Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: May 7, 1990
Written by: Shari Goodhartz
Directed by: Timothy Bond
Artie from Warehouse 13 bags and tags Data after faking the android's death.
So Data is taking shuttle trips back and forth to and from Kivas Fajo's ship to pick up hytritium, a rare, volatile element needed to treat a tricyanate-poisoned water supply on Beta Agni II. All seems to be going as planned right up until Data's shuttle EXPLODES.The crew assumes Data to be dead and contacts Fajo about it, but all he can do is send his condolences. So the Enterprise warps off to Beta Agni II and Worf takes another dead officer's place. Except he's not dead. Later, Data wakes up inside Fajo's ship and he is informed that he is to be a part of Fajo's collection of rare, one-of-a-kind artifacts. Welcome to Warehouse 42.
Obviously, Data refuses to be a part of Fajo's collection, but it doesn't seem that he has much of a choice. He is unable to open the door, and Fajo is very insistent. Not to mention he has a personal force field around him. At least Data can stop every now and then to smell the bubble gum from Roger Maris's rookie baseball card or feed the small Lapling animal. But while he's there, Fajo insists that Data is no longer a part of Starfleet. He is to sit in a display chair as part of the collection. But Data says keeping him in captivity is a hostile act. As if Fajo cares.
|A Soong on the duranium throne.|
Initially, Data refuses to put on the new clothes, but then Fajo comes along and throws some acid on his uniform. Data's choice now is to either go around naked or wear the new clothes. The purpose of the new clothes is for Fajo to show of his new piece to a friend of his. So Data changes, but when the friend comes around, Data acts like a mannequin, not entertaining him in the least bit. After the friend leaves, Fajo comes back and threatens Data with a powerful, deadly, and torturous disruptor. Data says Fajo wouldn't use it on him because he finds Data too valuable. Fajo admits that Data is right.
|The assistant will have to do.|
On Fajo's ship, Data and the assistant have made it to the shuttle bay with the disruptor. While the assistant opens the shuttle bay doors, the alarm goes off. She and Data are able to fight off a couple of goons, but then Fajo himself arrives, he gains control of the disruptor and kills the assistant in cold blood while Data watches. Shaken, Fajo drops the disruptor and walks slowly away. Data picks up the disruptor and now it's a showdown. Fajo defies Data to kill him because he's been programmed to respect life in all its forms. But Data cannot allow his crime and his killing to continue. He points the disruptor and... IS BEAMED BACK TO THE ENTERPRISE.
|Goodbye, friend, I am gone.|
This episode is a reminder that not everyone sees Data as a humanoid with rights of his own. In fact, the galaxy is full of bigots like Fajo that have long since been eliminated from the surface of Earth. It's interesting to see Data wrestle with moral puzzles without having the emotions with which to process them. He's using only his programming and logic to come to the conclusion that kidnapping is wrong and Fajo deserves death as a matter of justice. Shari Goodhartz and Brent Spiner both believed that Data really did intend to kill Fajo and Goodhartz would later admit that, had she been more confident, she would have fought for that to be more clear in the episode, but the powers-that-be wanted to keep it ambiguous. I agree with her and Brent that intending to kill Fajo makes the story a lot more provocative, but it's a great story as it is, anyway. Thumbs up!