Star Trek: The Next Generation: Attached   Rewatch 
October 11, 2021 6:23 AM - Season 7, Episode 8 - Subscribe

After escaping imprisonment on an alien world, Picard and Dr. Crusher find that their thoughts are connected by brain implants.

There are times when it is necessary for Memory Alpha to give the appearance of confidence.

  • This is the first of two episodes in the last season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (the other is "Bloodlines") to be written by Nicholas Sagan, son of the famous astronomer Carl Sagan (author of Contact) and subsequently a writer for Star Trek: Voyager.
  • The prospect of romance between Doctor Crusher and Captain Picard is further explored in the final episode "All Good Things...".
  • This is the last episode of the series to feature Picard's jacket uniform variant. To that end, Picard is seen discarding the jacket in the cave.
  • Crusher's fear of heights was also mentioned in "Chain of Command, Part I".
  • Picard explains that every member of the Federation (as of 2370) has "entered as a unified world."
Cast and characters
  • LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) does not appear in this episode. This marks the only non-appearance of a regular cast member in the seventh season.
Poster's Log:

This is one of the few episodes I don't think I've watched in repeats and only barely remember from original broadcast. It's very late-season filler, with the only story high point being Riker's barely-contained annoyance. On the acting side, Stewart and McFadden do admirable jobs of finishing each others' sentences and feeling like they are actually connected. For once, the underground tunnel set looks pretty good. I'm not saying I'd like to build a summer home there, but the rocks are actually quite lovely.
posted by hanov3r (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This episode. Wow. It's pretty much all over the place! We've got haughty aliens who want to open a Spencer's Gifts outlet in their stateroom. We've got another set of haughty aliens who all wear identical hooded jumpsuits. We have telepathic brain implants! We got transporter shenanigans, we got your classic "handcuffed together and on the run", we got your "fear of heights but gotta climb" trope, we got... *roots around in bin* right, we've got someone sneaking a file hidden in a birthday cake tricorder under a lunch tray into a jail cell. We have annoyed Riker! We have some primo Worf glowering. It's like someone in the writer's room was like "hey, let's make a really fun, TOS-style comedy episode!" and right away the ideas were flowing thick and fast and everybody was having a good time and then suddenly the head writer leaned back and said

"and let's make this an opportunity to explore Picard and Crusher's romantic relationship"

and suddenly WHOOOOSH all the fun oxygen was immediately sucked out the room. Just, why. Whyyyyyyyyy. Why are you ruining a super fun premise to answer a question, and correct me if I'm alone on this, no one was really that interested in answering?

I mean, you're got competing peoples called Kes and Prytt dividing the planet Kesprytt. You've virtually got Uhura on the bridge stroking a tribble at that point. Just have fun with it, all right?

also, boy, they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble with the starey chin guy last week with those funny brain knobs, huh
posted by phooky at 9:10 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]

Why are you ruining a super fun premise to answer a question, and correct me if I'm alone on this, no one was really that interested in answering?

I mean, if this was season 3 or 4, we'd probably have wanted to see that question answered. By season 7, we kinda don't really care any more.
posted by hanov3r at 11:04 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]

Cards of the episode in the Star Trek CCG:
The gimmicky dual personnel card type was originally introduced in the quintessentially gimmicky Fajo Collection with Sisters of Duras, representing two characters on one card who were essentially inseparable. Enhanced Premiere ran with this idea and kinda sensibly made one the pairs Jean-Luc and Beverly, who were very much of a piece in this episode. I'd usually rather use one of their separate versions, but hey. Ship 'em if you got 'em.

Shared Problems is typical of TNG support cards in Second Edition, providing a 'benefit' to both players, the idea being that you'd play them when in a better position to take advantage compared to your opponents. I tend to think these were inspired by the MtG card Balance.
posted by StarkRoads at 11:43 AM on October 11

You can have a funny episode with a serious core. I mean, "The Trouble with Tribbles" was based around the idea that the Federation and the Klingon Empire were competing for the alignment of Sherman's Planet, and that the Klingons were willing to murder thousands of people with poisoned grain just to make the Federation look bad. (Not to mention that tribbles themselves were an incredibly dangerous invasive species, basically ecological disasters in a too-cute-to-kill (unless you're a Klingon) shell.)

What might have been funny is if they'd started to do the nasty when they were still on the run, but broke it off because they'd each realized what the other person thought about during sex, and without being explicit about what that was exactly, said that that was an absolute and permanent mutual turn-off. And also have them get recaptured, and use their psychic connection to successfully plot and execute an escape. And finally have them affirm that, even though the experience had ruined any chance of a romance, they were now mutual secret sharers and therefore their friendship was stronger. I mean, they'd seen everything.

