(written from a Production point of view)
On Romulus, Picard and Data meet with Spock, who claims to be trying to reunite the Romulans and Vulcans. While Spock works to achieve his goal, powers within the Romulan government seek to pervert his mission into an invasion of the Federation.
Spock asks Captain Picard why he is on Romulus, and Picard tells him he is there to ask him the same question on behalf of Starfleet. Spock refuses to answer, telling Picard that his mission is a personal one of peace and will inform Starfleet when it is neccessary. Picard reminds Spock that he is in a position to heavily compromise Federation security; Spock asks Picard to leave and Picard refuses, saying that despite all that he has achieved on behalf of the Federation, Spock's sort of "cowboy diplomacy" is not easily tolerated.
"If you wish to undertake a mission with obvious repercussions for the Federation, then you should discuss it with the Federation. I'm here as their representative."
Picard also has the unhappy task of informing Spock that his father is dead. Taking a moment to take in the news, Spock then asks Picard to walk with him.
Spock reveals that he is aware of the mind meld that Picard and his father shared to allow Sarek to complete his final mission at Legara IV. Picard tells Spock it was an honor, and Spock agrees that Sarek was a great representative for the Vulcan people and for the Federation. Picard then tells Spock of Sarek's pride in him, but Spock brushes this off as part of the emotional onslaught Sarek suffered due to his illness but Picard disputes this... those feelings came from the heart. Spock is uncomfortable with this, and starts to tell Picard why he is on Romulus; some time earlier he became aware of an underground movement learning Vulcan philosophy that have been declared enemies of the Romulan government. However some members are sympathetic to the cause like Senator Pardek, who was the one who asked Spock to come and take the first step towards the reunification of Vulcan and Romulus. Picard is very surprised; it has been centuries since the Romulan society split from the Vulcan people and have developed several fundamental differences. Spock admits that reunification may be unlikely, however if it succeeds the benefits brought would be immense. The 'first step' that Pardek spoke of is a young proconsul in the Romulan Senate is promising reform and they may be able to convert him to their movement. When Picard asks Spock why he hasn't mentioned this either to the Federation or to the Vulcans, Spock says that it was a personal decision based on what happened with his small role in the early overtures to peace with the Klingons.
Spock states that he is unwilling to risk anyone's life but his own in this venture and once again asks Picard to leave. Picard states that he almost suspects Spock's judgment is being influenced by his emotions. Spock states that Picard speaks almost as Sarek would if he were there. Picard replies that he speaks only as a Starfleet officer and cannot ignore the risks to Spock. Spock then remarks that Picard is, in his own way, as stubborn as another captain of the Enterprise that he once knew.
Picard takes that as a compliment, remarking that he is in good company.
Data, having returned to the cloaked Klingon Bird-of-Prey in orbit of Romulus, obtains the assistance of Captain K'Vada to access the Romulan Central Information Net, and to send a transmission to the Enterprise, piggybacking it on Romulan transmissions. In exchange, he promises to give the Klingons access to any Romulan information he uncovers.
Back on Romulus, the Romulan Jaron comes to Picard and Spock's table bearing a flower – a signal that Pardek will shortly arrive. Picard and Spock discuss the underground movement, with Spock noting that it has members in four provinces and is a serious concern to the Romulan leadership, while Picard expresses skepticism regarding its chances of success, which Spock urges him to reconsider. A Romulan boy, D'Tan, arrives with an antique Vulcan book telling the history of the separation. Pardek arrives, rebukes the boy gently for bringing the book into the open, and they leave. Pardek tells Picard and Spock that Spock's presence has greatly inspired the movement, and informs them that the proconsul will meet with Spock.
- "First officer's log, stardate 45245.8. The Enterprise remains at Qualor II while we continue to investigate the theft of a surplus Vulcan ship. The trail has led us to the former wife of a deceased smuggler."
