Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 14

The Icarus Factor

6
Aired Unknown Apr 24, 1989 on CBS
6.6
out of 10
User Rating
206 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 42686.4
Riker is offered the Captaincy of another Federation ship, but is to be briefed on its mission by his estranged father. Meanwhile, Worf displays signs of violence and depression.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Riker is offered his own command, and the news is delivered by his estranged father.

    6.5
    This is a character-based episode, with an A story featuring Commander Riker and his father (with Dr. Pulaski shoehorned in) and a B story featuring Worf – and some of his shipmates who are concerned about him. The Rikers' story is interesting in that it's one of the first times TNG uses friction between two "good guys" as a source of drama. This sort of thing would be explored more successfully in fourth season's "Family" but the writer's struggle with it here. The Worf subplot is short and sweet (and painful from his point of view, but that's a good thing for a Klingon) and includes John Tesh as a Klingon in a cameo. Mostly, though, this one's forgettable.moreless
  • Uh oh - Riker has Daddy issues!....

    6.0
    While Season Two of Star Trek: The Next Generation was, in general, a large improvement over the quite weak First Season, there are a handful of weak episodes here in Season Two that showcase the fact that the series heads were still not quite sure where to go with the characters and the series. Sandwiched between two great Trek episodes and two of the bests of Season Two ("Time Squared" and "Q Who") are two dull episodes - "The Icarus Factor," while not a terrible episode" is the first of these two. Featuring a boring story between Will and father Kyle Riker and an unintentionally hilarious Worf B-story, "The Icarus Factor" is one of the most easily skippable TNG episodes of Season Two. Really the only aspect that would begin to make the episode a must see is the fact that it is the first time that Riker is offered the Captain's chair – a reoccurring theme for the character.moreless
  • ...but fails to inspire

    5.7
    An episode designed to show Rykers background through a story of emotional turmoil and old scars as his father interviews him for the post of Captain of another ship. Worf's Klingon culture cameos.



    Not a bad idea, but it doesnt work. The plot arc is logical if nothing remarkable, and the confrontation between him and his father a good source of conflict, as is the possibility of him leaving the Enterprise (well not so much).



    Human relationships are factored in well enough with Pulaski and Troi flushing out the two antoganists as they face up in an ultimate final battle of futuristic blindsman tai-kwon-do!



    To be honest I was interested in Worf's ceremonial task! That is the highlight of this episode.



    The ending is amicable enough to bring the right inevitable conclusion but dont expect anything other character development and a glimpse into the private lives of some of the crew.



    Really a filler episode that fails to inspire.moreless
  • Among the weakest of the 2nd season.

    6.0
    This is one of the earliest TNG episodes to deal with crewmembers' families -- and not surprisingly, because these families provide some of the best insight into the characters themselves. Family played an important role in some of TNG's best episodes ("Family", "Brothers", "The Inner Light", "Sins of the Father") and some bad ones two (most episodes involving Momma Troi or Worf's son).



    This one fits comfortably in the "bad" category, and is among the weakest episodes of the 2nd season - the only one that obviously trumps it is "Shades of Grey". "Outrageous Okona" was bad, but there were enough sequences with Whoopi Goldberg and Brent Spiner to make it worthwhile.



    The conflict between Rikers Sr. and Jr. is completely uninteresting; it's not helped by the wooden acting or mediocre script.



    Worf's plotline is only marginally more interesting. Wesley-haters will find plenty to dislike here, as Wil Wheaton gives plenty of that "gee whiz" annoying attitude.



    If I had to pick one semi-redeeming feature, O'Brien's wisecracks make parts of the episode more bearable.moreless
  • Blech - a weak, disjointed and meandering soap opera that isn't even enlivened by a cameo from the Power Rangers

    3.0
    I'm all for character drama, in fact I think it's the lifeblood of any TV show. But this is just the pits. 'The Icarus Factor' is a snooze-fest of the first degree: a poorly conceived, disjointed hour of overwrought melodrama that left me with a big 'So WHAT?'. The Riker family dynamic simply doesn't work, perhaps because Riker himself doesnt come across as entirely sympathetic - in fact, I was utterly sick of seeing him skulking around the ship with a massive pout. Jonathan Frakes was never the show's best actor and here it is to the sharp detriment of the episode.



    I didn't quite buy the Kyle/Pulaski relationship (talk about a small universe, huh?), although one of the few scenes I did like was where Troi and Pulaski compared notes on their Rikers. The rest of it was just the pits: I didn't much care for Kyle Riker and I kind of wished his son would stop deliberating and just take that job on the Aries, just so I wouldnt have to put up with any more pouting and whining.



    The scene where father and son do 'battle' is hilarious for all the wrong reasons: the suits they wear make them look like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (only much cheesier, if that's possible). The Worf subplot is marginally more palatable, but even that isn't enough to prop up this sagging mess of a second-rate soap opera.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

Mitch Ryan

Mitch Ryan

Kyle Riker

Guest Star

Lance Spellerberg

Lance Spellerberg

Transporter Operator

Guest Star

John Tesh

John Tesh

K'Tesh

Guest Star

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Miles O'Brien

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (2)

    • Anbo-jytsu, proper spelling is Anbou-jitsu, is derived from Japanese Jujitsu (actually Juujutsu, which means calming skill, but the term has been Anglicized to Jujitsu). Jujitsu is martial arts without a weapon. Here, the fighting is with a stick or bou. The Anbou-jitsu uniforms that Riker and his father are wearing have Japanese characters (Kanji) written on their front chest plates. Will Riker's uniform contains the characters Mizu, Tsuchi, and Ho or Water, Earth, and Fire. Kyle Riker's chest plate contains the characters Ho, Sora, and Mizu or Fire, Sky, and Water. In the centre of the ring is the kanji character Hoshi or Star. The sides of the ring also contain the kanji for Fire and Water. Riker and his father open with the words Yoroshiku onegaishimasu or I am very pleased to meet you. When Will is knocked down, both times he uses the word Matta! or Hold! At the end he says that Hachidan Kiritsu is illegal. Actually, Hachidan Kiritsu means Eighth Rule. Will is merely saying that the Eight Rule on Anbou-jitsu has been broken.

    • John Tesh, one of the hosts of Entertainment Tonight (at the time), appears as the Klingon K'Tesh in Worf's Ascension Chamber on the holodeck. Of course this appearance was covered as a feature on ET.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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