Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 22

Shades Of Gray

Aired Unknown Jul 17, 1989 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

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out of 10
273 votes
  • Unintentionally hysterical.

    Why did I give this episode a perfect score? Because it's the most fun I've had watching a Trek episode in years. Don't misunderstand, this is truly an atrocious way to spend 45 minutes. On the other hand, it's also extremely funny if you can MST3K the hell out of it for the duration. There's no setup at all, just Riker sitting there all gimped out after having been stabbed in the leg by a vine. Dr. Pulaski discovers that the microbes invading Riker's body are slowed down by feeding his mind negative memories, and proceeds to spend the remaining two thirds of the episode "tightening the beam" of negativity. Each time she does this, the growth is slowed even more, and she pauses to debate what to do next with counselor Troi. They decide in their wisdom to tighten the beam even more, which (shocker!) slows the growth rate of the microbes yet again. She then pauses to say something along the lines of "I don't know how much longer he can withstand this", and then tightens the beam even more, which helps yet again - apparently even taking the time to record a log entry right in the middle of the procedure. It's complete filler and shows off her complete ineptitude as a doctor just before she departs the show. Troi's over-acting is classic, with lines like "hang on, Will...hang on!" just begging for laughter. In the end, they tighten the beam so much that it stops the growth - at which point, apparently the microbes just vanish without a trace, because they never actually succeed in *reversing* the process at all. Seriously, watch this and take a shot every time the doctor and Troi decide to "refocus and tighten the beam even more" and you'll be plastered by the time the credits roll. Just classic Trek in every way.
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