Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, March 28, 2016

ST:TNG Season One, Episode Five "Haven"

ST:TNG Season One, Episode Five "Haven"
Production Order: 5
Air Order: 11
Stardate: 41294.5
Original Air Date: November 30, 1987

Okay, so just to reiterate - last week I reviewed "The Last Outpost," which was production number seven, by mistake. I was going in air order then rather than production order, as I'd originally thought. I didn't realize this until I was done with the post, and it was too late to write another, so I just tossed it up online. This week is episode five, next week I'll do six, and the following week I'll cover episode eight. Should be smooth sailing from there, as I checked the charts a thousand times or so and corrected my earlier numbering mistakes.
(Also, if you're following along on Netflix, the numbering is a bit different. Not only do they go by air order, but they consider the pilot to be one episode rather than two, and so only list 25 episodes for this season. While the original airing showed the full pilot at once, it was split into two episodes for syndication. The numbering system used in Memory Alpha lists it as episodes one and two, making the second episode "three.")
In the meantime, I'm rewarding myself a Facepalm for not paying closer attention:



Picard's Log 41294.5: "Going to Haven, this one planet, for some shore leave. Fortunately, there aren't any giant fucking rabbits here."

Picard and Data have a brief discussion on the bridge about how this place has a reputation for magically healing ailments and broken hearts. Data thinks it's bullshit

Next, we get some Girl-O-Vision, where two lovely ladies in sparkly togas cheerfully play harps, and we're supposed to believe that these girls live on Haven and are probably entertaining some lucky guest.

But then the camera pans back, and we find out that it's just Riker jacking off to some holographic videos in his quarters ("Hot Haveners V: Naughty Nymphos in Space.")

But then Yar calls to cock-block him from... himself, I guess, and he's forced to shut it off and meet her in the transporter room. She's all upset because something is being beamed up to them from Haven, and she has no idea what, but her security senses are tingling. Frankly, I'm calling bullshit on that. The transporter chief on Haven can't give her a description?
They beam it up, and... it's a box with a face on it. Really? They really could not have said, "Hey Enterprise, we're beaming up a box with a face on it"?
The face is like, asleep or something. Then Troi randomly walks in and asks what's going on, and the face comes alive, saying that it has a message for her. "Lwaxana Troi and the Miller family are beaming up! It's party time!" Then the face goes back to sleep, and the front bottom panel of the box opens, spilling jewels and shit everywhere.

This was Armin Shimerman's first job for Star Trek, as this episode was filmed
before "The Last Outpost."

Troi is completely freaked out. She says the jewels and things are wedding gifts, and when Riker asks who's getting married, she replies sadly, "I am."
Those "wedding gifts" had better not be her dowry. I will cut a bitch.
Quiet, less-dramatic music. Commercial break.

When we return, she and Riker are in the ready room with Picard. She gives him some exposition by way of backstory: her father, a human, was best friends with Steven Miller, also a human. It's Betazoid tradition to have arranged marriages, so when their kids were little, Deanna was promised to Steven's son, Wyatt. Riker is hella pissed, pointing out that neither of these men were Betazoid, and that she shouldn't have to go through with it. Troi admits that she was hoping that if she traveled far enough away with Starfleet, and put years and distance between herself and the Millers, that everyone would forget. But she appears to be going through with the thing, telling Picard that she and Wyatt won't be staying with the E. Picard decides to just congratulate her. Then he leaves on some pretense that we don't get to hear about, because it's more important that Troi and Riker be alone to talk than it is for Picard to have someplace legitimate to go.

She calls him Bill again, even though the subtitles say Will. He's weirded out by this whole thing, and she points out that they broke up because he wants to be a starship captain, more than he wants her. He really wants his captaincy and to eat it, too. She says she knows he cares "within those limits." I get the feeling, based on the dialog, that there's supposed to be a drawn-out pause here, where he doesn't look at her, because she then asks, "Did you hear what I said?" But it's tagged onto the end of her speech about him caring within the limits, so he doesn't have time to react. It's strange. They end with her requesting that he dance at her wedding, and he agrees. He exits as Data enters. Data says the Miller wedding party wants to know if they can come on board. She nods and leaves. Data is left behind, and I'm left wondering why the hell everyone is hanging out in Picard's office when he isn't there.

