So I'm Watching "Chains of Command"

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

  1. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Who talked to him privately? Yes, it was. And Jellico told her that he wanted her to deal with the crew morale situation herself as ship's counselor, adding that she should wear a normal duty uniform.

    --Sran
     
  2. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    ^Yes, Riker openly challenges Jellico in front of Troi. However, when Geordi approaches Riker about work difficulties, Riker also mouths off that Jellico has "Made it abundantly clear" he doesn't listen to him. That remark is out of line. It is a deliberate undermining of the Captain's authority. It is openly showing disapproval of a superior officer to your subordinates, which is a baulk at the chain of command, & passively suggests that his subordinates should do the same

    Furthermore, when Jellico questions Riker about not changing the shift rotation, before Riker tries to explain, he gives a purposeful glance to Picard, long enough that Picard purposefully looks away & rightfully so. Though minor, that too is out of line. Your commanding officer is addressing you, & it's not Picard right now. It was a small infraction, but it set the tone right off the bat. Riker does not respect Jellico's authority. He made THAT clear right up front, as soon as the 1st order he disliked came down

    Jellico's most objectionable statement was "I can see why he's still only a 1st officer". As offputting as that remark is, considering we know Riker's been offered 3 commands, it wasn't about Riker's qualifications or deservedness. It was specifically about his initiative. He made that comment directly after Riker failed to take the initiative to inform Jellico that one of his orders had been carried out successfully. Maybe that's not a big deal, but it might also be a symptom of Riker not being cooperative, & Jellico mistakes it for lack of initiative. Hell, Riker has questioned his own initiative before. So it isn't out of the realm of possibility that a savvy person like Jellico would take note of the man, & see some of his actions in that light. Incorrect about Riker? Maybe... Maybe not, but the reasoning he employed is sound enough
     
  3. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I mostly agree with all this, but remember there was a point in the show where Riker seemed to be onboard, "Well, I'll say this of him, he's sure of himself." but then....

    Troi: "No, No he isn't!"

    Also, re: mouthing off in front of Geordi...GEORDI was the one who suggested Riker do an end run and talk to Picard! I'm glad that didn't pan out. I'd hate to have seen Picard remind Riker this isn't the time or place for running to daddy to solve your problems.
     
  4. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, but Geordi putting that out there isn't a bad judgement call for the position he is in. He's just trying to do whatever he can to get things to work out for his department. Suggesting to his superior that they find someone to reason with Jellico is not out of line in his position, being that he's kind of desperate. Riker actually thinking he should do it is pretty stupid, & it seems he figured that out before it came to that. Picard's got bigger problems, & it isn't for him to do anyway, & to his credit, Riker figured that out. My critisizm of Riker in that scene is about how he spoke derisively about the captain to a subordinate. It was just one offhand remark, but it sets a tone of bucking the chain of command, & so did looking to Picard when his new captain was questioning him

    To be honest, despite their tension running a little high, I thought the rest of the crew accorded themselves within the boundaries of conduct. It's clear Geordi is unhappy, but he takes the captain's directives & criticisms properly. He holds his temper, acknowledges & executes every order, & only states facts, even though they may come off as excuses. He's within his right to defend himself a little there, & Jellico grants that. Changes to a long standing department will always be unpleasantly received.

    Troi approaches him one time with her concerns & he addresses them in the way he sees fit & then she accepts it properly, and adheres to his guidelines. There's never any problem with Worf or Data. Beverly only gives her one comment, which is clear she's unhappy about but leaves it alone, & even Picard, after a few gentle comments steps aside gracefully

    Frankly, Riker is really the only officer we see it get the better of, & I agree that by the time that the actual mission is underway with the Cardy negotiations, he has pulled himself together some, until the Picard issue came up
     
  5. Sadara

    Sadara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    People are reading too much passive aggressive intent in Riker's behavior I think. Riker is trying to adjust to a captain with a radically different command style. This takes time. Jellico is expecting Riker to read his mind practically. Riker and Picard have worked together for years. Riker knows how Picard wants things done. Picard knows that he doesn't need to babysit Riker.

    If you'll remember in Encounter at Farpoint, Picard did follow up with Riker to make sure his message to the Hood was sent. He didn't have to continue doing that with Riker because after they worked together for a while Picard knew he could count on Riker to get things done without having to babysit him.

    Riker is not out of line for wanting to discuss the shift rotation with Jellico after the department heads expressed their concerns. Riker is taking their concerns up the chain of command like he's supposed to. He is trying to make sure that all the information is presented to Jellico.

