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Admiral Harmon

Shouldn't Picard have been at least temporarily relieved of duty?

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One of the things that has always amazed me with TNG (especially as I've gotten older and can understand more of the deeper meanings of the stories being told), is the fact Picards has been given such a free pass by Starfleet Command. Free pass as in them being very lenient and forgiving of him. Only once do they seem to get after him, and it was because of his decision to not use Hugh as a weapon. Yet at no time was he relieved of duty, except once to go on a black ops mission and once because he personally turned over command to Riker during Rascals.

Here are the three times I felt he should have been temporarily removed from command but he wasn't:

1. The Borg Invasion: where he helped the Boirg destroy 11,000 fellow Starfleet Officers, 39 capitol ships at Wolf 359 and at least 3 smaller vessels around the Jupiter defensive perimeter, Starfleet doesn't force him into taking an extended leave of absence. They seem to shrug their shoulders and say, "Well, a few sessions with Councilor Troi will fix everything". However, when the Borg invade years later, they go so far as to order him not to engage the Borg, because they have a genuine fear of a possibility instability around the Borg.

Yet, they never do. There is no removal from command, no officers sent to keep an eye on him, to see if he is getting alright. No, they immediately return him to his command. 

I can only assume the reason they didn't was because of this idea: well, sure, he was coerced to leading the Borgh against against Earth, it was his knowledge and his leadership that got thousands killed and assimilated, but guess what, he made them fall asleep!

I don't think that's valid enough to give him back his command immediately, when he would have benefited from time off the ship as we saw in the post-Invasion episode Family. It was not him staying on the ship that helped him out, it was being away from the ship to get everything sorted out, but they only allowed it due to the ship getting repairs.

2. Inner Light: Picard lived an entire lifetime in 24 minutes. When he wakes up, he's disoriented, clearly having troubles understanding where and who he is. He even tells Riker, "I'm having trouble accepting this is my life." Instead of having him temporarily relieved of duty so he can get things sorted out, they leave him in charge. 

The reason for this is because his officers didn't think he needed the time off.

3. Chain of Command: He is tortured and broken at the very last. Some have argued that he was lying, but I think that's just people not wanting to accept he is anything less then a perfect human, whose mental capacity far outstrips our own. Even after being broken and tortured, he isn't temporarily relieved of duty. Nope, they shrug and say, "Well, he will talk with his ship's councilor and he'll be alright."

Now, this we actual have a reason why he wasn't temporarily relieved of duty. It was because Picard didn't fully report what happened, and I can assume that if they had known, they WOULD have taken away command for a little bit.

Now, I'm not saying that as a bad thing, being temporarily relieved of duty wouldn't have stopped him from taking the reins of the ship later on. Yes, he very resilient at rebounding from bad experiences. Yet, as I rewatch these episodes (including the Ferengi messing with his mind during The Battle, being captured by thieves during Gambit and coerced into helping them steal and rob archaeology sites), does it honestly make any sense they would not have at least at times made him take extended leaves of absences?

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First of all: He did not "help the Borg". He was FORCED into assisting them, through the worst kind of mental invasion possible. He didn't do any voluntary help here. Big, big difference.

That being said, I do agree that he should have been sent on vacation for a while after all these instances, not because of trust issues or any of that (he is the finest Starfleet has to offer, he commands the flagship for a reason) but because they all scarred him the way they did, especially the Borg, and he deserved some time off. 

At first glance.

However.

One needs to see how Jean-Luc's mind works to see why he never went on any kind of vacation. He didn't WANT to. He NEEDS the Enterprise in order to survive. If you send him away after a traumatic event, it will crush him even more than the event itself, which is what I'm sure Troi told Starfleet and which is why they never relieved him of duty. He would have hated on himself even MORE, in the case of Madred and the Borg, at least, and he would have gone on missing Kataan even more. Also, what helps him in "Family" is Robert's advice, as strange as it is, it's not the time off. What helps is advice from his family, not a therapeutic session center on Earth. The Enterprise is his therapy, not an extended leave of absence, something he DOES briefly consider in "Family", by the way, but Robert has it quite right when he tells him that he can face his trauma either with Louis on the ocean floor or on the Enterprise, and Jean-Luc naturally chooses the Enterprise. He needs her, and she needs him, and Starfleet knows better than to interfere in this almost symbiotic relationship and mess things up that way. It's as simple as that. 

 

 

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First of all: He did not "help the Borg". He was FORCED into assisting them, through the worst kind of mental invasion possible. He didn't do any voluntary help here. Big, big difference.

