Theory Re: Why Riker's Such A Jerk Sometimes

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by doubleohfive, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    So, I was out having a lovely evening dinner and drinks with minidrag and her husband this evening and this topic came up in our random discussion.

    As she hasn't posted here since we dated lo those many years ago, minidrag agreed to let me post this here.

    Every once in a while, someone posts a thread asking "Why was Riker such a jerk?" or something along the lines of "Why Did Riker Have to be a Dick To Ro?" etc.

    I myself don't think this applies, but our conversation was lively this evening and I quite enjoyed minidrag's logic here.

    So, when you think about it, more often than not we always saw Riker on duty during the same duty shifts with Picard, which when you think about it makes little sense (most of the time, anyway) in terms of effcient starship operation.

    Add to this that we very rarely ever saw Riker sleeping for any length of time - he's always being woken up or can't sleep ("Night Terrors," "Schisms.")

    There's even an episode dedicated to his inability to wake up - "Frame of Mind."

    Throw in to all this his usual gallivanting around with the ladies and it's easy to see why the man could be (from some people's perspective, not mine) such a dick to everyone sometimes -- poor guy just needed to get some sleep!




    [​IMG]




    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    He'd have gotten heaps of sleep if he wasn't always trying to bone everyone. ;)
     
  3. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm confident Riker sleeps quite soundly when he Bags-A-BabeĀ®. Tis Nature's way to recouperate ... to replenish, after orgasm. I find it less likely that "Riker's a dick" because of lack of sleep and more likely because that's just how so many in authority simply are. They tend to be rather more Book Smart, than People Smart. For example ...

    In THE BIG GOODBYE, Geordi reports to Riker that there is a problem entering the holodeck. Riker shows up and asks LaForge if he's tried to make contact with the Captain, inside. Geordi answers in the affirmative and what does Riker do? He uses the panel by the holodeck door to contact the Captain. As if Riker's authority, ego and will are what's really required to make things happen. A nice wink at reality, I thought ...

    It's so typical of people in that type of position to be so moronic and useless in a situation that they're ignorant about acting on. It used to be, like in the World War II days and before that, when people in charge actually had Common Sense and looked and acted like leaders. Now, all it takes is a college degree and leadership courses which reflect very poorly on reality.
     
  4. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Bah, he's a dick because he's a big sack of insecurities, a fact that is never better illustrated than when he is a dick to HIMSELF, in Second Chances. By all rights, Tom is the one who should be unpleasant. If I were Will, seeing a vastly less fortunate version of myself, I'd feel pretty stinking awful about it. I certainly wouldn't be puffing and posturing like an infantile showoff

    Have some humility. You not only got back, you got rewarded, and he got abandoned and lost everything. Ultimately, Will got insecure because Tom was wooing Deanna, and Tom was getting a second chance at life, a life that he'd almost certainly not pursue in the way Will did, and that was clear to everyone, including Will, who then has to wonder about his own choices

    Will was never the same after Shelby popped his balloon. He lost all that Kirk confidence that they'd started him off with, and was left with just empty bravado
     
  5. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Personally, I think it's just because occasionally a little of Jonathan Frakes' actual personality can't help but poke through.

    (Sorry, but I'm still bitter about the last episode of Enterprise. ;) )
     
  6. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    That's an interesting comment. I've never heard a bad word against Frakes on this board (or anywhere else, for that matter). Usually the comments are that Riker is a tosser but Frakes is a decent guy. OTOH I haven't been into the Enterprise forum - in there it might be a completely different story! :lol:
     
  7. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    The XO of any ship (or any military organization) is not going to win any popularity contests. It's the Captain's privilege to be the impressive "old man" and make decisions and sometimes soften the impact when he/she thinks the XO is being too tough. It's a "good cop/bad cop" type of situation. I dont' see any reason why the roles couldn't be reversed with the Captain being the hard-ass, but I really think an effective leadership team will have one or the other playing those roles.

    Also keep in mind that while I think Riker's job as XO was more clearly defined than Spock's, we saw very little of what he did as the person who really ran the ship. Being in charge of evaluations, assignments and most disciplinary matters is not something we saw much of and when we did it was pretty jarring.
     
  8. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    Simple explanation: He still had a low-level mindlink with Troi. When she has PMS, so does he! ;)
     
  9. TenLubak

    TenLubak Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore MD USA
    I like the condesending head shake as strides out of a room rolling his eyes and sighing annoyed with how dumb most of the crew are. (ie. people riker doesn't like so he cuts em down will riker style.)
     
