Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Shades of Gray

TNG Season 2 Episode 22
Air Date: July 17th, 1989


On a survey away mission, Commander Riker gets stung by a plant that emits a bacterial virus, which Pulaski comments is unique to this planet as bacteria and viruses are effectively different organisms. This virus starts attacking Riker's nervous system. Doctor Pulaski with the help of Counselor Troi discovers that electrical stimulation to Riker's brain causes memories to trigger and the more primal and negative the emotions behind the memories causes the virus to weaken and eventually die.


This was the last episode where we see Doctor Pulaski, and while she was front and center in the episode, it was a clip show. The 80s and 90s were natorious for having an episode every season or two that was just a series of clips of previous episodes. Usually one of the characters is going through some kind of treatment or in a coma and the clips are replays of their memories. This episode doesn't fail to live up to the stereotype. It is Star Trek's only real clip show as every time they were asked to do a clip show Rick Berman insisted to do something else to save budget, such as bottle shows.

It was disappointing that season 2 went out with this episode. No cliffhanger or anything to get people really interested in the next season. This might have had something to do with the writers strike at the start of the season that caused the season to be shorter (only 22 episodes).


"I hope these are the right coordinates. Just kidding, Doctor. I know how much you love the transporter." - O'Brien
"About as much as I love comical transporter chiefs." - Doctor Pulaski

"My great-grandfather once got bit by a rattlesnake. After three days of intense pain, the snake died." - Riker

"There may be some residual memory loss. I just want to be certain that you still know who you are." - Doctor Pulaski
"Of course I know who I am. I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise!" - Riker
"I'm delighted that you're feeling better, Captain. The Admiral and I were worried about you." - Picard
"Captain, I do not believe you have the authority to promote me to the rank of admiral." - Data

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