That being said, I do agree that he should have been sent on vacation for a while after all these instances, not because of trust issues or any of that (he is the finest Starfleet has to offer, he commands the flagship for a reason) but because they all scarred him the way they did, especially the Borg, and he deserved some time off. 

At first glance.

However.

One needs to see how Jean-Luc's mind works to see why he never went on any kind of vacation. He didn't WANT to. He NEEDS the Enterprise in order to survive. If you send him away after a traumatic event, it will crush him even more than the event itself, which is what I'm sure Troi told Starfleet and which is why they never relieved him of duty. He would have hated on himself even MORE, in the case of Madred and the Borg, at least, and he would have gone on missing Kataan even more. Also, what helps him in "Family" is Robert's advice, as strange as it is, it's not the time off. What helps is advice from his family, not a therapeutic session center on Earth. The Enterprise is his therapy, not an extended leave of absence, something he DOES briefly consider in "Family", by the way, but Robert has it quite right when he tells him that he can face his trauma either with Louis on the ocean floor or on the Enterprise, and Jean-Luc naturally chooses the Enterprise. He needs her, and she needs him, and Starfleet knows better than to interfere in this almost symbiotic relationship and mess things up that way. It's as simple as that. 

With the "help the Borg": coercion is implied, but with the military, coercion has been grounds for dismissal in many cases, depending on the severity of it. Although, as Starfleet is not a military organization, I assume it would not mean as much.

Yes, it was advice from his brother that got his mind straight. Yet....it was being off the Enterprise, where his guard was down, that allowed Robert's words to help him. As Worf once said to Geordi, "Words are not important, it's the setting that is".

And while you make a very good point about his mental state and his need for the Enterprise, there is no need to have him leave the Enterprise to have him relieved of command. We saw it with Chain of Command, where even though Will Riker was relieved of duty, he wasn't kicked off the ship. The location isn't important, what would be important is the fact he would not be in charge until he had gotten himself fully back.

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First of all: He did not "help the Borg". He was FORCED into assisting them, through the worst kind of mental invasion possible. He didn't do any voluntary help here. Big, big difference.

That being said, I do agree that he should have been sent on vacation for a while after all these instances, not because of trust issues or any of that (he is the finest Starfleet has to offer, he commands the flagship for a reason) but because they all scarred him the way they did, especially the Borg, and he deserved some time off. 

At first glance.

However.

One needs to see how Jean-Luc's mind works to see why he never went on any kind of vacation. He didn't WANT to. He NEEDS the Enterprise in order to survive. If you send him away after a traumatic event, it will crush him even more than the event itself, which is what I'm sure Troi told Starfleet and which is why they never relieved him of duty. He would have hated on himself even MORE, in the case of Madred and the Borg, at least, and he would have gone on missing Kataan even more. Also, what helps him in "Family" is Robert's advice, as strange as it is, it's not the time off. What helps is advice from his family, not a therapeutic session center on Earth. The Enterprise is his therapy, not an extended leave of absence, something he DOES briefly consider in "Family", by the way, but Robert has it quite right when he tells him that he can face his trauma either with Louis on the ocean floor or on the Enterprise, and Jean-Luc naturally chooses the Enterprise. He needs her, and she needs him, and Starfleet knows better than to interfere in this almost symbiotic relationship and mess things up that way. It's as simple as that. 

With the "help the Borg": coercion is implied, but with the military, coercion has been grounds for dismissal in many cases, depending on the severity of it. Although, as Starfleet is not a military organization, I assume it would not mean as much.

Yes, it was advice from his brother that got his mind straight. Yet....it was being off the Enterprise, where his guard was down, that allowed Robert's words to help him. As Worf once said to Geordi, "Words are not important, it's the setting that is".

And while you make a very good point about his mental state and his need for the Enterprise, there is no need to have him leave the Enterprise to have him relieved of command. We saw it with Chain of Command, where even though Will Riker was relieved of duty, he wasn't kicked off the ship. The location isn't important, what would be important is the fact he would not be in charge until he had gotten himself fully back.

You can't have Jean-Luc on the Enterprise and NOT leave him in command. He'd raise hell if such a decision was thrown at him. See "Rascals", when he's literally turned into a child and still refuses to give up command AND gets restless in his quarters and also quite desperate after he finally steps down. This sort of thing wouldn't help him at all - it would torture him and render all therapy efforts meaningless. The correct course of action is to let Troi take care of him while allowing him to perform his normal duties. The one thing I'll say they should have done is give him a lighter shift plan, less shifts, more time off. But then maybe they did. The show didn't tell us everything at all times.

