The time of Locutus has passed, though it is still taking its toll on Captain Picard. With the Enterprise getting repairs in Earth’s orbit, Jean Luc decides to go to his ancestral home in France. All he has to figure out now is why he has gone home, and whether he ever wants to leave again. Also – It is bring Worf’s parents to work day (unbeknownst to Worf). All of that and Wes gets a message from the past. So much to talk and talk and talk about when we put Family in the Mission Log.

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  • 1. Gene Roddenberry was against an episode that fleshed out characters? WoW. Old school of thought vs new and better storytelling. Starting to make sense now a la “People vs George Lucas” lol.
    2. I wish there coulda been an explanation as to why so many people w British accents were in La Barre.
    3. I liked the Russian station touch
    4. Show EARTH for crying out loud! Vulcan, Qo’Nos. show more!!
    5. Great episode. Needed more of these. Every episode can’t be “alien of the week”. Character development is key. Thanks DS9! (can’t wait) !!!!

  • CmdrR

    I love the expansion of these characters. I recently wrote a Scotty story for the Strange New Worlds contest… and in doing it realized what a blank canvass he is. I found room to talk about his childhood, his family, his hometown, and his pre-Starfleet career… with barely a clue from canon. Turns out Scotty is much more than genius-tinkerer/drunken Scotsman. I feel the same way while watching this ep. We learn so much about characters who — face it — could be two dimentional. Love TOS, but the characters are largely 2D. Hell, we NEVER hear about Spock’s brother in 79 eps and the first four movies… then Sybok shows up and dies, never to be mentioned again. In TOS, Sulu has no first name. Fans know McCoy is divorced, but it’s NEVER discussed. Etc. etc.. So… VERY WELCOME ep. (And good podcast, too!)

    • I agree. The fleshing out of characters seems largely neglected w the old style of story telling from the 60s to 80s. I like how DS9 broke that mold. I think even cursory allusions to background details of characters can have such an effect. We don’t always need to have guest stars, but mentioning a traumatic experience, a la O’Brien and the Cardassians in a previous war, really add to the depth of the character and can be developed over the years…just like they did w Miles O’Brien….

  • Lou Dalmaso

    WOW! I would have much rather seen the outlined story than the b-plot of Worf’s family. and the blight problem was more compelling than the “under sea adventure” bit they used in the show. I must say that that it was Picard’s breakdown to his brother that really sealed my love of the Picard character. It always seemed to me that before this, the little moments when Picard would let his armor down were either forced or the result of alien tampering or done by “impostor” Picards. Not as real as
    this was.

    • CmdrR

      I agree about Robert. He’s not being the bully. He’s being the big brother Jean Luc remembers from childhood, so he can offer the same kind of advice he probably use to do.

    • Not a bully? So “he needed it so it’s not really abuse” or “don’t think of it as a beating, think of it as really painful love?” They’re adults. If this had been happening in a romantic relationship, we would be calling it abuse.

      • Lou Dalmaso

        I disagree. Jean-Luc is a grown ass man, in charge of his own agency. This is clearly not any sort of “domestic abuse”. You can call it tough love if you like, but there was no hint that Jean-luc was there under any sort of duress or actually feared his brother beyond his childhood memories. and yes, I do think he needed to be “snapped back” to his senses. Sometimes the best thing your family or friends can do for you after a tragedy is to be the first to stop treating you like a fragile egg shell

        • I think the key difference is that they are brothers. Kinda like siblings can say, dare and go places others cannot. It’s just different especially w men who want to settle things…. bully, jerk- whatever it’s labeled, if there is an ulterior positive motive, that cancels out the negative imo, short of serious injury…..
          regarding the age/appearance difference, perhaps Jean-Luc took advantage of high tech health options that Robert did not, like botox,special vitamins etc….and yes Robert was out in the sun a lot…hahaha

          • Durakken

            Just as a follow up… you must be careful with “ulterior positive motive” reasoning. World peace is “positive” motive, but nuking and killing everyone doesn’t suddenly become justified.

          • Lol. More like interpersonal relationships for cathartic improvements. Like getting drunk, arguing, going for a run or workout to get it out of your system or out in the open. Sisko’s “Pale Moonlight” however would be a great example of the military example. Scary! Man the Prime Directive needs to be followed more! Lol

      • Durakken

        Many people would call it abuse, but they’d be wrong.It’s not abuse.
        Let me be clear.

