WARNING:  The following post will contain spoilers if and only if you haven't seen all of season 3 of TNG.  Be warned, 'cos this warning's all you get.

Well, with "The Best of Both Worlds" now a couple of weeks over, and filming for
Season Four starting on Monday (that's July 9 for all you people getting this
later than that), I thought now might be a good time to see what's been doing
over the past season.  I'll give the same disclaimer I gave a year ago:  these
numbers will, in general, NOT match my ratings from my normal (normal?  What's
normal about my reviews? :-) ) reviews--then it was first impressions, and now I've had a season to mull.  And now, awaaaaaaaay we go:

"Evolution"--For once, we had a season opener good for more than noticing the
uniform changes.  I liked it quite a bit...and the Nanites still have potential for later use.  9.

"The Ensigns of Command"--An EXTREMELY good Data episode.  Both his repeated
attempts to evacuate and Picard's attempts to obtain more time worked nicely.
The subplot with Ard'Rian MacKenzie was a tad disappointing, but that's a minor flaw to one of Melinda's better efforts.  9.5.

"The Survivors"--A pretty good story.  Although there were many technical
glitches, Kevin was an intriguing character, and almost made up for it.  The
big drawback here was Troi reverting to the "screaming ninny" mode for which she was so famous in early first-season shows.  8.

"Who Watches the Watchers?"--My opinion of this has skyrocketed since I first
saw it.  Although I still claim Riker acted like an idiot while being chased,
Picard's efforts to restore the Mintakan civilization at any cost more than outweighed Riker's problems.  10.

"The Bonding"--Yawn.  It was a dull ghost story then, it's a dull ghost story now.  4.

"Booby Trap"--Well, my opinion of this has fallen a bit since I've seen the rest
of the season.  I still enjoyed most of it (particularly the emphasis on Geordi, who until now had been sadly neglected), but they could've done better.  8.5.

"The Enemy"--They did do better.  In addition to splendidly setting the stage
for "The Defector" a few weeks later, this was a very good episode in its own
right.  I still want to know what the Rihannsu wanted with Galorndan Core, though.  9.5.

"The Price"--This had its moments (like Deanna and Bev's girl-talk), but they
were too few and way too far between.  Let's not bring in the Ferengi again if we can help it, shall we?  5.

"The Vengeance Factor"--Now this is what I call BAD.  When the most exciting
thing you experience while watching the episode is realizing that one of the guest stars was in "Porky's", it does not bode at all well.  3.

"The Defector"--Much better, thank you.  One of the season's best, with all the
elements of really good drama.  Although I know we'll never see Jarok again, for obvious reasons, I'd very much like to see Tomalak again.  Nice job.  10.

"The Hunted"--Space Vietnam Vet from Hell attacks the Enterprise.  I'm quivering
in my chair.  Ooh, boy.  This show had a few good chase scenes, but that's about all.  6.

"The High Ground"--While I agree this episode was a tad slow getting started, I
didn't find it nearly as preachy as most of the net did.  Melinda did about as well with terrorism as whoever wrote "The Hunted" did badly with Vietnam. 8.5.

"Deja Q"--Lots of one-liners looking for a plot.  But silliness is allowed once in a while, and I thought this was a scream.  8.

"A Matter of Perspective"--Let me get this straight.  We're supposed to sit and
watch the same sequence of boring events, THREE times, and then listen to Picard
use technical evidence that's physically impossible to prove Riker's innocence. Sorry, but the play stands--Riker is guilty.  4.

"Yesterday's Enterprise"--There is no other.  I've seen it many, many times now, and it still works.  10.

"The Offspring"--An interesting display of Data teaching, rather than learning,
humanity, and an excellent performance by Hallie Todd made this episode live
up to most (if not quite all) of its potential.  It also bodes well for Frakes's future directing stints.  9.

"Sins of the Father"--Nice, but incomplete.  This demands a follow-up which it
was never clear we were getting (unlike "The Best of Both Worlds", for example,
where we clearly are going to get a follow-up).  As a stand-alone, it was nice
but not great.  As a stepping stone for future shows, nice work.  (For example, I'm wondering how K'Ehleyr's going to react to the news.)  8.

"Allegiance"--Very watchable, but unremarkable.  They've done the "laboratory
rat" story before, in "Where Silence Has Lease" (and I think they did a better
job there), and they've duplicated Picard before as well, so I really didn't see much new here.  6.5.

"Captain's Holiday"--"Indiana Picard and the Weapon of Doom" is NOT what I sit
down at TNG to see, thank you very much.  A bad story, with bad acting, bad direction, and bad effects made this one of the season's worst.  2.5.

"Tin Man"--I liked this, though not as much as many seemed to.  Tam Elbrun was
a fairly interesting character as far as he went, but he didn't go very far.
My biggest gripe is probably this:  if you're going to use the Romulans, don't
just use them as virtually nameless adversaries--develop them.  This show didn't.  7.

"Hollow Pursuits"--GET A LIFE!  I still say this was a slight jab at really
hardcore fans, but even putting that aside, I liked Barclay's story.  If Dwight Schultz is available, how about bring Barclay back?  8.5.

"The Most Toys"--This stands out at present, as probably the show that generated
the second highest volume of discussion, thanks to the last two minutes.
Although I didn't care all that much for Kivas Fajo, Data's helplessness worked
for me, as did the Enterprise crew coming to terms with his loss.  And any
program that's willing to spark as much controversy as this did gets extra points for bravery.  9.

"Sarek"--Not being a music buff, I didn't catch all the problems at the concerto
that many people did, and I don't much care.  The plot may have been a tad
simplistic, yes; but when Lenard and Stewart get to work together, I don't notice much else.  10.

"Ménage à Troi"--try "Menage a Tripe".  I propose a deal to Paramount.  Since it
now seems clear that Lwaxana will be appearing once a season, save it until
close to the end of the season.  That way, when you know you're on the last
season of TNG, you can chop her up into lots of tiny little pieces, and
cauterize all the ends so there's no chance of her ever growing back.  Okay?  
Great.  (It should be noted, however, that although I loathed this episode, I did NOT have any problems with Wes's promotion.)  2.

"Transfigurations"--Most of the net hated this.  I liked it a lot.  I will,
however, say that I'm getting just a wee bit tired of super-aliens.  This worked for me primarily because of Geordi and Bev, not John Doe.  8.5.

"The Best of Both Worlds I"--also known as "The Best of Three Seasons".  Despite
my love for "Yesterday's Enterprise", I find that this beats it out for the
season's best.  Why?  Because it managed to evoke all the feeling that YE did-- and it didn't have to blow up the Ent-D to do it.  10.

And that's a wrap.  Now, let's see how the numbers work for that.  

First, a straight average, without knocking out anything:  194/26 = 7.46. Now, knocking out the highest and lowest, we get 182/24 = 7.58.

I'm a tad surprised, because that's a LOWER average than I gave last season.  I
suppose that would have to be because although this season had more good
episodes than last season, it also had a few more clunkers here and there,
whereas last season's only truly horrible show was "The Royale".  Either that,
or I'm just getting finicky in my old age.  (Of course, my rating scales
probably change every season, too.  If I stuck to last season's 10s, then YE and TBoBW would probably have to be around 11 or 12 apiece, which would help.)

Anyway, that's it for season 3.  Enough of the past--the future awaits!

Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy B.A.)
UUCP:  cornell!biar!lynch
"Let's make sure history never forgets the name--ENTERPRISE."                         --J. L. Picard

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