Tuesday, April 10, 2007

There are only a couple of scenes left, that echo, confirm and expand the movie’s themes. Both occur as the Enterprise crew is combing through the now unsalvageable remains of the Enterprise-D. In the first, Troi and Data are apparently making one more search for survivors, while Data tells her how he has finally gotten control of his emotions. Then Troi’s tricorder registers a faint life sign.

Data tears wreckage from a pipe, and finds Spot, his cat. Here again is a beloved animal returned to life in a sense—but this time not artificially, but by circumstance—an apparent death restored to real life. Data feels happy but finds that he is crying (though it looks more like leaking oil), and wonders if his emotion chip is malfunctioning. Troi assures him it is working perfectly: the anticipation of death both weighing down and sharpening the joy of life; the mixture of joy and the sorrow released by that joy, are all part of the mortal life.

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