[TNG] Season 3, Episode 10: The Defector
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
Picard has Data acting out Shakespeare in order to understand humans
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 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
There’s some very nice, quick and subtle foreshadowing.
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!
Tomalek commands the Romulan ships! The way Picard leads them into what they know is a trap is pretty suspenseful.
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.
…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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