Riker enters a bar near the Qualor II surplus depot and encounters Amarie, a four-armed pianist and the former wife of the smuggler who died when he and the Enterprise traded phaser fire over the stolen deuterium tanks from the depot. While killing her ex was a good start for bargaining, she agrees to provide the commander information on his business partners, in exchange for jazz lessons. In between notes, she informs him that Omag, "a fat Ferengi", will be in the bar at some point and will have information Riker seeks.
On Romulus, Pardek and Spock meet with Proconsul Neral. He expresses enthusiasm for their movement, even greeting Spock with "Live long and prosper", and saying he may be able to obtain the support of the Romulan Senate and is prepared to publicly endorse reunification. But after Spock leaves, Sela enters the room – she has heard the whole conversation, and Neral has tricked the underground.
In the caves, Spock shares the good news, despite Picard's skepticism. In private, Spock and Picard argue, with Picard accusing Spock of being swayed by Romulan emotions, and Spock insinuating that Picard is over-influenced by Sarek, possibly even by the results of his mind meld with the ambassador. Picard remarks that this is the second such accusation, and then states that, while the mind meld was a profound experience and that Sarek's essence will always be a part of him, his judgment was still his own. In the end, Spock agrees that there is, most likely, a larger plan being played out by the Romulans and that, in order to find out what is going on; Spock will play along and "play the role they would have me play"
Back aboard K'Vada's ship, Data is attempting to access the information net; Spock provides the last necessary cipher in order to access it. Picard leaves to remove his Romulan ears and Spock notes that the captain has an almost Vulcan-like quality, which Data is surprised by given that Picard has been his role model in his quest to become more Human. Spock is fascinated by this telling Data that his "efficient intellect, superior physical skills and no emotional impediments" gives him what many Vulcans strive for their entire lives... and yet he wishes to be Human. Data then notes that Spock is half-Human, yet chose to live a Vulcan way of life thereby abandoning what the android has always aimed for. Data then asks Spock if, as he looks back on his life, he ever misses his Humanity. Spock replies that he has no regrets. Data points out that 'no regrets' is a Human expression. Spock considers this, then simply responds with "fascinating."
In the bar on Qualor II, Worf requests a theme from Aktuh and Maylota, in which Amarie joins with gusto. Soon, Omag enters the bar loudly complaining about the Klingon opera and Worf advises Riker on the Enterprise. Riker arrives shortly much to the chagrin of Omag, and mocks the commander's request for information on the Vulcan ship much to the laughter of his two female partners. Riker turns to Worf and then throws the tray of food all over Omag and his partners and lifts up and intimidates the arrogant Ferengi into revealing that he delivered the Vulcan ship to a Barolian freighter near Galorndon Core under threat of losing his right of passage in the sector, and making Riker very unhappy. Satisfied with his information, he throws Omag back on his chair and gives him a napkin, and politely tells him to enjoy his dinner.
Riker is communicating with Picard over the piggybacked subspace signal, who brings him up to date about the negotiations with Proconsul Neral. The use of a stolen Vulcan ship by the Romulans makes no sense to the goal of Unification but Picard believes it's worth looking into. The Enterprise then proceeds to Galorndon Core at warp eight.
On K'Vada's ship, Data has accessed Romulan communications logs and finds a transmission to a Barolian ship near Galorndon Core. K'Vada points out that the Barolians often run that trade route and the transmission was probably routine, but Data counters that the signal includes the code prefix of Romulan Intelligence. The signal is a mere four digits: 1 4 0 0.
On Romulus, D'Tan catches up with Spock and shows him small carved stones, which Spock describes as the syllabic nucleus of the Vulcan language. D'Tan reveals that his parents taught him Vulcan when he was small, to prepare for the Romulans' inevitable reunification with their Vulcan cousins. Summoned by Picard and Data, Spock returns to the cave. They share the message with him, and Spock immediately realizes that the proconsul has deceived him and that the Vulcan ships are involved, as the time set for Spock's announcement regarding reunification was 1400 hours the following day. Suddenly, Romulan troops led by Commander Sela burst in and capture Spock, Picard, and Data; Spock realizes that Pardek has betrayed him. Sela tells Spock that his dream of reunification will still happen, but simply taking a different form... the Romulan conquest of Vulcan. She and her Romulan troops take Spock, Picard and Data out of the caves by disruptor.
