Thursday, February 23, 2012


**** (4 stars out of 5)
A venerable Vulcan Ambassador is coming aboard. He's here to negotiate a treaty with the mysterious MacGuffins... uh, Legarans.

Sarek is on his second human wife, Perrin. Good gravy. Talk about your May-December! Perrin's what, 50? Sarek's a good three grandfathers older than his lady love.

Sarek got Coridan to join the Federation, and was involved in the Klingon Alliance, too. Young Lieutenant Picard met Sarek very briefly at his son's wedding. (The writers are being coy but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Sybok's wedding.)

As Picard remembers it, Sarek spoke to him at the reception, but he only grinned like an idiot. Picard is still in awe today. "I hope I'm that frail when I'm 202 years old."

Sarek's handlers are a Vulcan called Saketh and Ki Mendrossen (who strikes me as Betazoid, which would certainly be helpful under the circumstances, but nobody says one way or another. I'll rectify that now: I officially declare him a Betazoid. So there!).

Legarans live in a dark, stinky, slime pit. Sarek is flipping his Vulcan lid: the conference room is neither dark, stinky, nor slimy enough!

Wes and Geordi get irrationally angry and a little personal with the insults. I think I heard "Space Virgin" and "Holo-Deviant" about to be bandied about before Riker arrives and breaks it up.

The Sareks and their Mother Hens attend a Mozart concert where Data's violin playing causes Sarek to publicly weep. (Probably because Data was actually playing Brahms!) His entourage quickly shuffles him out.

The next day, after Wes's date with Ensign Suzanne Dumont in the arboretum, his mom smashes her tea cup and chokes the life out of him. Well, she slaps him, but it was a near thing.

Ensign D'Amato fails to respect Worf's authority. No one ever saw Ensign D'Amato again.

Also O'Brien started a bar fight, but that's not out of the ordinary. (He has a condition called Being Irish.)

Beverly and Troi diagnose Sarek with a rare condition called Bendaii Syndrome. His emotional repression has failed and is now projecting outward onto others.

Sarek is "being insulated against that truth by those who love him most." Riker and Picard start barking at each other and Data pipes up 'Mommy, Daddy, Don't Fight!'

When Picard confronts the Ambassador, Sarek has a screaming fit. Perrin proposes a wildly dangerous mind meld between Picard and Sarek. This offers Sarek Picard's stability, and Picard Sarek's emotional meltdown. You're welcome.

Beverly stays with Picard in his room to offer private comfort in a disturbing and astonishing delivery of Sarek's inner monologue.

(Rather than risk this, couldn't the Legarans meet with a Holographic Sarek? But of course, that wouldn't be dramatic. Legarans love drama. Stinky, slimy drama.)

I read that the time travel element from 'Yesterday's Enterprise' was originally connected to this story, which would have seen an alternate history war with aggressive Vulcans that only Sarek could put right by travelling back in time and becoming the Vulcan Buddha, Surak. I'm actually fine with it as is, and for me to admit a story is better without time travel is something of a coup.

"Sarek" is many things, but mostly a reflection of how the showrunners felt around the declining Gene Roddenberry. Watching the mind of a venerated elder crack and crumble is painful and frightening. I certainly felt that way during my grandmother's final mortal years.
So here's wishing all of you 'Peace & Long Life'.

No comments:

Post a Comment