Welcome to the first edition of The Worst Episode Ever™, where I talk about an episode from a show that is usually high quality, but farts out an episode so bad, so absurd, so epically and shittily written that all you can say after watching it is:
Today’s Worst Episode Ever™ just happens to be a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode I recently re-suffered through: “Suddenly Human”.
Synopsis: The Enterprise finds a Talarian ship in distress and tries to render aid. The crew is either dead or injured until it’s discovered that one of the Talarians, named Jono, is not. He’s actually a teenaged human who might have been kidnapped and possibly abused by his captors! What follows next is a highly nuanced tale dealing with PTSD, survivor guilt, and finding the courage to break free from an abusive situation… Actually, no. None of that happens. This episode is best described as ‘trainwreckulous’. And that’s being very generous.
The Good: There’s a scene involving Wesley Crusher, Jono, a banana split, and Data that is legitimately funny and more than a little heartwarming. It’s one of the only good scenes in this entire trainwreck of an episode.
The Bad: Everything else about this entire episode. Holy. Shit.
-Why in the hell does Picard suddenly regress to his previous “I don’t know how to act around kids!” persona from three seasons ago? He has a relationship with Wesley Crusher, for pit’s sake, so taking care of Jono shouldn’t have been that difficult for him!
-Jono has a living relative. A human living relative. Who wants a relationship with him. We meet her once. Then, everything goes straight to shit and I honestly hope she lodged a complaint against Picard for his decision. Because it was a seriously awful one.
-Endar. Don’t get me started on that guy. I know there are fans who like him, but I can’t stand him. I wish he had died screaming at the end of the episode, preferably by the hands of his
adopted stolen child.
-Fuck Talarian culture. Seriously. Misogynistic and xenophobic? Nope. Wipe that shit off the face of the universe. That backwards ass bullshit is not needed.
-After everything Jono has been through, at the end of the episode, we’re going to COMPLETELY IGNORE THE FACT HE HAS A LIVING RELATIVE AND SEND HIM BACK TO HIS FUCKING ABUSERS. Great job, Picard! Yeah, way to avoid a war and some actual plot development here! 🙄
My Thoughts: Okay, as you can see, I really don’t like this episode. It’s awful. We have evidence that this kid has been abused, he acts traumatized and seems to have PTSD, starts to remember how he was taken from his dead parents, but nah, we’re gonna go with the status quo and just give him back to the guy who kidnapped and possibly abused him. I have a ton of sympathy for Jono, because the poor kid has no idea where he belongs. Making it worse is he’s never given a chance to decide for himself. Sure, he starts to remember parts of his previous life, but that’s just hand waved away in the end. Nope, doesn’t matter. For the sake of galactic peace, just go back to your adoptive dad who kicked the shit out of you. Sucks to be you, Jono.
Then, there’s Endar.
Okay, there are fans that like him. Picard himself says that it seems like Endar cares about Jono. He just seems like a decent, likable guy.
Nope. Not buying what Endar is selling. Because this is exactly how abusers act in public.
Everyone expects an abuser to be an asshole 24/7/365. But they aren’t. If they were, they wouldn’t have any victims! Abusers know how to groom allies as well as victims; they can seem charming, caring, and just all around good people. These people have two different personas, the public and the private. Public seems like a decent, upstanding individual. But the private one? If you’ve been abused, you know that one all two well: the person who breaks you down to the point where you honestly believe you can’t survive without them, the one who swears to love you and know what’s best, but who isolates you, the one who makes you utterly dependent upon them, even though you can’t stand to look at them. Life without them seems impossible and if you have any joy, or happiness, or anything positive in your life without them, you feel immensely guilty about it.
Yeah, the general public doesn’t see that persona. Just the “perfect” one. So no, I don’t care about Endar. I wish he had been strangled by Jono in the last five minutes of the story. Then maybe it wouldn’t have felt like such a collosal waste.
Seriously, TNG, what the hell were you thinking when you farted this thing out? Saying that it’s terrible is being nice! It’s honestly the worst episode of TNG, if not the entirety of Star Trek. I mean, there are clunkers, then there’s this!
Fuck–and I can’t stress this enough–this episode. If you’re doing a rewatch of Next Generation, skip this one. Just don’t even let this one load up. Go to the next one and forget that this even happened. You’ll thank me for it, trust me.