Troi goes to the transporter room to meet the Millers. It's been so long that Steven and Victoria Miller barely recognize her. They hug her, nonetheless. Wyatt steps forward shyly and introduces himself. They shake hands. Victoria Miller wipes her eyes daintily and tells Picard that she knew romance was still alive somewhere. They shook hands, lady. No one re-enacted scenes from Pride and Prejudice.

Wyatt gives Troi a chameleon rose, which is like a floral mood ring, and which is kind of a hilarious gift to give a telepathic empath.
There's some awkwardness when Troi asks where her mother is, and while Wyatt tries to smooth it over, Victoria spells it out: she and Lwaxana hate one another. The three move out into the corridor so they can be shown to their quarters. Troi tells Picard that Wyatt was surprised when he saw Deanna... she was not what he expected. She then warns Picard that her mother is "eccentric."
Then the transporter is turned and BAM!

Lwaxana is pleased that the captain himself came to greet her, and even though she has a valet with her, she tells Picard that she's going to allow him to carry her luggage. He agrees, but it seems she packed her gold kruggerands and the thing is hernia-inducing, so Deanna is forced to bark at her mother in the corridor that it's inappropriate to ask a starship captain to carry your damn luggage. So the big dude gets the luggage, and Lwaxana starts prattling to Picard that her last valet wanted to bang her, so she had to let him go. 
"His thoughts became truly pornographic," she actually says as they get in the lift.
Then she goes on about how Steven Miller is the same, and Picard has to pause her so he can tell the lift where they need to go. She proceeds to tell the lift at large that the Millers are awful, and how she's outgrown them, because Betazoids grow more than "your typical plodding human." Picard is starting to turn his head so he can roll his eyes.
When Deanna's verbal protests go ignored, she tells her mother telepathically to STFU. Of course, this pleases Lwaxana, who had stated out complaining that Deanna wants to communicate verbally instead of telepathically.
They reach Lwaxana's quarters and Picard cannot back out of the room fast enough. "Well, you guys have thingstotalkaboutsoI'llgo, laters."
"Oh, okay. You may go," she dismisses him.
Deanna is appalled. Picard is relieved.
The counselor then explains to her mother that she wishes to communicate verbally because humans often think one thing and say another. Eventually, the conversation comes back around to the whole arranged marriage thing, and Lwaxana apologizes to her daughter. Steven Miller found her on Betazoid and reminded her that they had made this agreement a million years ago, and I guess it was made all official then, like Spock and T'Pring

Ugh, like mother, like daughter: why are they both wearing those jeweled things
in their hair? Is this supposed to be some kind of Betazoid thing?

Deanna admits that she really doesn't want to do this whole arranged marriage thing, but she'll go through with it anyway, because members of the generation before her made an agreement when she was too young to protest that she and this one dude should be shackled to one another for life.

Back on the bridge, a message has come in for the E, and a pretty woman appears on-screen. She has a light accent that I can't place, but it's pleasant. So this is Valeda, the Electorine of Haven. And apparently, she has a problem. There's a ship headed for Haven, and it won't communicate with them. Haven doesn't have any defensive capabilities (say what?), so it's up to the E to blow them out of the sky. Before you scream, "Do your own dirty work, lady!" you should know that the Federation's treaty with Haven is that Starfleet will indeed, do their dirty work.

