Blizzard of Hops – Tröegs Brewing Co. – Hershey, PA
6.4% ABV, 80 IBU
Mad Elf Ale – Tröegs Brewing Co. – Hershey, PA
11% ABV, 15 IBU
Tonight I decided to go with two of Tröegs’ winter offerings. That marks the first time I’ve had two beers from the same brewery in the same post. ISN’T THAT NEAT? No, it’s not that neat.
Blizzard of Hops is their winter IPA. It pours incredibly light, almost clear, and the taste matches the look. I had not had it before tonight, but it immediately qualified as one of my least favorite Tröegs beers. That still makes it better than some other winter IPAs, but it’s definitely not a super exciting drink. It’s light and slightly citrus, light scented, barely any malts. The low 6.4% ABV makes it a borderline session beer with very little impact. Like the adjectives for everything else, the hops are light, the carbonation is light. It’s light, get it? I’m not a huge fan.
Mad Elf, on the other hand, is Tröegs “big boy” winter beer. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t enjoy this one. It’s an ale with honey and cherries. I hate cherries, but this guy still tickles my fancy. Plus the 11% ABV is a refreshing change from the diaper-wearing Blizzard of Hops, and should even things out. Mad Elf pours a reddish brown with no head. It’s sweet, fruity, spicy and blended perfectly for a very smooth, drinkable, mellowed taste. The primary smell is cherry and it finishes dry despite its sweetness. Overall, it’s pretty sex.
The Next Generation: Inheritance
Throwing up devil horns while playing the violin. GWAAAARRRR!
A government needs to divert a natural disaster. Two of their peeps beamed on board – a man and a woman, and the discussion starts immediately. The planet is cooling, and in 13 months will become too cold for habitation. Data and Geordi intend to shoot the planet with the Enterprise’s phasers and reignite its magma layer near the core, re-heating the planet. Then, the female from the planet, Juliana Tainer, calls Data over to ask if he knows who she is. Literally nobody cares about the male character for the remainder of the episode.
Here they are.
So who is she? She’s Dr. Noonien Soong’s wife.
As the credits roll, this reminds me that a few years ago I recorded a “rap” song about Data, Dr. Soong, and Juliana. It’s very bad. You can listen to it here.
Data tells mommy he doesn’t remember anything before being found by Starfleet, and she starts to bombard him with memories. Juliana tells Data he had trouble getting the hang of his motor skills when he was a “baby.” She had eloped with Noonien and got married with a Klingon witnessing the ceremony. Data responds to this by telling Juliana that he met Noonien shortly before his death. She didn’t know he was dead. Smooth, Data.
Fun fact: The woman who plays Juliana is also in an episode of DS9 and an episode of Enterprise, as a different character each time.
The conversation continues for a while. Juliana and Noonien got divorced. She touches her neck a lot and never drinks her gold-colored liquid. She tries to get all mommy-ish with Data and he’s like “You’re cute, but I need to make sure you’re not lying about all this and being a douche.” Because robots are immune to nurture and stuff. Data wants facts.
That’s what you get for having a robot baby, lady.
Geordi says “Why would she lie? Why would anyone want to pretend to be your mother?”
I found that pretty funny and don’t know what else they said. It’s not supposed to be funny in the scene, but it’s a humorous line.
Data goes back to Juliana, unable to find any evidence she’s a liar, and says “I would like to get to know you better… mother.” Oh, I see where this episode is going now…
“We’ve spent 6.5 years watching Data find his humanity. What’s next?”
“Let’s give him a mother!” – Writer’s Room conversation.
Data and Juliana walk past Troi’s office and Juliana thinks Data is going in there to fuck her. LOL. This isn’t The Naked Now, lady. Data’s sex life ended in episode two. And then she died.
Juliana tells Geordi that Data used to run around naked on Omichron Theta because he doesn’t have pride or shame or modesty. Good to know.
Back to the B-plot, the crew is getting ready to blast into the planet below for that whole magma thing we talked about in the opening scene. It works. Go figure. Data calculated it. 30 seconds later, we’re done talking about that again.
