Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, June 12, 2017

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Nineteen "Manhunt"

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Nineteen "Manhunt"
Production Order: 45
Air Order: 45
Stardate: 42859.2
Original Air Date: June 19, 1989

Sci-fi yoga:
INHALE the good TNG energy.
EXHALE the bullshit STV energy.
Use a neti pot to wash away the sins of those who consider Sybok to be canon.
INHALE Picard's steady presence.
EXHALE a slew of plot holes that had to be written away in the STV novelization.
...annnnd shavasana in a red shirt.


Picard's Log 42859.2: "Going to this planet Antede III to get some dignitaries, which we'll then take to a conference on Pacifica."

Picard is all dressed up in his longer-than-a-scant dress uniform and leggings. Worf and Pulaski are in the transporter room already, along with Wes. Picard has asked Wes to be in attendance as an educational thing.
O'Brien beams up a pair of fish-like humanoids. Picard introduces himself as captain, but the Antedians say nothing.
Wes asks if they're okay, and while Pulaski scans them, Picard explains that Antedians deal with space travel by going into a self-induced catatonic state. They'll stay that way until the ship reaches the conference.
Um, then why did you bother getting dressed up and introducing yourself? For the sake of showing everyone what nice legs you have?

Pulaski says she doesn't really have room in sick bay for the Antedians right now, so she asks if O'Brien can store them.
"Sure, I can find an out of the way place to stash them," he agrees.
Dude, aren't those passengers? Like, I get that they're in a catatonic state right now, but they're not luggage. They can't even find them quarters?
Picard goes back to the bridge, and Wes asks Pulaski what the barrel is that beamed up with the Antedians.
"Vermicula," she says. "It's what they eat."
It's pretty much little fish. Wes thinks it's gross.
Worf remarks that the Antedians are handsome. I suppose the joke is that Klingons are also severe-looking, but I disagree. Aside from some unfortunate wardrobe choices (why did Vixis have leather thongs braided around her scalp?), I think Klingons are actually fairly good-looking.

Back on the bridge, Riker asks Wes what he thought of the Antedians.
"Fugly," says Wes.
"Wow, that's rude," says Data. "Why do humans gotta be so freaking prejudiced?"
I thought maybe the rest of the bridge crew would break in and defend themselves, but no one does. And maybe I expect that because of the times in which we live, where someone would undoubtedly try to defend humanity from being the assholes that we are. But that's not what happens.
"That's true," remarks Picard, admitting to the asshole-ishness. "I bet to some species, we're pretty fugly, too."
It's announced then that there's a small ship approaching them, and it's hailing the E.
Troi freaks out. "What's she doing here?"
Riker and Picard are concerned, because Troi doesn't just react to things for no reason.
They put it up on viewscreen, and a pilot says he's carrying a VIP passenger to transfer to them.
"Let me talk to them!" says the passenger.

Two weeks of bullshit, and Star Trek rewards me with a Lwaxana episode!
Good show! Have a biscuit!
So it seems that Lwaxana is also going to the conference, and Starfleet has granted her full ambassadorial status.
"That's really naughty, Jean-Luc," she chides through the viewscreen. "But that's really flattering, all the same."
Picard's face says, "Awww, fuck me."

Hesitant music! Opening credits break!

Picard, Troi and Riker go back to the transporter room, and Picard and Riker are in their dress uniforms again.
"It will be... pleasant to see your mother again," Picard tells Troi.
Riker smiles because he knows that Picard is really trying to convince himself of this.

Riker will spend the entirety of this episode laughing at Picard's awkward discomfort.

Lwaxana appears on the pad, facing the wall and kneeling. She screams about her legs being gone, until Troi reminds her that they're underneath her, and she stands and turns around, complaining about the transporter technology and calling Picard Jean-Luc.
(A quick aside: if Lwaxana had appeared on the transporter pad of the E, facing backward and on her knees, that means she started out the beaming process facing backward and on her knees. Which begs the question - what the hell was she doing at beam-up?)

Troi admonishes her for not addressing Picard as "captain." Lwaxana turns fully around and sees the Antedians, starting.
"Those are the Antedian delegates," explains Riker. "They're being stored here temporarily."
"They look like fucking sushi," says Lwaxana.
She steps forward to hug Troi, compliments Picard's legs, and tells O'Brien to beam up her valet, Mr Homn.

