History Recap / StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E9TheMeasureOfAMan

1st May '16 11:48:12 PM Fireblood
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-->'''Picard:''' Starfleet was founded to seek out new life, ''[points to Data]'' well ''there it sits!''

to:

-->'''Picard:''' Starfleet was founded to seek out new life, life. ''[points to Data]'' well Well ''there it sits!''



* MoodWhiplash: When Picard asks Data about his hologram of deceased crewmate Tasha Yar, you'd expect a big sentimental moment to prove Data's humanity. What do you get? Data reminding everyone of... that one time they were both high on an alien virus and did the nasty.
* MoralDissonance: It is not just Data's career with Starfleet that is at issue here, but rather his rights as a sentient being! Yet this matter is not being decided by a Federation civilian court, but rather by a Starfleet JAG. Most civilized societies in the real world would hold that there is a legal conflict of interest in Starfleet being asked to decide whether or not something is its own property, especially when that something is sentient.
* MortonsFork: Riker being made a prosecutor. If he accepts, Data will be stripped of his rights if Riker wins. If he refuses to serve (or accepts, but does not perform his duty properly), Data will get denied the opportunity to defend himself, thereby getting stripped of his rights. Riker chooses the former (despite his misgivings), since at least that way Data would have a chance.

to:

* MoodWhiplash: When Picard asks Data about his hologram of deceased crewmate Tasha Yar, you'd expect a big sentimental moment to prove Data's humanity. What do you get? Data reminding everyone of... that one time they were both high on an alien virus and did the nasty.
nasty, a although that still comes across as touching, since he obviously cared for her.
* MoralDissonance: It is not just Data's career with Starfleet that is at issue here, but rather his rights as a sentient being! Yet this matter is not being decided by a Federation civilian court, but rather by a Starfleet JAG.JAG officer. Most civilized societies in the real world would hold that there is a legal conflict of interest in Starfleet being asked to decide whether or not something is its own property, especially when that something is sentient.
* MortonsFork: Riker being made a prosecutor. If he accepts, Data will be stripped of his rights if Riker wins. If he refuses to serve (or accepts, but does not perform his duty properly), Data will get be denied the opportunity to defend himself, thereby getting stripped of his rights. Riker chooses the former (despite his misgivings), since at least that way Data would have a chance.



** Even applies before the trial. Riker accesses the schematics of Data and discovers the off-switch. He reacts with a pleased look of "Yay, I can win!" only to realize moments later, "Oh crap, I can win."

to:

** Even This even applies before the trial. Riker accesses the Data's schematics of Data and discovers the off-switch. He reacts with a pleased look of "Yay, I can win!" only to realize moments later, later "Oh crap, I can win."



* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: One of the most notable. Guinan gently points out to Picard that the stakes here are bigger than just Data's life and freedom of choice. If Maddox wins, and succeeds in creating more androids with that precedent, what would result is a race of artificial slaves.

to:

* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: One of the most notable. Guinan gently points out to Picard that the stakes here are bigger than just Data's life and freedom of choice. If Maddox wins, and succeeds in creating more androids with that precedent, what would result is a race of artificial slaves. It's especially poignant as a black woman's saying this (never mind that she's playing an [[HumanAliens alien]] here).
4th Apr '16 1:56:31 PM HeraldAlberich
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Series:Series/{{Star Trek The Next Generation}}\\

to:

Series:Series/{{Star Series: ''Series/{{Star Trek The Next Generation}}\\Generation}}''\\



Title:"The Measure of a Man"\\
Previous: A Matter Of Honor\\
Next: The Dauphin\\

to:

Title:"The Title: "The Measure of a Man"\\
Previous: A "A Matter Of Honor\\
of Honor"\\
Next: The Dauphin\\"The Dauphin"\\



->The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
-->-''Martin Luther King Jr.''