        Abuse is something that is alright to do but you are misusing, taking advantage, or overusing it.

        If I have a room of things and say it’s ok to borrow things from there… and then you take everything, or never return things, or continuously take things to the point where it’s damaging to me, it is abuse, but if you just borrow things from time to time it’s not.

        Hitting/bullying some one is either never ok or not abuse in the way you’re using it. Hitting/Bullying is sometimes the best and most expedient and moral way to solve a problem. Not always, but there are occassions that it is perfectly acceptable. It takes someone being reasonable unbiasedly discerning person to determine whether something is abuse. In the case of the Picard brother’s it is not abusive and would not be abusive no matter what the sexes are or the context of the relationship… just taking into account the current situation. Taking in the full relationship of the Picard brothers it may not be a healthy relationship however, no matter the sexes either, but we’re only given a vague snippet of that relationship that would be wrong to judge the whole on.

        If you, on the other hand, consider hitting anyone ever for whatever reason, then it’s not abuse in that case because it’s not permissible at all and as such cannot be “abused” to begin with…

        Was Robert immoral for bullying Jean-Luc? No. He knows his brother and what he is doing and it is clear he is doing acting to get a particular action and he is acting in good faith. Is he wrong to act that way? Probably. The reasoning is right. The ability to discern when it is right or wrong to act that way is not so easy to come by and he probably doesn’t have it as most of us do not.

        Was Jean-Luc immoral to hit Robert? Yes and No. There are a number of ways that Jean-Luc could have handled that situation where it would have ended it without physical confrontation and as such it is an immoral choice, unless several other factors come into play such as if Picard, in the back of his mind knew Robert was trying to get that reaction and Robert was actually trying to get that reaction…or the mental math of morality actually favors the action which we can’t say for certain, but it probably does given his family life and position in starfleet.
        Was Jean-Luc wrong to have hit Robert? Nope. If he had not hit Robert with the constant upping of aggressiveness that Robert was doing the Jean-Luc would have died, not a physical death, but he’d be a shell of the man he was and would not belong in any position of authority.

        • violence w a purpose can be beneficial. Just gotta be judicious. Are you listening Commander Riker?!!?? poor Yuta….:(

  • Troy Brooks

    Am I the only one who hated this episode? Even though everything I still don’t understand why Captain Picard went to stay with his family, and don’t even get me started on the stupid trope of brothers who hate each other until the fight then get drunk.
    Worf’s family could have been interesting if we could have heard some of the talks they had with other crew members, it always cut away right after the “can we talk to you about Worf?” But I don’t understand why they had to talk to everyone on the ship BEFORE talking to Worf.
    I don’t automatically hate talky episodes, but this seems like more talking than was necessary.

    • hated it? awww man…it wasn’t perfect, but it’s one of the few episodes that helped develop some characters and give them depth. I was happy to see Worf’s adoptive parents. I think Picard’s family could have been better but hey…..imo, they could have stayed on Earth for TWO! episodes and give Riker,LaForge, Troi and Crusher more time to see old friends….since Earth is “far” away…..

      • Troy Brooks

        At least give me the “brothers fight, drink, and make up” was stupid

        • Yes, that would have been more believable if it a bit younger, or already drunk!

        • Muthsarah

          I, for one, wasn’t aware that was a trope. What other movies and TV have used that?

        • Lou Dalmaso

          may have been a bit forced, but it does happen.

    • Lou Dalmaso

      Is it possible they asking around to size up whether Worf would be up to the task of taking on Alexander? I’m hazy on the time line here, did the Rochenko’s have Alexander by then? Were the writers planning that story that far out?

      • no. Alexander was not dropped off by K’ylehr until later in S4. I think they knew of the discommendation/ex-communication and just didn’t want to ask Worf yet….

  • trekord

    This episode is one of my favorites because we finally get a peek underneath Picard’s amour to see him as a real person who is struggling to understand himself. As opposed to the always self-assured person whom the crew relies upon.

    • I think anytime we get to go deeper into these characters it is a WIN. I really got tired of Data, Worf stories, or at least I felt like Crusher, LaForge and Troi were so neglected it was sad for those actors. sigh..the limitations of storytelling in that syndicated world….

