Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 14

Sub Rosa

Aired Unknown Jan 31, 1994 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
210 votes
  • A treat for Gates fans!

    While I can agree that the concept of the colony being based on ancient Scotland, and the hokey attempts to make the show spooky were totally lame, this show stands out as a favorite of mine for one reason: It gave Gates McFadden a chance to really ACT.

    Most of the time, her roles are to spout a few words of medical jargon. She\'s in the background, easily ignorable, especially with the younger, more nubile cast members and guest stars. Some episodes developed her relationships with her son, Wesley, and Captain Picard. But again, it was hard to believe her as a real person.

    In this epixode, however, we see her range. In particular, possibly the hottest sex scene in Star Trek history! She is in the throws of passion with the entity, who is invisible in the scene, and she portrays it very convincingly. This scene often gets cut short when re-run, but remains intact on the DVD.

    So if you\'re not a Gates fan, then the episode can be found lacking on several fronts. If you ARE a Gates fan, this one is essential viewing.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • The Howard name is continued by Ronin\\\'s continuing relationships with Howard daughters, as is explained in the episode. Also, McFly can be seen on a gravestone during the climax of the episode, an obvious reference to the Back to the Future movies.

    It would have been nice to add all this in the appropriate spots, had let me. Apparently if you haven\\\'t spent hours of your life on this site, you\\\'re not good enough to know anything about the hours of TV you\\\'ve watched. The explanation of the Howard name is vague to say the least, but it is a futuristic fictional TV show, so I guess you have to let some things slide. Ronin explains in the Howard home that he has loved every Howard woman since... well whoever the first was. I have to agree this episode was relatively boring. It does seem to develop the relationship between Capt. Picard and Dr. Crusher, or at least give some insight, but since we know that this was the final season now, it\\\'s meaningless. As for the McFly gravestone, well it was the first thing I noticed (since this didn\\\'t exactly \\\"suck the audience in\\\" I spent most of my time making idle observations) and would seem an obvious reference to the Back to the Future movies. Info can be found here:
  • Anne Rice should get a story credit.

    A mysterious man who haunts the female member of a family for generations. Sure, Anne Rice only borrowed it herself, but the similarities to this episode are a bit striking, right down to the ethnic ancestory.

    It's nice to see a Crusher-centric episode that doesn't involve a medical emergency, or her coming to grips with challenges of command (particularly when we know from flash-forward episodes that she does end up commanding her own ship). Crusher is a great character, and Trek writers were deft at keeping the character authentically female and authentically in command within Star Fleet. Unfortunately, this episode veers too far toward making her seem simpering.

    On the plus side, who doesn't love a good Gothic ghost story?
  • After Dr. Beverly Crusher buries her recently deceased grandmother, she becomes involved with a figure who appears to be a ghost out of a candle. It becomes an addictive love affair, which throws an already-grieving Beverly into deeper emotional turmoil.

    Wonderful, wonderful episode. I just love the exotic homeworld Scottish Beverly comes from and we can see why she herself is exotic. I love how Beverly tearfully goes over her Nana's memories with Deanna.

    Sensitive, somber Beverly is also affected by Ronin and they did an excellent job depicting the circles Beverly gets under her eyes and how her voice gets high and thin as she's drawn in.

    I love the ending also...I liked how Beverly was the one who destroyed Ronin herself and saved Jean Luc, Geordi, and Data as well as herself from further harm by Ronin.

    This eppie vividly captures Beverly's sensitivity and somberness also and viewers can tell Beverly had a very special relationship with her grandmother and we know it will take her a while to recover from Nana's death and from Ronin.

    Really beautiful episode.
  • 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!
  • 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).
  • What was the point?

    As great as Gates McFadden is to look at, the Beverly Crusher-centered episodes are often pure crap (with the exceptions of "The High Ground" and "Attached", but they focused the dynamic between her and Picard). The character just never seemed all that interesting. All we knew about her was that her late husband was a close friend and confidant of Picard and that her son, Wesley, served as "Acting Ensign" on the Enterprise for some time.

    "Sub Rosa" was an attempt to focus on her family's backstory. That had already been done with virtually everyone else in the cast (even Data), but they attempted to throw a parasitic, womanizing "family ghost" into the mix. If this is what it took to give Beverly an interesting past, it didn't work.

    We never see the character of the grandmother, so we ultimately don't sympathize with her. There is no chemistry between McFadden and Duncan Regehr, who establishes himself as creepy from the outset, destroying his effectiveness as a character. The only bright spot is the reliable character actor Shay Duffin as the gardener, but his screen time is minimal.

    This episode has no bearing on the series as it is, and there's no amazing dialogue, convincing acting (except for Duffin), or character development. Skip it.
  • In a word, dumb. In another, horrible. Avoid at all costs. Skip this review too ... just writing this was painful for me.

    There aren't many of these stupid episodes in TNG. But this was certainly one of them. This storyline was a little bit too over-the-top to be true. A family ghost boyfriend, passing from female to female for generations, and no one else has known about him all this time? Puh-lease. Beverly falls in love with the same ghost that she knows (at least, according to the ghost) he's been the lovers of all the women from one side of her ancestry? How convenient for the plotline.

    Also, very creepy. And I'm not talking about the so-called horrors of a family ghost.

    I won't bore you with the storyline. Suffice to say, don't watch this episode if you can possibly avoid it. Even Gates McFadden's (Dr. Crusher) brilliant acting doesn't save this one.
  • 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.

    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.