Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 11

Haven

9
Aired Unknown Nov 30, 1987 on CBS
6.6
out of 10
User Rating
246 votes
14

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 41294.6 Lwaxana pays a surprise visit to the Enterprise and announces the pre-arranged marriage of Deanna to the son of her late husband's best friend.

Watch Full Episode

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Friday
No results found.
Saturday
No results found.
Sunday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Haven

    3.0
    I was going to say, there's nothing worse than heavy-handed moralizing, but that's not true. There are plenty of things worse. Paper cuts. Tax bills. Dying alone and unloved. Lwaxana Troi.



    Shudder.



    I have a lot of positive memories of TNG, but even when I was a kid, even when my critical faculties were in their nascent stage and I thought movie novelizations were better than movies because they lasted longer--even then, I didn't much care for Lwaxana Troi. She was always in those boring "character-driven" story-lines, and she was loud and pushy and she hit on Captain Picard a lot, which was really gross. As an adult, I can say that my opinion on character-driven stories has changed significantly, and that loud isn't the problem it once was. But Lwaxana is just as one note as ever, the kind of shrill unfunny that tries to assault the audience into acceptance, and yes, hitting on Picard, still gross.



    I didn't realize "Haven" was the first Lwaxana episode, and I'm going to blame all of you, even if you have mentioned it in the comments, because you clearly didn't prepare me. I have a habit of yelling at the screen when I'm annoyed or overly frustrated, and I yelled so much watching this you could imagine it was one of those television dramas from Fahrenheit 451, the kind where you send in for a script so you could play along at home. When I was a kid, I imagined every time I didn't like something I was watching, that was my fault, that I was missing out or having an overly emotional reaction to something other people could enjoy more fully. I'm still not entirely sure this isn't true. Maybe there are people who though this episode was entirely hilarious. Me? I've had more entertaining (and shorter) dental appointments.



    Did you know Deanna has a mother? And she's fucking insane. The Enterprise is orbiting the planet of Haven, a planet which gives the episode its title but which we'll never actually see at surface level. While everyone else on the ship prepares for some R & R, Deanna is waiting to greet guests in the Transporter Room. There's Mom, and that's bad enough, but possibly worse is Deanna's potential husband, a man she's never met but who she's betrothed to via an arrangement that is never satisfactorily explained. I think we're supposed to assume it's a typical arranged marriage, but what does either side stand to gain? Wyatt, Deanna's temporary love interest to be, is a human, not a Betazoid, and since he's already a doctor I don't imagine his family is looking for some kind of social upgrade. Lwaxana clearly despises Wyatt's parents, and they her. Were names drawn out of a hat?



    Like so much bad writing, too much is assumed, and it's only going to get worse. We get comic relief with Lwaxana's arrogance, comic relief with her meddling with Picard, and some tepid attempts at romantic intrigue between Riker and Deanna. Oh, and there's Wyatt's mild disappointment in Deanna because she doesn't look like the dream woman he's been obsessing over since he was a child. All of this should be dramatic but it isn't. The Riker/Deanna/Wyatt triangle is one conversation and a few pointed looks, and it doesn't even resolve properly because Wyatt leaves before there's any actual conflict.



    Issues with Lwaxana aside, the script here is also so, so weak. While everybody's all a'flutter about the upcoming nuptials, a Tarellian ship appears and starts towards Haven. The Tarellians were thought to be extinct, wiped out by their own biological weapons, and this new ship isn't making contact with Haven or anyone, which makes the leader of Haven a little nervous. During the exposition dump, aka meeting of the main crew, we learn the Tarellians are a none-too-subtle criticism of modern war-mongering, but since the survivors we meet are peaceful and personality free, this revelation is as of little consequence as anything else.



    Gah, let's get through this. Wyatt's dream girl is a Tarellian named Ariana, and the Tarellians, all eight of them, are actually at Haven to meet Wyatt. Why? How was this contact made? Why is the Tarellian ship full of sketches of Wyatt at various stages of development? No freakin' clue. The closest thing we get to an explanation is Lwaxana telling Wyatt that space and thought are one. Which, apart from being a sort of call back to Wesley's INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS COMMENT in "Where No One Has Gone Before," is meaningless. You might as well just come out and say, "Just because," or "A wizard did it," or Wyatt beams aboard the Tarellian ship, forever separating himself from all he knows and loves, and maybe there's a prophecy or something, I don't know. It's creepy, but no one seems to realize it's creepy.



