Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spock's Father!

TNG: Sarek
#171, Season 3, Episode 23
Aired 5/14/90, Stardate 43917.4
Guest Starring Mark Lenard, Joanna Miles, Colm Meaney, William Denis, Rocco Sisto, and John H. Francis.
Teleplay by Peter S. Beagle
Story by Marc Cushman and Jake Jacobs
Directed by Les Landau

Type 1: Police Action - no
Type 2: Character W/ Problem - yes
Type 3: Re-creating Earth's Past - yes
Type 4: Alien Aliens - no

Spock is referred to here, not by name, but it is the first contact we've had since "Encounter at Farpoint" with the original cast. Just thought I'd point that out.

Pat Robertson recently said that it was okay to leave a spouse dying of Alzheimer's, a statement which most of us found to be despicable. This episode is obviously meant to show us a reaction to Alzheimer's - one in which the family and friends of the person who is ill go out of their way to protect him to the point of hiding his illness from the one who has it. It is a fascinating and well-perfomed look at the emotional impact of the illness, as well as giving a great glimpse into the character of Sarek, his inner feelings and demons, and the love he always had that we always knew he had for his son - a love never stated until now.

TNG is still very much about Spock, and Sarek, and it is that, more than anything else that allows the new movie to work so beautifully, and to tie together the two ends of this very long emotional cord in an overwhelming display of what is right in the world now that the movie has happened. We could not save Vulcan or George or Amanda, but we were able to save a few things and change others for the better. Spock has now heard his father say he loves him - not in so many words, but maybe in this new timeline, Spock and his father will choose to meld, as they never did before.

We don't know much about the cause of Bendii. Certainly Shatner's books speculate on the disorder. But we know now what rests inside Sarek's calm exterior, and it makes even more poignant when he says, in TSFS, "My logic is uncertain where my son is concerned."

Damn straight.