Picard just had to go search for Data in 'Descent'?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by JesterFace, May 23, 2020.

  1. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commodore Commodore

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    In 'Descent' the Enterprise doesn't have much crew on board, almost every member of the crew are looking for Data. But why did Picard had to leave? I'm not saying Dr Crusher is a bad choice for a temporary captain but thinking the ship would have the families of all those officers on board and a Borg ship nearby, why not send Crusher to find Data with the others? It feels like a moment where Picard just had to be on the search party so Lore could have interesting conversations with Picard.
     
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  2. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Amazingly the Enterprise sensors couldn't be calibrated to find EM or other frequency or radiation emission that would come from Data. Or searching for positronic wave sources. But then there'd be no episode. Given how bad part II was, that might not be a bad thing...

    And, yup, getting Picard to beam on down was pure plot contrivance. Not unlike "Chain of Command" but for a far flakier reason.
     
  3. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Welcome to the beginnings of the Picard-Data Rescue Bromance that would be later followed with dramatic rescues of each other in First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis and PIC. A major chunk of screentime is the 2 of them saving each other back & forth, back & forth whether rational to do so or not, as mentioned here in "Descent."
     
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  4. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    He should have sent reggie
     
  5. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've wondered about that. Surely as CMO, Crusher would be one or two officers with the most training and experience in planning and executing search (and rescue) operations, the other being Worf as Security Chief.
     
  6. MrPicard

    MrPicard Jean-Luc's Loving Husband Premium Member

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    Because it's Data. And Jean-Luc won't stand by while Data is being kidnapped. He goes after him on several occasions. It fits a pattern. ;)
     
  7. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Commander Red Shirt

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    You could make the same argument about the majority of times a captain beams down to a planet - that there's a more appropriate/expendable crewmember who should go in his place.

    It's television isn't it? You want Patrick Stewart in the thick of it so the story inevitably goes in that direction.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The point that they should send everybody was made well enough. And with that out of the way, Picard would find a way to insert himself into the definition of everybody.

    What doesn't work is how there's this vast effort by teams on foot and shuttles in the air to locate Data, and still it's Picard's team that gets there first - and not just first, but nobody else ever gets there. The odds are against that, plain and simple. And we learn of nothing that would bend them in Picard's favor. Yes, it might be that Lore is watching them all the time, and wishes to manipulate things so that Picard gets there first. But what the heroes eventually locate is a building. How could Lore manipulate that one? We don't learn of any instructions given to the foot teams that would alter their courses, much less constant updates to such, so Lore can't manipulate those. Does Lore use a holographic or flying building that he cloaks from the shuttles and then drops in Picard's path?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don't forget, they were also investigating the abnormal Borg situation. Picard's history with the Borg would likely play into his decision. Whether Troi or Crusher should have spoken up about why that's a bad idea is another good question.
     
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  10. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Commander Red Shirt

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    We're getting into 'why does all this stuff only happen to the Enterprise' and 'why are the main characters always on duty when something happens' territory here aren't we?

    Picard/Stewart is arguably the star of TNG - do we really need to explain why his team found Data and not Ensign Ricky and two random security guards from Deck 42? Come on.
     
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  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The hero ship doing interesting stuff is not a plausibility problem as such - a thousand ships elsewhere could be encountering Giant Space Porcupines or saving the universe from interdimensional Elvis clones, too. Here the issue is more in-your-face, though: there's just this single planet, this single patch of land 40 klicks across, and this especially disadvantaged team out of dozens reaching a location when more able-bodied teams fail to do so.

    Then again, Riker did say that he had only sent a dozen teams so far, which might also suggest very little time had passed since Picard ordered the shuttle overflights; possibly Picard's team was simply the first to head in the right direction, and 1/12 odds aren't as atrocious as the eventual 1/100 or 1/200 or whatnot, even given all the handicaps from having to baby-sit the old man.

    It still makes for an idiot plot that the heroes do not contact anybody when discovering the building. Are they emotionally insecure and afraid of having found the wrong Borg Fortress and embarrassing themselves if reporting in?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Commander Red Shirt

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    I've given you the information why Picard's team were the ones that found Data/Lore, at some point it's best to stop searching for an explanation for 'why did this happen to the star of the show and not two background extras'? :techman:
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Now where's the fun in that? Anyway, had Ensign Ricky found the Borg palace, he might have had the presence of mind to actually tell somebody. And at that point the main heroes would have become involved anyway. There are more elegant ways to subsequently cut them off their supposed reinforcements...

    (Heck, Lore's un-Collective were pushovers, deprived of most Borg advantages and only compensating with those ranged weapons of theirs. So it wouldn't have hurt the Borg public image much to stage an epic phaserfight between them and a million redshirts and having the redshirts ultimately win, while Picard, Troi and LaForge did their stuff inside the fortress and Lore postured.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Herbert

    Herbert Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You'll find, as I did when I first joined this forum, that many, many people here enjoy coming up with crackpot theories for all sorts of stuff that could easily be explained away with such answers as you have given or in other cases, simple continuity errors but that doesn't stop the wild theories from being proffered.
     
  15. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a conversation about the minutia of Star Trek as much as the next man (possibly more than the next man), but even I have to concede that some things, such as 'why was Picard's team the one that found Data?' boil down to one explanation.
     
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  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I guess the point is that any in-universe mechanism for the heroism of our heroes is always a plus, never a minus. Sometimes the more convoluted, the better - but generally the best fun is to be found in the challenge of coming up with something at least halfway plausible, despite the writer failure to help any...

    In most cases, it's impossible for us to do the math, and thus easy to argue that it favors our heroes. Here the writers deprive themselves of that protection. Plus they totally fumble the key step of somehow blocking reinforcements from interfering, after having gone to such pains to establish said reinforcements. "Descent II" just turns out to be slightly more epic a fail than most such adventures, and tends to generate these very discussions time and again (I think this is the fourth time I partake in one here).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It makes about as much sense as both Picard & Riker ending up on the mercenary ship in Gambit

    In the words of the great profit Captain Spock, "Only Nixon could go to China"
     
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  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hmh? Picard was targeted for his skill set. He himself basically engineered the bringing aboard of Riker. And even if this was only made possible by the stubborn insistence of the XO at going after his boss, this is hardly an unrealistic turn of events.

    Or perhaps "unlikely" would be the better expression there. Of course it's unrealistic for a starship skipper to be allowed to do what he wishes - but no more unrealistic than the existence of starships in the first place. And those are not Hollywood conceits in the generic sense, but specific root concepts of this piece of fiction, akin to a cop always having a dead wife and a drinking problem and a nemesis to be defeated in a boss fight that somehow solves the previous two problems, too.

    In any case, it makes good in-universe sense. Unlike, say, this specific and specifically disadvantaged search team beating a dozen others to the job. Then again, "Gambit" was spelled out for us, while they tried to slip "Descent II" past us. Which is the real shame here, because there could have been dramatic worth in Picard being targeted here specifically by either Lore or Hugh, or practical worth in allowing for the bit of filler where Ensign Ricky finds the Borg and Picard is vectored to assist (Trek two-parters aren't exactly filled to the brim).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Serveaux

    Serveaux American Premium Member

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    It's a Kirk-Spock kinda thing.