Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Next Generation 2x13 "Time Squared"

rating: **

Memory Alpha summary

via Den of Geek
"Still no cure for baldness?  Damn."
Picard and Picard, what is Picard?  "Time Squared" is more like "Picard Doubled."  The opening scene, by the way, is also endlessly duplicated in every single Neelix meal ever from Voyager.  But more importantly, there's a definite franchise trope being featured in the episode, someone meeting themselves.  And the viewer having to figure out along with the crew what's going on.  A big time travel mystery.

There are ways this could be more memorable.  One such way is from Next Generation itself, the later "Cause and Effect."  Even Deep Space Nine's "Visionary" is much more interesting, and even features multiple O'Briens running around.

The biggest drag on "Time Squared" is that it inadvertently represents Picard in the cold-fish light that typified much of his early appearances, part of what really helped make Riker pop in the second season, because Riker was presented anything but cold fish.  The time travel gimmick leaves one Picard difficult to interact with for much of the episode.  None of this is to say the episode is bad, but that it treats everything, including the viewer and the characters, from a distance.  It would become the trademark of the series to feel much more inclusive, which was what helped separate new Star Trek from what it had once been, when it was much more typical for Kirk and Spock to be nearly the only characters worth investing in.  Picard's crew truly became a family, which was why that final season in the final episode ("All Good Things...") with Picard finally joining the poker game, is so affecting.  The Picard from "Time Squared" is about as far from that moment as he can possibly get.  Which in turn typifies how the second season is usually considered.  Even though poker came from this season, the series wasn't quite ready to embrace it, so to speak.  

Which is to say, "Time Squared" is squarely from a period of the series where it hadn't quite reached its level best.  And this is an instance where it shows.  Enjoyable, but trust me, things get better.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Diana Muldaur
Colm Meaney


  1. This is a great episode where Picard brings weird to a whole new awesome level but Gawd what an episode. The thought of meeting myself blows my mind.

    1. It's got that going for it. It's the main selling point, but I'm not sure there's much more than the basic idea of it.


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