‘Identity Crisis’ (TNG) (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is another Geordi episode in the ‘TNG’ series where he transforms into a blue-veined alien. I get the feeling that there have been a lot of Geordi episodes in Season 4 of ‘TNG’. Not that’s a bad thing.

In this episode, Geordi is reunited with an old friend and former crewmate, Maryann Plunkett as Lt. Commander Susanna Leijten. It was nice to see Geordi’s past being touched upon in this TV episode.

The episode begins with a video log recording of a past mission with Geordi and Susanna Leijten. Of course, at this stage in life, Geordi is in his red uniform when he was a navigator before an engineer.

Susanna has come to the Enterprise over concern of a previous mission. She, Geordi and three other crewmates were of the starship Victory. They were on an away mission on the planet Tarchannen III.

Lately, the three other crewmates of Susanna and Geordi’s team have deserted their posts, stolen shuttlecrafts and have tried to return to the Tarchannen planet. Susanna and Geordi aren’t affected.

I like the friendship that’s been formed between Susanna and Geordi in this episode. They clearly get on well with each other and it seems like a brotherly-sister relationship between them in the TV tale.

The Enterprise soon goes off to Tarchannen III in order to determine what’s been going on. One of the shuttlecrafts stolen by one of the crewmates, Lt. Hickman, attempts to land on the planet itself.

The shuttlecraft gets incinerated when it enters into the planet’s atmosphere, killing Hickman in the process. The Enterprise crew are so baffled, especially when attempts of communication have failed.

Eventually, Riker leads an away team including Riker, Data, Worf and Geordi with Susanna accompanying them. They go down to the planet surface as they discover another shuttlecraft there.

There are also strange footprints nearby. Susanna wanders off on her own for a bit until Geordi finds her. She starts feeling ill and panic-stricken, just as Geordi requests for the two of them to beam out.

Back on the Enterprise, Susanna recovers from her spasm of illness and panic. But she seems very determined and anxious in wanting to return to the planet surface and to continue the investigation.

Picard denies this as it’s uncertain where Susanna’s current condition is a result of what happened of being on the planet. She’s allowed though to continue the investigation with Geordi aboard the ship.

But as the episode progresses, Susanna becomes jittery and ill-stricken before she collapses in Engineering. It transpires when Dr. Crusher discovers that there’s some alien skin on Susanna’s body.

This alien skin happens to be bright blue veins changing her body structure. It seems an airborne parasite is inside Susanna and this had happened her original Victory away team were on the planet.

Susanna is restrained in sick bay with the lights dimmed as her body’s not sensitive to bright light. It seems the same fate will happen for Geordi, as he and Susanna are transforming into a new species.

To distract him from this worry, Geordi continues to study the data from the original Victory away mission. He seems to get nowhere at first before he discovers something odd in the video recording.

Geordi recreates the video recording in the holodeck as he discovers a shadow that does not belong to the original away team including his own. But his being in the holodeck causes his transformation.

Soon Geordi becomes invisible as well as blue-veined alien similar to what Susanna has become. He gets away from the Enterprise, knocking out the transporter chief and beaming down to the planet.

Thankfully Susanna is cured of her condition when Beverly finds the antidote and reverses the transformation process. Susanna manages to get Geordi back and he is restored to human form too.

This episode also features Patti Yasutake as Alyssa Ogawa, Dr. Beverly’s Crusher’s nurse in sick bay. I like how Beverly and Alyssa worked together as a unit in sick bay, saving Susanna and Geordi’s lives.

‘Identity Crisis’ is one of ‘TNG’s episodes from Season 4 that’s pretty average. But it’s got some good moments of tension and I like the friendship portrayed between Geordi and Susanna in this episode.

‘Identity Crisis’ (TNG) rating – 6/10

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