The Kesprytt were amusingly annoying. I have a sneaky affection for the hooded-leotard outfits; they're oldskool SF in the mode of rayguns with concentric rings around the barrel.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:49 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]

I seem to recall a time early on when I was a secret Beverly/Jean-Luc shipper (before the term was invented) and was interested in seeing their relationship grow to more than just friends. But I also so rarely saw male-female friendships depicted (which is what made up most of my friendships at the time) in the intensely heteronormative sci-fi world without a constant undercurrent of "will-they, won't-they" gumming up the works, and I was eventually glad TNG didn't go that route. Particularly after Lessons, because I thought Nella Darren was Picard's perfect romance and still kind of seethe about the crap ending for that.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for relationships, whether romantic or familial or friendly. The episodes I respond to most intensely are about people interacting, at their core. Which is why this is kind of disappointing, maybe, because at the core of this they're building on a long-time show relationship and yet it all feels weird and inorganic and forced and far, far too late. It almost felt like they were throwing all the potential relationships with the crew at a dartboard this season and seeing what stuck (which we'll see later with Deanna).

Also, the Prytt are hilariously inept and their outfits sort of emphasize it, especially when they're running around outdoors. Their jumpsuits remind me of the Capellans in Friday's Child on TOS. When they had to use the toilet, I bet those onesies were a lot of fun. "It is now time for my 20-minute potty break." "Good luck!"

Also also, but WHAT is that outfit Bev's wearing at the end? Holy shirtballs that's cray.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 2:27 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]

"It is now time for my 20-minute potty break." "Good luck!"

Cf. Seven of Nine's original costume, which Jeri Ryan had to be sewn into and cut out of.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:42 PM on October 11

I am fond of Attached. Riker gets to emote and isn't creepy or crazy. The Jean-Luc and Beverly plot is well done, though pointless since it doesn't go anywhere (I agree it's something that should have been done years before). We get a tiny peak into how the Federation runs, although this would have been a good opportunity to have a Federation ambassador or high commissioner along for the ride, something that TNG never did. And the aliens are also well done. They're funny. But because they take themselves seriously, I take them seriously as well. Also remarkable is Beverly's outfit for dinner with Jean-Luc. She ended up having the best off-duty wardrobe on the Enterprise.
posted by Stuka at 2:56 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]

I feel like I should say that as much as I've kind of mocked it above, that scene where they're talking about their ~feelings~ by the campfire has some of Sir PatStew's best quiet acting on the show. McFadden is doing her usual exaggerated stuff, though she's still decent here, but the sort of resigned, regretful tone of Stewart's line readings, his smiling-through-the-pain approach, is really fantastic.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:06 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]

Not to mention that tribbles themselves were an incredibly dangerous invasive species [...] in a too-cute-to-kill (unless you're a Klingon) shell.

In one throwaway scene from Enterprise, Phlox shows Hoshi a tribble, then calmly drops it into one of his animal cages where some creature is heard tearing it apart and eating it. Hoshi is taken aback, but the scene ends there.
posted by zadcat at 4:09 PM on October 11

Not to mention that tribbles themselves were an incredibly dangerous invasive species

But, you know, there's a lot of meat on those things, once you get past the fur.
posted by hanov3r at 4:15 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]

Like a scallop!
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:01 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]

I was pretty dissapointed that we didn't get a scene with the two leaders arguing whether the planet's name was "Kesprytt" or "Pryttkes", but other than that, this was enjoyable, and a welcome rewatch after a few really dull episodes.

I mostly enjoyed the Picard/Crusher romantic exploration, even though I agree it wasn't something I was waiting or hoping for at this point. The final scene there had me rolling my eyes though:

PICARD: Now that we know how each of us feels, perhaps we should not be afraid to explore those feelings.

Come on, JL, the last time you kissed a crewmember, you immediately started interferring with her duties and then had her transferred to another ship about 20 minutes later. Beverly's no dummy, she knows exactly what to be afraid of here.

Did they bother to explain how they were able to beam up the Prytt security minister, but couldn't do the same with Picard and Crusher?

The episodes filmed outdoors like this look so much better. Even just a few establishing shots makes the whole thing feel much more real.
posted by skewed at 7:27 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]

Excellent use of the Chained Heat trope.
posted by chrchr at 8:12 AM on October 12

One thing about the otherwise strange timing of this one: because of my foreknowledge that this is the last season—and maybe also because of my foreknowledge that Beverly isn't in Picard season 1—the JL/Bev stuff carried an extra layer of wistfulness.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:11 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Come on, JL, the last time you kissed a crewmember, you immediately started interferring with her duties and then had her transferred to another ship about 20 minutes later. Beverly's no dummy, she knows exactly what to be afraid of here.

He pretty consistently falls for women that he can't or shouldn't be with, and just as consistently backs out if/when they're available.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:19 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Ugh I shipped them so hard and the last scene always makes me mad WHY HAVE THIS EPISODE IF YOU'RE JUST GOING TO MAKE HER STUPID ABOUT IT IN THE END THE LAST SEASON IS THE SAFEST TIME TO GO FOR IT inner teen rant over
posted by tzikeh at 8:10 AM on October 13

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