‘Parallels’ (TNG) (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is another one of my favourite episodes from ‘Star Trek: TNG’. It’s a Worf episode that could easily have been given to another character. It is a clever episode about parallel universes and such.

In the episode, Worf is returning home to the Enterprise after some shore leave at a bat’leth tournament on the planet Forcas III. He has won the first prize…or ‘champion standing’ as he calls it.

Upon his return home, Worf is apprehensive as he assumes Riker has laid on for him a surprise birthday party. Riker however denies this, saying that he hates surprise birthday parties. Liar, Riker!

I say that because no sooner has Riker left Worf’s quarters that Worf finds everyone inside surprising him before the birthday party begins. Riker then comes in and he says, “I love surprise parties!” 😀

It was so funny to see and inconsistent of Riker to do that. Worf is annoyed he had this surprise birthday party laid on him and more annoyed when they sing ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’ in Klingon.

But as the party ensues, something odd goes on. When Worf cut his birthday cake, it was chocolate. Later when the cake is shared around, Worf notices it has become a ‘yellow’ cake. What’s going on?!

Also Riker told Worf that Picard couldn’t make it to his birthday party as he was needed on the bridge. Next moment, Picard is there in attendance at the party. Something so odd is going on here.

The changes become more pronounced as the episode progresses. This includes a scene where Worf is in engineering with Picard, Data and Geordi. They discuss information until Worf has a funny turn.

Beforehand, Worf has Data on his right and Geordi and Picard were standing opposite him. After his funny turn, Worf looks up to see Geordi on his right and Data opposite him instead. Picard has gone.

When seeing Beverly in sick bay, he gets told he had a concussion from losing in the bat’leth tournament. This puzzles Worf. He knows he won the tournament, but evidence suggests otherwise.

When he goes to his quarters, he finds his first prize from the bat’leth tournament has now turned into a ninth place prize. He also finds his personal logs changed. This contradicts his initial memories.

He also recalls information about a Cardassian ship that he and the others found out about a while ago. Later on, Picard, Riker and Data have no memory of collecting information on a Cardassian ship.

When Worf is in his quarters with Deanna and Geordi, the changes become more frequent. He sees the painting given to him by Data for his birthday appearing on a different wall. And changes picture!

He also sees Deanna’s hair and clothes changing in an instant before he has more funny turns. He soon finds himself on the bridge of the Enterprise. Cardassians are attacking and he is very confused.

The controls on Worf’s security panel have changed on the Enterprise bridge and he can’t raise the shields up. This results in Geordi getting killed and Picard and Riker becoming so unhappy with Worf.

The confusion for Worf gets worse when he returns to his quarters and later discovers that he’s now married to Deanna Troi. Unable to understand what is going on, his wife Deanna and Data help him.

It soon becomes clear that the reason for these changes around Worf is that he’s shifting from one parallel universe to the next. It’s something to do with being in close contact with Geordi somehow.

Patti Yasutake guest stars as Alyssa Ogawa and she becomes the chief medical officer aboard the Enterprise in one of the parallel universes. It’s soon back to Beverly Crusher as chief medical officer.

Worf soon finds himself in a red uniform and now the first officer of the Enterprise. Riker has now become the captain of the Enterprise in this parallel universe. Captain Picard was killed by the Borg.

Wil Wheaton makes a special guest appearance as Lt. Wesley Crusher, who is now chief security officer aboard Riker’s Enterprise. Interestingly, it was originally meant to be Denise Crosby as Tasha.

‘Parallels’ is a ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode that you’ll need to watch more than once. But I personally enjoyed it and found it interesting how Worf was able to shift from one parallel universe to the next.

‘Parallels’ (TNG) rating – 10/10

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