Top 4 Mysteries From ‘Star Trek The Next Generation’
While I am really excited for “Star Trek: Discovery” TNG will always hold a special place in my heart.
It is a show I distinctly remember my family gathering around the TV to watch together growing up. I also happen to think “Star Trek: The Next Generation” has one of the best series finales ever. Though with a show as vast as it was, it could never tie up all the loose ends. As a result there are a lot of things I still wonder about the show. Here are the top 4 mysteries I still wonder about. I realize some (if not all) of these may have answers in the tie-in material, but I really only follow the movies and shows so that’s what matters to me. Let’s get started…
4.) What Happened to the Borg and Hugh after “Descent: Part II”
The original series had the Klingons as their iconic bad-guys and early on TNG wanted to establish themselves as their own show so they tried to come up with their own species, the Ferengi. They ended up being a perfect example of something looking good on paper, but ridiculous in real-life. So for the second season they tried again and had plans for a bug type alien species. But the special effects cost caused them to redesign them again into the cyborgs we all know and love. Since then the Borg have become some of the most famous of sci-fi villains. One of their best aspects in TNG is that they didn’t overuse them and the good guys really only had one decisive victory over them. So for the episode “I Borg” when they came across a crashed ship with one Borg still alive it was a shocking episode. Amazingly they realized that the Borg under certain circumstances could be sympathetic as the Borg drone gained a name Hugh and identity for himself. However, that episode had lasting consequences when they later ran into more Borg that were working for Lore (Data’s evil twin). Apparently they were separated from the collective due to their individuality preventing them from functioning in their “society.” In the end of “Descent: Part II” Hugh and the Borg decide to form their own society of free thinking Borg and though the Borg would return many times afterwards in the franchise these specific ones never showed up again.
Here’s the thing about “I Borg,” it marked a change in the story that ended up not happening. What I mean is when that episode was made it was assumed the Borg and their relationship had changed in the franchise. However, because they were such memorable villains they quickly reverted back to that. Now as someone whose favorite “Star Trek” film is “Star Trek: First Contact” I’m not complaining, but I have to wonder what happened. You might say after this the Borg decided to give themselves a Borg Queen explaining her later appearance, but according to “First Contact” she was always there. We just didn’t see her. Based on how evil she is it seems unlikely to me that she’d just let them leave the collective. From another way of looking at it, I can accept that Hugh being separated from the collective could reform his humanity under the right stimuli, but I don’t get how the collective wouldn’t be able to “re-Borgify” him much less how his individuality would spread. So do Hugh and the other Borg create their own world? We see with Picard and later with Seven of Nine that you can take all of the Borg implants out and return to full organic life, did they do that? Did the Borg Queen track them down to re-assimilate them? It seems like there could be an interesting story there.
3.) Where Was The Bluegill Message Going In “Conspiracy”?
While I consider “Star Trek TNG” to be one of the best shows ever, the first 2 seasons were… rocky. Most shows take some time to get going and iron out all of their flaws. Although this show was almost like a completely different one at first. In season 3 they got a new showrunner and the series found itself and started creating classics fairly consistently. Still I would agree that there were great episodes in the first 2 seasons. It’s just that they were rare. I feel like this episode would have been better if it came out post-season 3. Still, credit where it’s due, they really delivered in this early episode, “Conspiracy.” The interesting thing is that it didn’t even start with this episode. Earlier they had an episode about a young Lt. Remmick being brought on board by Admiral Quinn to investigate all of Picard’s decisions since becoming captain. Nobody likes him because he seems to be out to get the Captain. At the end of the episode it is revealed that he was just doing his job and even asks to serve aboard the Enterprise-D when his current tour of duty ends. Then, Admiral Quinn explains to Picard the reason for the witchhunt being that (paraphrasing) “someone or something is trying to destroy our way of life” in a great tease for a future episode. 4 episodes later we get our follow-up.
It turns out Starfleet has been taken over by these alien bug like creatures (called the Bluegills) that attach themselves to the back of a human’s neck to fully control them. They’re able to thwart them by learning that phasers set to the kill setting will knock them out. They then discover Lt. Remmick to be in charge, but that’s only because he’s possessed by the queen Bluegill. Picard and Riker shoot him at full blast at the same time exploding his face and chest. Then, the queen emerges. Again Picard and Riker shoot it together and destroy the creature. However, not before they sent out a homing signal to somewhere in space so far away it’s beyond anywhere Starfleet has explored. Ok so first things first, seeing this as a kid was jaw dropping. I’m still shocked that they got away with the hollowed out corpse at the end on network TV. Second as I said earlier, despite seeming like a jerk in the previous appearance, the idea was that Remmick was a good guy so when did he get taken over by the queen? Or was he already the host for the queen in the other episode, but more on the down-low? How did they infect the top brass in Starfleet? But of course the BIG question where was that signal going to?! I remember when I first started exploring the internet and sites like Memory Alpha. One of the first things I wanted to know was, was there ever a follow-up episode. Sadly no. It’s just a great foreboding ending. Space is beautiful, but it is also vast and filled with who knows how many threats. It is said due to a writer’s strike and budget cuts the Borg were created and basically filled the role the Bluegill would have. So maybe they’re who contacted the Borg in the first place? Probably not since the Borg aren’t the type to team up with anyone. I would love to see the promise of a bluegill invasion to be fulfilled.