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Lessons (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Lessons"
TNG, Episode 6x19
Production number: 40276-245
First aired: 5 April 1993
144th of 176 produced in TNG
144th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
262nd of 728 released in all
Picard and Daren embrace
Written By
Ron Wilkerson & Jean Louise Matthias

Directed By
Robert Wiemer
46693.1 (2369)
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Picard falls in love with one of his subordinates, but he can't deal with having to order her into dangerous situations.

Summary

Captain Picard goes to stellar cartography to find out why the department has ordered the shutdown of several systems he wishes to use. He meets the new head of the department, Lieutenant Commander Nella Daren: she is very strong-willed and he instantly takes a liking to her. He brings her up to Doctor Crusher at one of their dinners. Later, at Commander Data's musical performance, Picard is surprised to find Commander Daren playing piano. They have a brief discussion about her performance during which she discovers that he is an amateur musician. Daren comes to Picard's quarters as he is working on Bach's Third Brandenburg Concerto. She asks him about the Ressikan flute he plays, and entices him to join her in duet while she plays a portable piano.

The two begin playing duets on a regular basis, and Daren brings Picard to a Jefferies tube, which she says is the most acoustically perfect spot on the ship. Picard shares with her the folk melody he learned during life as Kamin on the planet Kataan, but does not tell her its origin. The two begin playing a duet of the melody, which could be heard in main engineering by Geordi La Forge who, confused, enters the Jefferies tube junction to try and work out where it is coming from. However, when Data enters the junction too, the music has stopped, because back in the tube, Picard and Daren are sharing a passionate kiss.

Later, Picard and Daren ride in a turbolift when another crew member enters. Picard immediately stops their personal conversation and changes his demeanor to professional. In the meantime, The Federation outpost at Bersallis III reports a period of firestorms beginning and the Enterprise goes to study the phenomenon.

Picard asks Counselor Troi about his relationship with Daren, expressing his concerns that becoming involved with a subordinate could compromise his objectivity. Troi reassures him, and he goes to stellar cartography to talk to Daren. He apologizes for his behavior in the turbolift, and assures her that he is just inexperienced with this type of relationship. He takes her to his quarters and explains to her the story of his time as Kamin, and the significance of his music to him.

Daren asks Commander Riker for an officer transfer to her department. He doesn't want to grant the request, but feels uncomfortable due to her relationship with Captain Picard. He discusses this with Picard who assures him that he is free to do his job as usual. Picard shares the experience with Daren and explains that they need to be aware of other people's perceptions.

The firestorms on Bersallis III change their speed and heading and begin to head towards the outpost, and there will not be enough time to evacuate. In a meeting about the situation, Daren suggests using thermal deflector units to create a "firewall" to block the storms temporarily. The units require personnel to operate. Commander Daren is assigned to lead that team. Picard is concerned, but Daren reminds him that they agreed not to let the relationship get in the way of their work.

The storm gains speed and the ionization from the storm slows down the evacuation efforts. All of the colonists are evacuated, but the storm reaches the perimeter before the last two perimeter teams, including Daren's, can be retrieved.

Worried that something might have happened to her, Picard reflects on the situation in his quarters when he is informed that survivors have been discovered. He goes to the transporter room, but does not find Daren among them. As he is about to leave, Daren is beamed aboard with another survivor. Eight crew members ultimately lose their lives.

Later, Daren explains to Picard how they managed to survive by modifying their phasers to create pockets of safety. Picard tells her about the moment in his quarters when he thought that she was dead. He tells her that he has lost people under his command, people who were very dear to him, but never someone he has been in love with. And when he believed that she was dead, he began to shut down: he didn't want to think or feel. That's when he retreated and felt that the only thing remaining to him was his music, and how it would never again give him joy.

That's when both Picard and Daren realize that they can never have a relationship while she is under his command and he is responsible for putting her life in jeopardy in the line of duty. They discuss whether one of them could give up their career and follow the other, but immediately realize that this would not be satisfactory. Hence, Daren decides to apply for transfer. Picard suggests that they coordinate their shore leaves together, but both know that their relationship will never be the same again. The two share one last kiss and she asks Picard to promise her that he will not give up his music.

Memorable quotes

"Excellent. Now perhaps you can tell me what was so important that it required depriving the captain of his cup of Earl Grey."

- Picard, to Daren


"I can assure you that I am not given to casual relationships."

- Picard, to Daren


"Do you know where we are?"
"Yes, this the the fourth intersect in Jefferies tube twenty five."
"No - this is the most acoustically perfect spot on this ship."

- Nella Daren and Jean-Luc Picard

Background information

Production

  • First UK airdate: 15 November 1995

Sets and props

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Special guest star

Co-star

Uncredited co-stars

Stand-ins

References

Bach, Johann Sebastian; Beck; Bersallis III; Borgolis Nebula; Cabot; Chopin; Crusher, Wesley; Earl Grey tea; Federation; Frère Jacques; Havana, USS; Jefferies tube; Kataan; Kerelian; Landris II; Mataline II; Mataline II piano; Melnos IV; Mowray; obstetrics specialist; piano; Ressik; Ressikan flute; Starbase 218; stellar cartography; stellar cartography department; Thelka IV; Trio in G minor; turbolift

External link


Previous episode:
"Starship Mine"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 6
Next episode:
"The Chase"

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