Tuesday, March 27, 2012


*** (3 stars out of 5)
Enterprise is bringing telepathic Ulian historians to Kaldra IV. The garb of the Ulian is, for some reason, cut up like paper snowflakes. It is the only charming thing about them.

The Ulians' leader, chunky old Tarmin, helps Keiko retrieve a memory of her Obachan. He is eager to retrieve memories for everyone, but the crew is a little squeamish. Worf pretty much says it all: "Klingons do not allow themselves to be... probed."

Tarmin brags about how much better he is at telepathy than his withdrawn son Norman... uh, Jev.

Yet soon we learn that Jev IS proficient enough to probe Counselor Troi into a coma. Jev forces his way into her memory, and twists a post-poker game smooch with Riker into an assault.

Jev dodges Riker's investigation by invading Will's mind. He's tormented by the order he recently gave that cost the life of Ensign Keller. And now there's two comas.

When Beverly Crusher starts prying, she conveniently drops into a coma also. She's haunted by the memory of the starbase morgue where she viewed Jack's body alongside bandaged Captain Picard.

"Will keeping telepaths in their quarters prevent it from happening again?" Geordi asks, quite sensibly, when Picard orders it.

Geordi uncovers two cases of weird coma on Jarada III at the same time the Ulians were there. Jev is less particular about who he violates than anyone ever: at least, if that's the planet of the giant cockroaches mentioned in Season 1. I believe I speak for everyone when I say... ICK.

Troi awakens after three days but cannot recall her nightmare. Jev, under supervision, "recovers" Troi's memory... of Tarmin assaulting her.

About to get away with it, Jev cannot resist going back for thirds and is caught making another attack on Troi. She gets in a few good punches before Worf takes the frakker down.

"Memory invasion is simply not a crime that we've ever had to contend with," says Picard. What? WHAT? WHAT? No Romulans or Vulcans have ever tried to pull this crap in the hundreds of years you've known them? Not once? Think hard. I know Vulcans are the good guys, but come on. Mr. Spock's maneuver on Valeris was very much a memory invasion. Necessary perhaps, but arguably criminal.

The punishment for Jev is quite severe. I'm guessing it's not the gas chamber if they're Federation, but if it's a lobotomy it couldn't happen to a creepier guy. Misuse it and lose it.

"Violations" is the first episode made after Mr. Roddenberry's death. Some very ugly concepts are on display here. It's effective, scary drama.

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