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||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (July 2013)|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation episode|
The crystalline entity hovers over the planet as it prepares to attack the Melona Four colony and kill its inhabitants.
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Cliff Bole|
|Teleplay by||Jeri Taylor|
|Story by||Lawrence V. Conley|
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Original air date||October 21, 1991|
After the Crystalline Entity -- which years earlier killed the colonists of Omicron Theta -- attacks another colony, Picard joins forces with scientist Kila Marr to hunt it down. Marr has been searching for the entity for years, ever since it destroyed her son. But Picard's determination to find a peaceful way to stop the creature's onslaught of humanity is at odds with Marr's obsession with revenge.
Commander Riker, Data, and Doctor Crusher are visiting the Melona Four colony, when the Crystalline Entity suddenly appears and begins tearing up the planetary surface. Although the rapid evacuation is mostly successful, two of the colonists (including one in whom Riker expressed a possible romantic interest) die in the onslaught.
The Enterprise sets out in pursuit of the Entity, with the help of Kila Marr, who is a xenobiologist and expert on the creature. Marr does not trust Data, as she is aware that Data's brother Lore has assisted the Entity in the past. Captain Picard hopes to challenge this perception by having Data work closely with Doctor Marr.
Soon Marr reveals the source of her prejudice: her 16-year-old son was killed by the Entity at Omicron Theta, which was also Data's homeworld. She is initially suspicious of the android, but over time comes to understand that Data and Lore are quite different androids.
Picard points out to Marr that he does not intend to kill the Entity without first attempting to communicate with it. Marr is skeptical of this approach, but she and Data are able to work out a method for talking to the Entity.
During the process of researching, Marr discovers that Data is programmed with the memories and experiences of the Omicron Theta colony, including those of her dead son. Data tells her about how much her son admired her great work as a scientist. At Marr's request, Data reads extracts from Marr's son's journals, in the teenager's voice. Marr tells Data that as long as he functions, her son is alive.
The Enterprise locates the Entity and begins sending a series of graviton pulses toward it. The creature responds, and emits a signal pattern which is a clear sign of intelligence. Picard is elated at a potential first contact, but just then Marr alters the pulse to emit gravitons with a rapidly increasing amplitude, and locks the program so it cannot be stopped. The amplitude reaches a level of resonance where the Entity is shattered, which had been Marr's intended effect. Marr addresses Data as though he is her son, telling him that she destroyed the entity for him.
Having finally taken her long-awaited revenge, but sacrificing her career in the process, Marr is near collapse. A clearly disgusted Picard asks Data to escort Marr back to her quarters, where he informs her that her son would not have approved of her ruining her career in science by destroying the Entity:
"Your son would have been very sad now."
- Star Trek The Next Generation DVD set, volume 5, disc 1, selection 4.
- Datalore - the first season episode where the Crystalline Entity first appears
- Silicon Avatar at the Internet Movie Database
- "Silicon Avatar" at TV.com
- Silicon Avatar at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Silicon Avatar at StarTrek.com