"You can carry my bag," she tells Picard.
"Oh, I don't want to interfere with Mr Homn's valet duties," he deflects.
"It's cool, I'll get it," says Riker.
And he proceeds to give himself a hernia carrying that heavy-ass case to her room.

As they all move down the corridors, Lwaxana talks to Troi through telepathy.
"Riker also has nice legs. Is he still yours?"
"Humans no longer own each other in that way," Troi responds.
"Really?" Lwaxana says out loud, to a strange look from Picard. "That's a custom we may have to re-introduce."
I'm... I'm confused. Own each other in what way? They no longer date monogamously, or...?
When they reach the room, Riker ditches the case and high-tails it away.
Picard tries to do the same, but not before Lwaxana announces a Betazoid dinner of greeting tonight, an ambassadorial function in her quarters.
He agrees, then quickly leaves.
Troi chastises her mother for talking about men like they were commodities, and Lwaxana argues that they are, especially human men. As an example, she asks if Ian was ever unhappy with her.
"No, he was very happy with you," Troi agrees.
They hug it out.
I... have some concern with Lwaxana's argument there. One satisfied husband does not mean that all human dudes are going to be the same, madam. #notallhumans

Gossip on the bridge, y'all.
Riker is telling Data and Wes what Lwaxana was saying, and Wes laughs about how she complimented Picard on his legs. Data ponders out loud Lwaxana's tendency to leave her filter in the off position, especially considering that she's a telepath. He thought mind-readers would be more discrete. Picard enters the bridge and tells them to knock it the fuck off, that Lwaxana is an ambassador, and needs to be treated with respect.
"Even if she is somewhat eccentric," he finishes.
"Also, this is a dress uniform dinner," he adds, before getting into the lift.
"What dinner?" asks Riker.
Everyone shrugs.

Picard is back in his skant, carrying a bottle of Romulan ale. (For an illegal substance, they sure do drink and gift a lot of this stuff.) He runs into Pulaski and, seeing as how she is not in dress uniform, asks why she isn't going to the dinner.
"I already ate, thanks," she says cheerfully.
Picard is let into Lwaxana's quarters, and he politely hands Mr Homn the bottle of Romulan ale.
Homn chugs it like a frat boy.
"I'm early," he says, looking around, and seeing no other officers.
Homn shakes his head, points to Picard, then points beyond him.
Lwaxana is standing in the doorway in a dress that's supposed to look like a nightie (I think), and she purrs that it was good of Picard to come.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

When we return, Homn serves an awkward dinner for two to Lwaxana and Picard.
She gives a toast to sexy Earth dudes.
"Um, okay, thanks," he replies, clinking glasses with her. "Soooo, I was thinking before that this was going to be a dinner that all of my officers attended..."
"You shouldn't assume things where I'm concerned," she says, and she rubs her leg against his.
Picard moves his leg away.

He starts eating, and she toys with her food, saying she's not really hungry. She puts a bite in her mouth, and Homn rings a chime.
"Oh, right. I forgot. You guys give thanks for your food," he says.
I guess each time they take a bite, they ring the chime. I wonder how this is done? Like, if they're having a small, family dinner and don't have a servant, does one of the family members have to ring that chime? Is this a thing you do with snacks as well? What if you live by yourself?
They take a few more bites, and Picard wonders aloud how many other cultures gives thanks for their food in this way.
Lwaxana's purring seductress act slips. "Um, I dunno."
You can see a lightbulb go off over Picard's head. It's actually a damn good idea.
"Let's find out!" He calls Lt Google. "Hey, Data! How many cultures give thanks for their food like the Betazoids do?"
"Lots!" says Data, who is stoked to have a use for his trivia knowledge. "There's this one culture - they hit rocks together while eating, and everyone has to eat until one of the rocks breaks!"
"Rad!" exclaims Picard. "You should join us, and tell us more interesting, useless shit!"
"Sweet, I will!" The android signs off, and rushes to the lift.
"The hell?" demands Lwaxana. "Why would you think I'd want that robot at our dinner date?"
Picard ignores her robophobic slur. "Because Data has the most interesting dinner conversation!"

