Episode #152: Descent, part one

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Episode #152: Descent, part one

Post  BoG on Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:47 pm

DESCENT, part one / episode #152 / Air Date: 6/21/93
written by Jeri Taylor and Ronald Moore; Directed by Alexander Singer

Another 2-part episode, the 1st part ending a season. The standout scene in this episode is the pre-credits one, where-in Data is playing poker on the holodeck with holo versions of famous physicists Isaac Newton (John Neville), Albert Einstein (Jim Norton) and Stephen Hawking (playing himself). The thing is, it has nothing to do with the rest of the episode and seems to have been plugged in perhaps because Hawking was available for a cameo.
The rest of the episode features the return of the Borg (last seen in I BORG), though in a greatly altered state. They pose a danger again but their behavior is now similar to, in Riker's words, Klingons - swift, brutal and... emotional! The Borg get around in a huge ship but it's not cube-shaped like the standard Borg ships. The Enterprise crew theorize that Hugh (from I BORG) may have something to do with this, being the one emotional Borg they encountered.
This is primarily an action episode - Starfleet gears up for another possible conflict with the Borg, with Admiral Nechayev (Natalija Nogulich) re-appearing to lead a fleet. She also brings Picard to task for his past actions, like letting slip a chance to destroy the Borg. This causes Picard, in a rare moment, to question himself - but, I wonder, if his actions were so serious a breach as indicated by an admiral, like purposely letting a major enemy of the Federation get off, wouldn't he have been, at the least, relieved of command by Starfleet instead of just getting a 'talking to' by a testy admiral?
There's also a subplot with Data, who experiences new negative emotions like anger; there's further ominous suggestion that Data would be willing to kill even his friends for the chance to experience the pleasure of murder. All this is merely a set-up for the latest cliffhanger in this 2-parter, not really a chance to evolve Data further. I do admit, the ending here is pretty tense & exciting and I'm sure viewers back in 1993 couldn't wait for the 2nd part in the 7th season. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
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