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“Booby Trap” – TNG 3×06

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.

 

Painted:  /nod

 

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: Exactly

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

 

Mouldy: Foreshadowing!

 

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: >.>

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: Yeah

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

Painted: Nothing

 

Mouldy: Well other than Geordi being a stupid with women. Yawn

 

Painted: NOTHING

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: lol

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 >.>

 

Mouldy: lol

 

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: …

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

 

Painted: lol

 

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: lol

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: Damn!

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

Painted: /facepalm

 

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: Picard.

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: sigh.

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: lol

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

Painted: /facepalm

 

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: Exactly

Painted: And they trust him to do it every day, why not today?

 

Mouldy: Inertial dampeners to manual?

 

Painted: WTF?

 

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: um…

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: Yep

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: Yeah

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: Creeeeeeeepppy

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

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