Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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The Best of Both Worlds

I went to this last night. It was good. The only disappointing thing was that, in editing the two episodes together, they got rid of the "To Be Continued..." with its accompanying dramatic sting, and therefore the immediate failure of the deflector dish weapon was kind of a letdown.

I enjoyed the documentary featurette thingie at the beginning, except for some reason they kept talking to Seth MacFarlane. I guess it was meant to illustrate how influential TNG in general and this two-part episode in particular has been, but every time he appeared on screen, I was like, "What are you doing here? Why are you talking and why am I listening to you? Shut up and go away!" They also talked a lot to Elizabeth Dennehy, who played Commander Shelby, and in fairness I must admit that after a while her segments prompted a similar response in me (i.e., "Why are you still talking?") but at least interviewing her was justified in that she was actually IN the episode(s).

The first time I watched BoBW, I only had to wait one day to find out the conclusion, and even that was excruciating. I can hardly imagine having to wait a whole summer.

Part of me wishes that "Family" had also been included in the event. I really love that episode; in my opinion, it's probably the most underrated TNG episode ever. I'm just so glad that they gave Captain Picard the opportunity to work through the aftermath, to be hurt and to be vulnerable, to be ambivalent and to be unsure. So often in television--not just Star Trek, but TV in general--something horrific happens one week (or sometimes over a two-week episode arc) but then the next week everyone's fine again and everything's back to normal.

Granted, it would be nice if life were really like that, but it's not. Life is not like that at all. In reality, that stuff will come back to haunt you. You can tell yourself to "keep a stiff upper lip" or "suck it up" as much as you want to, you can tell yourself to put it behind you and move on, but the more you try to push that stuff aside, the stronger it will become and the more it will consume you, until you deal with it directly.

And even then, it only becomes more manageable; it doesn't really go away. Robert Picard is right when he says, "This will be with you a long time, Jean-Luc." We didn't get to see it very often on the show because Captain Picard, being the kind of man and the kind of leader that he is, kept it private. But we see it in the movie First Contact: "The moment I have dreaded for nearly six years has finally arrived..."

We didn't get to see that dread, but it was there. He lived with the memory of their voices inside his head, often dormant but ever-present, waiting to flare up again like some kind of mental herpes. He lived in constant dread of the inevitable day when he would again hear those voices fresh in his mind, knowing that he would be powerless to prevent himself from hearing them, still not strong enough to shut them out. He woke up every day with the fear that today might bring a fresh assault, and he could never breathe a sigh of relief at the end of the day for fear of what might happen tomorrow.
Tags: films, ideas, television
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