Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 16


Aired Unknown Mar 02, 1992 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
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  • Season 5 shifts the series to one-sided preaching, but this one takes the cake. Especially with a willing patient.

    Where do I begin to describe this dross? The "argument of the week" revolves around assisted suicide, living handicapped, and going gun-ho medical research. Okay, some of the ideas have merit, not forgetting "Unnatural Selection" delved into research, albeit on a different tangent.

    The guest star of the week seizes an opportunity to go beyond simulated operations when Word is paralyzed in an accident. Worf's culture has Worf wanting death rather than perceived dishonor, his friends say "No, because my culture forbids euthanasia", and here comes the galloping guest doctor with a possible cure. Worf wants to try it, Crusher says "No, we need more time".

    Eventually, Worf and guest star have their way and he is operated on. The operation fails, but because Klingons have multiple redundant organs, his life is saved by his own anatomy -- a redundant brain and neural functions are what saves him. Of course, who didn't see that one coming because it's so outrageously stupid an idea to begin with!

    Crusher whines in the end that "real research takes time". Something everybody already knows. After all, simulations can only go so far. Real life can do what no amount of pretending can. Far more important, people have volunteered for risky or trial procedures before; either for their own hope of recovery, and/or for hope that what they do can benefit others. This is the final proof why the episode is nothing more than one-sided preachy fodder.