A division of state, a unification of minds. All in the episode that originally aired on November 8, 1993. This is Attached.
Stardate 47304.2 Attached
The Enterprise is visiting the planet Kesprytt III to evaluate the request of the Kes to join the Federation. The request is odd as it is only a part of the world who want to join and the others, the Prytt, have no desire to join. As Picard explores the situation, he and Crusher are captured by the Prytt who have joined the two of them through brain implants.
Story A Captive
Picard and Crusher beam down to the planet Kesprytt III only to find themselves in the wrong area. For some reason they are in a prison cell and, before long, they are assaulted by a group of aliens who identify themselves as the Prytt Security Ministry. They are left alone and, when they receive their rations, a mysterious friend leaves behind Crushers tricorder. Using the information that has been downloaded to the tricorder, Picard and Crusher begin their escape.
Picard and Crusher begin to make their way through a series of underground tunnels below the compound and, as move through, they soon discover that they can read one another’s thoughts. At first it appears through they are picking up on each others feelings but it soon becomes clear they are connected. As they travel together they realize that the connection is getting stronger and soon discover that they need to stay close to one another or they start to become ill. As they follow the map that had been supplied by their mysterious friends, they discover that they need to make a detour in order to get to the nearby town indicated on the map. The terrain becomes harsher and they soon find themselves lost and hungry. As they camp for the night, their connection becomes closer and they begin to realize they have a deeper connection that either of them ever wanted to admit.
The next morning Crusher and Picard find themselves under pursuit from Prytt forces. They soon find themselves trapped on opposite sides of a force field with the Prytt surrounding Beverly. Just as things look bleak, they are beamed aboard the Enterprise.
Story B: Missing Crewmen
Worf beams Picard and Dr. Crusher to the surface of Kesprytt III only to be informed that they never arrived. Immediately the crew begin investigating the disappearance of Picard and begin to suspect that the Prytt are involved.
Contacting the Kes, Ambassador Mauric arrives on board the Enterprise and volunteers to send in a rescue party immediately. He makes it clear that the Kes and the Prytt do not communicate and that there is little chance of a diplomatic solution. Riker wishes to attempt diplomacy before anything rash is done and the Ambassador is escorted to his quarters aboard the Enterprise.
Data and Riker find a way to contact the Prytt through their communications system in order to set up diplomatic relations. Their first attempt fails and Riker is soon contacted by the Prytt Security Council. The Council tells the Enterprise that they have nothing to say to them and that, should the Enterprise continue to attempt communications, the Prytt will take hostile measures. Soon, Ambassador Mauric informs Riker that the Kes have made arrangements to free Picard and Crusher.
Ambassador Mauric asks Picard to join him in his quarters where Riker discovers that the Ambassador has added some serious security to his room. The Ambassador indicates that the Kes have spies among the Prytt and have for some time. Soon however, the Kes begin to suspect The Enterprise is having dealings with the Prytt when Picard and Crusher fail to arrive at the expected rendezvous point. Ambassador Mauric accuses Riker of conspiring with the Prytt and soon Riker asks the Ambassador to pack up and leave.
Soon Riker makes contact with the Prytt and beams the head of Prytt security aboard the Enterprise in order to find out what has happened to Picard and Crusher. As they begin to discuss the situation it soon becomes clear that the Prytt and the Kes are not a people who are ready to be members of the Federation. They only want to argue and are no help. Riker informs the Prytt security Director, Lorin, that should she not help, the Federation will show up and make their lives more difficult. She realizes the truth of the matter and gives in, allowing Picard and Crusher to be beamed aboard the Enterprise.
That evening, Picard and Crusher discuss their situation. It becomes clear that there is something between them after all these years and that they shouldn’t ignore their mutual feelings any longer.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is an excellent episode written by Nicholas Sagan (son of Carl Sagan) and directed by Jonathan Frakes. Frakes has really become an excellent director in his time on this series and it seems he just has the magic touch.
The thing that really makes this episode unique is that it finally confirms the suspicion everyone has had the entire series, do Crusher and Picard like each other? (and I don’t mean do they just get along). The series has done a great job hinting at but not confirming the romantic feelings between the two officers but, when they find themselves in each other’s minds, it is kind of hard to keep it a secret.
When Crusher realizes that Picard has been in love with her since they first met, it is a touching moment. He swore to never tell her because she was the wife of his best friend and, In the years that followed, he has been able to develop a deeper friendship with Crusher despite his initial feelings for her. When Jack Crusher died, he felt even more guilty about his feelings and nearly denied her a position aboard the Enterprise seven years prior. This is a tremendous amount of character development for both Picard and Crusher even this late in the series.
The other aspect of this show that I noticed was the slight sociopolitical statement about two peoples living on the same planet distrusting one another. It immediately made me think of North and South Korea, a country divided by, well everything. Then I got to thinking, this really describes the United States today. We are currently in a division unlike anything we have seen since the Civil War. The left and the right, while both wanting the same thing, are so worried about what the other is doing that they each keep sabotaging one another’s efforts to make themselves look like they are doing something good. It is getting so bad that even the very citizens of the country are beginning to justify their negative actions by pointing out that their leaders are doing so why shouldn’t they. We are not unlike the Kes and the Prytt, two people that share a common connection, for them a planet and for us a country, who are so scared of one another that they have formed a barrier between them. While theirs is physical, ours has become one of hate and anxiety, of distrust and xenophobia. While we, as a country, try to play in the World Political landscape, we are beginning to divide against one another in ways that may eventually result in a separation. It is tragic and everyone is so caught up being offended by everything that it seems no one can realize that we are all one country and we better start acting like it before it is too late. The Kes and the Prytt were only denied membership to the Federation, if we are not careful, we face a much worse fate than that.
This is what makes well written scifi so good, it is timeless and can speak to people for generations. It can be a subtle time capsule that still has some very valuable lessons if one were to take a moment to listen.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We get a chance to see more of the relationship between Picard and Crusher, but not for a bit.
We never hear from nor see the Kes or the Prytt again, that’s probably a good thing.
We learn that Picard and Crusher prefer a simple breakfast over anything fancy.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Force of Nature
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Late To The Game 8/29/2020 (Originally published 1/4/2019)
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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