Wyatt is being all emo in his quarters when Deanna pays him a visit to apologize for her mother's behavior.
"It's cool. She's kind of persistently honest," he says, which Deanna says is a great description of Lwaxana, and frankly, it is.
They're awkward. Like, coffee date at Starbucks awkward. He says he's a medical doctor and asks if she can read his thoughts. She admits that only happens on occasion, and it's really only happened with Riker. She doesn't say Riker, but you know that's who she's talking about. He asks if he has competition. She replies that he doesn't.

Deanna asks about a little display of drawings on the table, a display that he came onboard clutching. She correctly guesses that he thought that she was this woman, and was surprised to see that she wasn't. He admits that the woman in the drawings is a face he's seen in his dreams since he was very little, and that he assumed that it was Deanna, because Deanna is Betazoid, and he thought she might be projecting herself into his dreams. 

I don't know who those other two are, but the girl in the middle is clearly supposed
to be Ann-Margaret.

She apologizes for not being that girl, and he folds up the display and tells her not to, that the drawings and assumptions he  made were based on "childhood fantasies" and that she's beautiful and shouldn't compare herself to this stuff. He's clutching the display like a frightened child with a teddy bear. My god, this dude's body language screams "insecure." He's one pair of glasses away from being George McFly from "Back to the Future."

Picard's Personal Log: "This arranged marriage thing is kind of bullshit. Who even does that anymore? Wish I could help her get out of it."

Picard is on the bridge. They've gone to check out the approaching hostile ship in Haven space, and he's kind of gobsmacked when he realizes that it's a Terellian ship. Everyone else is surprised as well. Riker gives the helpful exposition that the Terellians are supposedly extinct, but this is not like when you're watching Doctor Who and someone is surprised when the doctor says he's Gallifreyan. They're apprehensive about this ship - it is actually a threat to them without having fired a weapon at all. Picard calls for Crusher.
Dramatic music! Commercial break!

When we return, the senior officers are gathered in the briefing room. Data gives exposition on this ship that could supposedly destroy them all: Tarella was similar to Earth. Two groups of people hated one another, and one group unleashed a biological weapon on the other, with the result that everyone became infected. Anyone who escaped Tarella got sick and infected the other worlds where they landed. Eventually, other worlds began hunting them down and shooting them out of the sky. So now we have a ship that was probably damaged in some fight, limping through space at sub-warp. and heading for the planet with the mythological following that one can be cured of all ailments there.
"We have a problem," says Picard. "We have to protect Haven, but our by-laws say we have to protect the Terellians, too. Think about that shit while you're at Deanna's engagement party tonight, cool?"
Riker stomps out of the room.

We skip ahead to the engagement party. Victoria Miller asks Picard to perform the ceremony. He agrees, provided that everyone is in agreement with it.
"No way," says Lwaxana. "You're not Betazoid, and don't know how to do Betazoid ceremonies."
"What? This will be an Earth ceremony," insists Victoria.
"Here I thought you had no sense of humor," purrs Lwaxana, before launching into an angry rant about how backward Earth traditions are. "Terrible, Captain, to see a woman go downhill like this."
Shit, dude. When did this become Real Housewives of the Milky Way?
Lwaxana insists that her valet, Mr Homn, will do the ceremony, and when Steven objects to Mr Homn not speaking ever, Lwaxana yells back that he's adept in sign language.

Nope. Wrong answer. Cuz somehow, Lwaxana Troi is titled, and while we don't know what those titles mean, she can bet she's gonna throw that shit back at you.
She's Lwaxana Troi, Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx,

