<--Season 3a "Best of Both Worlds"-->
The second half of season 3 continues the successes of the first half, and even improves. Many would say that this is the highest level the franchise would ever achieve. It certainly presents us with the best episode ever in the Star Trek universe. However, that does not mean the series and franchise begin to decline in quality after these episodes. It is more like the franchise reaches a level of quality here that would continue going forward.
Episode 14: “A Matter of Perspective”
This is “Rashomon” done Trek-style. Of course “real world” application of the film techniques that brought us that story is a little bit scary. Allowing witnesses and defendants to create a three dimensional representation of events that plays out like a movie would surely cause tremendous difficulties for the justice system. People have a hard enough time perceiving truth without clouding the issue up with multiple skewed perspectives and even lies presented in convincing reality.
Episode 15: “Yesterday’s Enterprise”
One suspects that part of the appeal of this show is that it is so non-Trek-like. It is too dark for the vision that Roddenberry set up. He really did use the show to sell his religious beliefs. He is one of the best examples showing how Secular Humanism was a strange rejection of religion while being a quasi-religion; a call for the ideals and ethics of Christianity while rejecting Christianity for its more religious and pharisaical elements.
Of course the most compelling aspect of this story is the writers’ choice to correct the mistake they made having Tasha die a meaningless death. The fact is that there are no meaningless deaths in life because there are no meaningless lives. Sometimes things may feel as though they make no sense, but we believe and sometimes manage to understand that that is simply a limitation of our perspective.
Episode 16: “The Offspring”
Episode 17: “Sins of the Father”
Worf is a conflicted, third culture kid. TCKs are people from one culture, raised in another, resulting in a third cultural identification—a mixture of aspects from both. Here we see the surprising degree to which Worf is willing to go in order to help his birth culture, that he hasn’t been able to be a part of since his childhood. It is a bit unconvincing to someone who does approach life as a TCK. There are those that overcompensate and reject their adopted culture by blindly embracing every aspect of their birth culture without question. However, most of that type does not choose to live their life out in the adopted culture. That is what makes Worf so hard to comprehend.
Episode 18: “Allegiance”
Again, a Twilight Zone styled puzzle episode. We’ve seem to get about one or two of these every season so far. And again we have the “advanced=alien-species-studying-humanity” theme. Will they ever tire of these stories? And just how many god-like species are there in the galaxy?
Episode 19: “Captain’s Holiday”
If this whole episode is a self-fulfilling-prophecy, how did the future not know how it would turn out?
Episode 20: “Tin Man”
A ship-like life form that is the last of its kind is an interesting idea, but it is not explored.
Episode 21: “Hollow Pursuits”
This is a fun story for anyone who enjoys the escapism of fantasy.
Episode 22: “The Most Toys”
A fairly standard kidnapping story. However, how will Data’s ethics respond? Will he kill if justified? Can he lie?
Episode 23: “Sarek”
A long-lived character from the original series is incapacitated, and Patrick Stewart gets to show his acting chops.
Episode 24: “Menage a Troi”
A comedic caper involving a kidnapping, Picard embarrassing himself performing sonnets and those slimy Ferengi.
Episode 25: “Transfigurations”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the death penalty
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