Which one is it now, though - the setting/location for time off is important or not? ;) 

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First of all: He did not "help the Borg". He was FORCED into assisting them, through the worst kind of mental invasion possible. He didn't do any voluntary help here. Big, big difference.

That being said, I do agree that he should have been sent on vacation for a while after all these instances, not because of trust issues or any of that (he is the finest Starfleet has to offer, he commands the flagship for a reason) but because they all scarred him the way they did, especially the Borg, and he deserved some time off. 

At first glance.

However.

One needs to see how Jean-Luc's mind works to see why he never went on any kind of vacation. He didn't WANT to. He NEEDS the Enterprise in order to survive. If you send him away after a traumatic event, it will crush him even more than the event itself, which is what I'm sure Troi told Starfleet and which is why they never relieved him of duty. He would have hated on himself even MORE, in the case of Madred and the Borg, at least, and he would have gone on missing Kataan even more. Also, what helps him in "Family" is Robert's advice, as strange as it is, it's not the time off. What helps is advice from his family, not a therapeutic session center on Earth. The Enterprise is his therapy, not an extended leave of absence, something he DOES briefly consider in "Family", by the way, but Robert has it quite right when he tells him that he can face his trauma either with Louis on the ocean floor or on the Enterprise, and Jean-Luc naturally chooses the Enterprise. He needs her, and she needs him, and Starfleet knows better than to interfere in this almost symbiotic relationship and mess things up that way. It's as simple as that. 

With the "help the Borg": coercion is implied, but with the military, coercion has been grounds for dismissal in many cases, depending on the severity of it. Although, as Starfleet is not a military organization, I assume it would not mean as much.

Yes, it was advice from his brother that got his mind straight. Yet....it was being off the Enterprise, where his guard was down, that allowed Robert's words to help him. As Worf once said to Geordi, "Words are not important, it's the setting that is".

And while you make a very good point about his mental state and his need for the Enterprise, there is no need to have him leave the Enterprise to have him relieved of command. We saw it with Chain of Command, where even though Will Riker was relieved of duty, he wasn't kicked off the ship. The location isn't important, what would be important is the fact he would not be in charge until he had gotten himself fully back.

You can't have Jean-Luc on the Enterprise and NOT leave him in command. He'd raise hell if such a decision was thrown at him. See "Rascals", when he's literally turned into a child and still refuses to give up command AND gets restless in his quarters and also quite desperate after he finally steps down. This sort of thing wouldn't help him at all - it would torture him and render all therapy efforts meaningless. The correct course of action is to let Troi take care of him while allowing him to perform his normal duties. The one thing I'll say they should have done is give him a lighter shift plan, less shifts, more time off. But then maybe they did. The show didn't tell us everything at all times.

Which one is it now, though - the setting/location for time off is important or not? ;) 

Agree with Mr. Picard 100%.

He never AIDED the Borg, nor was he coerced.  He was mind-raped.  Information was STOLEN from him, as was his individuality.  It was no more 'his fault' than it was an act of deliberate will, since he had none.   I for one am sick and tired of the argument that a person should just 'resist' torture.  They can't.   Even US senator John McCain broke under torture by the Viet Cong in 1967, that's one of the reasons he's commonly broke ranks with his party in advocating for the abolition of its use. No one who is tortured or broken should EVER be held liable for his/her actions.  That is foolish and inhumane. 

Picard is a starship commander, not James Bond.  He's a human being, and it's one of the things I find most relatable about Picard; his humanity.  Take that vulnerability away from him and he's nothing more than a boring action figure.

As for "Chain of Command"?   Once again, Mr. Picard is right.  The best therapy for Jean-Luc is work, work, work.  And who's to say how long the gap was between Picard's return and Jellico's relinquishing command of the Enterprise?  We saw the transfer of command back on the bridge at the end of the episode, but we didn't know the length of the interval.

I'm also guessing that Picard didn't come to Troi earlier because as previously seen, he doesn't do therapy well.   As Mr. Picard says, he's the type who prefers to work through his problems (see: "Family").   I'm sure he relented in CoC2 when he realized this was too much even for him to just go on with 'business as usual.'   No shame in getting help when needed; in fact, I think the world would be a better place if we all did.

 

 

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I absolutely agree that Picard never aided the Borg; he was raped. Period.I also agree that after his torture in "Chains..." work was probably the best thing for him in that case. Indeed, there probably are protocols in place for officers who were victims of more...standard trauma like that.