For once, the ''Enterprise'' ''isn't'' dinking about on some far-away planet, instead parking its aft at a local starbase for crew rotation and resupplying/offloading. Data gets his first taste at poker (which he fails at, due to Riker's impenetrable bluff), while Picard meets and catches up with an old friend/foil of his, Phillipa Louvois, currently assigned as a JAG officer on the station. After bleeding out some bad blood and sexual tension between them (seems like Louvois was Picard's love interest, before she tore him apart during the court martial hearing held for him losing his previous command), they're confronted by a Starfleet admiral and a slimy-looking commander, the latter of whom has an unhealthy interest in Data.

Apparently, they have some bad blood between them as well; the commander, named Maddox, was the only one on the Starfleet council to reject Data's admission to Starfleet, out of [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman his insistence that robots aren't alive]]. However, now he's interested in learning Data's secrets, determined to use him as a template to build more androids like him for manual labor. Interestingly, both Picard and Data are actively interested in this proposal...until they determine that Maddox doesn't have a lick of the mechanical ingenuity needed to avoid harming Data during his dissection. They refuse, but Maddox, being the dick that he is, anticipated their refusal and whipped up transfer orders forcing Data into his negligent care.

Torn, Picard is forced to swallow his pride and ask for help from Louvois, first asking for a way out of the transfer (Data resigning, which resulted in an unusually poignant argument about why CyberneticsEatYourSoul), then demanding a hearing be held after the out provided turns out to not be possible due to laws set ''two centuries ago''. Because of a lack of staff on-hand, Louvois assigns Picard as the defense and ''Riker'' as the prosecution, completely ignoring Riker's protests over the apparent conflict of interest by threatening to stand on her ruling if he doesn't, or if she ever gets the impression he's not trying his hardest to win. Then, during the trial, Riker argues that Data is not sentient by [[CaptainObvious making clear that Data is a robot]], including having him bend a steel bar (while Louvois ignores Picard's justified objection that there are ''organic, sentient beings with the strength to bend the bar just as easily'')... Riker then shuts Data off, proclaiming ''"Pinocchio is broken; its strings have been cut."''

Picard is about to give up, when a talk with Guinan convinces him to start anew...by countering Riker with the argument that Data being a constructed being is not relevant, since all beings are constructed "from the building blocks of DNA," showing that Data ''does'' have consciousness, intelligence, and sentience, the marks of a legal person who thus cannot be property, and further that creating a legion of Datas for labor use would bring about UnfortunateImplications that the Federation is sanctioning slavery, a profound affront to its most basic ideals. Convinced, Louvois decides to rule in favor of Data, and the show ends with Data refusing the procedure (though encouraging Maddox to continue his research, to make it safer), and thanking Riker for [[IDidWhatIHadToDo doing what he had to do]] to ensure Data's personal freedoms.

!'''This episode contains examples of:'''
* AndroidsArePeopleToo: The main point of the episode.
-->'''Picard:''' Starfleet was founded to seek out new life, (points to Data) well ''there it sits''.

to:

->The ->''"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
-->-''Martin
controversy."''
-->--'''Martin
Luther King King, Jr.''

'''

For once, the ''Enterprise'' ''isn't'' dinking about on some far-away planet, instead parking its aft at a local newly established starbase for crew rotation and resupplying/offloading. Data gets his first taste at poker (which he fails at, due to Riker's impenetrable bluff), while Picard meets and catches up with an old friend/foil of his, Captain Phillipa Louvois, currently assigned as a JAG officer on the station. After bleeding out some bad blood and sexual tension between them (seems like Louvois was Picard's love interest, before she tore him apart during the court martial hearing held for him losing his previous command), they're confronted by a Starfleet admiral and a slimy-looking commander, the latter of whom has an unhealthy interest in Data.