Picard kind of smooths things over here, before Victoria gets her eyes clawed out. Later, he gives a toast at dinner. For some dumbshit reason that baffles me, Lwaxana and Victoria are sat next to one another. I get that it's easier for filming and story purposes, but you'd think that someone would pull aside the party planner and tell them that the seating chart sucks, especially given that the mothers of the couple had a shouting match a few minutes earlier.
This scene is a bit complicated, with several things going on at once. Everyone seems vaguely on edge to begin with, having just watched Lwaxana and Victoria get into it, and who are seated together now. Deanna and Wyatt also seem awkward seated next to one another. Then you have Mr Homn, who is tossing back glasses of alcohol at a stupid rate in the background, while hitting a gong every time Lwaxana takes a bite of food. Data is circling the room, fascinated by the unfolding soap opera in front of him. Riker clearly wants to leave. Wyatt brings up the fact that there's a plague ship approaching them, and everyone looks uncomfortable. Picard confirms it hesitantly.
Wyatt is excited. He's very familiar with the Terellians, and thinks they could beam over medical supplies with anyone having to come into contact with the ship. Crusher says she's glad there's another doctor on board for her to confer with about this problem.
Victoria is over the gong and gets on Lwaxana's case. Apparently, the gong thing is how Betazoids give thanks for their food.

Check out how they're sitting. Victoria is trying to take up as little space as possible at the table so she doesn't end up touching Lwaxana by accident. Lwaxana, by contrast, is taking up as much room as possible. So it seems that the leafy branch would up Lwaxana's arm is some kind of sentient plant, which she's forgotten about until it gets restless. Then she channels Endora from "Bewitched," and asks if Victoria likes pets.
Victoria says in this smarmy voice that she loves them, but screams a moment later when Lwaxana's pet branch crawls onto her arm. Riker is done. He stomps out.
Data asks Lwaxana about the Betazed wedding ceremony. She gleefully tells him that everyone goes naked, and we see fancy, dressed-up Yar in her super 80's hair. Pat Benatar security, yo.

Of course Victoria is appalled. But Lwaxana takes this opportunity to take several more digs at her, including, "Don't worry, dear. Your body's not that bad" and "Your husband quite likes the idea of seeing me naked."
Deanna loses her shit at this point and storms out, putting the smack-down on that gong in the process and yelling at everyone about their "petty bickering."
Data has a request:

Deanna finds Riker on the holodeck, running a desert program and sulking like a five-year-old.
You know, just when I thought I couldn't hate her jumpsuit and be-jeweled beehive anymore, they dress it up by making a pink splotchy version and adding a long ponytail to the beehive. Atrocious.

And you know, between Wyatt clutching his drawings, Lwaxana Troi taking up half the table, and Riker sitting like a little kid, this episode has become body-language heavy. It's not terrible, just obvious.
She tries to go all psychologist on him, talking about how "young human males have trouble separating platonic love and physical love," and he's all, "Have you discussed this with Wyatt? Think you should."
Then who should show up but Third Wheel Wyatt.
Wyatt is taken in by the awesomeness of the holodeck, and almost misses that Riker is nasty to him.

"Beeteedubs, this is the guy I used to bang," Deanna tells Wyatt. "He doesn't like that we're getting married."
Wyatt is actually a nice guy about it. She had told him earlier that she and Riker were no longer an item because Riker wanted to be a captain more than a mate.
"I bet having a relationship is hard when you're a captain," says Wyatt reasonably.
Riker decides that too many people have crashed his party, and he leaves.
Wyatt tells Deanna that her outburst has caused their mothers to compromise. Picard will do the ceremony, Mr Homn will be the best man, and some people will be naked.
"I caught my father practicing "naked" in the mirror," jokes Wyatt, demonstrating. It's actually pretty funny, and Deanna laughs.

He asks if she really wants to go through with it, and she replies yes, and they kiss. The music swells way too much for as tentative as a kiss as that was. Sure, he seems pretty nice, and she laughed at his joke, but they just met like, twelve hours ago, and for the sole purpose of getting married because their parents set it up decades earlier. I don't ship it, Star Trek. Sorry.

Picard's Log, supplemental: "Dude, that ship is still coming, and still not answering us."

The Electorine calls to plead with Picard to destroy the ship.
"Can't do it," he replies.
She signs off. Yar says she can disable the ship with a phaser burst, but he asks, "What then?" They're within transporter range, and could just beam down. He has a point.
Instead, they opt to use a tractor beam to tow the ship out of transporter range, which they do.
Data suggests that they might not be answering, because they might all be dead, and the ship might have flown there on automation.
But then the viewscreen crackles. Surprise! It's Wyatt's Dream Girl.
Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Is that you, Daryl Hannah?

