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YMMV / Star Trek: The Next Generation S1E21 "Symbiosis"

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  • Anvilicious: The plot is heavy-handed enough, but the scene where the bridge crew explain to Wesley why people get addicted to drugs crosses the line into outright lecturing the audience. And when combined with the feature that Reading Rainbow did on the episode, it makes it seem like a clunky after-school special.
  • Canon Fodder: Many fans interpreted Tasha's Drugs Are Bad speech as her indirectly confessing to being a former addict herself, mostly just because it makes the scene feel less preachy, Tasha hardly ever got any character development, and from what we see of her home later on, it's definitely the sort of place where drug use could easily be rampant. Many authors, both fan and officially licensed, would later incorporate this interpretation into their stories.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Merritt Butrick plays a man suffering from a worldwide plague. Less than a year later, he passed away from AIDS complications — the first Trek cast member to do so,note  and the first Trek recurring cast member to die of a communicable disease. (He was also one of the youngest ever to die, having been all of 29 years old at the time he passed away.) What makes things even harsher is the (probably unintentional) Reality Subtext, as the entire reason why Butrick took the role was because he needed money for his AIDS medication.
    • In addition, while the episode is slammed for its heavy-handed stance on drug use, Gene Roddenberry himself would die three years later in part because of years of rampant drug use wrecking his body.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Turns out the Pakleds of "Samaritan Snare" aren't actually the first crew of aliens too dumb to fix their own ship that the Enterprise stumbles upon.
    • The dialogue as the Enterprise tries to instruct a drunken captain how to repair his shuttle sounds uncannily like a transcript from an IT support call.
      "Captain, we are beaming over a replacement coil."
      "That's great! And that'll fix us up?"
      "Yes, once it's installed."
      "Right, and how do we do that?"
      (Despair, grief, and silence)
  • Memetic Mutation: Denise Crosby's almost seductive delivery of the line "Drugs can make you feel good" makes it quite easy to take out of context.


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