Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 2 Episode 14

The Icarus Factor

Aired Unknown Apr 24, 1989 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
218 votes
  • Riker is offered his own command, and the news is delivered by his estranged father.

    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.
  • Uh oh - Riker has Daddy issues!....

    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.
  • ...but fails to inspire

    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.
  • Among the weakest of the 2nd season.

    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.
  • Blech - a weak, disjointed and meandering soap opera that isn't even enlivened by a cameo from the Power Rangers

    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.
  • Commander Riker is offered a captain's position on the Starship Aries. When the "enterprise" arrives at Starbase Montgomery, He is briefed on the assignment by a civilian advisor. Riker becomes tense when he realize the advisor is his father, Kyle Riker.

    Commander Riker is offered a captain's position on the Starship Aries. When the "enterprise" arrives at Starbase Montgomery, He is briefed on the assignment by a civilian advisor. Riker becomes tense when he realize the advisor is his father, Kyle Riker. Lt. Worf is having problems of his own. Lt. Worf becomes very grouchy with Wesley Crusher. The reason is unknown to others , but Lt. Worf is feeling isolated because it is the tenth anniversary of the klingon ritual right to accession. Lt Worf's friends set up a holdeck recreation. Worf felt honored. I give this episode a 5.9.
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