Episode Report CardKeckler: A | Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
I will concede that the plot conflict with Shinzan as Picard's clone and nemesis -- his Khan, as it were -- is nothing more terra-shattering than an elementary reversal of the Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker relationship. Only this time around the wormhole, you get the "good" father figure butting bald heads with the "evil" son-type. And with the whole psychobabble of revenge flying back and forth between Picard and his DNA, it does become painfully apparent that Shin-Khan has his own personal demons to deal with. No, seriously, he does. They guard the awesome William Morris glass doors at the Romulan Senate house for him. Joking aside, the whole getting a "message" across to us is definitely very much in keeping with the preachiness of most of TNG, and because of that, I don't have a problem with it in Nemesis. What I do have a bit of a problem with is that the motivation of Shin-Khan turns out to be nothing deeper than a tantrum-throwing little boy who feels he's been wronged his whole life and wants to take it out on everyone and everything around him. Considering that it was the Romulans who cloned him from Picard's DNA and then threw him to his death in the dilithium mines on Remus, it is not entirely clear why he chooses to destroy Earth before Romulus. When it comes to the monobrowed Vulcan cousins, I'm not sure I entirely like how this movie transmutes them into fluffy kittens -- the sudden champions of Picard and his cause. I would rather the Klingons come to their rescue, a la "The Defector," rather than have this sudden and seemingly unexplained reversal on the part of the Romulan cabal that has been supporting Shin-Khan all along. I mean, in the opening of the movie, this little band of dissenters is cold-blooded enough to turn the entire Romulan Senate into coal with one of those radioactive Bloomin' Onions under Shin-Khan's orders, yet a few days later they turn tail and run to Picard's rescue, all because Shin-Khan starts sprouting Evil Willow veins? And speaking of the deadly dish from Outback Steakhouse, a lot of people are getting bumptious over the all-too-convenient introduction of Thaleron -- a previously unknown deadly weapon that Shin-Khan has discovered or created. They don't think it's cricket to suddenly come up with something we've never heard of in order to give the baddies the upper hand. Me? I shrug that off. It's a movie; they have to create new foes (like the Remans) and dangers, and I don't have a problem with that at all. The Genesis device that was coveted by Khan and used to bring Spock back to life was also an invention we had never heard of, yet no one really bitches and moans about that. I do have a problem when a series set in the past alters facts that affect a future we've already watched -- or invents things back then that are never going to exist, or even be spoken about, in two hundred years. But the introduction of Thaleron and the Remans sits fine with me. Furthermore, the Remans are inconsequential enough to the overall plot that we could look forward to seeing them again, even if the Romulans succeed in re-enslaving them in the dilithium mines.