Code of Honor was easily one of the worst episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, ranking second behind Star Trek: Enterprise’s “These Are The Voyages.”
The episode has so many problems, racism and stereotyping being just two, that Star Trek: The Next Generation actor, Jonathan Frakes, has suggested that, while it continues to be shown, a warning or explanation should be added to let current viewers know that these were views from a long time ago.
In a recent interview with Trekmovie, Cirroc Lofton, who portrayed Jake Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was asked how he felt about keeping the episode in rotation. Lofton was been watching and reviewing the first season episodes of The Next Generation with Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) on 7th Rule. And he doesn’t have a problem with the episode remaining in rotation because he believes you learn and grow from history.
"“I don’t have a problem with it staying in rotation. I think you learn from history and you grow from it. You can’t ignore it. If there is no progress and we can’t recognize that it’s something that we’ve evolved from as a society, if we don’t see that difference, then we haven’t moved anywhere.”"
Code of Honor was ranked as the second worst episode by fans at the 50th Star Trek anniversary.
The only redeeming quality may have been when Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) tries to explain humor to Data (Brent Spiner), but even that wasn’t strong enough to save this one from being universally panned. Lofton shared his thoughts on how, today, we may have moved past some of the stereotypes.
"“And, to our credit, at least in this particular “Code of Honor” case, we can realize, hey, we’ve to some degree moved past that stereotype of how we’re going to depict Black men on television. We’ve seen the light, that there’s more to Black people than these stereotypes that they use, the sexualization, and all of these other kinds of really brute physical, basic concepts.I wouldn’t be opposed to putting a disclaimer in front of it saying ‘This was filmed in 1987/88, and the views expressed in here are no longer…’ [laughs] Yeah, I wish we could.”"
Most of us who remain dedicated Star Trek: The Next Generation fans, though, would much prefer to skip the episode altogether as there is little to be learned from it. I don’t think removing it from rotation would hurt any feelings as it’s a cringeworthy episode that does more harm than good to the franchise.