This post is not about the under-developed energy life-form who possesses people and leaves them with no memory of the incident.
This post is not about the comedic attempts of the Federation at peacekeeping as two groups of delegates (one serpent-like, the other dog/fox-like) go around hunting each other on the way to peace talks.
No, no, this post is about my frustration with what is supposed to be the most envelope-pushing franchise using the laziest/most cliched trope of all science fiction.
The idea that the events of the story being told are happening so far into our future that no human can imagine what it was like to have so many goddamn feelings (both positive and negative). Now, I know for a fact they’re not going to be able to hold this up because in this episode alone there is a lot of talk about Sherlock Holmes with Data going so far as to study all his cases to apply the detective’s methods to the events surrounding them.
This – as I know from random episodes I’ve seen over the years – is common for the show: Captain Picard using literature (both in and out of the holo-deck) to teach Data about being human. For such lessons to happen over the series means humanity cannot be so far removed from its violent past. They revisit and study it so as not to repeat they’re mistakes.
They would have to be some kind of stupid to study the past that much to avoid repeating it and not have any idea what any of it might feel like. Maybe Ryker (who’s the one who said he couldn’t understand the prejudice between the two groups of delegates whatsoever) is just that kind of stupid.