Apparently, they have some bad blood between them as well; the commander, named Maddox, was the only one on the Starfleet council to reject Data's admission to Starfleet, out of [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman [[JustAMachine his insistence that robots aren't alive]]. However, now he's interested in learning Data's secrets, determined to use him as a template to build more androids like him for manual labor. labor and use in dangerous situations. Interestingly, both Picard and Data are actively interested in this proposal...until proposal--until they determine that Maddox doesn't have a lick of the mechanical ingenuity needed to avoid harming Data during his dissection. They refuse, but Maddox, being the dick that he is, anticipated their refusal and whipped up transfer orders forcing Data into his negligent care.

Torn, Picard is forced to swallow his pride and ask for help from Louvois, first asking for a way out of the transfer (Data resigning, which resulted results in an unusually poignant argument about why CyberneticsEatYourSoul), then demanding a hearing be held after the out provided turns out to not be possible due to laws set ''two ''three centuries ago''. ago'' that confirm that Data is "Starfleet's property." Because of a lack of staff on-hand, Louvois assigns Picard as the defense and ''Riker'' as the prosecution, completely ignoring Riker's protests over the apparent conflict of interest by threatening to stand on her ruling if he doesn't, or if she ever gets the impression he's not trying his hardest to win. Then, during the trial, Riker argues that Data is not sentient by [[CaptainObvious making clear that Data is a robot]], including having him bend a steel bar (while Louvois ignores Picard's justified objection that there are ''organic, sentient beings with the strength to bend the bar just as easily'')...easily''). Riker then shuts Data off, proclaiming ''"Pinocchio is broken; its strings have been cut."''

Picard is about to give up, when a talk with Guinan convinces him to start anew...by anew--by countering Riker with the argument that Data being a constructed being is not relevant, since all beings are constructed "from the building blocks of DNA," showing that Data ''does'' have consciousness, intelligence, and sentience, the marks of a legal person who thus cannot be property, and further that creating a legion of Datas for labor use would bring about UnfortunateImplications that the Federation is sanctioning slavery, a profound affront to its most basic ideals. Convinced, Louvois decides to rule in favor of Data, and the show ends with Data refusing the procedure (though encouraging Maddox to continue his research, to make it safer), and thanking Riker for [[IDidWhatIHadToDo doing what he had to do]] to ensure Data's personal freedoms.

!'''This
freedoms.
----
!! This
episode contains examples of:'''
of:
* AndroidsArePeopleToo: The main point of the episode.
episode. Captain Louvois's final judgment is that she doesn't know whether androids are people, but that Data deserves the chance to find out.
-->'''Picard:''' Starfleet was founded to seek out new life, (points ''[points to Data) Data]'' well ''there it sits''.sits!''



---> '''Data:''' Sir, Lieutenant La Forge's eyes are far superior to human biological eyes. True? Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants?

to:

---> '''Data:''' --->'''Data:''' Sir, Lieutenant La Forge's eyes are far superior to human biological eyes. True? Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants?



--->'''Picard:''' You see he's met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don't know, do you? ''(to Riker)'' Do you? ''(to Phillipa)'' Do you?
--->'''Picard:''' Are you prepared to condemn him, and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery?
* BelligerentSexualTension: Between Picard and Louvois.
--> '''Picard:''' If we weren't surrounded by all these people, you know what I'd like to do right now?\\

to:

--->'''Picard:''' You see he's met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don't know, do you? ''(to Riker)'' ''[to Riker]'' Do you? ''(to Phillipa)'' ''[to Louvois]'' Do you?
--->'''Picard:'''
you?\\\
'''Picard:'''
Are you prepared to condemn him, and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery?
* BelligerentSexualTension: Between Picard and Louvois.
--> '''Picard:'''
Louvois. He can't quite bring himself to forgive her for prosecuting him so enthusiastically over the ''Stargazer'' incident, but is clearly still attracted to her in spite of that. At the end of the episode, he invites her to dinner.
-->'''Picard:'''
If we weren't surrounded by all these people, you know what I'd like to do right now?\\



'''Louvois:''' Oh, ain't love grand?

to:

'''Louvois:''' Oh, ain't love grand?wonderful?



