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Star Trek TNG - Season 4 - Episode 18

Star Trek TNG - 4x18 - Identity Crisis

Originally Aired: 1991-3-25

A parasite transforms Geordi. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.84

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 6 20 17 11 23 19 25 10 11 6

- Since the computer tracks people using their communicators, there's no reason why it should have been reporting that Geordi wasn't aboard ship after he transformed.
- Why didn't they just shut off the program rather than explore the holodeck when Geordi turned up missing?


Remarkable Scenes
- Dr. Crusher hounding on Data trying to point out that he's showing signs of emotion. Worrying about Geordi.
- Geordi's friend freaking out about wanting to return to the planet.
- Geordi's friend when she started transforming. I loved the blue veins.
- Geordi tinkering with the holodeck trying to determine the source of that shadow.
- Geordi's friend freaking out some more even after she was healed.
- I love the way the transformed aliens looked when Data shined his light on them.

My Review
It's nice to explore some of Geordi's past through seeing a bit of the history of his previous assignment in this episode. Once again, the aliens of this episode were also pretty cool. I love it when Trek comes up with something as original as this. A decent stand alone episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 9:43pm:
    - Both Picard and Dr. Crusher allow Geordi to return to work alone - even though they know that the change can strike suddenly. Picard should have assigned Data to watch over Geordi. Data, on his own, does make a halfhearted attempt at offering his help to Geordi. Geordi gives him a feeble excuse. Data accepts this and leaves.
    - If the computer was programmed to monitor Geordi's movements, wouldn't it sound an alarm as soon as Geordi disappeared? Of course, if an alarm sounded, or Picard had assigned Data to Geordi, it would have been a short episode.
    - Evidently, the show was running a little short on time anyway. Data takes "forever" converting a flashlight to emit ultraviolet light so they can locate Geordi on the planet's surface. Earlier in the episode, Data states that he is "strongly motivated" to help Geordi. Data is an android, in other episodes, has worked so fast that his hands become blurred. If Data is so strongly motivated to help and he can work that fast, why is he moving like his batteries are nearly drained?
    - When the away team beams down to rescue Geordi, Leitjen tells them to turn off their flashlights because the light will scare the aliens. Leitjen tells Riker that the ultraviolet light is "beyond their visual spectrum." Yet when Data illuminates them with his flashlight, Geordi and the other two aliens immediately turn and run away!
    - During the scene when Geordi is trying to determine the source of the shadow, the light strikes his visor at an angle, and we can see LeVar Burton's real eyes (black pupils, not the "white eyes" we normally see when Geordi removes his visor.)
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-15 at 2:23am:
    This is a better-than-average stand-alone episode. The alien of the week was actually interesting, Geordi got some character development, and it was all executed fairly well. The scene where Suzanna coaxes Geordi back to the ship was a little much, but this is pretty good all in all. I give it a six.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-01 at 12:22pm:
    The good part of the episode is the way it presents and explores the mystery. It is well done. But the plotting is not consistently strong throughout, many scenes feel off.
    - As DSOmo's examples show, there is an awful lot of "crew idiocy".
    - Another example is how utterly ineffective they are when they come to capture Geordi in the holodeck. They were just told that he will be hard to see, but they don't account for that at all. And not only could they have turned off the holodeck, with some imagination they could have changed it to a setting that would make it easy to find Geordi (a pristine field of snow, for instance).

  • From o@k.aok on 2011-08-26 at 9:20pm:
    Agree with the reviewer on all counts. Good episode, even better than a 5. Some good performances in this one.

    Also, Geordi tracking down the mysterious shadow in the holodeck was downright creepy. Actually, there were a number of "horror movie" elements in this episode, all tactful.

  • From Mike on 2017-03-26 at 1:13am:
    I agree with DSO. Geordi being allowed to work alone is the one gaping hole in the plot of this episode. There's simply no good explanation for that, given what they know about what's happened to the others.

    That aside, this episode is pretty good. Geordi's holodeck investigation was still a great scene, and the whole backstory made this a compelling watch right from the start.
  • From One world, one obumpresidency on 2021-08-02 at 3:10am:
    Oh my gords, the "blue episode". When I think of all the atrocious episodes scifi shows had between the good stuff back then, this is the one that always comes to mind. Stargate had a similarly bad one where they turn into Cro-Magnons.
    It alone has prevented me from rewatching TNG at least 5 times, I think.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-10-15 at 10:23pm:
    I remember liking this episode as a kid. It seems kind of silly now. I'd love to see what those aliens would look like with modern special effects technology!

    There's the ever-present away team problem, where a ship with a crew of a thousand sends a handful of its senior bridge crew to a strange planet at night with no hazard suits, no backup, no surveillance drones, and no large floodlights. Eh. I know, that's how TNG rolls. But even Leitjen sort of pointed this out when she mentioned sending several teams down.

    The shadow thing doesn't make sense. If the creature blocked the light from hitting the wall, the light would either bounce off of it or be absorbed, allowing it to be visible. For it to be invisible, light would have to pass through it -- as we see in the transporter room -- and thus it would not cast a shadow.

    Data emotion-spotting: too easy this time, considering Crusher basically points out that Data is worried!

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