Captain’s Blog: 100219.5
Star Trek: The Next Generation - 108: Justice
The Enterprise is considering shore leave on a newly discovered planet with a very open and loving species called the Edo. Things turn sour, however, when Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) unknowingly breaks the Edo law and faces execution.
By the Numbers
Premiere Date: Nov. 7, 1987
New named crew: Ensign Joe Carey (not technically named but hear me out…)
Character deaths: Almost Wesley
New Picard details: When Wesley is at risk, it’s clear that he cares more for Wesley than he lets on.
I was in [redacted] grade for this episode so I completely missed ALL the free love stuff in this episode. I mean, I understood that they were all super…friendly…but that was about it. No, I was focused on Wesley (Wil Wheaton) and how cool it was he got to join this away team to visit the alien planet. Much like “Code of Honor,” this is a “crew member in jeopardy because aliens are different,” but it works a little better.
Most important to me then has to be the times Wesley stood up for himself and his role in the whole thing. From saying “we don’t lie” to the Edo security men, to standing up to Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) when he realized that the entire crew was at risk. Not only did it send me a great message, but little did I know it was setting up a great arc for Wesley in the fifth season.
Now, while I didn't completely understand what was happening with the VERY scantily clad Edo, I believe I DID notice that at least one of them was very lumpy, and shiny, but in a good way.
This is one of the most sex positive episodes of the series and I’m kind of here for it! Of course, the only thing missing was some LGBTQ representation…but we got the all-genes skirt uniforms, right? It was the 80s after all.
We continue to see that Lt. Yar (Denis Crosby) is very comfortable expressing her sexuality. Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) is at first put off by the attention Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) is getting from Rivan (Brenda Bakke) but doesn’t mind it when Liator (Jay Louden) sends a little love her way. We also get a small glimpse into the Klingon ways of love when Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) responds (see quotes below).
Wesley’s arc still holds up, though as a grown up he is giving some cheesy dialogue along the way. Again I quote, “I’m with Starfleet. We don’t lie.”
The stuff with Picard and Lt. Com. Data (Brent Spiner) is also a little awkward. It seems retrospectively like they were trying to find the Kirk/Spock dynamic with these two characters. “Data, don’t babble,” was perhaps one of the more non-Picard things the character has said over the years.
Something season one is very guilty of up to this point (and for most of the season) is the odd “these aliens are just humans that all look alike” designs. First we had the tragically racist Ligonians and now we have the tragically Aryan Edo. ALL of them are blonde. MOST of the women have terrifyingly false Little Bo-Peep wigs. Much of the menswear you can find something similar at DailyJocks or Andrew Christian these days. Back then, it was probably available in International Male catalogues. Sidebar: Anyone else ever wonder how you started getting those delivered?
It’s still a good episode, with some nice quotes about justice, but it definitely has some pacing issues for the B-story on the ship as they face off with “God.” However, I do like that the mystery of the ship/being they encounter is never fully explained.
Rating (Ensign to Captain)
Captain (4 pips)
Commander (3 pips)
Lt. Commander (2.5 pips)
Lieutenant (2 pips)
Lieutenant, junior grade (1.5 pips)
Ensign (1 pip)
LaForge: They’re wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others. Neat as pins, ultra lawful. And they make love at the drop of a hat.
Picard: Let’s just hope it’s not too good to be true.
Rivan (to Worf): And I welcome this huge one.
Yar: It’s like an eden here!
Wesley: There are some games I don’t quite know yet.
Worf: For what you consider love, sir, I would need a Klingon woman.
Riker: What about plain old basic sex? You must have some need for that.
Worf: Of course. But with the females available to me, sir, Earth females, I must restrain myself too much.
Wesley: I’m with Starfleet. We don’t lie.
Picard: There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions.
Riker: Since when has justice ever been as simple as a rule book.
Odds and Ends