Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Last Outpost

TNG Season 1 Episode 5
Air Date: October 19th, 1987


The Enterprise is chasing down a Ferengi star ship that is suspected of stealing some federation equipment. When they catch up at the planet Delphi Ardu IV, a planet that once had a powerful civilization but died off many millennia ago, they are stopped by an energy draining force coming from the planet. At first they think the Ferengi is using a weapon against them but learn the Ferengi think the Enterprise is doing the same.

When they beam down to the planet, the Enterprise and Ferengi away team discover a being called Portal, possibly a computer program that has been sleeping all this time. He doesn't know that his Empire is gone. The Ferengi try to convince Portal that they are the civilized ones and that the Human's need to be punished. But Riker outwits the Ferengi and Portal takes a liking to him.


This is the first episode where we see the Ferengi. They were mentioned in Encounter at Farpoint. We learn in this episode that they are a people that value commerce above all. They do have honour but only as far as in what is equitable. They still value gold and that they find the idea of women wearing clothes grotesque.

There are a few concepts of Ferengi that are only part of this episode. I don't remember ever seeing the whip beam weapon that they use. In episodes of DS9 you see Quark using a Ferengi phaser instead. The Ferengi were also more aggressive then they usually are actually fighting the away team.

This as the episode where Data was using the Chinese finger puzzle where he can't figure out how to get it off while in a bridge officers meeting. At the end Riker and LaForge are both using them and they send a box over to the Ferengi.


"The Ferengi are believed to conduct their affairs of commerce on the ancient principle caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware." - Data
"Yankee traders. I like the sound of that." - Riker
"Well, sir, I doubt they wear red, white and blue, or look anything like Uncle Sam." - Data
"Uncle who?" - Worf

"Sometimes, Riker, the best way to win a fight is not to be there." - Picard
"Yes, sir. He will triumph who knows when to fight and when not to fight." - Riker
Glad the Academy's still teaches the strategies of Sun Tzu." - Picard

"Where's Wesley?" - Picard
"He's in our quarters. I was tempted to give him a sedative." - Doctor Crusher
"You shouldn't." - Picard
"I know, but he's my son. I love him." - Doctor Crusher
"He has the right to meet death awake." - Picard
"Is that a male perspective?" - Doctor Crusher
"Rubbish!" - Picard

"Unlike these little ones who close their minds, your mind holds interesting thoughts. Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will always be victorious. Why that thought? And who is this Sun Tzu you revere?" - Portal
"An old Chinese philosopher from ancient Earth history." - Riker

"What of them? Shall I destroy them?" - Portal
"Then they would learn nothing." - Riker
"A most interesting conclusion, but... what if they never learn, Riker?" - Portal
"Is this a test also?" - Riker
"In life, one is always tested." - Portal
"I find them very much as we were a several hundred years ago, but possessing the technology they have now, they're very dangerous." - Riker
"Untrue. We seek friendship with you." - Kayron
"But we can hardly hate what we once were. They may grow and learn." - Riker
"And learn ways to destroy you." - Portal
"Our values require us to face that possibility. What of you, with your empire gone?" - Riker
"The universe exists to me to create life. I shall sleep, until needed again." - Portal

"One final request, sir. Permission to beam a box of Data's Chinese finger puzzles over to the Ferengi? A thank you, for all they tried to do." - Riker
"Make it so." - Picard

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