Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 6 Episode 19


Aired Unknown Apr 05, 1993 on CBS
out of 10
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184 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 46693.1 Picard must choose between love and command when he must make a decision that could place the woman he loves in a potentially deadly and high-risk mission.

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  • Picard makes it so... painful

    This Picard episode begins with promise: it serves as a sequel to "The Inner Light", with the Captain developing a relationship with a woman through their common love of music. The adult romance is well handled, and it's fun to see Picard share an interest with someone where (for once) the starship captain has much to learn, and the woman knows what she's doing. (Contrast this with the Original Series where Captain Kirk treats almost every beautiful woman like she's four.) Unfortunately, once the episode gets the foundation of the romance in place, it turns into a study of the pitfalls of workplace relationships which isn't quite what sci fi fans expect from TNG. (The idea probably would have worked better as a B story or a recurring storyline spanning several episodes.) To make matters worse, it quickly becomes apparent that Captain Picard is especially lousy at handling a relationship with his "coworker", and it becomes quite painful to watch him suffer. That said, Wendy Hughes plays the love interest well, and the episode moves along quickly enough to makes its sins somewhat forgivable.moreless
  • The much-needed followup to lingering thoughts about "Inner Light." Cute episode, annoying ending.

    Well, this one was going pretty well until the very end, when Picard's new love interest gets in trouble on an away mission and they decide to break it off. I just really felt like they needed an excuse to write her out by the end of the episode.

    But the music element was brilliant. They definitely needed a follow-up to "Inner Light," and while certainly not even CLOSE to as good, this is decent. I really wish Patrick Stewart had shown a bit more emotion in this episode. For him to open up to another woman after he's been through is HUGE. Hell, as he said, for him to even play music with someone else is a big step. All in all, a little disappointing that they didn't leave it more open-ended like Vash in "Captain's Holiday" (and later, "Q-pid").moreless
  • Didn't anybody ever tell Picard that office romances are a bad idea?

    This isn't Picard's first romance - he had a vacation fling ("Captain's Holiday", "Q Pid"), "The Perfect Mate", and a marriage on another planet ("The Inner Light"). And let's not forget the repressed lust for Dr. Crusher! But this relationship is different because it's ordinary - Picard falls in love with another crew member.

    That ordinariness keeps this episode from standing out. The richness of Picard's relationships in those other episodes made them exciting. Here, well, it's just another middle-aged couple.

    The relationship itself was perfectly plausible, and the chemistry between the two actors genuine, but much of the story was rather slow. The "sending Darren on a dangerous mission" turn was pretty predictable, as was Riker's discomfort at commanding Picard's girlfriend.

    That said, the sequence in which Picard asks Troi for permission was amusing. And the few minutes in which Picard believes Darren is gone forever were pretty emotionally intense - the best part of the episode.moreless
  • Capt. Piccard falls in love with a science officer and their relationship is put to the test when she has to go on a dangerous mission. A lot is at stake and someone could die.moreless

    This was a nice romantic episode for the captain. Usually Piccard is the steadfast, resilient leader who has so much to do that he can't have time for himself. In this episode, he manages to get in a relationship with someone on board. I, like many other fans of the show, want the captain to be happy, and it seemed that he would finally be happy for about half the show. Neela, the science officer (and lieutenant commander), is musically talented, smart and seems like a good match for the captain. Even Dr. Beverly Crusher is a little jealous. That was entertaining to see the two women interact for that short scene. Obviously Crusher is crushing on Piccard herself. When Neela had to go on that dangerous mission, I was like "What?! She could die!" I was shocked when the solar thing happened and when Neela didn't respond when Piccard was trying to contact her. I was sure she and some of her crew were dead. I was so relieved when she made it, and heartbroken for the couple when they called it quits. They looked good together. All in all, it was a nice episode.moreless
  • The Picard is up late working on a few things. He needs to use communications, but stellar cartography has locked it out. He requests the computer to display ship library, again stellar cartography is using that, also. How about a cup of Earl Grey tea?moreless

    The Picard is up late working on a few things. He needs to use communications, but stellar cartography has locked it out. He requests the computer to display ship library, again stellar cartography is using that, also. How about a cup of Earl Grey tea? You guessed it. Stellar cartography has shut off the replicators. So Picard visits stellar cartography and ask what is so important that the Captain is to be deprived of his favorite tea. While there he becomes acquainted with Lieutenant Commander Nella Daren. I think the Captain is in love. I hope this all goes well.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Wendy Hughes

Wendy Hughes

Lt. Cmdr. Nella Darren

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In the beginning of the scene where Darren visits Picard in his quarters, he is listening to music. Just as she rings the door chime, you can see the tip of the boom mic over Picard's head for several seconds.

    • In the scene where Capt. Picard and Lt. Cmdr. Darren are playing music in an intersection of the Jefferies-Tubes, it is apparent by the shadow cast by Lt. Cmdr. Darren that the tube behind her isn't actually there but just a two-dimensional picture of a tube.

    • In the concert scene, why does Data need to have the music in front of him while playing? Shouldn't he be able to play the music flawlessly without the music in front of him?

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Nella: Yes, sir. I'm sorry. We weren't expecting anybody to be up at this hour.
      Picard: You're new on the Enterprise. You have to learn to expect the unexpected.

  • NOTES (1)

    • The flute Picard has was given to him in the season 5 episode "The Inner Light." He hesitates to answer how long he has been playing it because he spent decades with it during the events of that episode, but only a matter of minutes in actual time.