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Recap / Star Trek: The Next Generation S3E25 "Transfigurations"

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"I see the light!"
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The Enterprise finds a crashed escape pod while exploring an uncharted planet, and finds an alien who is barely clinging on to life. After resuscitating and stabilizing him, the man's body shows amazingly quick recuperative powers. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember who he is or where he came from...


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Amnesiac God: Downplayed. John Doe isn't quite a god, but he is about to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and doesn't remember anything about it.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When first discovered, John Doe's horrible injuries include the complete loss of his left arm, though it's hard to notice. Though she never explicitly says so, Crusher presumably reattaches it after stabilizing him. (She does make a comment about keeping his arm in stasis until he's stable enough for surgery.)
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  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What everyone of John Doe's species is destined to do. He's just the first to do so successfully—because his species' authorities have been killing others showing signs of the metamorphosis, out of fear.
  • Call-Back: Geordi is still courting Christy Henshaw. Or, at least, trying to.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Between Dr. Crusher's characterization of her relationship with John Doe as "almost spiritual," and Sunad's accusations against Doe of being a "disruptive influence" on Zalkonian society, Doe and his fellows are strongly suggestive of a persecuted religion. After becoming an Energy Being, John Doe even announces his intention to return to Zalkon to spread the Good News, now that Sunad and the other authorities can no longer kill him for speaking out.
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  • Energy Beings: When John Doe Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence, he first takes the form of a glowing orange humanoid, then transforms further into a ball of orange light.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Wesley hints that it might be happening between Dr. Crusher and John Doe.
  • Healing Factor: John Doe's recovery is very fast, but there is a reason for that, namely having something to do with the episode title.
  • Healing Hands: John Doe has the power to heal grievous injuries, even those which would otherwise be fatal.
  • Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: The first instance of O'Brien dislocating his shoulder while holo-kayaking.
  • Identity Amnesia: 'John Doe' can't remember who he is, where he was going, or even what happened to cause his crash. He recovers bits and pieces over the next several weeks, but it's only in the last few minutes of the episode that he finally remembers who he is and what brought him to the crash site.
  • Only Known By Their Nickname: John Doe never learns his true identity from before the crash.
    • Presumably, he remembers at the end (at the same time he remembers the rest), but by then, that particular detail is largely inconsequential, so his real name is never stated.
  • Power Incontinence: At points, John Doe's power goes beyond his control, including one burst of energy that critically wounds Worf. Thanks to Doe's Healing Hands, though, Worf survives.
  • That Came Out Wrong: While giving Geordi romantic advice, Worf tells him, "You must let her see the fire in your eyes." Um, forgetting something?
  • Time Skip: A month goes by in the middle of the episode while John Doe is recuperating and the romance between Geordi and Christy flourishes.

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