<--"Family" Season 4b-->
Season Four is firmly in the best period of the franchise:
Episode 3: “Brothers”
This is often listed among the better episodes of STNG. It is one of the Data-centric stories which are always popular, and it features Lore which takes it up a notch. That being said, not a lot happens. It does show just how dangerous Data could be if he ceased to be governed by ethical standards. (Which illuminates just how dangerous Lore could be if the show ever really went there.) There are also some interesting moments between Data and his creator, but we are left with the distinct feeling that this story is not complete.
Episode 4: “Suddenly Human”
This episode is one of the rarer, poor episodes in this middle run of the series. That is a shame because it explores the important problem of judging another culture as being good or bad based on one’s own bias. There is such a thing as universal evil—god and bad do exist—but we often expand our definition of wrong based on our preferences.
Episode 5: “Remember Me”
Wow, two weak ones in a row. Still, they are rare at this point in the series.
Episode 6: “Legacy”
No, really, these weak episodes are rare—despite the evidence to the contrary.
Episode 7: “The Reunion”
A continuation of the events from “Sins of the Father” and “The Emissary.” Worf struggles again with his dishonor and his struggle to express his love in way that honors the traditions that have turned on him. The show reaches new heights of dramatic tension, and we are put in the position of actually rooting for Worf to seek revenge through murder.
Episode 8: “Future Imperfect”
Riker gets a glimpse of the future, but we all know something is askew with the whole story, because the series can’t possibly carry this reality forward. Ultimately, we realize that we don’t care about anything this story has to offer.
Episode 9: “Final Mission”
Wesley crusher is sent off to school in a dramatic way, stranded on a deserted moon where the only source of water is inexplicably guarded by a security system.
Episode 10: “The Loss”
Deanna demonstrates that she is just as irrational and grouchy as all her patients, when given the chance. An interesting but undeveloped aspect of this story is the idea of a two-dimensional being. It reminds one of the way C. S. Lewis clarified our incapacity to understand the things of God by comparing us to two-dimensional beings attempting to understand a three-dimensional world.
Episode 11: “Data’s Day”
Episode 12: “The Wounded”
Episode 13: “Devil’s Due”
The NonModern counter to Clark’s Third Law would be: perhaps there are sufficiently advanced “technologies” as to be genuinely “magic.” Just maybe there is a “supernatural” element to reality.