157 – Gambit, Part 2

Grade: C+

Gambit, Part II (1993) on IMDb


At the end of the last episode, the pirates had captured Commander Riker and Captain Picard. Picard has just fired on the Enterprise, right after Data ordered Worf to drop the shields. Now Data and the rest of the crew must find a way to rescue both their Captain and First Officer.


Part 1 of this two-part episode left me a bit underwhelmed. I was hoping that something in this second half would really pick up the ball and run with it. Unfortunately, I don’t think this episode is much of an improvement, if at all. The acting is worse, and Patrick Stewart seems to be trying too hard to seem gruff. Notice how his voice changes when he is playing “Galen” and when he is playing “Picard”. It’s unnatural and annoying.

There’s a bit of inconsistent characterization here as well. In the first part of the episode, we’re supposed to believe Tallera is Romulan, but she talks a lot about logic. Anyone familiar with the Star Trek universe would not be surprised to find out that she’s actually Vulcan. But then, after that, she says “Thank you” to Captain Picard later. A Vulcan does not say “Thank you” because they consider it a human emotion.

The writing isn’t very good, really. Baran, the leader of the pirates, tells Riker to kill Picard, which is shocking enough by itself, but then he says it again only a few minutes later. Somehow, the shock isn’t as great the second time around. And in fact, it diminishes the shock from the first time. What’s worse, Tallera tells everyone that they’ll kill Picard on the surface. So we’ve heard three times that Picard is going to be killed. I’m sure we don’t want anyone to die, but hearing this three times is two times too many.

There are also a couple of plot holes that I thought were pretty annoying. First, Picard says he changed the transponder codes in Baran’s pain-inducing device. When could he possibly have done this? I can’t think of any reason why Baran would have allowed the controller out of his hands in the first place.

The other plot hole comes in the climax. Picard tells Tallera that he could see the third Vulcan symbol on the weapon she’s created. But the whole time, she had it in front of her and Picard was about 40 feet away behind her in a dark cave. No way could he have seen it from where he was standing. I can accept plot holes here and there when they’re insignificant. But these two were pretty huge and very significant.

One last oddity. When Tallera tries to kill everyone in the landing party, why does she start with Riker? Wouldn’t it make sense for her to start with Worf? Aren’t Klingons known for their ‘violent thoughts’? Oops.

Probably the best part about this episode is Commander Data, though he seems to have a lot of latent emotions. I did enjoy the scene with him and Worf in the Ready Room, however. He didn’t seem much like an android, but he sure did seem like a captain of a starship.

The last couple of minutes of this episode are pretty funny. I love the way Picard tells Data to put Riker in the brig. Data, of course, takes him seriously, and it’s a very funny ending. But Brent Spiner’s acting in these two scenes just isn’t enough to elevate this episode very high, considering the other significant problems it has.

Of Note

Remember in the last episode that they said Picard was about 2 meters tall? Actually, James Worthy is 2.06 meters tall, but he towers over everyone else in this episode. I seriously doubt anyone familiar with how tall 2 meters is would mistake Picard for being almost as tall as Worthy. About 28 minutes into this episode, Picard takes an artifact from the Klingon, and he seems about a foot shorter.