Fri
Sep 21 2012 4:15pm

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Man of the People”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People“Man of the People”
Written by Frank Abatemarco
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 6, Episode 3
Production episode 40276-229
Original air date: October 5, 1992
Stardate: 46071.6

Captain’s Log: Rekag-Seronia is a world that is on an important Federation shipping route. It’s also in the midst of a civil war. The Enterprise is answering a distress call from a transport ship, the Dorian (a name that ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE FORESHADOWING AT ALL),that is under attack by two Rekag ships. As soon as the Big E shows up, the Rekag ships turn tail and run. The Dorian is ferrying a mediator to Seronia, which is probably why the ship was targeted. The Dorian’s captain asks Picard to take on the mediator, Vas Alkar, and his mother, Sev Maylor. Troi meets them in the transporter room, and Maylor immediately starts sniping at Troi, saying “he won’t have you.”

Troi brings Alkar to Picard, who loops Admiral Simons in on a discussion over how to proceed. Alkar would prefer not to travel to Rekag-Seronia on so provocative a vessel as Starfleet’s flagship, but the risk is too great that another unarmed transport like the Dorian would be damaged, its crew injured.

Alkar takes Worf’s mok’bara class and flirts with Troi afterward. He discusses his mediation methods—feeling his way through the negotiations, and being patient—and that he wishes he had Troi’s empathic abilities. Lumerians like him are only empathic with each other, not with different species. He asks if she’ll accompany him to Seronia to aid in the negotiations, and she agrees, pending Picard’s authorization.

When they arrive at his quarters, Maylor is there, and snottily asks Troi if she’s mated with him yet, assuring her that if she does, she’ll regret it for the rest of her life. Alkar rushes her inside.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

A bit later, Riker arrives at Troi’s office to do crew evaluations. Troi tells him that the emotions she sensed from Maylor are malevolent well in excess of what’s reasonable. It’s disturbing her greatly. Riker tells her she’s probably just old, sick, and senile, which is a helluva way to make someone feel better, but it seems to work.

Maylor then dies in the guest quarters. Alkar is sad, but says she was 93, and lived a long life, and he should be grateful for that. Alkar asks Troi, as the only other empath on board, to participate in the funeral meditation, which involves each participant holding a stone. At the end, Alkar’s stone glows blue and he touches it to Troi’s stone, at which point her eyes go as wide as saucers.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

Crusher calls Picard to sickbay. Maylor’s death remains a mystery. Despite Alkar’s comment that she was ill, she can find no evidence of it. However, Alkar has refused to permit her to perform an autopsy, saying it’s against Lumerian custom.

The next morning, Troi is restless, checking herself in the mirror, fiddling about with clothes, and canceling all her morning appointments. She goes to practice mok’bara, but the moves start turning into something very close to masturbation. Then she heads straight to Alkar’s quarters, still in her mok’bara uniform, and tries to jump his bones—and stunningly, he turns her down. She storms out, and sees a good-looking young ensign in the turbolift, and gives him a very seductive smile.

Cut to Riker going to meet Troi in her quarters to finish the crew evals that got interrupted by Maylor dying. She greets him wearing a sexy white outfit (very obviously with nothing on under it), and invites him in—so he’s really surprised to see Ensign Pretty Boy sitting on her bed. The ensign snaps to attention at Riker’s entrance, then grabs his boots and runs away very fast.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

Riker tries to do the crew evals, but Troi keeps baiting him, hoping he’ll be jealous or upset. He finally does get upset, saying to let him know when she’s ready to work, and leaving in a huff.

The Enterprise arrives at Rekag-Seronia, where two of Alkar’s staff, Liva and Jarth, had gone ahead. They beam aboard and explain how dire the situation is; the cease-fire has been broken. Alkar refuses to delay, and Picard suggests meeting in a coastal city that has remained neutral during the conflict.

Troi has a counseling session with Ensign Janeway (no relation) (probably), who is having trouble with her CO, Lieutenant Pinder, who constantly criticizes her work. Troi is utterly unsympathetic, and tells her to stop whining and maybe transfer to an assignment where she can be coddled.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

Since she can’t do an autopsy, Crusher asks La Forge to call up the biofilter logs for Maylor. When compared to tricorder readings taken three days later, there’s massive physical deterioration. The best way for Crusher to try to explain it is, of course, to do the autopsy she’s not allowed to do.

