Enlightenment > Star Trek > TNG
TNG 6-19

TNG 6x19

Original airdate: 4/5/1993
Rewatch date: 9/7/2012

Captain Picard begins to have feelings for a new crewmember, forcing him to weigh those feelings against his duty.

Spoiler-free notes:

If Lieutenant Commander Daren had the foresight to plan the stellar cartography work for three in the morning so as not to inconvenience the crew, the least she could have done would have been to tell the captain that she planned to do it. Data--who takes the conn at night--knew, but it should have been in a report or something for Picard as well.

It seems like, whenever there's a love interest for Picard, there has to be an early scene between the captain and Dr. Crusher.

When Picard is alone in his quarters, right before Daren comes in, the boom mic is visible at the top of the screen. Whoops!

When talking about the flute from "The Inner Light": "What kind of a flute is that?" "It's, uh, Ressikan." "I've never seen one before." "They're not played anymore." "Have you been playing long?" "Um... Yes, a long time." Good dialogue. It's wise to break out the flute for this episode, as it epitomizes Picard's romantic side, a side he never got to fully explore until he spent an extra lifetime on Kataan.

Picard is fascinated by the roll-out piano picked up on an alien world as though he's never seen anything like it, but identical electric pianos exist today.

It's about time Crusher showed a little jealousy. At this rate, she and Picard will have a full-fledged relationship by Season 84. Seriously, I don't know why the writers have been avoiding the obvious for so long.

Goddamn it. Now she's just showing off. I've been trying to play the "Moonlight Sonata" for years.

How often has stellar cartography been present during a command conference? Yeah, never.

The storm effect is pretty lame. When it starts out on the horizon, it looks good and foreboding, but as it gets closer, it starts to look more and more like a cheap special effect.

This is an important and necessary episode for Picard, and there are many things to like about it, not the least of which is the music. However, it never breaks out of its predictable clichés and standard plot beats. (You could say the same for the previous episode, "Starship Mine," though.) The emotional impact is there, and Daren and Picard have the proper chemistry, but the characters all seem to just be going through the motions. I'm glad it resolved many of the loose ends from "The Inner Light" and "Qpid," but at the end, "Lessons" left a dangling plot thread that is arguably even bigger. It just wasn't bold enough. Had Daren remained on board, the show could have charted some new waters and gone to surprising places--after all, without O'Brien and Keiko around, the regular crew is now completely made up of singles--and if she had died, TNG could have gone down a seriously dark path. Alas, the showrunners and/or writers apparently lacked the balls to go in either direction, choosing instead to make this a stand-alone epilogue to "The Inner Light."

Spoiler section:

It's absolutely criminal that we never see or even hear of Commander Daren again. This was Picard's last best chance at romance--aside from Crusher, of course--and thus, every attempt to give him a new love interest following this episode just falls flat.

TNG 6x18
"Starship Mine"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
TNG 6x20
"The Chase"
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