All that said, his abduction by the Borg is an extraordinary incident. Not only in its scope (Used to aid in the deaths of thousands of fellow officers) but the fact that the technology used to corrupt him is virtually unstudied. Even Voyager didn't seem to have a handle on all of it until Seven. It'd be difficult, at least for a time to be certain that he wasn't still compromised and to what extent, physically from the implants and psychologically from the trauma of violation and having had a hand in the deaths of thousands. 

I can see Troi and the like pushing for him to be returned to duty ASAP, however, he probably should, and in real life would, have been relieved of duty for a good six months minimum given the extraordinary events.   

 

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I absolutely agree that Picard never aided the Borg; he was raped. Period.I also agree that after his torture in "Chains..." work was probably the best thing for him in that case. Indeed, there probably are protocols in place for officers who were victims of more...standard trauma like that.

All that said, his abduction by the Borg is an extraordinary incident. Not only in its scope (Used to aid in the deaths of thousands of fellow officers) but the fact that the technology used to corrupt him is virtually unstudied. Even Voyager didn't seem to have a handle on all of it until Seven. It'd be difficult, at least for a time to be certain that he wasn't still compromised and to what extent, physically from the implants and psychologically from the trauma of violation and having had a hand in the deaths of thousands. 

I can see Troi and the like pushing for him to be returned to duty ASAP, however, he probably should, and in real life would, have been relieved of duty for a good six months minimum given the extraordinary events.   

 

I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

I think some of the problems here are also caused by TNG's episodic nature - on a show done today they WOULD give this kind of thing its proper space and time, in whichever way. With TNG, however, you simply COULDN'T have a dozen episodes or so and just state "oh the captain is away for now, he's undergoing trauma treatment after the Borg incident". Sure they could have set the next episode after Best Of Both Worlds to take place quite a few months later, but remember that Piller had to FIGHT for the episode "Family" itself. Originally there was to have been no trauma at all for Jean-Luc, everything was supposed to be fine again in the next episode. Which is ridiculous, but such was the episodic mindset behind the show. This also plays into this whole "Picard isn't given time to even breathe, why not" thing.

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

It's never really explained just what Troi can do when it comes to psychology - maybe she has enough expertise to handle it all? Also, she's most likely not the only psychologist aboard the ship, I'm sure (poor) Jean-Luc had to go through an endless set of tests from all kinds of people to make sure he's really fit for duty. And I also have no doubt that Starfleet thoroughly investigated the matter as well - the Borg ARE the "most lethal enemy". The show kinda ignored all this, of course - it makes it look like as if Jean-Luc went right back to duty without any kind of evaluation or extremely thorough counseling, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. As much as I love the show I do have to admit that TNG simply isn't very good at "this happened between these two episodes" details, though.

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

It's never really explained just what Troi can do when it comes to psychology - maybe she has enough expertise to handle it all? Also, she's most likely not the only psychologist aboard the ship, I'm sure (poor) Jean-Luc had to go through an endless set of tests from all kinds of people to make sure he's really fit for duty. And I also have no doubt that Starfleet thoroughly investigated the matter as well - the Borg ARE the "most lethal enemy". The show kinda ignored all this, of course - it makes it look like as if Jean-Luc went right back to duty without any kind of evaluation or extremely thorough counseling, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. As much as I love the show I do have to admit that TNG simply isn't very good at "this happened between these two episodes" details, though.

One of the reasons that "Family" is one of my favorite TNG episodes, because it showed fallout from trauma.   Very few shows in those days had the courage to do that sort of thing; display the 'hero' in a vulnerable and very human light.    His breakdown in the vineyards had me holding back sobs in my throat when I first saw it.  The emotion was so raw and powerful.   If there'd been no "Family" after "Best of..." I think the Borg would've lost some of their menace.   The trauma was necessary for the Borg to retain their (then) awesome power, which was chipped away at a bit too much later on. 

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

It's never really explained just what Troi can do when it comes to psychology - maybe she has enough expertise to handle it all? Also, she's most likely not the only psychologist aboard the ship, I'm sure (poor) Jean-Luc had to go through an endless set of tests from all kinds of people to make sure he's really fit for duty. And I also have no doubt that Starfleet thoroughly investigated the matter as well - the Borg ARE the "most lethal enemy". The show kinda ignored all this, of course - it makes it look like as if Jean-Luc went right back to duty without any kind of evaluation or extremely thorough counseling, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. As much as I love the show I do have to admit that TNG simply isn't very good at "this happened between these two episodes" details, though.

