7/1/13

Star Trek: Asterisk "Remember Me"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S04E05
Air Date: October 22, 1990
Written by: Lee Sheldon
Directed by: Cliff Bole

Premise
Beverly makes all her friends disappear through the power of imagination!

Review
Dr. Crusher welcomes her good friend, Dr. Dalen Quaice, on board to give him a ride home. As is natural in a good friendly conversation, they start talking about people who have died. The implication is that Dalen's wife had died and now, with nothing left to live for, he's going back to his home planet. A really uplifting episode, right? Well, hold on to your horses, 'cause Beverly's about to check on his son. Wesley's doing an experiment on the warp field and while he's there, Bev shows up in the background and tells Wesley not to pay any attention. Which is easy when he screws something up in the experiment, turns around and finds Beverly has gone.

So, the Enterprise leaves the starbase and Beverly goes to Dr. Quaice's quarters to check on him. But there's one problem: he's not there. She checks around and just cannot find him, so she calls Worf. Worf was not informed of Dr. Quaice's arrival, which is odd because, as security officer, he should have been informed. Nevertheless, he orders a search through the ship. Picard even says that he wasn't informed, and he definitely should know about guests aboard his own ship. When they ask O'Brien about beaming Dalen aboard, he says Beverly came into the transporter room for a moment, but no one transported on. To make matters even stranger, Data says that he searched Starfleet databases for 47 different phonetic variations of Dalen Quaice's name and couldn't find him anywhere.
"I am an Android and I could not even find it on Google."
Finally, a little piece of the answer comes through. Wesley admits that he screwed up his experiment and when he did that it created a warp bubble that could have made it appear that Dalen had disappeared. The only problem is that it was localized in engineering and Dalen was in his quarters. And besides that, now Beverly is finding that most of her medical staff is missing. The warp bubble couldn't possibly have reached all the way to sickbay. Okay, so maybe it's not so much an answer as... the beginning of a working theory. Nevertheless, after Beverly finds that she is the only staff in sickbay, and after Riker questions why she finds that unusual, she asks Troi to confirm whether she's crazy and then implores Picard to return to the starbase.

People are now starting to question Beverly's sanity, but she hasn't gone off the deep end yet. I mean, she's just imagining that people are disappearing. She's not exactly being harmful. While they head back to the starbase, Beverly goes to talk to Wesley in engineering, thinking they might not have a lot of time left together. Wesley says he's working on an answer, but the only guy he knows who could really help him with these warp field equations is The Traveler and he's a long way away. That point is moot, though, when Beverly turns away for one second only to find that Wesley has disappeared.
I only wish I could have done that 18 years ago.
Well, now Beverly's really distraught. She heads to the bridge and finds that she and Picard are literally the only two people on the entire ship. And Picard finds this perfectly logical. Beverly has the computer monitor his vital signs for a while, but then Picard disappears, too. The only one left on the ship, Beverly sees a portal open in front of the viewscreen. It tries to suck her in, but she grabs onto the living room furniture and holds her ground. The camera, however, goes through smoothly and finds on the other end... Wesley and Geordi doing an experiment on warp fields in engineering. Beverly doesn't come through, the warp bubble collapses, and Wesley is sad that he'll probably never see his mother again. But then who shows up but The Traveler. And he's more hopeful than Wesley.

The Traveler explains that when Wesley first created a warp bubble in his experiment, it sucked Beverly in and created a world around her based on whatever thoughts were in her mind at the moment. She was thinking of losing people, so losing people is what she did. There's just a tiny problem now: the small bubble universe that she created is collapsing. They have to pull her out of it before... the unthinkable. In order to do that, they have to go back to the starbase where it all started. Meanwhile, in Beverly's universe, she's finding that her universe is actually collapsing.
Like a donut into a hole.
It doesn't take a whole lot of effort on Beverly's part to realize what was going on. That Wesley's experiment had actually made her disappear instead of everyone else and she has to get to engineering and hope they're working on a fix. Luckily for her, they are. The Traveler is bonding with Wesley and teaching him to use the power of his mind over the warp fields. They're there now. After getting to the exact point in space that they were when the experiment went awry, they activate another portal for Beverly and this time she jumps through and everyone is safe and sound.

Overall Thoughts
This isn't exactly an episode that I would write home about, but there are some good points. The idea of everyone disappearing and trying to solve that mystery is very appealing to me, but I just can't get past The Traveler's interpretation of the way the universe works. I mean, maybe his species could control stuff with his minds, but I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that an ordinary human could. ...Maybe Wesley's just that special. I dunno. But, for me, it just doesn't point that way. In any case, the only reason I would suggest putting this episode on your essentials list is if you really want to follow Wesley's through-line with The Traveler.