Time Squared


Time Squared

Captain Picard returns to the Enterprise in shuttle number five. Now they will have a matching set since there are already a Captain Picard and a shuttle number five onboard. The new ones are from the future. Six hours in the future when the Enterprise has blown up. Or will blow up. Can Captain Picard keep that from happening this time around? Find out when we put Time Squared in the Mission Log.

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  1. Kristian Marie Kbot McKee says:

    Yay my podcast fix!

  2. Troy Brooks says:

    Just a nitpick about the idea of Picard knowing what to do because Alt Picard. He doesn’t know that there is a right answer, but he does know that there is a wrong one.

  3. CmdrR says:

    Ken, couldn’t you ask Geordi to fix the distortion with his time-phase-distortion-fixer. He has one right in his tool box. This ep has great atmosphere and good exchanges, especially between Riker and Picard. It does not have a point, however. It’s more a “Monster Funnel of the Week.” Once they get past the danger, that’s it. No mystery solved, really; just ‘don’t panic’ I guess. Nothing learned. Never to be mentioned again. Still… cool times on the shuttle bay.

  4. Wildride says:

    “If you want to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs. If you want cheese with that omelette, you have to break a few cows.” – This Is David Lander.

  5. Durakken says:

    I don’t mind this episode, but I have to keep my brain turned off for it because there is so many holes in thinking and plot.

    Some examples… The argument about turning the ship around is bad logic.
    What we know is that the ship has gone through a set of events that led to Picard being sent back in time… the first loop did not contain Picard being sent back in time so there was no questioning of continuing forward. So whatever they encounter might be spacially related and to avoid that you should turn around and go another way. Someone then argues yes but we don’t know how many loops we’ve gone through and we could have taken all those options before with the same result… and that’s where it is left and they continue forward. The problem here is that we don’t know how many loops we’ve gone through and so we don’t know if turning around does anything…Whether it is the first time through or the millionth the prudent couse of action is to go a different direction because we know that at least going forward is the bad choice.

    Then we have the random idea of “Picard is the brain of the enterprise” ok, but which Picard? There is no reason to think one or the other and killing one or the other would do nothing because the other is still alive and thus the Brain from the perspective of whatever is still alive… Also we see that removing the brain doesn’t work because Picard leaves and the Enterprise is destroyed.

    It was mentioned that Q was supposed to be in this… that would make sense because it can then explain all the bad thinking and why when Picard kills alt-Picard it stops the attacks.

    Realistically we know that the Alt-Enterprise makes 2 mistakes, continuing forward and launching Picard. These 2 events are the only things we can presume from what we know, therefor they are the only 2 events that need to be stopped or modified. They failed on one and the other they could have tried send a message to the next loop and say what they tried real quick. That is eliminate the alt-picard and launch the shuttle with the message. If the Enterprise is destroyed the shuttle is picked up the next loop has more info. If the Enterprise isn’t pick up the shuttle and continue on. The whys and hows of what happened are inconsequential as all that matter is what did happen to work out the correct solution.

    • CmdrR says:

      You can only kill Alt-Picard if you’ve picked up the Amulet of Power found in loop #3 and then used it to charge the phaser with fairie energy. Then you need the Silver Key of Destiny, the Dirty Socks of it’s not Friday Yet, and The Omelette of of Wisdom. It makes perfect sense.

      • Durakken says:

        You mean “real” Picard. Alt-Picard is the one we’re left with as the Picard that is first through existed before and the one from this loop only exists as a subset of the choice of the real picard 😛

        • CmdrR says:

          Brain go hurty

          • Durakken says:

            Ok… let’s try it like this…

            Original TL PIcard or “OTP” (this should be a common term btw) goes through the events and gets sent back in time.

            Alternate TL Picard or ATP is the Picard that gets made when OTP goes back in time.