Data plays violin for his mom. I wish I could play violin. My neck is really prone to cramping, but it’s a really cool instrument. Maybe I’ll be one of those weirdos who takes violin lessons when he’s like 40.
Yep, Mad Elf is 11% ABV.
Juliana says Data’s creative abilities were her idea, and Noonien didn’t think they were necessary. Data indirectly thanks her, saying those abilities bring him closest to humanity. Juliana finds Data’s paintings, and stalls on the one of Lal, asking who she is. Data answers, then says she’s dead – in his emotionless, android way. Your granddaughter existed, and is dead, Juliana. Smooth, Data. He’s 2/2 for gracefully informing others about deceased “family” members in this episode.
Data doesn’t get it.
Juliana and Data play string instruments together. She asks if he’ll ever try to make another child. They have a conversation that references the difficulties humans struggling with infertility and miscarriage have – something I understand very well.
Then, a bombshell is dropped: When Noonien and Juliana fled Omichron, Juliana made Noonien leave Data behind on the planet. She cries while saying it as Data stares at her with no emotional response. It’s a pretty awesome scene as far as Data’s character goes – this woman is coming to terms with something that has always eaten away at her, can barely get the words out of her mouth, and he has no real reaction. I love Star Trek.
The magma thing is happening again to satisfy the B-plot. There’s a problem and Juliana fixes it in like 1 second. Curious.
Data and Juliana have a conversation about biological vs. artificial children, and what they mean to her. It’s a nice scene.
The bridge crew and some random extras gather for a Data & Juliana violin and viola concert in Ten Forward. That’s it. That’s an entire scene. But it has a point later on, I promise.
Data asks Crusher to check Juliana’s medical history for something. He thinks she’s not who she says she is. Dramatic music plays.
The male character who is on the Enterprise with Juliana complains about something. I had forgotten he was there because he’s completely irrelevant. J-Town beams down to the planet with Data. They do some work in a cave-like place that is crumbling. Dirt and stuff falls from the ceiling. They have to jump back to the transport point, which has collapsed. Data does it with no problem because he’s awesome. Juliana doesn’t turn out so well.
Back in sickbay, they’ve ripped open Juliana’s head. She…is…an ANDROID! Except, she’s an awesome one that is almost entirely human. She ages, she has tear ducts, all that crap. Data apparently knew she was unusual when she fixed the aforementioned B-plot problem in 1 second, and because she played her viola exactly the same every time. (See, the concert came back!)
She’s like the T-1000 model Android. Her husband doesn’t even know she’s not a real person.
(Apparently the other guy on the Enterprise who I don’t care about is her current husband.)
Data finds a hologram from Noonien in Juliana’s head, and finds Noonien created her. Brent gets to play his dear father in another Parent Trap-like situation. Turns out the Juliana we see in this episode was created after Data, but she was modeled on a real lady who was Noonien’s real wife. She died, and Noonien made an android version of her so he could keep his wife by his side. That’s pretty cute, actually. Creepy as shit, but cute. Juliana the android never knew she wasn’t the real person. She was also free to leave Noonien for being a work-obsessed bum stain, and that’s exactly what happened.
Soong’s hologram encourages Data to let Juliana remain thinking she’s human, and allow her to live out her days. Data deliberates with the crew. The crew provides input. Troi and Picard become relevant for the first time in this episode, minutes before its conclusion. Data says he likes the idea of there being another android, but Troi points out she thinks she is human, which is Data’s goal in life, and telling her would ruin that. Data quotes Ron Burgundy and says “I AM IN A PICKLE!”
In her final moments, Juliana’s hair looks more blonde than grey – blonder than the rest of the episode. Data doesn’t tell her she’s an android. Picard’s log entry tells us the magma core thing worked. Nobody cares because it’s completely pointless and was just a plot device to get Juliana on the ship.
Data closes the episode by telling Juliana that Noonien loved her. Cute and shit. Good job.
This is actually a pretty nice Data episode that sort of encapsulates his quest for humanity over 6+ seasons. It hasn’t been all in vain, and though he’s never going to be a real human, he has learned things about human nature.