The Naked Now
The Enterprise crew contracts a strange virus which alters their behavior, removing their inhibitions. This leads to danger as the soon-to-explode star they were going to observe shoots out a bit of stellar core fragment right at the ship. Severely intoxicated and with Wesley Crusher redirecting all controls to engineering, the crew must find a way to return to normal and not get hit by the stellar core fragment.
I wouldn’t watch this one with the kids.
Or at all.
This episode is a remake of an early story from the original series. Against the protestations of producers and other writers on both the original show and TNG, Roddenberry insisted this scenario made an excellent platform for introducing the characters with little time. Removing their inhibitions was not only entertaining, he argued, it also revealed their inner goals, desires, and secret motivations they might never speak aloud.
Seeing someone at their worst may be the truest test of their character. Seeing a person stripped of their carefully constructed armor of social rules can reveal quite a lot about that person.
Do you think it’s fairer to be judged by your interior ‘wild man’ or your ability to keep that ‘wild man’ quiet?
Roddenberry thinks it’s at least better to see the wild man to understand the psychology of a given character.
I would argue that Jesus judges humans by their wild man too. He elaborated on his Old Testament laws during his sermon on the mount, from chapters 5-7 in Matthew’s Gospel.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Jesus in Matthew 5:21, 22
Can anyone claim to have not committed murder?
Most people probably.
Can anyone claim to have never been unjustly angry?
Jesus is the same God that gave that law to “those of old.” He isn’t replacing that old law against murder with a new law against anger. He is refining the definition of that first law; he is explaining it in more depth. If God was pleased with every person that never physically took the life of another person, many people – myself included – who have felt that strong anger against people would be brought into his kingdom. We would be bringing all of those sick feelings into the perfect kingdom, messing the whole thing up.
Jesus is saying that the law is not just used to manage people on earth, it is also used to show us that we are not worthy of his kingdom. And if we think we should be allowed in because we’ve followed the law, then we need to understand this deeper meaning of the law – that we are judged not only by what we do, but also by what we feel and what we think.
Being found innocent means being found with a clean mind as well as clean hands.