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YMMV / Star Trek: The Next Generation S5E25 "The Inner Light"

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  • Award Snub: On the DVD Extras, Michael Westmore claimed that Patrick Stewart would have clinched an Emmy for this performance... if it hadn't been relegated to the Sci Fi Ghetto, which was still alive and kicking in The '90s.
  • Broken Base: You'll come across this in recent years. This episode still has a lot of fans who consider it well-conceived and emotionally powerful, but it's not uncommon now to come across people who view the episode in a more negative light, particularly with the Fridge Horror that the people of Kataan trapped Picard in a Lotus-Eater Machine where (to his perception) he lived decades of another man's life before being freed, which could be traumatizing to someone.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
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    • A similar tech would be used in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to force O'Brien into experiencing decades of jail in a few moments. Actress Margot Rose (Eline) even appears in that episode.
    • Watching the people of Kataan Face Death with Dignity is also much harder in the present day, as news about the probable effects of global climate change gets more and more ominous.
    • A hangover from this episode is that it awakens a longing for Picard to have a family and children of his own. He never does.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The rather unconvincing age makeup on old Picard makes him look positively ancient...which is very ironic, given that Patrick Stewart barely looked like he aged for decades after last playing Picard, only finally beginning to look rather older by the time Picard rolled around. However, Picard-as-Kamin let his hair grow and didn't bother to wash it that often, while the real Stewart maintained a short cut.
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  • Retroactive Recognition: Batai is probably best known for having PEOPLE skills!!!
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The age makeup isn't terrible for the 1990s, but it's not great. Not a big problem back in the day of 480i broadcast resolution, but it really doesn't hold up under the fine detail of the HD remaster.
    • This is also one of those episodes where the remaster exposes shortcomings in the sets. Check the left-hand window during the final shot; the rough wood grain of the lumber used to frame it shows through the gray paint.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The ending—both the scene of Kamin's dead family and friends coming back to him, and Picard playing on his flute to close out the episode. Each widely considered among the most tear-jerking moments in all of TNG.
    • Ron Moore states that at the time they hadn't realized exactly how significant this episode really would have been for Picard (it was only afterwards that it struck them that the events of this episode would have been the single most important event of Picard's entire life) so they were forced to content themselves with only a single follow-up in the later episode "Lessons."
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    • Though perhaps it helps to explain the family life Picard got when he first entered the Nexus.
    • In-Universe, Kamin is depressed his grandson won't live to be an adult.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Picard playing with his grandchild is played sweetly, but for some audiences, it can seem quite cruel for Picard's daughter to be having children in a world they both know is about to die.
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