  10. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Location:
    Sickbay, dammit
    I always just chalked it up to bad acting. :lol:
     
  11. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    My observation of Riker at the time was how in Peak Performance, Picard goes on and on, sticking up for Rikers' command style to Kolrami, saying Riker's 'circumstantially inappropriate joviality' is "the means by which he creates that loyalty".

    From then on, I noticed Riker's "command style" as described by Picard seemed to all but disappear after that! :wtf:
     
  12. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Pet Theory is that Riker's Such a Jerk, Sometimes, because it turns Deanna on:

    [​IMG]

    "Oh, Wil ... you know I love it when you're a bell's end. Come inside, won't you?"
     
  13. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    It was his beard.

    The beard was in fact originally a parasitic alien life-form that engulfed our beloved Commander, ultimately overtaking all of his higher motor neuron functions. The last time we saw Will Riker alive was in "The Neutral Zone".

    (He briefly managed to wrestle control of his body back from his beard in "Insurrection". But the beard had reasserted itself again by the time "Nemesis" came around, and had perhaps spread further talons through-out the entire rest of his body so that it can NEVER BE REMOVED AGAIN.)
     
  14. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    Check again. The episode is "Schisms"

    "Frame of mind" is also about him not waking up, but in a difference sense than what I think you mean.
     
  15. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    I never thought Will Riker was a dick, per se, or did anything out of the ordinary as First Officer. As MikeH92467 says, the XO is sometimes going to be the Ax Man for the captain, and sometimes will have to play the heavy. Even Picard tells Riker that part of his job is to make sure "he doesn't look like an ass."

    As far as Second Chances go, I chalked Riker's harshness towards Tom Riker up to:

    1. Being uber jealous that Tom and Deanna were getting together

    2. Not knowing how to handle a duplicate of himself, and seeing something about himself he didn't like, in Tom Riker

    Consider this, the same thing could have happened to Riker, as did to Kirk in the Enemy Within, and unknown to everyone else, Will Riker was the "Bad Twin," and Tom Riker was the "Good Twin," but it was far less pronounced than Kirk's, where both Rikers had enough of the original Riker's personality to be good or bad, as the situation called for. Will Riker ended up getting the stern side of himself that was good for being command oriented, whereas Tom Riker got a little more of the personable and empathy side.

    I think evidence to this is that it seems after the transporter accident, Riker was supposedly almost obsessed with becoming captain, even breaking up with Deanna to do it. Tom Riker did come off as more gentle than Will Riker (at least until DS9), and had he been the one to come back instead of Will Riker, I think he would have chosen Deanna over career, or at least turned down the promotion to be with her. I think that can also explain some hostility on Will Riker's part, because he felt guilty he did break up with Deanna years later, and when Tom entered the picture, it made him finally confront that guilt. So, he lashed out towards Tom Riker.
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I like that theory, re: Will being an 'evil' transporter duplicate ala The Enemy Within (with the word 'evil' only being relative in this case, of course). Coming out of the accident with some of Riker's worser character qualities at the fore and his better ones more buried, while Tom is he opposite; having more of Will Riker's charm and less of his empty bravado.
     
  17. desfem79

    desfem79 Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Never noticed this in honesty.

    I think he was essentially a cool guy, confident, assured, and friendly.

    I guess he wasn't welcoming to Thomas Riker, but then meeting yourself to all intents and purposes is not something any human is likely to encounter. I honestly don't know how I would react to me (who got trapped on a planet in a transporter anomaly lol..) 10 years ago.

    He was a good friend to Picard, Geordi, Deanna, Worf, Data, Wesley, Beverly, Guinan, etc. so he wasn't bad at all IMO.
     
  18. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Lots of people can be jerks sometimes. Look at Kirk, for instance. He could be pretty short at times, "I'm not interested in your excuses, Lieutenant.", or "How your lost love affects your vision doesn't interest me.". As someone above said, it's all part of the job sometimes!
     
  19. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere in Connecticut
    Riker was the officer in charge of crew discipline and evaluations. He was perfectly congenial to officers who did their jobs well. He only came down on people when they were slackers or got out of line. That was his job. He considered serving on the Federation flagship to be a privilege that had to be earned, not a right.
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    "If the crew doesn't hate the XO, he's not doing his job." - Saul Tigh