When have you disagreed and thought the captain was wrong?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Citiprime, Jul 2, 2022.

  1. Citiprime

    Citiprime Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Dec 19, 2021
    In no particular order, some of the moments that have led to debates among Star Trek fans:
    • Sisko uses bioweapons against Maquis colonies - Deep Space Nine (S05E13) - "For the Uniform" - Sisko's actions are technically in keeping with previous continuity (i.e., the TOS episodes "Whom Gods Destroy" and "A Taste of Armageddon" state Starfleet General Order 24 allows a Starfleet captain to destroy all life on a planet if they deem the planet to be a threat to the Federation). And in justifying his actions to Eddington, Sisko says the Maquis bioweapons plus Eddington attacking a Federation starship has made the Maquis "an intolerable threat to the security of the Federation." On the other hand, if you stand back, think about it and try to mesh it with the quasi-utopian nature of the Federation, that's a scary amount of power to place in a captain's hands. Just imagine that a US Navy captain, on his own volition without orders, decided to use nerve gas against a group of Americans in Yemen or Pakistan whom the captain had decided were a threat to American security. There would be people calling that captain a human rights violator and want a prosecution.
    • Janeway murders Tuvix - Voyager (S02E24) - "Tuvix" - Probably the most debated moment from all of Voyager is Janeway's decision to terminate Tuvix's existence after he was created by a transporter accident which merged Tuvok and Neelix. The argument generally boils down to two camps. On one side are people that argue Janeway corrected an accident, and was justified in her decision since she "saved" two members of her crew. On the other side are people who retort that no matter how Tuvix came into existence, he was a sentient being, she disregarded his choice to exist, dragged him to sick bay after he plead for his life in order to kill him. The fact The Doctor refuses to perform the procedure because of the ethics of it throws even more fuel on the fire of the controversy.
    • Picard is willing to allow a planet's population to die - The Next Generation (S07E13) - "Homeward" - For people that dislike the Prime Directive, or at least dislike the TNG interpretation of it, they usually point to this episode where Starfleet and Picard are willing to allow an entire species to die out when their planet's atmosphere collapses rather than to help them survive and risk cultural contamination.
    • Phlox convinces Archer that respecting evolution means letting a species die - Enterprise (S01E13) - "Dear Doctor" - Arguments about this episode usually revolve around the really bad understanding of how evolution works within the story (i.e., evolution doesn't strive towards a specific goal), with some finding its overall message "immoral." The fact that Archer and Phlox in the end do exactly what they claim to not want to do, play God by possibly condemning an entire species to a slow death based on their belief of what nature wants, doesn't exactly sit well since this episode is supposed to show the reasons why the Prime Directive was developed.
  2. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 8, 2021
    The very first one that jumped to mind was Homeward, but you've said that already. I'm really glad and a little surprised that so many people consider his choice in that episode to be ridiculous. They went with a really extreme interpretation of the Prime Directive that I can't get behind at all, and neither could the episode itself in the end, so it really throws Picard and the Federation under the bus.

    For the Uniform and Tuvix have the captains making decisions I maybe wouldn't have made myself, but I wouldn't necessarily disagree with them in either case. They had a set of bad choices in front of them and they picked one. Dear Doctor, on the other hand, had a doctor saying they should let illness take its course because that's what nature wants and Archer actually bought into that argument! I think he probably should've gotten a second opinion at least.

    I'm struggling to recall anything nearly as good as those examples right now, but I thought Janeway's choice to fly the ship into a hurricane to rescue Chakotay in Tattoo was a bad decision in retrospect. In fact she was always flying the ship into things that nearly got them blown up now that I think about it.
    dupersuper and maneth like this.
  3. 1001001

    1001001 Do You Really Wanna Taste It? Moderator

    Nov 3, 2001
    Zoo Station
    Oh, good.

    Tuvix and Dear Doctor in one thread.

