A Matter of Honor

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Riker puts in a surprisingly strong showing, especially considering that his two solo shows were toward the end of the series. If I had to pick a few episodes of the show to bump up to 4 stars from Jammer's ratings, they would probably be Darmok and Tapestry; and Family is a highly-regarded episode though I think I agree it's not at the 4 star level. So there are a few big Picard vehicles that are often ranked among the series' top 10 or top 20 perhaps worth keeping in mind.

"A Matter Of Honor"

This gives Picard a big edge over Riker. Of the shows I listed, only A Matter of Honour and Second Chances are not listed already and they are both unambiguously Riker shows ; I think both are great, but wouldn't bump either up to 4 stars, though A Matter of Honour is in contention. I think there are some Worf shows like Sins of the Father and Reunion that would be on my mind for bumping up to 4, too. Keep in mind I am just rewatching s2 now after about a decade -- so I might change my mind on all of these.

Never really thought too much about Riker being a key to the best episodes. He doesn't really seem to have too many episodes devoted to him, but they do tend to be quite good. Frame of Mind and Pegasus are the two I immediately think of. Honestly though, I think it's better when it's him and Picard. BoBW comes to mind pretty quickly. As for the episode itself, I noticed something really odd. At least three times there was a quick scene on the bridge that ended with Picard leaving and telling Data he has the bridge.


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Sounds like poor editing to me. But can't complain too much, as this was a very good episode. I was pretty impressed with the Mendon sub-plot, something I wasn't expecting. He had a pretty interesting personality, and the episode succeeded in making him likable despite his arrogance and condescension. The fact that he still is willing to learn and was so hard on himself when chastised kept us from hating him. But even his likability didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying Worf intimaditing him.

Yeah the Captain was gratuitously stupid, but I can't argue about it too much. Someone had to move the plot along. Frakes' acting during the dinner scene was great.


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Riker looked convincingly out of his element, doing his best to enjoy himself while still wondering in the back of his mind how much further things would go. His look when he saw the gagh as well as when asking if the lady Klingons were serious in their offers and found out it was affirmative. Somewhere along the line There is no way a race that behaved in this manner would be able to create a star ship, let alone operate it. It's like the writers had no idea how to portray honour and strength, and thought it was all muscle and insults. Also, that Bensite? No space faring race would come to the conclusion that waiting until a solution has been found was beneficial to safety.

Too many stupid illogical things like this in Trek. As ever, though, it's entertaining. The role of "honor" was not part of the original conception of Klingons, and received uneven treatment after it was introduced, but they were always "barbaric" and war-mongering. Think of all the militaristic cultures in human history.

a matter of honor

A society of knights wouldn't have been able to build castles and ships, or feed themselves, either. I think everyone who loves Trek has episodes that fall a little short of the classics -- "City on the Edge," "Best of Both Worlds," etc. I just never tire of the episode or the performances or its message. Plus, it was the single best episode of the series up to this time. It truly showed us what this new Trek could be.

This one is solid early TNG for me. Like Jammer, I think the Klingon captain is a bit too hard-headed and that it slightly drags the hour down. I did really like the third officer, though, and the Benzite subplot. This one is an easy 3 stars for me and a very nice example of the show finding its bearings. I was losing hope after 4 mediocre to bad episodes in a row, then along comes this gem. A great concept, well written and acted, and it was fun to watch. A great character development episode for Riker, and we get to see the inner workings of a Klingon ship Agree with Jammer, nice to see an episode where the story is trying to bridge the gap between two very different cultures.

I could have done without the Benzite b-story, but I get why it was there. Definitely a good episode, although I agree with the nitpicks. Of course the behavior of the two characters ends up linked, so that it's hard not to see it as a plot contrivance. Regardless, there's lots of entertaining stuff here.

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I love how Worf glides in each time the Benzite trips on himself and delivers some perfectly low-key threats. I almost imagined some imminent off-screen hazing sessions, lol.

A Matter of Honor

Good episode, this. The fish out of water element plays into a number of fun scenes as Riker integrates with the Klingon crew - my personal favourite being the "one But it also makes some more serious points about cultural assimilation, as the new Benzite crew member struggles to adjust to a different working culture. Yes, the Klingon captain's desire to attack the Enterprise is contrived and overblown, but we get to see brawny Riker shoving his 2nd officer's head through a viewscreen and brainy Riker tricking the captain to gain command of the ship and have a lot of fun on the way. One of my pet peeves from season 1 is the cumbersome exchange: Lieutenant, open hailing frequencies.

Having frequencies open, sir. I cringed every time I heard it. It's incredibly refreshing to see Worf respond with a simple "Open" when given the order. Paul "Let's face it, Patrick Stewart is 10 times the actor Jonathan Frakes is" I think if you compared Stewart's and Frakes' entire bodies of work, this would be true. But, on TNG, I think Frakes holds his own against Stewart very well, and in some cases even betters him; but that's more a function of how the characters were written, not the acting skill.

But as far as acting goes, think of Frakes once he takes on the Odon parasite in "The Host. And as Thomas Riker, too! Oh, and the episode with Minuet! I think he is very good at letting one small expression say a lot. Back to this episode, I really liked Klag and wish the friendship he began with Riker could have been revisited. Oh well. I loved poor little Mendon. I am a college teacher, and I have known so many students like him.

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Their enthusiasm and passion can be annoying, but it comes from a good impulse in them. A good teacher has to try and channel that enthusiasm in a productive way. I remember being a little harsh with one to get him to focus on what needed to be done, and his sad little face was burned into my memory--it was just like Mendon's face when Picard rather rudely corrects him about the chain of command.

Overall, this is a great episode and one of the best up to this point in the series. I also just really like how ships shimmer and sway when they decloak. I've never commented on this episode. Great stuff.


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  8. Have to agree that the hard headness of the Klingon Captain seemed a bit off and just to force the conflict. The the actor was a better Pakled than he was Klingon. Great episode and whilst not quite a 4 this is a revisit-able classics that stands the test of time well. Wow, isn't 3. For me, one hasn't aged well at all. To be fair, my memory of seeing it for the first time as a kid is that it was awesome, with the scene of Riker eating strange food in that great mess hall scene on the Klingon ship burned into my brain. But that's really about the only highlight: The rest of this story spends too much time with the Benzoid exchange officer on Enterprise whose cultural quirks come across more annoying not to mention dangerously negligent, considering his unreported scan of the Bird of Prey's damage than sympathetic, Wesley cozying up to him while Worf glares vaguely, and all kinds of other filler that isn't very interesting.