[TNG] The Measure of a Man

[TNG] Season 2, Episode 9 (Netflix: S2 E9): The Measure of a Man

Measure of a Man
Rating: 3

This is the quintessential episode dealing with the nature of Data. It’s also a decent episode in terms of a Star Trek “trial” episode, in that the arguments against who we’re rooting for really seem devastating, and the arguments for our side are expertly delivered, making for a satisfying conclusion. It would earn a higher score if not for the implausible circumstances that set the plot into motion.

Read more at Memory Alpha

Notes:

Poker! Riker wins

The first game of Poker! Riker wins.

Picard reconnects with a woman from his past! They have a gross relationship, bouncing between being very insulting to outrageous sexual advances

Picard reconnects with a woman from his past. They have a gross relationship, bouncing between harsh insults and disturbing sexual advances.

When Riker shouts out "admiral on the bridge" I guess it's just an fyi, because everyone just keeps doing whatever they were doing

When Riker shouts out “admiral on the bridge” I guess it’s just an fyi, because no one really acknowledges him.

This guy wants to take apart Data to see if he can recreate him. He even had a transfer approved putting Data under his command

This guy wants to take apart Data to see if he can recreate him. He even had a transfer approved, putting Data under his command.

Data says screw that, I'm resigning (paraphrasing)

Data says screw that crap, I’m resigning (paraphrasing).

They determine that Data is a machine that is property of the Federation and he can't resign. Picard challenges this determination!

They determine that Data is a machine that is property of the Federation and he can’t resign. You’d think this kind of thing would have been resolved back when Data entered Starfleet… 

They have to hold a hearing on whether Data is property or a person. Because of some regulation that doesn't make any sense and is a bad attempt by the writers to add tension, Riker has to represent the position against Picard and Data

They have to hold a hearing on whether Data is property or a person. Because of some regulation that doesn’t make any sense and is just a bad attempt by the writers to add tension, Riker has to represent the position against Picard and Data.

Riker nails Data with questions about what he's made of. He also asks him to bend a pipe probably just because he thinks it's cool

Riker nails Data with questions about what he’s made of. He also asks him to bend a pipe, probably just because he thinks it’s cool. If I knew Data I’d have him bend pipes pretty much every day.

Riker's intitial points seem really good for his side, but then it just seems like he's messing around. He takes off Data's hand. So what? People can have removable hands

Riker’s initial points seem really good for his side, but then it just seems like he’s messing around. He takes off Data’s hand. So what? People can have removable hands.

When it's Picards turn, he goes through Data's personal junk

When it’s Picard’s turn, he goes through Data’s personal belongings, making the point that it means something to him even though it’s a bunch of junk.

Picard gets Data to reveal that he was "intimate" with Tasha Yar. That might not convince them that he's a person. It might just convince them that was really gross

Picard gets Data to reveal that he was “intimate” with Tasha Yar. That might not convince them that he’s a person. It might just remind them of how terrible The Naked Now was.

Picard's ending points are really good. He talks about how this decision can tell people how we are to treat androids when there are thousands (an entire race) of them. He also argues that Data meets the definition of sentience, which is the heart of the matter.

Picard’s ending points are really well stated. He argues that sentience is basically impossible to prove, and that this decision can tell people how we are to treat androids on the eventuality of an entire race of them existing. 

The lady ends up ruling that Data should have choice. Does that mean he isn't considered property and should be allowed to resign (to avoid the transfer)?? Will we ever see Data again?? She also agrees to dinner with Picard. Gross

The lady ends up ruling that Data should have choice. Does that mean he isn’t considered property and should be allowed to resign? Will we ever see Data again?? She also agrees to dinner with Picard. Gross.

 

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  • Kurt

    Classic writeup.