Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 3 Episode 9

The Vengeance Factor

Aired Unknown Nov 20, 1989 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
201 votes
  • Picard attempts to facilitate cordial relations between the Acamarians and a kin faction. Little do they know, but a blood feud is still being carried out and its up to Riker to stop it.

    The blood feud concept has been done more or less in Star Trek, but not quite in this fashion. The plot was pretty interesting at best and most of the acting was at least on par, but the bland set pieces didn’t really help me get into spirit of the episode. The most interesting part of the episode was Yuta the chief servant, you might say. I liked her characterization and the method by which they employ the blood feud aspect. I do conceptually sympathize with the plight of the Gatherers because the Acamarian monarchy seems a bit overbearing and its good when you have an underdog for which to root. But somehow, I didn’t particularly care which side got its way between the Acamarians and the Gatherer faction as neither were very compelling in the narrative. The leader of the Acamarians came off as preachy and inconsiderate and the leader of the Gatherers was an inflexible thug, though on second thought he rather needed to be when dealing with the Acamarian leader.

    Something I seriously didn’t understand, however, was the ending. Yuta is determined to kill the last of the Lornak clan and Riker keeps firing increasingly powerful phaser blasts into her to prevent her from getting to her target. Meanwhile no one is doing anything to stop her. Then Riker vaporizes her…! Vaporizes her?! All he had to do was trip her, club her with his fist (the classic Kirk attack) or simply man-handle her. There was absolutely no evidence to indicate she could have done any damage at all to anyone but the leader of the Gatherers… especially Riker… and what does he do? Vaporize her. The worst part is that he apparently doesn’t even get into trouble over it. Murder isn’t a crime, I guess, if you’re the commander of the Enterprise. Or is it? (See “A Matter of Perspective.”) Picard must have just slipped that one past the official log since only he and Riker were at the meeting representing the Federation and I doubt the Acamarians or Gatherers really minded all that much.

    This was basically an average to slightly above average episode.