            Let’s say there is 2 loops so the first ATP, ATP1, is created collects OTP, and then lets OTP go, letting OTP go back intime which creats the second loop and ATP2. When ATP2 kills Picard it is OTP being killed, the “real” one, not the one created from the time line alteration.

            BTW… since this isn’t the last time this happens we should keep count of which version of Picard this is since this is at least ATP1… I know if we do by the end of the show we’re on like the 8 Alternate, not the “Real” Picard… who we see die here.

          • Since each time a person is beamed, the original is destroyed and a copy is created in its place, nobody is really the original. But, as they say, “a difference that makes no difference is no difference.” “Yeah, to YOU maybe,” says Dr. McCoy.

  6. Wildride says:

    If this was the original Q involved storyline, then it’s basically Tapestry and it’s basically All Good Things. If it was a multiple time loop, it’s Cause and Effect. Note that in Cause and Effect, they specifically mention that second guessing yourself could be what leads you to the peril, which is possibly a reference to this episode.

    It makes sense that is just one repeat and Picard only does a different thing because he has Alt-Picard to bounce things off of. Although it would be interesting if there were multiple loops and each time Picard let Alt-Picard live to leave the ship, even though he stays on the ship, planning to go through the vortex, and it was only shooting Alt-Picard that broke the cycle.

    One Riker; one bridge!

  7. Scott Newland says:

    Unbelievably, I had managed to miss this episode for 25 years, seeing it for the first time only yesterday! It was a rare treat!
    Something that I love about Mission Log is that I learn new things about Star Trek and thereby deepen my appreciation. This episode’s discussion was excellent, and I thought that Ken’s enthusiasm for Picard’s predicament and struggle was illuminating. In the end, however, I sided with John in that I thought the whole show felt clunky, like it overreached and ultimately went nowhere.

  8. Durakken says:

    3 other things…
    1. Why was Picard on the Bridge alone while his entire senior staff was off eating breakfast? randomly. That seems like an incredibly bad idea…

    2. Picard gives another funny reaction when the he’d never leave the bridge. He gives one of those “yes yes I’d never do that” pauses and looks in his delivery… also this is another problem with the plot. Why didn’t they run through scenarios that would have Picard leave the bridge? It seems like a simple thing to figure out.

    3. It’s interesting that Polaski who says “we should do this more often” is constantly being written as keeping away from people, not going to the bridge or the conference room, but at the same time continuously listening in… that’s kinda creepy. And one could easily go down the route of quite disturbing things that she could be up to considering she is a fan of Picard.

  9. Ken needn’t apologize about the voice recording. I imagine there’s a few Star Trek fans out there that are also Babylon 5 fans … THEIR podcast, for the first few years, featured a young lady with a well-recorded voice in a studio talking to a man who was obviously on a telephone. It was bad. A few years into the podcast, they finally got the guy a microphone. I didn’t even recognize his voice any more.

    But, Ken … what WAS that? Just using the built-in laptop mic? You accidentally had some special effect turned on in GarageBand while you were recording? What? Strangest thing of all is that it started out really sounding annoying, and by the end of the podcast my ears had adjusted to it and I didn’t even notice any more. 🙂

    • Durakken says:

      If it’s understandable I’m generally ok with it as long as the volume doesn’t keep changing. In this podcast the volume kept changing to the point where some of the audio was just bearly audible down to the point where it perfectly clear. That’s part that agrivates me which noone ever appologizes for, not the poor quality of the microphones that people always apologize for which is silly cuz the former you can fix usually while the latter you can almost never fix.

  10. Guest says:

    Just a quick correction: the Persian Flaw is a reference to the Islamic artisans intentionally introducing imperfections into their work as a deference to the perfection of Allah and a sign that they, as flawed humans, are not making any claims to perfection, as such a thing is the province of Allah alone. Otherwise, great episode 🙂 Keep it up!

    • Yep – that’s the discussion we had in the trivia. Thanks!

