Star Trek the Next Generation Episode Review: The Neutral Zone (1988)

Synopsis: As the Enterprise travels to the neutral zone on the border of the reclusive Romulan Empire, the crew is distracted by three "guests" found on board a malfunctioning capsule, where they had been cryogenically frozen for 400 years. The season 1 episode first aired in May 1988.

Review: My youngest daughter has an open house at her dance school this evening so, while waiting to go (I wanted to let her sister have an after-school snack first), I'm once again watching this STNG episode to kill time.  I've seen this episode a couple different times and, each time, my feelings about it have been a bit mixed.

On one hand, I do like the tension created by the Enterprise having to visit the Romulan Neutral Zone. This series, at least in the earlier seasons, was always a bit light on bad guys so seeing a situation where Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) may have to get in a battle is always a little refreshing.

The fact he has an added distraction from the rescued humans does add a little extra to this episode, especially when the visitors start to get impatient to the point they are interrupting at inopportune times.

My biggest complaint about this episode is the same one I have with a lot of the earlier episodes from this series, it is, at times, a little preachy. Sure, maybe humans of our time are a little more primitive than they would be in the future. But, the way the episode explains the differences (especially when it comes to concepts such as wealth) makes Picard and his crew seem a bit snobbish and I think I might like it a little better if they toned it down a little bit.

Final Opinion: It's an OK episode with a reasonably decent plot. It's just too bad they ruined it with all the "we're better than you because..." preaching.

My Grade: B


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