    Jellico is an oppressive, tyrannical asshole with little people skills and a closed mind. I served in the military myself and if I had a commanding officer like that, he would have heard from me too. In fact, I've done it before. I had a first sergeant who stepped way out of line by telling a young soldier who had a different faith that he "needed to be saved." When the other young soldiers saw our first sergeant getting away with it, they started persecuting this kid too. It was wrong. I knew it was wrong so I reminded him his behavior was inappropriate.

    My point is officers like Jellico get away with being tyrants because no one challenges them. Yes, there is a right and wrong time for this, but it is still important that lower ranking people remain unafraid to use their voice.
     
  6. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Without knowing the specifics of that situation, there's a big difference between fighting over personnel assignments or duty-shift rotations and singling someone out over religious affiliation. If Jellico had told Riker that he was going to hell because he couldn't convince the department heads to switch to a four-shift rotation, I'd agree that his behavior was inappropriate. But that's not what happened.

    Jellico told Riker what he wanted done (minus the confusion about the probe), and although Riker initially handled it appropriately by taking his concerns to Jellico, he made the mistake of allowing his personal feelings to get in the way of his duty when he screamed at the captain in front of other senior officers. That's what I have a problem with. Riker should have waited for a more opportune moment to voice his concerns. Whatever Jellico's shortcomings may have been, he didn't deserve to be humiliated anymore than Riker deserved it when Jellico questioned his initiative or told him that he didn't want to discuss the duty roster.

    --Sran
     
  7. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Troi was the only one there when he started screaming. It's a fine difference, but one nonetheless. You actually would want
    Troi there for that.

    But overall, this discussion has really brought me around to thinking no one was terribly at fault here. I could do without Jellico and Riker's 'laying it all out discussion' because I agree slightly more with Riker than Jellico, and I don't want Jellico to be made out to be the bad guy in this episode.
     
  8. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    No, he's not out of line in wanting a discussion. He's wrong in that he sidestepped the captain's order in order to do so. The proper course of action is to carry out the order, unless it is an improper order. Then, if & when concerns arise, you bring them up the chain of command, & say "This IS causing significant problems", state what they are, & request permission to return to the previous arrangement. Yes, Riker's job is to bring concerns up the chain, but it's also his job to carry orders down it, & the captain's orders supersede the subordinate's concerns, unless they are absolutely critical

    And true, most of the story is more a mole hill than a mountain, until Riker blows up at Jellico. Before then, it's really just an issue of him displaying less than exemplary conduct, & Jellico being seemingly unreasonable, which I've stated previously might have been an inescapable hand he was forced to play, in a crisis situation

    Did Riker HAVE to be insubordinate? Maybe not. Did he feel it necessary to become so? Most likely. Did Jellico HAVE to be unreasonable? Maybe not. Did he feel it was necessary to be so? Most likely. At the end of the day, the captain is the one with the bigger footprint
     
  9. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    I think it was the exact opposite actually. No mind reading necessarry. Jellico was very deliberate in his instructions to each department but often received kick back. As a new Captain with a short window to make preparations, that would have been extremely frustrating to Jellico. He may have had his flaws but if he was good at anything it was making his instructions crystal clear.

    You say you don't like the sheep mentality but you should only be calling your CO out if he is providing unlawful orders or behaving in an inappropriate manner. Jellico asked for difficult changes to the crews respective departments but there was nothing there that deserved an uprising. The senior staff should have been communicating their concernes upwards through the chain of command, which most of hem did. The problem was that Riker didn't do a great job in serving as that conduit. I say again that voicing your concerns and backing up your department is fine but when the decision is made by the Capt then your job as an XO is to live up to the title of the position; "execute."
     
  10. Sadara

    Sadara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I really can't imagine screwing with the personnel roster and *then* discussing it with the captain so maybe he says "yeah, that's not working out, let's go back." Changing from three shifts to four is not a primary issue or a crisis. It's Jellico's personal preference. It can wait. Disrupt 1000+ people for one man's preference... absurd.
     
  11. Sadara

    Sadara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    There is mind reading involved. Riker can't be expected to know how Jellico wishes to proceed when Riker gets kickback from the department heads. That's one of those issues I mentioned earlier about it takes time to get used to a new command style. Riker is accustomed to being able to have an open dialogue with Picard. He's finding out through trial and error he can't have that with Jellico.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Jellico was the captain, it was his call to make. If Riker wanted a command to run his way, then he shouldn't have kept turning down commands.

    If this had been Picard assigned to another command and demanding these changes, I doubt anyone here would've had a problem with it.

