Was Riker incompetent?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Crazyewok, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    Couple of examples.

    He dismissal of war games with the Zankadorn, even though the enterprise D faced combat multiple times.

    Losing the Enterprise D to a outdated Bird of prey.

    Rikers inability to work with Captain Jellico dureing the Cardassian crisis.

    His screw up and illegal actions with the USS Pegasus,
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The point with the first issue was that the E-D and her crew supposedly fought well enough without the wargames, and possibly might fight worse as the result of wasting time in those. It's not as if the games did any good that we'd know of: the main heroes already knew their stuff, and the extras who crewed the E-D were never seen again, so the learning experience would have been wasted on them. I don't see why Riker should be held accountable for anything here.

    Losing a ship is always bad. But the better man wins, and Soran was better.

    Riker is an asshole, and so's Jellico. Incompetence? Naah. Overcompetence? You bet.

    Riker screws up with the Pegasus? He displays thorough competence there, fighting his way out of a ship full of mutineers, keeping a secret for decades, then coming clean and nevertheless saving his career. He's a competent hero, but clearly would also make for a competent villain!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which explains the beard.
     
  4. Tom

    Tom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He refusal to captain other ships can be viewed as incompetent. Especially after the Federation lost 39 ships at Wolf 359. So you had all these new replacement ships being built that needed new captains. Riker was a hero after defeating the Borg and could have had any ship, but decided to play it safe and stay as first officer behind Picard. He would have best served the Federation by become a captain of one of those ships, rather than the Federation promoting other commanders that perhaps were not quite fit yet to take command.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Competence and professionalism are different things. The debacle with Jellico shows Riker's unprofessional side but does not bring his competence to question, save for demonstrating his superior competence in piloting.

    Career choices should fall decisively under professionalism, not competence...

    ...OTOH, a shortage of captains sounds extremely unlikely when we later learn that 39 starships is a drop in an ocean. If anything, there would be job openings for people who otherwise would see their talent wasted in further decades of underling duties! What Riker might have opted to do is step aside to let Shelby have a shot at it, and himself become the Starfleet Borg expert (which, considering the depth of Starfleet's ignorance on all things Borg, isn't saying much).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or losing the ship to the Ferengi?
    And Generations was indeed terrible, he should be demoted.
    And he and Worf were bad in Nemesis, when the Enterprise was being boarded by the Remans they should bring the lights up to full, because the Remans were sensitive to light.
     
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  7. Captain Atkin

    Captain Atkin Captain Captain

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    I think his personal goal was to eventually become Captain of the USS Enterprise. That always seemed obvious to me watching the show. We see that he uses the Enterprise as his ship once he is an Admiral in "All Good Things". Does any other ship really compare to the flagship of the Federation? I don't think so.
     
  8. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    I can see no excuse in losing a galaxy class ship to a obsolete type of bird of prey.


    Which shows riker not only needed that war game from the Zankadorn but probably needed a dozen more.
     
  9. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Jellico was a douche and Riker saved Picard at the end of the day. He saved humanity from the borg in Best of Both Worlds. Saves the entire universe as a captain in All Good Things. Beats the crap out of klingons on their own ship during that exchange episode. Doesn't care about following others expectations about his career. Incompetent... not a chance.
     
  10. JeffinOakland

    JeffinOakland Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wonder how an actor feels when the scriptwriter makes their usual intelligent character look like a fool. Can Starfleet forcibly promote him? We need you to be a Captain; report to your new ship as ordered.
     
  11. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Losing the entire Enterprise D to a bunch of slapstick Ferengi-clowns who promptly enslaved the entire crew (lol) is Riker at his nadir. How much lower can you go? And then the kids have to save his ass, lol. OK, it's a pint-sized Picard & Co. But still it's a dumb sight and my goodness if that level of ineptitude isn't court martial stuff, nuthin' bloody well is. The least that Riker should suffer is snickering and knowing glances from his colleagues should he ever show his face on a Starfleet facility again.

    Riker saved the earth from the borg and got back Picard, now that's not a bad high point to give him his due. I reckon he's traded off that little feat ever since.

    I don't think Riker does a particularity good job with Jellico as Riker is still trying to shake off the cobwebs of complacency with the kind of lazy relationship he enjoyed with Picard. Jellico himself is in a overly hyperactive rush on D and the relationship decomposes from there. But the villain of the piece surely is Admiral Nechayev. Jellico should've been kept on his own ship to do the hard ball negotiations and play wolf whilst the D under Riker gives him cover. But that of course, would've deprived us of drill sergeant Jellico locking horns with Commander Temper Tantrum.

    The Zakdorn stuff doesn't bother me. It's more a Starfleet ethos thing at that point in the series than Riker. The Pakled stuff does, however. Off he sends the chief engineer himself (!) on his owny own and basically tells the ship telepath to shut up and look pretty when she strongly warns him that the Pakleds are harbouring ill intent! And sure enough LaForge is kidnapped and brutalised by multiple phaser shots and the day is only saved by some weak game of bluff that anyone with a brain cell could see through. He's a real court martial dodger, Riker, that's for sure.

