How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

Star Trek: Asterisk "Galaxy's Child"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S04E16
Air Date: March 11, 1991
Written by: Maurice Hurley and  Thomas Kartozian
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe

Geordi gets friend zoned while Crusher delivers a space baby.

It starts off innocently enough. Picard tells Geordi that Dr. Leah Brahms is coming on board to look at the engines, and Geordi admits he's studied her work, but he's trying to keep it on the DL that he actually fell in love with a holographic projection of her while they were in the "Booby Trap." He especially tries to keep that secret when she comes on board and says "So, you're the one who mucked up my engines." See, Brahms was the designer of the engines that the Enterprise used, but Geordi needed to make some adjustments while they were out exploring. She is not pleased. So you can imagine how she would feel if she knew Geordi was stalking her.

Alas, she won't find out very soon. She gets right down to business and takes a look around, pointing out all the stuff that's "wrong," while Geordi justifies every modification he made. This is a frustrating process for the both of them. And it's not really fun to watch frustration for too long, so let's cut to the B plot: the bridge crew comes upon a gigantic space-born being orbiting a nearby planet and they go to check it out, but evidently the being feels threatened and attacks. Well, Picard's not about to let the thing destroy the Enterprise, so he fires a warning shot... that kills it. He feels horrible about it, but soon, Data reports that there are some energy readings coming out of it again. Fainter, but clearly there. Is it alive? No... it's pregnant.
The face of a pregnant mother killer.
Meanwhile, Geordi, who insists he's not expecting any romantic feelings from Dr. Brahms, invites her over to his quarters to have dinner and discuss their agenda. Before she comes, he sets the lights down low, plays some sexy music, and changes into... well, something more comfortable, I suppose. So, yeah, no romantic expectations at all. She comes along, they sit down and talk for a while, she gets uncomfortable. Before Geordi is able to get up and prepare the meal, she excuses herself. It's not appropriate, she says. Geordi sighs and goes to bed. He never gets the girl.

Speaking of the girl, the bridge crew has to figure out what to do with that mother they just killed and the unborn child inside her. In a meeting, Geordi says they can use the phasers as a scalpel and give it a C-section, and Crusher's all on board with that. Worf worries about the threat the newborn child would pose, but, screw that, it's just a kid. They work out their plan and it works perfectly! ...Until "Junior" attaches itself to the hull and starts sucking on all the Enterprise's energy. Now it's up to Geordi and Brahms to work together to get the kid off.
"I think I can eat it."
Before that can happen, though, there's a little matter to settle about Dr. Brahms's relationship status. See, while she and Geordi are checking out some of his modifications, she comes to the realization that he knows an unusual amount of information about her. He says it's standard procedure to look up information on guests coming on board, but no one's buying that. Because, if that were the case, he most definitely would have stumbled on the information she's about to give. He once more tries to make an advance by suggesting they "collaborate" on a scientific paper, but she returns with the information that she's married. Geordi consequently transforms cartoonishly into an anthropomorphic shoe heel.

Despite this social awkwardness, they still have to work together to save the Enterprise. But first, Geordi goes to 10 Forward to try and shake it off. Now that he knows she's married, Geordi tells Guinan that Brahms is stubborn and difficult and generally doesn't play well with others. When he made the hologram, the computer didn't offer up the information that she's married, so he just assumed she was single. Meanwhile, Brahms is checking out more modifications and the computer offers up the information that there's a program Geordi has in the holodeck that she might be interested in. She goes to check it out... Geordi finds out about it... he runs off to stop her... it's too late.
Get ready for trouble, and make it double!
Brahms is pissed that Geordi has some kind of fantasy version of her in the holodeck. He tries to explain, but she's having none of it. But then Geordi gets pissed that she's having none of it! He calls her rude and arrogant and then he's the one who storms off, leaving us to feel sympathy for the stalker. And, anyway, it's time to save the Enterprise, so let's do it. Geordi and Brahms take their places and they open up the cargo bay doors in an effort to force the space baby off the ship using decompression pressure. This fails and only makes Junior angry. With life support fading, Brahms and Geordi come up with a genius idea. If Junior is using the enterprise to nurse itself, then why not sour the milk?

Working off of this idea, they figure everything in space works at the same frequency, so if they change the frequency of the energy that Junior is eating, it'll taste bad. Thankfully, it works, because this would be a pretty crappy series finale. Junior loses interest in the Enterprise and goes to join his kin in an asteroid field where he's got all the energy he can eat. Meanwhile, it's time for Brahms to go home. But, first, she meets Geordi in 10 Forward. They exchange apologies and agree to be friends, but then she awkwardly leaves when her husband calls. Leaving Geordi alone... so... very alone...

This is pretty much the episode that really establishes that Geordi never gets the girl. In the entire series I don't think he ever gets to have anyone. Ah, well. This episode wasn't too bad, but just kinda heightens the creep factor on Geordi a little bit. I mean, I guess it's not entirely his fault... but maybe he should have done some extra research on the girl before he actually met her. Or maybe he should have brought up the holoprogram in a non-threatening way? In any case, they seem to have worked it out, and the writing in the episode is pretty solid. Thumbs up from me!