In 'Galaxy's Child', was Geordie a creep or just misunderstood?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Skipper, Jan 13, 2022.

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  1. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    Hello everyone. This is a topic we touched in another thread that I believe it deserves one for itself

    Until now I had believed that there was general consensus on Geordie's behavior towards Dr. Brahms in the episode "Galaxy's Child". And the consensus was that he had been a creep towards the doctor and that he should have apologized, and not the other way around as happened in the episode.

    I mean, almost the majority of the reviews written after the 2000 say something similar.
    Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Galaxy’s Child”
    Revisiting Star Trek TNG: Galaxy’s Child
    Star Trek The Next Generation: Galaxy's Child
    “Galaxy’s Child” – TNG 4X16
    Mark Watches ‘The Next Generation’: S04E16 – Galaxy’s Child
    --------------------------------*************-----------------------**************--------------

    Still, on the other threads other users raised up some interesting points.
    So it could all have been a big misunderstanding and could Geordie be right to be offended by the overreaction of the doctor who immediately imagined the worst about the situation, without even hearing what he had to say about it first?

    Your opinion?
     
  2. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think he's creepy, even at least at times jerky (mostly the dinner scene and the angrily claiming that all he did was offer her friendship), but not a total creep or jerk, not a villain let alone a monster. And he also is understandable for getting upset at her outrage. I think though he was in the wrong, though not terrible, Leah was also in the wrong for acting so outraged over *creating a hologram of her* though Geordi shouldn't have not revealed "their" prior interaction.

    The creating the hologram was done (and used briefly, which records should have shown) to help him with engineering, not to flirt with her or otherwise try to have a relationship with her, that there was one program (that was related to engineering) means there might be one for every day of the week, mood seems a lot to assume. Though OTOH TNG, especially early on, suggested holodecks and holograms were new and innovative so more offense can be understandable.

    I love that there's usually the complaint that the TNG characters were too perfect, inhuman paradigms of virtue, and yet when they do have flaws most viewers completely reject and dislike them and consider it bad writing/depiction/episode.

    Burton's acting was I think meant to show that, even if it's unreasonable, it *is* unpleasant to be rejected and he did show that well. I think the episode overall was not really taking sides, it was intended to show both Geordi and Leah were flawed but not terrible and did that pretty well.

    The episode and LaForge would be probably be considered less badly if he had at the end apologized/admitted he should have just told her about the program earlier though at the very end they get along so well, laughing about their conflict, it's pretty easy to think he did offscreen or Leah just decided, since it wasn't what she thought it was, it wasn't a big deal.
     
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  3. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Poor Geordi--- While it can be a bit uncomfortable to watch...I think he was just misunderstood. He's socially awkward with women, and that's an established part of his character. It doesn't make him a weirdo or creep. If we deemed everyone who was socially awkward with women as such, we'd have a major social problem on our hands.
     
  4. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Imho it's mainly a giant misunderstanding, that Geordi did the biggest part in handling badly, & Leah, in her smaller way, let it go down badly thereafter.

    Geordi gets the lion's share of blame for it, because he's being largely presumptuous about there being a personal connection with her, & in some ways intrusive on her privacy, even though any pre-knowledge he has about her, which he tried to use to gain social advantage, are all matters of public record.

    Still, it's not good form or good faith to go forth with all her personal info in a way to artificially gain favor, like he did, but that's just more pathetic than it is wrongful imho. He's mostly just being disingenuous for lack of confidence. He's always doing that in matters of the heart, i.e. Cristy Henshaw... Fabricating a connection instead of just finding one organically. It's pitiable.

    Let's clear up the viewer misconceptions before I go on. Geori had once claimed to Barclay that he "fell in love" in the holodeck. We reasonably assume he means with this incarnation of Leah, but we have no idea the specifics of that claim at all. It's clear that the program influenced him to have feelings for the real Leah though, but assuming anything more is baseless

    Leah (& some viewers) also presume too far IMHO, when encountering the single program from Booby Trap. There's really no indication that Geordi went any further than that with it. Maybe he did, but maybe he didn't. Plus, the very intimate way that program begins behaving was not Geordi's intention or doing. Frankly, Geordi is notoriously a clutz with his holodeck commands. He's inadvertently made whole sentient beings before. That he drummed up a person's bio & they unintentionally got legit feelings towards one another pales in comparison.

