Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 17

Samaritan Snare

6
Aired Unknown May 15, 1989 on CBS
7.0
out of 10
User Rating
217 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 42779.1 A race known as the Pakleds kidnap Geordi. Picard must face surgery when his artificial heart begins to malfunction.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • An alien race wants Geordi to be their engineer. Meanwhile, Picard is escorted by Wesley to a life saving operation.

    7.0
    This is just a filler episode with two plotlines, neither of which catch fire. The A story with Geordi and a new alien race is somewhat comical, though there's enough danger to wring some drama out of (thanks to our beloved crew suddenly becoming foolish to facilitate it.) The B story, with Picard and Wesley, lays the groundwork for future Picard episodes dealing with his youth and his heart, but isn't a particularly exciting plotline. (It doesn't help that the writers still don't know what to do with Wesley, although putting him and Picard alone in a shuttle is an interesting idea). The episode comes off as a bit goofy and harmless, but there's nothing about it that's all that bad.moreless
  • Two mediocre plots; one silly and implausible, the other one slow and boring.

    6.5
    This is a below-average episode. Though executed more competently than its season 1 counterparts, the writers and actors did not have much to work with here.



    The Picard-Wesley plot is the more engaging, simply because it plays off the two characters. However, it's hamstrung by the fact that aside from several lengthy conversations nothing happens. Aside from Patrick Stewart's performance, run of the mill for him, this can be easily skipped.



    The Geordi plot is more exciting, but really hamstrung by its sheer implausibility. The aliens are really obnoxious and Riker's idiocy makes you wonder why he wasn't serving on the other ship. However, I have to say that Levar Burton's portrayal in season 2 improved enormously over that in season 1.moreless
  • Harmless

    5.6
    Agree that two mediocre plots wrangled together does not make a good one! With Picard and Wessers going off on their one-to-one father/son chat and the crew finding unnessecary trouble responding to a distress call this episode is a good candidate to miss.



    The who trouble with Jordi's kidnap could have been avoided if the "redoubtable" Ryker had followed his own procedures and sent an escort with him, namely Worf who would have torn apart the abductors in seconds.



    The pace of the episode rarely rises above an amble, even when Deanna warns Ryker about possible subtefuge! At least Picard gets brought down a peg, by Dr. Palanski who saves his life when his "routine" op goes wrong.



    The Pakleds are such are benign race that everything that Jordi does is frankly laughable and only serves to get him into his predicament. It is the Pakled's use of the phasers on Jordi that lighten the mood and while I know I shouldnt I couldnt stop laughing as he is flung about their ship in pain! Serves him right for me arogant and odious.



    At least Ensign Sonya Gomez saves us from suffering anymore

    when she releases a harmless gas to confuse the Pakled, from the crews plan to communicate a secret course of action to Jordi to help him escape. The fact that Picard is about to lose his life is the only incentive to the crew to get the job done and the only thing keeping the viewer from switching off.



    They should have kidnapped the writers and operated on the production team instead!



    Very missable!moreless
  • Passable - and no more.

    5.0
    Following the brilliant 'Q Who?', TNG's second season slumped quite dramatically as it began to spiral toward the abysmal season finale, 'Shades of Grey'.



    'Samaritan Snare' is very much a filler episode. It's not bad per se, but it never moves beyond impulse power. The two disparate plots are servicable but lack interest or excitement. The Geordi/Packled storyline is all rather pointless and ultimately quite irritating (thanks to the Packleds themselves, whose portrayal was not only grating but actually mildly offensive). It was certainly hard to get too worked up about the supposed 'danger' Geordi was in when the adversaries were such bumbling simpletons. At one point Riker intones gravely "we're all scared" and I just about burst out laughing. That's probably an indicator that I just couldn't take this episode and its supposed jeopardy seriously.



    The Picard subplot is a little pointless other than it sets up the vastly superior sixth season episode 'Tapestry'. The seemingly endless Picard/Wesley scenes aboard the shuttle are only sporadically interesting but most the time just seem dull and talky. I'm not entirely sure what purpose this subplot served other than to show how egotistical Picard can be at times when it comes to maintaining his aura of invulnerability.



