Monday, April 5, 2010

There's No Place Like Wet Sand

Home Soil: The Next Generation

So here's what I don't get: since when does Starfleet maintain enough contact with distant outposts to know they might potentially have a problem brewing? And since when are erratic communications with eccentric scientists anything to worry about? Really? And where did Picard go to Jackass school, because he's usually very properly nice.

Actually, I think you can infer the opening of the episode from these highly profound questions.

So they beam into the Lab of Eccentric Scientists without a redshirt, which means no one we care about will be dying today. Good thing, too, because these guys are terraforming! What is terraforming, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did! Terraforming is... well, remember the Genesis project? No? Remember Star Trek 2? No? The one where Spock died?

Oh dear.

Anyway, for those of you who are cringing at this and ready to get on with it, skip the next paragraph.

So, back up a bit. In Star Trek 2, Kirk learned three things: 1)If Spock is wearing the red shirt, he can die too. 2)Kirk's son we didn't know he had until just now hates him. 3) Despite the fact that revenge is a dish that is best served cold, the device used to get said revenge must be capable of melting and reshaping the surface of a dead planet to create a living one. This is called the Genesis Device.

But since that didn't work out (See Star Trek 3) we call it terraforming now, and it's a lot slower. Instead of a few days, it takes a few decades. Riker and Deanna get a sneak peek at why it's so cool from this technician chick that Riker is totally flirting with all over the place. Flirt flirt flirt. Eventually Geordi and Data get bored and try to make their own friend, but that is an epic fail when some kind of laser drill thingy (did you notice the way they made it sound futuristic by slapping the word "laser" on it?) kills their new friend. Sad.

Well not kills, more like mortally wounds, enough that Crusher has to feel sad she coudn't save him. The other three terraformers decide to beam up to the ship too, but Data stays on the planet to poke around. Sadly, the laser drill is not a fan of this and attacks him. Too bad it doesn't know he has faster reflexes. He shreds it.

Picard tries to get the director dude to tell what's going on, but he's not talking. This annoys Picard, because any fool and Counselor Troi can see the guy is clearly hiding something. He gets so annoyed he sends Geordi and Data back to the planet to try to get killed so he'll get even more annoyed. Maybe if he's lucky he'll annoy himself into a French accent.

Sorry. Harsh. Love to Patrick Stewart!

Anyway, Geordi and Data don't die. In case you were curious.

But they do find a pretty light in an access tube thingy, which they decide could be alive despite the complete lack of carbon, which would make it - say it with me now - inorganic.


They all pretend to be shocked even though I'm remembering this thing... I think they called it a Horta? That Kirk found? Yeah. That. Anyway, they beam it up to the ship. They magnify, it hums, they magnify more, it hums louder. They try to get the director to admit he knew it was there and alive, but he didn't really know, so he wasn't really hiding much of anything, was he. That could  have been a cooler plot twist. Anti-non-carbonist, and all that. But it wouldn't fit into the Utopian future Gene was still forcing on everyone then. Anyway, it keeps growing. And growing. And growing some more. And then it explodes a bell jar and declares war on humanity, so Picard turns the lights off.


Did I forget to mention photosensitive?

Anyway, they declare peace and the alien tells them to come back in four centuries.

Big emotional letdown.

They ripped off "Devil in the Dark". Look it up. Seriously.