2/4/13

Star Trek: Asterisk "Where Silence Has Lease"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S02E02
Air Date: November 28, 1988
Written by: Jack B. Sowards
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe

Premise
The Enterprise investigates a hole in space in which an intelligence runs lab tests on them.

Review
You see that description in the Premise up there? That's pretty much the whole show right there. If I really wanted to be lazy, I could end the review right there. But... there is one more thing. First, however, there's what little there is of a B story. Worf and Riker battle it out in the holodeck during Worf's daily calisthenics. This includes punching and slashing and killing Ninja Turtles and Skeletor. For a moment Worf, in his bloodlust, considers going after Riker, but then Riker asserts his command and Worf's Starfleet training kicks in. They take a breather and then head to the bridge. And that's all for that.

On the bridge, the Enterprise encounters a literal hole in space. Not a "black hole", although it is black, but a blob of nothingness. They send probes, but they return nothing. All that's left to do is to enter the void. So, like the stupid humans they are, that's what they do. When they get inside they find that it doesn't appear possible to move around. They turn on the engines, but they do nothing. They zoom in to the void, but it doesn't appear to zoom. They're pretty much just stuck. And then, the impossible happens.
They destroy a Romulan ship with one shot! Impossible!
But that's not the only ship that seems to be in the void. The USS Yomato, the Enterprise's sister ship, appears out of nowhere. They detect no life signs, but that's not too unexpected given they can't detect anything in the void. Worf and Riker beam over, find no one, then discover the bridge is a Möbius strip. Exit one door and come back in the other. The Enterprise has a tough time locking onto them to beam them aboard, but eventually they do. A hole back to the real world appears and they try to go through it... and it closes.

That's when Nagilum appears. He's appears and just a face on the viewscreen. He says he tried to mimic human form, but... well, it doesn't really work. I mean, he looks more like a anthropomorphic frog than anything. He says the Enterprise is in a laboratory and he's running experiments on the crew. He says he wants to continue running experiments to understand the meaning of death. He says not to worry - it'll only take about a third of the crew. That's the "one more thing" I was talking about. The tests include death. So, Picard and Riker decide to sass back with the self destruct sequence.
Sassy-stance Riker self destructs.
Well, that doesn't work for Nagilum. He doesn't want his play toy to destroy itself, so he lets it go. Picard commands the Enterprise to warp away. Once he's convinced that they're far enough, they turn off the self destruct. And then Nagilum shows up on Picard's computer. He says that despite them not being in the lab anymore, he's learned a lot about humans after all. He says that we "seem to find no tranquility in anything. You struggle against the inevitable. You thrive on conflict. You are rash, quick to judge, slow to change. It's amazing you've survived. As a species, we have no common ground. You are too aggressive. Too hostile. Too militant." Picard points out, however, that they have one thing in common: curiosity. They share a chuckle and they all live happily ever after and learn a valuable lesson about Humans.

Overall Thoughts
This episode was really quite boring. Nagilum basically just runs some random tests and then we refuse to be a part. Too cut and dry. I just didn't really care for it.