[TNG] Symbiosis

TNG Season 1, Episode 22 (Netflix: S1 E23): Symbiosis

Rating: 3
Symbiosis is one of the more formative episodes for the Prime Directive. There’s some good back and forth about the moral complexity of the issue. That Crusher and Picard are the two that present either side of the argument adds a nice layer to their relationship.
Read more at Memory Alpha

I like the pre-credits business of getting close to the star.

“Wow” -Wesley

Enterprise beams over some space losers

And some jerks!

They can electrocute people by touching them! So they have a touching fight

There is an interesting dispute for Picard to mediate.

These guys are addicted to a drug that is being sold to them by those other jerks as medicine! Crusher is getting worked up!

Picard doesn’t want to hear it

This turns into a prime directive issue.

File under: Prime Directive

Crusher doesn’t care about the prime directive! She’s such a rebel

Lt. Yar gives us a lesson on why drugs are bad. Thanks Lt. Yar!

The guy makes Riker feel uncomfortable

Crusher gives the drug dealers a stern talking to

Yar thinks these guys are dorks

Prime directive episodes are sometimes unsatisfying when they involve staying out of issues where they could help, but this one gives us a good impression that things are moving in the right direction anyway, with a little unofficial nudging from the Enterprise crew.

Memory Alpha points out that Yar waves goodbye near the end of the episode.


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  • KL

    One thing I don’t understand – since the cultures are space faring, the Prime Directive as a rule doesn’t apply? (As a philosophy it does however). Anyway still a good episode.

    • Hogtree Octovish

      Within their own star system, yes, but they had neither been outside their system, nor had they cracked the FTL problem.
      (And they’re too dumb to understand how their own ships work.)
      We (or some other Federation-allied or at least Federation-associated planet/civilization) sent a scout ship to study them, but only to observe. [Approx. 17:05]
      So Prime Directive rules still apply in that regard.

      On the episode itself:
      I think I would lean more on Dr. Crusher’s side in this case (at least some non-addictive alternative for the space-opium), but the Prime Directive exists for a reason and there need to be some limits, somewhere.