officer. Once he joins in with the grumbling, he makes the situation hundreds times worse.
     
  10. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    Yep, he should have squashed Geordi's idea to talk to Capt. Picard. I can't believe Riker even entertained that ridiculous notion.
     
  11. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Love that statement from Riker... Ummm how cheery and happy are the crew supposed to be when potentially they are about to find themselves at the forefront of a war?

    If Jellico has a fault its that having dressed down Riker about his orders not being followed, he seemed reluctant to see if Riker would improve from then on ( Possible given that he knows Riker has been used to a different command style). Then again, as it turns out his instincts about Riker are right given having been dressed down, Riker should have taken it on the chin and adapted to his new Captains way of doing things.
    Of Course Riker has a bit of a history of writing off officers without giving them a chance himself....
     
  12. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's not just Riker...the near telepath also expresses confusion about his Jellico's orders and says that "He doesn't know what he's doing...." Or something like that.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    No she doesn't.

    Anyone in that position, with war hanging in the balance, would be unsure of themselves. They wouldn't be human if they weren't. See: Balance of Terror.
     
  14. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I always liked Jellico, especially in the above quoted scene. Screw the whiny Enterprise crew.
     
  15. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Jellico probably was nervous as all hell about the prospect of war. Unlike Riker though he checked his emotions at the door, was leading with confidence and resolved the situation, and he was fully ready if things went sour. I greatly enjoyed the character and the depth to him for a two episode guest star.

    Plus Riker complaining about Jellico riding him to hard is just hypocrisy. He's been hard on every extra with a line save O'brien. Ro, Lavelle, and Barclay. Basically anyone outside the command clique he's standoffish towards. Jellico, unlike those people, wasn't about to put up with it and had the rank to back it up.
     
  16. Makarov

    Makarov Captain Captain

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    I don't think Riker's comment on there being no joy is ridiculous... I mean if all the emotion has been sucked out of the crew and they're just miserable cogs in a war machine, they might as well be borg.

    Sure the crew was obligated to follow Jellico to a T, but the world of TNG is more complex than just following orders. How many times has the crew been saved because a crewmember did something outside the chain of command? Including Data who directly disobeys Picard in "Redemption."

    Riker and Jellico both acted badly, as far as I'm concerned but Jellico had more responsibility to diffuse the conflict, which he deliberately chose not to do.
     
  17. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    ^Joy is not the only emotion, Dude. That life is less fun is not a paramount concern of a potential wartime captain

    All due respect, you're misinterpreting. I believe you're referring to when Jellico is negotiating with the Cardassians the 1st time, & Riker says about Jellico "I'll give him this... He's sure of himself" & Troi says "No... He isn't", presumably sensing uncertainty

    She's correct. He isn't sure that what he's doing with the Cardassians will work. In fact, he's pretty sure it won't. He told Picard that much himself. It's his only diplomatic shot at that time, & he's taking it, the way he's supposed to

    However, that he thinks the negotiations will fail has nothing to do with his confidence in running a starship. Nobody said anything about him lacking surety in that. They just didn't like it because they thought their way of doing things shouldn't be changed, and that's not their call to make
     
  18. sariel2005

    sariel2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    No one seems to consider that the situation itself could be the source of some stress it seems, what with Enterprise gearing up for a war footing, that has to cause tension in the crew, and Jellico's changes must make it clear that to the rank and file that the situation is about to get serious.
    If the CO puts science labs and survey teams on the back burner then the crews got to figure something is up, but what Jellico does is absolutely right for the safety of the crew. Jellico might feel that he has not got the time to ease the crew into his style but he is not showing disregard for their safety.
     
  19. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    But Jellico never abused his power or gave unlawful orders. They were just different and he maintained his position on keeping them unchanged. If you disobey something like changing a shift schedule you are not going to get praised for "outside the box" thinking, you are going to get reamed and rightfully so.

    Jellico didn't need to diffuse anything. He was likeable enough to the crew until they either A) blatently refused an order (looking at you Riker) or B) bitched and moaned about the orders and begged the XO to play mom vs dad with Picard and Jellico (looking at you Geordi). What Jellico needed was for his XO to do his job.
     
  20. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    About the Troi uniform thing, Jellico was absolutely within his right to request that she put on a real uniform. She's an officer and a member of the crew. Not to mention the fact he handled it appropriately. He told her to put on a real uniform in a private conversation and not in front of the crew.

    One thing that does bug me about Jellico and it's a small one is him basically telling Picard to get his shit out of the ready room. Uh, dude, you know this is only a temporary assignment, right? If I were to stay in someone's house for a week while they were gone, I wouldn't be throwing telling them to take their stuff with them because it was bothering me. It's not exactly like Picard's ready room looked like a hoarders den. He had a fish, a big Shakesphere book, and a model of the Stargazer there as personal effects. Jellico throwing everything out of the ready room for a temporary assignment was douchy. Minor thing but still...

    Speaking of shitty things to do, Nechynv's over-the-top declarlation that Picard was no longer the captain of the Enterprise is another one. It's a temporary assignment but she acted like they were kicking Picard out of Starfleet and marching him into a cell. Ridiculous.
     

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