A while later, Data is telling a story with a lot of math in it, while Lwaxana stares unseeing at him, and Homn yawns in the background. Picard hangs off of Data's every word.
"Talk about brown dwarf stars now!" says Picard.
"Cool!" Data is so damn excited to be included.

Troi and Pulsaki are walking down the corridors, discussing the situation.
"So hey, did I ever tell you about Betazoid menopause?" asks Troi.
"No, what about it?"
"Um, so my mother is entering what we call "the phase" and it means she's reaching her full sexuality."
"That explains a lot," laughs Pulaski. "I saw Picard going to her quarters in dress uniform."
"Oh! Maybe I should warn him!" worries Troi.
"Naw." Pulaski smiles. "As his doctor, I consider it to be very good for his reflexes and agility."
"Gross!" Troi is horrified.
"No, I mean in his ability to dodge her advances." Pulaski is thoroughly enjoying herself.
Troi is not only mollified by this, she actually also seems to be enjoying this situation. "Yes, an animal is always at its best when being hunted," she says happily.
"Or hunting," Pulaski agrees in a cheerful tone.

Troi goes to her mother's quarters, where Data has broken out a Power Point.
Lwaxana is overjoyed to see her, and Picard looks at this as a way to escape.
"I have to do captain stuff," he says quickly. "Thanks for a nice dinner. We should do it again sometime."
Nope, too far on the politeness, Picard.
Lwaxana drops back into her predatory purring. "I know we will."
"Data, you should stay and entertain our guest," suggests Picard.
"No! I don't want to keep Mr Data from his bridge duties," Lwaxana adds.
Data and Picard leave.
They head back down the corridor for a bit before Picard stops and thanks Data.
"I owe you big-time," sighs Picard.
"You wanna hear more stories?" asks Data. "I got some good ones about -"
"Thank you, Mr Data."
"No? Okay, cool."

Troi yanks her mother out into the corridor so they won't be discussing things into front of Homn, who is actually minding his own business while he goes around the table, finishing everyone else's alcohol.
"Now I know why you came on board!" Troi accuses.
"What?" asks Lwaxana innocently. "We were both going to Pacifica."
Troi demands to know how far along her mother is in "the phase."
"Far enough along to enjoy it," says Lwaxana flippantly. "So now I'll do the honorable thing with Picard."
"Why would you think he'd want to?" demands Troi.
"Because he was thinking about it all through dinner," says Lwaxana.

"The fuck?" demands Picard when Troi relates this story.
He takes a moment to compose himself, then delicately tells Troi that her mother's telepathic abilities suck.
"Actually, they're pretty advanced," she admits.
Making Lwaxana Troi an unreliable narrator... on purpose. Let's face it, girlfriend likes to shock people and watch them squirm. What better way than to claim you can read their lustful thoughts?
Troi then explains the phase. Riker jumps in to add that when he first started hooking up with Troi, she warned him about it, stating that a Betazoid woman could expect to quadruple her sex drive during this time.
"Or more," says Troi.
"More?" he asks, startled.
"I didn't want to frighten you," she says sheepishly.
And Riker reacts like this:

"So she's going for the dignified option," explains Troi.
"Isolation?" guesses Riker.
"No, she's gonna focus all of her sexual energy on one male, who she'll eventually marry. Um, looks like she's picked you."
Picard is mortified.
Riker laughs. "Congratulations, sir!"

"It's not funny," snaps Picard.
The fuck it's not. This is one of my favorite Star Trek scenes ever. I'd rank it right up there with TOS' "The Apple" where they discuss... replacements. Riker is amused, and so am I.
I do kind of feel for Picard, though. There's nothing more uncomfortably awkward that having someone admit that they want you, and you really, really, REALLY do not reciprocate those feelings.
"I'm gonna hide until we get to Pacifica," says Picard decisively.

We switch over to Picard programming the holodeck. He's gonna indulge in some Dixon Hill for a little while, and he's made sure to dress the part first.
He enters the officer, where his secretary is working. It takes him a second to remember her name.
"Madeline. Good to see you again."
She laughs. "You act like you ain't seen me in a year."
Eh, eighteen months. Close enough.

