Episode: Season 2, Episode 11
Previous: The Dauphin
Next: The Royale
Recapper: Synjo Deonecros
This episode contains the following tropes:
- Blind Jump: Picard sets the gateway console to explode and then uses the randomly-cycling gateway to escape, reasoning that wherever it takes him, it'll be better than being blown up. Fortunately, it takes him somewhere very close to the Enterprise. Unfortunately, that place is the Romulan ship's bridge.
- Canon Fodder: The Iconians and their gateways inspired many Star Trek novels, and eventually made a reappearance in the canon series in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- Clarke's Third Law: Wesley references this trope during his conversation with Picard when he says the ancient Iconian's technology sounds more like magic. This is no doubt in part because the other species of the time described it as such, despite it not being that much more incredible than the Federation's technology.
- Captain Varley of the Yamato compares encountering the Iconian technology to a caveman confronted by a tricorder.
- Contagious A.I.: The Iconian probes scan ships and try to reprogram them with Iconian software, possibly by complete accident. Unfortunately, said ships tend to get very explodey when the alien software overwrites the programs that keep things like the antimatter fuel safely contained in magnetic fields...
- Drink Order: This episode marks the first time Picard orders "Tea, Earl Grey, hot.". Unfortunately, the Enterprise's computer is so messed up it gives him a potted plant instead.
- Failsafe Failure: The Yamato's warp core breached because the computer dropped the antimatter containment field prior to all the antimatter being ejected. Geordi points out that there are seven separate computer interlocks specifically designed to prevent that from happening.
- Have You Tried Rebooting?: After Data's "self-correcting program" resets him, Geordi reasons they can do the same thing with the Enterprise computers to wipe out the Iconian programming.
- Morton's Fork: Riker isn't keen on Geordi's plan, since it involves turning everything off including the deflector shields while they're "nose-to-nose with a Romulan Warbird". Geordi points out whether it's Romulan disruptors or their own warp engines, they're just as dead if they don't do this.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Iconians' nickname of "Demons of Air and Darkness". Though Picard does put forth the theory that they were only called that because their technology appeared to be magic to those they interacted with, and those species' were frightened enough to attempt to destroy the Iconians.
- Rousseau Was Right: When an Iconian probe heads for the Romulan ship, the Enterprise has lost its weapons and can't destroy it, so the fate of the Romulans rests on whether they trust Picard that they need to destroy the probe themselves. Though very suspicious, they decide to trust him and destroy the probe, saving themselves.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: Picard triggers one to destroy the gateway. The Romulans have to deal with theirs being triggered (and then locked) by the Iconian Trojan horse.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Varley mentions that he lost an entire maintenance team when the forcfield in the open shuttlebay they were working in shut off.
- Unusual User Interface: The Iconian console, which processes commands based on tapping different coloured portions of a logo.
- Written by the Winners: Picard mentions this when he figures that the warlike depiction of the Iconians may have been wrong, passed down by those who feared and eventually defeated them.