Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Star Trek: The Next Generation S2E6 "The Schizoid Man"

Go To

Original air date: January 23, 1989

The Enterprise receives a distress call from the assistant of brilliant cyberneticist Dr. Ira Graves, asking for a doctor. While en route, another distress call comes in from the USS Constantinople. The Picard decides to transport a small away team to Graves' residence to care for the man while the ship flies off to handle the larger issue.

Data and his team meet Dr. Graves, a bombastic eccentric, and his beautiful young assistant Kareen, whom he has practically raised. Graves learns that he is dying and has only a few days to live. As he grapples with this news, he takes a keen interest in Data and tells him that he was a mentor to Dr. Soong, Data's creator, making Graves a "grandpa" to Data. He then shares with Data his plan to cheat death by copying his mind into a computer. Moments later, Data emerges and informs the away team that Graves is dead.

Back aboard the Enterprise, Picard notices that Data is acting strangely, going on at some length about how awesome Dr. Graves was and behaving very possessively of Kareen. Picard orders him to Engineering to have a diagnostic run on him, but Geordi can’t find anything wrong with him. Having nothing else to try, he has Counselor Troi run a psychological exam on him. Sure enough, she comes back announcing that there is an outside personality inside Data’s head.

Data approaches Kareen and tells her that he is indeed Ira Graves. He declares his love for her, and what better way to prove it than to tell her his plans for turning her into an android too? When she refuses, he accidentally crushes her hand and retreats to Engineering to sulk. Picard finds him there with Geordi unconscious at his feet. Picard demands that Graves relinquish Data's body. In rage, Graves punches Picard, knocking him out. Realizing that he's unable to handle life as an android, Graves transfers his mind into the ship’s computer, which catalogs all of his intelligence but leaves none of his consciousness, the "human equation". Kareen leaves the ship to start her new life, and Data's old self is returned.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Wesley finds "Data's" eulogy for Graves hysterical.
  • Artificial Family Member: Since Graves was the mentor of Dr. Noonian Soong, Data's creator, he insists that Data calls him Grandpa.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Graves gives his own eulogy. It is remarkably fawning and grandiose, giving Picard and Troi their first hints that Data is Not Himself.
  • Big "NO!": "Data" yells this as he hits Picard in Engineering, when Picard is asking Dr. Graves inside "Data" to bring his friend back.
  • Brain Uploading: Graves' plan is to transfer his consciousness into a computer. Data gives him an opportunity to have a proper body instead. He does it as planned in the end, but all that ends up in the computer is raw information, and he effectively dies.
  • Burial in Space: Graves' casket is beamed into space, per his wishes.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: "Data" is always very complimentary of Dr. Graves.
  • Call-Back: When Graves asks if a dying man feeling sorry for an immortal robot is "funny," Data mentions that he's had difficulty figuring out what funny is.
  • The Casanova: Graves tells Data that he used to be quite the lady killer, due to being as beautiful as he was smart. When Data then asks if it's true, Graves immediately admits that he made it up.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Troi subjects "Data" to a personality test in which he's bombarded with images, some of which are calls back to previous episodes, including shots of Tasha Yar and Lt. Commander Remmick.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Troi notes that Graves has a strong hatred of Picard or any other authority figure.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Graves, in Data's body. His Heel Realization comes after he accidentally injures four people, including Captain Picard and the woman he's in love with.
  • Grand Theft Me: Graves abandons his dying body and steals Data's.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Never having seen a non-human before, Kareen asks if Worf is a Romulan, which causes him to growl out a "No!"
  • Insufferable Genius: Graves really likes to talk about how smart he is.
  • Kirk Summation: Rather than fight him, Picard outlines why Graves is wrong in his present course of action.
  • Literal-Minded: Data is alarmed when Graves tells him he used to be quite the lady killer, asking if the man truly condones homicide.
  • Meaningful Name: "Graves" makes a play for immortality while on death's door.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Graves strikes Picard in a moment of anger and knocks him unconscious due to his enhanced strength in Data's body. He watches him fall, and then murmurs to himself Picard's Armor-Piercing Question from earlier ("How many more 'accidents' are there going to be?"). When Data is next seen, Graves has left his body and inserted what remains of his consciousness into a nearby computer.
  • Not Himself: Data, possessed by Graves' disembodied consciousness, acts like Graves.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Even though the episode opens with Dr. Pulaski reflecting on Dr. Graves, she doesn't go with the away team to help him. Instead, we get the only appearance of Dr. Selar, a Statuesque Stunner Vulcan who gets a surprisingly amount of screen time. Plans to make Selar into a recurring character were canceled, and the actress Suzie Plakson instead started playing the recurring character K'Ehleyr, a Klingon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode's title is from The Prisoner (and, for that matter, it's episode number six, natch). Appropriate, as that episode also deals somewhat with the theme of transference of consciousness.
    • Dr. Graves at one point whistles "If I Only Had a Heart" from The Wizard of Oz, and compares Data's quest to be human to the Tin Man's quest for a heart.
    • Picard quotes a Shakespeare's sonnet 18. "So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."
    • In his eulogy, Graves calls himself A Man for All Seasons.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Graves is a week from death, yet seems to suffer no symptoms.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Data returning to his usual sesquipedalian speak convinces everyone that he's himself again.
    Data: Why am I lying on the floor in this undignified position with the four of you standing over me, displaying expressions of concern?
    Picard: I've heard more than enough. You're you again.
  • Spotting the Thread: The scene where Data whistles "If I Only Had a Heart" shortly after gazing at a woman's posterior makes it perfectly clear he's been hijacked by Graves, just in case it wasn't clear from all the previous hints already.
  • Stroke the Beard: In an early scene, Data experiments with his appearance, donning what he believes to be a beard similar to Riker's. Geordi and Troi find it so ridiculous that they can barely hold themselves together long enough to leave his quarters before laughing.
    Data: When I stroke the beard thusly, do I not appear more… intellectual?
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Graves insists that Data's life has no meaning. He tells this to Data's face.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Kareen is scared by the concept of having her brain uploaded after Graves-in-Data offers her the idea of uploading her own mind into an android.
  • Wife Husbandry: Graves is desperately in love with and incredibly possessive of Kareen, who has lived with him on his isolated planet ever since she lost her parents while still "very young," essentially being raised by him. Initially subverted in that even the creeptastic Graves is too ashamed to make a move on her, but he goes on to proposition her after he takes over Data's body.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Graves suffers from Darnay's disease, which is terminal. Dr. Selar gives him a week to live, before he uploads himself into Data.


Video Example(s):


To Know Him Was To Love Him

In "The Schizoid Man," Data gives a passionate eulogy for the scientist Ira Graves, "a man of limitless accomplishments and unbridled modesty." Thing is, Data's android body has been taken over by the consciousness of Graves himself, but nobody else yet knows this.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ButHeSoundsHandsome

Media sources: