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Sarek

Review

Series : The Next Generation Rating : 4
Disc No : 3.5 Episode : 70
First Aired : 14 May 1990 Stardate : 43917.4
Director : Les Landau Year : 2366
Writers : Jake Jacobs, Marc Cushman Season : 3
Guest Cast :
Colm Meaney as Miles Edward O'Brien
Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
Joanna Miles as Perrin
John H. Francis as Science crew member
Joyce Robinson as Ensign Gates
Mark Lenard as Sarek
Rocco Sisto as Sakkath
William Dennis as Ki Mendrossen
Moral :
Mortality : Nothing lasts forever
YATI : The music Data plays in his Mozart concert is actually a piece by Brahms.
Great Moment : Patrick Stewart does an incredible job of portraying Sarek's emotions in this episode.
Body Count : Zero.
Factoid : Although Spock is found to be very much alive in "Unification", Sarek refers to him throughout this episode in the past tense.

Plotline

The Enterprise is hosting some important Federation negotiations - Ambassador Sarek has arrived on board with his wife Perrin and a pair of assistants to conduct the first meeting with the Legarans. He has worked for ninety three years in preparation for the event, hoping to establish an ongoing relationship which Picard believes will be of incalculable benefit to the Federation.

Sarek's aides arrive first, informing Picard that as the Ambassador is very elderly he will require a great deal of rest to be at his best for the meeting, and therefore any formal events on the Enterprise-D must be cancelled. On arrival Sarek visits the meeting room being prepared for the Legarans, which largely consists of a tank of frothy pink liquid. Picard and Riker muse afterwards that Sarek didn't seem at all frail, as his aides had suggested, and wonder if they might be a little overprotective. Picard visits Sarek's quarters and invites his wife to a concert, adding that Sarek is welcome as well, if he wishes. Later she talks to Sarek, noting that he has been unable to meditate for some time now.

In the meeting room, Geordi and Wesley get into a major argument with one another over a trivial subject, leaving Riker perplexed. Later, Picard comments to Riker that Lieutenant Worf has put Ensign D'Amato on report for insubordination, unusual since D'Amato is an exemplary officer. Riker agrees to look into it. Sarek and Perrin arrive for the concert. All seems to be going well, but Picard is shocked to notice that Sarek is moved to tears by the music - an almost unimaginable thing to happen to a Vulcan. Perrin wipes the tear away and the Ambassador and his party leave quietly.

In her office, Crusher berates Wesley for not being at the concert. The two get into a heated argument, culminating with Crusher slapping Wesley across the face in a moment of transcendent joy for most Star Trek fans. Later a horrified Beverly tells Troi she completely lost control, and has no idea why. Troi notes that she has heard similar stories from at least ten different people in the last two days.

The situation rapidly escalates; Worf and Riker arrive in Ten Forward to find an all-out bar brawl in progress. The crew are mystified as to what might be happening, but it is clear that there is some link to Sarek since the incidents began immediately after he arrived on the ship. Beverly comes up with a possible answer, a very rare condition known as Bendii Syndrome. Affecting Vulcans over 200, its early symptoms can include sudden bursts of emotion, mostly irrational anger. Eventually, all emotional control is lost. Troi suggests that Sarek may be broadcasting his unrestrained emotions all over the ship telepathically. The test for Bendii syndrome takes several days, but with the conference in twelve hours there is no way to confirm the diagnosis in time. Picard goes to one of Sarek's aides and discusses the matter, but he rejects any possibility of Sarek being ill out of hand.

Picard has Data talk to the other aid, a Vulcan man. He declines to confirm any problem exists, whilst also declining to state that one doesn't. But when Data presses him, he eventually admits that he has been using his own telepathic ability to support Sarek's mind from a distance. Now the condition is worsening, there is no more he can do. Picard visits Sarek and questions him directly. Sarek initially denies any problem, but as Picard becomes more strident in his questioning it rapidly becomes clear that Sarek does not have the emotional control he did - eventually he is reduced to screaming "It is illogical!" as he collapses to the floor.

Afterward, Perrin visits Picard and apologises for the deception, explaining that the condition had come upon Sarek so gradually that hey had all fooled themselves into thinking nothing serious was wrong. She begs Picard to allow Sarek to finish his career with dignity, suggesting a way to rescue the talks - if Picard will consent to a mind meld with Sarek, he could lend Sarek his own emotional control whilst bearing Sarek's massive emotional burden in return. Picard agrees, and the meld is conducted successfully.

Whilst Sarek conducts the meeting, Beverly sits with Picard in his quarters. The Captain is lost in emotional turmoil, bemoaning the weakness that age has brought upon him and most especially breaking down over how he was never able to show his original Human wife Amanda and his son Spock how much he loved them.

Sarek's mission succeeds, and Picard is relieved of his emotional burden. The Ambassador is able to retire gracefully with a crowning achievement for his career, and prepares to depart the ship. As they wait, Picard quietly tells Perrin that Sarek loves her very much, and she assures him that she already knew, and always has. Sarek's party departs, and the Enterprise-D continues on its way.
Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 7,577 Last updated : 27 Aug 2016