Transfigurations (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 25) Injured Humanoid Charms Beverly, Glows

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. A low-key story that revisits the “corporeal species evolving into a higher form” trope, this time from the perspective of Dr. Crusher, who observes the physical process, as an injured humanoid with lumpy face bumps gradually starts to glow. Not a great episode, but new to me, so a treat to watch. A nicely framed shot of a row of mountains at first looked…

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Ménage à Troi (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 24) Lwaxana, Ferengi, Chess, and Poetry

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. The teaser features Picard fibbing awkwardly to evade Troi’s mother Lwaxana, nicely setting up a later scene involving Picard wooing her with snatches of Shakespeare and Tennyson — first awkwardly, then enthusiastically, as part of a ruse designed to… oh, nevermind why. Seeing Picard save the day with love poetry is well worth the cringeworthy setup. (And the scene also provides the visual for the…

After a pretty crappy day, I found shreds of joy in this clip of socially distanced salsa.

In my discipline, teaching small seminars typically depends on students sharing their weaknesses and vulnerabilities in pairs and small groups, gradually building trust while the teacher moves through the room, listening and joining in and backing away as appropriate. Masked students who are 6 feet away from each other will have to shout their failures from behind their masks, which is a totally different dynamic than having students put their…

Sarek (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 23) Aging with Dignity and Vulcan Mind-melds

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. The Enterprise-D ferries Spock’s father to a diplomatic meeting that will define his career — but the 202-year-old Sarek is not well. The Vulcan’s entourage includes his human wife Perrin and two aides, all of whom get decent story arcs. Wesley gets some good scenes with LaForge and his mother, and Riker and Worf set up a laugh-out-loud sight gag in Ten Forward. The…

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The Most Toys (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 22) Data Abducted by Eccentric Collector

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. The crew react to losing Data in a freak shuttle accident, but he’s been kidnapped by a trader who wants him for his collection. An odd, low-stakes episode that gives us a good look at Data’s ethical principles and negotiating technique, as he calmly debates with his captor and experiments with ways to resist. I got a little tired of the eccentric Fajo. He…

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Hollow Pursuits (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 21) Misfit Crewmember Faces Holodeck Addiction

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. Awkward, stuttering junior engineer Barclay spends too much time in an alpha male holodeck fantasy. His bar fights, sword fights, and over-the-top moments of swagger and seduction approach Kirk-level bravado. A predictable but enjoyable riff on Thurber’s short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” LaForge and Riker have given up on Barclay, but as the wise Picard says, “It’s easy to transfer a problem…