Recap / Star Trek: The Next Generation S5E8 "Unification 2"

Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode: Season 4, Episode 24
Title: Unification Part 2
Previous: Unification Part 1
Next: A Matter of Time
Recapper: Premonition45

Spock is promoting the idea of reunification of Romulus and Vulcan, but Picard is sceptical with good cause - Romulan Proconsul Neral is plotting with Sela to invade Vulcan with stolen Vulcan ships in the guise of a peace envoy.

Tropes featured:

  • Asshole Victim: The smuggler whose ship Riker destroyed, according to his ex-wife.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity / Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Sela locks Captain Picard, Lt. Commander Data, and Ambassador Spock, the supreme examples of the Smart Guy, in a room with a computer terminal and holographic projectors. Not to mention that, as SF Debris pointed out, even normal prisoners could have just waited for the Romulans to come back and then hit them with the furniture.
  • Call Back: Sela refers to Data as "the android I have come to respect in battle...", in reference to Data exposing her Romulan convoy during "Redemption: Part II".
  • Don't Call Me Sir: Neral says he doesn't like using his title.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The Romulans' plan to invade Vulcan involves using Vulcan ships that supposedly carry a peace envoy—in reality, thousands of Romulan soldiers. Until Spock ruins everything.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Spock's about as disappointed as a Vulcan can get, discovering that Pardek, a lifelong friend, has betrayed him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Sela, to absolutely no-one's surprise, hates Vulcans.
  • Fat Bastard: The Ferengi trader Omag.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Omag really doesn't like Klingon opera.
  • Hidden Depths: Sela says she enjoys writing, and doesn't get to do enough of it in her current job.
  • Hypocrite: Among the things Sela says she hates about Vulcans is the arrogance. Ignoring the general Romulan attitude to everyone everywhere, she's got several displays of it going on in this episode alone.
  • I Choose to Stay: Spock tells Picard that he will stay on Romulus to help the unification movement.
    Spock: An inexorable evolution toward a Vulcan philosophy has already begun. Like the first Vulcans, these people are struggling to a new enlightenment and it may take decades or even centuries for them to reach it but they will reach it... and I must help.
  • Idiot Ball: It cannot be stated enough how monumentally stupid Sela was leaving those three alone.
  • Irony: As Spock notes, Data was built with what most Vulcans spend all their lives seeking, and yet he wishes to become more human.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: How Omag enters.
  • The Mole: Pardek.
  • Morton's Fork: Spock analyzes one to his advantage. Sela tells him to record a message to help the invasion or die. Spock responds that, given that she will kill him anyway once he's done, he refuses to do it. Sela, however, foresaw this possibility, and activates a holographic Spock which would deliver the message.
  • Not So Different: Spock and Data find they're quite similar to one another.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Sela's grand plan to invade Vulcan...with a grand total of 2000 troops. That's barely enough to invade a single town much less than a entire planet (granted, orbital superiority is a force multiplier, but that's dependent on the defenders not having ships of their own; there's also the possibility that the Romulans are significantly underestimating the Vulcans' capabilities, as they're known for being pacifists). She then lauds that they'd be nearly impossible to discharge since they had been 'dug in' by the time Starfleet responds. Word of God has been criticized for this, but they've tried to defend this by saying that a "Trojan horse" had been the only plausible way Vulcan could be invaded.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: After how badly negotiating peace with the Klingons almost went, Spock is unwilling to risk anyone's life but his own when it comes to the unification of Vulcans and Romulans.
  • So Proud of You: Spock learns from mind-melding with Picard how proud Sarek was of him.
  • Tranquil Fury: Riker as he faces Omag.
    Riker: Let me explain what's going to happen if you don't tell me about that Vulcan ship. Your passage rights through this sector will be revoked. But more than that, I'll be very unhappy.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Spock knows that the upcoming Peace Conference with Neral may be a ruse, but decides to go through with it so he can find out what's really going on.
  • We Have Reserves: After the invasion of Vulcan is exposed, the Romulans have no problem destroying the slow transports carrying two thousand of their soldiers.
  • You Remind Me of X: Spock tells Picard that he reminds him of "another Captain of the Enterprise I once knew."
    • He unfavorably compares Picard to Sarek, fully aware of the mind-meld Picard shared with his father, and uses it as an excuse to ignore Picard's warnings about the Romulans. When Picard calls him on it, Spock realizes he's carrying over his familial arguments and clouding his judgment.