- "First officer's log, supplemental. The Enterprise has reached Galorndon Core near the border of the Neutral Zone."
In orbit of Galorndon Core, the Enterprise receives a message, ostensibly from Picard, advising them that the initiative is successful and ordering to hold their position. Although the proper coded sequence was used, Riker dismisses it.
On Romulus, Spock, Data, and Picard are brought into Sela's office. She informs them that Spock will read a speech encouraging the Vulcans to welcome the "peace envoy". Picard realizes the Romulans will be using the stolen Vulcan ship, and Sela reveals there's actually three stolen ships full of troops and she has sent fake orders to the Enterprise in Picard's name ordering them to remain in their present position and when the Vulcan ships cross the Neutral Zone the ship will be too busy to stop them. Picard points out that Starfleet will not just sit idly by while the Romulans attempt to conquer one of the Federation's founding members, but Sela states that by the time Starfleet get to Vulcan, the Romulans will be so firmly entrenched on the planet there'll be no getting rid of them and thus reunification will be a fact of life. When Spock refuses to read Sela's statement or any other, she threatens him with death, but he logically deduces that she would execute him and his companions in any event. Sela then reveals a programmable holographic version of him that will read the speech. She then leaves to order the ships on their way, locking the three in her office. Data and Spock immediately set about to access the Romulan computer system.
Back in orbit of Galorndon Core, the Enterprise detects the oncoming Vulcan ships and moves to intercept.
Sela returns to her office to find her three prisoners gone, and is immediately confronted by Riker and two security officers. She shoots at them, but the beam passes through them – holograms. While they are distracted, Spock and Picard emerge from the wall – also a hologram – and incapacitate Sela's guards (Spock with a nerve pinch, Picard with a right hook to the jaw), and get the drop on her. But she blusters that her forces will be on Vulcan before they can alert anyone.
Dr. Crusher arrives on the bridge saying she's received an urgent distress signal from Dulisian IV calling for emergency evacuation. The only vessel in range is a Rutian archaeological vessel, which is ill-equipped to handle the crisis. Just before they divert to assist, they receive a message from Spock alerting them to the invasion force and saying the Vulcan ships must be stopped at all costs. Riker tells Dr. Crusher to verify the signal from Dulisian IV, as it is probably fake.
Data confirms that the message was sent and nerve pinches Sela, and the three make good their escape from the senate building.
The Vulcan ships begin to retreat to the Neutral Zone, with the Enterprise in pursuit. Suddenly, a D'deridex-class warbird uncloaks; Riker calls red alert and warns the warbird to withdraw from Federation space and leave the Vulcan ships were they are, but the warbird destroys the three Vulcan ships, then re-cloaks as quickly as it appeared. La Forge and Troi note with shock that there were over 2,000 Romulan troops aboard the Vulcan ships, but the Romulans destroyed their own invasion force rather than let them be captured.
In caves that Pardek never knew about, the remaining underground movement resolves to continue working for change in Romulan society. Picard promises that the Federation will welcome the day when they don't have to be enemies with the Romulans. Picard and Data prepare to beam up to K'Vada's ship, but Spock chooses to remain behind, saying his work has never been more important. He now understands that true reunification will not happen through diplomacy or politics, but through changing society from within, even if it takes years or centuries. As Picard and Spock discuss their gently adversarial relationship, Spock comments that Picard may know Sarek "better than his own son did. My father and I never chose to meld." On hearing this, Picard says, "I offer you the chance to touch what he [Sarek] shared with me." As Data watches, Spock places his hand on Picard's face and makes contact with the essence of Sarek that remains in Picard's mind, and Picard thus fulfills the request that Sarek made: Spock's face is suffused with emotion as he realizes the depth of his father's love for him.
"I have to ask you about your husband."
"Well, it was nice while it lasted... which husband?"
"The dead one, I'm afraid."
