Second Chances

Riker adores a jazz quartet, the holodeck and has Troi regret… and so does the other Riker. This week, Will meets Thomas, and we learn more about roads not taken when Second Chances goes into the Mission Log.

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  1. Dave Taylor says:

    I’m sure Thomas and Troi will keep in touch. I’m sure we will hear lots from him later on in the series. 😉

  2. CmdrR says:

    Listening now, so you may address this…
    If Nervala IV is only accessible for a few hours every eight years, how did Starfleet build a big old lab/base down there. Also… why?

    Good thing this wasn’t the same transporter glitch as The Enemy Within… or you’d have Bad Will and Goodwill.

  3. Stanley F. Bronstein says:

    Only seen half of the Full Riker … Nice comment …

  4. Jason8957 says:

    Now, if this was a transporter accident that created two Rikers, shouldn’t we see a short-tempered, irrational Riker with no moral compass and a lethargic, spineless, indecisive Riker?

    Also, when Wil Riker and Troi get married, was Thomas not invited or was he seated down at the end of the table next to Wesley?

    Data seems confused about the problem with Riker discovering that he has a double and how he feels about that. Too bad Data can’t draw on personal experience in this situation.

    • Kevman7987 says:

      Wasn’t he in Cardassian prison?

      • Jason8957 says:

        I didn’t realize that we ever heard from Thomas Riker again. I have not seen much of Deep Space 9

        • Muthsarah says:

          It’s worth seeking out the Season 2 episode “Defiant”. I think you’d be fine going in with only the barest minimum DS9 knowledge. The first three seasons are pretty continuity-light. I’m sure the episode was meant as a way to introduce skeptical TNG fans to DS9 to begin with.

          • Jason8957 says:

            I started to watch the first season of Deep Space 9 when it came on TV, but it seemed to be more like Deep Space 90210 and I gave up on it. I know the later seasons introduced a lot of different story arcs, but I just never got back to it. I guess I will be getting to it before too much longer though.

        • deaddropsd says:

          Spoiler Alert!!

  5. Steve Sheridan says:

    It was good to see Commander Riker finally “come to grips” with his counterpart. #keepclimbing

  6. Steve Peters says:

    I have to disagree with Ken’s statement that Thomas is Will Riker from 8 years ago. He isn’t. He’s had eight (or however many, I forget) years of experiences. Solitary ones, but still experiences. He’s had a lot more time for inward reflection than Will has. If Will had gone into a monastery instead of taking an assignment on the Enterprise, he would be a very different person, no?

    Love the show, guys!

    • Dave Taylor says:

      At that point they were the same, but yes, eight years apart would have brought a lot of changes

    • Scrappy says:

      Agreed. When Beverly was reading his brain patterns (or whatever she was doing), she said that the brain patterns were based on experience. How could both Rikers have the same brain patterns or waves? Those solitary eight years would be enough change any person.

    • Konservenknilch says:

      Yeah, that was also my thought. Not only different experiences, but for Gold Riker eight years of complete solitude, which could have left him mentally damaged or at least in serious need of therapy until he jumps headlong into a new relationship. Diana is also eight years older, so she can’t live up to the image in his head anyway. If only the Enterprise had some kind of counselor… oh yeah, we don’t have Guinan anymore, pity.

      • deaddropsd says:

        Yes, they should have had Tom’s hair and beard be a bit crazier and longer and him be a bit skittish or wild eyed for longer….

    • David Wright says:

      I take Ken’s side since Tom didn’t change in 8 years of solitude. Maybe there was a secret holodeck that Tom didn’t want anyone to find…

  7. gizmochimp says:

    I can see why they decided not to kill off Will, but that would been a mindblowing shift in the series. I wouldn’t mind seeing that alternate timeline. This episode is great for finally moving the Troi/Riker story forward. One of the best from this season.

  8. Kevman7987 says:

    I wonder if Gold Riker received the same promotion that Crimson Riker received thanks to Nervala IV? They both had completed the same heroics that got Crimson the promotion. I’d hope that Starfleet wouldn’t decide that they only give out one promotion per person and that’s why he joins the Maquis.

    • Dave Taylor says:

      He should get the promotion. And for keeping the station going on his own for so long.

  9. Kevman7987 says:

    If there were another me, there’d be immediate hi-five, low-five and we’d go together to get pizza. I’d be my own best friend.

  10. Dave Taylor says:

    1- Just finished the podcast. Imagine killing off Riker. 😱 Shocked. I wish they were more willing to kill off a few major characters just to keep us guessing.
    My rewrite: When they are over the cavern, Thomas is on top and lets Will fall to his death. Quick shirt change and he takes over as Commander Riker.

    2- Do you think when Will and Troi finally get married, they sent Thomas an invite?

    3- So glad Beverly brushed up on how to tell if someone is a clone.