'''Picard:''' [[HeelRealization I don't think that's a little harsh, I think that's the truth.]] But that's a truth that we have obscured behind a... comfortable, easy euphemism: 'Property'! But that's not the issue at all, is it?
* ContinuityNod: As part of the proceeding, Picard asks Data why he keeps a portrait of Tasha Yar, who was killed in ''Skin of Evil''. Data states that they were close... that they were intimate.
** The loss of the ''[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E8TheBattle Stargazer]]'' is also mentioned.
* CourtroomEpisode: A majority of the episode is focused in a courtroom to discuss and determine Data's rights.
* DoAndroidsDream:
-->'''Louvois''': "We've all been dancing around the basic issue: 'Does Data have a soul?' I don't know that he has. I don't know that I have! But I have got to give him the freedom to explore that question himself."

to:

'''Picard:''' [[HeelRealization I don't think that's a little harsh, I think that's the truth.]] But that's a truth that we have obscured behind a... comfortable, easy euphemism: 'Property'! "Property"! But that's not the issue at all, is it?
* ContinuityNod: ContinuityNod:
**
As part of the proceeding, Picard asks Data why he keeps a portrait of Tasha Yar, who was killed in ''Skin "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E22SkinOfEvil Skin of Evil''.Evil]]". Data states that they were close... that [[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E2TheNakedNow they were intimate.
intimate]].
** The loss of the ''[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E8TheBattle Stargazer]]'' is also mentioned.
mentioned. Louvois was the prosecution in Picard's court martial following the incident.
** Commander Maddox is the Associate Chair of Robotics at the Daystrom Technological Institute, named after Dr. Richard Daystrom, the inventor of Starfleet's starship computer system, whom we met in TOS's "[[Recap/StarTrekS2E24TheUltimateComputer The Ultimate Computer]]".
** The new Starbase has been established near the Neutral Zone in response to the increasing disturbances first mentioned in "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS1E25TheNeutralZone The Neutral Zone]]"--disturbances that are later revealed to be early incursions by the Borg.
* CourtroomEpisode: A majority of the episode is focused in a courtroom to discuss and determine Data's rights.
rights. The episode's screenwriter, Melinda Snodgrass, was a lawyer before joining the TNG crew.
* DoAndroidsDream:
-->'''Louvois''': "We've
DoAndroidsDream: No one can tell. Better to give them the benefit of the doubt.
-->'''Louvois:''' We've
all been dancing around the basic issue: 'Does "Does Data have a soul?' soul?" I don't know that he has. I don't know that I have! But I have got to give him the freedom to explore that question himself."



** Data is also quick to forgive Maddox after the trial and encourages him to continue his research. A fair response, considering Maddox was sporting about his defeat, and seems to have had a minor HeelRealization after Picard's speech as well.
* ItIsDehumanizing: Commander Maddox refers to Data as "it" throughout the episode--until the end, when Data encourages him to keep working on his project, and his response is "He is remarkable."

to:

** Data is also quick to forgive Maddox after the trial and encourages him to continue his research. A fair response, considering Maddox was is sporting about his defeat, and seems to have had a minor HeelRealization after Picard's speech as well.
* ItIsDehumanizing: ItIsDehumanizing:
**
Commander Maddox refers to Data as "it" throughout the episode--until the end, when Data encourages him to keep working on his project, and his response is "He is remarkable."" Louvois immediately points the change out to him.
** Other characters' use of ''it'' or ''he'' regarding Data is informative. Riker very deliberately uses ''it'' during his prosecution when he normally never would, and Picard just as emphatically insists on ''he'' during his defense--except when throwing Maddox's own words back in his face. Louvois avoids referring to Data with pronouns altogether for most of the episode, and goes from ''it'' to ''he'' over the course of her ruling.
--->'''Louvois:''' It sits there looking at me, and I don't know what it is. [...] Is Data a machine? Yes. Is he the property of Starfleet? No.



