Friday, November 19, 2021

Star Trek: Violations

Episode: "Violations"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 5, Episode 12
Original Air Date: January 27, 1992

Three telepathic Ullian historians are aboard the Enterprise.  Meanwhile, several members of the crew, beginning with Deanna Troi, are having intense hallucinations, then falling into comas.  Coincidence?  Of course not.

Another awkward attempt at a rape story.  In Deanna's vision, she is assaulted by who appears at first to be Wil Riker, though the image shifts to be that of Jev, one of the Ullians.  There's a bit of a mystery structure to the narrative, though that is undercut by the lack of any real surprises or twists that stick.

The whole thing's uncomfortable.  I mean, a rape story should be, of course, but if anything, it doesn't go far enough if the intent is to explore the issue.  Even Picard's little speech at the end about the potential for evil in each of us rings hollow.

Seeing Picard with hair is fun.


Acting Notes

Ben Lemon (Jev) was born in Tarrytown, New York.  Other television appearances include House M.D., Desperate Housewives and The Practice.  In film, he kind of specialized in early '90s sequels: Die Hard 2, Hot Shots! Part Deux! and Weekend at Bernie's II.

8 comments:

  1. I have a vague memory of this episode so I can’t really say one way or the other.

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  2. This is an episode I missed. Glad you posted it,thank you. Its message approaches the problem of historical inaccuracies taught to us in school. Example: 4th Grade textbook, "California Yesterdays", from the 1950s. I was taught Father Serra was a great hero. There were several indigenous American childhood friends whose families passed down stories of a very different Serra. I visited, listened and wondered how much school-crap I'd learned. Much like Troi, faces and characters changed, exposing the mutability of imagination. Troi's emergence from comatose recognition of something closer to reality took me back a long way. There are other examples but this one took me back farthest.

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  3. People cried far greater foul at the attempt in Nemesis, but they did try it here, too. It’s strange that the franchise kept trying, too, because they also did it in Enterprise, then followed up with an AIDS allegory that was the last attempt in the franchise at that point to have publicity over a message episode (“Stigma”).

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    1. It's interesting that the message episodes nearly always fall flat in the TNG+ era. They were bread and butter for the originals.

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  4. Violations is a powerful tng episode which illustrates the bountiful giving tired USS Enterprise-D crew vs the able telepaths and one I think (I don't remember all of it) whose motives are not fair but dark and not understood by all.

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    1. Definitely dark and, unfortunately in the end, understood only too well.

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