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Edited Length: 45:28
U.S. Airdate: October 28, 1990
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.3/3]
Sherman Howard: [Captain Endar]
Chad Allen: [Jono]
Barbara Townsend: [Admiral Connaught Rossa]
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Producer: Lee Sheldon
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay By: John Whelpley & Jeri Taylor
Story By: Ralph Phillips
Directed By: Gabrielle Beaumont
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
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The Enterprise responds to a distress call, and finds a Talarian training ship, with radiation leaks. They rescue five of the ship's crew, all teenagers-four are Talarian, but one is human. The human youth, named Jono, refuses to talk to anyone until he hears Picard's title of Captain-then, he shows strict obedience to Picard's wishes. Beverly takes Picard aside and mentions that she found signs of rather severe injury some time ago-possibly abuse.
Shortly thereafter, the crew find out that Jono's real name is Jeremiah Rossa-he's the grandson of an admiral, and his parents were killed ten years ago by the Talarians in a border skirmish. Troi tells Picard that Jono needs a father figure right now-and as the only person to whom Jono's shown the slightest positive response, Picard's the lucky candidate.
Picard, attempts to strike up friendly conversations with the boy, even bringing Jono into his quarters. However, when he brings up Jono's human heritage, Jono gets angry and storms out. Picard tries to tell Troi that he's not the best suited for the job, Troi instead convinces Picard that "no one is born a good parent," and he'll just have to do the best he can. Picard shows Jono a picture of his real parents, and as he leaves for the bridge, we see that Jono's memories of the attack are beginning to resurface.
Meanwhile, the captain of the Talarian ship K'Mer hails them, and when asked for an explanation of Jono's status, claims that Jono is his son. It seems that Endar claimed Jono during the attack according to Talarian tradition, and he absolutely refuses to let Jono return to the Federation, threatening war. (He also claims that Jono's past injuries were not abuse-Jono merely injured himself in beast- riding and contests with other youths.) With reservations, Picard allows Endar to see Jono- and when Jono says he wants to stay with Endar, Endar assures him he will, even if war is a result.
As two more Talarian ships approach (the Enterprise came deep into Talarian space to answer the call), Picard and company decide to try to convince Jono to stay, reasoning that Endar cannot take Jono if he is unwilling to leave. After Jono receives a message from his grandmother, Picard takes him to unwind by playing the 24th-century version of racquetball. During the game, however, Jono breaks down and cries. Later, after being assured that such feelings are part of humanity, he actually laughs in Ten-Forward at an unfortunate accident involving him, Wes, and a banana split. However, that evening, Picard wakes up to see Jono over him-just in time to feel Jono stabbing him with a dagger.
Fortunately, the blade was deflected by Picard's sternum, and his injuries are not life- threatening. However, Jono has now committed a Federation crime and must be dealt with by Federation justice. However, after hearing Jono say that he cannot betray Endar by drawing close to Picard, Picard realizes that he's made a terrible mistake in not considering Jono's feelings in all of this-and just as Endar's patience finally runs out, Picard informs him that he will let Jono return. He beams Jono back, but not before Jono bids him farewell with a ritual normally reserved for Talarian fathers and sons.
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010