88 – Clues

Grade: C-

Clues (1991) on IMDb


The Enterprise passes through a powerful wormhole that knocks everyone on board unconscious – except Commander Data. He says everyone has been out for about 30 seconds, but it doesn’t take long before everyone on board notices clues that prove they were unconscious for a full day.


The first 35 minutes of this episode are absolutely fantastic. The mystery of what happened in those 24 hours is very well-written and very interesting. It seems unthinkable that Data could be hiding the truth from Captain Picard, and every scene adds yet another shocking bit of information that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you watch it.

Unfortunately, though, all of that comes crashing down in the last 10 minutes. For some unknown reason, Data just simply decides to finally tell the whole story, despite apparently having been given a direct order to never reveal the truth. And then they meet some strange aliens who make Counselor Troi all creepy, we get some bad acting, some lazy writing, and a cheesy ending.

To me, it seems that the writer didn’t think of how this would end until he realized the show was longer than 35 minutes. I absolutely hated the ending. Picard decides to “try it again, but do it right this time,” but there’s no guarantee that it would actually happen. How are they going to do a better job of covering it all up? That’s never explained. It would be even harder the second time around because they have to cover up a whole lot more time. They can’t just cover up a day – they have to cover up all the time they’ve wasted since the very beginning of this episode.

And what happens as soon as they check the nearest Federation Time Beacon (or Starbase or whatever)? Wouldn’t they find out their computers are off by a week? I tell you, the ending is just lazy. It’s the latest example of the Reset Button. If the first 2/3 of this episode hadn’t been so promising, I’d give this an F because the ending is just awful.

Of Note

Here’s a plot hole that I can’t understand. Data actually suggests they contact the nearest starbase so that they can re-align the ship’s chronometer. But wouldn’t that immediately reveal that they’ve been out for a full day?