Episode #47: Peak Performance

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Episode #47: Peak Performance

Post  BoG on Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:23 pm


PEAK PERFORMANCE - episode #21 of 2nd season / Air Date: 7/10/89
written by David Kemper; Directed by Robert Scheerer

TIME to PLAY... STRATEGEMA!

The Enterprise is assigned to war games by Starfleet; Picard resisted this because he considers his ship as primarily an exploratory vessel (and he's a pacifist), but he mentions the Borg threat - better to keep some battle skills fine-tuned. The games are a bit odd - part of the crew, commanded by Riker, beams aboard the old, nearly-derelict Hathaway ship; from there, they will challenge the Enterprise - seems like a real mismatch.
Also aboard the Enterprise is some expert strategist, the plump, annoying & unpleasant Kolrami (Roy Brocksmith), acting as official observer. He's also supreme at a game called Strategema; Riker challenges him at this before the war games and is quickly defeated. Kolrami, btw, has a low opinion of Riker and when Picard finally demands an explanation as to why, Kolrami opines that Riker doesn't take his job seriously enough.

This was all a cookie-cutter depiction of Starfleet and Kolrami even seems like an unnecessary character, while some of the regulars behave atypically. Pulaski, for some reason, wants to knock the arrogant Kolrami down a peg, tricking Data into a game of Strategema. Data does better than Riker but still loses, causing him to re-evaluate his specs in his cabin. There's much talk of challenging oneself as part of being human, and blah-blah-blah. Riker asks Worf & Wesley to join him on the old ship and they both come up with devious methods to counter the bigger Enterprise.
Then, as we all kind of expected, the war games turn real - out of the blue, a Ferengi ship shows up, commanded by Armin Shimerman again (see The Last Outpost). The Ferengi's motives are quite vague - they think the Hathaway has some secret value. There's one good moment when Picard gets tricked by a sneaky strategy from the Hathaway, but this ends up a typically average episode of the first 2 seasons - not horrible, but predictable and lazy. I didn't see much point to much of it, except to show that Riker can be competent & creative - I would hope so, uh?
BoG's Score: 5 out of 10

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