Episode of the Week: 2x14 "The Icarus Factor"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Jeyl, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Memory Alpha Entry
    Chrissie's Transcript

    Two words. Daddy issues. I hate them. Next episode!.....

    Ok, I'll do my best. The Worf subplot is actually pretty good and this episode does get what I would call a whole letter grade improvement for something that I thought would never ever happen in Star Trek again since the original series. No, not the ridiculous costumes that Riker and his Dad wear during their bout.

    That's right. This is (I think) the ONLY MENTION of the Tholian race in all of TNG's Seven Season run and anything that deals with Tholians in any way is a plus in my book. They're my favorite species in Star Trek and this is really the only thing that makes me smile about this episode. That and Worf's loud screams of pain. :techman:

    I think by now in TNG's second season that the writers were really focused on giving Pulaski's role more relevance by having her be associated with almost everything that goes on in characters' lives. Like, she knows Riker's Dad to the point where they're actually intimate with each other? Not very realistic in a galaxy as big as this one and it does makes me feel uncomfortable watching it. Thankfully she does something I greatly approve of in the next episode so she's still in my book.

    Another surprise that I got out of this episode was the handling of Wesley. I like how he tries to better understand Worf as a person who is from a different race and culture in order to try and figure out ways of helping him with his issues. Sometimes Star Trek takes it's alien characters for granted and doesn't do anything to distinguish them from us outside of physically looking different. Well done.

    Now for the father vs. son fight that we've all been waiting for. They reconcile and go their separate ways. The End.

    CONCLUSION: There's really not much to say about this episode because not a lot happens in it. The scenes involving Worf's dilemma are nice and having Wesley wanting to help out actually made me care about his character for once. Unfortunately Riker's storyline is nothing but a "by the books" take on Daddy issues that it doesn't really add anything to his character in the long run. If it wasn't for Worf's b-plot and the shout out to the Tholians, I would have labeled this entire episode as a "skip".


    Note: Thank you Trekcore for the screen grabs. Sorry I haven't credited you in my previous posts.
  2. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 12, 2009
    I rather liked this one, but then I have an unexplainable love of all things season 2 anyway.

    At the time (before the Worf-Klingon thing went into overdrive) it was nice to get a bit of cultural background for Worf; I liked Riker and Troi's teary goodbye; Pulaski has some good lines; the tension between Rikers snr and jnr falls a little flat, but what they have in the script I thought was played well enough.
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Feb 12, 2011
    Taking up space
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    They did name-drop the species about as much as they name-dropped the Romulans early on (before deciding to make use of them) and the Breen later (but postponing their use till late DS9). "Peak Performance" mentioned Tholians as a simulated adversary, "Reunion" as a potential one... "Icarus Factor" was the only one in TNG to speak of an actual conflict with Tholians, although DS9 made another mention of this conflict as having been part of Sisko's service record.

    Well, Picard appeared to have conspired to bring Kyle Riker aboard (even if Kyle made it sound it was the other way around) in the hopes of achieving the dad-son reconciliation on the eve of Riker's big decision. Perhaps Picard achieved this specifically by waving the Kate Pulaski card in front of his nose? One coincidence eliminated, especially as Picard could have played similar cards with Pulaski previously in order to create the domino effect.

    ...Although admittedly this sort of scheming is more the trademark of Pulaski herself, or perhaps something the playful Will Riker might do, not a Jean-Luc Picard thing at all.

    (Still, Riker was 8th on his Academy class, and his dad was something of a celebrity; these two facts might not be unrelated. Fame might have attracted fame, and a bright doctor with a future on the UFP flagship would get involved with this remarkable family even against statistical odds.)

    Timo Saloniemi
  6. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 27, 2012
    Bay Area, CA
    I liked this episode. It was one of the first to deal with backstories of the characters. First and foremost is Riker's daddy issues. Meh. The "resolution" was way too brief and superficial. But seeing Worf feeling the outcast added more, and was the stepping stone to Moore's contributions. I really liked Pulaski in this one. She connects with Worf, and the backstory with Riker's dad was handled well.

    That Judo-meets-American Gladiators game was hilariously cheesy. :lol:
  7. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 24, 2009
    Nice touch. :techman:

    I still have to watch it for this week, but what I remember most from previous viewings is a lousy performance by Frakes, some so-bad-it's-funny dialog between father and son and the ridiculous martial art. Oh, and the pain sticks.

    If you enjoy anbo-jyustu's silliness, get a load of Kosho:

  8. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

    Apr 4, 2013
    The Denorios Belt
    I never liked this episode. We find out that Riker's dad is a dull jerk, which is supposed to explain why Riker is so jerky. And dull.

    And an anbo-jyutsu match to "clear the air?" Cringe-worthy.

    The Worf story was much better, but not enough to save the episode for me.
  9. Obiwansolo18

    Obiwansolo18 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Jan 10, 2013
    As far as episodes go it lives a lot to be desired. The Riker story line in this is terrible. You know that he's not going leave the enterprise, why offer him such a lousy command. He's dad leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The fight between them is absolutely terrible. The whole Worf anniversary story was thought out better and should have been the main focus of the episode.
  10. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Thank you. :)

    It's true what they say that the more you do something, the more you think of ways to try and make it different and hopefully better.
  11. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 7, 2011
    The title cap is indeed awesome.

    Which is more than can be said for the episode, which is one of those bits of television so bland your eyes just sort of slide off it. Even the potentially fun Worf plot feels a bit meh.

    And this probably has the single weakest attempt to do an A and B plot that are tied together in all of Trek: The character at the centre of both plots gets beaten with sticks!