Morality plays a huge role in Star Trek. Many times these are fairly basic matters of right and wrong but on occasion something deeper is addressed and this is one of those. Do you help a mortal enemy who has wrong you if your assistance could prevent the deaths of others? Find out in The Enemy, originally airing on November 6,1989.
Stardate 43349.2 The Enemy
LaForge is inadvertently left behind on a hostile planet with only a Romulan soldier as his company. Meanwhile Worf must decide if he is willing to use his own blood to save the life of a mortal enemy.
The Enterprise intercepts a distress call from within the Neutral Zone and discovers a crashed Romulan ship. Riker, Worf and LaForge beam down to give assistance only for LaForge to get seperated. The others find a wounded Romulan and are forced to beam up without LaForge. Due to the ion storm they can not locate LaForge to get him back safely.
Riker and Worf take the Romulan to sick bay amd Crusher informs them that the man will die without a blood transfusion. She also finds that his neural pathways have degenerated and Geordi may be facing the very same danger.
This is where we will split the stories. There are three narratives here and I will break them out as Stories A, B and C. Story A will start us off.
Story A, Geordi’s Journey.
Down on the planet Geordi pulls himself out of a deep hole and begins his trek across the dangerous planet. He sees the neutrino pulse from the probe and begins to head it’s direction. Before he can get too far he is attacked by another Romulan by the name of Bochra, who is soon hurt in a rock slide. LaForge takes Bochra to safety only to have the Romulan hold him hostage with his phaser. Although hurt the Romulan has no interest in allowing LaForge to rescue them and Geordi discovers that the cave they are in is interfering with his visor putting him at risk of being blinded. As they talk, he convinces Bochra to help him find the beacon to get them saves only for Geordi’s visor to give out on him.
Stranded, Geordi and Bochra work out a plan to find the neutrino pulse. Bochra offers to be LaForge’s eyes as they combine the tricorder and the visor to lead them to safety.
Story B Worf’s Choice
Aboard the Enterprise, Crusher informs Worf that he is the only crewmember who can save him. Worf is not interested in helping and refuses to participate in the transfusion. Worf is having a difficult time with saving a Romulan as it was the Romulans who killed his family rendering him an orphan.
Doctor Crusher takes Worf to see the dying Romulan hoping that he will change his mind. The Romulan complicates matters when he threatens Worf and tells him that he doesn’t want his ‘Klingon Filth’ in his body.
Story C The Romulan Threat
Things get more complicated when they receive a transmission from a Romulan vessel that is in transit to rescue their people. Picard contacts the Captain of the Romulan vessel, Commander Tomalak, and explains the situation at hand. Tomalak insists that they meet at the edge of the Neutral Zone for him to retrieve his man. As all this is occurring, Wesley discovers a way to contact LaForge. They will launch a neutrino probe for LaForge to find and use it as a beacon to locate him.
Tomalak, ignoring the Federation Treaty and Picard’s warnings, enters Federation space and heads toward the Enterprise causing Picard to be concerned about the possibility of a new war with the Romulan Empire. Picard asks Worf to volunteer for the blood transfusion as, if the Romulan dies, Tomalak may use this as an opportunity to declare war. Worf again refuses and Crusher informs Picard that the Romulan has died.
Tomalak arrives and threatens the Enterprise to either return his officer or prepare to die. When Picard informs them of the Romulan’s death, Tomalak tells Picard to prepare for a battle. They then detect Geordi and another life form on the surface. Using this information, he informs Tomalak of the situation as the Enterprise needs to lower their shields in order for them to beam LaForge and the Bochra aboard.
The Enterprise rescues LaForge and Bochra causing Tomalak to change his mind. Peace remains…for now.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Once again, season three delivers. We not only get a fantastic story of survival for Geordi but also a viable threat to the Federation and a crisis of conscience for Worf. The episode, at its core, is about overcoming prejudice and recognizing the need to work together. What makes it unique is that it gives us multiple perspectives to this and each perspective handles things differently.
Geordi once again shows his engineering chops as he works with Bochra to alter his visor with a tricorder to survive. But, what is more important, is that Geordi chooses to set aside his differences and work with an enemy of the Federation in order for them both to survive. His decision, unknown to him at the time, ultimately prevents an all out war between the Romulan Empire and the Federation. This really shows some serious integrity in his character that will only grow over time.
Worf gets a chance to grow as a character and, just when you think he may give in, he doesn’t. Now you may think that this constitutes lack of growth but it does not. Indeed this solidifies Worf’s hatred for the Romulans and gives him a flaw, something that not many series like this would be willing to do. Worf, at this time, is too proud to allow himself to help an enemy and, allowing his Klingon side to assert itself, he lets the Romulan die. He makes it clear that if Picard where to order him to do so, he would of course follow orders but he will not do so voluntarily. He is clearly conflicted as he asks advice from Riker as to what to do. This conflict is something we see as his character develops and it makes for some fantastic episodes. Worf has a lot of growing to do and his path is certainly an interesting one.
Picard is in the predicament where most of the decisions are out of his hands, yet he keeps trying to find a solution to the problems at hand. He is unwilling to leave a crewman behind even though it may cause damage with Romulan relations, he is unwilling to order one of his crew to do something against their will even though it may prevent a war. He must balance all attributes of the situation at hand and does a brilliant job walking across the minefield. As he says he must always balance the ‘needs of the many vs the needs of the individual’ and that is not easy. The burden of leadership is great and he wears it well.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We meet Tomalak in this episode and you can bet, we will see him again, in addition, you can guarantee this will not be the last time we see the Romulans this season.
We also see that Starfleet doesn’t skimp on survival training when LaForge uses his phaser to fashion some pretty killer silver spikes to climb out of the hole he fell in. If that is part of standard Starfleet training, we have a crew of special ops on our hands!
We never hear from Bochra again although I would imagine he didn’t live long under Tomalaks protection.
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Late To The Game 8/25/2019 (Originally published 5/4/2018)
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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