21 – The Arsenal of Freedom

Grade: D+

The Arsenal of Freedom (1988) on IMDb


The Enterprise is in the Lorenz Cluster, in order to search for the lost ship USS Drake. Apparently, the Drake was trying to find out what happened to the planet Meenos, where everyone seems to have disappeared.


Here’s another potentially good episode that just falls flat, in my opinion. The special effects are just awful, even when compared to the other episodes in this first season. It looks cheap, and it’s hard to take the episode seriously. Still, it’s an interesting concept that this superweapon disguises itself as an old friend to gather information and then become an offensive weapon customized to attack. This kind of technology could really have come in handy against the Borg later, but whatever.

It’s also very interesting to see LaForge in command in this episode. He does a pretty good job, and I liked how he sent that ridiculous Lt. Logan off on the saucer section. Seemed a good way to get rid of an annoying officer. The scene with Troi discussing LaForge’s feelings inside the Captain’s Ready Room didn’t work for me. It turned out she only wanted to tell him that he needed to instill confidence in the rest of the crew, but it started out in a much different direction. I think this scene was poorly written.

There is also a scene when Dr Crusher and Captain Picard run off for some reason and then fall into a deep hole. Crusher becomes severely injured, and the Captain needs to tend to her injuries. It’s a bit of irony that the doctor is really the only one to get hurt in this episode. This scene along with the scenes of LaForge in command are by far the best parts of this episode.

The ending scenes were a little too cheesy for my taste. Particularly note how the bridge crew delivers their lines. Just seemed really contrived.

Overall, I don’t think this episode is one of their better efforts, though it’s good in some places.

Of Note

In this episode, we learn that Riker was offered a post as captain on the Drake, but he decided to be second in command on the Enterprise instead.