98 – The Mind’s Eye

Grade: B

The Mind's Eye (1991) on IMDb


Geordi LaForge is on his way to Risa to attend a seminar on artificial intelligence. Along the way, he is abducted by Romulans and then brainwashed. An impostor takes his place on Risa.


Here’s one of the better Next Generation episodes up to this point. In fact, it’s in the top 15 of this series, which puts it ahead of at least 84 other previous episodes. My guess is that it will drop a bit from there as I watch the 5th through 7th seasons of this series, but for now, it’s one of the best episodes I’ve seen.

This episode succeeds because it has a very intelligent script, some excellent acting, and some moments of brilliant characterization. I love how Data figures out what’s happening long before anyone else. The climax has to be seen to be believed. And then LeVar Burton follows that powerful scene with another one when he is talking to Counselor Troi about his experiences. This is a very good episode in most respects. If you like “heady” sci-fi, you’ll definitely like this one as well.

I only gave this a B, though I may actually rank it a bit higher once I’ve seen the rest of the episodes in this series. I didn’t really enjoy the episode all that much. It’s not that much fun to watch, which is an important factor in my rating method. As I’ve mentioned in other places in my website – these episodes and films are all entertainment. And for me, if something is not enjoyable to watch, it’s not entertaining. I guess I didn’t like the scenes when LaForge was being brainwashed. But the episode is effective and very intelligent. It’s not the kind of episode that you watch just to pass the time – it’s also going to try to teach you something in the process. In my opinion, it’s just too bad that it’s not more fun to watch, because it would then be one of the very best episodes they made.

Of Note

This is the second Star Trek production to have something in common with the 1962 film, The Manchurian Candidate. The first was the Undiscovered Country film. In this episode, LaForge is brainwashed to assassinate a high-ranking government official in the Klingon empire. In the Manchurian Candidate, a soldier is brainwashed to assassinate a candidate for US President.