[TNG] The Defector

[TNG] Season 3, Episode 10: The Defector

The DefectorRating: 5

This may be the best Romulan episode in TNG, which is saying a lot. It manages to sum up the nature of Romulans, that interesting mixture of nobility and deceitfulness that makes them such interesting foes. It’s also a good episode for Picard, and contains a great guest character arc that ends in a tragedy that resonates in a way uncommon for Star Trek.

Read more at Memory Alpha

Notes:

Picard has Data acting out Shakespeare in order to understand humans

Picard has Data acting out Shakespeare in order to understand humans

I guess Patrick Stewart couldn't resist getting in on the Shakespeare action

I guess Patrick Stewart couldn’t resist getting in on the Shakespeare action

A lot of the episode is Picard and the crew trying to figure out if this Romulan is a real defector or a spy

A lot of the episode is Picard and the crew trying to figure out if Jarok is a real defector or a spy, while he believably grapples with the decision he’s made and the new course of his life that decision has created.

It seems like this would be an episode where Troi would be an enormous asset, but she just stares at the Romulan

It seems like this would be an episode where Troi would be an enormous asset, but she just stares at the Romulan

I like the subtle foreshadowing

There’s some very nice, quick and subtle foreshadowing.

This is a good episode for Picard

Picard’s strategic maneuvering through the episode is great, as well as the way he interacts with Jarok. It helps that James Sloyan performs his role so well.

Just in case you haven’t seen this episode, the rest of the post contains SPOILERS!

 

Picture 17

Tomalek commands the Romulan ships! The way Picard leads them into what they know is a trap is pretty suspenseful.

Picture 20

It’s revealed that the Romulans tricked Jarok, testing his loyalty in an attempt to lure the Federation into a trap. His delivery of the line “I did it for nothing.” is pretty great.

Picture 19

…But Picard also has a trick up his sleeve. It’s not often that Trek supplies a genuine twist. Picard says to Tomalek: “If the cause is just and honorable, they are prepared to give their lives. Are you prepared to die today, Tomalek?”. Aside from being just plain cool, it’s a nice reflection to Henry V from the top of the episode.

 

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  • Steffen

    Guys, that’s a way too short review for a 5!

  • Malachi Ward

    You’re right, Steffen! We’ll right up some more about this great episode.

  • Steffen

    Thank you, sir!

  • Wes

    “If the cause is just and honorable, they are prepared to give their lives.” Then the Klingons uncloak!!! This episode is made of pure awesome.

  • Hogtree Octovish

    So after all that the Admiral had to do to convince (from his point of view) an enemy ship to enter the Neutral Zone, he finds out it was just a cruel trick played on him by his own people.
    Poor guy. 🙁

    Although, it was nice to see the slimeball Commander from The Enemy again.