Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Next Generation 5x11 "Hero Worship"

rating: *

the story: To deal with his pain, a boy starts pretending he's an android like Data.

what it's all about: This is one of those episodes that sounds really good in theory, and in fact is a fairly decent, warm-and-fuzzy one to watch, too, but conceptually is so much like "The Bonding" from a few seasons earlier, you kind of half to wonder why it even exists.

In fact, it's hard to think of the two as entirely separate episodes, and neither really wins in comparison.  "Bonding" features Worf taking a boy under his wing; "Hero Worship" features Data doing much the same.  There are certainly variations to be considered, but on the whole they're exactly the same.

If you have to give the edge to one of them, it'd be "Hero Worship."  The traumatized boy who loses himself in fantasy is just easier to root for, and on the whole.  While Worf's experiences reflect well on his interest in Klingon culture, there's more to say about Data when a human is trying to be like him ("Bonding" presents Worf's relationship as entirely his idea) is an ironic twist on Data's arc.

Still, this is another episode I don't particularly want to exaggerate in terms of its worth.  (When writing these reviews, I actually completely forgot to write this one up originally, which just goes to show that its duplicate nature made it seem like I'd already written it.)  You can enjoy "Hero Worship" at a very basic level, and that's it.

criteria analysis:
  • franchise - Move along!
  • series  - The episode echoes are kind of interesting to observe.
  • character - Interesting but not too interesting as a Data episode.
  • essential -  You really don't have to worry about this one.

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