    Her overreaction to it is what drives him to defensiveness & embarrassment, & it manifests in bad attitude. Instead of just apologizing & explaining it, he begins feeling like he's been judged, & makes it uglier. I imagine it getting that way regardless of whether he'd been trying to court her or not. The minute she'd seen that program, which the events would've bore out either way, she'd have probably reacted similarly

    Point being, he did act wrongly, & she thought wrongly of him, & probably more so because he'd acted wrongly. It's fair to attribute his acts to being emotionally confused. Who hasn't thought someone would like you & done things to that end & then been wrong & felt persecuted if it got awkward? It's awkward but not intentionally creepy or stalkerish. He just had a 24th century variation on the theme

    Both just let events & impulses stand between them & their better angels, & I'm glad they eventually both came to a similar conclusion to forgive the trespasses
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
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  5. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    I've been puzzled by the amount of heat generated by these two episodes for a long time. In Booby Trap, Geordi is clearly surprised, even shocked that the computer generates such an attractive simulation. I was in my late 40s at the time and readily acknowledged "she was hot". There is, however, ZERO evidence that Geordi did anything inappropriate with that holographic hottie. Evidence is the key. Anyone who ASSUMES that he did has fabricated their own fantasy. That's on you.
    In Galaxy's Child, she comes on board, discovers the simulation and jumps to her own fabricated conclusions, all while being systematically rude to Geordi. In her live presence, Geordi is a perfect gentleman and finally wins her friendship as a result.

    To be clear, this is me talking as an adult fan, not offering any Moderator's "guidance". Each person can believe whatever they wish. It is a free forum.
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    Well, there is the point where he lies to her:

    No Gerdie, you actively tried to seduce her, even using a working lunch as an excuse.
     
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  7. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sorry, but trying to seduce a coworker who is clearly not interested during a "working lunch" is not exactly my idea of a "perfect gentleman".
     
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  8. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd also agree he's not gentlemanly, nor forthcoming about things she might deserve to know, which is disingenuous

    But his acts are imho less unseemly than they are pathetic. He's just a guy who can't seem to trust his own likability enough to not force events & outcomes. It's almost as if the guy who spends his life mechanically fixing things thinks that's how you make a coupling happen. You fix it to. It's sad really... But it's not uncommon. People arrange their behavior & circumstances all the time

    As a result, I don't think he's being a legit creep. Take for example the kiss he shared with the hologram. It wasn't intentional per say. It was an impulse of the moment he got caught up in, with a character he'd been interacting with.

    It's a far cry from Barclay creating a Troi dolly to play big man with. That's more akin to the underwear stealing behavior. Geordi is just a victim of letting his impulses get away from him, in all these circumstances, & it's a recipe for a total shit show.
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    Let's see what could have happened in real life if I had done something like what Geordie did.

    Let's imagine that I start cyberstalking a colleague of mine from another city because, whatever, I saw a picture of her in the internal magazine. By pure chance we have to do an activity together and then she moves for a limited period in my office. From the beginning it is clear that she is only interested in work and not in deepening interpersonal relationships, to the point of appearing almost rude. Therefore, despite all the implicit and explicit signals, I continue to hit on her during and after working hours. The climax comes when, under the pretext of a working dinner, I organize a romantic event with the clear goal of seducing her. She is disturbed from the experience. After that, because I leaved my pc unlocked, she sees an animated avatar of her who says "every time you touch this computer you touch me".

    At the end of this experience, in the best case I would receive a very angry phone call from HR and a warning letter, in the worst case I would have to look for a new job.

    But in the episode, she's the one who has to apologize to him.
     
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  10. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    Your notion of “seduction” and mine are vastly different.
     
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  11. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    You’re defending your warped interpretation by creating yet another fantasy. It is nonsense.
    I’m done here.
     
