Unification (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
|Star Trek: The Next Generation episode|
Picard and Data with Spock on Romulus.
|Episode no.||Season 5
Episode 7 & 8
|Directed by||Les Landau (Part I)
Cliff Bole (Part II)
|Teleplay by||Jeri Taylor (Part I)
Michael Piller (Part II)
|Story by||Rick Berman
|Featured music||Dennis McCarthy|
|Production code||208 & 207|
|Original air date||November 4, 1991
November 11, 1991
|List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes|
"Unification" is the title of a two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, from the fifth season, which features Leonard Nimoy as Spock. It earned a 15.4 household Nielsen rating, drawing over 25 million viewers, making it one of the most watched episodes in all seven seasons of The Next Generation's run.
Starfleet Admiral Brackett informs Captain Picard that Ambassador Spock has gone missing, and suspected of working with a political group counter to the Federation's principles. Picard orders the Enterprise to Vulcan to speak to Spock's ailing father, Sarek, with whom Picard has a close bond ("Sarek"). Sarek gives Picard the name of Pardek, a Romulan Senator that he knew Spock had been in peaceful negotiations with, and provides them with a visual record of Pardek.
Suspecting Spock to be on the Romulan homeworld, Picard takes the Enterprise to Qo'noS to speak to Klingon Chancellor Gowron. Gowron initially ignores Picard's request, but after Picard points out that other Klingon family may offer support and gain political clout, Gowron allows a meeting. Picard explains the situation, and is able to secure passage on a Klingon Bird of Prey to enter Romulan space. He and Lieutenant Commander Data are given prostheses to disguise themselves as Romulans before leaving the Enterprise. En route to Romulan space, they learn that Sarek has passed away, and Picard now considers this mission to be more than just locating Spock but to deliver the news of his father's death.
Aboard the Enterprise, the crew find wreckage of a Vulcan ship, the T'Pau, which supposedly was decommissioned years ago. At a surplus depot at Qualor Two, though the records show the ship to be still in the depot, the ship is missing. When they detect a heavily armed ship nearby, Commander Riker suggests waiting around, on minimal power, to catch the other ship off-guard. Having surprised them, the ship opens fire with closely matched weaponry. The Enterprise attempts to disable the ship's phasers with a carefully placed shot, but this inadvertently reacts with its unstable cargo, causing it to explode.
On Romulus, Picard and Data locate the spot where the record of Pardek was taken, which Data determines is an intelligence bureau building. They wait nearby until Pardek arrives, but when they approach him, they find themselves met by soldiers and taken to an underground cavern. Pardek arrives, welcoming them to Romulus, followed by another figure, Ambassador Spock.
After greeting Spock, Picard informs him of the Federation's concern over his "cowboy diplomacy" that he has engaged in, as well as the death of Sarek. Spock takes the news of his father's death stoically, and then explains that when he was the Ambassador to Klingon, he felt personally responsible for putting Captain Kirk and his crew at risk (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). Working alone to avoid the same problems, Spock is now seeking reunification of the Vulcan and Romulan people. Spock continues to explain that he has been working on a grassroots campaign with several members of an underground force to propagate that idea through the high levels of Romulan government, and believes them ready to accept the proposal. Picard expresses concern that the willingness of the Romulans may be part of a larger ploy; Spock agrees, but also points out that if a larger plot is at work, it is best they continue to play out their roles within it to uncover it.
Meanwhile, Riker orders the Enterprise to locate the widow of the pilot of the destroyed ship, hoping to gain more information on his motive. Riker finds her as a musician in a dive bar, and with some sweet talking, is able to learn the pilot has a partner, a Ferengi regular at the bar. After some waiting, they spot the Ferengi, and convince him to reveal what happened to the T'Pau; the Ferengi informs them that they took the parts to Galorndon Core, a sector near the Romulan Neutral Zone.
Picard makes contact with Riker to exchange information, and agree the theft of the T'Pau occurred at the same time as the reunification efforts by Spock; Picard orders Riker to Galorndon Core to investigate further. Meanwhile, Data discovers a Romulan signal from Galorndon Core, but the only part of the message he can discover is the numbers "1-4-0-0". Spock recognizes that as 1400 hours, the time when Romulan Proconsul would be expected to deliver the message about reunification to their people. Suddenly, the group is surrounded by Romulan guards, led by Sela and Pardek. In her offices, Sela explains that they had stolen not only the T'Pau but two other Vulcan ships, planning to fill them with Romulan soldiers under guise as a reunification mission to attack Vulcan. To maintain the pretense, she had planned to use Ambassador Spock to deliver a broadcast message on the peaceful intent of these ships, but now aware Spock would refuse, has been able to craft a holographic Spock to do the same. When Sela steps away, Data is able to reprogram the hologram generator to display an image of Commander Riker instead to trick their guards, with Data overpowering the returned Sela, rendering her unconscious. They look for ways to warn the Federation on the intent of the Vulcan ships.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise has arrived at Galorndon Core, discovering the three Vulcan ships. As the ships start to move towards Vulcan, the Enterprise is able to block their path when they suddenly receive a medical distress signal - a distraction created by Sela as part of her plan. As Riker orders the ship to its source, they receive a broadcast from Romulus, where Ambassador Spock reveals the true identity of the three Vulcan ships. As the Enterprise watches, a Romulan Warbird uncloaks, destroys the ships, and recloaks. Riker suspects that the Romulans would rather kill their own than to have them captured by the Federation.
On Romulus, Data and Picard bid farewell to Spock. The Ambassador is intent upon his goal, realizing that it cannot be achieved through diplomacy or politics. The Captain offers Spock a chance to touch what Sarek shared with him and, as the scene comes to an end the two mind-meld and Ambassador Spock softly cries.
This episode was aired in the weeks before the release of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Spock makes reference to the events of the movie when he asks Picard if he was aware of Spock's role in the first peace overtures to the Klingons. Picard is aware of the public history of Spock's role, but not the whole story. Spock says that he forced Captain Kirk to accept the mission, and that he felt responsible for what happened to Kirk and his crew. This time, Spock only wants to risk his own life, which is why he came to Romulus on his own.
- This episode is one of four times that an original series character reprised his role in The Next Generation; the other three being Encounter at Farpoint (DeForest Kelley), Sarek (Mark Lenard), and Relics (James Doohan).
- As Spock, Picard, and Data escape the room after knocking Sela unconscious, the reflection of a member of the production crew chewing gum can be clearly seen in the reflection of an ornamental object on the desk.
- The episode was dedicated to the late Gene Roddenberry, who had died shortly prior to its broadcast. Additionally, "Unification" was actor Mark Lenard's final performance as Spock's father Sarek. Lenard died five years later at age 72 of multiple myeloma.
Part 2 was filmed first to accommodate Leonard Nimoy's (Spock) schedule. Spock was only seen for a few seconds at the beginning and end of Part 1.
Part 2 marks the fourth onscreen (fifth total) and final appearance of Sela.
- Star Trek The Next Generation DVD set, volume 5, disc 2, selections 3 & 4.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Unification|
- Unification I at the Internet Movie Database
- Unification II at the Internet Movie Database
- Unification I at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Unification II at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Unification I at StarTrek.com
- Unification II at StarTrek.com