"Do we have any cases?" he asks.
"We ain't had a case since Hitler and Stalin were bosom buddies," she replies.
Wait, does that... well, not science, but history? Yep. Hitler and Stalin were in a non-aggression pact from 1939-41, and the Dixon Hill stories take place in '41, so she could be talking a matter of weeks to six months, depending on what month this particular story takes place.
Probably longer than a few weeks, since she says the landlord told her to tell him that he needs to pay the rent on the office, or they'll get kicked out. She also complains about not having been paid in a month, and mentions that he's been in the hospital.
Picard goes back into his office to chill. He hangs up his trench, turns on the radio, and puts his feet up on the desk.
(There's a funny sort of detail here that I'm not certain completely fits: when Picard puts his feet up, you can see that there's a hole in one of his shoes. If Dixon Hill has fallen on tough times, then this would work. But Picard is not Hill, and he has to request his clothes from the replicator. He's also not aware of what Dixon Hill story the computer will choose to depict, so there's no way for him to tell if Hill has fallen on hard times, unless HIll is always in that state? Would he really specify "Brogues, circa 1941, with a hole in the sole"? Seems a touch too specific.)

In Lwaxana's quarters, Troi is telling her mother that Picard is unavailable because of "ship's business." She's annoyed, but sits down next to Mr Homn and quickly resigns herself to her Plan B. (Mr Homn once again minding his own business by drinking every bottle of space booze on the ship.)
"What the hell is Plan B?" demands Troi.

Madeline lets someone into Hill's office, whispering that he doesn't look like a client.
A guy comes in. "Hello, Mr Hill. I'm (dime-store-novel name that's inexplicably a noun or verb, combined with equally ridiculous last name). I'm here because my buddy asked you last week to find his girlfriend."
"Did I find her?" asks Picard.
"You're funny," replies Mr (WTF kind of name is that). It is obvious that he has no sense of humor. "Yeah, you found her face-down in the river, and now my buddy is on trial for her murder."
He pulls a gun, and Picard freezes the program.
"Less violence, please," he tells Majel.
"Okay," says Majel.
Madeline lets a new dude in, who tries to beat the crap out of Picard. This guy also has no sense of humor.

"Stop!" yells Picard. Dude disappears. "Computer, you just swapped out one kind of violence for another. Try again."
A guy runs in with a machine gun.
"OMG, computer! Freeze this and get rid of this guy, and what the hell did I say?" barks Picard. "I wanted a nice, quiet program, and you keep sending in these guys to kill me."
"Bitch, what do you want?" demands Majel. "You opened a film noir-style program about a private eye. Shit's gonna go down, and all I can do is give you the violence that goes with it. It's like asking for a WWII program where Nazis and Allied troops join hands and sing kumbaya."
"Huh. That's true," admits Picard.

Worf and Wes are back in the transporter room for no reason, and Worf again remarks that he thinks the Antedians are good-looking. Wes disagrees.
"Did you think that about me, when we first met?" asks Worf bluntly.
"Kind of, at first," admits Wes. He has the good sense to be embarrassed about it. But then he puts his foot in his mouth. "But I've gotten to know you, and I've seen some other Klingons, and now I think you're pretty handsome, for a Klingon."
Worf gives him a Vulcan-like eyebrow raise.
"That came out wrong." says Wes quickly.
Lwaxana and Mr Homn enter. She remarks that the Antedians still look like sushi, then she sizes up Wes.
"One day, you'll be a big, strong man."
Creepy, Lwaxana.
"But I don't have time to hang out and wait for puberty to finish it's magic. You're pretty awesome, though," she tells Worf. "But I like humans. Who is next?" she asks Homn.
Homn holds his hand flat across his eyes, indicating a VISOR, and instead of discriminating against Geordi, she seems excited to go chat with him.
Equal opportunity human humping?
They leave, and Worf and Wes wonder why the hell she was there.

Back on the holodeck, Picard is exiting his office to see Madeline stock-still applying make-up at her desk. He starts to talk to her, then realizes that she can't respond. He unfreezes the program. LOL, Picard. You wuss. He's been chilling in his fictional office with the program paused this whole time.
Madeline asks if Picard is going to Rex's bar, as she left a note about it on his desk.
"Sure," he says. "Wanna come?"
She readily agrees, kind of stoked because he's never asked her to go with him for a drink before.
"But if we're going to Rex's bar," she says, taking a gun from the desk and handing it to him, "you'll need this."