  4. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 14, 2014
    Tuvix. He got a raw deal but if I was in Tuvok and Neelix's position, yes absolutely separate me.
    Those Homeward guys got a shit deal and Picard probably should have tried to save that village but I can see Starfleet or the Federation making changes to the Prime Directive because their officers get involved with planets and have royally screwed up. Also at the end of the episode they are putting an invasive species onto a new planet. That's why I don't like Hoshi picking up that lifeform without understanding anything about it's biology in Fight or Flight and then sticking it down on some new planet at the end of the episode. It probably got eaten by a bird anyway.
    The Maquis got a shit deal but the real villain is the Federation bureaucrats who signed off on their dumbass colonies on the Cardassian border in the first place and then signed off on changing the border. Also planets are really big. Get your piece of crap matte painting city beamed to another planet a hundred light years away or just get the original architect to build it new. 3D scan the city, replicate it. Go live with the Irish/Clone community from Up The Long Ladder. I guarantee they could put all the Maquis on the one planet and still not make a dent.
    Qonundrum and Phoenix219 like this.
  5. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Commodore Commodore

    Jan 16, 2019
    Kyana Prime
    But if you separate the two from this single thread, a segment of fans will never forgive you. ;)
  6. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 8, 2021
    Now I want to see a version of Homeward where they find that Worf's brother has kidnapped a bunch of Maquis to move them to another identical planet without them noticing so that the Cardassians will leave them alone and vice-versa. Will Picard go along with the deception in order to potentially prevent an interstellar war???
    Phoenix219 and somebuddyX like this.
  7. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 18, 2007
    I Borg

    Might be the only time on the entire TNG show where Worf's standard, routinely ignored, seemingly brutish, kneejerk recommendation was probably the right course of action, for once. "Kill it. Make it look like part of the crash" Pull Crusher out by force & GTFO. You forgo the later moral wrestling of what to do with a liberated Borg drone, & you minimize the exposure to bad repercussions, at a time when no one is ready for wtf could go wrong imho.
    JonnyQuest037 and Farscape One like this.
  8. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 7, 2020
    Those four do seem to be the "big bad". My thoughts...

    "Dear Doctor" seems to have been a miscalculation by the writers. They wanted to lay the groundwork for why there's a Prime Directive, but didn't really think it through. I wonder what would have happened if Archer had delivered the cure... would he be regarded today as "the Captain who abandoned the Menk"? A better argument for the existence of the Prime Directive is in "Cogenitor". While not everyone agrees with Archer's decision there, it at least makes sense.

    "Tuvix" was one I had to look at carefully, because I wrote a story* that prominently featured an encounter between Janeway and Tuvix, in an alternate reality where the Janeway of that time chose to spare him. The two agreed that it was a horrible dilemma with no good solution, and also that Tuvix's last words ("I forgive you") were sincere.

    "Homeward" was a little harder to take seriously, since Picard is fully onboard with the plan to rescue the Boraalans, and is glad that it happened afterwards. Jean Luc is not a man given to flip flopping, so I figure that his previous attitude was just artificially created conflict.

    *If you want to read the story, I'll send you a link.
    Richard S. Ta likes this.
  9. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2017
    "THE GALILEO SEVEN" - Kirk sending that shuttle into the quasar to begin with. While I love the episode and it wouldn't exist had he not done this, I wouldn't call it good judgment to send a lone shuttle into such a phenomenon.

    - Picard allowing an away team to beam down to begin with. The Edo didn't seem to be advanced enough for first contact, like having warp drive. That kind of technology seemed completely foreign to them. Frankly, he violated the Prime Directive twice here... the initial beaming down and the end. Had he not done the former, the latter would never have occured.

    "THE RECKONING" - Not a command decision per se, but a decision as a father. He was fine with Jake being used as a vessel for the battle, despite having the means to get the Prophet and Pah-Wraith off the station without killing either of them. This completely contradicts everything we have seen about his relationship with his son, and I thought it hurt his character immensely. I always looked at Sisko as a prototype for a good dad, and that episode really damaged him in that regard. It's probably the only time I truly was against Sisko's decision.

    "SCORPION" - I was completely with Chakotay on this one, even before the 4th season originally premiered. The scorpion parable was on point, as was proved later, but even if that episode never aired, I could see the Borg acting exactly like that a mile away. Deal with the devil indeed, Kathryn.

