The Enterprise answers a distress call from an unidentified ship at Galorndon Core. Turns out the ship was Romulan, and the one Romulan survivor is not doing well. More Romulans are on the way to pick him up – even if they have to cross the Neutral Zone to get him. Well, him and that other Romulan Geordi found. In short, there are many Romulans. But are they all bad? Find out when we put The Enemy in the Mission Log.
Tags: Andreas Katsulas, Bochra, David Carson, David Kemper, Galorndon Core, John Snyder, Michael Piller, Neutral Zone, neutrino beacon, Patahk, ribosome, Romulan, Steven Rankin, The Enemy, The Next Generation, The Next Generation Season 3, TNG, Tomalak, transfusion
“Well, if we’re ripping off Enemy Mine, let’s be blatant and almost call it the same thing.”
“Sure, I wonder how many times Trek will do this story?”
“Once per franchise, at least.”
once per franchise…? hmmm for DS9 is it “Waltz”? thinking of TOS…hmm “Arena”?
If Wor had given the Romulan his blood. The Romulan would have probably killed himself.
back when this aired, I thought Worf would donate just to piss of the Romulan…
One of my favorite episodes!! for these reasons…
1. the intro scene/music, very methodical building beat, not overly orchestral like S1.
2. Geordi time! next to Crusher, the most under developed character of the WHOLE show imo. Good to see him get creative and use his survival skills to make those spikes!!
3. VISOR use! great to see his perspective….but this is where we realize they went CHEAP on those visuals. nothing as cool as we saw in “Heart of Glory”- that was a really amazing perspective….
4. Romulans! we get to see Starfleet interact w/ them- and the start of a small sampling of continuity arcs..sadly horribly underutilized throughout TNG as well know
5. Picard vs Tomalak….I think Tomalak should have been used at least 2 more times in the series over all, would have been great, but I guess he was busy w Babylon 5.
6. Worf stuck to his guns..good for you… a little medical ethics squeezed in as well. If the Romulan didn’t want the transfusion, Don’t do it Crusher!! not your decision…also, I recall wondering if Worf would donate just to spite the Romulan…or donate and the guy still die…and Worf feel disgusting w himself…glad he didn’t give in… Thanks again for another fun perk to my Thursdays at work guys!!
another thing I liked was the set…mud, rain, water getting really DIRTY! another first as far as I can recall. The dry sterile fake desert scenes from TOS and S1 seemed fake to the point of absurdity. This dark foggy scene felt big! and dangerous…dark and foreboding….
Andreas Katsulas “Commander Tomalak” also on Executive Decision w Kurt Russel and then Babylon 5 & the Fugitive w Harrison Ford. RIP 2006
another thing…looking back it is a reminder of how we can make friends w former enemies…comparing to the US who hated Japan and Germany and now they are close allies. Thinking of Romulan issues and the “the Undiscovered Country…the future…” it make you think about current enemies and what will it be like in 50 years…
Interesting parallel between A and B arcs:
Geordi has faith in the “adjust the beacon to escape” plan. His faith falters when he goes blind. His Romulan companion restores his faith in the plan by offering to be his eyes.
Worf has faith in his decision not to help an enemy. Everyone around him is telling him he’s wrong. He talks to the Romulan and they have the “you’ll die without a transplant from me” “I’d rather die” “Well, then, today’s your lucky day because you’re not getting it” exchange. So the Romulan essentially restores his faith in his “I hate you, you hate me” philosophy.
So, in the end, they have the same arc when dealing with a Romulan enemy, but to opposite results.
Even then, Worf still gave Picard a fairly simple out, because clearly Worf could’ve still refused the order, had he been given it, but he did promise to follow it if it was. “I’ll go against my code and given the donation, if you’ll go against your code and order it.” I guess it wasn’t all that important to Picard, then, that the Romulan lived. Issuing the order wasn’t that big of an ask from Picard.
So they have Faith of the Heart? 🙂
“I could order you” Could you Picard? I’m pretty sure he couldn’t in today’s military which means Federation strip people of their personhood more than the US modern military does.
Also, Worf is actually the moral one here, accidentally. The Romulan doesn’t want Worf’s blood in him. Picard and Beverly is going against ethics by trying to force it.
Another thing to consider is that whether or not the Romulan was saved doesn’t matter. It would be an excuse for war. If they force him that could be seen as offensive to them. If they let him die that could be seen as offensive. So either way it goes isn’t really any better for them.
Yet another thing to consider is that it isn’t like Worf is doing the John Travolta strut on the Enterprise. He’s the first Klingon in starfleet and they shift crew every few months which means that he’s probably always getting some sort of odd looks and people avoiding him.
Lastly, Enemy mine I think was a better telling of this story which came out a few years prior. Still a good rendition, but it is pretty much ripping off that.
ooh yeah, the “you would not have existed in our culture” thing happes much more explicitly in a later episode where Geordi blatantly points it out as he saves the planet with the tech that was created specifically for him the blind.
You can order a subordinate to their death (Troi’s Commander’s exam), so I’m not surprised to hear that Picard could order Worf to donate blood.
You could order someone to their death. But they do not have to obey. They can mutiny and betray, and ordering someone to certain death might be a good reason to jump ship. Desertion, treason might apply but hey….one thing to be ordered into battle, but different if it is certain death….
