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Recap / Star Trek The Next Generation S 6 E 8 A Fistful Of Datas

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"If you will forgive my human metaphor, Lieutenant, it appears this town does not have the capacity for both of our respective attendances."
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Worf joins Alexander for a wild west adventure on the holodeck with Troi. Meanwhile, Data and Geordi experience a malfunction during a test of Data's ability to interface with the ship's main computer.

Tropes featured:

  • The 47 Society: Subroutine C47 is messed up by Data and Geordi's experiment.
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: When Worf meets the Data-ized Frank Hollander, he initially thinks Data is playing a part like Troi, until almost getting killed by him.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Worf does this in the climax.
  • Blood Knight: Worf lets his inner Klingon out during a Bar Brawl. "I'm beginning to see the appeal of this program!"
  • Bounty Hunter: Troi assumes the role of one, named "Durango", as part of the simulation.
  • Call-Back:
    • Instead of rehearsing a play, Riker reads part of "Ode to Spot" from "Schisms," three episodes prior.
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    • Picard plays his flute from "The Inner Light".
    • Subtle one: Troi smoking a cigar, a callback to her conversation with Samuel Clemens in "Time's Arrow".
  • Cliché Storm: invoked Of westerns.
  • *Click* Hello: How Troi's character enters the program, when she blasts Eli Hollander's hat off his head with a Winchester carbine.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In-universe, the computer glitch gives the holodeck characters not only Data's physical appearance, but also his physical abilities. That means Worf is forced into a showdown with a half-dozen combatants with superhuman strength, reflexes, and eyesight.
  • Deflector Shield: Worf rigs up a personal force field from his communicator and some telegraph parts, which works just long enough to survive the initial showdown.
  • Dog Food Diet: Another consequence of Data's link is the replicators produce nothing but cat food.
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  • Failsafe Failure: Honestly, you would think that by now they would know not to plug so much as somebody's USB flash drive into the ship's computer, much less try hooking Data's brain up! Geordi and the computer are like Wesley and the warp drive — trying to do anything involving it never ends well! Double that when holograms are involved.
  • Fan Disservice: Annie Meyers, the busty barmaid, gets Data-ized as well in the end.
    • In-Universe as well, given Worf's distressed reaction.
  • Genre Savvy: Troi is a big fan of Westerns, and knows well enough that Frank Hollander won't keep his word to Worf.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The Mexican stereotype who hangs out with the Hollanders talks like this.
    "You're very funny man, Señor Eli."
  • History Marches On (In-Universe): The Old West is now referred to as the Ancient West.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: A variant - the replicators, holodeck and some areas of the computer get replaced with Data's personal files, images and programs, while Data himself starts walking like a cowboy and talking with an exaggerated Texas drawl.
  • Magnificent Moustaches of Mexico: The aforementioned Mexican sports one.
  • Me's a Crowd: Data's link to the ship's computer inadvertently changes all the holograms in Alexander's program into Data duplicates.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: At the beginning of the episode, Picard is attempting a clarinet minuet with his Ressikan flute, and gets interrupted thrice by Data and Geordi, Beverly Crusher and Worf.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Alexander is upset by how Worf easily beats Eli Hollander, prompting him to raise the difficulty level.
  • No-Sell: One of Eli's Mooks hits Worf over the head with a chair and doesn't faze him at all.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Troi sees the Data-ized Eli Hollander shuffling a card deck rapidly, she realizes that the characters don't just look like Data, they are Data with all his superhuman strengths.
  • Plot Hole: It never once occurs to anyone to see if the holodecks are in use once they realize the problem. In fact, as far as we can tell, none of the others ever find out what Worf, Alexander, and Deanna were going through.
  • Prisoner Exchange: Hollander wants to exchange his son for Alexander.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The episode ends with the Enterprise flying in the direction of a sun setting over a nearby planet.
  • Rule of Three: Picard's flute-playing gets interrupted three times.
  • Self-Deprecation: Eli swears to punish whoever drew his "Wanted!" Poster, saying, "I'm ten times uglier than that, ain't I?"
  • The Sheriff: Worf's character, with Alexander as his deputy.
  • Shout-Out: The episode title is, of course, a riff on the title of the classic western A Fistful of Dollars.
    • The scene of Alexander looking out the bottom of the saloon doors is a homage to Shane.
  • Showdown at High Noon: Okay, not exactly noon, but close enough.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In-Universe, Worf is shocked by the presence of a bordello with hookers, which Alexander explains is because Lt. Barclay helped him write the program.
    Worf: I must have a little talk with Mister Barclay.
  • Woman Scorned: Annie feels this way when Worf doesn't respond to her advances.
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