[Image: Screencaps from Suddenly Human, showing Beverly and Deanna interacting with the captain.]
So this was my lunchtime episode and, having not watched it in a long while, I was really struck by how much the writing here positions Deanna and Beverly as not only Picard’s main advisers but also the people who are allowed to treat him as an equal.
(I was unsurprised to learn that this was Jeri Taylor’s first script for the show. It was also directed by Gabrielle Beaumont, who – a couple of seasons earlier – was the first woman ever to direct an episode of Star Trek, correct me if I’m wrong…)
Those faces in the middle row? Those are the “no captain you actually have to do this thing because we say so” faces. That bottom row is the captain attempting to end a conversation with Deanna by switching on his monitor to do to something else, and her switching it off again and demanding that he pay attention to her.
“Seldom have I heard an explanation so well rehearsed.” Deanna chides when the captain tries to get out of a duty he finds difficult.
“Hold still.” Beverly orders him in Sickbay, with visible frustration.
This could all come off as vaguely insubordinate, but instead it just shows the level of trust between them all, and how much the captain needs and values their input, especially in situations like the one depicted in this episode, when actually their expertise is far greater than his.
I also like how, during the top scene, they’re giving him conflicting advice but they are all total grown-ups about it and come to a sensible agreement.
(Having said all that, this is also one of those slightly weird custody battle episodes where nobody for an instant seems to consider anything other than an all-or-nothing solution. See also Cardassians…)