Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode 3×06 – “Booby Trap”
Mouldy: I didn’t remember this episode at all. It did not bode well.
Painted: Yeah it’s a real stinker.
Mouldy: And then I went, “Oh, that episode…”
Painted: Levar Burton does a nice job of acting like he’s a 14 year old with a crush and a holodeck, programming his perfect date
Painted: A horrible, awkward date
Painted: He even pouts after she shoots him down 😛
Mouldy: Yeah, that was awkward
Mouldy: So you said they were trying to deepen Geordi’s character. They went with socially stupid nerd who over thinks the date. That’s a…bad choice.
Mouldy: That’s one dense asteroid belt
Painted: Well, it’s a standard “sci-fi” asteroid belt
Mouldy: I see what you mean about the music, it’s suitably “creepy”
Painted: OK, so check out how into this Picard is at this point- He’s chuffed to have found this thing out here
Mouldy: Thousand year old ship, eh? Possibilities
Painted: Yeah the score is about the only good part of this episode
Mouldy: When did they establish his anthropology avocation?
Painted: I’m not certain- we’ll have to look that up
[Editor’s Note: they retconned his interest in TNG 6×20 “The Chase” back to the Academy]
Mouldy: I’ve never liked the opening theme. Too brassy
Painted: Ah, yes, the WOOOOOSH opening credits
Painted: Though I did like the idea of the “tour of Sol system”
Mouldy: Yeah, but it’s supposed to be OUTER SPACE
Painted: /represses comment about how the Sol system is in outer space
Mouldy: the Sol system is “near space”
Painted: This is a standard objection to the captain leading the away team >.> At least they acknowledged the issue around this…
Painted: Adequate atmosphere after 1000 years, impressive.
Mouldy: Why is there an atmosphere in the 1000 year old derelict?
Painted: And O’Brian, pre-awesomeness
Mouldy: True but that ships in a bottle bit was pretty good
Painted: Really? I never liked it much. However it is one of the better parts of this* episode
Painted: So first sign of the trap is right after transporting
Painted: I do like the Promellian bridge before* they turn the lights on – it lets your imagination fill in the details
Painted: Again, I highlight how in awe Picard is- he’s delighted with this find
Mouldy: I would have made it darker. It’s a 1000 year old hulk
Painted: And plenty of available oxygen for browning of stuff
Painted: Since the life support is still running >.>
Mouldy: Yet nothing rotted
Mouldy: Ugh. More Geordi. Wonderful. This B plot sucks
Painted: Yeah but at least the advice Guinin gives is actually decent- 14 year old nerds of all ages, take note
Mouldy: She is 3000 years old
Mouldy: Why is there power on the 1000 year old wreck?
Painted: Picard even wants specific images of the bridge, he’s totally in full archeology mode
Mouldy: He’s not bad…
Painted: No, Sir Patrick can act, that’s for sure
Painted: They watch 10 seconds of footage and now “we’ve seen all we need to see here”, bops back to the Enterprise, and then it’s “thrilling, absolutely thrilling” and “cataloged for retrieval”. You can really tell there were multiple writing teams.
Mouldy: Riker is touching Picard with his eyes
Painted: And the trap is sprung!
Mouldy: My money is still on ghosts. a ghost story would be good
Painted: Even the technobabble isn’t very refined in this episode
Painted: What? We’ll get to Sub Rosa soon enough
Mouldy: That is not the same
Painted: Anyway, about the technobabble- the comments on the bridge “the engine’s aren’t responding” don’t match the engine room’s “everything is running perfectly” reports.
Painted: I would have done the whole “we’re spinning our wheels” kind of dialogue
Mouldy: You said that this was written by 4 different teams?
Painted: Yeah I read that somewhere
Mouldy: That explains a lot
Painted: 4 teams, I guess they had invested so much they couldn’t NOT shoot it
Painted: Tried to get their money out of it
Mouldy: Some producer was wedded to this episode
Mouldy: You could still do ghosts at this point
Painted: quiet about the ghosts. If we get into how to fix the episode we’ll be here all night
Mouldy: But daaaaaaad…
Painted: And I can fix this episode real quick- delete it
Painted: It adds nothing to the canon
Mouldy: Well other than Geordi being a stupid with women. Yawn
Painted: The world would be better off without it…
Painted: I love how problem solving on Star Trek is entirely about phrasing the correct question to the ship’s computer
Mouldy: Why does Geordi assume that it’s a propulsion problem?
Painted: And Geordi starts creeping immediately on hearing her voice on the logs
Painted: Ah, stern Dr. Crusher
Mouldy: NOTHING CAN BE DONE
Painted: 30 minutes till DEADLY RADIATION
Painted: after which
Painted: NOTHING CAN BE DONE
Painted: I find the fact that Geordi uses the “prototype” model over the “as built” to be rather unbelieveable
Mouldy: So if the engines are working as intended, and something is “pushing” on the ship, why are you assuming it’s a problem with the engine. Might the answer lie elsewhere?
Painted: “An exact counterforce rose to match us”- that’s a good point.
Painted: They are all directly blind to the fact the cause is external.
Painted: “It can’t be out there, there’s DEADLY RADIATION!”
Mouldy: So, the A plot relies on Geordi’s B plot. That’s dumb. So he is going to create this woman engineer to creep all over
Mouldy: Which is the bigger problem: the DEADLY RADIATION or the fact they can’t move?
Painted: It’s that they can’t move away from the DEADLY RADIATION
Painted: They do have like, 150 minutes, you know
Mouldy: Yeah, but why not technobabble your way out of the radiation being deadly
Painted: Ah, so simply apply a PLOT POINT NULLIFIER?
Mouldy: Do something with the shields.
Mouldy: Buy themselves time to figure it out. THEY ONLY HAVE 2 HOURS (and 30 minutes)
Painted: It actually would be neat if they were simply caught, like a fly in amber
Painted: But then they could just whistle up help from Starfleet before they ran out of whatever consumable they are short on
Mouldy: I always liked the fact that subspace communication took time
Painted: Won’t be atmo, they can just head over to the other ship >.>
Painted: Hence the need for DEADLY RADIATION
Mouldy: I guess they needed force Geordi’s “character building”.
Mouldy: Why would they have access to Brahms’ personal logs?
Painted: Well it adds to the urgency in the episode
Mouldy: So like surveillance state
Painted: This is Star Trek- every starfleet vessel has complete* records. Like an offline Wikipedia
Painted: Remember the episode [Ed: TNG 1×26, “The Neutral Zone”] where they find the “20th’s”, and they have full background on them and* their descendants?
Painted: They even apologize for it’s incompleteness
Mouldy: Yeah, sort of. To be honest I only remember the good episodes. The bad ones are more of a blur
Painted: It’s gonna go on the /rollseyes list, I assure you
Mouldy: I just don’t buy Roddenberry’s Federation to have access to personal logs. Seems kind of anti-Roddenberry
Painted: Well we kinda have to have it here, due to it being one of the basic plot points.
Mouldy: Yeah, I know, but it’s just sloppy writing. Whoever came up with this cared not about Star Trek
Painted: May I once again suggest that we, as a species, collectively delete all memory of this episode?
Mouldy: Not a bad idea
Painted: Yeah it is sloppy, but so is the entire episode. It’s really got no redeeming qualities
Painted: I love how the computer takes the comment, “This is your baby, show me which ones” (regarding engine modifications) is interpreted by the ships computer as “Make me a complete body double of Leah Brahms in the simulation”
Painted: Who then reaches out tentatively to touch him in a very human way before the commercial break, then goes into full “I AM A MONOTONE COMPUTER” mode
Mouldy: Yeah. They are basically asking the computer to redesign the engines for them
Mouldy: …but then they don’t trust the computer to fly the ship?
Mouldy: Or Data? Who is conceivably the best possible pilot in all circumstances?
Painted: I find that leap by the computer the most unbelievable part of this whole plot
Mouldy: Pretty much yeah.
