I thought this episode was particularly relevant, considering the recent events surrounding the Russian spies that were found in the United States. This episode brought me right back to the events of the Cold War (even though I remember nothing about the Cold War, considering I was born at the end of it).
The Enterprise suspects there is someone sabotaging the star ship. An admiral is brought on board to try to figure out exactly who is sabotaging the ship. After some investigating, they believe they found their person, in a medical officer who is half Vulcan, or so it seems. After digging a little deeper and analyzing his DNA structure, come to find out this medical officer was half Romulan instead.
Of course, the half Romulan had to do it! Because he is Romulan. The whole reason he decided to hide his true identity is the fact that he couldn’t have a career in Star Fleet. But does that matter? No!
The admiral then decided to look further into the various encounters the Enterprise has had with Romulans (I have to say…there has been a lot) and the trials begin. Captain Picard unknowingly transported a Romulan posing as a Vulcan to a Romulan ship. Worf’s father was accused of aiding the Romulans at the battle of Kittomer which decimated the Klingon forces. And because of these coincidental associations, the admiral practically convicted all three of aiding the Romulans and working against the Federation without knowing the whole story.
The admiral went about this in a totally McCarthy sort of way. All accusations and no evidence, accusing people left and right of being communist (after all, I wholeheartedly believe the Romulans are the Soviets). Finally, Captain Picard, in his strong willed way stood up to the admiral and told her this was absolutely unacceptable. Just because these coincidences continued to happen, does not mean they are traitors.
And that is yet another history lesson that Star Trek Next Generation has given us, by making parallels between our Earth’s history with the future and universal travel. Maybe history is after all cyclical, and if we don’t learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes in the future, no matter where we are at that point in time.