[TNG] Future Imperfect

[TNG] Season 4, Episode 8: Future Imperfectfuture imperfectRating: 3 

This episode has a kid playing trombone, which under most circumstances would mean it could receive no higher rating than a 2, but Future Imperfect manages to be compelling and fun giving it a 3. Even though the deceptions are mainly broken by the deceivers own mistakes, it’s still fun to see Riker figure everything out. One of the nice parts of this episode is the way Riker figures out the deception through a smart reference to a previous episode.

Read more at Memory Alpha

Notes:

It's Riker's birthday! Geordi is wondering how he gets sucked into these things

It’s Riker’s birthday! Geordi is wondering how he gets sucked into these things.

They get some kind of signal from a planet near the neutral zone. They check it out, but find some toxic gas

They get some kind of signal from a planet near the neutral zone. They check it out, but find some toxic gas.

Riker has trouble beaming back in time. When he wakes up, it's 16 years later and he's the captain of Enterprise

Riker has trouble beaming back in time. When he wakes up, it’s 16 years later and he’s the captain of Enterprise!

Crusher says the gas messed up his brain and we knew it would eventually lead to memory loss

Crusher says the gas messed up his brain and they knew it would eventually lead to memory loss.

Crusher thinks showing him familiar places, like his room, will jog his memory. When Riker says he wants to go to the bridge instead, the computer lags

Crusher thinks showing him familiar places, like his room, could jog his memory. When Riker says he wants to go to the bridge instead, the computer lags.

Geordi has eyes

Geordi has eyes

Data is the first officer

Data is the first officer, Ferengi are in Starfleet.

Picard and Troi show up on a Romulan warbird

Picard and Troi show up on a Romulan warbird.

Picard says they need Riker to fake his way through the last bit of an important peace signing with the Romulans.

Picard says they need Riker to fake his way through the last bit of an important peace signing with the Romulans.

But then Riker finds out he has a kid

But then Riker finds out he has a kid.

Tomalak is the Romulan in charge of the peace agreement. Riker doesn't like this

Tomalak is the ambassador in charge of the peace agreement on the Romulan’s side.

There's some bonding or something

There’s some father/son bonding or something.

Riker looks up videos of his wife, who had died. Riker sees her and gets pissed

Riker looks up videos of his wife, who had died. Riker sees her and gets… pissed? Sharp-eyed viewers will know why.

Then he goes and tells Geordi that he sucks, and it's taking him too long to fix the computer lag issue

Then he goes and tells Geordi that he sucks, and it’s taking him too long to fix the computer lag issue. What’s going on??

Then he starts grilling everyone else. They can't give him answers fast enough and he even catches Data using a contraction

Then he starts grilling everyone else. They can’t give him answers fast enough and he even catches Data using a contraction! The ultimate sin.

He tells Picard to shut up!

He tells Picard to shut up!

Tomalak pulls back the curtain

Tomalak pulls back the curtain.

They wanted the location of a secret base. Riker gets skeptical because they could read so much of his mind, but apparently not that information?

They wanted the location of a secret base. Riker gets skeptical because they could read so much of his mind, but apparently not that information? Riker reveals that he knew the whole thing was a fake when his “wife” was actually Minuet! Who was just one of Riker’s gross hologram fantasies! From that other episode!

(Here’s a link to that other episode)

They put him in a cell with  a kid. They used his image in their scheme, just because they like to get creative and came up with a whole plot line about him having a son when it doesn't have anything to do with that secret base

The Romulans put Riker in a cell with a kid they captured. They used the kid’s image in their scheme, just because they like to get creative and came up with a whole plot line about him having a son when it doesn’t have anything to do with that secret base.

The kid wants out of there though

The kid wants out of there though.

The kid accidentally called Tomalak an ambassador, which was only true in the holoprogram the Romulans invented. Riker calls this kid out

The kid accidentally called Tomalak an ambassador, which was only true in the holo-program the Romulans invented. Riker calls this kid out.

So the kid reveals he's actually an alien, and he's lonely and he lost his mom

So the kid reveals he’s actually an alien, and he’s lonely and he lost his mom.

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  • Mike

    “To me, you’ll always be Jean-Luc”. Classic

  • Steffen de Monte

    The actor who plays trombone kid is really good, while the look of the alien kid is silly. Really silly. Actually it’s nice to have an alien who looks different than the usual piece-of-rubber-on-forehead/nose/ear, but this is just the Roswell-alien (who actually were Ferengi…).

    • yogonaf

      Great call out to “Little Green Men”.

  • Hogtree Octovish

    So, essentially, what this episode is telling me is that to Commander Riker, his waifu is for laifu. 🙂

    Great to see slimeball Commander Tomalak again (even if it was just a hologram (or something)).

    And, yeah, the old Star Trek shtick of the main “villain” being a lonely alien who just wants some friends.