One of the reasons that "Family" is one of my favorite TNG episodes, because it showed fallout from trauma.   Very few shows in those days had the courage to do that sort of thing; display the 'hero' in a vulnerable and very human light.    His breakdown in the vineyards had me holding back sobs in my throat when I first saw it.  The emotion was so raw and powerful.   If there'd been no "Family" after "Best of..." I think the Borg would've lost some of their menace.   The trauma was necessary for the Borg to retain their (then) awesome power, which was chipped away at a bit too much later on. 

The episode destroys me every time I can bring myself to watch it but yes. Without it, the whole Borg trauma would not have worked the way it did.

Edited by Mr.Picard

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

It's never really explained just what Troi can do when it comes to psychology - maybe she has enough expertise to handle it all? Also, she's most likely not the only psychologist aboard the ship, I'm sure (poor) Jean-Luc had to go through an endless set of tests from all kinds of people to make sure he's really fit for duty. And I also have no doubt that Starfleet thoroughly investigated the matter as well - the Borg ARE the "most lethal enemy". The show kinda ignored all this, of course - it makes it look like as if Jean-Luc went right back to duty without any kind of evaluation or extremely thorough counseling, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. As much as I love the show I do have to admit that TNG simply isn't very good at "this happened between these two episodes" details, though.

One of the reasons that "Family" is one of my favorite TNG episodes, because it showed fallout from trauma.   Very few shows in those days had the courage to do that sort of thing; display the 'hero' in a vulnerable and very human light.    His breakdown in the vineyards had me holding back sobs in my throat when I first saw it.  The emotion was so raw and powerful.   If there'd been no "Family" after "Best of..." I think the Borg would've lost some of their menace.   The trauma was necessary for the Borg to retain their (then) awesome power, which was chipped away at a bit too much later on. 

The episode destroys me every time I can bring myself to watch it but yes. Without it, the whole Borg trauma would not have worked the way it did.

But hey... he gets to wear those awesome clothes.  :thumbup:

family-hd-032.jpg

So help me, if I had a decent body I'd wear some of those clothes.  Here in California they wouldn't even raise an eyebrow...

 

 

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

It's never really explained just what Troi can do when it comes to psychology - maybe she has enough expertise to handle it all? Also, she's most likely not the only psychologist aboard the ship, I'm sure (poor) Jean-Luc had to go through an endless set of tests from all kinds of people to make sure he's really fit for duty. And I also have no doubt that Starfleet thoroughly investigated the matter as well - the Borg ARE the "most lethal enemy". The show kinda ignored all this, of course - it makes it look like as if Jean-Luc went right back to duty without any kind of evaluation or extremely thorough counseling, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. As much as I love the show I do have to admit that TNG simply isn't very good at "this happened between these two episodes" details, though.

One of the reasons that "Family" is one of my favorite TNG episodes, because it showed fallout from trauma.   Very few shows in those days had the courage to do that sort of thing; display the 'hero' in a vulnerable and very human light.    His breakdown in the vineyards had me holding back sobs in my throat when I first saw it.  The emotion was so raw and powerful.   If there'd been no "Family" after "Best of..." I think the Borg would've lost some of their menace.   The trauma was necessary for the Borg to retain their (then) awesome power, which was chipped away at a bit too much later on. 

The episode destroys me every time I can bring myself to watch it but yes. Without it, the whole Borg trauma would not have worked the way it did.

But hey... he gets to wear those awesome clothes.  :thumbup:

family-hd-032.jpg

So help me, if I had a decent body I'd wear some of those clothes.  Here in California they wouldn't even raise an eyebrow...

 

 

I love the green shirt he wears later in the episode. It matches the color of his eyes. :inlove: 

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

It's never really explained just what Troi can do when it comes to psychology - maybe she has enough expertise to handle it all? Also, she's most likely not the only psychologist aboard the ship, I'm sure (poor) Jean-Luc had to go through an endless set of tests from all kinds of people to make sure he's really fit for duty. And I also have no doubt that Starfleet thoroughly investigated the matter as well - the Borg ARE the "most lethal enemy". The show kinda ignored all this, of course - it makes it look like as if Jean-Luc went right back to duty without any kind of evaluation or extremely thorough counseling, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. As much as I love the show I do have to admit that TNG simply isn't very good at "this happened between these two episodes" details, though.

One of the reasons that "Family" is one of my favorite TNG episodes, because it showed fallout from trauma.   Very few shows in those days had the courage to do that sort of thing; display the 'hero' in a vulnerable and very human light.    His breakdown in the vineyards had me holding back sobs in my throat when I first saw it.  The emotion was so raw and powerful.   If there'd been no "Family" after "Best of..." I think the Borg would've lost some of their menace.   The trauma was necessary for the Borg to retain their (then) awesome power, which was chipped away at a bit too much later on. 