Picard's Log 41249.6: "WTF?"

The dude in the chair on Terellian ship comes to the front of the viewscreen and moves the girl aside. No indication is given as to why she was standing there in the first place, so my best guess is that it was strictly for dramatic reveal. This guy, who says his name is Wrenn, is clearly in charge.
"Hey, there," says Wrenn. "Is there a dude named Wyatt onboard?"
Right on cue, Wyatt gets off the lift, clutching his teddy bear drawings.
Wrenn and the blonde chick, Ariana, are amazed to see him. "You've come, just as you promised," she tells Wyatt.
He's amazed that she looks so much like the drawings, as he's never seen her before.
Wrenn admits to Picard that they still carry the disease that killed their people, and that there are only eight of them now. They want some uninhabited island or someplace where they won't come into contact with the people of Haven.
"Um, it's not my planet," says Picard. "I can pass on the request, though."
"We intend to die here," says Wrenn. "Even if we die while stuck in your tractor beam."
Well, that's shitty.

Wyatt goes to Lwaxana for advice, which is kind of funny, because she seems like the last person someone would go to advice for, but she's actually pretty helpful here. She quickly accesses his thoughts to get the whole thing from his perspective, then sits him down and tells him that the answer is too simple for most humans to grasp. She doesn't mean this unkindly, as she explains that humans don't really want to believe the answer, or they'll go to great lengths to explain it away, or whatever, but Occam's Razor comes into play here: the simplest answer is the most correct.
"All life is bound together. You believe that, and so does Ariana, which is why you guys are so connected."

Dr Crusher goes into sick bay and finds Wyatt dressed in his travelling clothes, getting the medical supplies ready. he's acting like he did when he would clutch his drawings, only he doesn't have the drawings there anymore.
She asks if he's feeling okay.
"Wedding nerves," he replies. Liar.
She disappears into the office to send a message to Picard that the supplies are ready to beam over, and he steals a hypo-spray.
Then he goes to the ceremony site and stares at his parents for a moment before saying, "Please take care of each other."
He turns to Deanna. "You're really pretty." And he gives her a tiny kiss before leaving. She clearly knows what's up.

Wyatt takes the supplies to the transporter room. The chief there tells him that Crusher had him set the coordinates already (so convenient!) and that they're just waiting on Picard's orders to send them through. Wyatt hypos the chief, and I guess he knows something about transporter functions, because he sets it to send him over, then hops on the pad.
Geordi sees too late that someone is transporting over to the plague ship and isn't able to override it.
I thought that we wouldn't get another location for this episode, that they would just show Wyatt on the viewscreen with Wrenn and Ariana, but I was wrong.
Wyatt materializes on the transporter pad of the Tarellian ship, then he walks through what is clearly Ariana's gallery, all drawings of him at different ages.

Except that one on the left. That's a portal into an A-Ha video.

He's greeted by the Tarellians, who tell him that they knew he would beam over, just as soon as they saw that he was real. This meeting is kind of as awkward as when he met Deanna again. Everyone is nice and polite, but facing a future with big changes.

Back on the bridge, Victoria and Steven have stormed the castle and Victoria demands to know how Picard could have let her baby transport over with "those lepers." That's pretty fucking bitchy, Victoria.
The viewscreen comes on, and Wyatt is there with the Tarellians. Wrenn says that Picard can turn off the tractor beam, because they aren't going to Haven anymore. Turns out the thing they wanted beamed over to their ship.
"Sooo, hey," Wyatt addresses his parents. "Can't come back now. Gonna cure these people. Or you know, try. Also, sorry we're not getting married, Deanna. Thought I was coming here for you, but it turns out I was coming here for Ariana."
"It's all good," says Deanna. "I'm happy for you guys."

