156 – Gambit, Part 1

Grade: B-

Gambit, Part I (1993) on IMDb


Riker, Worf, Troi, and Crusher are looking for Captain Picard. They find someone who tells them the Captain was vaporized and presumably killed. Then Riker gets permission from Starfleet to pursue his killer.


This episode is a nice change of pace, and a fun ride. It starts off with a bang – the Enterprise crew searching for Picard in a bar. Then they drop a bombshell when they say Picard has been killed. Of course the news hits the crew pretty hard – especially Riker and Troi. The story picks up from there and ends a lot like the Best of Both Worlds – with a battle between the Enterprise and an enemy ship.

But as exciting as it is, the acting is a bit flat. Sirtis overacts again, and Frakes seems to be mailing in his performance. I wasn’t very impressed with either of them. Brent Spiner does well in his role as Data, when he has to take over for Riker, who gets kidnapped later. But in general, the acting is just OK.

The storyline and script could have been a bit better than they were. I often think the seventh season has been a year of going through the motions. Could have been better all around, but just didn’t quite reach the potential it had set from before. That’s just about how I feel about this episode, too. It had potential to be among the very best, but for some reason, it just didn’t do it for me.

For one thing, there are just too many inconsistencies. Like the fact that Picard just ran off on his own after these thieves. This kind of recklessness doesn’t seem like something Picard would do. Then at one point, Data tells Riker that he shouldn’t lead the away team, since he’s the acting captain. But right after Riker gets kidnapped, Data becomes acting captain, and he does the exact same thing – he beams down onto the planet in a potentially hostile situation. Personally, I think this is an inexcusable mistake. Data should only make logical decisions, and there is no reason why he should have been on the planet.

Well, it’s still an enjoyable episode, for the most part. So I give it a B-, because of its flaws.

Of Note

Kinda funny – they describe Picard as being 2 meters tall, which is about 6′ 7″. In reality, he’s about 5′ 10″. Oh well. It’s not like they expect anyone watching this show to know how long a meter is.