Legacy (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Four, Episode 6) Visiting Yar’s Lawless Colony

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break.

The Enterprise tracks a distress call to the lawless colony where the late Lt. Tasha Yar was born. One of the two main factions holds Federation hostages, prompting Picard to editorialize that he “certainly won’t trade weapons for crewmen” — an apparent reference to the Iran-Contra affair.

The teaser had established Data’s growing skill at poker, but just how good is he at calling a bluff? That’s the question at hand when Picard finds himself needing help from a young woman claiming to be Yar’s sister.

The colony setting remains underdeveloped as the story gets personal. Ishara considers her sister a coward for escaping the colony, but Worf and Picard speak of their fallen colleague with respect. The bitter young woman softens around Data, and she’s most definitely not a mean girl pretending to be nice to the class nerd just because she wants him to do her project for her. Nope, not at all.

The hand-phaser skirmishes in post-apocalyptic tunnels, and the 80s music video hairstyles and piratey costumes are all fun. We never get a good look at the distressed freighter or the escape pod, and a map that gets a lot of screen time does not hold up after 30 years.

But this is Data’s episode. The inevitable confrontation serves the plot well enough, rushing us through the colony-bound consequences and setting up for a transporter room reckoning scene where Data gets the last word, and a thoughtful finale in which Riker advises Data on human nature.