8 – Justice

Grade: D+

Justice (1987) on IMDb


After transporting colonists to a new planet, the Enterprise finds another Class M planet in a neighboring star system. The planet is inhabited by a simple and peaceful people who seem to live only for pleasure. But the situation suddenly becomes very serious when the Enterprise discovers something else is in orbit above the planet, and Wesley Crusher is convicted of a capital offense.


This weak episode really suffers from very poor writing. It sets up a debate between justice and mercy, but it’s not up to the challenge. It’s only handled superficially and then just gives it up at the end.

Here’s an example of the really poor writing. After everyone knows the punishment for breaking the law is death, one of the planet’s policemen pulls out a needle with some kind of liquid. Worf tells him to drop it, and then Yar picks it up and says, “it’s some kind of syringe.” Then Riker asks “is this poison?” Duh. Why do so many writers think they have to spell everything out like that?

The beginning of the episode drags on a bit, but then once Wesley crashes into the greenhouse, it becomes slightly interesting. The problem is that it really goes nowhere with it. At the end, Picard basically abducts Wesley only because he can. He doesn’t even try to make a compromise or make any arguments on Wesley’s behalf. With a God-like character and the dilemma between the Prime Directive and the laws of the planet, this really could have been a powerful episode. But the ending really falls flat. I’d really hoped for something better.

If you think you’ve seen this episode before, you may have. It’s very similar to the Original Series episode called The Apple. In both episodes, the simple people are controlled by a strange God. They don’t wear much, and everyone is blonde and tanned. And it seems the only reason to watch either one is to see the barely-dressed platinum-blonde girls.

Of Note

Here’s an oops moment. Right at the beginning of the episode, Captain Picard says, “Riker says the planet’s life forms are almost identical to us.” Hmm. Would that be all of the planet’s life forms – like the plants, animals, bacteria, mold, etc.?