Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I, Borg

TNG Season 5 Episode 23
Air Date: May 11th, 1992

The Enterprise responds to a distress signal from an uncharted system where they find the remains of a Borg scout ship with one surviving adolescent Borg. Doctor Crusher insists on trying to save it and Captain Picard reluctantly agrees. Once he has recovered to the point of consciousness the Borg starts acting very typical, saying things like "You will be assimilated" and "Resistance is futile". But separated from the collective the it starts taking on a personality of it's own and can actually be reasoned with. He befriends Geordi and even takes on the name Hugh.

This creates a conflict for the crew as they were planning to try to use Hugh as a virus in the Borg collective hoping to destroy every single Borg with one stone throw. Effectively genocide, but the Borg are considered so evil that there doesn't seem to be a choice. But Hugh's indiviualality makes it hard for even Guinan and Picard to use him like this. In the end they can only hope that Hugh's individuality rubs off on the Borg changing them for the better. Hugh wants to stay on the Enterprise but does volunteer to return to the Borg knowing that the Borg would do everything they could to retrieve him.

The episode is named after an Isaac Asimov series of short stories called "I, Robot" which deals with the ethics behind building robots and how to prevent them from being evil.


"You will be assimilated." - Third of Five
"Yes, but before that happens, could we ask you a few questions?" - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge

"Do I have a name?" - Third of Five
"Do you want one?" - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge
"A name." - Third of Five
"I'm Beverly, he's Geordi, and you" - Doctor Crusher
"You." - Third of Five
"You." - Doctor Crusher
"No, no, wait a minute - that's it: Hugh! What do you think?" - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge
"You?" - Third of Five
"No, not you. Hugh." - Lt. Cmdr. La Forge
"Hugh." - Third of Five

"We are Borg." - Hugh
"Aren't you gonna tell me you have to assimilate me?" - Hugh
"You wish to be assimilated?" - Hugh
"No, but that's what you things do, isn't it? Resistance is futile?" - Guinan
"Resistance is futile." - Hugh
"It isn't. My people resisted when the Borg came, to assimilate us. Some of us survived." - Guinan
"Resistance, is not futile?" - Hugh
"No. But thanks to you, there are very few of us left. We're scattered throughout the galaxy. We don't even have a home anymore." - Guinan
"What you are saying, is that you are lonely." - Hugh
"What?" - Guinan
"You have no others. You have no home. We, are also lonely." - Hugh

"If you're gonna use this person" - Guinan
"It's not a person, dammit, it's a Borg!" - Captain Picard
"If you are going to use this person to destroy his race, you should at least look him in the eye once, before you do it. Because I am not sure he is still a Borg" - Guinan

"The sense of individuality which he has gained with us might be transmitted through the entire Borg Collective, every one of the Borg being given the opportunity to experience the feeling of singularity. And perhaps that's the most pernicious program of all. The knowledge of self being spread throughout the Collective, in that brief moment, might alter them forever." - Captain Picard

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