All The [Trek] 49 – “Datalore”

It’s Trek Tuesday, and this week Wesley Crusher is slightly less annoying than usual. It’s true! Don’t believe me? Read on to find out more…

Episode 13: “Datalore”

Jan. 18th, 1988

"MEH."

“MEH.”

During the first five minutes of this episode I was bored to death. Each scene went something like this:

Everyone: “Data, aren’t you excited to visit your barren home planet?”

Data: “Meh.”

Data’s complete lack of interest mirrored my own. Little dd I know that this episode of Star Trek is the first to elicit the exact emotions it wanted from me. You see, in this episode Data gets his very own evil twin (which we’ve seen many times before), but this time the evil twin trope WORKS. Data’s evil twin is his “brother,” Lore is another robot almost identical to Data. The only difference is that Lore is more similar to humans — and he’s a smug, conniving bastard.

"I'm going to kill you all."

“I’m going to kill you all.”

Absolutely everyone in this episode drops the ball except Wesley Crusher. He immediately becomes suspicious when Lore starts impersonating Data. Every time Wesley tries to insinuate that there’s something wrong with how Data is acting, the adults shout him down. Data expresses concern with Lore’s personality, but the crew doesn’t take any steps to ensure their safety around a super-powerful robot whom they know nothing about.

The only human capable of making rational decisions in this episode.

The only human capable of making rational decisions in this episode. Still a little shit.

Lore has absolutely no problem tricking all of the adults, and everyone admonishes Wesley for being rude to “Data” … until “Data” slips up and has no idea what Picard means when he says, “Make it so.” Poor Wesley risks his ensign position to stand up to Picard, leading to this golden moment:

Typically I would find this scene satisfying. Wesley usually needs to be told to shut up and sit down. In prior episodes he has, for no apparent reason, taken over the jobs of people who are experts in their fields. He’s delivered smarmy one-liners, serves as a deus ex machina for the writers, and completely alienates me as an audience member. Now is the one time I want to see him succeed, and instead they usher him off screen and don’t acknowledge that he’s basically saving their lives by speaking up.

Of course, everything shakes out in the end. Lore reveals his plan to sell the crew out to an entity that will strip the Enterprise of all lifeforms — the same entity that consumed all the life on Data and Lore’s home planet. Data and Wesley beam Lore into the black abyss of space. Fin.

Overall Rating: (4/5)

Costumes - 4 out of 5

 

 

I was inconsolably furious with Lore after he drugged and impersonated Data. Props to the writers for this episode, they definitely made me go through all of the emotions that they intended the audience to go through — largely anger and frustration.

I would also like to mention Captain Picard’s stance on humans and sentient robots. He delivers a great line about us all being equals and says we just happen to be made of different components. It’s good that they acknowledge that artificial intelligence/organic intelligence relations have a political side. Acceptance between android and organic beings is still a work in progress. Now, if only he could apply those feelings to the Holodeck