‘WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is another one of my favourite episodes of ‘Star Trek: TNG’s first season. It involves messing around with time and also has Captain Picard reunite with an old flame of his from his youth in Paris.
In the episode, the Enterprise experiences a loop in time before responding to a distress call made by a Dr. Paul Manheim. The Enterprise sets off to the rescue, but it’ll mean Picard revisiting his past.
This is an intriguing episode of character development for Picard. Early on, we see him enjoying a hobby of sword-fencing with a lieutenant. This is one of Picard’s many interests as well as Dixon Hill.
When Picard hears of Dr. Manheim in trouble, it reminds him of a past love he had with a woman named Jenice. Picard visits the holodeck to deal with his emotions and the last time he’d seen Jenice.
Or rather the last time he was meant to see Jenice but failed to turn up. It’s interesting how Picard’s past gets highlighted when he decided between choosing his love-life and his own Starfleet career.
Picard chose not to see Jenice on the day he was meant to see her in Paris because he was afraid. It’s interesting how Picard re-examines his decision to not see her former girlfriend when he was young.
It makes Picard a complex individual, especially when he sees Jenice again, now married to Paul Manhiem and explains the reasons why he didn’t see her. He’s not Captain Kirk, but it is interesting.
Michelle Phillips guest stars as Jenice Manheim. Jenice is delighted to see Picard again when he and the Enterprise come to rescue her and her husband, despite the circumstances of their last meeting.
I liked that scene where Jenice asks Picard why he didn’t meet him on their last day in Paris. The scene is played out well between Patrick Stewart and Michelle Phillips. Jenice is very understanding.
Rod Loomis guest stars as Paul Manheim. Manheim is a scientist who deals with experiments involving time. These time experiments go wrong and Manheim has convulsions as a result of them.
Manheim seems to know of the past relationship between Picard and his wife Jenice, before he married her. It was interesting Manheim asked Picard to look after his wife if something went wrong.
I enjoyed some of the moments when time seemed to be repeating itself. The moment when Picard and the lieutenant repeated themselves during their sword-fencing was fun and interesting to see.
By the way, what happened to that lieutenant Picard was fighting with in the sword-fencing matches. Picard doesn’t even say goodbye to him as he leaves to solve the mystery. He just vanishes.
There’s also the moment when Picard, Riker and Data go into the turbo-lift and finds themselves repeating themselves again. Even Picard gets confused, as all three of them go in the turbolift again.
Seeing Picard, Riker and Data as a threesome in this episode made me think that they could be the new Kirk, Spock and Bones for ‘TNG’. Sadly this didn’t happen since one would expect for ‘Star Trek’.
It was interesting when Troi visits Beverly to ask her about her feelings regarding Captain Picard and Jenice. Beverly doesn’t seem bothered, which is interesting concerning her relationship with Picard.
By the way, isn’t it strange that this episode is set after Tasha Yar’s death in ‘Skin of Evil’ and no-one talks about it? Denise Crosby is named in the opening credits, but she doesn’t appear in the episode.
Eventually in the episode, Data gets sent down to Manheim’s laboratory as he is less affected by the distortions of the time experiments. This was very intriguing as Data copes alone during the mission.
There are soon three Datas in the same room when they’re trying to solve the issue of the time experiments. It was confusing, especially when all three Datas came together and stop the madness.
This episode was inspired by the film ‘Casablanca’ with Humphrey Bogart. This could have something to do with the episode’s title, as ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ is a line spoken by Bogart’s movie character.
‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ is an enjoyable episode from the ‘TNG’ series and what I would call a favourite of mine. It sheds an interesting side to Picard’s character, especially with a past love of his.
‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ (TNG) rating – 9/10
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