Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 20

Cost Of Living

Aired Unknown Apr 20, 1992 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
179 votes
  • Somewhat funny, filler episode

    This humorous episode affords Majel Barrett another opportunity to display her comedic talents as Lwaxana Troi, with her "Auntie Mame" character trying to teach Worf's son, Alexander, the value of having fun, while Deanna and Worf try to teach the boy to ignore everything Lwaxana teaches him. (Meanwhile, a tacked on, clich B story is included where the Enterprise is invaded by alien parasites.) Barrett and Brian Bonsall (Alexander) are great together, as are Sirtis (Troi) and Dorn (Worf), who begin here to develop a chemistry between their characters which the writers would pick up on in future episodes. But really, not much of note happens in this one, which is just sort of a somewhat funny filler episode.
  • Alexander, dear, I'M your Auntie MAME!

    Alexander, dear, I'M your Auntie MAME!

    Worf's son, Alexander is feeling constricted by discipline. Lwaxana Troi swoops into his life, bring her free spirit, permissiveness and sense of wonder to confound the stodgy Worf and Deanna.

    That's right, folks, Auntie Mame ventures across the galaxy.

    The first visit to the holodeck, with the second-rate Cirque de Soleil vision of enchantment, is nearly enough to make you shut the TV off.

    The typical kitchen sink dramas unfold as the disciplinarians and free spirits square off. The arrival of Lwaxana's uptight fiance with his even more uptight lieutenant of protocol doesn't help matters.

    Meanwhile, in the nearly nonexistent B-plot, Geordi and Picard fiddle with a problem so mundane and unthreatening that even the entity itself is ready to expire from boredom.

    BUT, this ep is all worth it for Majel Barrett's touching moment of clarity -- speaking with Alexander, she puts aside the fantasies that guide her life and takes an unflinching look at the mirror, speaking frankly about reaching this time in life when she must take what's available, not what she chooses.

    Barrett is sometimes accused of overplaying, but it's usually to great effect. And here, it makes her serious moment all the more believeable and moving.

    Adding depth is the knowledge that the actress had recently lost her husband, who created this Star Trek empire. So we see not just the character, but also the actress coming to terms with a new chapter in her life.

    Lucky for Alexander, Barrett turns out to be more Rosalind Russell than Lucille Ball.
  • Lwaxana Troi and Alexander? Uh-oh.

    With the spotlight on Lwaxana and Alexander, this episode wasn't destined to be all that great. Most people don't care for Lwaxana; I actually like her sometimes, though. Half a Life was a great episode with her back in Season 4. This one, however, just doesn't hold much interest, especially with the addition of Alexander. She's trying to teach Alexander how to relax and enjoy life, but that really keeps the main problem - his disobedience - from being resolved. The episode encourages him to remain a spoiled brat. As another reviewer mentioned on here, Alexander has essentially ruined Worf (who was a great character up until "New Ground"). Worf is forced to act "the straight man" to Alexander's antics. The show makes it look like Worf's always the bad guy, which gets really tiresome. Why can't they do something cool like in "Reunion" and have Worf show Alex what a Bat'Leth does, or something.

    The B-plot was horrible, much like it was in many episodes this season (see "New Ground" and "The Outcast," among others). I guess since it's a sci-fi show you HAVE to have something fantastical go on. It seems like they just crammed in all of the stuff about the parasite at the very end of the episode. Meanwhile, this dire situation with life support failing and everyone passing out seems to have had no effect on the wedding preparations. Overall, it just seems like the episode was split in two, and very little attention was given to make the b-plot at all interesting.
  • Not a good episode, but better than what one might expect from the potentially fatal combination of Lwaxander.

    Lwaxana Troi and Alexander Rozhenkho are two of the lamest recurring characters in TNG's run. Therefore, you would think an episode combining both of them would be absolutely abysmal. But in reality, you just get a lot of mediocrity.

    By this point, Majel Barrett was actually allowed to give a more genuine, less annoying angle to Troi's mother. It's not exactly a brilliant performance, but at least it's not painful to watch. I'm not going to be as generous with Alexander, since his character helped to ruin Worf for the rest of TNG (this episode is a prime example), but he's not offensively bad here.

    The main plot itself is ho hum, and the sci-fi B-plot is a cliche of 3rd-tier TNG. Still, it could have been worse.
  • Mud baths in space?! Not advisable!!!

    Ok I actually enjoy watching Roxanna and Alexander. They are both two of my fav. supporting chars because they cause alot of conflict namely for Worf and Deanna.

    However, this story scrapes the proverbial bottom barrel. There is just no point to the plot, only some coincidence! The alien parasite subplot has by now been done to ad nauseum as the issues between Worf and Alexander! At least how both were presented here.

    The only saving grace for this episode is as youd expect the few scenes with Worf and Roxanna's vibrant bullish personality!

    Worf in the mudbath at the very end is simply hilarious.

    Worth a miss if you ask me!
  • The “Enterprise” does a rescue mission. It destroys a asteroid which on its present course will hit a planet in the Moselina System. When the asteroid is destroyed strange particles attach themselves to the hull of the “Enterprise”.

    The “Enterprise” does a rescue mission. It destroys a asteroid which on its present course will hit a planet in the Moselina System. When the asteroid is destroyed strange particles attach themselves to the hull of the “Enterprise”. Lwaxana Troi beams aboard the ship. She plans on marrying a new husband, Minister Campio. Minister Campio is a real crab apple if you ask me. Strange things happen aboard the “Enterprise”. It seem those strange particles are interested in a certain compound that is found in almost all of the electronic parts of the “Enterprise”. Life support is now failing