57 – The Vengance Factor

Grade: D+

The Vengeance Factor (1989) on IMDb


Captain Picard pursues a race of aliens known as “The Gatherers” to see if he can help negotiate peace between them and the Acamarians.


OK, I’m sorry if I’m blunt, but this episode flat out stinks. It’s the worst one I’ve seen since When the Bough Breaks, which was one of the 1st season disasters, and 40 episodes earlier. The main reason this episode is so bad is because of the writing. It was very difficult to endure the extremely lame dialogue. It made the characters barely even recognizable, and it looks like something from the 1st season, not the 3rd.

Here’s an example. One of the aliens is talking with Wesley Crusher on Ten-Forward. He says “you don’t like me, do you?” Wes: “You’re a thief.” So the alien then suddenly becomes very angry and yells out “I steal to survive! Not because I enjoy it! We Gatherers value our freedom, and we take orders from no one!” It’s very odd. There’s no explanation given for why he would suddenly become enraged. Doesn’t seem to fit the character. Besides, what does valuing freedom have to do with the reasons why he steals?

Here’s another example. Picard is on the planet with a bunch of his senior officers and they’re talking to these two groups of people. Suddenly, tempers start flaring and people begin arguing. So then Picard loses total control and yells out “Sit down!” This just doesn’t seem like something Picard would do, but who knows, maybe he’s changed over time.

Finally, at the end of the episode, once Riker finds out that Yuta is the cause of the deaths (oh, sorry, I just spoiled it for you. Well, not really, because 16 minutes into the episode we see her kill her first victim, so the episode does that), Riker beams down with his phaser armed and pointing at Yuta. Why didn’t he just beam her aboard? They had the proof that she had killed before in Federation territory, so she should be apprehended and brought to trial. But no, instead, we have to get a “climactic” scene where Riker has to play hero and shoot some alien he’s falling in love with, even though he only met her at the beginning of the episode. Yawn.

This is just a terrible episode. Don’t waste your time with this junk.

Of Note

This episode has one of Riker’s many love interests, an alien named Yuta. Oh, it served a purpose at the end of the episode, but his repeated conquest of alien women is really getting annoying.