|The Next Generation|
Continued from last time...
Spock isn't feeling particularly chatty. He tells Picard that he is on a personal mission and that it is none of the Federation's business. I'm sorry that is the wrong answer. If you get two wrong answers you get a permanent trip to Disruptor City. Spock tells Picard of his great plan to reunify the Vulcan and Romulan people. Picard tells Spock that it's a poor taste joke. Spock gets annoyed and his dentures get loose - he lisps Kirk's name in vain!
Data wants to break into the Romulan information net from their borrowed Klingon ship. The Klingons think it is a waste of time as they have been trying for years and have never been successful. Mind you, they have spent those years head-butting each other, so you have to wonder about their commitment.
Riker is still tracking the junked freighter, and is even more keen to know whom he destroyed. The trail leads to a seedy space canteena. Luke manages to annoy Greedo and... Oops wrong space opera! The smuggler's ex-wife is a four armed musician in the bar, and she was clearly forewarned of Riker's arrival. Riker manages to trade a blues riff for information. He must wait for a fat Ferengi arms trader to arrive. What's the point of an arms trader when the galaxy is at peace?
On Romulus, Picard meets with Spock and Senator Pardek. Pardek tells him that the senate has a new Proconsul who might be receptive to the idea of unification. Yeah right. The Proconsul seems a little too keen, but Spock is prepared to do what it takes. After Spock leaves, in walks Sela! Have you noticed that she is the only blonde on the whole of Romulus?
Data isn't having much success in breaking the Romulan entry codes. Conveniently for them, Spock is a master of the art and easily manages to bypass the Romulan security. If is was that easy, why hasn't the Federation been doing it for years? Never mind. They search the proconsul's files...
Worf is waiting in the pub for the Ferengi, and to pass the time he asks the musician if she knows any Klingon opera. Unfortunately for everyone she does. A ballad worthy of a stygian composer is counterpointed by Worf's inability to sing. Luckily it is cut short by the entry of a fat Ferengi! Riker beams down and uses all of the subtly that he is famous for in the discussions. He picks the Ferengi up and beats the information out of him! The Vulcan ship was delivered to the Neutral Zone. I smell a Womulan...
Spock's meeting with the Proconsul has repercussions he didn't expect. Sela arrives and captures him and Picard. The traitor of course was Pardek. A friendship of eighty years cannot be trusted, because the Romulan's are the bad guys! Damn his pointy ears. Sela is a good villain and gives away the plot again - the Romulan conquest of Vulcan!
The Vulcan ships are to transport a "peace envoy" from Romulus to Vulcan. They will of course be the invasion force. Spock invokes logic and refuses to read a prepared speech, so Sela drags out her programmable Spock! The holographic image will read a message designed to confuse the Federation into believing in the peace mission. Given the stupidity of the Federation, it just might work!
Rather than kill our intrepid heroes, Sela just leaves them locked in her office. How polite. Data and Spock tap into the computers again... When Sela returns, the captives are nowhere to be seen, and Riker is waiting with his phaser. The Romulans shoot back, but to no effect since the threat is holographic. Sela is distracted long enough for the guards to be immobilised. The captives have become the captors! Since neither side wants to shed blood or take prisoners, Data nerve pinches Sela on the way out. "Not bad" says Spock.
Riker listens to the Romulan subspace message. Unfortunately for the Drow, Data also reprogrammed the message and "Spock" alerts everyone of the invasion force! The Enterprise intercepts the Vulcan ships at the same time as a Warbird decloaks. Riker asks politely for it to go away, so it destroys Vulcan ships, cloaks and leaves. They killed 2000 of their own troops rather than have them captured. I'm amazed that they thought they could take an entire planet with just those few.
Picard and Data are preparing to leave Romulus, and to no-one's surprise Spock is not coming. He is philosophical about reunification and says that he is now needed more than ever. Does the fact that he will be shot on sight worry him? Nope, but it does worry the script-writers to have an original series cast member floating around, so Spock will stay in the Romulan caves. In a touching scene Spock melds with Picard to learn more about his father. Ugh.