    "FUSION" - Archer letting that guy get away with only a stern talking to. That Vulcan assaulted his XO, and attacked Archer... he should have been arrested.
    kkt, maneth and Richard S. Ta like this.
  10. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 7, 2001
    On the run.
    Sisko forcing Rugal to go to Cardassia. That said, it's a difficult predicament, with no good answer. Like many of the others in this thread.
    Nyotarules, shivkala, kkt and 2 others like this.
  11. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

    Mar 10, 2021
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Picard telling Wesley to shut up, in front of his whole command staff on the bridge of the ship that he's the Captain of. He should have been a better man than that.
    Turtletrekker and JonnyQuest037 like this.
  12. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 8, 2021
    Every time Picard or Riker ignored Wesley was a bad command decision, because Wesley was always right!
    Turtletrekker, DonIago and maneth like this.
  13. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    A type 13 planet in it's final stage
    That time 34ish Kirk seduced 19 year old Leonore Karidian just to get closer to her suspicious father. It wasn't even a command decision, it was personal scumminess.

    That time Kirk was jealous of Flint's pleasurebot so got himself involved, leading to her death. Again, scumminess.

    That time Kirk was horny so showed the people of Vaal how to fuck, and turned their society upside down.

    That time Kirk and the entire senior staff just stood and watched as Spock mind-raped a screaming Valaris on the bridge. Fucking yikes.

    Most of what Archer did. A lot of what Picard, Janeway and Sisko did. But I have work and it'd probably exceed the text limit on TBBS to document it all.
    Turtletrekker, kkt and somebuddyX like this.
  14. maneth

    maneth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 9, 2010
    USS Titan
    Possibly. OTOH, Hugh and the other Borg drones who caught his "individuality virus" and who were disconnected from the Collective as a result, basically saved the Federation crew in Descent.

    Whoever made the decision not to blast Lore's positronic brain at the first sign of trouble screwed up really badly.
  15. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 7, 2020
    I get the sense that one was a "world under construction" inconsistency. After three years of Kirk barging happily into alien cultures of every description, they hadn't yet established that hey, maybe there should be rules about who we drop in on.

    On a number of occasions, Chakotay was a better Starfleet officer than Janeway was.

    Agreed. The decision regarding custody of a child should be to serve the best interests of the child.

    Or whoever activated the transporter in "Datalore", and allowed Lore to rematerialize.
    maneth likes this.
  16. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2017
    But those other Borg wouldn't have become disconnected in the first place and allow Lore to take them over, thereby necessitating Hugh and his group to help Riker and Worf. It's an odd situation where the crew created the problem and the solution at the same time.
    Mojochi and maneth like this.
  17. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2017
    Regarding "Justice", that is a fair point, and I mostly agree with you. I still don't agree with him sending Wesley down to begin with.

    Regarding Chakotay, I have to agree with you. I actually would like to have seen "BEFORE AND AFTER" as at least a two-parter, so we can see Captain Chakotay more. He at least understood what promoting people means.

    Regarding Rugal, that's a tough decision. I think Sisko made the decision based on if he had lost Jake in the same way, he would want to be reunited with him. Plus, given how Ziyal was treated by other Bajorans, Sisko probably made the right call.

    Regarding Lore, Wesley was the one who handled the transporter. It's very possible there are security subroutines that only allow a certain rank or higher to allow such an action. It's also possible he was never trained on how to prevent someone from being rematerialized once beamed.
  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2017
    I would also say his recommendation of going to yellow alert as soon as the first probe disappeared in "Where Silence Has Lease" was a sensible precaution, particularly given what they went through later.
    maneth likes this.
  19. Summer Solstice

    Summer Solstice Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 19, 2022
    I would have liked to have seen Captain Chakotay more, but would the reset button have been too annoying? I think the ending of "Year of Hell" is quite a neat way to tie up the episode, but I think it's a shame that Seven's character development in that episode was undone.
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 23, 2001
    The Wormhole
    How? The NX-01 didn't have a brig at the time, nor were there spare crew quarters where the guy could have been held. Plus there were no nearby Earth bases or ships where he could have been dropped off at. At best, all he could do is notify the Vulcans and have them dispatch someone to apprehend this particular Vulcan, but that carries the risk to the rest of the crew of that Vulcan ship, who are basically black sheep in Vulcan society and don't want to draw the attention of the Vulcan High Command. While letting an assaulter essentially off the hook is by no means a preferred action, it was the only practical option available to Archer.