6: Cause and Effect (5.18)

Synopsis: All hands abandon ship.  Repeat!  All hands abandon…

Memory Alpha Summary: Kelsey Grammar gets to play the same character for ninety years.

Review: When I sat down to watch this in 1992 with my father, we were both blown away by the teaser.  Destroying the Enterprise before the credits even roll is one heluva way to keep us tuned in.  The time loop concept was executed to perfection as well.  None of the shots look the same, and the dialogue isn’t always exactly the same either.  And there’s a general creepy mood that washes over every scene, especially in Crusher’s room when she breaks her wine glass.  I felt the solution was also masterfully done.

My only quibble is with the denouement and the U.S.S. Bozeman.  So the Enterprise avoids entering the loop by avoiding the collision.  They theorize that the collision causes the rupture in the space time continuum, and they get sent back in time.  However, the Bozeman has been repeating their loop for ninety years.  For nearly all that time, there was no explosion.  So…the only explanation is that Geordi is wrong and the explosion has nothing to do with the loop and is just a coincidence; the Bozeman was heading towards the loop, and the Enterprise wasn’t, but got pushed into it when they crashed.  Or something.

Poker Critique:  Data, who gave bad Blackjack advice in The Royale, plays this hand horribly as well.  At one point Data has a four, a nine, a six, and a hole card.  Crusher and Riker are betting huge.  Worf stays in with what could only be a pair of aces (unless he’s also a moron).  The best Data could have is a pair, and continuing to call these high bets in the hope that he’ll get a three-of-a-kind with the last card is idiotic.  Data’s last card is a nine, giving him a pair.  He obviously doesn’t have Crusher’s pair of queens beat, because he immediately folds (which also means he didn’t have a pair before, because he would stay if he now had two pair or trips).  The only way he should be staying with a four, a nine, and a six is if he had a possible flush.  And when I pause the screen on Data’s hand, it doesn’t look like that’s possible, but it’s hard to tell.  Also, when Worf flips over his hole card when he folds (another poker no-no), it looks like he has a three, not an ace, but again it’s hard to tell.

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7 thoughts on “6: Cause and Effect (5.18)

  1. This might honestly be my favorite episode.

    I must be a sucker for time loop episodes, though, because one of my favorite Stargate episodes is the time loop episode.

    • I’m a sucker for them, too. I once had this episode as #2. But I think having virtually no emotional weight to it hurt it a bit. I also used to have Time Squared ranked higher, but it was really a poor script.

  2. I don’t know if I’m a sucker for time loops, but I do love this episode so much. I was hoping it’d make it to top 5. Sooo close. Maybe the next time through.

  3. Waiting for this one to show up. One of my faves. Before Captain Janeway and Co. recycled plot ideas and beat them into then ground, then kicked em a few more times. This could be totally off base, but my brain tells me I felt this way while watching various Voyageur episodes way back when.

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