As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 3 favorite episodes of season two of The Next Generation.
Season two is DEFINITELY better than season one! Thankfully, it was a little easier to come up with a top 5 this time, and I even conjured up a few honorable mentions: The Royale, A Matter of Honor, and Q Who? (because as annoying as Q is in that episode, it is important). Here are my top 5…
5. The Dauphin
So the weird-demented-looking-bear-creatures are a little strange, but this episode just made me smile because I actually enjoyed watching Wesley be all smitten over a girl. I also love everyone’s reactions to Wesley’s crush and their attempts at doling out relationship advice. I think Guinan ended up saying it best at the end of the episode!
I almost didn’t choose this one because I really don’t care for the main storyline about Riker and his dad and how much they hate each other and want to be macho and blahblahblah. But O’Brien has some fabulous one-liners that made the episode (“No kidding, I know her too, but we don’t do that.”), plus John Tesh is a Klingon and pokes Worf with a pain-stick! Oh yes, and Worf yells in Data’s face: “Be gone!” Basically, I love every part of this episode that is secondary to the main plot.
I don’t love the ending of this one because I think it shows poor judgment on Picard’s part, but I enjoy Data exploring his inner-Sherlock!
I almost didn’t choose this one either because, ugh, Lwaxana Troi, but then I thought about it and I realized I actually really enjoyed this one! Piccard is just perfect in his reaction to Lwaxana and that dinner scene just really made the whole episode. I also love how Lwaxana casually saves the day.
This is certainly the most thought-provoking episode of the season, and it is episodes like this that make science fiction and Star Trek so great. Can a machine be more than property, and be seen as equal to human? Good food for thought and great character development as well.
Also in season two: O’Brien has arrived, and I just love him! Colm Meaney could be seen around the Enterprise on season one, but he was just a nameless guy on the ship. But now he’s got a name and coming into his own as the secondary character Chief O’Brien, who will later become a main character on Deep Space Nine!
Also, Wesley isn’t annoying in this season! He definitely matured between seasons, but he hasn’t reached that irksome stage that he comes into later when he really thinks he knows everything.
And lastly, we have Dr. Pulaski. She actually only annoyed me in some episodes, mostly in earlier ones when she bullied Data. But she wasn’t bad in all of them, as I remembered her being, but I’m still ready for Dr. Crusher to return.
What are your favorite episodes of The Next Generation Season Two?
Solid list. I think that my favorites would line up something like this:
5. Elementary, Dear Data – EXACT WORDS, GEORDI! EXACT WORDS!
4. A Matter of Honor – Solid Klingon episode that really fleshed out a fair bit of their modern characterization. Klag goes on to be a major character in a book series I like, and he’s awesome.
3. Peak Performance – I’ve always had a soft spot for this one. Love the resolution and the “board game” subplot.
2. Q Who – An Important introduction, fairly frighteningly done, and a Q episode? Yup.
1. Measure of a Man – I’m not sure this one is even up for debate at this point, lol.
Honorable mentions (any of which could probably shift around with 3-5 depending on the day):
The Dauphin, The Icarus Factor, The Emissary.
Your list is good as well!
Gah, I really should start watching TNG! I haven’t technically watched all of TOS, but all I have left are the sexist and crappy ones, haha. Any recs on what episode to start with (and should I start with season 1?).
The sexist and crappy ones, lol. Well, I’m a big proponent of watching all episodes, but if you want to skip crappy and sexist episodes, you might just want to skip season 1 of TNG and go straight for season 2. Though if you check out my Top 5 for season 1 I found that there were at least a few decent ones there. I will also say that even though I don’t like the pilot episode, it’s kind of important to watch if you watch the last episode, because it ties back.
Thanks! If the pilot ties back to the last episode, I’ll probably start with that one.
Measure of a Man is *SO* good. I keep meaning to watch the extended version on the blu ray set but I haven’t got around to it yet. I need to do that sooner rather than later.
Really my only problem with Season Two is that I miss Beverly (and it makes *NO* sense that Wesley is still aboard given his mother isn’t there any more).
Extended version on Blu-Ray?! I was not aware of this!
Let me check that when I get home but I am pretty sure it’s there. :/
Apparently the edit on the blu ray is just short of an hour long! I am definitely curious to check what new material is added!
Oh wow! Motivation to get the blu-rays one day…
I remember enjoying The Dauphin – it was a cute romance between Wesley and the girl. And I think Elementary Dear Data deserves to be here because it is so much fun to see Data as Holmes. Manhunt, I barely remember, but those aliens pictured do stick in my mind. Great makeup job, but ick! LOL
And yay Measure of a Man – it’s absolutely wonderful!
Apparently Mick Fleetwood is underneath one of those fishy alien costumes, I learned when we watched the special features!
smitten Wesley!! I learned the word Dauphin from that episode.
And Lwaxana! She’s totally annoying and yet I have always loved her 🙂
The Measure of a Man is an awesome episode. I’ve seen it I don’t even know how many times. It’s thought provoking and there’s gravitas to it. The whole personal relationship between Picard and the JAG was odd, I never quite bought into that. But Riker and Data and the arguments Picard and Riker offer are all so awesome.
I agree about the relationship between Picard and the JAG being odd. In fact, I found any romantic relationship with any woman he had odd except with Beverly.
So wait….let me see if I read this correctly. You put Manhunt on this list but not Q Who?!?! 😉
Clearly you can see my bias is showing through. I adore Q Who — dark, scary and totally amazing. Dear heavens the Blu-Ray HD remastering….I wept openly at it.