79: The Offspring (3.16)

Synopsis: Data has a child without sin, though this one dies sooner than Jesus.

Memory Alpha Summary:  Also, Data makes a Mondrian, which is slightly less impressive than making a positronic brain.

Review:  This episode had to happen, and I’m glad it did.  Watching Data learn the ins and outs of parenting is a sight to see, and Spiner knocks it out of the park.  What didn’t need to happen was a retread of the whole ‘Does Data have rights?’ plot from just last season.  I find it hard to believe that after a court ruling made just a year ago that essentially awarded Data all the rights of other life forms that he’d have to fight for them again, but I guess making the Starfleet top brass a bunch of insufferable jerks provides upward conflict for Picard and Co.

I’m also a bit bothered by the notion that Lal has to choose from one of two sexes.  Not only do many organisms have something other than two sexes, but gender qualities are completely ignored.  Then Troi counsels her that the look she chooses will affect how people relate to her and then practically pushes her to select a visually attractive human.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t do the same thing in her shoes, but it spits in the face of the “we’re above 20th century superficiality” we had beat into us in season one.

Finally, for the one and only time I’m going to talk about Data’s inability to use contractions.  It’s stupid.  Next season, Data can integrate lying into his program because it’s necessary for him to do so.  But he can’t make a fucking contraction.  Lal being able to do so should not be a major accomplishment.

On a brighter note, Riker accidentally hitting on Data’s daughter is priceless.


2 thoughts on “79: The Offspring (3.16)

  1. If Data really understood parenting, he’d make sure Lal wasn’t “fully functioning,” if you know what I mean.

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