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TNG 4-08

TNG 4x08
"Future Imperfect"

Original airdate: 11/12/1990
Rewatch date: 10/27/2011


Riker wakes up sixteen years in the future, now captain of the Enterprise, with no memory of what has happened.

Spoiler-free notes:

This episode has one of my favorite teaser openings.

Wonderful attention to detail. Even small things like the communicator insignias are slightly different.

Picard's grey beard and white hair make him look like an asian wise man or kung fu master. It's pretty badass. In fact, the make-up work is pretty good on just about everyone.

This is another puzzle show. There's something weird going on, and the clues get less and less subtle as the story progresses.

(Lost spoilers!) Riker having a son reminds me of Jack having a son in the final season of Lost. Wait, they're heading for Outpost 23? Oh crap. And the kid's name in the Romulan part of the fantasy is Ethan?! Aghh! He's the smoke monster!!!

There are so many references to old episodes! There's a Horga'hn on the table in Riker's quarters ("Captain's Holiday"); Riker talks about Nelvana III ("The Defector"); Riker talks to Jean-Luc about his father ("The Icarus Factor"); and Riker's "wife" is Minuet ("11001001"). This episode could not have worked without all the history behind it.

In theory, isn't it possible that Riker could wind up marrying Minuet? In "Elementary, Dear Data," Picard promises the holographic Moriarty that they will work on a way of allowing a holodeck character to exist outside the holodeck, and stranger things have happened on the Enterprise.

I like the idea of a warehouse-sized holodeck.

The scene with Riker explaining Minuet to Tomalak is awesome. "It was a very special program."

This episode is all about nitpicking. I love it! Riker's acting like I would if I suddenly woke up in the Star Trek universe.

Number of episodes in which a member of the crew is subverted by an alien lifeforce: 10.



Spoiler section:

There's some eerily accurate predictions in the fake future. Riker's incredulous about the idea of a Ferengi ensign, for example, but within sixteen years, Nog will become an ensign. Additionally, Geordi has lost his VISOR (though, to be fair, a lot of alternate futures predict this). The timing of talks with the Romulans, seemingly ludicrous in the show's present, is also uncanny: the fake future is supposedly sixteen years in the future and Picard says that peace began four years earlier, which would be twelve years in the future. In the show's canon timeline, twelve years in the future is Star Trek: Nemesis. While the events Picard describes having lead to Romulan peace talks are wildly different from the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, the ultimate result is the same: a tentative peace between the Romulans and the Federation.





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