What was TNG's very best 'Mindscrew Episode'?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Lance, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    TNG had a good line in what I like to call 'Mindscrew Episodes'. You know the sort of thing, the ones where there's all sorts of weird goings-on and the viewer at home gets thrown lots of curve balls along the way. Literally screwing with the viewers expecations. ;) Whatever our opinions about his later work, I have to give Brannon Braga his due: he was very good at writing these kinds of stories.

    Contenders might include things like "Where Silence Has Lease", "Cause And Effect", "Parallels", "Schisms", "Realm Of Fear", "Genesis", "Violations", "The Game", "Remember Me", "Frame Of Mind". And no doubt many more than I can't think of off the top of my head. You get the idea of the sort of episode I mean, though.

    Which of them would you say is your favorite 'Mindscrew Episode'? :)

    For my money, "Frame Of Mind" is the king of them. An excellent performance from Jonathan Frakes is icing on the cake for a story where we, along with Riker, begin to honestly believe that Number One has gone insane. Still gives me chills every time I rewatch it. :eek:
  2. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Jul 25, 2012
    Va. Beach, VA
    Frame of Mind is probably going to be your winner. I guess you could include "Dark Page" to that list. It seems to be a lesser referenced episode but I though it was executed very well while letting L'waxana finally endear herself to the audience. I still get choked up when she has to relive the Kestra drowning. It was a very powerful scene and a wonderful performance by Majel.
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    Night Terrors from season four.
  4. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lost in the EU expanse with a nice cup of tea
    Cause & Effect is one of my top five episodes (and I think I only have five. If that).
  5. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 13, 2011
    Plano, TX
    Definitely Frame of Mind
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2012
    Melakon's grave
    Frame of Mind here too. I have a liking for those kinds of stories, was disappointed DS9 didn't do more of them, and appreciated the ones on VOY.

    Probably due to seeing Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner when it first aired in U.S.
  7. ALF

    ALF Commodore Commodore

    Mar 12, 2005
    I was going to say Frame of Mind, but Ship in a Bottle also did that job well.
  8. Falcor5

    Falcor5 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 27, 2002
    Frame of Mind is my favorite!! Awesome episode!
  9. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    I love 'em all. It's hard to choose....

    Probably The Game. :mallory:
  10. Captain Picard.

    Captain Picard. Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 4, 2013
    Mine as well:) It is funny that other star ship was caught in the same loop for over 70 years!
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2007
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
    another vote for "frame of mind"-very creepy, dark episode for TNG. Not just a good "mind-screw" episode, but one of the best Riker-centric episodes as well.
  12. trekkiebaggio

    trekkiebaggio Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 20, 2004
    Dancing to the Jailhouse Rock
    Frame of Mind definitely, but Schisms does creep me out.
  13. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

    Jul 31, 2001
    Orange, CA USA
    The scene in I Borg where Picard seems to revert to Locutus. That was a "put down the beer and sit up straight" moment.
  14. sadsquid

    sadsquid Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Sep 7, 2012
    I'd say Future Imperfect is another episode that fits the bill, I really enjoyed that episode too. Frame of Mind would be my top pick though. In my top 5 TNG episodes.
  15. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    Face of The Enemy had me off balance for nearly the whole episode, right from the beginning. It was straight out of left field & I just had no idea how that would play out

    Clues deserves some mention in this thread too
  16. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 3, 2001
    United Kingdom
    Another vote for Frame of Mind, but I also loved Dark Page.
  17. T'Cal

    T'Cal Commodore Commodore

    Sep 21, 2003
    I remember watching Cause & Effect for the first time with my wife and we were actually tempted to call the local network to let them know that they had started the episode over twice... D'oh!

    In Second Chances, that they found a second Riker and then that they didn't kill off at the end surprised the heck out of me.

    Face of the Enemy was a bit of a shocker in the teaser. It was a great Deanna episode, too.
  18. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 18, 2009
    Cause and Effect, because they didn't reveal what was happening until about halfway through, so you actual thought the Enterprise got destroyed in the first few minutes. Clever.

    The last moments of Redemption when "Tasha" suddenly appears out the shadows wearing a Romulan uniform was a true 'wtf' moment.

    "Parallels" where certain things seemed really odd and out of place until they explained why a bit later.

    The best ones are where they wait until later to explain what's happening. The longer they wait, the better the suspense.
  19. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 29, 2012
    No mention of Timescape?

    I'm still not sure what happened. Some aliens took the form of Romulans, then beamed over to the Enterprise while the Romulans gave chase onto the Enterprise? Was that it?

    edit: And yes, at the time I gave TNG a great deal of credit for having me saying at the 45 minute mark, "I have no idea what is going on!"
  20. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 27, 2010
    Another vote for "Frame of Mind" here. Gives me such chills that I don't watch it any more. :alienblush:

    I don't watch "Violations" for the same reason, but I don't think it's that good an episode anyway.