The tractor beam is released, the Tarellian ship limps away.
Later, the Millers beam back to Haven. "Keep the chest," says Steven. "You'll have use for it someday."
What? What chest? Wait, does he mean that box full of jewels with the creepy Armin Shimerman face on it? Can you imagine keeping that thing, and it coming back to life when ever you entered the same room.
"Hey, Deanna. Whazzuuuuup? Here's some jewelry." And it just dumps a bunch of rubies or whatever onto your bedroom rug.
Also, "you'll have use for it someday"? What the fuck kind of comment is that? "Here's all these wedding gifts. You should keep those for when you find another man that isn't our son." Frankly, not mentioning the chest at all would have been a better thing to say. How about "Goodbye, sorry it didn't work out"? I guess they're kind of in a bad place because their son chose "lepers" over them, but that's no reason to be rude. Deanna didn't do anything.
Anyway, once the Millers are gone, Lwaxana sweeps in with Homn in tow.
"Maybe, instead of wasting this trip, I should marry the captain," she says cheerfully. Deanna and Picard both look mildly alarmed.
"No, too old," she says dismissively. She turns her cougar eye on Riker, who seems amused by the thought.

She climbs up on the transporter pad and Mr Homn pauses next to Picard.
"Thank you for the drinks."
Picard and Riker exchange looks. Riker again looks like he's holding in a laugh.
Lwaxana's last action before de-materializing is to accuse Picard of aiming pornographic thoughts at her.
"Joking," says Deanna. "She was joking."

And the Doctor loses five quid to Rose.

Sometime later, Picard tells Riker to get them the hell out of there, and he tells Deanna that he's glad that she's staying with the ship. I guess they got their shore leave, or maybe not...? I dunno. They leave. The end.

This episode wasn't too bad. The previous ones filmed before it were all direct rip-offs of TOS episodes, and this one didn't strike me as being that similar to other original series stories, so it has that going for it. So I guess I'll pick it apart: arranged marriages suck when the couple gets no say in the outcome. They aren't totally worthless when you're trying to join two countries in treaties, but they still kind of suck for the immediate parties involved. As far as I can tell, most of those had the outcome of "and they tolerated each other ever after." Victoria and Albert of England seemed to be the exception there. I know that modern-day India still does arranged marriage, but the people involved get a say. It seems to run more like a dating service, where you check out potential mates, date them and figure out if you want to get married. But in this case, Deanna's father Ian strikes me as a better guy than setting his daughter up like this. It's probably because I'm extrapolating from stuff we learn later about him, but it seems pretty douchey to me to say, "Hey, bestie. I have a girl and you have a boy, and they're kind of the same age, so let's make it a thing, when they grow up, that they should get married." Like... no. Parents do not and should not get a say in who their kids marry. Period. The end.
Also, why was Deanna okay with this? She reassured both her mother and Wyatt that she was fine going forward, but that was after meeting Wyatt. Was it just because Wyatt wasn't an asshole? Because she also told Picard prior to meeting Wyatt that she was going to do it, then confirmed it to Riker. We know that Wyatt most likely agreed because he thought Deanna was Ariana. Then he waffled once he realized she wasn't. But was Deanna getting anything out of this? "Genetic bonding" and "vows" were both mentioned, but no more information given, so it sounds Steven and Ian were like, "let's do this thing" and their wives went along with it. I guess she was doing it out of tradition, but the various sites I checked said that there was nothing to keep her from breaking tradition if she really wanted to do so.