Swanky music! Commercial break!

They enter the bar, and Rex the barman comes over to take their drink orders. They light up cigarettes and talk about the impending world war while Rex pours the drinks. Picard does a thirty-second TED Talk about how beneficial WWII was by way of technology and culture, and Rex wonders aloud if he should pour Picard a drink, as he appears to be drunk already. Then he asks for money for the drinks.
"Damn," says Picard. "I forgot to bring money again."
Rex starts talking about Jimmy Cuzzo, and Picard can't place where he knows that name.
Madeline says Jimmy Cuzzo is why she gave Picard the gun, and that he and Rex both gave testimony that put Cuzzo away, and now he's back and kind of looking for both of them. Picard recalls vaguely the Dixon Hill adventure that featured Cuzzo.

Lwaxana waltzes onto the bridge.
"You can't just walk onto the bridge," Troi tells her.
Sassy Lwaxana Moment: "I didn't walk, I took that turbotube, or whatever."
She scans the bridge. Her eyes fall on Riker. He notices her looking at him, and squirms a bit.
"Not him," says Troi telepathically.
"Why not him? He's adorable," Lwaxana replies.
Pulaski calls to tell Riker that the Antedians are starting to wake up.
"Cool, I'll tell the captain," he answers, and he stands up to leave the bridge.
"You're going to see the captain?" asks Lwaxana. "I thought he was busy with ship's business?"
"He is," replies Riker. "I'm not going to disturb him, just give him the message."
"Okay, and you can let him know our news," she says. She grabs his arm. "Friends," she announces to the bridge, "when we're on Pacifica, you're all invited to the wedding of Commander Riker and I."
"The hell?" asks Wes.
Troi does not look pleased.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

We return to the same scene.
"Um, Mrs Troi..." starts Riker.
"It's okay, I know you're super excited!" she gushes. "We'll take care of the details!"
And she sweeps into the lift with Homn.
Troi makes to go after her, but Riker holds her back.
"Let me go, I need to yell at her!" protests Troi.
"Leave it," says Riker.
Data approaches Riker. "Are you going to the holodeck? Can I come?"
"Sure," shrugs Riker.

We go back to the bar. The shadow of a figure pauses in the frosted glass on the door, and they all think it's Cuzzo, but when the door opens, it turns out to be a smartly-dressed Data, followed by Riker, who did not bother to change his clothes.
"Hey," says Riker. "Our passengers are waking up."
"Oh, I should go," says Picard.
"Your friends should have a round first," suggests Rex.
"Sure, why not?" says Picard. He introduces everyone, calling Riker "Nails, from Chicago" and Data reminds him that in the Dixon Hill program, he is "Carlos, from South America." Picard pauses when introducing Rex. "I don't know if I remember your last name," he admits.
"Don't know if I have one," shrugs Rex. "It's just Rex."
I'm not certain if that response was Rex, the cheeky barman, or Rex, the NPC holodeck character who doesn't have a last name, and is trying to reply in the style of Rex the barman. Whatever.
"So a certain wealthy and beautiful woman we know now thinks she's going to marry me," Riker tells Picard.
"Looks and bucks?" asks Rex. "Sounds like you got it good."

In her quarters, Lwaxana has changed into yet another purple dress. She decides that Riker should see how awesome she looks in it. Out in the corridor, she consults the wall panel.
I love these scenes. Majel Barrett is talking to herself.
"Where is Commander Riker?"
"On the holodeck." This ship has no chill.
"Where is that?"
"I'll light up the comm panels on the wall as a sort of yellow-brick road," says Majel helpfully.
For serious, ship. What if Lwaxana had been stalking Riker? I feel like I've complained about this before. You can just ask the ship where someone is, and it'll tell you, like a 24th century Marauder's Map. No privacy. "Commander Riker is in the head, taking a shit."
The comm panels light up as they move down the corridor.
"Oh, that's so helpful!" says Majel.

