Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Mind's Eye

*** (3 stars out of 5)
In a shuttle bound for Risa, Geordi is alone with the mind-numbing emptiness. Phil Farrand's Nitpicker's Guide points out how ridiculous these multi-hour sub-light shuttle journeys are when the parent ship could get there in under a minute. Did the Enterprise have to be somewhere so urgently that 33 seconds to warp over plus the time it takes to beam down would make any difference? Why should Geordi need to be isolated and bored to tears?

All too soon, the demands of the plot have the answer, and he's wishing he was bored instead of captured by Romulans. The villains send a La Forge dopple-guy on vacation. If this isn't a hired human, and he's surgically altered, this might be the first on-screen brown Romulan. Not that it's relevant, but most Vulcanian types we've seen look like queasy white guys.

A Shadowy Female Romulan Figure directs an unnamed agent (let's call him J'Onn Fleckus) in a torturous mental conditioning of La Forge using his visual implants.

When brainwashed, Geordi will behave normally, but perform as their puppet. He's so disconnected he shoots a holodeck O'Brien without batting an electronic eye.

The Klingon world of Krios is revolting.

Also it wants to govern itself.

Klingon ambassador Kell doesn't think much of Worf. Kell is very pink-skinned for a Klingon, not that it's relevant, but Klingons tend to be brown even when they're greasy white guys. Kell tells the outcast that his killing of Duras was appreciated by many on the High Council.

"My motives were personal, not political," argues Worf.

"Motives? Who cares for motives? Humans, perhaps."

Governor Vagh of Krios believes the Federation is aiding the rebels with free medicine and less easily acquired phaser rifles.

I WANT A PHASER RIFLE! I think of myself as a pacifist, but that's pretty awesome. I'd finish the yard work a lot faster with one of those beauties. Tch-shew! FOOOOSH!

Geordi gets back to work spilling drinks on O'Brien and test-firing phaser rifles. Geordi reveals the Kriosian weapons are Romulan forgeries, but next he jiggers with the logs and beams even more weapons to the rebels- until Vagh catches them at it.

When the Romulans send commands to La Forge's VISOR, Enterprise sensors register the transmission, but cannot pinpoint the source. (The source is the pale old Klingon in the chunky sweater.) Will the under-handed scheme to ruin Federation-Klingon relations succeed?

"The Mind's Eye" is intense. I find torture pretty upsetting, even if it's family-rated, and it wasn't on TV as much back then. Still, great performance from LeVar Burton. Also, I can't get enough of John Fleck. For all I know he's a wonderful guy, but he's always cast as these total slime-balls! We'll see him as a Romulan again. I like to think it's the same Romulan. But they all look alike to me: Greasy and/or Queasy.

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