Painted: I gather they did too, from the following dialog:
Painted: “Did i ask for this?”
Mouldy: This scene makes no sense
Painted: …this episode makes no sense
Painted: I also find it odd how much attention they pay to the logs of the other ship- the ship that *failed* to escape
Painted: Remnants of one of the writing teams, I assume
Mouldy: FORESHADOWING! LOOK WE’RE FORESHADOWING
Mouldy: Yeah, and why wouldn’t they rig up something to get the power from the fully powered 1000 year old wreck that was trapped here as well, it doesn’t seem to be running out of power
Painted: Now Geordi goes full on creeper- he gets all squidgy about recreating her personality
Mouldy: I have always hated holograms suddenly “breathing” when they become aware
Painted: And why does the computer assume she has an old friendship with Geordi… you know, nevermind, I’ll let this one go
Painted: “The computer makes a realistic portrayal of Leah Brahms.” /lets it go
Mouldy: Well, he does spend a lot of time in the holodeck. I am pretty sure the computer knows what Geordi likes
Mouldy: And Geordi has a fit too
Painted: Their thinking is so linear- we must get out! Push! hmm- that didn’t work. Then we must push HARDER!
Mouldy: Your fly in amber idea would have been a much better story. More possibilities
Mouldy: So what if Brahms is really the computer pretending to be Brahms to fuck with Geordi’s head?
Painted: Computer thinks, “Bark orders at me all day will you?”
Mouldy: Use me as your personal pimp, do you?
Painted: Lessee, a little replicated spit in your coffee, a slightly acidic shower….
Mouldy: …make you think you fell in love with someone
Painted: lol Tho that was the Bynar’s fault
Painted: OK here comes one of the most stupid scenes in Star Trek
Painted: Are there any inconsequential variations in the field?
Painted: Question: How about we use the phasers?
Painted: Answer: No, they’ll be the worst thing ever, sez Data
Painted: Well, let’s do it anyway says Picard
Mouldy: Okay so everyone is telling Riker that firing phasers is a bad idea all around. And Picard lets him do it?
Painted: Our foolish plan backfired!
Mouldy: Duh, what did you think was going to happen?
Mouldy: EVEN THE ANDROID TOLD YOU NOT TO
Painted: We have a miniscule chance of this working, let’s try it
Mouldy: Speaking of Data, why isn’t he on the holodeck with Geordi? You would think that having a super smart super fast brain helping you would be a good idea
Mouldy: …And Riker has doomed the ship
Painted: It was, quite unbelievably, Picard
Mouldy: Yeah, that’s right. Picard did give the order…and Picard has doomed the ship
Painted: I had blanked that stupidity and assigned it to Riker in my mind too until i rewatched this episode
Painted: New idea: What if we push FASTER?
Mouldy: I like the model of the old Enterprise NCC-1701-A on the workstation in the holodeck
Mouldy: Its the Constitution class refit for the first film
Painted: Yeah I had not noticed that before, nice catch
Mouldy: I know my hull design
Simply: “Data couldn’t even do it”
Mouldy: Well, yeah, but Data is an android
Painted: BILLIONS and BILLIONS of course corrections
Mouldy: He’s got the intuition of a human
Mouldy: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Painted: I love how Geordi is like a kid caught with his girlfriend by his stern father when Picard walks in
Painted: Picard’s expression is priceless
Mouldy: Oh yeah. that’s funny
Mouldy: Sir Patrick can act. And it’s all without him having to say anything
Painted: “So you’re in here…”
Painted: “With a girl hologram…”
Painted: “While we’re all about to die from DEADLY RADIATION”
Mouldy: Proposes to turn the ship over to the computer
Painted: …and then the whole “how can we trust computers” discussion
Mouldy: IN THE 24TH CENTURY WE DON’T TAKE NO SHIT FROM A MACHINE
Painted: I guess they have a crew of Andorians chained to the matter-anti matter reaction chambers playing the 24th century version of pong keeping everything running, doing all the calculations that we can’t trust a computer to do
Mouldy: That’s a thought
Painted: “We’ll send you to the Thought Mines”
Painted: Yeah that distrust of technology just seems so very not-Star Trek
Mouldy: Pretty much. Although there was the M5
Painted: Bah, M5
Mouldy: It went berserk and killed like 1000 crew on three ships
Mouldy: That’s gotta put a strain on human/computer relations
[Ed: TOS 2×24, “The Ultimate Computer”]
Painted: Data could turn M5 into Norman from “I, Mudd” [Ed: TOS 2×12]
Painted: …smoke outta the ears and all
Mouldy: Sure, which is why HE SHOULD BE FLYING THE SHIP
Painted: And they trust him to do it every day, why not today?
