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This is another one of my favourite episodes from Season 4 of ‘Star Trek: TNG’. This episode has the Enterprise crew solving a mystery where Data seems to be telling lies to them. Can Data be trusted?
The episode begins with the Enterprise taking some relaxation time, including a moment when many members of the Enterprise crew take part in Worf’s strange Klingon exercise. Seriously that’s weird.
Picard also takes some relaxation time in the holodeck where he invites Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan to one of his Dixon Hill adventures. Rhonda Aldrich also reprises as Madeline, Dixon Hill’s secretary.
Guinan only appears in that Dixon Hill sequence at the beginning of the episode. But it’s significant with it setting up the mystery element taking place in the episode where Data tells lies to everyone.
In the episode, the Enterprise investigates a T Tauri class star system with a single Class M planet in it. As they approach that planet, a wormhole appears and everyone knocks out from it except Data.
When everyone wakes up, Data tells Captain Picard that they were out for only 30 seconds. But as the episode progress, it becomes apparent the Enterprise crew were out for more than 30 seconds.
It starts when Beverly Crusher discovers that her moss samples which she planted recently have grown within a day. She becomes suspicious of Data’s claims when she goes to see Picard about this.
By the way, this story features Patti Yasutake as Alyssa Ogawa, Beverly’s medical nurse in sick-bay. This is Ogawa’s first chronological appearance for ‘TNG’, barring that first time for ‘Future Imperfect’.
Colm Meaney also appears as Chief O’Brien in this episode. Chief O’Brien helps Beverly out after getting his arm treated by her in sick-bay. There’s a reference to O’Brien’s wife, Keiko, for this story.
As the episode progresses, Data’s lies becomes evident especially when Picard asks Geordi whether he believes a theory given by Data during a meeting. Geordi tells Picard he does not believe a word.
The evidence becomes clear when it seems that the ship’s computers have been tampered with. Picard asks Data to be checked over by Geordi to make sure his positronic brain isn’t tampered with.
It turns out that Data seems to be fine. Picard and the others are baffled by how Data seems to be telling them lies without explanations. But more clues become evidently clearer during this episode.
Deanna Troi seems to get hallucinations and headaches during the episode. When she’s escorted back to her quarters by Worf, Deanna sees her reflection in the mirror. She’s terrified as it’s not her.
Worf also has a sore wrist which she lets Beverly know when he visits her in sick bay. It turns out that his wrist was broken, seeming to suggest the Enterprise crew were conscious in the missing day.
Finally, when Geordi investigates the probe sent by Data to check out the assumed Class-M planet they encountered, it turns out it has been rigged. Data doesn’t admit or deny the accusations made.
As the Enterprise crew compile the evidence of what happened to them during their missing day, they assume that Data is protecting the Enterprise. But Picard decides to return to that star system.
The Enterprise returns to where they last saw the Class M planet. Counsellor Troi is then taken over by a mysterious energy pulse as he gets possessed by an alien race called the Paxans in that system.
Deanna speaks with a different voice when the Paxans possess her as he talks to Data and the rest of the Enterprise crew. It turns out that the Paxans are a highly advanced but very xenophobic species.
When Picard questions Data over his actions, it turns out he was ordered to tell lies to the crew on what happened when they were unconscious. The person who gave that order to Date was…Picard.
There are so many plot twisting revelations about this episode that I want to share with you. But I’d better stop here since it’ll spoil the surprise. But Data’s explanations on what occurred are amazing.
‘Clues’ is a great ‘Star Trek’ episode from ‘TNG’. It is complex and unusual in places. But it’s a mystery episode worth watching and deserves to be seen over and over again to understand its complexities.
‘Clues’ (TNG) rating – 10/10
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