Episode

236

Frame of Mind

Commander Riker is having a bad week. He may have gone insane! He may have killed a guy! He may have sided with his captors against Worf and Data! Or none of this may have happened. Take a spin with us as we put Frame of Mind in the Mission Log!

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Discussion

  • Dave Taylor

    Join Star Fleet. You could be abducted and mentally tortured, it’ll be fun.

  • CmdrR

    The one that gave me an irrational fear of knives. Next time, could Bev just do a revival of ‘Bye Bye Birdie?’ Honestly, this ep is one I would rather skip on rewatch. It’s depressing and seemingly pointless. I’m just not a fan of the ‘going nuts for your entertainment’ trope. I see the next two eps will be pushing it uphill, too. Ah well… great podcast.

  • Scrappy

    After Riker escaped from Worf and Data when they came to rescue him, how come he didn’t question why the guards can also see them if he thought he was hallucinating them?

  • gizmochimp

    I feel like this is the episode I’ve seen the most in syndication, just through random viewings and circumstance. I always feel “oh no, not THIS one again” but then I get sucked in. I think it holds up well and Frakes does a great job.

  • John Hart

    I know this is jumping the timeline, but does giving the Franklin the distinction of being the first earth ship to reach Warp Four eliminate the Enterprise from “Enterprise” being the ship to hit Warp Five? After all, they’re the same class.

    • The magazine confirms what I’d already thought – the Franklin had been retired but was pressed back into service and given a new registry number during/after the Romulan War. (Which is why I have it berthed next to my NX-01 refit – they look really cool side by side.)

    • and this is why I dislike..hmmm HATE prequels…lol,

  • Boy, do I feel silly…I pre-ordered my Franklin…and it just got here yesterday. But man, is it ever nice. And big. Neat to see the Loknar Class from the old FASA Star Trek RPG (or at least its pre-Kirk-era equivalent) brought to life (probably five people will remember what I’m talking about here).

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/96bcbc580830001dd2749a6307c896b21a35993a3ebf945fff00b94e3e52a774.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/060c86aace6b0a9dff82dad35ac7dfcbdcfda6ad38056537c6fedb21b89b6eab.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3668ed8f6a902015b290164f4d46696250fbecb1b517e9886978bab1b1ee5e7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/470bc4935860a154d7c41361ad3b756699e4cf7e847a952f0824b7d71929677f.jpg

    And yes, I totally flew it around the room trying to figure out the best camera angles. Whooshy warp engine noises and all. As you do.

  • Muthsarah

    I felt such crazy love for Ken during his breakdown of this ep. Yeah, dark, crazy, questioning reality. But so what? I want good character stuff. Or a solid, easy-to-grok story.

    I never liked mind-bendery, “what is real?”, dreams-within-dreams stories. They always feel like the writer wants us to think they’re so clever, but they are always being entirely arbitrary with when their dreams end and reality begins. For example, why did shooting himself not bring Riker into reality, and shooting the applauding audience didn’t either, but overloading the phaser and blowing up everything did (or maybe I mixed something up, it’s all arbitrary). There is no logic but the logic we are handed after the fact, and all other logical acts are lies, just because. Yeah, 95% of the episode is lies. Cool, I guess.

    No, I never saw Inception. I have known for years that I don’t like these arbitrary-everything stories, so why would I watch that? But, as the four spinning top references would suggest, I (and everyone else) was apparently supposed to get it.

    Good on Frakes for getting a great showcase for him to act crazy. I bet all actors salivate over such opportunities. And good on the Season One director for getting back on the saddle with a solid (and very popular) episode. But this goes in my personal pile of eps that seemingly everyone else but me loves. Give me a tale of political intrigue, an unexpected (if doomed) romance, or a new, significant wrinkle to add to a character’s profile, or an ensemble romp, comedic or otherwise.

    I’m with Ken (until his 11th hour conversion). This episode is fine, I guess. But it doesn’t leave me feeling any richer for the watching, and it all ends up feeling so…arbitrary and, thus, random and meaningless.

