Cause and Effect (TNG)
The A-Story: The Enterprise is caught in a time-loop that each time ends with it’s destruction. Oh and Frasier shows up at the end.
“Hey baby I hear the Star Trek calling, tossed gagh and Riker’s scrambled eggs.”
But never mind that now, what a way to begin an episode!
And not only that, but we get to see it happen again and again. I think I remember reading that, behind the scenes it was controversial whether to start the show in media res with the Enterprise blowing up, I guess because it would be too confusing. But it’s probably my favorite teaser of the whole show. Short and to the point, and after the opening credits, the crew very much alive and well.
What follows is a time loop where we see the crew go through the same thing over and over again, yet each time they get a feeling of deja vu. Eventually in each time loop they realize they are in one, and try to find a way to prevent it. I’ve always enjoyed Data’s ultimate solution, stacking the deck (pun intended) to come up with different variations of the number 3, representing Riker’s rank pips.
I mean, it’s a good that Riker had the right choice that ended up saving the ship but does he have to stand like this next to poor Data all of the time?!
Kind of like last week, I don’t have much to say for this one. It’s a solid and enjoyable Trek episode with a cool time concept. Trek, especially in later years, can really try to be to smart for it’s own good when it comes to time travel and loops, but I think there is the right element of mystery for this one that makes it such a good, to use a phrase from another sci-fi juggernaut, “timey-wimey” episode. It’s great fun watching the actors doing essentially the same take many times, with each time doing it slightly differently.
My only really criticism of the episode is what the hell is up with Crusher’s broken glass?! It’s set up like it will be more meaningful than it actually is.
(While playing poker)
WORF: I am experiencing nIb’poH. The feeling I have done this before.
RIKER: Yeah, last Tuesday night.
Riker, vaudevillian comedian…
One last thing: I’ll be back up teaching soon, and I won’t be able to continue writing reviews. It’s been fun, but I just have too much going on with work and life to do a really good job with these. My intention was always start it up and eventually hand it over to someone who could do a better job writing reviews than me. And there are a whole lot of you that I think would be a perfect fit! So many of you are fabulous writers that I seriously enjoying reading your comments. So if anyone wants the job, it will be yours!