Troi shows up in Ten-Forward wearing a sexy outfit—and now with a streak of gray in her hair—and makes a scene with Alkar. She accuses Liva of the same thing Alkar’s mother accused Troi of when she beamed on board, and tells Jarth that he’s jealous of Alkar. Alkar tries to get her to leave and fails, but Riker comes to everyone’s rescue, and claims that he and Troi are needed on the bridge.

Riker takes her back to her quarters, where she tries to seduce him—and then scratches him with her fingernails. He runs away, and she yells, “Please!” He goes to sickbay to be treated.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

The next day, Alkar tells Troi—who now looks noticeably older—that he won’t be taking her to the surface. She’s instantly jealous of Liva, thinking that she’s trying to take Alkar away from her, and begs to be taken along, that he needs her. Alkar insists that she’s his anchor and she’s helping him in ways she doesn’t understand, and then leaves her behind.

Alkar, Liva, and Jarth prepare to beam down. Picard tells them that they’re arguing over seating arrangements, but the cease-fire is holding. Troi then comes in, looking even older, and wielding a knife. Picard keeps her from stabbing—well, either Alkar or Liva, it’s not clear who she’s after, but she stabs Picard instead.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

Troi’s taken to sickbay, while Alkar and his staff beam down to start the mediations. Troi’s neurotransmitter levels are 300% above normal—Crusher found something similar on Maylor. Reluctantly, Picard tells Crusher to go ahead and perform the autopsy on Maylor, as it might yield a way to help Troi.

To Crusher’s shock, Maylor’s skeleton and vital organs were those of a 30-year-old, and she also is of no blood relation to Alkar, and so can’t be his mother. (Of course, he could be adopted, though that still leaves the question of her possibly only being 30.) There are questions that only Alkar can answer, so Picard and Worf beam down to the surface.

Alkar is pissed that Picard performed an autopsy, but Picard’s a lot more pissed that Alkar lied to them. The ambassador reveals the truth: he is able to project his negative emotions onto other Lumerians, allowing him to remain calm and focused when he negotiates. He wasn’t sure it would work on Troi, and indeed she’s aging faster than his Lumerian receptacles (and hoo hah, does Picard get outraged at the use of that word). Alkar refuses to accompany Picard back to the ship, and it’s backed up by security forces that escort Picard and Worf off the planet.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

Crusher hits on the rather unorthodox solution of killing Troi, as that will break the link. Then they have to revive her, obviously, and Picard is concerned about whoever Alkar will turn to next to be his “receptacle.”

A while later, Alkar has successfully completed negotiations—and then he gets weak in the knees. Alkar and his staff beam back to the Enterprise just in time for Troi to die. Alkar insists that her death, while tragic, served a higher purpose. He also has been promised safe passage home by the Federation Council.

Alkar then goes to Liva’s quarters and starts the same funeral meditation with her, while Crusher and Ogawa revive Troi and decontaminate her. Picard beams Liva away before Alkar can complete the ceremony, and Alkar suddenly gets old and decrepit and dies in front of Worf and his security team. This causes Troi’s body to not only de-age, but also her makeup to be reapplied and her hair to be restyled. (Miracle cure!)

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

Can’t We Just Reverse the Polarity?: Alkar’s trick works by increasing neurotransmitter levels. Of course, there are tons of different neurotransmitters, and they all work differently, and it’s unclear how increasing their activity would make hair gray and skin wrinkle.

Thank You, Counselor Obvious: There’s no followup to Troi’s mean counseling session with Ensign Janeway, although there’s an argument to be made that it was her best therapy session ever, as Troi’s advice, while bluntly delivered, had some truth in it.

There is No Honor in Being Pummeled: Worf is a very effective mok’bara teacher and a very ineffective security chief, as two guys with pistols get the drop on him with unconvincing ease.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

No Sex, Please, We’re Starfleet: Having been refused by both Alkar and Riker, Troi has to settle for seducing Ensign Pretty Boy, who had the first officer walk in on their morning after. Yeah, his crew evaluation’s gonna look great.

I Believe I Said That: “Thanks for sticking by me.”

“I always will, even when you’re old and gray.”

Troi and Riker, foreshadowing their eventual marriage.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: Man of the People

Welcome Aboard: Quite possibly the most uninspired bunch of guest stars in the show’s history—it’s a rhapsody in bland, from Chip Lucia’s flat portrayal of Alkar (which at least is justifiable in that dumping his negative emotions into pretty women would leave him in a state of equanimity) to Lucy Boryer’s Ensign Janeway (who isn’t as whiny as the script asks her to be) to Stephanie Erb’s stilted line readings as Liva, and on and on.

