Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: February 8, 1988
Written by: Michael Michaelian and D.C. Fontana
Directed by: Rob Bowman
An old admiral makes himself young again to face a man who wants to kill him and ends up dying from anti-aging. Welp.
So, this guy named Karnas wants to see Admiral Jameson because Jameson negotiated a hostage release 45 years ago and there happens to be another hostage situation now. The only problem is that Jameson is now, like, a thousand years old. You could breathe on him and he'd break a hip. But Karnas insists that Jameson has the know-how and the fortitude to carry out this negotiation like a pro, so Jameson beams onto the Enterprise with his wife, Anne, and rolls around in his fancy chair like a geriatric, mutant, ninja turtle.
Jameson then submits to a standard medical exam and then wheels off into his quarters with Anne. There he struggles to get up out of his wheelchair and into a regular chair. That's when he starts having pains in his side. Anne is worried and wants to call sick bay, but Jameson says it's okay; it's happened before and it'll pass. So, then, in Picard's ready room, Crusher comes along and says that the medical records that Jameson submitted to her were two months old, not two weeks. Picard says it's a symptom of his age, but Crusher retorts that he has Iverson's disease, a malady that affects the body, not the mind.
|Iverson's Disease: aka Wispy Hair Syndrome|
Then Jameson opens a secure channel to talk with this Karnas guy in the observation room. Over the course of the conversation, we learn that Karnas "never forgave" Jameson for something and that there are no terrorists - Karnas is holding the hostages. A 30-year-old-looking Jameson then walks onto the bridge and tells them to hurry it up to Warp 8 so they can catch Karnas by surprise. He plans to beam down to the series of tunnels that were there 45 years ago and rescue the hostages without Karnas knowing. So while Crusher tells Anne that Jameson isn't stabilizing and might die because of the drugs, Jameson tells Picard that when he negotiated 45 years ago, he gave weapons to both sides and plunged them into a civil war.
|"It was the sixties, man... no one knew what they were doing."|
After beaming back up, Karnas gets in touch with the Enterprise to demand that Karnas come back down and face him. So Picard beams down with Jameson and Dr. Crusher who tends to Jameson. Jameson now looks about 20 years old and Karnas doesn't recognize him, nor does he believe that this sick and sweating man is, indeed, Jameson. Picard tries his best to convince him, but it's not until the pain-ridden young Jameson shows Karnas the scar on his arm from a blood oath they made that he believes... and pulls a phaser on him. But he doesn't shoot. No, that would be too good for Jameson. Karnas says the pain he's experiencing will satisfy his revenge. And it does. Because just then, Jameson becomes the first man in history to die of young age.
|At least he doesn't have to face college tuition loans.|
This episode was a lot of talking and bad age makeup. It was a "sit and tell" episode rather than "show and tell", in the words of its director, Rob Bowman. If you didn't realize that Jameson had actually reverted to so young an age, it's because you fell asleep halfway through. The phaser fight in the tunnels tries to pick up the energy, but it was really short and probably wouldn't have woken you up from your nap. The story was alright, but the episode it self was sub-par. I could take it or leave it.