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Star Trek TNG - Season 3 - Episode 26

Star Trek TNG - 3x26 - The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

Originally Aired: 1990-6-18

Synopsis:
The Enterprise has a deadly encounter with the Borg. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.72

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Problems
None

Factoids
- Third time Riker saves his life by refusing command of another starship.
- This episode (both parts together) is often regarded as the best TNG episode ever done.

Remarkable Scenes
- Shelby after Riker's job. Even defeats him at Poker. Something rarely done!
- Riker trying to figure out why he's still resisting when starfleet offers him ships.
- The sight and music accompanying the approach of the Borg cube.
- Shelby's idea to release the Enterprise from the Borg.
- The Enterprise running and hiding.
- Picard's capture.
- Troi striking down Riker's decision to lead an away team.
- The firefight aboard the Borg cube.
- Seeing Picard assimilated.
- Riker ordering Worf to fire on the Borg cube. Truly one of the most badass moments of all Star Trek.

My Review
The controversy between Riker and Shelby was annoying. They're facing a major inter stellar war and all Riker can think about is his damn pissing contest with Shelby. I was impressed with Shelby's restraint against Riker's testosterone flaunting though. I was equally pleased with Riker admitting that he admires her. Still though, even after he admits he likes her, he strikes her down for no reason in Engineering regarding her request to continue working with Data and other times as well. That said, this is truly the most captivating, interesting, and exciting episode TNG has done so far. Only minor blemishes.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-30 at 12:50am:
    - As the show opens, Riker leads an away team down to the destroyed colony. When they arrive, he asks O'Brien to confirm their coordinates. O'Brien verifies the coordinates and says that they are at the center of town. The next shot shows the away team standing at the edge of a gaping hole. No buildings ring the abyss. If the hole is all that's left of the colony and they transported to the center of town, shouldn't they be standing in the center of the pit?
    - With the Enterprise concealed in the nebula, both Worf and Picard make statements about what the Borg ship is doing. How do they know what the Borg ship is doing? If the nebula is dense enough to confound the Borg's sensors, wouldn't it do the same to the Enterprise's sensors?
    - Before the away team beams over to the Borg ship, Worf hands out phasers. Shelby then comments that they will only be able to use the phasers a few times before the Borg will adapt to the frequencies. Evidently, tuning these phasers is a big deal. Otherwise the away could fire a few times, use the controls to set a new frequency, and start firing again. However, in the episode "The Arsenal Of Freedom," Data continues to retune the frequency on his phaser to find the "precise frequency" to free Riker from the force field. If Data's phaser had this capability in the first season, what happened to the phasers in the third season?
    - At one point, when Shelby boards a turbolift, she states her destination as, "Deck 8, battle bridge." She and Riker then have a disagreement, and she leaves as soon as the turbolift reaches her destination. However, the turbolift doors open into a hallway, not the battle bridge. "Encounter At Farpoint" showed two entrances to the battle bridge: both were turbolifts.
    - The Enterprise seems to have solved its structural integrity problems. During the runaway acceleration of "Hollow Pursuits," the Enterprise began shuddering as soon as it passed warp 9.4. In this episode, the Enterprise sustains a speed of warp 9.6 for several hours and everything's fine.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-17 at 12:25pm:
    This is something I've wondered before, but I thought of it again watching this episode. Can Troi turn off her empathic abilities? If not, how is it fair for her to play poker? Couldn't she sense if someone was bluffing?
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2009-06-26 at 3:31pm:
    The cool thing is, this episode wasn't just about the Borg. Riker's personal and professional life was under a microscope and you had Picard pondering man's role in history while talking to Guinan.

    When you add all these small pieces to the main plot, you get a very enjoyable, movie-like episode.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-17 at 7:11pm:
    A very good, but imho overrated episode. I'd give it a 7. The Riker/Shelby rivalry thing gets annoying very fast to me, and I thought Picard becoming Borg was interesting enough but ultimately pretty gimmicky.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-04 at 1:22pm:
    I love this episode, as well as Part 2. One thing I want to say about this episode is that it's perhaps the best cliffhanger episode of any series! I shall never forget that famous ending with the music building and Riker giving the command "Fire!" Then... To be continued!

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