Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Icarus Factor

*** (3 stars out of 5)

They named a Starbase for Scotty. At least, that's what I take away from 'Starbase Montgomery' and its engineering specialists.

Riker's up for promotion: Captain of the Aries on a secret mission in uncharted space.
And he faces an unwelcome surprise: after 15 years apart, his father returns.

"You choose your enemies, and you choose your friends, but family? That's in the stars," muses O'Brien.

Riker looks as though he wishes his family was literally ejected into a star. Particularly when Riker Sr gets chummy with Pulaski.

Am I overflowing with Not Surprised to learn that Pulaski has been divorced three times?

Wes notices Worf is surlier than usual, and badgers Geordi and Data into helping him figure out why. When the android is rebuffed by Worf's shout of "BEGONE!" Data admits- "He seems quite sincere in his desire for solitude."

Kyle Riker comes across as a glory hog and a glad-hander. Troi reads false humility in him, and competitiveness, along with the ick factor when he hits on her. It seems Kyle abandoned Will when he was 15.

12 years ago, Pulaski healed Kyle when he was badly injured in a Tholian attack. And whatever love they shared is best imagined only with a ready supply of brain bleach.

Wes discovers Worf's beef (not like that). Today is the 10th anniversary of Worf's Rite of Ascension. His squeamish human friends devise the appropriate holodeck program: a gauntlet of painstik-weilding warriors to stab Worfy while he screams his feelings out. It's always fun to see John Tesh as the Stabbiest Little Klingon!

Will and Kyle suit up in the anbo-jytsu ring to blindly hit each other with sticks. Will discovers why he never won: his dad cheats. Also he tells Will he loves him. Aw.

Will turns the promotion down, perhaps sabotaging his own career for happiness. Perfectly valid choice, coincidentally less work for the casting director, uh, Starfleet personnel department.

So everyone who gets hit with sticks goes home happy.

"The Icarus Factor" really pulls out the space opera, but it's still a moving story. Humans with relatable faults are in short supply in this utopia. So although I dislike Kyle Riker and Kate Pulaski intensely, the adage is still true: nobody's perfect.

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