Enlightenment > Star Trek > TNG
TNG 5-15

TNG 5x15
"Power Play"

Original airdate: 2/24/1992
Rewatch date: 5/9/2012

Troi, Data, and O'Brien are possessed by alien lifeforms and take hostages in Ten Forward.

Spoiler-free notes:

The scene with the away team in the shuttle, bouncing around, is obviously a gimbal and loose camera, especially if you look at the fog out the window. It looks like they're on a ride at Paramount Studios or something. It's good to see them wearing seatbelt harnesses, though; I'm not sure we've seen those before.

The exploding shuttle hatch is pretty awesome.

"I can boost the confinement beam." That's Star Trek technobabble for "I have magical transport powers."

I love how nonchalantly Picard agrees to let O'Brien beam down, knowing that there's a good chance he won't survive. If the transport had failed, it seems like he'd just shrug his shoulders and say, "Guess we'll need a new transporter chief." He's also surprisingly casual when he tells him, "Good job." The guy just risked his life in the service of his shipmates, even though he has a wife and a new baby, and all he gets is a figurative pat on the back. Now that's a model officer.

Troi uses Kirk's fists-against-the-back move to incapacitate Picard.

La Forge says that, in order to lock them out of the computer in Ten Forward, they'd have to shut off all computer access in the saucer section. Why can't they do this? They could easily move the bridge crew to the Battle Bridge or Engineering.

We in the audience know that Riker isn't affected, but the rest of the crew doensn't know that. Wouldn't it be prudent to confine him to his quarters until they can determine whether or not he's been compromised?

Brent Spiner does a good job playing a villain who doesn't feel too much like Lore, but Marina Sirtis' acting in this episode is extremely hammy.

The stuff going on with Miles, Keiko, and the baby is pretty messed up, a good dose of slightly disturbing in the mix.

I don't know why they don't try to overtake Data when he is the only one affected (following the failed attempt to subdue all three hostage-takers). Worf can see his captain in danger, but he doesn't do anything. That seems terribly out of character for him.

It's dramatically ironic how the hostage situation is turned on its head at the end, with Picard holding the prisoners hostage in order to win.

Number of episodes in which a member of the crew is subverted by an alien lifeforce: 20.

This is a fun little hostage episode, with a really strong climax. There's nothing terribly deep or poignant going on, but it's good to have the occasional story that's pure action/sci-fi entertainment.

Spoiler section:

In the DS9 episode "The Assignment," Keiko is possessed by a Pah-wraith, resulting in a very similar situation between her and O'Brien, only with their roles reversed.

TNG 5x14
Star Trek: The Next Generation
TNG 5x16
Copyright 2012 e. magill. All rights reserved.