Friday, January 13, 2012

We'll Always Have Paris

*** (3 stars out of 5)
Something's gone screwy with time. And I'm not just talking about the way 'Symbiosis' and 'Skin of Evil' got posted in the wrong order here. But I am going to blame Manheim and not myself.

Physicist Paul Manheim ran an experiment that probably would've made the Time Lords of Gallifrey crap their robes. If they were still around.

April 9, 22 years ago, Paris- Picard stood up a woman called Jenice, who waited for him in an outdoor cafe all day in the rain. The Cafe Des Artistes in 2342 is apparently famous for having a view of both Eiffel Towers. That or the holodeck hasn't recovered yet.

Jenice since married Manheim and they are the only survivors of the time-gravity experiments on Vandor. Paul is one of those cutting edge scientists who believe time is not immutable. (As proven rather conclusively back in 2266 by Kirk's Enterprise.) Still, ignore whatever would tend to diminish your reputation, Dr. Manheim. If that is your real beard... uh, name.

Manheim is either experiencing two dimensions at once or is crazy-cuckoo-nutty-bonkers.

Picard orders Data to '...put a stitch in time and save much more than nine'. Once the android dodges the lasers and fluorescent tubes in doorways, he must seal the break between dimensions with a dollop of antimatter. Two Other Datas appear, and the middle one decides he is the correct one to make the patch. Fortunately, neither Lazarus emerges.

Somehow, nobody even wags a finger at Manheim for the lab deaths, the deja vu, the confusion, the widespread panic, and the deja vu, or nearly destroying the universe. He and his wife burrow back into their rock, and the Enterprise heads for the Blue Parrot Cafe on Sarona VIII. Picard tells Troi she's buying. Also, he doesn't say "We'll Always Have Parrots." Except in my head.

"We'll Always Have Paris" is either maudlin or saccharine, whichever means I don't care about it all that much. But I bumped it to 3 stars when I read that an earlier draft had Picard sleep with Jenice during the episode. Thankfully, Patrick Stewart and others vetoed it. I'm not saying these characters couldn't use some mild flaws, but a romp with a married woman while her husband lies dying? That's a tad distasteful.

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