The Offspring – TNG S03 E16

Written by Kal Sayid
Featured image by Mark Galura

I must have watched this episode at least 5 or 6 times already. In truth, I’ve probably watched almost all of TNG 5-6 times by now. That said, this episode never hit me as hard as it did this time around.


[ Seriously? Do you really need a spoiler alert in 2016? If so, you’re severely behind in your Star Trek episodes… Moving forward. ]

This time around I’m a dad with a daughter. The idea of my baby girl experiencing the slightest discomfort causes a considerable amount of pain; let alone the idea of her death.

The episode

After much effort, Data creates a sentient being. He is a father. In a unique-to-only-androids fashion, he lets his child pick her own humanoid species, and sex. She chooses human, female. Her name: Lal; after the Hindi word for “beloved”.

To make a beautiful and short story even shorter: Events transpire to threaten the father and daughter relationship. Lal has an emotional meltdown. Followed by a computational meltdown. Admiral Anthony Haftel (from Starfleet) and Data do their best to operate on the cascading failures in her positronic brain, but sadly fail.

Data’s response
I’ve always loved how Data embodies the venn diagram of an innocent child and a wise monk. Unable to feel emotions, in his last moments with his daughter, Lal says to Data, “I love you father.” His response… watch the video below.

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