Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1

TNG Season 3 Episode 26
Air Date: June 18th, 1990


The Federation lost contact with an outpost on a planet in the outer edges of the Federation border. The initial suspect is the Borg. The Enterprise arrives and finds the colony completely destroyed, with nothing but a giant crater. Admiral Hanson and Lt. Cmdr. Shelby meet the Enterprise since they have been coming up with defensive strategies and technologies to use against the Borg. They confirm that it is the Borg.

When another Federation star ship comes into contact with the Borg and gets destroyed, the Enterprise goes to intercept. It's mission is to slow the Borg down long enough for the Federation to bring the fleet together. When they encounter the Borg, the only option they are given is to give Captain Picard to them and stay out of their way. They refuse and the Borg transport onto the bridge and take Captain Picard. In the pursuing battle, Lt. Cmdr. Shelby suggests that Lt. Cmdr. Data rotate the phaser frequencies randomly to keep the Borg off balance. It works and one frequency destroys the Borg tractor beam. The cube then goes to warp heading towards Earth.

Analyzing the data they realize which frequency the Borg were susceptible to and devise a plan to use the main deflector as a weapon. Only it would require the Borg to be going at impulse speed. Lt. Cmdr. Shelby takes an away team to both find Captain Picard and try to take the cube out of warp. They were successful at the latter, but only briefly saw Captain Picard, but as a Borg.

When they get back to the Enterprise the Borg makes contact and we see Captain Picard, as a Borg who names himself Locutus. When Cmdr. Riker realizes that there is no saving him, he orders the deflector dish to fire.


This is the first part of my favorite Star Trek episode. The Borg is an enemy that creates real suspense as you know there is no reasoning with them. They want to do one thing, assimilate cultures and technology then destroy them. They are able to rapidly repair their ships, they can adapt to attacks and their most advantageous features is they are part of a collective. So one drone doesn't really matter to the big picture. Ultimately this means they have nothing to lose, so they will show no fear.

This episode also brings up Cmdr. Riker's pending promotion to Captain. Once again he is offered his own command but he had been slow in accepting. It is quickly made obvious that Lt. Cmdr. Shelby has been eyeing his job as first officer and throughout the episode she has challenged Cmdr. Riker's authority by going directly to Captain Picard or just ignoring order.

It ends on a huge cliffhanger with Locutus on the Borg cube and Cmdr. Riker ordering it to be destroyed knowing full well that it will kill Captain Picard.

There were many deaths in this episode, but none on camera so I cannot attribute the color of their uniforms.


"Tell me, Commander, is serving aboard the Enterprise as extraordinary an experience as I've heard?" - Lt. Cmdr. Shelby
"Every bit." - Cmdr. Riker
"Good. Because I intend to convince Captain Picard that I'm the right choice for the job." - Lt. Cmdr. Shelby
"Job? Which job?" - Cmdr. Riker
"Yours, of course." - Lt. Cmdr. Shelby

"This isn't the end." - Guinan
"You say that with remarkable assuredness." - Captain Picard
"With experience. When the Borg destroyed my world, my people were scattered throughout the universe. We survived - as will humanity survive. As long as there's a handful of you to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail, even if it takes a millennium." - Guinan

"You disagree with me, fine. You need to take it to the Captain, fine - through me. You do an end run around me again, I'll snap you back so hard you'll think you're a first-year cadet again." - Cmdr. Riker
"May I speak frankly, sir?" - Lt. Cmdr. Shelby
"By all means." - Cmdr. Riker
"You're in my way." - Lt. Cmdr. Shelby
"Really? How terrible for you!" - Cmdr. Riker
"All you know how to do is play it safe. I suppose that's why someone like you sits in the shadow of a great man for as long as you have, passing up one command after another." - Lt Cmdr. Shelby

"Trouble sleeping?" - Guinan
"It's something of a tradition, Guinan. Captain touring the ship before a battle." - Captain Picard
"Hmm. Before a hopeless battle, if I remember the tradition correctly." - Guinan
"Not necessarily. Nelson toured the HMS Victory before Trafalgar." - Captain Picard
"Yes, but Nelson never returned from Trafalgar, did he?" - Guinan
"No, but the battle was won." - Picard

"Mister Worf, dispatch a subspace message to Admiral Hanson. We have engaged the Borg." - Captain Picard

"Sir, the coordinates they have set, they're on a direct course to sector zero zero one. The Terran system." - Lt. Worf
"Earth." - Cmdr. Riker

"I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us." - Locutus
"Mister Worf. Fire." - Riker

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