The title says it all. The whole crew is on shore leave while the enterprise is being repaired at the Mckinley station. Worf visits with his human parents. Picard beams down to earth to his old family stomping grounds. Picture this Picard's family owns a
The title says it all. The whole crew is on shore leave while the enterprise is being repaired at the Mckinley station. Worf visits with his human parents. Picard beams down to earth to his old family stomping grounds. Picture this Picard's family owns a vineyard. Since his father passed away Robert his oldest brother runs it. He seems like the bully type. Now his his brother Rene is the underwater adventurer. Jean Luc and Robert have a brotherly fight. They make up. Jean Luc feels like the borg stole everything from him. I rate this family one a 9.5.
With a story more reminiscent of sci fi literature than sci fi television, "Family" was a ratings flop. The episode, however, is a gem that has so much heart, it's successful despite its lack of aliens and danger. Featuring a star studded cast (notably Jeremy Kemp, Samantha Eggar, Theodore Bikel, and Georgia Brown) and an A,B,C story structure, the episode has a unique feel and serves as the perfect followup to the action-packed "Best of Both Worlds" two parter.
"Family" was the perfect followup to the blockbuster "Best of Both Worlds". Given the harrowing events that its characters often faced, it's tough to imagine that they could just go back to work-as-usual a few weeks later - yet that is often what happened. But the creators of the show realized that Picard's experience with the Borg was not just any harrowing event - it was a life-changer, the kind of circumstance that would make any individual question, at the very least, the direction of his life up until that point.
In Picard's case, that meant going back to square one - the village in France where he was born, in order to stay with his brother Robert, his sister-in-law, and his nephew Rene. While there, he seriously considers quitting Starfleet and becoming a civilian "captain" of a large engineering endeavor. And looking for solace, he instead finds that hard feelings from Robert have not died down, and that his brother takes a perverse pleasure at the Borg events.
This is really what the best kind of science fiction is about - not about the Enterprise, but about the people inside and what they tell us about ourselves. The climactic "battle" between Picard and his brother is one of the most penetrating, emotionally intense sequences of the series. This story has an extremely satisfying Instead of stretching this main plot over the full 44 minutes, the writers decide to fill out the episode with two thematically-related family subplots. The first, while clearly lighter than the Picard story and not on the same level quality-wise, is quite entertaining and affecting - an unexpected, unwanted but ultimately meaningful visit to the Enterprise by Worf's human step-parents. Worf's father in particular is amusing and likeable - almost a parody of the Trek fan who knows every nook and cranny of the Enterprise despite never having been aboard.
The second subplot, while mercifully short, is still a waste of time - Wesley's discovery of a holographic recording of his father. While it does add some slight depth to Wesley's character, it detracts from the episode as a whole. Surely the Picard story could have been longer instead of this lightweight fluff.
I was greatly entertained by Worf's dealings with his parents. It is fun to see how he reacts like an embarressed highschooler with them around.
We also get to see some of Picard's flaws while with his brother, although it gets quite a bit overly dramatic. My favorite part of this thread is his nephew who he calls 'Uncle'. It's a cute relationship.
I can't imagine this episode being of interest to anyone but a hardcore fan wanting some backstory. The placement is interesting. We go from the epic battle with the Borg and probably some of the best work in the series, to this slow, plodding, uneventful episode. I understand WHY they would make that choice... giving viewers an emotional break.
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