In which I forgot to do one of these this time.
So Picard’s on Romulus disguised as a Romulan, he brought Data along, they’re trying to find Spock whose dad just died to see if Spock has gone rogue, and oh yeah the Romulan internal security forces are looking for him. Also some unknown aliens have been stealing weapons supplies from a junkyard run by an arrogant master of strategy. So here we all are.
Spock refuses to share his reasons for being on Romulus because he claims that they’re private. Yeah, pretty sure people full of state secrets don’t get to just wander into hostile territory. It’s apparently good timing that Sarek died, because it’s what finally gets Spock to open up to Picard. As it happens, there’s a Romulan movement towards embracing Vulcan ideals, and Spock is here to nurture it. He’s there on his own because of all the crap Kirk had to go through when peace with the Klingon empire was on the table. Spock refuses to risk others the way he dragged Kirk into diplomacy last time. They pull down their pants, whip our their rulers, and determine that since Picard refuses to leave without Spock, he might as well help.
Needless to say, the Klingons are not happy about having to stick around, but their captain is mollified when Data offers to hack the Romulan database for them. Which they’ve been trying to do unsuccessfully for years and failed to have any success at. In fact, Data is just giving away Federation science techniques. Starfleet has always taken that alliance more seriously than the Klingons.
So, I don’t recall it being brought up earlier. In “Balance of Terror” it’s only vaguely implied. Spock is here about reunification with the Roulans. As in, the two species don’t just look like, they come from the same genetic stock. This may be the episode wherein that is established, and all without anyone going into tedious painful detail about some diaspora. I’m looking at you, Enterprise The Series.
Spock has captured the hearts and minds of the younger generation. Sadly, it looks like the older generation are going to inform on him. There’s the one progressive senator who’s all ‘man, us old guys are gonna die and pass the reins of culture on to the young people who don’t care about this war’ so you know he’s going to either turn out to be a spy or get horribly killed.
Mealwhile, in space, Riker is going to go hit on some smuggler’s widow in a seedy bar. You think I’m joking, but he’s asking her if she can play the blues. And then offers to help her out on the ivories in echange for information.
Okay, that’s enough of the B plot that’s only there to fill time. I’m sure something important will come out of it. Well, I hope. Anyway, Spock now gets to meet with a slightly younger Romulan Proconsul. This one seems smarmier than the old guy, which is cooroborated when Sela pops out of his closet and shares a creepy smile with him.
Spock is aware of the possibilities of Romulan subterfuge, but blitehely insists on going forward. The chance for peace is worse the possibility of betrayal. Picard takes him back to the Klingon ship and Spock and Data chat about Data’s desire to be more human as they work on decrypting the Romulan computer net. Once again, Data is called out for wanting to throw away what others would think of as a gift. First Q and now Spock express wonderment at the notion that he’d consider his lack of emotional impairment a failing.
Back in the bar, Worf requests some Klingon opera. Thankfully, the fat Ferengi merchant wanders in and complains about it before we have to hear too much of it. He is brash, abrasive, and accompanied by two ladies that seem really unhappy to be there. I have to wonder if he’s actually attracted to them (given the difference in species) or if the arm candy is for the benefit of his clients. Riker is not really good at being patient with Ferengi. Really, this plotline is kind of a train wreck, but as it turns out, the stolen ship is part of the Proconsul’s plan.
Oh hey, looks like the old senator was also in on the plan to make this whole ‘reunification’ thing a military conquest of Vulcan by the Romulans. I’m pretty sure the rest of the Federation are going to have something pointed to say about that even if Picard doesn’t manage to thwart them. Even if Riker does believe the coded message ‘Picard’ sent to them.
The plan is to use some stolen Vulcan ships as a trojan peace envoy and force Spock to read a false statement getting everyone to calm down long enough for the Romulans to entrench themselves on Vulcan. Sela explains the entire plan, shows off her Holographic Spock when the real one refuses to cooperate, then leaves Spock, Data, and Picard alone in her office, presumably because she hates success. They proceed to hack into the computer. When Sela comes back into the room, everyone is hidden behind a holographic wall and a fake Starfleet security team distracts her long enough to get punched in the face because she didn’t notice the wall of her office was, like four feet closer than it should have been. Thwart thwart thwart.
Riker zooms off to disobey the fake orders from Picard for no readily apparent reason. I mean, it’s the right thing to do, but there’s no indication of what tipped Riker off. He’s about to be distracted by the diversion distress call when Spock’s warning message comes out. Tra la la and also Data can do the Vulcan neck pinch. All else is an exercise in hastily-tied plot threads. The Romulans blow up their own invasion force rather than let two thousand troopers be interrogated and given hot cocoa by the Federation. The Romulan underground will continue to build an underground culture shift. Always and forever towards a brighter tomorrow.
Rest in peace, Gene.
Rest in peace, Leonard.