      • Durakken says:

        I meant to point this out, but this is easily disproven by the simple fact that islam didn’t exist till around 600 CE. The persian empire was important 900 years before this and is more likely when this idea came about and as such the concept has nothing to due with Islam or Allah.

        However it might have something to do with the secular explanation given OR associated with Ahora Mazda and the idea of duality that is prominent in the east that had a strong influence on later Abrahamic Faiths. You guys are probably more familar with the concept as Yin-Yang where the seed of good is in the bad and the seed of bad is in the good, and there is no such thing as “pure” good or evil… or any other duo.

        In other words the Persian Flaw makes the Rug “perfect” by adding the “flaw”.

        Also another explanation similar to the other is the Flaw is somewhat a copyright. It’s used in maps nowadays where every map that is made has some minor flaw in it that can be used to identify the map as originating from a given creator and thus be copyrighted.

    • Derwood says:

      I try to practice the Persian Flaw philosophy in everything I do… whether writing software, filing my taxes, or just working on my car.

  11. Cygnus-X1 says:

    Ken or John, could either of you please tell me why in the world Ken Ray refers to Alt Kirk from “Mirror, Mirror” as “Low-ghee Kirk???” I’ve listened to quite a few of these podcasts and heard Ken use that nickname well over a dozen times. He does it yet again in this podcast. Why?!???

  12. Cygnus-X1 says:

    That aside, I enjoyed this podcast and, in particular, Ken’s analysis of this episode’s moral/message/meaning quite a bit. Nicely done. Though, Ken did sound like he was speaking into one of those tin cans with the string attaching it to another tin can, like kids do.

  13. Will Wright says:

    Body Double error ! This was the Official Publicity Photo for this episode released by Paramount.

  14. TrixieB says:

    I’m concerned by his choice. He could have trapped himself, not shot him. If it works then he disappears. But if he’s wrong he can then make the decision to jump on the pod. But by shooting him he ends the loop. Which could be the end of all.

    Ken, I love your take. Brilliant.

  15. gizmochimp says:

    I was surprised you guys didn’t mention All Good Things because to me this was like a proto-version of that. Picard is stuck in a seemingly illogical time paradox and the only way to stop it is to think “4-dimensionally”, doing something that is irrational to break the loop, collapse the anomaly, and send them back to the start, as if it all never happened. In All Good Things, Q says the contiumum “wanted to see if Humanity could expand their mind and horizons” and for one moment Picard did, when he realized the paradox. I think Picard could have countered Q by pointing him to this instance where he did pretty much the same thing. Also, one could point out the fact that once everything restarted they should have no memory of any of it, since it never happened.

    • All good points – and we would except… we haven’t gotten there yet. Something we do on Mission Log is to go in order. We don’t like to skip ahead and try to draw parallels to other shows since a) there is so much and b) it helps us to build some internal continuity if we treat each episode “fresh.”

  16. Low Mileage Pit Woofie says:

    This, like The Royale, feels like one of those stories that, if Picard or Riker was telling it in the bar on Rigel II, they’d get The Look from everyone else around them. “No, really, I saw myself from several hours in the future! Then i shot him! Wait, where are you going?”

  17. John Anderton says:

    I was dumbfounded at Ken’s defense of this episode. As I listened to him speak, a nagging feeling came over me that I might be a complete idiot; unable to tell the good from the bad, doing what is right from what is wrong, the random from the ordered.

  18. Aaron Maus says:

    I’m one of those stragglers coming along late to the conversation. I loved Ken’s take on this as someone confronting a version of themselves that they don’t like. Beyond that I don’t have much to add beyond a bit of tangential trivia.

    I don’t remember this mentioned in the podcast. Worf’s line, “There is the theory of the Möbius. A twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop” was sampled by the band Orbital to begin their first and second albums Orbital and Orbital 2. In the opening track to Orbital 2, “Time Becomes”, that line is repeated at two different phasings, going out of sync and coming back into sync on the last repeat of the track, much like out-of-phase Picard.