- - Riker and Amarie
"Well, you did kill my ex-husband, and that's not a bad start."
- - Amarie
"Oh, just what I needed: another pair of hands."
- - Riker and Amarie
"What is that dreadful noise?! It sounds like a Bardakian pronghorn moose!"
- - Omag, in response to Worf's and Amarie's singing in Klingon
"Where's the waiter?! Is there no waiter in this sorry place?!"
"Is there a problem?"
"Yes, I need more napkins."
"Use your sleeve."
"What did you say?"
"Use one of their sleeves, I don't care."
- - Omag, with female companions, mistakes Riker for a waiter
"Let me explain what will happen to you if you don't tell me about the Vulcan ship. Your right of passage through this sector will be revoked, and more than that, I will be very unhappy."
- - Riker, threatening Omag
"I think I'll take this opportunity to remove my ears."
- - Picard
"Do not be distressed. Your dream of reunification is not dead. It will simply take on a different form: the Romulan conquest of Vulcan."
- - Sela, to Ambassador Spock
"Excuse me, I'm just finishing up a speech–for you, Mr. Spock. I rather enjoy writing. I don't get to do it very often in this job."
"Perhaps you would be happier in another job."
- - Sela and Data
"I hate Vulcans. I hate the logic, I hate the arrogance. Very well."
- - Sela, in response to Spock's uncooperativeness.
"I'm afraid I don't know too much about Romulan disruptor settings."
- - Spock, holding Sela at gunpoint
- - Spock
"As you examine your life, do you find you have missed your Humanity?"
"I have no regrets."
"'No regrets.' That is a Human expression."
- - Data and Spock
"In your own way, you are as stubborn as another captain of the Enterprise I once knew."
"Then I am in good company, sir."
- - Spock and Picard
"This is Ambassador Spock of Vulcan. By now, Federation sensors are tracking three Vulcan ships crossing the Neutral Zone. These ships carry a Romulan invasion force and must be stopped. I repeat, these ships carry a Romula—"
- - Spock
- - Spock, noting Data's mastery of the Vulcan nerve pinch
"I was with him before coming here. He expressed his pride in you... His love."
- - Picard, to Spock
"Curious, that I should hear him so clearly now that he is dead."
- - Spock, about Sarek
"An inexorable evolution toward a Vulcan philosophy has already begun. Like the first Vulcans, these people are struggling to a new enlightenment and it may take decades or even centuries for them to reach it but they will reach it... and I must help."
- - Spock explaining to Picard his reasons for remaining on Romulus
"Is it so important that you win one last argument with him?"
"No, it is not, but it is true that I will miss the arguments; they were, finally, all that we had."
- - Picard and Spock, about Sarek
"Ironically, you may know Sarek better than his own son does. My father and I never chose to meld."
"I offer you the chance to touch what he shared with me."
- - Spock mind melds with Picard and discovers how deeply Sarek cared for him (last lines)
Story and production
- As with the previous episode, a title card ran before the teaser in tribute to Gene Roddenberry.
- The principal photography for "Unification II" took place before the filming of the first part, although several scenes of the first part were filmed during the production of the second part. The episode was filmed between Monday 9 September 1991 and Wednesday 18 September 1991 on Paramount Stage 5, 8, 9, and 16. Additional second unit shots were filmed on Thursday 29 October 1991 on Paramount Stage 9.
- Although this was the second part of "Unification I", it was the first to be filmed, in order to accommodate Leonard Nimoy's schedule. This explains why the episodes were released in reversed order on video in the US ("Unification I" released as episode 108, "Unification II" released as episode 107).
- These episodes were created, in part, to promote Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and although that movie was released later, these episodes were produced after the film, making them Nimoy's final appearance as Spock for eighteen years until 2009's Star Trek. Spock's dialogue with Picard in the teaser – referencing the peace talks with the Klingons and the consequences to Kirk and his crew – was intended to tie in with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which was released in theaters less than a month after this episode aired.
