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TNG 4-24

TNG 4x24
"The Mind's Eye"

Original airdate: 5/27/1991
Rewatch date: 2/29/2012

La Forge is brainwashed by Romulans to sow dissension between the Klingon Empire and the Federation.

Spoiler-free notes:

"Your modesty is very human, Captain. I will excuse it." Have I mentioned how much I love Klingons?

I like the method of using La Forge's eyes against him and how the horrors he is seeing during the first part of the brainwashing sessions is left entirely to our imagination.

Poor Geordi. Even when he thinks he got laid on Risa, it turns out it didn't actually happen.

Picard is such a great diplomat, because he knows how--and when--to swear in Klingon.

It seems really dangerous to test an unknown phaser rifle with Data standing so close to the target. There's got to be safety regulations against that sort of thing.

"It's a typical Romulan ploy." I'm starting to think everything is a typical Romulan ploy.

Do they not trace fingerprints in the 24th Century?

They do a great job with suspense during the climax, with La Forge getting stalled by O'Brien while Data takes an excruciating amount of time putting the pieces together. It's textbook Hitchcock stuff, but that doesn't make it any less awesome.

Number of episodes in which a member of the crew is subverted by an alien influence: 16.

I like this episode. It's Star Trek's answer to The Manchurian Candidate (and it has more than one obvious homage), and it contains lots of great political intrigue. The big picture stuff--Romulan spies within the Klingon High Council and the desperate attempts to dissolve the Klingon/Federation alliance--was impossible to pull off in TOS (aside from Star Trek VI), but here it all feels like one small chapter in a much bigger story that started long ago and won't be resolved for some time. I also appreciate the ending, showing La Forge as he struggles to put himself back together. With this on top of what happened to him just a few episodes ago, in "Identity Crisis," one has to imagine that La Forge is nearing a psychological breaking point, and that makes his character potentially more interesting than it has ever been.

Spoiler section:

The actor playing Taibok, the Romulan in charge of brainwashing La Forge, is John Fleck, who will go on to play the recurring villain Silik in ENT.

It's unfortunate that we don't actually get to see a Kriosian in this episode, as Kriosian women, as played by Famke Janssen in "The Perfect Mate" and Padma Lakshmi in ENT's "Precious Cargo," are super hot.

So this episode is notable for getting a young me really excited about theorizing where the show is going. I will explain what I mean in more detail when I get to "Redemption," the obvious follow-up.

TNG 4x23
"The Host"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
TNG 4x25
"In Theory"
Copyright 2012 e. magill. All rights reserved.