Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Next Generation 2x11 "Contagion"

rating: **

Memory Alpha summary

via Den of Geek
"You see here by my demonstration
that everything about this episode
is completely harmless."
"Contagion" is Next Generation doing an original series episode, the crew trying to figure out what went wrong with another ship and hoping the same won't happen to them.  In fact, the franchise later adapted the model so that the problem was a little more direct, and so this is a general trope you'll find throughout Star Trek.  And this is otherwise not a particularly notable example.

There's also an ancient civilization leaving its technology laying around to create havoc, another franchise trope.  And the thing about this one is that it's revisited, much more on-point, in the Deep Space Nine episode "To the Death."  So there's that going for it.  Sort of.

The most memorable moment of the episode, and this is very telling about how generic and mostly forgettable "Contagion" otherwise is because I would never have been able to place the scene without a reminder of its context, is when La Forge takes a wild ride in the turbolift, getting his VISOR knocked off in the process, and literally gets shot onto the bridge at the end of it.

This is also a Romulan episode.  But otherwise, except to note this, you can forget all about that, because there's really no point.  The series ends up doing a bunch of good and noteworthy Romulan episodes.  This is not one of them.

What more do you need to know?  Oh, and it also contradicts what happens to Data just a few episodes earlier in "The Schizoid Man," although this is probably the only element "Contagion" can boast about.  Here the android deals with a corruption of his system a lot more logically.  

That's pretty much it.  The whole thing is an experience in the series desperately trying to find its voice, something you'd expect from the first season.  But essentially, Next Generation had two first seasons.  Or depending how much you value the third season, three of them...

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Diana Muldaur
Colm Meaney

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