Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 6 Episode 26

Descent (1)

3
Aired Unknown Jun 21, 1993 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

8.5
out of 10
Average
181 votes
  • Data realizes it's ok to kill Geordi... maybe even fun.

    9.0
    This is an unusual episode, even aside from the fact that it's the only Trek episode ever to have the credits appear in the opening teaser (and, with Stephen Hawking's cameo, the only Trek episode to include somebody playing himself.) The first act, which only takes about three minutes (shorter than the teaser that precedes it), might lead the viewer to believe this another Borg battle show, like "Best of Both Worlds", but this action is only used as a catalyst to get into the true, more character driven, plot. In the A story, Data attempts to explore his emotions that is, if "explore" can be used to describe him getting a fix and then doing whatever nightmarish things it takes to recapture the magic of that high. This dark road is paved with four stellar scenes, each featuring Brent Spiner teamed up with one other actor. With just dialogue, Spiner ratchets up the tension minute by minute.



    The B story is a sequel to "I, Borg" and features Captain Picard struggling with the fallout of that fifth season episode. Picard's leadership has traditionally been built on two attributes. Firstly, he's not afraid to give someone a tongue lashing to set them straight (whether it's to Riker in "Legacy," Worf in "Reunion," Wesley in "The First Duty," Troi in "The Chase," or Beverly in "Suspicions.") Secondly, once he commits to a decision, he doesn't second guess himself. This episode turns these characteristics on their head; Picard, in his own ready room, gets dressed down by his superior, and as the scenes progress he begins to wonder if he indeed made a bad decision. Stewart handles this role reversal brilliantly, and Picard's own "descent" serves as a wonderful counterpoint to Data's.



    As the episode works its way to its surprising conclusion, it raises many questions but gives us few answers. As it closes, we're left wondering: "How are they going to get out of this one?"

  • An attempt to invent a new reason for the Borg's continued existence fails. And did we really need two Lores?

    7.5
    In my opinion this is the weakest of TNG's season-ending cliffhangers, though obviously I'm in the minority here.

    The first problem, which other have noted, is that the Borg became nearly untouchable after "Best of Both Worlds". Once you've beaten an unbeatable foe, what is left to do? "I Borg" took a clever dodge; "Descent" does not.

    Turning the Borg from soulless invincible foes into evil sadists is not a clever twist, nor is putting them under the tutelage of Lore (who, I suppose, is the #1 evil sadist in the galaxy). Making Data's first encounter with emotions a bad one is an intriguing concept, one that could have been good on its own (it generates some creepy scenes) but doesn't get its due here.

    Not a total waste, but you get the feeling TNG was getting a little stale by this point - a feeling confirmed by the lackluster seventh season.
  • Holodeck simulations of Professor Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, & Sir Isaac Newton play cards with Data in the holodeck. The ”Enterprise” respond to a distress call from the Ohniaka III outpost. When the ”Enterprise” shows up the Borg beam aboar

    9.8
    Holodeck simulations of Professor Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, & Sir Isaac Newton play cards with Data in the holodeck. The ”Enterprise” respond to a distress call from the Ohniaka III outpost. When the ”Enterprise” shows up the Borg beam aboard. While fighting with the Borg, Data becomes angry. How is this possible? Could Data be becoming more human? He describes what he felt to Geordi. A captive Borg convinces Data what he felt can happen more. A shuttle departs the “Enterprise”, Picard wonders who is aboard. It is Commander Data and the lone Borg. I rate this one a 9.8.
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