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This is less a journal entry than a, um, feature? Oh well.

Last week, TNN showed my all-time favorite episode of Star Trek: TNG. I'm not posting this because it carries any current relevance, just because I figure people read my journal to get to know me, and my favorite Star Trek episode can be filed away with the other factoids that make up the Girl Behind the Spacefem (TM).

"I, Borg"
Episode 223 (Season 5)

Basically, the crew adopts a Borg because he's injured in a crash and they want to fix him up and (later) give him a virus to screw up the other Borg (a crazy race of bot-people who fly around in giant cube assimilating entire races for fun, easily my favorite villians). There's a lot of hate for The Borg on the Enterprise for good reason, they've been through a lot of crap with them. Picard himself became one once (not by choice, mind you) and almost didn't come back, his bitterness is a major theme throughout the episode.

Slowly, when separated from the other Borg, their new pet discovers that he may have an identity for himself after all. When he realizes that none of the others around him refer to themselves in the plural form ("we are borg"), Geordi names him "Hugh" and he slowly learns what it's like to live in the quiet that is human life, without his mind being controlled by a million other minds. He also learns for the first time what it's like to be lonely and scared, but as the members of the Enterprise explain to him, being lonely and scared is a big part of being human, and the only way to rid ourselves of this is to give up our individuality, which for many (Geordi LaForge being one of these), there's nothing more precious. He would "rather die" than lose the gift of thinking for himself.

It's my favorite episode for two reasons. First, it leaves us with the notion that experiencing new ideas and sharing concepts can change the Universe. Hugh's memory will be erased with he is returned to the Borg, but after linking back for the first time after being returned he still looks back at Geordi and we know that something is still there and will be for at least some small amount of time, the sense of what he gained. In fact, the sense of individuality gained does corrupt a good section of the Borg collective. Sources vary on exactly what happened between then and the time Data's evil twin (yeah, i know) re-led them into battle, but we can assume Hugh's mentality put a big landmine into things for a long time.

Second, you realize that everything we go through makes us who we are, individuals, worth something. I dunno, it comforts me. Call Star Trek geeky, call me a dork, but both these ideas give me a lot of hope for life in this place--we are valuable in ourselves and can't forget that, even during times when it feels like we can't do anything or go anywhere, we can add to ourselves and be that tiny part of the universe that nobody else is.

I, too, would rather die than have that taken away.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2002 08:23 am (UTC)
That's one of my favorite episodes too; though I still like the cliffhanger episodes at the beginning and end of one of the season, where Picard was assimilated.

Incidentally, I'm surprised you misspelled Picard! For SHAME!

Mar. 1st, 2002 08:36 am (UTC)
shisnic you're right! i'm fixing it right away!
Mar. 1st, 2002 08:30 am (UTC)
I haven't seen it. Haven't seen most of them, unfortunately. Altho' I am tempted to get the Season 1 DVD set since it's out now.

I like your points. Makes me want to sit down and watch it with you because you can appreciate thinking things like that.

But, not having watched it, but having read your summary, it makes me wonder why they put him back into the Borg while he was regaining a bit of himself. I mean... Picard came back, right? So why not give Hugh a chance? *shrugs*

And yes, you spelled Picard wrong. Even I knew that ;)
Mar. 1st, 2002 08:42 am (UTC)
hey i watch the show, i don't read it! but i did fix the spelling, thx

They send him back because the another Borg ship detects him there and is coming for him and they're about to get attacked. They do offer to fight it out to keep him, but decide to let Hugh say what he wants. He thinks about it a while (since he's never made an independent decision before it's kinda tough on him) and is sad to leave his friends, but decides it'd be best for everybody if he goes back, even if it does mean losing his memories of gaining individuality, because he doesn't want the Enterprise to get blown to bits.

That subject line quote ("Captian, I do not want to forget that I am Hugh") is the last thing he says onboard the Enterprise. touching! gets me every time.
Mar. 1st, 2002 08:44 am (UTC)
and I spelled Captain wrong in that last post. Curse me, it's not dictionary day for the spacefem huh? Arg!
Mar. 1st, 2002 10:32 am (UTC)
you're so cute on that user icon!
Mar. 1st, 2002 10:34 am (UTC)
I learnt that you watch too much TV...
Mar. 1st, 2002 12:46 pm (UTC)
Damn I always wanted to be a borg. I mean, aside from their insane group-think bit, but dammit free implants, cool white skin, mental network connection.. what's not to like?
Mar. 1st, 2002 01:08 pm (UTC)
TNG is great. I need to start trying to get tapes of some episodes, I think.
Mar. 1st, 2002 04:58 pm (UTC)
and here i thought that i was the only person who watched all those old reruns on tnn. my personal favorite is the two part episode - locutus of borg.. you know, where the borg turn picard into a borg. that was great. and im always slightly amused by anything with Q. he's a bastard if there ever was one.. but anyhow..
Mar. 2nd, 2002 06:18 am (UTC)
I have to admit, I was a big fan of StarTrek: TNG when I was younger (I especially loved Troi) but unfortunately, I was so young I don't remember most of the episodes. I have a feeling this is one of the ones I have seen but missed. Good stuff. I need to get back into watching the re-runs, because it was an excellent show. About the only four I clearly remember are: the one where Troi gets pregnant and has that quick-growing alien baby, the one where Troi gets involved with that guy that likes to kill women by turning them old really quick, the one where Alexander comes to live with Worf for the first time, and the one about the three children assisting Picard because the ship was under seige or something. Oh, and I recall some episode with Geordi and a dog. What was that all about?
Mar. 4th, 2002 11:53 am (UTC)
I found the Borg very interesting when I first heard about them. They are one of the few bad guys that the confederation is not at all interested in making peace with. Borg seems beyond hope. Yet the only thing thet they ever do is cause people to think as a whole. Your not killed when you become borg. Borg makes you stronger and gives you all of their knowlegde. It seems like a pretty good deal. It made me think about how important thinking as an individual, and being self-aware is.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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