I think the “Enemy Mine” analogy only works if they spent much more time on the planet. Military people have the right to refuse procedures and treatment, and Picard was out of line to hint at that…bad Captain Picard!! Medical ethics…yup, the patient has the right to refuse. Let them! I know it’s nitpicking, but Crusher didn’t “let” him die. The Romulans yes would have played it that way…..fool Romulan should not have crashed on the planet! lol
it would have been interesting in the light of “Measure of a Man” if Picard HAD ordered Worf to donate only to have HIM threaten to resign his commission over it. Of course the Romulan redshirt could still die offscreen so they wouldn’t have had to really make the hard choice, but it might have given Picard a little insight into Maddox’s side of things.
Picard ordering anyone to donate, would not have been in character. This is why he was an excellent, character, captain, role model. In “Measure of a Man”, “The Enemy”, “The Offspring”, “The Drumhead”- too many to list, Picard stands for the little guy. The individual to self determine. Choice….
Given the threat of war, he just might. He would not have liked doing it, but he knows the stakes.
This is a tiny thing, but… John’s obviously not a Babylon 5 fan; G’Kar is pronounced with a soft g.
Yeah, our universal translator doesn’t speak Narn.
Of course not. To translate Narn you’d need a Multiversal Translator. Silly monoversal being.
Need to download Interlac.
I wonder if you guys assumed too much about Bochra’s comment about defective children. He didn’t specifically say they killed children, he implied that they weren’t allowed to live. This could simply mean that they were terminated before they were ever born.
This is actually a more thorny ethical question that we as humans have not really worked out yet. Would you morally condemn a woman for choosing to terminate a fetus because it is determined to suffer from a serious condition, like permanent blindness? Would you morally condemn a society in which this was a routine choice? Is it moral to encourage or discourage such a practice? I submit that there are not yet obvious answers to these questions, and they would be up for consideration as interesting ethical questions if you don’t assume Bochra was talking about killing children.
I sadly think it meant they either kill or withdraw feedings support from seriously handicapped infants. “Your parents allowed you to live?” seems clear to me. I guess the grey area is what is serious enough to consider an abortion or letting an infant die? Severely disabled, missing limbs or organs or brain damaged seem pretty reasonable to me, but that’s just me. Ultimately, I think it wasn’t an ethical statement on abortion, but more a testament to how no nonsense and warrior like Romulus is….
Geordie says, “I was born that way,” to which Bochra says, “And they allowed you to live?” If the issue being commented on in the scene were whether to abort a pregnancy upon discovery of defects in the fetus, Bochra would not have said, “AND they allowed you to live [after Geordie had already been born],” but rather, “They allowed you to be born that way?”
Granted, it would make sense that in the 24th Century, defects such as Geordie’s would be discovered in utero, but there’s no mention of that in this scene. So, I think we have to conclude that the social commentary being made here is with regard to defective children being “allowed to live” after they are born and their birth defects become apparent.
Worf knew the Romulan didn’t want Klingon blood in him, and were the situation reversed, he’d say the same. Worf respected the integrity of the Romulan as a person and as a warrior, as well as maintained his enmity towards Romulans for the sake of his dead family. By his ethical standards, he did the right thing.
agreed. Worf did right by himself and the Romulan as well. The human softness and “moral imperative” coupled w a naïve fear of death is what separates Worf from his peers.
Netrino Bacon? Sounds like something Quark or Nelix would cook.
Patahk made his choice clear about his medical options. Why does Warf have any decision to make? Do patients not have a right to refuse treatment in the 24th? Way to use tension between alien races to sidestep that issue.
Right at the beginning, when Geordi is shouting out of the pit he’s in, I thought, “Man, shoot your phaser up out of the hole to attract Riker’s attention!” It seemed so obvious. I also liked when Worf found the injured Romulan and then he came to and Worf had to punch him. When Riker finally arrived, I wanted Worf to say, “Er — he seems to be unconscious, sir.”
Why was Georgi climbing along another cliff over a lake after he climbed out of the hole? That seemed random. And why, when he gets clobbered by the younger Romulan is the pre-commercial break music the THX sound effect? Hmmmm…. I was impressed to see that the Romulan had the presence of mind to wear rubber boots to that planet — the Thunderstorm and Fog planet. Love those mono-ecology planets.
Your conversation reminded me of two conversations I’ve had about people’s burial wishes.
The first I had with my mom and sister. My mom’s wishes are very basic: donate what you can and burn the rest. She finds the idea of taking up space or resources after she is dead to be utterly wasteful (she’s always been a very practical woman). My sister, however, is horrified by the idea and has gotten upset by this. “Where will we go to grieve you?!” Of course, we could grieve our mother in any number of places, but to her, there is something about the physicality of it all. She wants a tangible piece of our mother to be left behind- even if it is not *really* relevant to our mother any longer.
The second, I had with a friend. She says that she is not planning to donate organs and wants to be buried intact. The idea of her body parts being used by someone else “creeps her out.” I tried to argue that she won’t care when she’s dead- “but I know now” was her response. The idea of her physical essence being out in the world someday just wasn’t something she could live with.
Both my friend and my sister are being irrational, in my opinion. But I think it reflects on something deeper. Our physical body is the most basic thing we have in this world. The fact that we have intense, deep-rooted, perhaps even not-fully-understood feelings about them makes sense.
Worf, in this episode, couldn’t bring himself to be pragmatic or rational when it came to his physical essence being used to save an enemy. Just as Riker got overemotional and indignant about being asked to donate cells for cloning.
We have complicated feelings towards our physical bodies, I like that the episode didn’t have an easy ending.