    • “Inception” vs “Shutter Island” vs “TNG”

  • Pete2174

    Always thought this was a bit meh upon first watch but after repeated viewings I admire Frakes performance. Odd to think there’s so few TNG episodes left.
    Kudos to Ken for quoting from one of the greatest films ever too. Can’t beat a bit of Flash Gordon!!!

  • My brother is schizophrenic. I was 11-12, he was 16-17 when he “broke”. Just never was normal again. We would visit him at locked facilities, then group homes, then sometimes back in locked facilities when he would hallucinate. He would threaten to burn our house down because he wasn’t allowed to leave w us anymore. Destroy walls, property…spray paint walls in his room…anyway, he was rarely brought up in conversation, and just a sad case all around. This episode was one that really made me think of what his life was like. People insisting he take medications, unable to go and do what he wants, but really unable to grasp why he was not an independent functional adult. So frustrating. Russel Crowe’s “A Beautiful Mind” was another movie that made me think of his situation. I would wonder when visiting, “What if I lost my visitor badge?”- could they keep me in this mental institution?- Simpsons S1 episode w “Michael Jackson”- Homer says, “I’m not crazy!, SEE, I got this hand stamp!”- or something to that effect. Mental illness has been tackled in a few episodes of Trek I think…hard to come up with them…hmmmm when Kirk was split in two personalities? Also “Turnabout Intruder”- or was that more gender identity. I recall a DS9 episode when O’Brien does “Hard Time”- mental psychic prison….- Anyway, San Diego has a HUGE homeless problem, many cities seem to buy tickets for their homeless and send them to San Diego due to our nice weather. In my opinion, sadly, many do need to be institutionalized for their own good to get them off the streets. Medicated or counseled or light forced work programs to keep them constructive and focused and weaned off drugs/alcohol. I liked this episode because it hit a pretty heavy serious topic, those tend to be my fave episodes of Trek.

    • Dave Taylor

      I appreciate your experiences.

      The issue with this show “dealing” with mental health is that it really is not Riker having mental health issues, but being messed with. As the guys mention, Dr. Crusher has a quick fix and next week there will be no repercussions with Riker’s adventure.

      • Yeah, they could have really hit the nail on the head by having a crewman suffer from PTSD after some battle or even just spontaneously go mad. Again, remembering DS9, S7, some Vulcan sniper snaps…crazy concept for Trek, but BooM!!!! literally….

        • Dave Taylor

          Yes. Shows today are more willing to show the hero cast as vulnerable and broken for more than ten minutes.

  • Toni M

    Most of the online chatter about this episode seems to reflect how great it is so I thought I was in the minority because I have never liked it, to the point that it is one of a handful of episodes that I will turn off when it is shown. Interesting to see the comments below that I am apparently not the only one who finds it unpleasant, mostly for the sake of being unpleasant. And this is coming from someone who generally likes dark storytelling.

  • Derwood

    SERIOUSLY LAUGHED OUT LOUD when all Riker wanted was Pepsi and they wouldn’t give it to him. Brilliant.

  • Elijah

    John! You killed me, man!! I always feel so much more invested in the stage productions I’m a part of when I pick up a hammer or paint-brush and help build the set. ((It also helps avoid mean looks from the crew)) 😛

    • Hahaha 🙂 I knew the other theatre nerds would come after me! I still say let the holodeck do it!

  • Kristian Marie Kbot McKee

    My very favorite trek episode ever!!!!

  • John Anderton

    Yes, great Frakes acting. Who knew he could do this? Take these guys out of the straight jacket of TNG (no pun intended), and they can act.

    But there is really no point to this episode. No exploration of Riker’s real character or who he is, or his history. Instead it is a bunch of manipulative plot twists. And also, Riker’s reaction of fear and his rejection of his friends is simply not consistent with TNG. When Picard woke up in the Inner Light he simply expected aliens captured him. He didn’t go crazy. This happens so often it is standard.