  12. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Commodore Commodore

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    I agree, the computer makes it clear that personnel logs are not part of the simulation, and Geordi only instructs the computer to input data from the official engineering logs and material from a public conference.

    Any "romantic" elements of the program, including the holoform itself, was hurestically generated by the computer due to subconscious cues.

    I do think that Geordi got a little carried away and made some unfortunate assumptions and gaffes but he was being friendly (whereas she was overtly hostile at points) even if he was hoping for more.
     
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  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Geordi should have deleted the hologram before the real Dr. Brahms ever got a chance to see it.

    At the very least, he should have made it clear that the computer itself created the hologram, it was the computer's idea in the first place.
     
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  14. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Commodore

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    The music and the lighting he used for the dinner clearly point to an attempt to seduce her, you don't create a romantic atmosphere like that for a professional dinner among colleagues.

    In my opinion Geordi's actions were on the creepy side, but more awkward creepy and not "Here's my fifteen point plan to manipulate her into having sex with me" creepy, and while she was pissed by the changes he made to "her" engines, she wasn't particularly bothered when she noticed he seemed to have a romantic interest in her, her reaction was basically "Thank you but no and I'm married anyway", she didn't blow up or acted like he creeped her out.
    That only happened after she stumbled over the holodeck program and her reaction was completely understandable, she jumped to conclusions but not without reason because Geordi did try to get into her pants, so what is she supposed to think when she sees holo Leah giving the "touch me" speech? "I bet the computer did this with no prompting from Geordi" is not the first thing anyone of us would think in her situation.

    Where the episode loses me is when Geordi acts like he's the victim and Leah is a mean girl who has no reason to be upset when he knows this isn't true and we know he knows because when he realizes she's on the holodeck he gets an "Oh shit!" look and runs like mad to the holodeck, this only makes sense if he knows it doesn't look innocent but when he gets there he doesn't admit that and explains himself and apologizes, he gets defensive and pretends she's wrong when she kinda isn't. No, he didn't use holo Leah as a sex doll but his romantic interest in the real Leah is based on his interactions with holo Leah.

    And all of that still could have worked if the episode had acknowledged that he was wrong but it never does, instead the episode ends with her apologizing to him.
     
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  15. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You mean like Lwaxana Troi did to Picard in Manhunt, under the implication that it was an ambassadorial function? & yet no one ever comes after it as hard as this situation with Geordi, because it's fun loving, quirky Mrs. Troi & not awkward predator Geordi, even though her behavior was far more suggestive

    Look, clearly being over 30 years old, these episodes have aged poorly by some modern standards, but even now professional/personal relations are a precarious undertaking.

    So, ultimately what happened? She came in confrontational about design alterations, & he's on the defensive from the start. He suggests getting together to get to know each other, & have a meal, even telling her the meal that he knows she likes. This is not a strictly working lunch situation. It's a private social get-together at his place, & I think she was at least agreeable to it based on the fact that there'd been a lot of contention on her part, which is why she's rather apologetic when she arrives

    In the encounter itself, he's clearly done some arranging for social conditions, but it is hardly befitting a label of seductive or even suggestive IMHO, & when it began to feel a little too friendly for her, she left. The end. It's clear he has an interest in her, more than professionally, but nothing he did was overly suggestive to that end imho. I wouldn't call that lighting or music an attempt to seduce, just an attempt to make a personable environment... in the hopes of a more personal relationship developing

    The main point of how his behavior is wrongful is that he's not being openly honest with her about how he's come by his foreknowledge of her, & even her work, & the resulting presumptions that he's developed
    Seduce is just the wrong word. It's far closer to befriend imho, with a slant toward showing he has an interest in her. He didn't try to get into her pants. He invited her to a private dinner, & did nothing even remotely suggestive at it beyond trying to get to know her. At the very hint in her mind that it might be more than professional, she politely left.
    He reacted impulsively. She's slamming him pretty good with some really suggestive implications, which if you're not guilty of them, you might get upset, & at that point, good communication is problematic
    He did apologize. He told her that she owed him no apology, & that HE should've told her straight out, acknowledging that he wasn't forthright about the circumstances, & though we didn't see it all, by the way they leave things, it's understood they cleared the air of everything, & left it on good terms with one another.

