My One Summer Mission

To boldly go where I have never gone before

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TNG 2x01: "The Child"
[dcu] amused
tafadhali wrote in 1summermission
I was thinking about doing a season one recap, but "Oh lord, it gets better than this, right?" pretty much sums it up. If the mood strikes me, I might revisit Next Generation's illustrious first season, but for now -- let's look to the future.

Especially because I have ENDLESS SNARKY ASIDES about this episode.

Episode Notes:
+ Riker, are you hitting on Geordi? Could you be smarmier? On a different note, of course Geordi deserved that damn raise because everyone loves Geordi and the other Chief Engineers were glorified red shirts. That was a roundabout way of getting to that point.
+ Wesley's new sweater is less ugly - and I didn't miss him the last few episodes of last season.
+ In my horror over the, you know, FORCIBLE IMPREGNATION, I didn't even notice: OH MY GOD BEARD. BEEEEEARD. Riker, your face is no longer naked!
+ World's worst (BEST?) abortion debate: "Captain, obviously the pregnancy must be terminated, for the safety of the crew." "Captain, this is a life form. Not to allow it to develop naturally... would deny us the ability to study it." "Um, hi, this is my body."
+ I have many, many more gripes about the childbirth scene for later, but for now: THERE IS NO WAY YOU COULD BIRTH A BABY IN THAT ROOM. Way to sterilize EVERYTHING ABOUT CHILDBIRTH.
+ I miss Tasha; her commentary on this whole thing would be priceless.
+ Also, this episode is Picard's nightmare right now. He looks terrified when dealing with Deanna's child.
+ Picard has NEVER PLAYED WITH PUPPIES. That is just WRONG.
+ Whoopi, are you going to be responsible for Wesley's staying on board? And to think, I liked you! (And is he ineptly chatting her up?)

Overall Reaction: Pretty much I only had to see the summary to know that this episode would be a hot mess. Who thought that a forcible impregnation plot line would be a good idea?

This episode was ridiculous -- hilariously so -- but beneath all the "Picard can't deal with babies" and "Data has inappropriate reactions to human experiences" and "Worf says hilarious things in a gruff deadpan" and "Riker can't handle Deanna having the sexual life that he himself richly enjoys" (OH WAIT) and other bits and bobs that make up my enjoyment of TNG, I just found this episode deeply problematic.

Deanna is an intelligent, emotionally mature woman living in the 23rd century. She is an empath and a counselor. She is surrounded by her thoughtful, affectionate coworkers and has a female physician. THIS SHOW IS WRITTEN BY PRESUMABLY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE. And yet no one thinks that, hey, perhaps FORCIBLE IMPREGNATION could be a traumatic violation of Deanna's bodily integrity? Deanna is so blissed out about this whole thing that I can only hope that the alien creature is exerting some sort of emotional sway over her, possibly narcotic. And in the aftermath of the impregnation, Deanna is subjected to a debate over what should be done with her body by two male crewmen (admittedly, they're the security officer, who has legitimate reasons for concern, and Data, who's an android, but still) and the blazing, irrational jealousy of Riker, an ex-boyfriend who certainly enjoys recreational sex wherever he can get it. Perhaps he's just surprised because accidental pregnancy has been eradicated in civilized society. Or maybe he's just a dick. (Seriously, he's the most diplomatic person in the show -- he can let anything go. UNLESS DEANNA DARES TO GET PREGNANT.)

The first issue is resolved by Deanna, who shuts down Worf and Data's debate over what to do with her abnormally fast-growing foetus, but the second issue continues throughout the episode, relatively unremarked upon. When Worf walked in during the middle of Deanna's childbirth, I was willing to dismiss it as a necessary security precaution (especially when Pulaski made a comment to the same effect). Data asked permission to be present and, in his own endearingly inept way, actually provided some emotional support for Deanna. But when Riker spied on her childbirth through a window? And Deanna's only response was an affectionate, "Were you here all along"? My head may have exploded. Did Deanna give up her right to privacy when she dared to become impregnated by an alien being in her sleep? And does she need to look so happy about it?

This episode... it was so bad it was funny, hard to get worked up over. But it failed, on so, so many levels.

Star Rating: * 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"And who will tuck him in at night?" "C'mon, Commander..." "I will accept that responsibility." (Riker, Wesley, and Worf, in what is probably the funniest exchange to ever involve Wesley Crusher ever)


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