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It’s not that the installment is a real stinker. I honestly have more time for the stinkers than I do the classic episodes when I’m rewatching Next Gen. Their messiness can be quite fascinating! Some of the most maligned episodes of the second season, for example, are worth a revisit for their rushed, standalone ideas that still have glimmers of genius about them. But ‘Dark Page’ just offers a humdrum mystery that is even duller upon rewatch.

In theory, the episode should work. The overbearing-but-cheerful Lwaxana Troi visits the Enterprise, but falls into a coma when she is triggered by seeing a little girl fall into a pool of water in the arboretum. Deanna Troi must forge a telepathic link with her comatose mother to figure out what the problem is. It turns out that Deanna once had a sister who had a fatal accident, and seeing the little girl slip into the water brought back the grief and memory of her death, overwhelming Lwaxana and forcing her to shut down

It’s a sci-fi concept telling a relatable human story, something that Star Trek has always excelled at: the loss of a child, and the emotional burden a parent must carry and compartmentalize after the event in order to survive. But when the mystery of Lwaxana’s odd behavior is solved, it doesn’t feel earned or organic, because it sort of comes out of nowhere, and try as she might, Majel Barrett just can’t sell decades of trauma in the reveal. The whole thing is entirely unconvincing and quickly swept under the rug. After one attempt at rewatching it, that’s where I swept “Dark Page”, too. – Kirsten Howard

The Office season six, episode 12, “Scott’s Tots”

Steve Carrell with head in his hands in The Office episode "Scott's Tots"

Michael Scott, regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, quite often finds himself the idiot in way, way over his head. But forget those embarrassing strategy meetings with David Wallace, his mission to make the perfect TV commercial, when he went rogue and started his own paper company, the time he tried to come up with a plan to save Dunder Mifflin from bankruptcy on the fly, or when he planned to fake his own suicide to teach the warehouse guys a lesson. All those moments of hubris and sheer ignorance pale in comparison to “Scott’s Tots,” arguably the most cringeworthy episode of a sitcom ever produced. Fourteen years after it first aired, I still can’t stomach it. As soon as I get a whiff of the cold open — Andy’s baby talk intervention — my finger is on the skip button.

The Office simply went too far with this episode about underprivileged high school students who have tied their futures to the most delusional benefactor on television. We learn early in “Scott’s Tots” that Michael has made a terrible mistake: 10 years prior, he pledged to pay for these students college tuitions as long as they graduate high school. The only problem that Michael doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of money a decade later. He explains to an outraged Pam that he really thought he’d be a multi-millionaire by now. But rich or not, the time has come to pay up.

Michael is invited back to the school, where all of his tots are now all grown up, and ready to celebrate him. Performing a song and dance for their hero, it’s clear that these kids, their parents, and their teachers have spent years worshipping Michael for his generosity, making it all the more painful when the inevitable other shoe finally drops. He can’t pay for their college educations, but at least he bought them all laptop batteries? Nothing can possibly prepare you for the look on these kids’ faces. Pass. – John Saavedra