* JustAMachine: Commander Maddox's insistence (and Riker's legal argument) is that Data is no different from a starship computer, which does not get to decide when to be refit, turned off, or taken out of service.



* MoralDissonance: It is not just Data's career with Starfleet that is at issue here, but rather his rights as a sentient being! Yet this matter is not being decided by a Federation civilian court, but rather by a Starfleet JAG. Most civilized societies in the real world would hold that there is a legal conflict-of-interest in Starfleet being asked to decide whether or not something is its own property, especially when that something is sentient.

to:

* MoralDissonance: It is not just Data's career with Starfleet that is at issue here, but rather his rights as a sentient being! Yet this matter is not being decided by a Federation civilian court, but rather by a Starfleet JAG. Most civilized societies in the real world would hold that there is a legal conflict-of-interest conflict of interest in Starfleet being asked to decide whether or not something is its own property, especially when that something is sentient.



* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Riker's reaction after he turns Data off. Later he tries to OptOut of the party because he very nearly won the case, but Data finds him and forgives him, knowing [[IDidWhatIHadToDo he didn't have a choice]] but to try his best.
** Even applies before the trial. Riker accesses the schematics of Data and discovers the off-switch. He reacts with a pleased look of "Yay, I can win!" only to realize moments later "Oh crap, I can win."
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "Your Honor, Starfleet was ''founded'' to seek out new life. Well '''There! It! Sits!'''"

to:

* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
**
Riker's reaction after he turns Data off. Later he tries to OptOut of the party because he very nearly won the case, but Data finds him and forgives him, knowing [[IDidWhatIHadToDo he didn't have a choice]] but to try his best.
** Even applies before the trial. Riker accesses the schematics of Data and discovers the off-switch. He reacts with a pleased look of "Yay, I can win!" only to realize moments later later, "Oh crap, I can win."
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "Your Honor, Starfleet was ''founded'' to seek out new life. Well Well, '''There! It! Sits!'''"



* SadisticChoice: Forced on Riker by making him act as the prosecution.

to:

* SadisticChoice: Forced on Riker by making him act as the prosecution.prosecution, with a summary judgment against Data if he refuses.



* WhamLine
-->'''Guinan:''' Whole generations of [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman disposable people.]]
-->'''Picard:''' ''<horrified>'' You're talking about slavery!
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: One of the most notable.

to:

* WhamLine
WhamLine: The climax of Guinan's gently BreakingSpeech.
-->'''Guinan:''' Whole generations of [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman disposable people.]]
-->'''Picard:''' ''<horrified>''
people]].\\
'''Picard:''' ''[horrified]''
You're talking about slavery!
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: One of the most notable. Guinan gently points out to Picard that the stakes here are bigger than just Data's life and freedom of choice. If Maddox wins, and succeeds in creating more androids with that precedent, what would result is a race of artificial slaves.
11th Jan '16 4:19:17 AM StarTropes
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Added DiffLines:

* RuleOfThree: The three criteria for sentience--intelligence, self-awareness, and consciousness.
21st Nov '15 6:39:54 AM LentilSandEater
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* VillainyFreeVillain: Maddox's goal is certainly altruistic, but his blatant disregard for Data's desires and well-being make him thoroughly unlikable. Arguably a downplayed example of this trope, since despite his attitude, Maddox is honest and forthright during the trial, and gracefully accepts defeat.

to:

* VillainyFreeVillain: Maddox's goal is certainly altruistic, but his blatant disregard for Data's desires and well-being make him thoroughly unlikable. Arguably He's a downplayed example of this trope, since despite his attitude, Maddox is honest and forthright during the trial, and gracefully accepts defeat.
9th Nov '15 6:26:21 PM LtFedora
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Added DiffLines:

* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: While the senior staff playing poker would become a regular fixture of the show, O'Brien would not be shown at the table again.
24th Jun '15 6:05:43 AM Synch
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* Wham Like

to:

* Wham LikeWhamLine
21st Jun '15 7:58:25 PM ArcaneAzmadi
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** Picard then uses one against Madox and the judge:
---> '''Picard:''' Are you prepared to condemn him, and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery?

to:

** Picard then uses more than one against Madox Maddox and the judge:
---> '''Picard:''' --->'''Picard:''' You see he's met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don't know, do you? ''(to Riker)'' Do you? ''(to Phillipa)'' Do you?
--->'''Picard:'''
Are you prepared to condemn him, and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery?



-->'''Louvois''': "We have all been dancing around the question: 'Does Data have a soul?' I don't know... but he must be given the chance to discover that for himself."

to:

-->'''Louvois''': "We have "We've all been dancing around the question: basic issue: 'Does Data have a soul?' I don't know... but he must be given the chance to discover know that for he has. I don't know that I have! But I have got to give him the freedom to explore that question himself."



--> '''Picard:''' Are you prepared to condemn him, and those who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your Honor, Starfleet was ''founded'' to seek out new life; well, '''THERE IT SITS!''' Waiting... You wanted a chance to make law? Well, here it is; make it a good one.

to:

--> '''Picard:''' Are you prepared to condemn him, and those who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your Honor, Starfleet was ''founded'' to seek out new life; well, '''THERE IT SITS!''' '''there it sits!''' Waiting... You wanted a chance to make law? Well, here it is; make it a good one.



** Even applies before the trial. Riker accesses the schematics of Data and discovers the off-switch. He reacts with a pleased look of "Yay, I won!" only to realize moments later "Oh crap, I won."

to:

** Even applies before the trial. Riker accesses the schematics of Data and discovers the off-switch. He reacts with a pleased look of "Yay, I won!" can win!" only to realize moments later "Oh crap, I won.can win."


Added DiffLines:

* Wham Like
-->'''Guinan:''' Whole generations of [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman disposable people.]]
-->'''Picard:''' ''<horrified>'' You're talking about slavery!
25th May '15 11:38:45 AM isoycrazy
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-->'''Picard:''' "Starfleet was founded to seek out new life, (points to Data) well ''there it sits''."

to:

-->'''Picard:''' "Starfleet Starfleet was founded to seek out new life, (points to Data) well ''there it sits''."sits''.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion:
** Data breaks Picard's first view that perhaps the needs of the many could benefit from this procedure and Data should volunteer with one simple question:
---> '''Data:''' Sir, Lieutenant La Forge's eyes are far superior to human biological eyes. True? Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants?
** Picard then uses one against Madox and the judge:
---> '''Picard:''' Are you prepared to condemn him, and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery?



* CourtroomEpisode

to:

* CourtroomEpisodeCourtroomEpisode: A majority of the episode is focused in a courtroom to discuss and determine Data's rights.
2nd May '15 12:01:37 PM MadCat221
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Added DiffLines:

* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "Your Honor, Starfleet was ''founded'' to seek out new life. Well '''There! It! Sits!'''"
23rd Mar '15 7:21:55 AM Synch
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* EasilyForgiven: Subverted, but in an unusually positive way for this kind of trope. It seems like Data is just forgiving Riker, but Data explains why Riker's actions still saved Data, by allowing a trial to give him a chance.

to:

* EasilyForgiven: EasilyForgiven:
**
Subverted, but in an unusually positive way for this kind of trope. It seems like Data is just forgiving Riker, but Data explains why Riker's actions still saved Data, by allowing a trial to give him a chance.chance.
** Data is also quick to forgive Maddox after the trial and encourages him to continue his research. A fair response, considering Maddox was sporting about his defeat, and seems to have had a minor HeelRealization after Picard's speech as well.
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