43 – Samaritan Snare

Grade: D+

Samaritan Snare (1989) on IMDb


Dr. Pulaski orders Captain Picard to go to Starbase 515 for an operation. Wesley Crusher is also along the way to take a Starfleet exam. Suddenly, the Enterprise receives a distress signal from an unidentified ship.


OK, this is really a stupid episode. It’s poorly written and terribly acted. In my opinion, this is among the worst ones of the second season.

Near the beginning of the episode, Pulaski and Picard start it all off with a very nice bit of overacting. The dialogue that they scream at each other is just awful. I can’t believe the actors thought this script was even worth repeating. It’s terrible.

Later, right after the Enterprise receives the distress signal from the Pakleds, Data says “that would put us considerably distant from Captain Picard.” Riker follows that up with “I know, Data. I know.” Cue the dramatic music and cut to commercial. Ugh.

Next, there’s a bit of unnecessary foreshadowing. Worf asks Riker if they really need to send over the chief engineer to help repair their ship. Of course, the correct answer is no, they could really send over someone else. But not to worry, nothing will happen to LaForge anyway. In Star Trek, only expendable characters die. Yeah, I know Tasha Yar was killed off near the end of the first season, but she was pretty expendable anyway. Even Denise Crosby thought so. Anyway, if LaForge took someone else with him, it would probably take less time to complete the repairs. By the way, why isn’t Troi on the bridge to help Riker know if these guys are lying?

Captain Picard is going with Wesley Crusher to Starbase 515, but it seems like Crusher was supposed to go by himself to the Starbase. Does it really make sense to send a teenager all by himself several light-years away to take some midterm exam for Starfleet? I can’t imagine Dr. Crusher would have been happy with Captain Picard if she knew he allowed her son to go so far away all by himself.

Troi finally arrives on the bridge, but only after LaForge has already beamed over, and way too late to do anything about it. Having her character off the bridge in the first place was just a plot contrivance, and there is never any explanation given for why she is off the bridge or why she decided to suddenly appear. Then, to make matters worse, as soon as she shows up, she says “he’s in great danger!”, and we hear some ominous music and we cut to commercial. Stupid. Then after the commercial, she reminds everyone again that he’s in great danger. Really stupid.

Well, the rest of the episode is really poorly written and very stupid. Trust me, it’s a lousy episode. If you decide to watch this, try it without the sound.

Of Note

Near the end of the episode, Riker wants to wait about 25 seconds to retrieve Geordi LaForge from the ship. This is met with some artificial resistance from some of the other crewmembers, who seem to want to abandon him and race to Picard’s rescue on the starbase. What’s stupid is that the extra 20+ seconds won’t make a hill of beans’ worth of difference, because when you travel faster than light, time actually slows down. They wouldn’t have any trouble arriving in time to the starbase.

Some Pakled characters show up later on Deep Space Nine.