    He didn't seem too concerned about Riker's feelings or opinions on doing a manual docking. He simply wanted it done, no explanations were necessary nor did he offer any for his orders.

    People here don't hold Picard to the same standard they are holding Jellico too.
     
  13. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    The issue is with Riker then. Feeling the need to mind read is an error in Riker's mindset as Jellico clearly stated what he wanted done in each instance. That is of no fault to the CO of the ship. He laid out clear concise instructions to his XO. There should not be any need for mind reading. Riker chose to complicate things with his hemming and hawing over a new CO's orders. I bet it annoyed Riker when Data went on behaving as if the orders weren't that big of a deal and found ways to get them accomplished.
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've watched the episodes any number of times. There never was any doubt in my mind -what- Jellico wanted done at any given time. Riker seemed to want to argue about -why- Jellico wanted it done. Hence the mind reading excuse maybe. But a captain doesn't have to explain his orders, it's a luxury he may choose to indulge if he so chooses. Hence Jellico's annoyance at the officer who's supposed to be the primary conduit to carry out his orders.

    I've no doubt that Data's behavior annoyed Riker. That doesn't justify it just because his name is in the credits though. Data was finding ways to.. get it done, rather than trying to find a reason why it shouldn't be. Which likely played into Jellico's decision to promote him after Riker blew up over not rescuing Picard. Which Jellico was right, would've played right into the Cardassians hands.
     
  15. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Au Contraire Mon Capitaine!

    See the very last episode when future Picard is ordering First Ep Crew around willy-nilly and somebody (O'Brien? Yar?) says something to the effect of "We will follow your orders only up to a point unless we start getting an explanation"

    To which Picard said, I believe, "Trust me". And I love his bemused smile that says, "I love these guys. Of course they'd say that."
     
  16. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Let's be fair here. Riker still probably doesn't have all the details, and the ones he does have he hasn't come to grips with. He's completely in the right to get upset over the fact that a Federation citizen, a Starfleet officer, and one of the most decorated officers in Stafleet is going to be given up for political reasons, immediately after SF sent him on an illegal, clandestine mission. And that's before we even consider that Picard is Will's friend.

    And also, Jellico is being dismissive about the whole thing, pulling that "I don't have time nor the patience to explain myself to you Will Riker" attitude on him that he's exhibited thus far.

    1) Given what Will knows, which isn't a lot...Riker is completely in the right to say "Hold the **** up"

    2) And right or not...come on...I think at that point most people here would have lost it. Rank be damned. Fire me then! Relieve me! I won't be a part of this.

    But again, I want to state I don't think Jellico is the bad guy here. Shit happens. People are people. This is what happens when you run a bunch of hush-hush stuff. Communication gets fouled up...etc...etc..
     
  17. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    I agree with this statement more than anything I've read or written in this entire thread, & more off, they question Jellico for actions that are never questioned of Picard in similar situations. If people would just look at some of the moments in which Picard has done similarly, they might not see Jellico as such a improper presence. Their perspective is skewed because this character is new & the others are more familiar. It's EXPECTED that we jump to the crew's defense. It takes objectivity to see that it could be less clear cut than that. If his orders were so absurd, why then, by the time the mission is underway is no one mentioning any of them having caused overwhelming difficulties? There was nothing wrong with his orders other than it ruffled feathers among some of our beloved characters, & in all cases but one, Riker, everyone adjusts & accords themselves properly, & Riker pays the price for letting it get the better of him

    That's really just an assumption of how things work aboard a starship, in an upcoming crisis. It was never stated that the reason he changed shifts is his own preference, & it's more proper to assume the captain has legitimate reasons for his orders, unless they are clearly improper, which was never stated either
     
  18. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah... and even that was only after Picard was clearly off mission and endangering the ship at that point that they demanded explanations. And even they were more curt about it than Riker was in CoC. Jellico certainly never deviated from his mission or seemingly senselessly endangered the ship.
     
  19. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    ^I'm glad someone brought that up. It takes them nearly 2 whole episodes of him acting like a nut before they challenge him even remotely
     
  20. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    We know Jellico did his homework and in fact read Riker's file prior to taking command. In my own personal canon, Jellico knew this guy might be an obstacle, what with his history of questioning orders (DeSoto, etc), and told him to change the shift rotation to see if Riker would do it.

    When he failed, Jellico read him the riot act in Ten Forward and from then on, the person we see accompanying Jellico throughout the ship getting the departments in line is Data. Jellico was done with Riker the minute he failed to execute the captain's first order. I can't really blame Jellico. He was there to get stuff done and didn't have time for that BS. They were at the brink of war.
     

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