Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Next Generation 4x16 "Galaxy's Child"

rating: **

the story: Geordi meets the real Leah Brahms

similar to: "Hollow Pursuits" (Next Generation), Star Trek: First Contact, "Author, Author" (Voyager)

my thoughts: A sort of sequel to "Booby Trap," the episode where Geordi interacts with a holographic version of Dr. Brahms, "Galaxy's Child" is one of those episodes where you can squarely ignore the sci-fi crisis elsewhere happening, if you so choose, and instead focus on the character development happening along the way.

Geordi is one of the more hapless romantics in Star Trek lore, not because of his VISOR, but because of the basic problem of not really knowing what to do around the opposite sex.  Ironically enough, this duo of episodes encompasses the experiences of another engineer in the crew, the infamous Barclay as introduced and featured in "Hollow Pursuits," who is far more comfortable interacting with people in the holodeck than in real life.

(No, these are not episodes based on the Internet age.)

That Geordi somewhat duplicates that in these episodes is a little ironic, because no one would otherwise associate him with Barclay's rich psychoses.  Yet that's kind of what happens with Dr. Brahms, whom he first meets in deceptive holographic form.  This episode is all about learning what the real person is like.  Suffice to say, she's almost the complete opposite of everything Geordi previously thought he knew about her.  Only O'Brien has worse luck, in general.

That makes for a pretty fun episode.  Not only can you discard the rest of it, you really wouldn't be missing much.  This is a rare opportunity in the series to just watch a single character squirm from very human circumstances.  Unlike Scotty, Geordi was not known as a miracle worker.  He wasn't even known as an engineer originally.  Yes, he's hugely capable in that regard, but he becomes more and more useful as one of the more relatable people in the crew, and this is probably the episode to see why. 

criteria analysis: franchise - series - character - essential

notable guest-stars:
Susan Gibney (Brahms)
Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan)

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