    Overall, a mediocre episode and not one I would particularly recommend.moreless
  • Wesley is going to starbase 515 to complete his starfleet exams. He is joined by Captain Picard. Picard by Doctor Pulaski's orders is going to starbase 515 for cardiac replacement surgery. Awhile after the shuttle departs the "Enterprise" recieves a distrmoreless

    7.0
    Wesley is going to starbase 515 to complete his starfleet exams. He is joined by Captain Picard. Picard by Doctor Pulaski's orders is going to starbase 515 for cardiac replacement surgery. Awhile after the shuttle departs the "enterprise" recieves a distress call, Commander Riker decides to investigate the situation. It seems like the Pakleds are having ship problems so Riker has Lt LaForge beam over to the Pakled ship to fix their problems. While aboard LaForge is taken hostage. Picard has complications with surgery so Dr Pulaski finishes the job. Geordi is rescued. I rate this episode a 7.0.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

Christopher Collins

Christopher Collins

Pakled Captain Grebnedlog

Guest Star

Leslie Collins

Leslie Collins

Reginod

Guest Star

Daniel Benzali

Daniel Benzali

Surgeon

Guest Star

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Miles O'Brien

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (8)

    • At the beginning of Picard's heart surgery, the lead surgeon explains that they will be using a midline approach (which is normal). However, when he begins with the "tissue mitagator," he cuts into Picard's right side.

    • Trivia: Picard tells Wesley the story of how he got his electronic heart. This story would be revisited in the sixth season episode, "Tapestry."

    • Wesley asks if something happened before "the Klingons joined the Federation". They never did join.

    • When Riker decides to take the Enterprise to the location of the distress call, the crew informs him that they will be out of range of the shuttle the captain was on. Why didn't Riker just communicate to the captain about where they were going since they would be in range? This way the captain would know where the Enterprise was going.

    • Wesley opens a comm channel and says that Shuttle #2 is ready for takeoff. However, in the next scene, when the shuttle is seen powering up, we see "01" on the outside of the shuttle.

    • Before the conversations in the shuttle we see the stars moving. During the conversations the stars on both sides stand completely still.

    • In this and several other episodes (that use the same stock footage) the type 7 shuttlecraft that leaves the shuttle bay is slightly different in the interior of the bay than it is in the exterior shot after it departs. Look at the nacelles and the way they connect to the body, as well as having a more boxy, angular shape than the smooth sweeping one.

    • Watch the sandwich Picard is eating when he gives Wesley a napkin. It varies between a small bite missing, then no bite at all, then a much larger bite, all with Picard never having put it anywhere near his mouth.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Picard: Did you read that book I gave you?
      Wesley: Some of it.
      Picard: That's reassuring.
      Wesley: I just don't have much time.
      Picard: There's no greater challenge than the study of philosophy.
      Wesley: But, William James won't be on my Starfleet exams.
      Picard: The important things never will be. Anyone can be trained in the mechanics of piloting a starship.
      Wesley: But, Starfleet Academy...
      Picard: It takes more. Open your mind to the past; art, history, philosophy, and all this may mean something.

    • Picard: (telling Wesley how he'd lost his heart) ...A trio of Nausicaans came in. They were clearly spoiling for a confrontation with a group of fresh-faced Starfleet officers such as ourselves. Well, everyone in the group had the good sense to give these Nausicaans a wide berth, stand off. Everyone, that is except me. I stood toe to toe with the worst of the three, and I told him what I thought of him, his pals, his planet, and I possibly made some passing reference to his questionable parentage...

  • NOTES (3)

    • Footage of the city on Angel One from the episode "Angel One" is recycled here for Starbase 515.

    • The Pakleds never appear again on Next Generation, although they are mentioned in "Brothers." Allegedly they were too "politically incorrect" in their portrayal of mentally-challenged people. They subsequently appeared in Deep Space Nine in background shots but never with dialogue or anything to distinguish them.

    • The name "Grebnedlog" is "Goldenberg" backwards.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Picard: Any rumors of my brush with death are greatly exaggerated.
      A takeoff of Mark Twain's famous quote in response to his obituary being printed while he was still living: "The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated."

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