    Her apology is mostly about how she came in with her own preconceptions as well, that powered her initial animosity towards him. If there was any of that apology having to do with how she'd reacted to the program, it was probably because she was in the largest sense inaccurate about it

    It's understandable for her to have gone off on him, in the heat of the moment, about the program, but ultimately she wasn't correct about it, so yeah, it kind of deserves at least an attempt to apologize, which he ... refused, because he acknowledges the impulse for what it was, & knows it was precipitated by his own initial disingenuous behavior, & she acknowledges his poorer impulses in this situation are just as forgivable. They part company like thoughtful, understanding adults instead of petty people trying to decide who is more right.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  16. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You know... I like to think he showed her the rest of that holodeck file before that final scene, which likely contained the whole mission, & that's clearly why she's much less offput by it, in the end. After all, it was an incredible adventure worth sharing, which in some ways, showed how she contributed to its success. It would go a ways toward explaining how he'd come by some of her unpublished research (Which she'd rightfully seemed a bit suspicious about too) & it might've let her know just what the circumstances were that the computer played out as her, which created the personal scenario wherein Geordi got swept away by his impulses. All seems forgiven in the end, & as a fan of the show, I can certainly imagine how that realistically might've ended up being that way.
     
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  17. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Commodore Commodore

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    @Mojochi I agree with most of the above.

    Honestly, IMO the question that both of them should be asking is how and why the holodeck computer went so far of the reservation on what was asked of it that the rightly contentious bit of dialogue crept in there in the first place!
     
  18. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I honestly think you have a good point up above @Shamrock Holmes

    I think they might already know that the chief purpose of the holodeck is to be programmed for user satisfaction in fantasy fulfillment. So even though his application of it in the Booby Trap crisis was not for fantasy fulfillment, it kind of plays that game regardless. If this user starts showing hints, cues, body language that he likes this character, then have the character like him back, & have it escalate accordingly.

    That's what they're usually in here for... Especially if it's as clear that they would like each other realistically, like Leah & Geordi realistically would, & as the events of All Good Things... bears out, eventually do. The weird thing we never talk about is how the computer got it so right about 2 real people & how they'd be a well matched couple. Geordi never intended to find that out when he created the character. It essentially played matchmaker for him, & that turned out to be successful for him in the end (Which is admittedly a little weird since she was already in a committed relationship)

    I'd hope they might get old Barclay in there with Geordi & tweek the thing a bit, to exclude it from automatically matchmaking with currently committed real people, if/when users generate real persons. If it was going to do this with a real person like Leah, her being married should certainly have been taken into account.

    I think likewise if a user begins not liking a character, it likely might escalate that too, because sometimes folks are just as much in there for an adversary fantasy as well.
     
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  19. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Some of the things the program says in "Booby Trap" led me to believe the ship's computer had a thing for Geordi, and was taking the opportunity to, essentially, catfish him. A digital Cyrano, if you will. "I'm with you every day, Geordi. Every time you look at this engine, you're looking at me. Every time you touch it, it's me."

    The -D's computer is clearly complex enough to have these kinds of reactions (remember the lights dimming for a second in "Elementary, Dear Data" as the entire ship's processing power went into creating the Moriarty program), though it may not be designed to express them in a way understandable to humans, either because of a lack of consideration by its programmers, or a deliberate failsafe to keep it from getting ideas above its station. But sometimes, just on occasion, the ship could use its hot-rodded holodecks to exceed its limitations and, for instance, express the special connection it feels with the person exclusively responsible for its health and well-being.

    I agree, it's a missed opportunity that the follow-up was exclusively about Leah and Geordi relating to each other, and not considering why the Leah program would come on to Geordi even though Geordi didn't want that when he programmed it, and the real Leah source wouldn't have wanted to, either.
     
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  20. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some of you folks need to get out more. That's what I think.
     
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