On a mission to rescue the crew of a severely damaged Federation freighter, the Enterprise travels to Turkana IV, where their deceased former security chief Tasha Yar was born. The government of the planet has collapsed, and society is in a state of anarchy, with rival armed gangs feuding and raiding each other's territory. When the Enterprise crew learns that one of the major factions has captured the freighter's crew and is holding them hostage, they decide to mount a rescue mission with the help of the other side, one of whose fighters is Ishara Yar, Tasha's sister.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Absentee Actor: Wil Wheaton is not present as Wesley for this episode.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Coalition's plan is foiled when Data stuns Ishara.
- A Day in the Limelight: An example of the very rare posthumous variety, since it centers on Tasha Yar, her planet and her family. Unusually for this type, the character doesn't even appear in flashbacks.
- Hostage Situation: The Enterprise is at Turkana because a pair of unfortunate freighter pilots bailed out of an exploding ship right into the colony, where they are promptly abducted.
- I Did What I Had to Do:
- Riker risks his own life to save Ishara.Picard: You took some unnecessary personal risks, Number One.
Riker: We lost Tasha on an away team under my command. The thought of the same thing happening to her sister—
Picard: That's an emotional response, Will. We can't afford it.
Riker: Understood. [walks off]
Picard: Commander? [Riker looks back at him] Well done.
- Ishara considers herself fully justified for deceiving Data and the other crewmembers, stating that it would be foolish not to take advantage of their presence to gain an advantage over the opposing faction.
- Riker risks his own life to save Ishara.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Riker still regrets Tasha's death from "Skin of Evil".
- It's All My Fault: Though wounded by Ishara's betrayal like everyone else, Picard concedes they let their memories of Tasha cloud their better judgment.
- Long-Lost Relative: Ishara to Tasha. She stayed behind on Turkana when Tasha escaped to a better life, and grew up considering Tasha a coward for not sticking it out like she did.
- Mutual Disadvantage: The two factions are at a stalemate because both sides have biometric implants which are immediately registered by the opposing side's security system, ensuring neither side can sneak up on the other. Ishara gets the crew to remove her implant, as part of her plan to disable the security system and end the stalemate.
- Nothing Personal: Ishara claims that befriending Data under false pretenses isn't anything to do with him, it's just a good tactic in her war against the Alliance.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: The two factions are called the Coalition and the Alliance, but they act like rival street gangs.
- Power of Trust: Discussed during the final scene in response to Ishara tricking them all.Riker: In all trust, there is the possibility of betrayal. I'm not sure you were prepared for that.
Data: Were you prepared, sir?
Riker: I don't think anybody ever is.
Data: Hmm. Then it is better not to trust.
Riker: Without trust, there's no friendship, no closeness, none of the emotional bonds that make us who we are.
Data: And yet you put yourself at risk.
Riker: [smiling] Every single time.
Data: Perhaps I am fortunate, sir, to be spared the emotional consequences.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: After the deception is revealed, Picard still agrees to return Ishara to the Coalition. Riker says he's more charitable than he would've been.
- Shout-Out: To Star Trek: The Original Series. The final episode of TOS broadcast during the original run was number 79. This is the 80th episode of TNG. As a way to acknowledge this, the opening Captain's Log states that they are bypassing their scheduled archaeological survey on Camus II. In TOS, the final episode had the crew visiting Camus II due to a distress signal from the archaeological expedition. This episode's title, "Legacy," is also partially a reference to TNG's relationship with TOS.
- Tin Man: After telling Riker he's spared the emotional consequences of a broken trust, Data steps outside the room and the viewer sees he still has Ishara's crystal implant. He stares at it thoughtfully.
- We Need a Distraction:
- The rescue of the hostages proceeds in two stages. In the first, the away team needs to find and modify the freighter's escape pod so that they can track the hostages by the vital signs it is monitoring. To draw the Alliance guards away from the pod, Ishara is beamed down into nearby Alliance territory, where her proximity implant sets off the intruder alarms.
- During the final confrontation, Riker shouts at Ishara. As she turns to fire on him, it gives Data the opportunity to fire on her.
- You Keep Using That Word: Beverly notes that however much the Coalition leader talks about keeping the "peace," there doesn't seem to be a lot of it around.