‘Samaritan Snare’ (TNG) (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

I enjoyed ‘Samaritan Snare’. I remembered the Picard/Wesley scenes from this episode, but couldn’t remember the Geordi being captured by the Pakleds subplot when I came to reviewing this episode.

In the episode, Picard is instructed by Dr. Pulaski to go to nearby Starbase to have an operation done on his artificial heart. It is something Picard doesn’t want to do as he wants to see pulsar take place.

However, despite Picard’s protestations, he eventually agrees and joins Wesley Crusher on a shuttlecraft to the nearby Starbase. Wesley is on his way to take his Starfleet Academy exams there.

The scenes between Picard and Wesley are my favourite in the episode. Wesley feels uncomfortable with having Picard around in the shuttlecraft. He feels he can’t have a proper conversation with him.

Picard is equally uncomfortable about being aboard the shuttlecraft too, since he doesn’t want to go through the operation. It’s interesting how the tension is created between Wesley and Picard here.

Wesley eventually expresses how he feels Picard doesn’t like kids and says that he would have made a good father. It doesn’t ease the tension between quickly, as Picard goes in the back with his book.

But thankfully, Picard offers Wesley to join him for a cup of tea and some sandwiches in the back. Wesley accepts Picard’s kind offer and joins him. Both have this good conversation with each other.

This is the first time where we actually see Picard treating Wesley as a grown-up and not as a mere kid. Both share things in common with each other as Wesley gets to learn more about who Picard is.

It’s interesting how Picard reveals to Wesley how he got his artificial heart. It’s something that happened to him when he was young as he got into a brawl with some Nausicaans and got stabbed.

By the way, this story of Picard’s artificial heart gets depicted properly in the Season 6 episode, ‘Tapestry’. Having seen the complete ‘TNG’ series, I liked how Picard told his story to Wesley in this.

Meanwhile with the Enterprise, they answer a distress call of a ship of aliens called Pakleds. The Pakleds seem to be slow, ugly and simple-minded, as they don’t know how to repair their spaceship.

This begs the question how they’ve been able to fly into outer space. Riker sends Geordi over to the Pakleds’ spaceship in order to help them with their repairs. Why he was sent all alone, I don’t know.

Whilst Geordi is on the Pakleds’ ship, Deanna Troi senses something wrong and tells Riker and the others that the Pakleds aren’t what they seem. It seems that Troi’s sensations of anxiety were right.

The Pakleds soon hold Geordi hostage once he’s finished repairing their ship. It seems that the Pakleds have acquired technology from various races like the Klingons, the Romulans and the Jarada.

But the Pakleds don’t know to use that technology. Instead of learning themselves, they get other people like Geordi to help them ‘make them go’ into space and to be able to travel across the galaxy.

I do like how the Pakleds have this weird way of talking and they repeat, “We make things!” and “We are smart!” It’s supposed to get on the Enterprise crew’s nerves to think the Pakleds are dumb.

Eventually however, the Enterprise rescue Geordi from the Pakleds and the ship soon sets off to the Starbase where Picard is having his artificial heart operation. It turns out Picard is about to die there.

Yeah, somehow Picard’s operation goes wrong and they need Pulaski’s help in order to save him. Pulaski does save Picard in the end, but Picard isn’t very happy Pulaski was the one who saved him.

I do wonder why Picard has this grudge against Pulaski during Season 2 of ‘TNG’. Maybe he misses Beverly Crusher and he wants Season 2 to end to have her back in Season 3. That is understandable.

The episode also features Lycia Naff as Ensign Sonya Gomez, who makes her last appearance in ‘TNG’ here. There’s also Christopher Collins as Grebnedlog and Leslie Morris as Reginod, the Pakleds.

‘Samaritan Snare’ is a fairly decent episode in the ‘TNG’ series. I enjoyed Wesley Crusher and Picard’s scenes in the episode very much and it’s nice there’s the breakdown of tension between them here.

‘Samaritan Snare’ (TNG) rating – 7/10

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