This time, when a shadow falls across the frosted door, it's Mr Homn, holding the door for Lwaxana. She's annoyed as hell, chastising Picard for hiding out here, and barking at riker that she knows how he really feels, and that she's too much for him to handle, anyway. Rex is at once impressed by her, being the dame with the big bucks.
"He's not good enough for you," coos Rex, pouring her a drink.
Lwaxana is just as taken with Rex, whom she cannot read, telepathically. She declares him to be a mystery, and in her world, that's quite the aphrodisiac.
"Carry my drink to that table," she purrs. "We have some things to discuss."
They canoodle at a small table while Homn looks on.
"We should tell her," says Riker quietly to Picard.
"Eventually," agrees Picard. "But let her enjoy the moment for now."

In sick bay, the Antedians have woken up. Worf grabs handfuls of the vermicula to... hand to them? I dunno what his plan of action was there. Anyway, they push him to the side and basically use the barrel as a trough. Pulaski calls Picard to report that they're awake and hungry.
"Would you like to be shown to your rooms?" she asks.
They ignore her.
And knowing they had rooms makes me wonder why they were being stored in the transporter room. I mean, I know that they wanted them in sick bay to keep an eye on them while they were in stasis, but in the meantime, could they not have stood around in a room with a medical guard rather than hang out in the transporter room?

Picard approaches Lwaxana.
"We have to go. We're almost to the conference."
"Tell Riker I'm marrying Rex instead," she replies.
"That's great, but the conference...?"
She finally gets up, telling Rex she'll see him later. On the way out of the bar, he breaks the news to her that Rex isn't real.

Lwaxana, getting out of the lift while orbiting Pacifica, is pissed as hell.
"He let me carry on!" she says, outraged. "And that man wasn't real!"
Marina Sirtis trips over Majel Barrett's long-ass Lwaxana dress as they're getting out of the lift, and for some reason, they left it in instead of reshooting. It's kind of funny.
Sassy Troi Moment: "I thought you liked surprises, Mother."
They enter the transporter room.
"Why are they still here?" Lwaxana demands, eyeing the Antedians.
"You're going to the same conference," explains Riker.

"They're not delegates," she announces. "Their robes are lined with explosives that your transporter wouldn't detect. They were planning on blowing up the conference."
"Lies!" says the first Antedian.
"Whatever. I can read your thoughts," she waves off.
Data does a scan. "She's right."
"Take them to the brig," says Picard, "and disarm them."
So like, strip 'em down?
The Trois hug goodbye, and Lwaxana and Mr Homn hop up on the transporter pad.
"Didn't find a fuck buddy, but I guess I saved the conference," sighs Lwaxana. "Close enough."
O'Brien energizes, and they start to disappear, when Lwaxana says, "Jean-Luc... shame on you for thinking such a thing."
Picard rolls his eyes.
Riker grins.

This is one of my season two favorites, combining two types of episodes that are frequently used for comedy: Lwaxana Troi, and holodeck shenanigans. Some Lwaxana episodes contain some poignant parts, but these earlier episodes, she was used mostly for comedic value. We got some character and culture development for the Betazoid people, which I enjoy. We learned how they eat, and some physiological stuff, as well as some tiny peeks into the relationship between Riker and Troi. His reaction to her "or more" comment clearly says that he's thinking that he still has time to hook up with her later, but it isn't approached in a weird, creepy way.
Lwaxana's behavior was borderline creepy, though. That was something I hadn't noticed much of previously, but something you take in more when you view an episode in snippets over the course of several hours. Her sizing up of Worf and Wes was a bit much, though it seems like that was the goal to begin with - she's on a mission to secure a friend with benefits, and she rejected Wes for being too young, and Worf, for not being human. I like that she considered Geordi despite his alternate abilities, and considered Worf based on his straightforward personality. I wonder what would have happened if she had gone all the way with Rex before finding out that he wasn't real. We know, thanks to Minuet, that one can "go all the way" with a holodeck character, but you better lock the damn door, because the ship will tell everyone where you are and who you're doing.
I also appreciate when the Enterprise characters go back in time on the holodeck. Picard's not remembering to carry money on him in the Dixon Hill stories worked out in a funny way this time around, as he chides himself for not carrying any, and Rex replies something along the lines of "Haha, you're funny. You can't keep your bar tab open forever." In this case, his mistake worked out nicely, in that it appeared that Dixon Hill didn't have money on him and was making a joke. But it's amusing seeing people of the 24th century trying to navigate the early 20th, and I think the writers made the correct choice in allowing the NPC holodeck characters to react to their gaffes.

