As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season four of The Next Generation.
So this was an interesting season for me. Season 3 I felt that most episodes were pretty consistently good, and I thought I probably felt the same way about Season 4… until I looked back on the list of episodes and realized there were more “meh” ones than I recalled. Some had some things I liked about them before something weird happened or the resolution was unsatisfying. However, I came with five that I did feel were pretty consistently good. I have to say I’m a little surprised by what I haven’t seen yet at this point, so these later seasons should be good as I see some of the episodes I remember from before.
After his experience with becoming Borg, Picard goes back to his home on Earth and visits with his family. This episode has an extremely sad undertone if you’ve seen a certain TNG movie, but it is interesting to see Picard where he grew up and interacting with his brother, who has very different interests and ambitions.
4. Redemption, Part One
I am seriously appreciating the Klingon episodes more this time around. In this episode, we get some important set-up for the future of the Klingon Empire and important development for Worf’s character. This part one doesn’t end in a real cliffhanger, but it certainly sets things up in a shocking way with something that was alluded to in a previous episode (holy Deep Space Nine, TNG has continuity after all!).
What I enjoyed about this one is that you get to see things from the perspective of those outside the Federation. No, it’s not told from their viewpoint, but you get to hear more of their viewpoint than you normally do in a typical Star Trek episode. You understand why someone who has never, ever heard of Starfleet would not necessarily jump at the chance to join them. You see aliens react to humans like we would to aliens. It makes for good food-for-thought.
2. Data’s Day
This episode is a fun one. We get introduced to Spot (Data’s cat) and Keiko, who marries Chief O’Brien. I’ve actually forgotten a lot of the details of this one already, but I do remember enjoying it.
1. The Drumhead
This episode was a real standout for me this season. I think a large part of it is because I found it crazy relevant for something happening in my life right now, but even so, it’s not hard to think of just how relevant this episode is, period. Immediately your mind will take you to the Salem witch trials and the 1960’s Red Scare. This is an episode that you can appreciate even without really knowing anything about Star Trek, and I highly recommend it to really anyone reading this right now. Queue it up on Netflix if you have it.
What are your favorite episodes of TNG, season 4?