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YMMV / Star Trek: The Next Generation S4E21 "The Drumhead"

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: How Satie went about her witch hunt was undoubtedly a bit much. But whereas Picard's embittered monologue at the end demonstrated his belief that Satie was always corrupt to an extent, it's been speculated otherwise, even on This Very Wiki, that it may be more complex. Little hints are given throughout the episode, most notably in her discussions of growing up with her strict father, that she may have just cracked after being in the game for way too long. Plus, there is something to be said for having to meet one's quota in law enforcement. The fact she even seems to realize herself that she went too far (if not for the right reasons) makes it possible to have a tiny bit of sympathy for her, although it doesn't change the fact that as far as the events of this specific episode go, she did it to herself.
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  • Epileptic Trees: Between his offer to help have Worf's discommendation lifted by his "powerful friends," along with his admiration for the Romulans, it's not too hard to imagine that J'Dan has ties with the House of Duras, which would naturally make taking him down all the more pleasing for Worf.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Picard defends Simon Tarses to Worf, saying his hesitation to offer information does not automatically mean he's guilty of a crime. "The First Duty" is the other side of that coin, where he tells Wesley that "a lie of omission is still a lie." Except there's a big difference between the Fifth Amendment to hide one's parentage and covering up manslaughter.
  • Moment of Awesome: A more understated, quieter moment of awesome than we're used to from Picard. It's not so much from the usual Patrick Stewart Speech we know and love, but rather a coolheaded, soft-spoken, Armor-Piercing Response in the form of using Satie's own father's words against her. And it completely unravels her.
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  • Moral Event Horizon: Picard gave Satie a chance to redeem herself, and what does she do instead? Not only does she blithely ignore his Kirk Summation, but she then shames him over being Mind Raped by the Borg. Major dick move.
  • Values Resonance: Stylistically, this episode evokes the second Red Scare from the 1950's, but really the themes of paranoia versus freedom, and fearmongers who take advantage of political tension to gain power, is applicable to any situation where there is suspicion and the threat of war, all the way up to the War on Terror.
  • The Woobie: Special mention has to go to medical technician Simon Tarses. Accused of conspiracy against the Federation, put through a witch-hunt trial, and suspended for 6 months for falsifying his application - those adorable ears came from a Romulan grandfather, not a Vulcan one... but admitting that would have made a career in Starfleet out of the question. Sure, lying is bad, but holy disproportionate punishment. And just look at that face.


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