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* WhatMeasureisANonCute: Rather than an adorable little girl who will tug at the viewer's heart strings, Sarjenka is a rather creepy-looking alien who is ''also'' a sweet little girl.

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* WhatMeasureisANonCute: WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Rather than an adorable little girl who will tug at the viewer's heart strings, Sarjenka is a rather creepy-looking alien who is ''also'' a sweet little girl.

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* HalfwayPlotSwitch: A downplayed example; most of the episode's first half is taken up by Wesley's struggling to get to grips with commanding his science team, with Data's communications with Sarjenka only playing a small role at first, and not taking over as the main plot until the meeting in Picard's quarters at almost exactly the halfway point. However, Wesley's subplot still ends up proving crucial to solving the disaster facing Drema IV.


* CondescendingCompassion: Ensign Davies sympathizes with the pressure Wesley is feeling during his first command and offers to take over for him if he ever feels unfit to the task. Wesley clearly senses the condescension and stiffly states that he's unlikely to require that service.

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* CondescendingCompassion: Ensign Davies sympathizes with the pressure that Wesley is feeling during his first command command, and offers to take over for him if he ever feels unfit to the task. Wesley clearly senses the condescension and stiffly states that he's unlikely to require that service.



* FromBadToWorse: First, Data talks to a young girl from a non-warp species. Then, he beams down to that planet. Later on, he beams the young girl from a non-warp species up.

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* FromBadToWorse: First, Data talks to a young girl from a non-warp species. Then, Then he beams down to that planet. Later on, he beams the young girl from a non-warp species up.



* LoopholeAbuse: During the discussion between the senior officers after Data's actions come to light, Geordi, Data and Pulaski are all quite keen to treat Sarjenka's communication as a call for help as a way to get around the Prime Directive. Picard regards this as sophistry[[note]]Good sounding but false/deceptive arguments[[/note]] suggesting he doesn't buy the loophole.

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* LoopholeAbuse: During the discussion between the senior officers after Data's actions come to light, Geordi, Data Data, and Pulaski are all quite keen to treat Sarjenka's communication as a call for help as a way to get around the Prime Directive. Picard regards this as sophistry[[note]]Good sounding sophistry[[note]]arguments that sound good but false/deceptive arguments[[/note]] are false/deceptive[[/note]], suggesting that he doesn't buy the loophole.

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'''Original air date:''' May 1, 1989


* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In this episode, Picard says that since Sarjenka's pleas constitute a distress call, it overrides the Prime Directive. Future entries in the franchise would almost always depict the Prime Directive being strictly enforced even in the face of direct pleas for help.



* LoopholeAbuse: Picard decides to work around the Prime Directive by treating the girl's attempts to send pleas for help into space as a "distress call", which Starfleet generally responds to automatically without first verifying if the beings sending the transmission are warp-capable.

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* LoopholeAbuse: Picard decides During the discussion between the senior officers after Data's actions come to work light, Geordi, Data and Pulaski are all quite keen to treat Sarjenka's communication as a call for help as a way to get around the Prime Directive by treating Directive. Picard regards this as sophistry[[note]]Good sounding but false/deceptive arguments[[/note]] suggesting he doesn't buy the girl's attempts to send pleas for help into space as a "distress call", which Starfleet generally responds to automatically without first verifying if the beings sending the transmission are warp-capable.loophole.


* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** In this episode, Picard says that since Sarjenka's pleas constitute a distress call, it overrides the Prime Directive. Future entries in the franchise would almost always depict the Prime Directive being strictly enforced even in the face of direct pleas for help.
** Picard states that he doesn't like small animals or pets. In ''Star Trek: Picard'', his character is given Patrick Stewart's own affinity for dogs.

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* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
**
EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In this episode, Picard says that since Sarjenka's pleas constitute a distress call, it overrides the Prime Directive. Future entries in the franchise would almost always depict the Prime Directive being strictly enforced even in the face of direct pleas for help.
** Picard states that he doesn't like small animals or pets. In ''Star Trek: Picard'', his character is given Patrick Stewart's own affinity for dogs.
help.


The stakes get higher when Data uncovers a distress call from Sarjenka, a little girl on one of the planets that is about to explode. The problem is that Sarjenka's civilization is a pre-warp society, so the Prime Directive mandates that the ''Enterprise'' practice a policy of non-interference. When Data finally admits his actions to Picard, the bridge crew debate whether they should help save the girl.

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The stakes get higher when Data uncovers answers a distress call from Sarjenka, a little girl on one of the planets that is about to explode. The problem is that Sarjenka's civilization is a pre-warp society, so the Prime Directive mandates that the ''Enterprise'' practice a policy of non-interference. When Data finally admits his actions to Picard, the bridge crew debate whether they should help save the girl.

