Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 3 Episode 10

The Defector

6
Aired Unknown Jan 01, 1990 on CBS
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
224 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 43462.5

A defecting Romulan warns the Federation about an impending attack by the Romulans, who are allegedly establishing a secret base within the Neutral Zone. However, Picard and the crew aren't sure whether or not to believe him.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This kind of episode is what makes Star Trek worth watching.

    10
    This was to me the best episode in the series so far. First, the episode keeps a powerful tension throughout, with the very real and serious promise of war between the Federation and the Romulans. The mystery on whether the defector is speaking the truth is good enough to make even ardent whodunnit fans happy, and the resolution is great.



    Picard is amazing throughout, and the confrontation in the ending is very tense and entertaining. I honestly have great difficulty finding any flaw in the episode, hence my grade.moreless
  • Great performance

    8.0
    from James Sloyan. He was Shakespearean in an episode that featured Shakespeare. Too bad they didn't make this guy a recurring character.



    I recognized Patrick Stewart as the soldier in the Henry V scene, and was confused as to how Picard could be both directing and acting that scene.
  • A Romulan defector comes aboard the Enterprise

    8.5
    The Romulans return in this Ron Moore spy thriller that's as good (and perhaps a little better than) "The Enemy", the episode it nicely builds upon. This time, James Sloyen guest stars as the title character and is fabulous; but is his character a defector, or is he a spy? Evidence starts piling up on both sides of the question as war with the Romulans draws nearer, and the "Cuban Missile Crisis" tension is drawn out for all it's worth (with the magnificent Andreas Katsulas returning as Romulan Commander Tomalak) before a tense ending where all the cards are laid on the table.moreless
  • A classic military/espionage thriller; one of the finest episodes of the 3rd season.

    9.0
    This is definitely one of the best episodes of the more-than-solid 3rd season. It's effectively a sequel to the excellent "The Enemy" -- but in nearly every respect, improves upon its predecessor.



    It's a classic premise -- the Enterprise encounters an enigmatic defector who may or may not be a double agent. As the story evolves, we find out more and more about this defector -- without actually figuring out his agenda. The final resolution is brilliant and unexpected.



    The writing in this episode (Ron Moore's sophomore effort, I believe) is exceptional, with great dialogue and very little fat to trim. James Sloyan gives an impassioned, powerful performance as the defector, and Patrick Stewart does one heck of a job. A second appearance by one of TNG's best villains - Tomalak - is extremely welcome.



    I stated in an earlier review that the Romulans were arguably TNG's best villain - and this may be the best Romulan episode that TNG did.moreless
  • Picard must make the difficult choice of whether or not to trust a defecting Romulan who believes that a war against the Federation is an inevitability.

    9.0
    This episode was very good throughout the entire episode. It was cleverly plotted, well-acted and had interesting social and moral issues that trickled out through the plot. I am impressed by this episode and it showed some nice growth on the part of the writers. The way they crafted the 'Setal' character, one was never quite sure if he was lying or not or whether he was a spy or truly out to prevent a war. His character was interestingly written.



    I rather prefer that the Romulans are back in Star Trek during that era. Its also a pleasure to see Tomalek again even though it was so soon after “The Enemy.” Tomalek makes a good adversary for Picard.



    "The Defector" was a step in the right direction for TNG.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

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Henry V Soldier (uncredited)

Guest Star

James Sloyan

James Sloyan

Sub-Lt. Setal/Alidar Jarok

Guest Star

John Hancock

John Hancock

Admiral Haden

Guest Star

Andreas Katsulas

Andreas Katsulas

Cmdr. Tomalak

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Jarok orders water from the replicator, it does not understand the Romulan unit for temperature. Since it's tied in with the ship's computers, which can translate Romulan, would have been logical it also translates and recalculates one unit to another.

    • After the Romulan Warbird leaves the scout ship, it cloaks. However, Worf is able to track where it goes and knows that it leaves Federation space.

    • The ensign sitting at the helm immediately after the intro is wearing an old-style (season 1 & 2) uniform.

    • When Data says "freeze program" during the Henry V scene, the fire continues to burn and crickets keep on chirping in the background.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Tomalak: You see, Picard, after we dissect your Enterprise for every precious bit of information, I intend to display its broken hull in the center of the Romulan capitol as a symbol of our victory. It will inspire our armies for generations to come. And serve as a warning to any other traitor who would create ripples of disloyalty.

    • Jarok: Oh, what a fool I've been to come looking for courage in a lair of cowards.

    • Riker: You find something amusing?
      Jarok: Lieutenant Worf. I like him. To be more accurate I understand him, Warrior... proud, fearless, living only for combat. Exactly the type that will get us all killed if we're not careful.

    • Jarok: One world's butcher is another world's hero. Perhaps I am neither one.

    • Worf: You are lucky this is not a Klingon ship. We know how to deal with spies.

    • Picard: You've made your choice, sir! You're a traitor! Now, if the bitter taste of that is unpalatable to you, I am truly sorry. But I will not risk my crew because you think you can dance on the edge of the Neutral Zone.

    • Tomalak: You will still not survive our assault.
      Picard: And you will not survive ours. Shall we die together?

    • Tomalak: I urge you, Captain Picard, surrender. Consider the men and women you would lead into a lost cause.
      Picard: If the cause is just and honorable, they are prepared to give their lives. Are you prepared to die today, Tomalak?
      Tomalak: I expected more than an idle threat.
      Picard: Then you shall have it. Mr. Worf.

    • Picard: Data, you're here to learn about the human condition and there is no better way than by embracing Shakespeare. But you must discover it through your own performance, not by imitating others.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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