Mouldy: Inertial dampeners to manual?
Mouldy: Don’t they keep everyone from turning into paste?
Painted: I guess the Andorians in the Thought Mines are working double shifts
Mouldy: Must be
Painted: And the answer all along was push gently with impulse
Painted: …which is stupid
Mouldy: And so all we need is the impulse engines, and Geordi creeping on Brahms was totally unnecessary
Painted: Since the thrusters and or decompressing the shuttlebay would not have been “energy” and so are clearly not affected by the assimilators
Mouldy: Well, one would think it’s just compressed hydrogen being vented out
Painted: To be fair they did an ok job on the tension in the asteroid driving scene
Mouldy: Yeah, i see what you mean about the score . Its very good here
Painted: Yeah whoever fired the composer was a fool
Mouldy: Why is the doctor on the bridge? Shouldn’t she be, you know, doctoring?
Painted: DEADLY RADIATION?
Painted: and so I guess we’re safe?
Mouldy: And here comes the crowing glory of stupid in this episode
Painted: [simultaneously] …and then the crowning stupidity
Painted: Why blow up this priceless artifact?
Mouldy: And way to leave the trap. Not even a beacon to warn people off
Painted: Why not post buoys, whistle up starfleet, and have them carefully disarm/destroy the assimilators and then recover the ship?
Painted: Yeah I always thought that was stupid too- the trap is still there
Mouldy: It’s not like they don’t have the resources
Painted: And it’s not like this is a busy part of the universe- the thing has been broadcasting a distress beacon for 1000 years
Mouldy: Out in the sticks
Painted: Which is unbelieveable in itself; this is the final battle between these races and they know much about it but no one has ever done archeology here before? Look at how chuffed Picard was about this stuff earlier in the episode.
Mouldy: That’s true
Mouldy: I think i could have forgiven this episode if it was like first or second season. but man, they did not have their shit together this time out
Painted: Yeah, it really belongs in stink town with season 1
Painted: And then geordi’s stupid stupid conclusion- “sometimes you have to turn it all off”
Mouldy: “I thought that there wasn’t a problem that technology couldn’t fix”
Mouldy: Except a broken heart
Painted: The holodeck’s uber tech is what lead him to his solution
Mouldy: I don’t buy it. Ten minutes worth of actual thinking (less if by Data) would have revealed the solution, but that would have made the entire B plot redundant. No holo-girlfriend for you
Painted: “What happens on the holodeck, stays on the holodeck”
Mouldy: She’s the computer dude! You’re kissing a computer
Mouldy: Yeah, that’s a great metaphor for Geordi
Mouldy: and the only character depth they’ve manage to add to his non-dimensional character is the kind that makes me want to keep him away from my female friends. With a phasor.
Painted: “And let us never speak of it again”
Mouldy: and that is a recurring problem with TNG…let’s forget every major thing that happens to the ship, even if it is something that might be useful or important in a future episode.
Painted: Yeah not sure I’m ready to put this episode in the 10 worst, but it is certainly a strong nominee.
Mouldy: Well, it’s pretty sucktacular
Mouldy: Especially for so far into the series
Painted: As our first review it’s alone on the board, so it’s the best and the worst episode we’ve done- but make no mistake, it’s on the BOTTOM of the board.
Mouldy: Yep. That may not last though
Painted: /slaps up a strip with “Booby Trap” written on it, Top Gear Style
Painted: …at the bottom