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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…

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Tin Man (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 20) Sad telepath bonds with starship-sized creature

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. Racing the Romulans to engage a starship-sized space creature near a pending supernova, the Enterprise takes aboard a first-contact specialist with a troubled past. Civilian Tam Elbrum’s sensitivity to the thoughts of others makes him so impatient and arrogant with the humanoid crew (at one point even shoving Picard out of his customary space between the con and ops stations) that not even his…

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Captain’s Holiday (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 19) Picard’s Archeological Romance

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. In the comic first act, the crew conspires to send a grumpy Picard on shore leave. Crusher: You told me your four days on Zylchin Three were wonderful. Picard: I lied. Later on the resort Planet Risa, Picard tries to relax, but he’s interrupted by a meet-cute with a femme fatale, an ethnic stereotype in a loud shirt, and their ongoing dispute over coded…

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Allegiance (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Three, Episode 18) Picard plays ‘Escape the Room’ as his doppelgänger flirts and sings

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. The episode feels like a gimmick approved by a cigar-chomping producer who barked at a room of scrappy doe-eyed writers: “Put a script on my desk by 4pm today, or tomorrow you’ll be back on the bus to Dubuque!” Picard is transported to a windowless chamber where he and three other captives get on each others’ nerves; meanwhile, a duplicate of Picard sings a…