The episode destroys me every time I can bring myself to watch it but yes. Without it, the whole Borg trauma would not have worked the way it did.

But hey... he gets to wear those awesome clothes.  :thumbup:

family-hd-032.jpg

So help me, if I had a decent body I'd wear some of those clothes.  Here in California they wouldn't even raise an eyebrow...

 

 

When the west coast secedes, Caloreton will be the most interesting place on the planet.

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They did address this sometimes on later shows, like DS9, but basically with episodic TV not being serialized during TNG except for the two part ones, and Best of Both Worlds being the first one on any Trek show like it at the time, in summer 1990, it was impossible for them to say Picard had to take time off. They did have Family but only at the behest of some of the crew, including Patrick Stewart. Berman was involved in that decision too. This was uncharted territory. The more serial a show got in a given season, the more the crew could be off doing other things. Also if Stewart wasn't on the show he wouldn't get paid. Also he really didn't like counseling. Yeah, you have pretty much summed it up.

I wouldn't call the Borg assimilation rape, per se, an inhumane and derivative sexual act meant as a form getting violent power over someone, as there was no sexual psycho interaction or connotation. They even lacked sexuality in the onset among the Borg. Sure they had gender, but they did not have feelings toward each other. I would call it a mental violation or a form of brainwashing or torture. He should not have been to blame for being tortured and altered. Also the Borg appeared to be unnecessarily mean, because they did not need a "mouthpiece" if they already had a queen. They took him because he 'speaks for his people' or just to humiliate the Federation or scare them into surrender, which shows a certain level of emotion, but of a completely non gender typed non sexual way. Unless it is slash fiction in which the Borg have special attachments. Then it would indeed be rape.

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I'm not sure if I like the idea of basically using Jean-Luc as a guinea pig for the impact that Borg technology has on a human being. (Or did you mean studying the implants after Crusher removed them?) It would only have added to his trauma if Starfleet had started to poke needles into him, so to speak. The poor man. (Maybe I'm too protective again.)

No, I'm not suggesting that they leave the implants in to study him, that'd be pretty inhumane. What I am saying is that, at this point, they really don't seem to understand how the assimilation process works, all of the technology that the Borg might employ, or the long term impacts on the brain. Even if Troi and the like (who I can argue are biased in his favor) suggest that he just needs to get back to work, I'm not sure that's the best idea until they've looked for the possible and impossible and have put him through his psychological fitness paces for a while.

From the 'it's a TV show' standpoint I get why they did what they did the way they did it. It just doesn't always work with the logical portion of my brain. :)   

It's never really explained just what Troi can do when it comes to psychology - maybe she has enough expertise to handle it all? Also, she's most likely not the only psychologist aboard the ship, I'm sure (poor) Jean-Luc had to go through an endless set of tests from all kinds of people to make sure he's really fit for duty. And I also have no doubt that Starfleet thoroughly investigated the matter as well - the Borg ARE the "most lethal enemy". The show kinda ignored all this, of course - it makes it look like as if Jean-Luc went right back to duty without any kind of evaluation or extremely thorough counseling, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. As much as I love the show I do have to admit that TNG simply isn't very good at "this happened between these two episodes" details, though.

One of the reasons that "Family" is one of my favorite TNG episodes, because it showed fallout from trauma.   Very few shows in those days had the courage to do that sort of thing; display the 'hero' in a vulnerable and very human light.    His breakdown in the vineyards had me holding back sobs in my throat when I first saw it.  The emotion was so raw and powerful.   If there'd been no "Family" after "Best of..." I think the Borg would've lost some of their menace.   The trauma was necessary for the Borg to retain their (then) awesome power, which was chipped away at a bit too much later on. 

The episode destroys me every time I can bring myself to watch it but yes. Without it, the whole Borg trauma would not have worked the way it did.

But hey... he gets to wear those awesome clothes.  :thumbup:

family-hd-032.jpg

So help me, if I had a decent body I'd wear some of those clothes.  Here in California they wouldn't even raise an eyebrow...

 

 

When the west coast secedes, Caloreton will be the most interesting place on the planet.

:laugh:

When, not if...;)

They did address this sometimes on later shows, like DS9, but basically with episodic TV not being serialized during TNG except for the two part ones, and Best of Both Worlds being the first one on any Trek show like it at the time, in summer 1990, it was impossible for them to say Picard had to take time off. They did have Family but only at the behest of some of the crew, including Patrick Stewart. Berman was involved in that decision too. This was uncharted territory. The more serial a show got in a given season, the more the crew could be off doing other things. Also if Stewart wasn't on the show he wouldn't get paid. Also he really didn't like counseling. Yeah, you have pretty much summed it up.

