One of Gene Roddenberry’s biggest mistakes on Star Trek-The Next Generation was the child prodigy Wesley Crusher. I have no idea what Roddenberry was thinking, but no one liked this kid. Why? He was annoying and either saved the day or contributed little to nothing. Sheldon Cooper once called Wesley Crusher the Jar Jar Binks of the Star Trek universe, and that isn’t to far off. Oh, and he made the rest of the crew look like idiots! He did have a few decent episodes, any where he was underplayed and just there to comment were OK. And I liked “The Game”, maybe because in that episode the whole crew is after him. Even though in that episode he once again saves the day!! How could he be the only one who could figure out and repair Data?
Anyway, getting off track. I could be here all day if I listed every time he saved the day in some small way. Hey, I like Wil Wheaton he seems like a nice enough guy. It’s just this character was so annoying! For the most part, I tolerated the character though I was happy when he was gone. But there are times when even I just throw my hands up in frustration.
Today I wanted to count down five of those times, when Wesley just aggravated me! Some may disagree, or come with five different examples which are just as valid, but these are mine.
Season three began with a big change of pace from the drek of seasons 1 & 2. It was so much better because the show was finally not being a copy of TOS. And while this episode is really good compared to what had come before it, it is still an annoying Wesley show. It seems Wesley has fallen sleep doing his science project and let nanites loose in the ship. That I can live with, we all mistakes. The annoying is part is that Wes tries to cover up and hide this, despite the OBVIOUS problems these little machines are causing. It’s funny how in some episode Wesley is confident and mature and others he is a whiny baby. I have another example of that coming! Everything works out in the episode, with absolutely no thanks to Wesley even though he caused the mess.
#4.”MÃ©nage Ã Troi”/”The Battle”
I made this a tie because I hate Wesley here for the exact same reason. The Enterprise is filled with the best and the brightest, scientists who are at the top of their fields. And yet in both of these episode, it’s Wesley and Wesley alone who discovers the secret clue that saves the day! In “The Battle” from season 1, he discovers the signal that the Ferengi device is given (a signal which LaForge called very distinct in a subsequent episode. If it that distinct how’d you miss it?). In “Manage a Troi” from season 3, Riker and Troi have been kidnapped, and Riker has sent a coded message to the ship. Guess who is the only one to recognize it? The worst part of this episode is he is leaving for Starfleet but ends up staying to save the day. At the end he finally gets an official uniform. Yay he’s staying….whoopee. By the way this episode would be on my list of annoying Laxwana Troi moments but that’s a whole other list.
Ok, now we’re talking. This one really pisses me off. Some may say “wait, isn’t this a Data episode”? Why yes it is. Wesley gets the B story. The Enterprise is orbiting a planet experiencing severe geological changes. And Wesley is put in charge of the science team to help further his studies. Well, OK. I can buy that. The problem? Wesley decides to have a certain scan run and the other officers make lame excuses to not do it and make Wesley feel insecure. He goes to Riker for advice and…..OK STOP! Remember what I said before, how Wesley was either confident or a whiny baby depending on the script? Here he is in whiny baby mode. When the hell has Wesley ever been afraid to jump in and pretend he knows everything? How about “Where No One Has Gone Before” when he tries to confront Riker not once but twice! Riker blows him off but Wesley still tried. This is so stupid, after all the hours he has logged observing Picard he doesn’t understand command?? The worst part is that Wesley makes the officer do the scan, who does it without question by the way, and guess what? They find the answer! Whew, thank goodness Wesley made them do that scan or they never would have! Good lord.
#2.Shut up Wesley! (Datalore)
This one is so classic it’s become a meme! I think we’ve all seen it even if some may not have known the context. This is the episode where the crew discover a duplicate of Data, and assemble him. Of course because it’s sci-fi it has to be an evil duplicate named Lore. The first half is OK, the bad stuff comes when Lore disables Data and tries to take his place. Wesley doesn’t buy Lore’s act for a second. So does he rationally and calmly try to explain this to Picard or Riker? No of course not, Wesley acts like a petulant child and interrupts the others by being a whiny jerk. How dare they not listen to a kid! Eventually he convinces his mother to check it out and of course all is well. But man that whining on the Bridge was awful. So awful both Picard and Crusher tell Wesley to flat out shut up. I know Wesley is a kid, I get that, but by acting like a brat he is being annoying not endearing! Of course, no one else can see though Lore’s deception and of course Wesley helps to save the day in the end. Thank goodness there’s security on this ship, who else would run into the cargo bay after it was over to do nothing?
And now for your pleasure that scene is HERE
#1.The Naked Now
Yeah yeah, call me predictable if you want. But no Wesley moment is more infuriating than the one which set the standard for the character. In all the worst ways. How? Wesley, alone and with no help and intoxicated, literally saves the ship.Â You may wonder, how is this one worst isn’t he just saving the day again? It’s worst for a couple reasons. One, it’s just the second episode. Think about it-THE SECOND EPISODE! Good lord. Can’t we establish the crew are competent before showing they’re idiots? Second, the Engineer in this episode is fully functional and stands there letting Wesley do her job, and even Riker just sits there. Data is at least helping in the scene. And Third, what he does isn’t that amazing!! In the TOS episode “Who Mourns for Adonais” Sulu switches the tractor beam to a repulse beam with the hit of a button. Here, Wesley brilliantly comes up with this (something which said CHIEF ENGINEER laughs off saying it would take weeks of laying of new circuits. I still don’t know what the hell that meant) and when it works, everyone is stunned! Well except Picard who is the only one not acting like it was such a big deal. I mean, if Wesley’s science teacher knew how to do this (where he got the idea) shouldn’t the chief engineer? As I noted in another article, we never saw her again after this and it doesn’t surprise me. This episode made people hate Wesley, and I have read even the creators realized that it was a mistake. The character never really recovered, as Will Wheaton commented on in a Big Bang Theory episode.
Finally, many would probably put the second season snoozer “The Dauphin” on here, where he “falls in love”. Why is it not on here? I barely remember it. And I could re-watch it, but why would I do that to myself?
Yeah, thank goodness the show got better after he left. So what moments did I miss that you think belong on here?