Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I, Borg

**** (4 stars out of 5)

On a chilly little world in the Argolis Cluster, a single survivor from the crash of a Borg Scout Ship is found. Prudent Mr. Worf recommends killing it, while Bleeding Heart Crusher badgers Picard into bringing it aboard for band-aids and cookies.

While Bev is trying to treat a hurt teen boy, Picard plans to infect a drone.

Borg don't eat: they have built-in replicators and recharge from wall sockets. So, no cookies, either.

Guinan, like Picard, has very little sympathy for any Borg. She fakes a leg cramp to win at fencing. "You felt sorry for me. Look what it got you." she snarls.

Bev & Geordi begrudgingly analyze Third of Five, name him Hugh, start feeling sorry for him. La Forge urges Guinan to listen to Hugh for herself. It becomes clear that the aching loneliness in Guinan's heart is also there in Hugh's.

Outside of the all-consuming swarm, the single locust is kind of nice guy.

La Forge completes an unsolvable visual puzzle designed to confuse all the Borg into total shutdown. (A deadly Rubik's Cube, if you will.) But he instantly regrets it.

Picard tells Geordi to un-attach himself. To use the admirable detachment of a 20th Century scientist tormenting a lab animal. Wait, WHAT? Admirable? 20th Century? Since when?

Guinan is not sure anymore. "If you are going to use this person to destroy his race you should at least look him in the eye once before you do it."

Picard finally meets Hugh, and playing the role of Locutus to the hilt, has a change of heart. But the Captain makes a major gamble that a natural born Borg's INDIVIDUALITY might be infectious anyway.

His wishes respected for the first time, Hugh would have chosen to stay with Geordi, maybe get a nice spot next to the EPS socket in the apartment with Barash, Jeremy, and Timothy. But so as not to endanger his friends, he rejoins the collective.

"I do not want to forget that I am Hugh." he tells Picard. And even after rejoining, Third of Five surreptitiously glances at Geordi with his human eye.

 "I, Borg" is great. Just great. What a wonderful twist in the Borg narrative. Futile, of course. But that's what I love about these people.

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