9/17/14

Star Trek: Asterisk "Darmok"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S05E02
Air Date: September 30, 1991
Written by: Philip LaZebnik and Joe Menosky
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe

Premise
Picard representing the Federation. Dathon representing the Children of Tama. Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. The beast at Tanagra! Shaka, when the walls fell. Picard and Dathon at El-Adrel.

Recap
The Enterprise is on her way to the El-Adrel system to make contact with the Tamarians, a race of aliens who seem to have a language that defies the universal translator. Picard's mission is to attempt to push past this language barrier without the help of a language specialist and open diplomatic relations with them. They meet up with the Tamarian ship, and, as expected, can't understand a word the captain is saying, except to presume that he's referring to a bunch of proper names and locations. Frustrated, the captain disarms his first officer of his knife, repeats "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!" and has his crewman beam him down to the planet along with Picard. A nice, friendly gesture.

9/8/14

Star Trek: Asterisk "Redemption II"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S05E01
Air Date: September 23, 1991
Written by: Ronald D Moore
Directed by: David Carson

Premise
As the Klingon civil war comes to a head, Picard works to uncover a Romulan conspiracy within it. Also, who's that blonde chick?

Recap
Season five opens with a high-stakes battle between Kurn and Worf and the forces of Duras! Kurn defeats his foes by navigating close to the sun and activating the warp engines, causing a solar flare that destroys the enemy ships. Back on the Enterprise, Picard tries to convince an Admiral that the Federation needs to get involved in the Klingon civil war because there might be Romulans. The Admiral isn't convinced unless the Romulans can be proven, because if they can't do that, then it's, by definition, an internal matter, and the Prime Directive doesn't let them get involved in those things. Picard suggests setting up a blockade with a tachyon detection grid so if any cloaked Romulans pass through, they'll be detected. The Admiral agrees to this plan. What could go wrong?