Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: October 1, 1990
Written by: Ronald D. Moore
Directed by: Les Landau
Picard visits his brother, Worf visits with his parents, and Wesley gets a message from his dead father.
As the episode opens, the Enterprise is docked at McKinley Station undergoing some repairs and refits after the incident with the Borg. Worf reports that these procedures are going very efficiently, and Riker tells the Klingon that he's excited to meet his adopted parents. Oh, you didn't know, Worf? Yeah, apparently while everyone is on leave, your parents will be visiting. They're aware of his discommendation from the Klingon Empire. No doubt they want to see if their boy is okay after that. Meanwhile, Picard discusses his plans to visit his brother with Troi who seems a bit reluctant to let him go to that particular area of Earth. But he needs the rest and relaxation, so, after a kiss on the cheek, Picard is off to France.
Worf receives his parents, Sergey and Helena Rozhenko, in the transporter room after being informed by O'Brien that they're taking their time getting ready. When they finally beam aboard, the Russian couple express the kind of excitement that only old Russian parents could, in stark contrast to Worf's Klingon composure. Sergey wants a tour, but most of the areas of the ship are closed for repairs. It doesn't really matter, though; he's got all the specs and diagrams at home. Meanwhile, Picard arrives in LaBarre France and there seems to be some confusion whether this 9-year-old boy, René, is Picard's uncle or nephew. This becomes a running joke and somehow illustrates how awkward Picard traditionally is around children?
|"A child! No!"|
At a nice family dinner, Marie informs Picard that his friend Louis was looking for him. He wants to talk about an underwater project he needs help with. This turns into an argument with Robert over whether technology is better than tradition. When Marie quiets the argument, René runs off to get his report on Starships for Picard to read and Robert chastises Picard for encouraging René to go to Starfleet like he did. Crotchety old Robert is into tradition and apparently holds a grudge against Jean-Luc.
In France, Picard surprises himself by actually considering taking a job on Earth. Is it because of his experience with the Borg? He doesn't think so, but to be absolutely sure, his brother beats it out of him. After a wrestle through the mud of the vineyard, Picard first laughs, but then breaks down thinking about what the Borg had done to him. Robert has finally gotten through to him. And Jean-Luc comes out of the fight stronger than ever. He knows what to do. He's canceling his meeting with Project Atlantis.
|Ya got mud on your face, you big disgrace.|
Back on France, René looks up into the sky dreaming of a future in Starfleet. A dream that will meet a tragic end...
The decision to give Picard some time off after the Borg attack was a very good one. It's rare that we get to have a look at life on Earth in the Star Trek universe, and allowing Picard to work through his trauma represents a change in Star Trek's story writing from episodic to serial. Although as Trekkie's we're aware of what eventually happens to Robert and René, it's nice to see them here as Picard reconciles with Robert and René dreams of space.