Season 3, Episode 17: “The Inner Light” (TNG) with Sara Lynn Michener

Put away your shoes and your old life as a Starfleet captain as we illuminate “The Inner Light!”

Writer and co-founder of BAR’D SOAP Sara Lynn Michener joins the show this week to talk about an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that’s arguably the best and most affecting hour of the series. When the Enterprise encounters an ancient probe, Captain Picard is zapped into the shoes of Kamin, a simple iron-weaver. Will he find a way back to his old life, or will he find peace and contentment with a family whose reality he struggles to accept?

The strength of any story (or sci-fi franchise) is in its characters, and Patrick Stewart gives a tour-de-force performance as he takes Picard through the loss of his old life, the halting acceptance of his new circumstances, and the devastation of returning home and learning he can never go home again. On this episode, we discuss the value of skepticism and critical thinking, the psychology of Kataan, trading your space program for top-notch VR, the most contextual flute song ever, good soup, and Captain Picard as the Ultimate Space Dad!

We also talk about the arbitrary rules of parental media restriction, the power of profanity, “being careful with that Star Trek,” the responsibilities of criticism, “Black Panther” as “Thor-with-mega-representation”, what lies beyond “meta”, the Truman Show on crack, Aaron once again confuses Deadpool and Daredevil, Sara outlines “the Ultimate Gaslight”, and we ask, “Who’s the real mirror Elon Musk?”

The farther one travels, the less one really knows if they’re in some kind of sophisticated simulation!

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Listen to “Season 3, Episode 17: “The Inner Light” (TNG) with Sara Lynn Michener” on Spreaker.

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