Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Next Generation 4x4 "Suddenly Human"

rating: *

Memory Alpha summary

via Lockerdome
"And you're sure we can't
convince Jane Seymour to join you?"
There's nothing much wrong with "Suddenly Human" except the later, similar Deep Space Nine episode "Cardassians" makes a much stronger case for your continued attention.

This is the story of a human boy who ends up raised in an alien culture, and Starfleet's subsequent attempts to reunite him with his human family.  It doesn't go well.  I don't know if it's Stockholm Syndrome, exactly, or merely the fact that he's lived most of his life with the alien culture, and whether or not it amounts to the same.  Either way, that's basically all you need to know about this episode.  Which is to say, it really doesn't have much more resonance than that, for any particular character (this would perhaps have been an excellent spotlight for Worf).

In "Cardassians," meanwhile, it's very much series-specific, one of the episode that addresses head-on the continued ramifications of the Occupation on the Bajoran population, and its subsequent relationship with the Cardassians, when a Cardassian youth who has been adopted by a Bajoran family is subject to a Cardassian effort at repatriation.  This was a context that spoke directly to the heart of Deep Space Nine as originally conceived.  Meanwhile, "Suddenly Human" shows the limitations, if you choose to view them that way, of the more episodic approach that had originally Star Trek's calling card.  With Next Generation having begun a deeper storytelling approach, an episode like "Suddenly Human" will always be a challenge to reconcile as to its ultimate worth, especially near the beginning of a season that made a concerted effort to delve more deeply into the characters of the series.  You can view it as a refreshing change of pace, or one of the less challenging, ultimately, episodes of the season, no matter what it happens to accomplish in its own right.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Chad Allen
Sherman Howard

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