Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Season 1 Episode 21: Arsenal of Freedom
Short Answer: Some minor character moments, but overall not a lot of meat to the episode.
The Enterprise investigates the disappearance of the Drake which is captained by one of Riker's friends. When they get to the planet, the crew discovers that it is a automated weapons retailer. It's not a stretch to say that the episode tries to make some obvious comparisons to present-day mechanized warfare. The episode makes that point well enough, but I don't feel like there is much more to the story.
My favorite part of the episode is in the first couple minutes. The crew is discussing their mission and Riker mentions that Starfleet offered him the command of the Drake, after his last assignment. Instead, he decided to take the position on the Enterprise. Tasha Yar is incredulous that he would pick a first officer position over having his own command. With his patented grin, Riker says that serving on the Enterprise is a lifetime opportunity. I like their exchange because it builds on the theme I mentioned in an earlier episode where Riker seems to be holding out for command of the Enterprise.
The episode has a number of these character moments. LaForge is given a lesson on leadership. Also Crusher and Picard are stranded alone on the planet, giving them yet another opportunity for tension. Unfortunately, there are not enough of these moments for me to recommend watching the episode.