  • “Rene” David Birkin

  • “Helena Rozhenko” Georgia Brown

  • “Sergey Rozhenko” Theodore Bikel RIP 2015

  • “Robiere Picard” Jeremy Kemp

  • “Marie Picard” Samantha Eggar

  • I am still trying to identify this guy!! lol- sorry, not from the episode “Family”, this pic is from “Evolution”- if anyone knows let me know….

  • Muthsarah

    Yeah, you guys said so much about this episode, there’s nothing left for me. It’s a gem. It fleshes out two (maybe three, but I’m not convinced) of its principles. And, to my everlasting delight, it transcends the series’ formula, but in a way that only makes the series and its characters feel more real.

    The drawback of the anthology show is feeling like nothing really matters, because nothing really changes and, above all, nothing lasts. Anything we felt during one episode matters not a bit in any future ones, which just ends up negating those feelings entirely. “Family” makes it clear that the events of one past episode at least will always resonate, will always be lurking at the back of PIcard’s mind, and thus, it should do the same in ours. That alone does more to make Picard feel more like a real guy, and not just a stock character in a drama/sci-fi series. Similar with Worf’s years-long arc starting with “Sins of the Father”.

    At this point, TNG is emotionally a fully mature show, more than just a space adventure serial. I won’t knock soap operas for…well, I just won’t here, but their daily/weekly continuity does help to sell the characters as people living their own lives and not just as cogs serving a plot (as with Riker in “The Vengeance Factor”). Even next week’s episode has a role in continuity, past and future, that fleshes out two familiar characters while introducing (finally) a third.

    I love the soap opera touches of this episode. Probably more than any other episode, it makes TNG feel like a show built around characters, and not just a show WITH characters.

    And Ken, after “The Bonding”, “The Defector”, and now “Family”, are you finally ready to give Ron Moore his due props for being such a fantastic writer, especially of characters?

    • Great analysis again! I would have like Picard to show effects of the Borg/depression at least twice more in the remaining 3 years for continuity. Bummer how they neatly wrapped so many plot concepts w little or no future follow up. A recurring flaw of the time.

  • Durakken

    I found the dialog between Warf and O’brien interesting in 1 particular way…
    Warf blames his mother’s lateness on her being human.
    O’brien blames it on her being a woman.

    All of the Crusher scenes, Beverly and Wesley were just meh and would have been better if they were left on the cutting room floor in favor of more Warf or Picard scenes. They could have taken up this thread elsewhere.

    This episode was written really well…


    Robert’s character seems off to me because people aren’t randomly jerks and people like Robert aren’t usually that petty, but if we assume that Robert is putting on an act, amping up his normal character and bullying Jean-Luc on purpose, or maybe not on purpose but because he is disappointed, then it makes a lot more sense, because what Robert is doing then becomes the stone upon which Jean-Luc is supporting himself on. This interpretation can be said to be alluded to by several things said in the episode, by Robert. Especially when they’re talking about the borg and what they did to Jean-Luc. That is Robert saying “Hey my brother doesn’t tuck tale and run home, just because someone is bullying him” When Jean-Luc starts the fight with Robert that is out of character for the diplomat, but very much in keeping with the core of the character we’ve seen over the series at this point… that he doesn’t stand down, even in the face of Nausicans that are likely going to kill him if he keeps going or Nearly Omnipotent that can do anything to him. That moment is the death of Locutus and the rebirth of Jean-Luc.


    Warf’s father… Anyone else feel like they were writing for Scotty to be in that role?

    • lol-…you mean “Worf” buddy! Yes, I think the breakdown and rebirth concept is appropriate, but I do wish Picard had a few mental lapses or breakdowns at least 2 before “First Contact”, nothing so big as to warrant him losing command, but at least a good talking w Crusher or Troi or Guinan to get perspective….

      • Durakken

        No no, he’s warf, because he is without peer!

        But seriously, I never remember which way it is spellt.