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* CondescendingCompassion: Ensign Davies sympathizes with the pressure Wesley is feeling during his first command and offers to take over for him if he ever feels unfit to the task. Wesley clearly senses the condescension and stiffly states that he's unlikely to require that service.


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* CreepyLongFingers: Part of what gives Sarjenka her surprisingly un-cute appearance is her creepily long fingers.


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* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: The theme of the episode. Data breaks the Prime Directive to help a little girl, even though this ''may'' have negative repercussions further down the road. Much of the episode is dedicated to debating whether to support his decision.

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* WhatMeasureisANonCute: Rather than an adorable little girl who will tug at the viewer's heart strings, Sarjenka is a rather creepy-looking alien who is ''also'' a sweet little girl.

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* ConsummateProfessional: Wesley is worried to death that his scientific team will not respect him or follow him, but Riker assures him that they are Starfleet officers who will follow the chain of command. When Wesley initially proposes a time-consuming task unlikely to achieve any results, they advise him against it, but when Wesley finally delivers an order to do the task, they cheerfully comply without issue.


* TheCastShowoff: Picard's desire to ride a horse is presumably written in simply because Patrick Stewart already knew how to ride horses.


* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In this episode, Picard says that since Sarjenka's pleas constitute a distress call, it overrides the Prime Directive. Future entries in the franchise would almost always depict the Prime Directive being strictly enforced even in the face of direct pleas for help.

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* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: TheCastShowoff: Picard's desire to ride a horse is presumably written in simply because Patrick Stewart already knew how to ride horses.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
**
In this episode, Picard says that since Sarjenka's pleas constitute a distress call, it overrides the Prime Directive. Future entries in the franchise would almost always depict the Prime Directive being strictly enforced even in the face of direct pleas for help.help.
** Picard states that he doesn't like small animals or pets. In ''Star Trek: Picard'', his character is given Patrick Stewart's own affinity for dogs.


Picard is reluctantly convinced to allow Data to beam down to Sarjenka and bring her back aboard the ship. She watches as the ship enacts Wesley's proposal to save the planet, and it works. Sarjenka thanks Data for her help and wistfully wishes that she could stay with him on his ship, but she knows that's not possible. Before she leaves, Picard orders that all memory of Data and the ship be wiped from her memory to preserve some semblance of the Prime Directive. Data must be comforted by the fact that ''he'' will remember their time together.

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Picard is reluctantly convinced to allow Data to beam down to Sarjenka and bring her back aboard the ship. She watches as the ship enacts Wesley's proposal to save the planet, and it works. Sarjenka thanks Data for her help and wistfully wishes that she could stay with him on his ship, but she knows that's not possible. Before she leaves, Picard orders that all memory of Data and the ship be wiped from her memory to preserve some semblance of the Prime Directive. Data leaves Sarjenka behind with a keepsake that she will no longer understand and must be comforted by the fact that ''he'' will remember their time together.


Data makes contact with an alien girl, violating the Prime Directive and putting Picard in a tough spot.

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Picard is getting ready to take a ride on an Arabian horse in the holodeck when Riker summons him to the bridge. A local cluster of planets have all been exploding for some unknown reason. Riker suggests that a team of scientists investigate the cause, with Wesley in charge to give him some command experience in a low-stakes assignment.

The stakes get higher when
Data makes contact with an alien girl, violating uncovers a distress call from Sarjenka, a little girl on one of the planets that is about to explode. The problem is that Sarjenka's civilization is a pre-warp society, so the Prime Directive mandates that the ''Enterprise'' practice a policy of non-interference. When Data finally admits his actions to Picard, the bridge crew debate whether they should help save the girl.

Meanwhile, Wesley is struggling to take charge of his team of scientists. They are all older
and putting more experienced than him, so when they question his orders, he doubts himself. After a few pep talks from Riker, Wesley takes inspiration from Picard's command style of conferring with his subordinates, making a decision, and living with the consequences. He orders his scientists to make a thorough but potentially wasteful survey of the planet. They eventually come up with a solution to the planet's tectonic problems.

Picard in a tough spot.is reluctantly convinced to allow Data to beam down to Sarjenka and bring her back aboard the ship. She watches as the ship enacts Wesley's proposal to save the planet, and it works. Sarjenka thanks Data for her help and wistfully wishes that she could stay with him on his ship, but she knows that's not possible. Before she leaves, Picard orders that all memory of Data and the ship be wiped from her memory to preserve some semblance of the Prime Directive. Data must be comforted by the fact that ''he'' will remember their time together.


* SecretTestOfCharacter: It's implied that Ensign Davies was instructed to be condescending and snide towards Wesley, to see if Wesley would stand up for his decisions. Once Wesley gives him an order, Davies complies without question.

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