I wouldn't call the Borg assimilation rape, per se, an inhumane and derivative sexual act meant as a form getting violent power over someone, as there was no sexual psycho interaction or connotation. They even lacked sexuality in the onset among the Borg. Sure they had gender, but they did not have feelings toward each other. I would call it a mental violation or a form of brainwashing or torture. He should not have been to blame for being tortured and altered. Also the Borg appeared to be unnecessarily mean, because they did not need a "mouthpiece" if they already had a queen. They took him because he 'speaks for his people' or just to humiliate the Federation or scare them into surrender, which shows a certain level of emotion, but of a completely non gender typed non sexual way. Unless it is slash fiction in which the Borg have special attachments. Then it would indeed be rape.

Rape is not only sexual.

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They did address this sometimes on later shows, like DS9, but basically with episodic TV not being serialized during TNG except for the two part ones, and Best of Both Worlds being the first one on any Trek show like it at the time, in summer 1990, it was impossible for them to say Picard had to take time off. They did have Family but only at the behest of some of the crew, including Patrick Stewart. Berman was involved in that decision too. This was uncharted territory. The more serial a show got in a given season, the more the crew could be off doing other things. Also if Stewart wasn't on the show he wouldn't get paid. Also he really didn't like counseling. Yeah, you have pretty much summed it up.

I wouldn't call the Borg assimilation rape, per se, an inhumane and derivative sexual act meant as a form getting violent power over someone, as there was no sexual psycho interaction or connotation. They even lacked sexuality in the onset among the Borg. Sure they had gender, but they did not have feelings toward each other. I would call it a mental violation or a form of brainwashing or torture. He should not have been to blame for being tortured and altered. Also the Borg appeared to be unnecessarily mean, because they did not need a "mouthpiece" if they already had a queen. They took him because he 'speaks for his people' or just to humiliate the Federation or scare them into surrender, which shows a certain level of emotion, but of a completely non gender typed non sexual way. Unless it is slash fiction in which the Borg have special attachments. Then it would indeed be rape.

Rape is anything that overpowers someone who is an unwilling participant. There is a reason many people say when were they totally dominated in a situation (whether it be gaming, get roughshod at work, etc) that they were "raped".

It's a state of mind, as well as it is a state of body. So yes, he was raped, as he was dominated, his experiences were taken forcibly from him as well as his knowledge, had no control over the situation and was emotionally, mentally and physically violated.

Edited by Admiral Harmon

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scenario   

Do we know how far apart the episodes were?  If there were several months between the episodes there was time to help Picard. Like with Inner Light, I can see Picard coming back to duty and then giving Riker command for a few days with him still there. He could work with Troi about his feelings. Since Troi is an empath, she would know if he was really messed up. He could use a few weeks working part time where Riker handles a lot of the day to day routine stuff. I would bet that there is a lot of in ship leave on voyages lasting for years. No one would think twice if Picard took a few days off here and there after a big trauma. They'd respect him for it. 

After BoBWs, I can see the Enterprise being in dry dock for a month getting repairs and being checked out to be sure there's no borg technology still on it. This gives the doctor's time to look Picard and the rest of the crew over. Family could have taken place around this time. 

I always just assumed that in the "real" world it took a few days to get from planet to planet and most of the time the work was routine. After an event like Inner Light, they would spend two or three days traveling to the next system. Then they would spend a week in the system doing routine science stuff. Then head to the next planet. Riker could easily handle the routine stuff for weeks to give Picard the time to heal.

I think that in ST time mental illness is treated the same as physical illness and there are more effective treatments for it. No one would think twice if Picard had to take a few weeks off to heal from getting a new heart put in. Why should they care if he had to take a few weeks off in ship to take care of a mental trauma? 
 

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Do we know how far apart the episodes were?  If there were several months between the episodes there was time to help Picard. Like with Inner Light, I can see Picard coming back to duty and then giving Riker command for a few days with him still there. He could work with Troi about his feelings. Since Troi is an empath, she would know if he was really messed up. He could use a few weeks working part time where Riker handles a lot of the day to day routine stuff. I would bet that there is a lot of in ship leave on voyages lasting for years. No one would think twice if Picard took a few days off here and there after a big trauma. They'd respect him for it. 

