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 5 favorite episodes of season two of The Next Generation.
Season three is definitely when TNG picks up, and I had a harder time narrowing my selection because of good options this time! I also wanted to be sure to mention an honorable mention, The Ensigns of Command, since I did have a hard time choosing it or my #5 choice.
5. The Defector
This was one of those episodes that left me feeling kind of depressed in the end, but it was pretty poignant. It reminds me a bit of the DS9 episode “Duet.” I really don’t want to say too much to spoil the episode for those who have not seen it, but there are some interesting twists in it.
I’m not a big fan of Klingon episodes, so I was surprised how much I liked this one. I have a feeling I got much more out of it this time around than I probably did the first time, simply because now I’m familiar with Worf’s journey, and his family is a big part of that journey (and I don’t just mean blood family). I also love what Picard does for Worf in this episode.
3. The Hunted
I have a definite love for the psychological episodes of Star Trek, and this one explores the fascinating psychological idea of engineering a group of people a certain way, in this case, to be soldiers.
First off, from a purely productional standpoint, I love the dark lighting of the other timeline’s Enterprise. Second, we see another version of Tasha who is just so much more awesome for some reason. And third, there’s just something about this story, that I can’t really explain, that is just plain great. It’s a fan favorite so clearly I’m not alone.
Just as a note, this is a wicked cliffhanger two-parter that comprises the season three finale and the first episode of season four. For the sake of simplicity, I am including both parts in my season three recap (though Charlene waited until season 4). I mean, I don’t know what to say about this episode other than the first time I watched it I was just FLOORED. It was the first really huge risk I feel they took in Star Trek and it worked really well. This time around, instead of watching parts one and two in the same fashion they were originally aired, we watched the enhanced Blu-Ray that edits the episodes together as one seamless film. Even when you know the outcome, you still feel the tension in these episodes. It’s one of the best stories of The Next Generation, period.
What are your favorite episodes of The Next Generation, season 3?
These are good episodes. There were a lot of good episodes from this season. Mine would probably be Best of Both Worlds, Sins of the Father, Deja Q, Sarek, and The Offspring.
That’s a solid list too.
Sarek was another good one for sure.
My list is actually pretty darn close to yours this time. I can’t even really argue with most of the order, though I’d have The Hunted lower. I also have a hard time not including The Offspring and Sarek, but I’m not sure how to slot them in. And Deja Q has one of my all-time favorite exchanges.
“Q the miserable, Q the desperate! What must I do to convince you people?”
“Oh, very clever, Worf. Eat any good books lately?”
🙂 I loved that episode!
Deja Q, Yesterday’s Enterprise, and Best of Both Worlds are on my top 10 TNG episodes ever. I’m also not a fan of Klingon episodes (in fact, I’m amazed that they were able to develop warp drive with a society like that).
It is sort of amazing, not because they aren’t intelligent, but because they don’t praise intelligence. But then again, maybe they were all for finding ways to travel the galaxy faster if it meant more conquering?
I wonder if I could grow to appreciate the Worf Klingon episodes now if I went back! It’s so hard to imagine I would. 😀 I totally agree with your top two choices of course – Yesterday’s Enterprise was a brilliant idea and Best of Both Worlds is just jaw-dropping. I have the blu-ray of the two-parter too, and for some reason I missed that break between the two episodes- there was something so enjoyable about reveling in the moment that Riker decides to fire!
I don’t remember The Hunted very well too – I have to remember to watch it again (I’ve been putting on random TNG eps lately when I just want something on in the background)
Well, time will tell if all Work Klingon episodes will work out that way for me or not, ha ha. And I understand about missing the break, I kind of did too!
Oddly, I don’t even remember The Hunted. I’m going to have to go back and watch that one. I’ve seen The Price and The Vengeance Factor countless times but I wouldn’t consider them favorites. I do love The High Ground and Deja Q, though. I love Finn’s speech about freedom and what he’s willing to do for it, because I think it asks tough questions. And I love Q and Deja Q is my favorite episode of his. Menage a Troi is one of my top 5 episodes of the whole series because it’s just so different and I like Lwaxana (I think between you, me and Charlene I’m the only one who likes both Lwaxana and Q). S3 is just such a wealth of good episodes, it’s be hard to pick a top 10 🙂
Yes, I think you’re right about that concerning Q and Lwaxana, ha ha. 🙂 I actually did kind of like her in that episode though, or at least felt sorry for her. Who wants a Ferengi macking on them like that? *shudder*
If you like Q and Lwaxana, then you NEED to read Peter David’s Q-in-Law where the two meet and well…it’s a romp from there. IIRC Lwaxana is given the power of the Q.
And if this list didn’t have Best of Both Worlds, Part 1 on it as the top episode, I would have wept.
Yeah, I really don’t like Q or Lwaxana at all.
Lwaxana I can see. Q on the other hand is one of my favorites. 🙂
Yeah, my husband doesn’t understand. I do like John deLancie though.