So let's talk Lwaxana. Now, Number One was awesome, but we got practically none of her. And Chapel was pretty good, but TOS liked to mess with her hair, and only give her one line per episode, which is BS. Nope, Lwaxana Troi is my most-favorite Majel Barrett character. She's brash and tacky and yes, "persistently honest." But she also brings in comedy relief, and keeps an episode from getting too heavy. In later episodes her storylines will still feature comedy, but will be peppered with poignant truths and heartbreak. She's a character who turns out to be far more interesting and deep than one would anticipate.
I finally went and checked out those titles she always introduces herself with, and of course, they're just as unimpressive as you'd think. But nobody in-universe is going to bother looking those up, so she can spout on about them all she likes and no one will ever call her on it. Firstly, she's a "daughter of the Fifth House." The Fifth House is Betazed's government. Girlfriend is basically stating that she's a citizen of Betazed. "Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx": Deanna later describes said chalice as being a "dusty clay pot that grows mold." And "Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed"? We don't really find out what these artifacts are or do, but they're treated like trinkets or knick-knacks at home. It's all crap. But it's bedazzled crap, like so many of the outfits Lwaxana sports.
The Millers are all kind of boring and unremarkable, but they would have to be in order to play off of Lwaxana well. Victoria is just likeable enough that even when she gets a bit bitchy, you're not going to write her off completely. But you will gleefully watch her go ten rounds with Lwaxana.

Our side story turns out to be our twist here, in that the resolution of our main story comes with the resolution of the B, rather than the other way around. Oftentimes, a B story will resolve independently of the A, so that the A story will require a completely different resolution. Basically, the plague ship is the B story to the arranged marriage A story, and since we're fairly certain that a main cast member would not leave the series so quickly, there needed to be a reason for Deanna not to marry Wyatt. In this case, Wyatt beams over to a plague ship and can never come back. Resolution of B leads to resolution of A. The storyline of the B plot was pretty good, though: I liked that we have eight remaining survivors of biological warfare, men without a country. That's pretty damn interesting. Toss in Wyatt's weird connection with Ariana. That's a good, solid B-plot right there. There was not a lot of full-cast interaction, as most of the story revolved around Deanna, and sometimes their lines seemed shoe-horned in, but I guess that part was okay. I think the thing that might have made this episode better is if we had gotten it later in the season, when more time could have been given to exploring Deanna and Riker's previous relationship. It would have made scenes with Riker that much richer, because viewers would have had time to decide if they shipped that or not.

Fun Facts:
- This is only one of two times that Armin Shimerman appears on Star Trek without his Ferengi make-up. The other time occurs on DS9, when he is seen as a sort of human version of Quark.
- This is the second and last episode where Troi calls Riker "Bill." Thank god.
- The woman who plays Valeda, the Electorine of Haven, will later play a Vulcan in the 2009 Star Trek reboot movie.
- This is the only episode to feature the Enterprise dining room. Most future formal occasions are held in Ten Forward.
- This episode is only one of two in which Worf does not appear, the other being "Code of Honor." Supposedly, an earlier draft of the script had lines for both Worf and Wesley (also absent for this episode), but they were either cut or given to other characters. A final script has some lines about why Worf and Wesley are not present, but those appear to have been cut as well.
- The captain's chair on the Tarellian ship ends up in Worf's quarters (though presumably they washed it in bleach to get all the plague germs off first).
- Robert Ellenstein, who played Steven Miller, also played the Federation president in The One With The Whales. He was good friends with Leonard Nimoy, and had also worked with Star Trek alums De Kelley, Diana Muldaur, and Stephen Collins (Will Decker in movie #1).
-This is the only episode where Mr Homn speaks, making him Star Trek's Silent Bob.
- If Mr Homn seems really familiar to you, it's mostly likely because you've seen him play Lurch in the Addams Family movies. Carel Struycken was also featured in Men in Black, an episode of Voyager, and several second-season episodes of Twin Peaks. Coincidentally, the last time Star Trek needed someone to play the strong silent type, they hired Ted Cassidy to play Ruk, a big baddie on "What Are Little Girls Made Of?". Ted Cassidy played (drumroll, please) Lurch on The Addams Family tv show. For further connections, both this episode and "Little Girls" heavily feature Majel Barrett.

