Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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TNG Season 5 Episode 4
Air Date: October 14th, 1991

Cmdr. Riker, Lt. Cmdr Data and Doctor crusher are assisting the colony on  Melona IV get setup when the crystalline entity shows up. All but two are able to get to caves where they are protected from the destruction. When they emerge the entire planet is lifeless. One of the two that died was a love interest of Riker.

Dr. Kila Marr arrives on the Enterprise, a xenobioligist that has been studying the crystalline entity ever since it destroyed the colony Data is from where he son was stationed. At first she dislikes Data thinking he is in league with the entity much like Lore was. Especially since they were the first to ever survive an attack by the entity. But her mistrust fades quickly when she learns that Data has many of the memory engrams from the colonists including her son.

In the end they figure out a way to communicate with the entity using mild gravitation pulses but Kila overrides the controls and puts the signal on full which kills the entity. Data tells her that her son would not have wanted this.

The episode brings up a moral quandary around the question, is a wild animal that kills a human evil. Picard had argued to both Kila and Riker that the entity might just be feeding not realizing what it is doing just as a lion feeds on a gazelle. Kila argues that when you have a lion killing people you put the lion down. But Picard feels that while there is no risk, they must try to communicate with it, and it did show evidence of intelligence.


"If we can determine what its needs are, we might find other sources to supply it." - Captain Picard
"Its needs are to slaughter people by the thousands. It is nothing but a giant killing machine!" - Dr. Kila Marr
"Doctor, the sperm whale on Earth devours millions of cuttlefish as it roams the oceans. It is not evil, it is feeding. The same may be true of the Entity." - Captain Picard
"That would be small comfort for those who have died to feed it. We're not talking about cuttlefish; we're talking about people!" - Dr. Kila Marr
"I would argue that the Crystalline Entity has as much right to be here as we do." - Captain Picard

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