As they are passing, the Enterprise visits Omicron Theta, the planet where Data was found. They visit the exact spot where Data was found, and Geordi sees something the original people who discovered Data never saw – an entrance into a base. There, they find a laboratory and another android like Data. They beam the components up to the Enterprise, and put the android together. He is Lore, the android made before Data. His behaviour is a little strange, but when Lore deactivates Data and swaps places with him he contacts the crystalline entity that killed the colonists. Wesley realises that there has been a swap (although as usual people don’t listen to him straight away) and eventually (just as the entity starts attacking the Enterprise) Wesley convinces Beverly that he is right, they find Data, reactivate him, and stop Lore. He is beamed into space.
This episode is a bit of a cliche – the moment that we saw Lore it was obvious that at some point they would swap places. But Spiner plays boths parts so well he is a joy to watch. There are many scenes that are just the two of them together, and they are really interesting to watch. The episode is a little predictable, but the performance more than makes up for it.
And once again we have an episode where Wesley Crusher has worked out what has happened ahead of everyone else, and nobody takes him seriously.
This also features the second and final appearance by Chief Engineer Argyle. We see at last one more Chief before Geordi takes over Engineering.
The only bit of this episode that is bloody stupid is the assertion that Data cannot speak using contractions (can’t instead of cannot etc) but Lore can. Talk about creating a rod for your own back! Data has on occasion used contractions in the past, and he will again, but for f**ks sakes, in the one episode where it is vital you don’t balls it up, what is the first thing Data says when asked if he is okay just as they have beamed Lore off the ship? He says “I’m fine.” Aaaaaargh! Cretins! Is this some subtle message telling us that actually Lore is the one that has survived? Sadly, it is nothing that clever, just a silly cock up in the script department (or possible in Spiner’s performance, though I somehow doubt that). A stupid end to an otherwise okay episode.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 1