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.
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.
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!
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.
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 distr
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.
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