Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 14

Sub Rosa

Aired Unknown Jan 31, 1994 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
206 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 47423.9
Dr. Crusher attends her grandmother's funeral, and afterward finds out she had been in romantic encounters with a mysterious man who had been haunting the Howard family women for generations.

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  • A unique episode dragged down by poor writing and acting

    I found the storyline unconvincing. How did Ronin gain such powerful control over Beverly in such a short period of time? If his "anaphasic" powers somehow gave him the ability to manipulate her, it was never explained. Frankly, it looks like all he did was get her off and then she was willing to throw away her career for him. That certainly doesn't fit w/ the Crusher character.

    The acting wasn't great either. The caretaker was far too abrasive, and the attempts to exhibit passion between Crusher and Ronin were over the top. And Beverly's struggle to free herself from Ronin's control seemed silly as well, in large part because there was no plausible reason to believe she was under his control in the first place!

    Still, the episode has a few good points. It takes place in a unique location, and it fills in a lot of Dr. Crusher's backstory -- greatly expanding on the few pieces of info given in Season 1's "The Arsenal of Freedom".moreless
  • Hopefully Wesley never watches this episode, or he'll be creeped out for life.

    With a Latin title that means "under the rose" (an expression meaning "secretly", derived from the time when roses were used at Roman gatherings to signal that what was said should be kept confidential,) this Dr. Crusher gothic ghost story is a complete departure for the Star Trek franchise. Seemingly inspired by Anne Rice (with Dr. Crusher's feminine ancestors even holding onto their family name like the Witches in The Witching Hour; and having that name, Howard, happen to be Anne Rice's real first name,) the episode's A story mostly abandons the ship for a Scottish town (well, a Federation colony meant to look like one, at any rate) where director Jonathan Frakes and actress Gates McFadden have a blast raising the sexual tension with each successive scene.

    The B story, about the planet's malfunctioning weather control, is mostly there to provide atmosphere for the A story and give the bridge crew something to do.

    Duncan Regehr guest stars as the inter generational lothario. He's great eye candy and whispers nicely but doesn't do much more for the episode (although he sure does it for Dr. Crusher.) And the closing act also has too much technobabble for a ghost story anyway, so the end result is that the episode's buildup exceeds its payoff (except again for Dr. Crusher).moreless
  • Beverly attends the funeral of her grandmother. Felisa Howard. Beverly sees a man paying respects to her grandmother which no one else sees him. Beverly is thinking back of memories of her grandmother. Beverly gets her grandmothers house by the way.moreless

    Beverly attends the funeral of her grandmother. Felisa Howard. Beverly sees a man paying respects to her grandmother which no one else sees him. Beverly is thinking back of memories of her grandmother. Beverly gets her grandmothers house by the way. A candle that her grandmother kept lit all the time. Ned Quint the groundskeeper for her grandmother, tell Beverly to get out while she can and never light that candle. Beverly thinks the old man is being to bossy and insists it is her house now and he can leave. When he leaves strange thing begin to happen.moreless
  • Really a lot better than I gave it credit for in my first viewing. Gold acting stars for McFadden.

    First time I watched this episode I thought it was dumb, but with the second viewing, I realize it's quite good!

    The premise for this story is pretty weird - a ghost in the Star Trek universe (well, not a ghost, but still). I also thought it was pretty funny (in a good way) how the weather systems happened to fail, giving the colony a real Scottish feel.

    Definitely the best part of this episode to me is Beverly Crusher's obsession with Ronin. She gave this type of performance before in The Game, but here it's even more pronounced, and it really works. I like how she's sitting in front of the candle in her quarters, rocking back and forth. Equally as good is the scene where she's rushing off the Enterprise. Her quick explanations followed abruptly by "energize!" are great, and really show how obsessed (addicted) she is...

    I also liked when Riker said "it just sort of...rolled in on us" (referring to the fog on the bridge of the Enterprise). C'mon, fog on the bridge? That's funny!moreless
  • It's a shame to waste Gates McFadden's acting skills on an episode like this.

    Aside from some growing pains in the 1st season, Gates McFadden was easily the best female actress on TNG. For whatever reason, the writers didn't seem inclined to write much for her, wasting that talent.

    This episode does exploit that talent... within the context of a rather dull, uninteresting story. The story really isn't Star Trek, though that is not a big deal for me. More importantly, it takes a while to get started and is rather slow once it does. The guy playing Ronin decidedly lacks the charisma one would expect from an inter-generational lothario.

    That said, McFadden does manage to make some lemonade out of this lemon. Compare it to some of the Marina Sirtis romance episodes. There are plenty of weak episodes in the 7th season of TNG, but this is not the worst.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

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When the casket is beamed out of the grave, the dirt should collapse into the void left by the casket. However, the mound remains exactly the same and the casket just appears on top of it.

    • After the funeral, Crusher and Troi decide to go to Felicia Howard's house to take care of some things while Picard talks to the Governor. The next scene shows them arriving there, however as Picard was talking to the Governor, Troi was still wandering around at the funeral, with Crusher nowhere to be seen.

    • When Beverly first meets Ronin she is in her quarters. He can only exist in the lit candle, or the plasma conduit on the station. So...where is he existing in Crusher's quarters? It isn't until later that he gets aboard Enterprise when Geordi activates the power transfer beam.

    • How did the Howard women keep their family name of "Howard" down through the generations? The original woman Jessel who met Ronin was last-named "Howard". But her daughter would marry and get her husband's name. Then she'd have a daughter who would get her husband's name, and so on. But Beverly's mother still has the last name of "Howard."

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Beverly: You know she had a lover? Can you believe it? Nana was a hundred years old.
      Picard: It would seem the Howard women have exceptionally... vigorous libidos.
      Beverly: I certainly hope so. I'd like to think that I could find a young, handsome man in his thirties when I pass the century mark.
      Picard: (sounding disappointed) Thirties?

  • NOTES (0)


    • Sub Rosa
      Sub rosa is Latin for "under the rose" and means in secret; privately or confidentially in English. (This is from the practice of hanging a rose over a meeting as a symbol of confidentiality).