    The Pegasus stuff is more marginal really. He's under orders from some heavy brass most of the time. He's in the wrong, sure, but it's half understandable compared to some of the other examples of ineptitude.

    Basically, the guy encounters Pakled lobotomy-persons and Ferengi-clowns and his own marbles roll right out of the door. That's what I think, when I think of Riker's competency.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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  12. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The ship was twenty years old and had a defective component in it's cloaking device, how do you figure "obsolete?"

    Kirk's Enterprise was maybe also twenty years, the Enterprise D was over thirty years in All Good Things.

    The BOP's weapons and deflectors obviously worked just fine.
     
  13. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are moments where I think he does crack under pressure. That's always how I read the Generations battle at the very least, he's pacing around the bridge trying to get answers and he may have a habit of taking the wrong advice or making a bad decision simply because he makes those choices in a split second. Maybe people would say that's inherent to starship command, but I do think on some level Riker is a little less consultative than Picard, but maybe still a little more so than Janeway or Kirk.

    I don't think that plays to his competence, though. ;)
     
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  14. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    Doesn't matter if Jellico is the biggest Douche in the galaxy who name is captain douchy mcdouchbag from the planet Douche bag prime in the arse whole system of the dickhead sector. Its called the chain of command. As long as Jellico orders were legal and had support of starfleet command , rikers job was to support him regardless of his personal feelings.
    If Riker thinks he can do better? Well he should of took up command of his own ship when offered.

    He showed in that episode he cant work under people he doesnt like, a poor quality in a officer.

    In the real world i have freinds in the military. They have all had CO's at some point that were dicks. But they just had to suck it up and get on with the job.

    Same as most of us that have had crap bosses.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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  15. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must confess that the thought has occurred to me too.
     
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  16. Spot261

    Spot261 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think to a large extent Riker varied depending upon who wrote him. Certain character traits were established (womaniser, over confident) but his actual expression of those traits was somewhat patchy.

    The promotion thing was a case of writing yourself into a corner to be honest. He was clearly meant to be ambitious and that dripped off him on screen but where could he go? He entered the show as first officer, he couldn't rise any higher on the ship without becoming captain. On the other hand the character was a popular one and fitted well within the crew so losing him to another ship would have hurt the show. I suspect it was the reason we never really saw an out and out first officer on other iterations (Voyager being the exception for obvious reasons) because any character successful in the role would by extension be a captain in waiting and therefore liable to move on, breaking up the "gang" and forcing viewers to start from scratch with a replacement who almost certainly would never be as popular. Other crews had a science officer, a liaison officer, whatever, in the "right hand man" role without actually singling them out as being a "first officer".
     
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  17. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a pity that the Pegasus episode didn't happen earlier and as a consequence of that, he didn't get busted down to Lt Cmdr, just hanging on to the XO position by his fingertips. Kinda similar to how a chastened Wesley was obliged to repeat his year. It would've removed much of the impetus behind the expectation of him leaving the ship to be captain and it would've knocked Riker down a peg or two.

    Picard I think suffers a similar thing re. not being promoted upwards. He really should be an Admiral. He's offered that by Quinn as early as in season one and he doesn't get offered it again - onscreen anyway. In fact, he's captain for years and years. I would've expected things to turn out more like the fiction that is Future's Imperfect episode. Of course if you've got a guy like Patrick Stewart on the books, you hang on to him and keep him were he is. But in-universe I always thought that was peculiar.
     
  18. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How long must one serve as first officer before getting his own captaincy? I'll say at least five years. In due course Riker shouldn't have been promoted before the sixth season and that assuming that his services were spotless.

    Remember that the unstabbed Picard was only Lieutenant Junior grade, in spite of having done no wrong, at his advanced age! If anything, this proves that promotion is not automatic and that you have to show something more than what the job entails in order to get promoted.
     
  19. Spot261

    Spot261 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In fairness though, he DID show more than what the job entails. His job is in no small part to organise duty rosters, to manage the details of the ship that would otherwise tie up the captain, to competently head up away missions and stand in for the captain where necessary, questioning his judgement where there is real doubt.

    Yes he had some setbacks, but nothing that another officer would have easily bypassed. It's easy watching the show to pick his performance apart and in some cases I agree he was written to be less than he should have. Nonetheless we see no evidence of him failing at the basics of his role, the ship runs smoothly barring extraordinary circumstances and he repeatedly performs above and beyond the call in times of crisis. The whole series is chock full of episodes where he demonstrates individual instances of courage and initiative taking that could easily qualify him for a fast track purely on their own merits. Taken in context he is far and away ready for captain long before the end of the series. No one expects an officer to be perfect, captain included, they do expect them to acknowledge their limitations honestly and learn from them
     
  20. locutus101

    locutus101 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Starfleet is actually very demanding, more so than real similar institutions, like the army for example, where promotion is pretty much automatic, unless there's a war or some such occasion to show bravery and competence or failing to do so.