- According to Cliff Bole, Nimoy originally wanted his son, Adam, to direct "Unification", but this fell through, so Bole was called in as director, despite it not fitting into his usual four-episode rotation.  Later, Adam Nimoy indeed directed two episodes of TNG: "Rascals" and "Timescape".
- This episode and its predecessor share the same titular fashion with "Redemption" and "Redemption II" in that they do not contain the word "Part" in the name of the episode.
- On Friday 13 September 1991, the sets were visited by alumni of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who received a tour on Paramount Stage 8 and 9.
- For a brief moment, a reflection of boom operator Bill Gocke was inadvertently caught on camera, appearing in a reflection in the glass pyramid on Neral's desk at the end of the episode. Gocke's image was digitally erased for the Blu-ray release.
- The piece played by Riker in the bar is the beginning of "Freddie Freeloader" by Miles Davis, first released on Davis' album "Kind of Blue" in 1959.
- Michael Piller referred to a fleet of purportedly Vulcan ships that were actually on a Romulan mission to invade Vulcan in TNG: "Unification II" as "a Trojan horse." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 185)
Cast and characters
- Malachi Throne (Senator Pardek) was also with Leonard Nimoy during his first appearance in Star Trek, the first I AM ERROR pilot "The Cage", as the voice of The Keeper. He had also previously appeared as Commodore José I. Mendez in TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I".
- This is Nimoy's third of five Star Trek appearances without William Shatner. The other four are TOS: "The Cage", TAS: "The Slaver Weapon", Star Trek, and Star Trek Into Darkness.
- During his "Encounter at Farpoint", Data had been told by Leonard McCoy that, while he did not possess pointed ears, he sounded "just like a Vulcan." In this episode, he meets the particular Vulcan who McCoy had in mind.
- Geordi La Forge was stranded on Galorndon Core during third season episode "The Enemy", although there were no references to the Enterprise-D ever having visited the planet before.
- This episode marks the final appearance of the mysterious character of Sela.
- Neral is later mentioned in the I AM ERROR episode "In the Pale Moonlight" as being Praetor in 2374. He later appears, played by Hal Landon, Jr. in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges".
- This episode contains the first instance of Klingon opera in the series, as well as Worf's avid appreciation for it. There were further mentions of it in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- Although it is established in other episodes that Data's programming prohibits him from being able to use contractions, he inadvertently uses a contraction before giving Sela the Vulcan neck pinch, saying, "I've disconnected certain sensors to allow us to exit. I'm afraid I cannot allow you to warn your guards."
- This is the first of only two TNG episodes in which a non-Vulcan/Romulan (i.e. Data) successfully pulls off the Vulcan neck pinch, the other being "Starship Mine" (wherein Captain Picard administers one).
Sets and props
- The revealing evening dress worn by one of Omag's female companions was reused as Troi's evening dress in Ten Forward in "Man of the People".
- The bird sculptures seen in the bar on Qualor II were previously seen in Karnas' office in the first season episode "Too Short a Season". They were also featured in Q's courtroom in the pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" and in the final episode "All Good Things..."
- The bar on Qualor II is a revamp of the Enterprise-D's observation lounge set.
- The wall decoration in Proconsul Neral's office can be later seen in the barbershop aboard the Enterprise-D in the sixth season episode "Schisms", in the reception area at Arkaria Base in the episode "Starship Mine", in the observation lounge in the seventh season episode "Parallels", in the office of Minister Kray in the I AM ERROR first season episode "Ex Post Facto", and in Annorax ready room aboard the Krenim weapon ship in the VOY fourth season episode "Year of Hell".
- A mission report for this episode, by John Sayers, was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 18, pp. 50-54.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction for a Series.
