[TNG] The Offspring

[TNG] Season 3, Episode 16: The Offspring

offspringRating: 2

This episode goes over some of the themes we’ve seen before with Data, and uses the story to overload us with fish-out-of-water android business. I was never very amused with that sort of thing with Data, and it’s less watchable with the new character. It also kind of bothers me that this plot makes Data a little less special. The ease in which he creates an android makes him seem like not a very big deal.

Read more at Memory Alpha

Notes:

Data made an android. He calls it his child

Data made an android. He calls it his child

Troi: "Why didn't you give it a more human look, Data?"  She's calling your kid ugly, Data

Troi: “Why didn’t you give it a more human look, Data?” She’s calling your kid ugly, Data

Data keeps acting like there's no big deal, and it's just like any other case of procreation

Data keeps acting like there’s no big deal, and it’s just like any other case of procreation

Data's child, Lal, has to choose what it will look like. One option was a weird looking Andorian

Data’s child, Lal, has to choose what it will look like. One option was a weird green Andorian

Data teaches Lal about all kinds of stuff, like sitting down

Data teaches Lal about all kinds of stuff, like sitting down

Lal goes to school, but she doesn't fit in

Lal goes to school, but she doesn’t fit in

Data tells her "They were laughing at you, not with you. They are afraid of you because you're different." No, they're laughing at her because she's a huge dork. Not because they're afraid of her

Data tells her “They were laughing at you, not with you. They are afraid of you because you’re different.” No, they’re laughing at her because she’s a huge dork. Not because they’re afraid of her

They re-hash some of the themes from "Measure of a Man" only it's not as good. This guy wants to take Lal. It's never effectively explained why this guy wants her so bad, or why it's so impossible to study and train Lal on board Enterprise

They re-hash some of the themes from “Measure of a Man” only it’s not as good. This guy wants to take Lal. It’s never effectively explained why this guy wants her so bad, or why it’s so impossible to study and train Lal on board Enterprise

Lal uses a contraction. Data can't even do that!

Lal uses a contraction. Data can’t even do that!

Lal kisses Riker

Lal kisses Riker

The mean Starfleet guy comes aboard Enterprise and argues with Picard

The mean Starfleet guy comes aboard Enterprise and argues with Picard. It’s always a positive for an episode when Picard argues

The mean Starfleet man tells Lal that she has to leave the ship

The mean Starfleet man tells Lal that she has to leave the ship

Lal starts to freak out and break!

Lal starts to freak out and break!

Data tries to fix her

Data tries to fix her

But ultimately he can't save her. Lal tells Data that she loves him, and Data says he doesn't feel love, sorry. Aww, how sweet

But ultimately he can’t save her. Lal tells Data that she loves him, and Data says he doesn’t feel love, sorry. Aww, how sweet

 

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  • Matt K.

    This just happens to be my favorite episode of TNG. The ending is one of the most heartbreaking moments in all of Trek, and it deserves a special nod for that–for Data to have to watch his daughter “die” and not understand what love, loss, or sadness really is, even though he is constantly going through the motions… I think that was sort of the whole point. A very poignant episode.

    • Malachi Ward

      I agree that the ending of this episode is really strong. I like the way Picard and Data stand up to the admiral, and the way the admiral decides to help Data try to save Lal, leading to an apparent change of heart. I also think Data and Lal’s last moment is really well done. I always like it when the writers suggest that Data is actually feeling emotions, even if he isn’t aware that’s what’s occurring.

    • Mabel

      Oh heck yeah. I bawl my eyes out every time I watch this one. Yes, it’s full of dumb moments, but overall it’s a heart-breaker.

  • Era

    Loved this episode. Broke my heart. Poor Data and poor kid. It’s the stupid admirals fault that she broke down, he scared her wires into frying.

  • MongrelScribe

    Why is every admiral in TNG an a-hole?

    • NoQuarter

      What’s amazing about TNG is that even the asshole admirals have enough humanity that they believe they’re doing the right thing. He was a dick, but he wanted her to survive.

  • Jenkins

    This is a 5. At least a 4. It’s criminal to rate it so low and possibly convince someone to skip such an incredible episode.