        I love this episode, because it is a “Star Trek” episode despite what Rodenberry thought, because Star Trek isn’t about “fighting and fornicating” as he and JJ seem to think. I don’t know how I would describe it but ST gives off a vibe like any piece does and while there are a few episodes that are dischordant with that vibe, this is not one of them, probably because the core of sci-fi and ST is something along the lines of how we relate and deal with amazing and terrific situations caused by technology. Sometimes that is just talking, sometimes it is hitting a button, other times it’s fighting and fornicating, but it’s all about deal with situations created by technology. The whole of the Federation is a situation created by technology even, considering that it originates on Earth and Earth is the way it is because it suddenly figured out something to give infinite food and energy to the world, before then it was influenced by Gene Manipulation, not just eugenics, but the technology to go in and take gene one place and put them elsewhere (eugenics is a much broader term). It’s all about technology and dealing with it.

        • I think the technology is really a matter of perspective. What we have now is magically high tech compared to the centuries before. I think the same problems humanity has had will always linger despite Gene’s optimistic view. I hope we can at least get a united Earth govt to tackle global issues, but jealousy, war, greed will still be around. I just hope we don’t Skynet or Cylon ourselves into becoming an endangered species.

          • Durakken

            Technology is science applied. Magic is things that appear to have no order to them. The Technology is only needed to specify the difference from fantasy. This is also the difference from Science-Fantasy like Star Wars which has “technology” but it is used in a way just as a replacement to Magic… ie those things that really have no order to them…

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      I totally agree that Robert was probably putting on an act. I hope in normal, everyday life before and after Picard leaves that he is not such a jerk.

  • Spencer K

    How did Worf’s father know that O’Brien is a non-comm? The uniform O’Brien wears is the same as anyone else’s and he has two pips.

    • this was a flaw w the show. Not until DS9 did they actually give O’Brien a different kind of rank. The creators of the show just neglected the entire rank structure for enlisted members of the crew. In “The Drumhead” they grill/interview “crewman” Simon Tarses. I don’t recall if they gave him a “first class” rank of petty officer…but it was just a design flaw to the show….let me check Netflix real quick…

    • in “The Drumhead” S4 E21 @ 15:15 “Simon Tarses, crewman first class, medical technician”- he has no pips on his collar. They really never established a way to distinguish any enlisted ranks. Very shortsighted in my opinion considering any true ship, would need to be heavily staffed by enlisted ranks. Just doesn’t make sense to have sooooooo many officers if we are going of traditional ranking schemes. The security no name guys shouldn’t be officers if they are just Worf’s extra muscle. A few episodes back, Durakken went through an algorithm to figure out how many officers and crew would be typical for a Galaxy class vessel w 1000 on board extrapolated from the crew of the USS Voyager’s 150. it was interesting! Of course the rank structure model/paradigm maybe different in TNG, but damn, it just seems sooooo brass heavy. Ugh, unrealistic imo and impractical. beginners in Starfleet could be crewman, petty officer 3rd class, PO second class, PO first class. then Chief Petty Officer, Senior Chief Petty officer then leave it there….would have made more sense..but oh well…

      • Dave Steph Taylor

        Do we really care about anyone other than are bridge crew? I seriously doubt Picard even knows their names. 😉

        Seriously though, I agree that the command structure does seem a bit loose. Except for a few recurring characters like O’Brien, the writers simply did not worry about giving them positions and titles

        • yet another reason I liked DS9…supporting tech staff…mild friction between officer and enlisted…wide array of 2nd and 3rd tier supporting cast….

    • and don’t get me started on no name tags!!! How can you properly address Starfleet members you do not know? geeeeez..it’s silly! also, the universal translator..ONE episode could have at least explained that they have microchips implanted transdermal type to translate other languages!! I think it might be referenced in DS9, but I can’t recall…in “Darmok” maybe they do…hmmmmm

  • Bruce Aguilar

    My favorite STTNG episode. Getting a deeper peek into these characters
    is not only very welcome but necessary. The Best of Both Worlds stated
    without question that this was a fully original Trek but “Family” sealed
    the deal.

    • Agreed. Fleshing out characters was so rarely done in TNG imo, especially in comparison w DS9

  • Dave Steph Taylor

    What a change of pace from “The best of Both Worlds.”

    It was nice to see a bit about Picard’s family life and the dynamic with his brother.

    I disliked Worf’s adopted parents, they were written/played poorly. I did love the interaction between Worf and O’Brien.

  • wry observer of folly

    Bit of trivia. We all know that this is the one episode of nextgen where we don’t see the bridge.
    I just realise that there’s no sign of Data!