Eh yo, y'all like Star Trek? I'm gonna write about Star Trek. We're currently rewatching The Next Generation in order and are in the early part of season 3 and I feel like writing brief reviews as we go through. I may go back and write some brief comments on earlier episodes, but for now, this is what you get. Episode synopsis courtesy of Memory Alpha. Screencaps courtesy of TrekCore.
"La Forge and a Romulan are trapped on a planet ravaged by electromagnetic storms; Worf turns out to be the only viable donor to save the life of an injured Romulan aboard the Enterprise."
A pretty solid episode, marking the first appearance of Romulan Commander Tomalak. He's played in such a perfectly, subtly sleazy way and it's really a shame that he doesn't appear in more than a couple of episodes. He's an interesting Romulan villain; Sela is not.
The Geordi plot, in which he and the Romulan officer stranded on the planet struggle to form an uneasy friendship and complement each others' physical weaknesses, starts out kind of stupidly, with Geordi falling in a hole and Riker and Worf unable to find him. Simple solution: Dude's got a phaser, is in a straight, fairly shallow pit. Fire up into the air, leave the beam going until someone nearby sees it. Instead, we get some crap with a neutrino beacon and tricorder modulation but who cares, that's not important. What matters is that Geordi and the Romulan play off of each other well and LaVar Burton does a great job showing the intense physical stress of climbing a rock wall. He seriously makes it look brutal, the man's a great physical actor.
Worf's plot involves the moral dilemma of whether to essentially give blood to save a dying Romulan officer. It's one of the darker plots of the show so far, and his ultimate decision really surprised me when I first saw it. The question of whether to give a part of yourself to save the life of someone who represents everything you hate is not a clean or easy one, even if many of us would probably like to believe that yes, of course we'd do what we had to to save a dying man. This is one of those episodes, along with Measure of a Man, that shows that this series is going to be a lot more morally interesting than what came before. Of course, I say that as someone who isn't a huge Original Series fan, so that might make some people angry. Sorry!