    4- So glad Thomas Riker has no lasting mental issues from being alone for 8 years.

  11. Durakken says:

    Imagine being Troi with 2 Rikers in your head all day…That she is still sane by the end of the episode is impressive of her…


    Why is Riker going to fix things? That is Geordi’s and Datas’ job… William Riker makes no sense. He is older and its not his job. Maybe you send Thomas because he might have changed something, but both Data and Geordi would be able to fix it better and such….


    Data’s analysis of Riker’s situation is interesting. That has to be what he feels about Lore or he thinks Lore feels that way.


    The Transporter actually works differently from what we’re told how it works in just about every episode, other than these clone episodes. It’s annoying v.v Especially in this episode because the idea is that the matter stream bounces back to the planet and keeps on going to the ship… and somehow both have enough matter to make up the person, it uses the idea but also makes no sense within the idea. Oh well v.v


    It is mentioned that Thomas will always be in Will’s shadow, but this exact duplicate poses a security risk because supposes one of them gets promoted to Captain or Admiral, the other biometrically has access to all the information that the other “admiral” has, despite the other’s position, including if he’s a criminal. So any promotion now has to consider that. Good thing Passwords are so long and annoying in the 24th century ^.^ (This comes up in a future episode slightly if I remember right but they never touch on this aspect of this)


    The Unexamined Life quote is Socrates.


    Thomas seems like a child in this episode…
    Tom: “Why haven’t married Deanna and become a captain?!”
    Will: “Cuz trying to be promoted takes sacrifices….”
    Every adult should know this, but we’re expected to think that Tom is this petulant… I’d expect a child to think like this, not someone who has the mentality of Will Riker, especially not the Will Riker from right before he had to sacrifice one or the other and then having sacrificed, unwillingly it might have been, to do his duty on the planet he got stuck.


    Congratulations on commenting on why the Bechdel test is nonsense, even when a movie/show/whatever passes it, it says nothing about presenting good stories or good characters, female or otherwise.


    The AI voice over outro made me think of a parody called “Power Rikers”… Red Riker, Yellow Riker, Blue Riker, etc. All with their own ships 😀

    • deaddropsd says:

      Yup the biometrics sure comes up. The original idea of killing Will, promoting Data and Tom coming aboard would have been really original imo!!!

  12. deaddropsd says:

    Tom should have had a HUGE beard to emphasize the difference at first! Thhheeeen he could trim it to match Will’s. That always bugged me to have exact same hairstyle at first meeting. Sigh.

  13. Scrappy says:

    I think they wrote this episode as if no time had passed for Thomas. The problem is they couldn’t use the ‘stuck in transporter buffer’ plot device, like they did in Relics, again.

  14. mc900 says:

    I had to tap out– Gold Will – Red Will- Gold Will- Red Will …. Clever at first and then it became too much.

  15. knut says:

    I Think We’re Alone Now was Tommy James and the Shondells

  16. Earl Green says:

    I can understand why “killing Will, keeping Tom aboard” is the road not taken. As interesting as it sounds in the age of binge watching, the nature of nightly strip syndication at the time was such that you had no guarantee episodes would be replayed in the correct order. On a more fundamental level than that, though, the audience has a lot invested in Will Riker at this point. These days, we might take it in stride and chat online about how gutsy this is, but audience expectations were different in the early ’90s (though I’d contend that changes in those expectations were around the corner soon thanks to the likes of Babylon 5 and Buffy, and of course Deep Space Nine). I fear that it would’ve been too much like the time on Voyager where they kill Harry Kim and then effortlessly put a Harry from a slightly alternate timeline in his place and everything’s okay – just a clumsy and pointless way of undoing a “death” that took place just to give the act out into commercial break some extra oomph.

    An interesting idea, but probably one to confine to novels or comics in some sort of “Elseworlds” format.

    • Roger Birks says:

      Do not the transporter keep churning out duplicates of the same person constantly?

      I do think it was a good idea to not kill Will Riker. I liked that character. So do many others!

  17. David Wright says:

    Fascinating concept of meeting yourself 8 years ago. But it was handled in a very soap opera way, and the writers couldn’t really come up with an exciting story to wrap around it. It was also contrived – oh that’s what Riker’s relationship with Troi was like? So why aren’t they having a relationship now? Contrivance is fine if you want some deep character moments. But most of the milage comes from viewers already interested in TNG.

  18. Mike Serpa says:

    I’m only half way through watching this episode. Maybe this has been brought up before, but I’m watching Red Riker pull his shirt down while he’s seated. Why can’t Starfleet get a uniform that doesn’t constantly have to be pulled down. Isn’t there a monoculture planet of good tailors somewhere they could use?

  19. Ascarion says:

    “The Enemy Within” in German translation is called “Kirk : 2 = ?”. Guess what this episode was translated to. If you guessed “Riker : 2 = ?”, you would have been correct. 😀