Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Peak Performance

TNG Season 2 Episode 21
Air Quality: July 10th, 1989


In order to better be ready for the Borg threat, the Federation started performing combat exercises. Picard chooses Riker to be his opponent and he formes a team including Worf as his first officer, La Forge as his engineer and Wesley. He is given the command of a derelict Constellation class ship the USS Hathaway.

When the battle begins, Worf uses his knowledge of the Enterprise security to simulate a Romulan Warbird attack which lets him cripple the Enterprise (simulated damage). But shortly after a real Ferengi warship attacks. Picard at first doesn't think it is real until it hits the Enterprise fusing it's weapon system. The Ferengi assume that the Enterprise is coveting something of value on the Hathaway and demand that the Enterprise leave so they can claim it.

The Hathaway was not supposed to be able to go to warp, but Wesley and La Forge did some magic (and a bit of cheating) to get a 2 second warp. They use this to simulate the Enterprise destroying the Hathaway. Worf then makes the Hathaway appear as another Federation ship which scares the Ferengi away.


There is a side plot in the episode where the strategist Sirna Kolrami is assigned to oversee the simulated combat plays a game of Strategema against Data. Data loses the match as Sirna is a grand master at the game. Data believes that he must have malfunctioned as he made no mistakes in the game and still lost. At the end of the episode he realizes that if he plays to tie, eventually sirna would lose stamina and have to stop playing. This infuriates Sirna and he leaves in anger.

The Ferengi captain was played by Armin Shimerman, the actor who plays Quark. It is the second time I have seen him this year playing a Ferengi.


"Do you care to surrender now, Captain?" - Riker

"For over nine millennia, potential foes have regarded the Zakdorns as having the greatest innately strategic minds in the galaxy." - Data
"So, no one is willing to test that perception in combat?" - Worf
"Exactly." - Data
"Then the reputation means nothing." - Worf

"So, you're gonna beat him, huh?" - La Forge
"No." - Riker
"Well, then it's gonna be a close one?" - La Forge
"No." - Riker
"But you have got a chance?" - La Forge
"Naah!" - Riker
"Are you even gonna bother to show up?" - La Forge
"Sure. Kolrami is the best ever at Strategema. Just to get to play him is a privilege." - Riker
"So, aside from your being privileged, is there anything else I can look forward to?" - La Forge
"Nope." - Riker
"This is gonna be exciting." - La Forge

"You're outmanned, you're outgunned, you're outequipped. What else have you got?" - Riker
"Guile." - Worf

"If there is nothing to lose, no sacrifice, then there is nothing to gain." - Worf

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life." - Picard

"I was playing for a standoff, a draw. While Kolrami was dedicated to winning, I was able to pass up obvious avenues of advancement, then settle for a balance. Theoretically, I should be able to challenge him indefinitely." - Data
"Then you have beaten him." - Doctor Pulaski
"It is a matter of perspective, Doctor. In the strictest sense, I did not win." - Data
"Data!" - Doctor Pulaski
"I busted him up." - Data

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