I always hate episodes where physiological changes happen so quickly. Voyagers devolution episode, this kind of physical change in Troy due to some nerotransmitter. I find these episodes really stupid. I dislike most transporter episodes also where they de-evolve, or transform someone into something else and POOF "Oh my, this has never happened before!".. Yawn. It was good to see a sexy Troy and as usual Trek has a moral issue in it which I enjoy! Because of the moral issue and Troy I give it a 3. No moral issue would be a 1 and no sexy Troy would have been a 0. LOL.
This attempt at a "sexy Troi" filler episode was put together quite quickly when "Relics" was pushed back due to scheduling issues. It suffers as a result, with a mediocre concept (based on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde) executed in a mediocre way. Sirtis does her best with what's she's given, but Chip Lucia is dull as the titular character and does nothing to breath life into the script. The end result is a ho hum episode that most Trekkers don't even remember.
This episode should have a warning attached, Deanna Troi Alert! She’s never looked better until she almost ages to death. Federation of Planets Ambassador Vel Alkar accompanied by his elderly mother join the Enterprise to mediate between two warring tribes. While onboard the Enterprise, Alkar’s mother dies and he turns to Deanna Troi for support and she engages in a ceremony with Alkar. Soon Troi begins to act uncharacteristically (uninhibited and sexy) as a result of her meetings with Alkar. She dresses in suggestive non uniform clothing and is cold when dealing with other crew members. Alkar’s negotiation abilities are hindered by “darker thoughts” and channels unwanted emotions or “psychic waste” into other people. Alkar’s mother was not his mother at all, but instead a young woman mentally joined to Alkar as a receptacle for his unwanted emotions and the accelerated aging a result of the negative emotional transference. Once a receptacle is dead Alkar switches his emotional dependence to another victim. Can the Enterprise crew connect Alkar and Troi's strange behavior before it’s too late? Not the most thrilling episode but a “Deanna” episode nonetheless!
The “Enterprise” comes to the aid of the Dorian, a federation ship that has come under fire while transporting a lumerian ambassador. The lumerian ambassador is known as Ves Alkar. Strange things begin to happen to Troi when Ves Alkar is aboard the “Enterprise”. Troi is turning into a old grey mare. Riker even notices the change and becomes concerned. Troi is dying. Can Dr. Krusher save Troi? Tune in to find out if you can keep from fallening asleep during this one. I rate this one a 6.8
I loved this story, as we get to see alot of Deanna. The concept is also a good one, if light on pizazz factor!
Lots of emotional threat hang over this episode and a little violence to. Locations are mostly on the Enterprise with a few glancing scenes on an alien planet where peace is being played for by Deanna's draining ambassador.
A few good scenes litter this episode: The first old womans encounter with Deanna that unsettles her. Deanna's post-love in with the young junior officer as Ryker walks in. Another Ryker scene where he gets scratched by her and most of all, Deanna going for Peeky with a kitchen knife. Kitchen knife? On a starship?
Anyway, the moderate intenisty is cranked well enough, through scenes where Deanna gets progressively older and more cranky. When she gets to the point of being so old, I actually loved the way Bevs comes up with the way to save the day. One that isnt guaranteed to succeed and puts anothers life in jeapardy. Excellent writing and conceptual wellscripted.
However, for action-junkies this wont cut the mustard.
The writers had several cliches they liked to pile on Troi's character. They liked to throw her in a victim's role ("Violations", "The Loss") and also stick her in unlikely romantic situations ("The Masterpiece Society", "Haven", "Loud as a Whisper", "The Price"). This episode combines the two and generates a decent outcome.
The concept is actually a clever one. I'm not sure if the drabness has to do with Troi's character, which was never the most interesting one on the show, or with the guy playing the ambassador, who exudes very little charisma. There's a certain hohum-ness that never allows the story to take off. But either way, this episode is much better than the TV.com rating suggests.
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