Fun Facts:

- It took me forever to figure out why Lwaxana's eyes looked so large and kind of strange to me, and I finally figured it out - Majel Barrett has blue eyes, meaning that she wore contacts to make her eyes dark. I initially thought this had been done because Marina Sirtis has dark eyes and they wanted to make sure that they appeared to be related, but it turns out I was incorrect. Though I can't recall it ever being discussed, Betazoids have black irises. If their children are interspecies, they might have dark-colored irises. Now that I'm comparing photos of Deanna and Marina, it seems that they may have given Marina contacts as well, as her eyes are naturally a light brown. Not gonna lie, the contacts given to Majel creep me out a bit. I think they made these contacts larger than her actual irises, because I'm reminded of both black-out lenses, and the ones you can get now that make your irises look huge, to create an anime look.

- Betazoids appear to be polytheistic, as Lwaxana thanks "the four deities" when Troi shows up in the middle of Data's Power Point presentation.
- Mick Fleetwood, of Fleetwood Mac, is given credit as making a guest appearance on this episode, but you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who looks like him. He plays one of the Antedian assassins.

- LeVar Burton doesn't appear in this episode. He's alluded to, wordlessly, by Mr Homn.
- This is Robert O'Reilly's first Star Trek appearance. He plays Scarface here, the guy in the Dixon Hill program who threatens to beat the crap out of Picard. We'll see him again in season four and beyond.
- Tracy Torme wrote this episode, but was credited under a pseudonym because he was unhappy with the rewrites that were done. He especially did not care for how the Dixon Hill scenes were rewritten. This would be Tracy's final authored episode before leaving at the end of the season.
- When Picard looks out of the window in Dixon Hill's office, old movie footage is used to depict the street outside. However, the name of the film is not listed.

Red deaths: 0
To date: 2
Gold deaths: 0
Blue deaths: 0
Unknown color crewmember deaths: 18
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 6
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Riker Moments: 1
To date: 7
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 13
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 13
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 6
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Pulaski Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Troi Moments: 1
To date: 1
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 1
To date: 2
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 1
To date: 20
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 23
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 2
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 1
To date: 13

Episodes Left Until We Get Rid of Pulaski:

Uhura judges you.


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes Lwaxana Troi. I see a lot of Lwaxana hate out there.

    Lwaxana appears on the pad, facing the wall and kneeling.

    Come to think of it, why doesn't this happen all the time? It should, if you think about it, but the transporter is somehow really good at figuring out which side is the front of a person and pointing them forward when they beam up. But then, why did it fail this time? Does the transporter read the script, just like the doors, so it knew there was a joke coming?

    "What dinner?" asks Riker. Everyone shrugs.

    I like how everyone just blows off Picard's comment without even asking for clarification, even though he's obviously expecting them to show up to something important.

    1. Who the hell hates Lwaxana? I will fight them.

  2. Who knew that, a quarter century after this episode was made, millions of people would be getting out of uncomfortable conversations by asking their Androids about trivia.

    1. *slow claps for this pun* You win the interwebs today.

  3. I'm not sure why a holodeck program can't be customized to the user's liking, even if it goes against the original spirit of the program. Picard could have ordered it to be a slow, rainy day at the office - rumbling thunder, pouring rain, light traffic noises outside occasionally, and maybe a non-violent visitor, such as a beautiful client wanting to discuss her situation to see if Dix can help her.

    1. Right? It's possible that the mistake laid in asking for a Dixon Hill story. Like, maybe if he specified that he wanted a Dixon Hill-TYPE story, and then said that he wanted a client with a case where he looked for a missing item or something, the computer might have been able to comply. But I think he just said a Dixon Hill story, so the computer would have chosen from the set stories available, or extrapolates from the Hill formula. It totally complained back when he complained in the first place - this computer plays semantics. he didn't specify what he wanted - mostly ambiance - so it just kept giving him what it thought he wanted. The, what kills me, is that instead of taking the opportunity to give the computer more specific instructions, dude just sat in the office with the program paused. He didn't even take the opportunity to customize the program the way he wanted, like Data and Geordi had.