After a great beginning episode "Encounters At Farpoint," those who make Star Trek: The Next Generation function as a TV show decided to leave behind the unique film styles and different storylines and remake an original Star Trek series episode only two episodes into the series with "The Naked Now." Here in "Code Of Honor," The Next Generation producers and writers still had their heads up the original Star Trek series' backside.
"Code Of Honor" feels very much like a horrible original series episode. Original series music composer Fred Steiner makes his one and only Next Generation showing and helps the episode feel absolutely cheesy with each of his very dated music cues reminiscent his work with cheesy feeling cues of the original Star Trek series. On top of that, there is an incredibly dated portrayal of African Americans of which I honestly cannot decide is racist or just dumb. This episode sees the Enterprise trying to obtain a vaccine that only a primitive culture, the Ligonians, has through diplomatic ways. The Ligonians play ball for a while and then kidnap Tasha Yar in a diplomatic game that the Enterprise does not fully understand. Yar then has to fight for her life when the wife of the Ligonian leader challenges her to the death when her husband wants Yar as his wife instead. That scene is beyond hilarious (and not in a good way) as Yar and her royalness battle to the death.
Few elements redeem this bad, bad episode. Data's quest for first-hand knowledge of the human condition is handled well but really nothing else is. The portrayal of the primitive African American race is either obnoxious or insulting and the story is absurd, making Picard look like a wuss. "Code Of Honor" is a prime example of why many people consider the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation to be very weak.