    Look, I'm sure Majel Barrett was a lovely human being, and her Nurse Chapel wasn't so bad. Hell, maybe Lwaxana calms down in later seasons. But here, in this episode, she is agonizing, and the fact that the episode which surrounds her is full of lazy shoulder shrugs and half-finished ideas. If I'd been watching this when it first aired, if "Naked Now" hadn't been enough to turn me away, this might've done it. The silver box that delivers messages was cool, and I laughed at Data's fascination with sniping during the dinner scene, but aside from that, I kind of wanted to die.moreless
  • One of my favourite Episodes

    8.2
    Deanna discovers she is to be married. Cue the obligatory spat with Ryker towards the middle of the episode. This one of the highlights when Wyatt has a bit of fun at the commanders expense - with Deanna feeling a little awkward.



    Of course one of the main aspects of this episode is the introduction of Trois mother. Yes I agree she is annoying, but that is the whole point of the character. She makes me laugh when she places the crew in so many awkward situations. its never dull when she is aboard! As for her valet.... one of my favourite returning characters! Another great aspect of this episode is how Data acts. Bret still hasnt removed his emotional take on the cmdrs face - which makes him more amusing. The scene where Data asks them to continue 'their bickering' after Deanna's stiff rebuke and storming out has the rest of the crew holding their heads in their hands and making me laugh even more.



    Apart from Deanna marriage, the other plot in this episode is Wyatts dream woman who belongs to a race of inflicted outcasts whose ship is on its way to rendezvous with the planet Haven. Nothing spectacular here, but a good source of additional information of the "universes" other inhabitants and provides some good backstory to the whole thing.



    One of my favourite episodes.moreless
  • Deanna's mother, Lwaxana, pays a surprise visit to the Enterprise and announces the pre-arranged marriage of Deanna to the son of Lwaxana's late husband's best friend.

    5.5
    "Haven" tries to hide its silly, predictable, plot with lots of comedy; and it almost gets away with it thanks to a great performance from Majel Barrett (making her debut as Lwaxana) and comedic gold from Brent Spiner. Marina Sirtis gives it her all too, but it's a lost cause. The writers wouldn't really be able to deliver a good Troi episode until the second season. (On a side note, watch for Armin Shimerman – who would go on to be Quark on Deep Space Nine - as the face of the Betazoid Gift Box at the beginning of the episode.)moreless
  • The start of two terrible TNG trends -- the obligatory Deanna Troi "relationship" episode and Majel Barrett as Troi's mom. But not without redeeming features.

    6.5
    In later seasons, TNG improved dramatically. But for whatever reason, the show held on to two awful ideas that were hatched in this episode. First, nearly every episode centering on Troi had the Counselor involved in some ridiculous, lame relationship-oriented plot. Second, the writers decided to cast Majel Barrett as Troi's extremely annoying mother.



    Now, to be fair, Troi's mom hadn't yet turned into the ridiculously over-the-top character she would become in later episodes. And there are some good parts -- especially the dinner sequence, with Mr. Homm banging away at the gong and Data asking the participants to "please continue the petty bickering." The scenes with Picard carrying the suitcases and his parting with Troi's mom are also great. And to my surprise, I found the relationship scenes (Riker with Troi, Troi with Wyatt) to be decent and watchable.



    That said, the whole thing doesn't leave much of an impression. Why should we care about Troi and Riker's romance given that it has barely popped up in the series up until this point?moreless
  • Borning lame tales about Troi's cheesy flings - these are a few of my least favorite things....

    4.0
    O.K..... so apparently Troi has to get married according to an arrangement done by her father.... and what makes things confusing is that Riker actually cares. Wait, what? Two episodes ago Troi was hiding her desire for a romp in the hay in a timid state and Riker was just about bursting out of his Trek spandex with anticipation for the same thing (and then just three episodes after this one, Riker almost gets it on with a female ruler)! Where did this romance come from out of the clear blue sky?



    On top of this random love story, what makes "Haven" a particularly bad episode of season one is its horrible pacing. This episode is the pinnacle of Next Generation boringness! To make the episode worse than just boring, Rob Knepper is cast as Troi's arranged husband-to-be Wyatt, giving a very weak performance, and Majel Barrett is cast as Troi's HUGELY annoying mother Lwaxana. Just about everyone ends up looking bad though - Picard looks like a fool carrying Lwaxana's luggage, Riker looks like a pouty child because Troi will be taken off the dating market (but he didn't care about such things before or after this episode), and Lwaxana easily steamrolls over the competition as the character who ends up looking like the biggest fool. One scene does feature an amusing Data - ever so intrigued by the dysfunction of the Troi family at the rehearsal dinner - and that begins and ends the positive things regarding this episode.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

Denise Crosby

Denise Crosby

Tasha Yar

Nan Martin

Nan Martin

Victoria Miller

Guest Star

Robert Ellenstein

Robert Ellenstein

Steven Miller

Guest Star

Anna Katarina

Anna Katarina

Valeda Wrenn

Guest Star

Carel Struycken

Carel Struycken

Mr. Homm

Recurring Role

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Lwaxana Troi

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

More
Less