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TNG 4-16

TNG 4x16
"Galaxy's Child"

Original airdate: 3/11/1991
Rewatch date: 1/7/2012


The Enterprise is visited by Dr. Leah Brahms, and La Forge must overcome his holodeck preconceptions of her. Meanwhile, the ship is attacked by a spacefaring alien infant that has mistaken it for its mother.

Spoiler-free notes:

Geordi-centric episodes are pretty rare, and this one is obviously a direct sequel to "Booby Trap." The show has gotten to the point where each major character--including O'Brien--gets at least one big episode a season.

Picard's excited smile is priceless when Data explains that "this is something we've never seen before."

La Forge trying to be romantic with Leah Brahms is downright embarassing, even without the knowledge of what's to come. And then, when she finally tells him she's married, it's just painful to watch.

Man, CGI on TV has come a loooong way since 1991. That space ravioli is a vast improvement over the special and visual effects from the first season, but it's still pretty hard to accept. In many ways, watching any version of Star Trek is like getting a glimpse of where television effects were at the time.

Guinan scenes are almost always awesome. She's a better counselor than Troi, not that I don't love having Troi around.

Once La Forge leaves Dr. Brahms alone and tells her to look for his files on the computer, you just know she's going to wind up on the holodeck.

I'm a little confused about how holodeck programs work. Dr. Brahms witnesses a playback of what her holographic self said to Geordi, and then Geordi runs in and tells her that, if she watched the whole thing, she'd understand it in context. How exactly can Dr. Brahms experience everything that happened in "Booby Trap"? Does the holodeck create a simulated La Forge and, if so, why isn't he in the room when the real La Forge barges in? If she just starts the program that La Forge has saved, wouldn't the holographic Dr. Brahms start interacting with her instead of ignoring her and repeating what was said to Geordi?

Poor Geordi.

This is a good episode. It is an inevitable follow-up to "Booby Trap," but one they pulled off quite well. I like that the two storylines compliment each other without being obvious parallels: Geordi has to wean himself off of his fantasy of Dr. Brahms just as "Junior" has to be weaned off of its fantasy that the Enterprise is its mother. However, while the episode does try to develop Geordi as a character, his situation hasn't really changed much between the beginning and end--he's still just a shy but brilliant engineer that has no luck with the opposite sex. Though I don't dislike La Forge, episodes like this one remind us that he's probably the weakest main character on the show at this point, just because there's nothing about him that is surprising or dynamic.





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