Synopsis: Data loses his head, but it’s all in the past.
Memory Alpha Summary: Anybody hating on this review will be shot.
Review: I like almost any story about time travel, including ones with a causality loop. The Terminator series relies on this as does this episode. And it’s a fine story, with Data’s severed head making for a good teaser and Samuel Clemens making for an entertaining period character. We finally learn the origins of Guinan and Picard’s relationship.
But for an end of the season cliffhanger, it’s a bit underwhelming. Chain of Command would have worked perfectly here. But Time’s Arrow did not have a very tense climax at the end of part one. Other than wondering what will happen with Data’s severed head, it’s not much of a cliffhanger at all.
A few notes:
–Season five was a very heavy season for poker, and at least for its final appearance, there were actual real stakes involved.
–I loved the discussion at the beginning about Data’s friendships being likened to sensory input patterns.
–At the end, Worf tells Riker that it will take him one minute to power up the photon torpedoes. Since when does it take Worf an entire minute? The best answer is when the plot requires it to save Picard’s life.
At least we get a laugh when Clemens sees Worf and yells, “Werewolf!” No word on whether or not Mark Twain is a villager.