After BoBWs, I can see the Enterprise being in dry dock for a month getting repairs and being checked out to be sure there's no borg technology still on it. This gives the doctor's time to look Picard and the rest of the crew over. Family could have taken place around this time. 

I always just assumed that in the "real" world it took a few days to get from planet to planet and most of the time the work was routine. After an event like Inner Light, they would spend two or three days traveling to the next system. Then they would spend a week in the system doing routine science stuff. Then head to the next planet. Riker could easily handle the routine stuff for weeks to give Picard the time to heal.

I think that in ST time mental illness is treated the same as physical illness and there are more effective treatments for it. No one would think twice if Picard had to take a few weeks off to heal from getting a new heart put in. Why should they care if he had to take a few weeks off in ship to take care of a mental trauma? 
 

There were a few weeks between BOBWs and Family. Troi and Picard talk about it before he goes to leave the ship.

The Inner Light and Chain of Command we have not way of knowing for certain but I always follow my rule of thumb "If there are 26 episodes a season and 54 weeks in a year, on average there would be two weeks between the start of an episode to the start of the next one, unless otherwise stated in the episode."

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Makes sense to me since stardates have never really made sense to begin with.

They are very arbitrary. Too much so.

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Makes sense to me since stardates have never really made sense to begin with.

They are very arbitrary. Too much so.

They really should have made an effort at some point when they knew that Star Trek, between TNG, DS9, and VOY, was going to be running for a while, to try to put some structure to them. 

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Makes sense to me since stardates have never really made sense to begin with.

They are very arbitrary. Too much so.

They really should have made an effort at some point when they knew that Star Trek, between TNG, DS9, and VOY, was going to be running for a while, to try to put some structure to them. 

At least Abramsverse got stardates working.

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There aren't months between BOBW and family. I doubt it'd take months to repair the Enterprise, the Borg didn't tear half of the ship off or anything. It looks like as if it's two or three weeks at best that have passed between the episodes. 

All that being said, I think we should also consider the long term effects here. It's not that Jean-Luc is magically cured after a few weeks or even months of therapy. There is no "let him take a few months off and he will be as good as new" perspective here. The man still suffers from severe PTSD years later in First Contact. I do even think that, at some point, he simply stopped all counseling sessions. Look at how he almost kicks Troi out of his ready room at the beginning of I Borg when she tries to talk to him about it. He's extremely reclusive, he tends to suffer through everything in silence, just by himself (how well I know this) and there's a good chance Troi just gave up after a while because he was unwilling to participate in any more sessions. However, given the fact that Starfleet doesn't appear to fully trust him to battle a Borg Cube (as seen in First Contact when they make him patrol the Neutral Zone instead) it stands to reason that Troi voiced her concerns to them in one way or another and that this is why they ARE careful. (It apparently never occurs to them that he might be able to help THEM and not the Borg and that they are hurting him in a much bigger way than he lets on by basically telling him "not YOU, YOU did WOLF 359 who knows what you're gonna do NOW" but hey. I get it that they're cautious, I'm just too protective of Jean-Luc to not take offense at their attitude.)

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^ I agree that the interval between BOBW and Family seems more like a few weeks, about the time of a Starbase layover/overhaul.  The ship was damaged; but they probably also wanted to give ALL of the crew (including the captain) leave to deal with what had happened.   A few weeks at Earth would seem to be just the thing for that.
 
Regarding Picard's ongoing struggle with his feelings about the Borg:  I've no doubt he struggled with it long afterward, beyond what we saw in "I, Borg" and FC.   I think FC gave Picard some closure since he literally killed the source of his pain; a cathartic release.  But even revenge doesn't necessarily eliminate trauma.  Human beings aren't such simple creatures.   Even after 'the bad guys' are gone, the damage they inflict can last a lifetime.   But Picard is stable and strong enough not to let that trauma interfere with his judgment or command.
 
Kirk also faced a similar crisis of judgment in "Obsession," when his senior officers questioned his ability to command based on his Ahab-attitude regarding the Vampire cloud creature.  Like Picard in FC, Kirk was proven right (even if his crew wasn't as sure of him as Picard's in FC).  Kirk demonstrated questionable behavior in that episode, such as confining security chief Garrovick to quarters because he delayed firing at the cloud creature for a couple of seconds, even AFTER phasers were proven ineffective against it (??).   That decision was based solely on Kirk's own guilt, not rationality or good judgment.   And the events of "Obsession" took place 11 years after Kirk first faced the creature; but it still haunted his judgment.  
 
Was Kirk relieved of command after "Obsession"?  Were mandatory therapy sessions ordered on him?  No, and no.
 
So why is Picard held to a different standard?

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