Geeks! To the Bridge! I need your help picking season 2 TNG episodes for my boyfriend to watch.
December 22, 2011 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Excelsior!!! My awesome boyfriend bought me all seven seasons of my favorite TV show for Christmas. He did so knowing that I would make him watch brave of him! Please help me decide which episodes of Star Trek - The Next Generation he should watch.

We have already gone through the first season, which I think is kind of dated and dreadful, but important. In the interest of not totally turning him off by ODing on dopey episodes, we skipped most of them, but I did fill him in on things like "Data has an evil brother", "Troi has an insane mother", and "There's a holodeck, you'll see it later, wacky things happen". Here are the episodes we watched together:

Encounter at Farpoint I and II (pilot, we had to watch it)
Where no one has gone before (to meet the Traveler and get the skinny on why Wesley is as important as he is annoying)
Justice (to introduce him to the Prime Directive, and to watch a bunch of scantily clad free lovin' aliens run around)
Home Soil (because, unbelievably, I had never seen it!)
Heart of Glory (to introduce him to the Klingons, and give backstory on my favorite character, Worf)
Skin of Evil (to see Tasha Yar bite it)
The Neutral Zone (to introduce the Romulans, and to set up the "what happened to the colonies?" question for next season)

Right. So, now we're going on to Season Two.

I gather that his interest is waning, and I want him to hang on long enough for Season Three. I need suggestions for Must Watch episodes of Season Two. They should be either important to the overarching storylines of TNG (there's a Borg episode in Season Two, right?), important character development episodes (like Tapestry is for Jean-Luc), or just plain old awesome episodes (The Measure of a Man).

O geeks of the Hive Mind, what episodes should I watch with him? Season Two had its bright spots (The Measure of a Man comes to mind), but the Writers' Strike was still going on and they were still working out the kinks. Season Three is when things really get going, in my humble Trekkie opinion.

We're going to do a mini-marathon this weekend and I want to have things set up before we start tomorrow night. I don't want to accidentally spring crappy episodes like The Outrageous Okona or Shades of Gray on him.
posted by Elly Vortex to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
These previous threads may be helpful.
posted by milk white peacock at 12:24 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here are two answers in related threads (other than those that milk white peacock linked)
posted by desjardins at 12:26 PM on December 22, 2011

Good grief, how did I miss these threads? I think I did a search for "TNG" - that didn't bring up much - and I thought I looked thoroughly through the "Star Trek" ones.

Oh well. I'll join Worf at the bar in Ten Forward and have some prune juice, talk to Guinan until I feel like less of a doofus.
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:30 PM on December 22, 2011

I know you're done with season 1, but really, you skipped The Big Goodbye? That's a great intro "the holodeck can be awesome!" episode, and is IMO, the best episode of S1.

For S2, Q Who is the episode where the Borg are introduced, and is a solidly good episode.

The Emissary (the name makes me think of DS9) is a great Worf episode, and it introduces K'Ehleyr, who is obviously important later on.

Decent all-round episodes: Time Squared; Elementary, Dear Data (a good introduction to Data's Sherlock Holmes program); A Matter of Honor (kind of? It's a good Klingon episode, anyway); Manhunt (mostly for Lwaxana being hilarious); and maybe The Icarus Factor (decent Riker character development) and Peak Performance.

For S3, you have so many choices of awesomeness. Who Watches The Watchers, The Enemy, The Defector, The High Ground, Deja Q, Yesterday's Enterprise (absolutely unskippable and, I think, the best episode they've ever done), The Offspring, Sins of the Father, Captain's Holiday, Hollow Pursuits, Sarek, and obviously, The Best of Both Worlds.
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 12:31 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

All the moriarty episodes.
posted by empath at 12:35 PM on December 22, 2011

I, Borg -- the very best. ("Then...resistance is NOT futile!" Yes, indeed.)

