Will Riker is offered the command of the USS Aries. The civilian adviser who is going to brief him turns out to be his father Kyle who he hasn't seen in fifteen years. Will accuses Kyle of being guilty of his mother's death, and the fact that Kyle almost married Dr. Pulaski doesn't exactly console Will.

Meanwhile Wesley, Geordi and Data wonder why Worf is so tense recently. They find out that he missed an important Klingon ritual and they program this scenario on the holodeck. Will and Kyle manage to settle their problems in an anbo-jyutsu match, and Number One eventually decides to stay on the Enterprise.

Errors and Explanations

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, May 15, 1999 - 7:18 am: Why would Starfleet promote someone to a ship that was several months away at high warp? Weren't there any closer qualified personnel? Starfleet could have done this as a way of testing Riker, which would explain why his estranged father was the one sent to brief him.
  2. Is this the same Aries in which Mendez steals a shuttle from and then flies to Tarchannen III in Identity Crisis? Yes - the notes for Identity Crisis in the TNG Companion explicitly states it is the same ship.
  3. Presumably they use those visors in Ambu-Jitsu to make it tougher to find their opponent, so why do those sticks make that annoying noise? Actually, I think the visors are to ensure you can't see what the opponent is doing, making it more of a test of skill to react.
  4. In Lower Decks, Worf told Ensign Sito that there was a Klingon fighting skill that involved being blindfolded, and Sito realized that Worf had made it up, but isn't this Ambu-Jitsu a form of blind fighting? (True, those visors wouldn't completely block one's vision, but it's almost blind fighting.) She probably realised that fighting blindfolded was a key element of Ambu-Jitsu.
  5. If the Holodeck is programmed not to hurt anyone, then how did the Klingon pain sticks work? The recreation may have been programmed in a way to disable the safety protocols, in order to make the ceremony more realistic.
  6. Alfonso Turnage on Saturday, June 12, 1999 - 5:33 pm: This episode brings up a point. I believe this is the first time that Starfleet tried to give Riker the captain's chair and Starfleet Command, according to the admiral in Best of Both Worlds Part 1, is annoyed by the fact that Riker doesnt accept the captain's chair. Excuse me, but isn't the Enterprise-D the flagship. I mean Picard is not just your average Starfleet captain, he reflects the eliteness that would go into a flagship choice. If Picard gets the axe in a battle or dangerous situation, then the "D's" first officer is going to be in command of the flag; the "D" might not get a chance to converse with other full captains. Don't they want an elite first officer in charge of the mission they sent their elite ship to complete? Ryan on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 11:07 am: I can't attest to Starfleet being annoyed that Riker doesn't want his own ship, but it does make sense that when he's promoted to captain he'd get an insignificant ship at first. He'd be a rookie captain. As some pointed out he's even new as a first officer. So he's not about to get his own heavy cruiser to go play with. It seems right to me that you should have to start with the lower little ships and move up. And I don't think losing Riker on the Enterprise is a huge loss for Starfleet, I'm sure they must have another excellent top-flight first officer around somewhere By Will Spencer on Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 10:34 am: Starfleet sure promotes officer in a hurry in the 24th century; a year and a half as Number One on the Enterprise, and Riker's ofered his first command? Mind you, I kinda think Riker's career has always been a little fast, compared to Picard, who's still just a 'captain'. KAM on Tuesday, April 17, 2001 - 2:45 am: Will, Riker had been offered his first command before becoming the Enterprise's first officer. See The Arsenal of Freedom for more info.

The Next Generation Season 2
The Child I Where Silence Has Lease I Elementary, Dear Data I The Outrageous Okona I The Schizoid Man I Loud as a Whisper I Unnatural Selection I A Matter of Honor I The Measure of a Man I The Dauphin I Contagion I The Royale I Time Squared I The Icarus Factor I Pen Pals I Q Who I Samaritan Snare I Up the Long Ladder I Manhunt I The Emissary I Peak Performance I Shades of Gray
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