Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Next Generation 1x8 "Justice"

"Justice" is another of those first season episodes that are better off stricken from the record.  If you wanted to torture yourself, you might watch it because it resembles "The Apple" from the original series.  You can also jab a pencil in your thigh.

This is the one where the crew visits what appears to be a pretty idyllic planet, filled with people who dress in the characteristic alternative Star Trek fashion (which is to say very little), and for a moment you think everything might be just fine.  Worf has a chance to be Worf, for instance.  Then Wesley has  a Wesleyism and is sentenced to death.

When I say "Wesleyism," I mean Wesley Crusher from the first season, a character that seems really excellent on paper (and no offense to Wil Wheaton), but you absolutely loathe because he's the most annoying character ever, and here he's helped by a stupid plot device by another native culture forced into stupid behavior that is only required so that our crew can seem morally superior, even though Star Trek typically suggests an ideology of tolerance (erm, what's up with that?).

So the rest of the episode is about the crew scrambling to find a loophole that will save a character the audience (aside from those who really enjoyed "Where No One Has Gone Before") wishes would die.  (It's no surprise that the catchphrase "Shut up, Wesley," developed by Picard in "Datalore" five episodes later, became an anthem for the fans.)

Suffice to say, while not technically as horrible as "Code of Honor," "Justice" is an episode that emphasizes all the wrong things, and is a perfect example of what The Next Generation needed to outgrow in order to earn its place in Star Trek lore.

franchise * series * essential * character

Notable guest-stars:
Josh Clark

Memory Alpha summary.


  1. And people wonder why Wesley was so annoying. If they hadn't tried to use him as a plot device he could have been great. Not a great episode, but a memorable one.

    1. It's weird that it remains so memorable, but it really is. Kind of contradicts the fact that it probably shouldn't be watched by anyone, but there you have it.


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