Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: October 30, 1989
Written by: Ron Roman and Michael Piller & Richard Danus
Directed by: Gabrielle Beaumont
The Enterprise gets stuck in a situation that only Geordi La Forge's skills as a lady charmer can get it out of. Good luck with that.
This episode opens with Geordi taking a woman on a date in the holodeck, but my suspicion is that she didn't know it was a date. Because as soon as things start to get the slightest bit intimate, she squirrels away and says Geordi just isn't her type. It's sad, yes, but then Wesley spots him strolling into 10-Forward alone and then it really tugs on your heartstrings because if Wesley thinks your date has gone wrong, then it must really have gone wrong. He asks Guinan's advice about women look for in a man and she says she looks at the man's head. Not because of his mind, but because she's attracted to baldies because a bald man took care of her once. Geordi says taking care of a woman is all he wants to do. It's probably not gonna happen on the holodeck... or is it?
Meanwhile, Picard is giddy as a schoolboy to have come across a 1,000-year-old battle cruiser in the middle of an asteroid field created by a battle that was fought just about as long ago. It's cute to see him marvel at the historical significance of it and muse about building ships in bottles as a young boy. But he's flabbergasted that no one else on the ship seemed to have had the same ship-building experience. In any case, he takes a small team over to the decrepit ship and finds a recording from the ship's captain commending his crew. When he comes back, he is satisfied and orders that a salvage team be brought to take the old ship to a museum or something. With their mission done, he orders the Enterprise to leave, but then their power starts to drain and even at high warp, they can't get out of the Menthar booby trap.
|"This is worse than being stuck in the holodeck with a boring date!"|
Well, power starts becoming a real issue, so Picard orders that all non-essential systems be shut down. That includes the holodeck. Which means Leah disappears in the middle of Geordi's problem solving. Picard then calls a meeting of the senior officers in which Beverly says they only have about 26 minutes until the radiation becomes fatal. Geordi asks him to reinstate power to the holodeck so he can continue his "simulation program," so Picard agrees. Later, Picard visits Geordi who is cavorting with Leah in the holodeck and Geordi says "WAIT! I CAN EXPLAIN!" Well... not really. I mean, he does explain, but Picard still looks confused. Regardless, he's confident Geordi can get the job done.
|"Mmm... dig those photon particles into my back. Yeah."|
So that's what they do. And who better to take the helm at a time like this than... Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He relieves Wesley and takes the navigation controls. He works with Data to navigate through the clusters of asteroids, but after a while they run out of enough inertia (somehow) to clear the field. To compensate, Picard invents the brilliant maneuver of driving straight into one of the bigger asteroids. Using the gravitational field of that asteroid, he slingshots around it and buys the Enterprise enough inertia to clear the whole field. And the peasants rejoiced! Once they're out, Picard orders Riker to destroy the battleship so no one else can get stuck again.
|Riker is a big fan of explosions.|
This is a pretty heart-warming story about how you have to let go and stop trying in order to really be successful in a budding relationship. But it's also a story about how Geordi will never find a woman that compares to his Enterprise. The only thing I didn't like about this episode was that Picard took the helm at the climax when it would have been a lot more meaningful for Geordi to have taken it. Aside from that, I was quite pleased with the message of this episode.