Let's play...
What The Hell is Lwaxana Troi Wearing?

Lwaxana Troi dresses like my aunt, an outrageous older lady with colorful, sometimes tacky taste. Occasionally, the things they put Lwaxana in are delightful, and enhance her character. But sometimes this stuff is just awful.

When we first meet her, Lwaxana Troi is wearing a belted red-orange dress and matching flats with a multi-colored jacket over the top that comes off as a dark red. The jacket is a bit shapeless, and not my favorite.

Later, she ditches the jacket, and we see that while the dress has a nice shape, that belt is not so much a belt as it is sequined braiding that is laid over pretty much every seam on the dress. The keyhole openings on the sleeves are a nice detail, but that braiding either has to go, or just be relegated to a belt. Unfortunately, they stuck the same jeweled thing in her hair as in Deanna's. Ugh.

At the engagement party, Lwaxana has selected a patterned, shimmery gown of reds and purples, and a necklace of reddish jewels. The dress seems rather modest, until she turns around...

Hello, Nurse! (lol) That shit's open all the way down to her lower back, with a swingy sort of Grecian drape. The red flowers in her hair are nice.

Stay tuned next time for.... What the Hell is Lwaxana Troi Wearing?


A few weeks ago, I brought home this tea with Bob Marley on the label. Roomie was all excited because that's her scene, but I told her nope, I was drinking it for the blog. I've reached the point where I'm going to start repeating reviews by accident if I don't write them down, and I knew I hadn't had any Bob Marley tea yet.
This bottled tea is Marley's Mellow Mood, and it's hard to miss. The label, which covers the whole bottle, is red, yellow and green and features a laughing pic of Marley. The one I drank was Green Tea with Honey, and it's supposed to be a "relaxation drink." They put all these little warnings on the label like it's medication or something. "Don't drink this unless you want to feel really relaxed. Don't mix this with alcohol." No, there's no weed in it. I don't think they could get away with that. But it does include valerian root, chamomile, lemon balm extract, passionflower extract and hops extract.
"How does it taste?" Pretty good. It's sweetened with both cane sugar and honey.
"Are you relaxed?" I guess? But it's Sunday, and I've been chilling in sweats on the couch with my cat all day, so I was already there. Didn't need tea to fix that. I guess I'm kind of drowsy? But it's late enough that I could just be naturally drowsy.
"And how do you feel, post-tea?" Honestly? Pretty crappy. Like, I feel gross after drinking that. I'm not saying you will too, but it's possible that something in this tea (or a combination of somethings) isn't agreeing with me.
I won't be buying this one again, and I'm kind of not looking forward to trying the other Marley tea that I bought at the same time.



  1. I didn't know that was Armin Shimerman as the jewelry box!

    No matter how you order the episodes (by air order, production order, or stardate), this seems way too soon into their mission to stop for shore leave.

    Why is Deanna going through with the wedding? She's half-human, and three of the four people that made the arrangement are/were human. She has no obligation.

    I actually find Tasha's '80s hair kinda sexy.

    I like her unintentional laugh at the end of the dinner scene. So cute. <3

    I saw a blooper from the holodeck scene where Sirtis flubbed a line and then cursed, so it sounds like Deanna's saying "He would not be upset to fuck." It's right up there with Geordi saying "We drop shit" and Worf saying "We are receiving no shit."

    Why did the Enterprise not have its shields up at all times when the plague ship was within transporter range? Y'know, just in case. Picard could give the order, and they could lower the shields just long enough to transport the medical supplies over.

    I tried a Bob Marley "relaxation drink" from the energy drink cooler at Spencer Gifts years ago. It made me drowsy.

    Curie looks like my younger cat, Kiciu.

    1. Bahaha, I read that "We are receiving no shit" line in Michael Dorn's voice. Best laugh of the day! :D

  2. Arranged marriages, exotic appearance, silky clothing, big hair... is Betazed some kind of Arabic/East European amalgam?