He is almost unbearable to listen to. He sounds like a bird dying. Here's is the only way I can even tolerate the episode is if I have it on Tivo and fast forward all of the Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) parts. Every single time he enters into a scene, I fast forward it. He makes my ears hurt when he talks. No one has ever done that to me except that character. Besides the Mark Twain character and the idiotic idea of Guinan being there in that stupid dress, the episode had so much promise. Without Guinan and Twain the episode would have been the best episode they ever made. With them, I give it a 8.
Unlike the concluding episodes for "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Redemption", the resolution of "Times Arrow" had the basics of its storyline worked out while the first part being was written making it easy for the writers to deliver a fulfilling conclusion to Part 2. Like the first part, this episode includes some interesting whimsy, although it's delivered in a more comedic way. The episode also features one of the most noteworthy guest performances in Star Trek history: Jerry Hardin as Mark Twain. Hardin nails the part so well, he steals the show from Brent Spiner (Data) and Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan), although neither would likely complain. One thing's for sure: this two parter is one of the more unique offerings from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek as a whole.
Time's Arrow is a fun little two-parter. There's nothing heavy here - a threat to Earth, yeah, but not with any sort of immediacy. The meat is in the chemistry between Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, and in the general silliness of the Enterprise bridge crew running amok in 19th century San Francisco.
Unlike part 1, which combined some classic Data with relatively pointless setup for the rest of the crew, this allows the rest of them to join in the fun. I can't make up my mind about Jerry Hardin's Samuel Clemens, who ends up being a little too annoying at times.
"Time's Arrow" seems to be a TNG fan favorite with high ratings on most major film/TV database/discussion websites and a spot on the fan-assigned Time Travel Fan Collective DVD set. While indeed a well-produced episode, "Time's Arrow" ends up only marginally entertaining and does not stir the same ecstatic reactions within me that it seems to do for other TNG fans.
The second half of "Time's Arrow" does the first half a grave disservice. Where the first half of the episode was poignant, character-centered, and interesting, the second half goes for laughs, cheese, and pointless plot points.
My biggest gripe with the episode is the completely irritating, incredibly frustrating, and absolutely pointless inclusion of Samuel Clemens into the plot. The episode depicts Clemens as a squeaky Southern-accented old man who has figured out that Data is from the future. The episode continues to do all it can to wax sappy on Clemens' prejudiced ideas of the future that are changed once he visits the Enterprise.
Then, to add insult to injury, the writers and producers decided that it would be here in Data's run-in with the 19th Century that the crew actually first meets Guinan. Why, you may ask? Beats me - her being on Earth in the 19th Century does absolutely nothing for the plot, nothing whatsoever. It is a device used to make the audience go "Oh! Look at that! Guinan actually meets Picard & co HERE!" Big whoopee (no pun intended, initially).
There is plenty to like about "Time's Arrow" - mainly Brent Spiner who gives a terrific Data performance - but I was sorely disappointed by "Time's Arrow" - it started so excellently only to end so poorly.
This whole arc was really neat, but I have to say first off, that the character of Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens was really annoying. First of all, they've done this before, with the people unfrozen in "The Neutral Zone" (season 1 finale). But second of all, he just really follows everyone around annoying them until he finally fulfills the role of saving Picard. I sincerely doubt Mark Twain was going to shoot time travelers...
But that said, it was great episode. It's neat to see the whole cast in this 1890s time period. Guinan and Picard have such a dynamic relationship and it is always fun to see them interact. This is the event that Guinan has referred to many times before, where Picard helped her (see "Preemptive Strike," where Guinan tells Ro Laren to trust Picard).
The resolution to the alien plot is dull. They probably could've just blown up the thing from orbit earlier. Or maybe they weren't able to, I really don't understand.
Picking up from where the last series finished this ending to the 2-parter is excellent. Lots of detail is poured into every scene, filling in how the future is fulfilled from the 19th cen. Highlights include (Mark Twain) Clemens continuing his mischief and getting himself into all sorts of trouble, esp. when he sneaks into Data room to snoop. I think one of the most satisfying things about this episode is having him come to the future (albeit briefly) to provide a reason for his great imaginative stories. Another set of highlights are the team's scenes in their room at Mrs. Carmichaels hotel. Their recital of a midsummer nights dream is symbolic of their true professions and brings some uncharacteristic smiles from the crew.
Returning to the plot, the episode does a good job of tying up all the ends from the first episode and though the lack of true contact with the aliens does detract from the story, mainly because of a lack of on screen conflict. This is the only real problem with this episode - a lack of true conflict and aggressive action. The threat to the crew, humanity (19th cen and 24th cen) and esp. Data are is there - but not really pressing.
Still an excellent episode and the two parter with I strongly recommend you dont miss, even if nothing really consequential happens.
Picard , Riker, Beverly, Geordi & Troi transport to the 19th Century using the same crack in time Data did. They are looking for Data. Picard now learns the true nature aliens from Devidia II. The aliens are interested in finding sick humans from the 19th Century to consume their souls. The away team does find Data along with Guinan from the past and Samuel Clemens. Samuel Clemens thinks Data is trying to do evil things in the 19th century. Data discovers how the aliens are going back and forth through time. He goes after them and loses his head.
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