[TNG] Season 4, Episode 13: Devil’s DueRating: 3
This episode is plenty silly, but they hit some particularly satisfying courtroom-drama type beats. It seems like, in the world of Star Trek, it would be kind of common for space-faring aliens to try and take advantage of societies that aren’t as technologically advanced, so it’s kinda nice to see a scam-artist doing just that. In the end though, “Devil’s Due” is worth watching because it’s really fun to see Picard turn the tables on his enemy.
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Data tries out acting in order to try to understand human emotion. There are some nice if kind of obvious thematic ties between this opening scene and the performance of “Ardra”.
Enterprise gets a distress call from a guy that’s on an alien world for some reason. He’s studying them? But they know his team is there. He says that everyone is going crazy because they think the devil is coming back.
These aliens are another species where they didn’t even try to make them look alien. On top of that their leader has the super alien sounding name, Jared
This lady, Ardra, claims to have made a deal with the people on this planet. She gave them 1000 years of peace in exchange for their servitude following that peace.
She does some cool tricks to show how powerful she is, and that she’s known as various Satan-like deities throughout the galaxy.
Picard doesn’t think her tricks are that cool. He’s not willing to let the planet fall under her rule.
She pays a visit and says she also owns everything in orbit, including Enterprise, according to the contract.
Picard is pretty sure she’s a con-artist, even though they’ve seen plenty of things powerful enough to do what she claims to have done. But then, she also doesn’t do much they couldn’t fake. I guess its tricky in the 24th century when basically anything is possible for sci-fi reasons.
Ardra has the hots for Picard.
Then she makes Enterprise disappear, but all of the relevant characters to solving this problem were on the planet, so it’s no big deal.
Picard challenges Ardra to fight him in court, to prove her case. If Picard loses he has to be her sex slave.
Data gets to be the judge. It doesn’t go so well for Picard at first…
Every court system in every society in the universe has to have the judge hit something against something else.
Ardra does some more cool tricks, like turning into a lumpy Lucifer.
Then Geordi figures out how she’s doing it. She has a cloaked ship helping her out!
Enterprise crew manages to capture Ardra’s ship so Picard can perform all the same tricks she’s done.
They really make it sound like they wanted her to come back. She even does the “until we meet again” business.
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