15 essential Captain Picard episodes to get you pumped for his return

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“The Measure of a Man” (S2E9)

Picard perks: Not exactly a “Picard in love” episode, but there is definitely a romantic past between Picard and the JAG officer Louvois.

What it’s about: Bruce Maddox, cybernetics researcher and science officer, visits the Enterprise to obtain Data (both the noun and the android) for his research. Desperate to figure out how to recreate more androids, he orders Data to undergo a dangerous procedure, even going so far as transferring Data to his command. When Data resigns, Maddox’s hand is forced and he claims Data as Starfleet property.

Without a proper court, it’s up to Riker and Picard to participate in a thrilling courtroom battle for Data’s rights. JAG officer Louvois, another visitor to the ship, oversees the proceedings.

Picard is backed into a corner but never gives up the fight for his friend. After he looks at the bigger picture, he realizes that this battle is far more important than one android’s life. The very soul of the Federation is at stake. Picard reminds the room that regardless of Data’s status, the desire to create a race of people to enslave is horrific and must be curtailed at all costs.

What makes this great is that Picard fights for another’s rights at the expense of his own kind. There were personal consequences with no personal gain. It’s very inconvenient to the scientific pursuit to respect Data’s wishes, but even in the powerful face of inconvenience, temptation is no match for Picard’s love of the Prime Directive.

Picard quotes:

  • “Your honor, the courtroom is a crucible. In it, we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a purer product, the truth, for all time.”
  • “You wanted a chance to make law. Well, here it is… make it a good one.