Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Inner Light

TNG Season 5 Episode 25
Air Date: June 1st, 1992

Imagine one moment you are living your life, and in another moment you are a different person in a different part of the world. What would you do. How would you act. Now imagine years go by and you are still this different person. Would you abandon who you were and accept your new reality? Ok, what about after 15 years, or 30? This is what happened to Captain Picard in The Inner Light.

The Enterprise discovers a probe that uses some kind of data beam to knock out Captain Picard. Over the course of around 25 minutes, Picard lives half a life on another planet as a man named Kamin, married to a woman he has never met. After 5 years he finally starts to admit to his reality and even has a family. Picard with children, not something anyone would expect to see.

He is around 45-50 years old when this episode starts and probably lives another 45-50 years. He has grand children and becomes a scientist, specifically trying to determine why the planet is in a drought only to discover that their star is going nova. At the end, his people build a probe that contains information on how they lived their lives so that someone else can remember them, specifically Picard.

The episode starts as an average Star Trek episode but as time goes on, Patrick Stewart's acting ability really shines. As he grows older he has to live with the loss of his friends and eventually his wife. I knew it was coming but I still shed a tear. In the very end, his friends and wife appear before him to explain the situation to him. When he wakes up, he realizes that he is back on the Enterprise but his old life is foggy.

Now imagine after living 30+ years as someone else you suddenly come back to your reality surrounded by your friends. You might remember them, but it would be a distant memory. Think back to a point in your childhood or even in your 20s (depending on how old you are now).

The final scene shows Picard playing the flute that they found in the probe which he learned to play in his other life.

In an episode of Rick and Morty they have a similar story in a arcade game called "Roy: A Life Well Lived".


"This sapling is planted as an affirmation of life, in defiance of the drought, and with expectations of long life. Whatever comes, we will keep it alive, as a symbol of our survival." - Batai

"Was your life there so much better than this? So much more gratifying, so much more fulfilling, that you cling to it with such stubbornness?" - Eline
"Eline" - Captain Picard
"It must have been extraordinary. But never in all the stories you've told me... have you mentioned anyone who loved you as I do."- Eline

"I'd like to ask your permission to build something." - Kamin
"Kamin, you've built your telescope, your laboratory, you don't need my permission for something new." - Eline
"In this case, I think I do." - Kamin
"What is it?" - Eline
"A nursery." - Kamin

"I always believed that I didn't need children to complete my life. Now I couldn't imagine life without them." - Kamin

"A good scientist doesn't function by conjecture." - Kamin
"A good scientist functions by hypothesizing and then proving or disproving that hypothesis. That's what I did." - Meribor
"Hey, why don't you spend more time with that young man Dannick?" - Kamin
"You are changing the subject." - Meribor
"No, I'm not. I'm just hypothesizing, that he's in love with you." - Kamin

"Seize the time, Meribor. Live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again." - Kamin

"The rest of us have been gone a thousand years. If you remember what we were, and how we lived, then we'll have found life again. Now we live in you. Tell them of us, my darling." - Eline

"Don't forget these. I won't put them away for you again." - Eline
"Yes, ma'am." - Kamin
***Years Pass***
"Remember, put your shoes away." - Eline
"I promise." - Kamin
***Eline passes away***

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