152 – Descent, Part 1

Grade: B+

Descent (1993) on IMDb


Captain Picard and crew respond to a distress call at a space station. When they arrive, they find several dead Starfleet officers and the station in disarray. They also find several Borg warriors who seem “more like Klingons”, according to Riker. One of the Borg refers to himself as “I”.


This episode is a great way to end the sixth season. It has an interesting storyline, some good acting, and some good writing. I was very impressed with the scene between the Borg and Data.

I was a little annoyed by the scene with Admiral Nechayev and Captain Picard – at least at first. I didn’t see much of a need for her to bring up his decision to return Hugh to the Borg. That was well over a year before in the 5th season. Starfleet had more than 12 months to deal with this issue, and make sure Picard felt remorse over his decision.

Honestly, I thought it was OK to bring it up, but I didn’t like how the rest of the scene was handled. I’m not sure what I expected, but as written, the scene left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It made Starfleet look petty. Why rehash something that should have been done long before this episode aired?

Well, I did like the way Picard responded to the Admiral. He defended his position, he obviously had his reasons for taking the actions that he did, and yet even though he disagrees with the Admiral’s unnecessary attack, he still is a Starfleet officer, and he responds with the appropriate “Yes, sir” when needed. I only wish they could have shown this part of Picard’s character without making Starfleet and Nechayev seem bitter.

As far as the rest of the episode, it was very interesting and very well written. The mystery surrounding these Borg and what made them different was great to watch. I especially liked the interior of the Borg compound. Seeing the vertical flags hanging on the walls reminded me of a certain other nefarious group of people in Germany during the second World War. I wonder if that was intentional.

Finally, one last comment – it seems the writers have relegated Troi to just stating the obvious again. This time, when they’re in the middle of the Borg compound, she says “it looks like some kind of meeting place.” Uh, yeah. They meet in here instead of outside someplace in the woods. Sheesh.

Of Note

Admiral Nechayev appears for the second time in this series. The last time was in Part 1 of Chain of Command. She’ll also appear in two more episodes in the seventh season and two episodes of Deep Space Nine.

It was great to see Stephen Hawking in this episode. He apparently was a huge fan of Star Trek, and I’m sure the franchise loved to have him in an episode. I thought the opening scene was a great way to include him in a legitimate way.