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Recap / Star Trek: The Next Generation S6E17 "Lessons"

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"The Inner Light" - An epilogue.
Captain Picard finds himself bonding with an astrophysicist under his command, Lt.Commander Nella Daren, over their shared love of music.


  • Armor-Piercing Question: Nella asks if Picard has been playing his flute long. Picard pauses notably before answering, "Yes, a long time."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Picard finds that the work in Stellar Cartography is preventing him from sending messages, using the ship's computer, and ordering a cup of Earl Grey!
  • Beneath the Mask: This episode explores how Picard, the Captain of the ship deals with personal relationships.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nella thankfully doesn't get Stuffed in the Fridge, but her relationship with Picard doesn't survive the episode.
  • Call-Back: Picard relates the events of "The Inner Light" to Nella, to explain why his music is so important to him.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Picard has to order Starfleet personnel, including Nella, to maintain their position in the face of the firestorm, knowing it could mean their deaths. Picard decides to break off the relationship rather than face that decision again.
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  • Doppelgänger Dating: Nella is quite similar to Dr. Crusher.
  • Duet Bonding: A couple times! Once in Picard's quarters, another in a Jeffries tube with some killer acoustics.
  • Everybody Knew Already: When Picard decides to discuss his relationship with Counselor Troi, she already knows he's seeing Nella.
  • Forced to Watch: Nella had to watch one of her men burn to death when his shield collapsed.
  • Heroic BSoD: Picard shuts down his emotions when he thinks he's ordered Nella to her death.
  • Hold the Line: The Enterprise crew have to maintain the heat deflectors to give the colony time to evacuate.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: What Nella was worried Picard would think during the team's time on the planet.
    • For a little bit, Picard did think this when he believed Nella was dead. Thankfully, he was proven wrong and they formally broke it off.
  • Let's Duet: Nella encourages Picard to join in with his flute, while she plays a portable keyboard. In a notable scene, they find a Jeffries tube with good acoustics and play a duet based on the tune he learned in "The Inner Light". The scene ends in their first kiss.
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  • Married to the Job: Neither Nella or Picard are willing to give up their careers for love.
  • No Antagonist: More a slice of life with Picard and how difficult it is for The Captain to have romance in his life.
  • Oh, Crap!
    • Nella when she sees the firestorm coming towards her.
    • Played for Laughs when Picard asks Riker to join him for fencing.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: There are a few times where actress Wendy Hughes' natural Australian accent comes through. It seems rather silly to not just have let her speak naturally since Australia still exists.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Nella wears one.
  • Reaction Shot: Beverly when she realises Nella is spending private time with Picard.
  • Right in Front of Me: Nella tells off the person who entered Stellar Cartography, spoiling their work. When she turns on the lights, she finds herself facing The Captain.
  • Sequel Episode: Partly one to "The Inner Light," after the crew realized they'd severely underestimated the impact that Picard's experience in that episode would have on his life.
  • Spot of Tea: Picard tries a herbal tea suggested by Nella, but isn't impressed. Beverley likes it however, so Picard tells her he found it in the replicator files.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: After their first kiss Picard and Nella are in the turbolift discussing their love of music when someone else enters. Picard turns to the front and when Nella tries to continue the conversation, formally addresses Nella by her rank instead of her name, leaving the turbolift at the first opportunity. He apologises for this afterwards.
  • Your Door Was Open: When Nella gets angry that Picard ruined their experiment, he points out that they should have locked the door, night shift or no.

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