But please skip "Skin of Evil" which is nasty on many levels.
posted by Rash at 12:45 PM on December 22, 2011

If you had asked his question before you had sat him down in front of Season 1, I would have advised you to skip it entirely. It's just generally warmed-over TOS, and the show didn't really find its own voice and become awesome until Season 2 or really Season 3.

The Borg introduction episode is "Q Who?", and it's one of the first really good episodes the show did. Another notable one is "The Measure of a Man", and I always liked "Time Squared". Zach Handlen did a series of episode-by-episode reviews of the entire run over the past year (he just finished "All Good Things..." yesterday), and they're good reading and helpful in picking out the gems and the duds.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:55 PM on December 22, 2011

I forget which season it belongs, but "The Inner Light" is not to be missed. Enjoy! :)
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 12:57 PM on December 22, 2011 [5 favorites]

Quick tip: Seasons 3&4 are regarded as the best.

Just start there. Nothing is ever that confusing in Star Trek TNG.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:36 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

You know how Wil Wheaton has voiced the opinion that it was stupid that his character often was the one saving the day despite the fact that he was supposed to be an awkward teenager surrounded by very professional and experienced Star Fleet officers?

Trust in his judgement.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:37 PM on December 22, 2011


(trivia: Ashley Judd's acting debut on TV)
posted by sandra_s at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2011

Oh, sorry, thats 5. So save it till then :-)
posted by sandra_s at 1:40 PM on December 22, 2011

Top picks:
Elementary, Dear Data
A Matter of Honor
The Measure of a Man
Time Squared
Q Who
The Emissary
Other above-average episodes (include or not depending on how long you want your marathon):
Loud as a Whisper
The Schizoid Man
The Icarus Factor
Pen Pals
Samaritan Snare
[For those of you who have forgotten which episodes are in Season 2, see here.]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:06 PM on December 22, 2011

I really think you should watch them all, except for the particularly stupid ones. (Reggie Barclay, I'm looking at you.)

The show has some rhythms and arcs and character development that doesn't really play out unless you've seen them all. There are a couple of great episodes where Dr. Crusher and Deanna Troi are in command, and without knowing the backstories, it might seem arbitrary. (IE, "Why is the medical staff suddenly in command?")

And Q, for example, is an important character over the course of the run, and missing an episode erodes that.
posted by gjc at 5:46 PM on December 22, 2011

I know you asked for Season 2 recommendations, but are you absolutely committed to that? Why not Temba, his arms wide a few of your favorite episodes with him no matter what season they are from? You already made him sit through Skin of Evil, why not break out the prune juice and watch Yesterday's Enterprise?
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:35 PM on December 22, 2011

I know you're asking about Season Two, but - like sandra_s - I came in to say "Darmok." I'm a middling TNG fan, and I thought that was the best episode of the series. So: when you're ready for Season 5, please do watch "Darmok."
posted by kristi at 6:38 PM on December 22, 2011

i can second Rob Rockets' answer -- my own TNG introduction has been COMPLETELY disorganized and it hasn't really hurt my boyfriend's cause at all. he's just been picking and choosing his favorite episodes, totally out of order, and i have enjoyed them immensely and never really felt lost or confused.

we started with Encounter at Farpoint but that made me want to jump ahead to more Q episodes, so we did -- then we doubled back and just skipped around to watch the highlights and it's been great. oh and totally go straight to Darmok immediately.
posted by eleutheria at 8:59 PM on December 22, 2011

Oh my lord just insist that he watch all 7 seasons and be done with it. :D /rebel

I personally vote any and all Moriarty eps.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:41 PM on December 22, 2011

Aside from some things like the various Borg episodes that need to be watched in order, isn't TNG episodic enough that you can pretty much drop in at any point in the series and enjoy the episodes? I wouldn't worry so much about an unyielding following of chronology and instead marathon some of the best standalone episodes (like Darmok) and something like Q Who.
posted by andrewraff at 11:04 AM on December 23, 2011

« Older yum, drinking tea with a dormouse   |   Strange holiday card image Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.