- Although Sarek and Spock never actually meet each other in TNG, actor Rob LaBelle stated, "I remember a brilliant scene in The Next Generation between Spock and his father that was almost Shakespearean. It is scenes like these, when the show plays to the grand themes of love, war, hatred, combat and even humour, that make Star Trek so successful." (Cult Times, issue 19, p. 28)
Video and DVD releases
- As a stand-alone UK VHS rental release, CIC Video, 1992
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 54, catalog number VHR 2638, 5 October 1992
- As part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek - Crossovers Set: 6 November 1995
- In feature-length form, as part of the UK VHS release Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Full Length TV Movies: Volume 4, catalog number VHR 4104, 27 February 1995
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 5.3, 5 August 2002
- As part of the TNG Season 5 DVD collection
- In feature-length form, as part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Complete TV Movies collection
- Revised final draft script: 30 August 1991 
- Principal photography: 9 September 1991 – 18 September 1991
- Additional second unit shots filmed: 29 October 1991
- Premiere airdate: 11 November 1991
- First UK airdate: 8 February 1995
Links and references
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
Special guest star
- Stephen Root as K'Vada
- Malachi Throne as Pardek
- Norman Large as Neral
- Daniel Roebuck as Jaron
- William Bastiani as Omag
- Susan Fallender as Romulan woman
- Amigron as Romulan civilian
- Aylward as Romulan civilian
- Majel Barrett as Narrator
- Carla Beachcomber as Romulan civilian
- Chuck Borden as Romulan guard
- Bravo as Romulan civilian
- Errol Bryand as Romulan civilian
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Jerry Crowl as Antican bar patron
- Joey Davis as command division officer
- Denise Deuschle as Romulan guard
- Nick Dimitri as Romulan guard
- Judi M. Durand as Amarie (voice)
- Carmen Emeterio as Romulan civilian
- Susan Fallender as Romulan civilian
- Aruni Devi Hansen as humanoid bar patron
- Linda Harcharic as Romulan civilian
- Christie Haydon as Romulan civilian
- Jacobson as Romulan civilian
- Leonard Jones as Zakdorn waiter
- Arvo Katajisto as Romulan guard
- Mark Lentry as
- Heather Long as Omag's woman
- Manno as Romulan civilian
- Marco as Romulan civilian
- Justin McCarty as Romulan civilian
- Miller as Romulan civilian
- Michael Moorehead as Klingon officer
- Shauna O'Brien as Omag's woman
- Bill E. Rogers as operations division officer
- April Rossi as space hooker
- Howard Sands as Human bar patron
- Michael Scranton as Romulan guard
- Diane Todd as Romulan civilian
- Guy Vardaman as Klingon helmsman
- Wayland as Romulan civilian
- Unknown performers as
Stand-ins and photo doubles
- David Keith Anderson – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Eddie – stand-in for Stephen Root and William Bastiani
- Henry – stand-in for Malachi Throne
- Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner, Norman Large, and Vidal Peterson
- Melba – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden, Harriet Leider, and Denise Crosby
- Patrick – stand-in for Leonard Nimoy
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Daniel Roebuck and Malachi Throne and stand-in and Photo double for Jonathan Frakes
- Dennis Tracy – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman – stand-in for Leonard Nimoy
- James Washington – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Cindy White as photo double/music double for Harriet Leider
- Jerry Zimmer as photo double/music double for Harriet Leider
- Unknown actress – stand-in for Susan Fallender
Aktuh and Maylota; Amarie's ex-husband; Andorian blues; Apollo-class; Bardakian pronghorn moose; Barolian freighter; cafe; carrier wave; cowboy diplomacy; D'deridex-class; defector; disruptor array; Dulisian IV; Earth; envoy; Ferengi; Galorndon Core; Kirk, James T.; Klingons; Klingon Civil War; Klingon opera; "Melor Famagal"; number one; peace; prejudice; priority 1 distress call; progressive encryption lock; Qualor II; red alert; Romulan; Romulan Guard; Romulan intelligence; Romulan language; Romulan Neutral Zone; Romulan Senate; Romulan Star Empire; Romulus; Rutian archaeological vessel; Sector 213; Spock (hologram); Spock One; subspace frequency; suck salt; T'Pau; Uhlan; unnamed Apollo-class starships; Vulcans; Vulcan nerve pinch; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan defense vessel
Unused production references
- "Unification" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Unification" at Wikipedia
- "Unification II" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Unification" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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"A Matter of Time"