Episode #175: Emergence

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Episode #175: Emergence

Post  BoG on Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:34 pm

EMERGENCE - episode #23 of 7th season / Air Date: 5/22/94
written by Joe Menosky, story by Brannon Braga; Directed by Cliff Bole

The writer of this one, Menosky, was also responsible for MASKS, which was preoccupied with symbolism and a kind of baroque atmosphere of unusual shapes and settings. This does not necessarily translate to good science fiction, concerned more with style than with substance. Same thing here. The officers on the Enterprise-D first notice a slight problem on the holodeck: Picard & Data, involved in a Shakespearen play again, encounter an intrusion from another holo program, the Orient Express train. Later, the ship goes into warp when no one directed it to do so; even more surprisingly, the crew learn that the ship actually saved itself by this action.
Eventually, the officers uncover some kind of new nodes plugged surreptitiously in various parts of the ship and ascertain that the ship is becoming self-aware Shocked . Yes, it seems like the Enterprise-D is becoming a new lifeform. The crew also spend a lot of time on the holodeck version of the Orient Express (we find out that it used to be one of Crusher's programs). The train is populated by a jolly yet stern conductor (David Huddleston) and various goofy passengers that represent human archetypes. These all seem to also represent the new intelligence on the ship - maybe Question
I've always found this to be one of the worst episodes and it's still bad in my book, though these days I also realize that this also gets personal with one of the regulars as was the trend in the final season, except that this time it's the Enterprise-D. There's one good scene in which theories on consciousness are discusssed, of being more than the sum of the parts, but that's one minute. This episode really plods along otherwise, with no point usually, and the crew don't even really question why this astounding thing is happening to their ship, as if they expected it for the past few years (yeah, every once in awhile, our starships achieve consciousness Rolling Eyes ). BoG's Score: 3 out of 10
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