Enlightenment > Star Trek > TNG
TNG 2-03

TNG 2x03
"Elementary, Dear Data"

Original airdate: 12/5/1988
Rewatch date: 8/19/2011

While playing Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on the holodeck, Data and La Forge accidentally turn Moriarty into a conscious program capable of exerting control over the entire vessel.

Spoiler-free notes:

There are too many awesome Sherlock Holmes references in this episode to even list. I makes me happy to be intimately familiar with both canons, but as a fan of both, it is also great to see the writers get so many things right.

Geordi walking out of the simulation at the beginning is a bit melodramatic of him. He should have just paused the program and then have the conversation he later has in Ten-Forward. From a script standpoint, of course, that denies Dr. Pulaski the opportunity to make her challenge and come along for the ride, which would be a problem.

I like how this whole episode is predicated on a simple philosophical question about Data's ability to understand human nature and whether or not he has valid sentience, which becomes the philosophical can of worms that is opened up by Moriarty's creation.

Moriarty notices the arch before La Forge instructs the computer to create an opponent capable of defeating Data.

How come the paper on which Moriarty draws the Enterprise survives outside the holodeck?

Picard says a bad word again!

If Moriarty has control over the holodeck's override on the authority of Lieutenant La Forge, why can't Captain Picard override that authority and shut down--or even just pause--the holodeck's program?

This is such a great episode. Time has not eroded my love for it.

Spoiler section:

The stuff with the old sailing vessel Victory foreshadows Worf's promotion scene in Star Trek: Generations.

And, of course, the character of Moriarty foreshadows the holographic doctor on Voyager.

TNG 2x02
"Where Silence Has Lease"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
TNG 2x04
"The Outrageous Okona"
Copyright 2011 e. magill. All rights reserved.