Trivial Matters: While Frank Abatemarco, who was new to the writing staff (and wouldn’t survive the season), got sole writing credit, and he did the final draft, the script was a group effort of the entire writing staff, necessitated when “Relics” had to be pushed back to accommodate James Doohan’s schedule, so this episode was rushed into production.

Make it So: “You’re a coward.” A riff on The Picture of Dorian Gray that has been keeping Oscar Wilde dizzy for two decades now, this is just an awful episode. It’s tempting to excuse it as a rush job that was gang-written by the staff, and one shouldn’t expect much—except the same was true of “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” and that one turned out okay.

There’s some mild entertainment value in watching Troi turn first into a sexpot—doing porn-star moves in the mok’bara uniform, jumping Ensign Pretty Boy—then a jealous shrew, but that’s about all this lifeless episode has going for it. Alkar does this for the express purpose of being bland, which isn’t a lot to get worked up over, and the rapid-aging thing is just ridiculous—though not nearly as ridiculous as the way it’s instantly reversed in the end.

We’ve done the Enterprise­-ferries-an-ambassador story before, and this is the worst example of the lot. Where past stories have given us an ambassador we care about who suffers a crisis and/or at least a notion of what’s at stake in the negotiations (“Too Short a Season,” “Loud as a Whisper,” “The Host”), we don’t even see the factions and we don’t care about the ambassador. The notion of killing Troi to save her is an amusing one, but the timing of the scenes don’t work at all, and it’s the worst kind of artificial suspense, as it depends on events that only occur because the script needs them to.

Just a horrible episode.

 

Warp factor rating: 1


Keith R.A. DeCandido is at InfectScranton this weekend. Look for him at the table for HG World, the Parsec Award-winning zombie apocalypse audio drama, for which he provides the voice of Todd Rage.

47 comments
joyceman
1. joyceman
That shot of Marina Sirtis in the white nightgown, thats hot.
joyceman
2. Ben1974
I remember reading somewhere that the prosthetic makeup used when Troi is at her oldest was Patrick Stewart's from The Inner Light, for reasons of cost. Apparently when he saw this he was furious, and called up the producers to say "You can't do that!"

That might be why she looks so ridiculous in that makeup...
joyceman
3. Don3Comp
This one ranks with "Skin of Evil" (heck, it even rips off the busines about getting rid of your Bad Thoughts) as an "everything that was wrong, none of what was right, with the 60s' series" episode, from the production values (the gizmo that let the ambassodor transfer his negative thoughts to his victims) to the bland, pushover female assistants ("how can I make this better for you?"). Heck, EVERY female character is a mouse in this episode, including Troi and Janeway. The Green Women had more personality. Was Troi thinking so much with her hormones that her empathic skills NEVER told her "he's hiding something?"

The "ferrying an ambassodor" repetition didn't bother me as much as the "Psychic rape" did. We already saw this in "Violations." I can swear there were more examples, but that's the only one I can think of. In any event, it screamed "retread."

I'd managed to forget about this episode so completely that when BBC America reran it a few days ago, I watched it because I didn't think I'd seen it. (I finally remembered I'd seen it when we got to Troi's Dr. Phil/Geico Drill Seargent moment with Janeway.) Defnitiely a series low point, and a "1" is generous. Even Riker's last line bothered me: for someone as smooth with the opposite sex as Riker, isn't reminding a woman that she's eventually going to be old and grey a bit tactless? (Then again, that's not the first time he's put his foot in his mouth with her; remember when she denied him a kiss for his "too aristocratic" remark in "The Loss?")
Christopher Hatton
4. Xopher
The only good thing about this episode is that it lets Sirtis show off what she's learned about acting. Though she kind of chews the scenery here, that's a far cry from the stand-there-like-a-piece-of-wood, recite-line-like-automaton "acting" she did back in Season 1. She gets to have fun here, which is nice.

Otherwise, tah-rashy.
joyceman
5. Gary in Toronto
Troi being trashy is fun, and gives Marina Sirtis something different to do, but otherwise is this a real stinker. The writers should know better by now.
joyceman
6. StrongDreams
Feh. It has been possible to determine the age of a skeleton by x-raying certain bones for at least 50 years. Crusher couldn't do it with her tricorder? I wouldn't think using a tricorder would count as an "autopsy".
Christopher Hatton
7. Xopher
Remember, StrongDreams, Starfleet tech can always do all and only what the plot requires. A foolish* consistency is the hobgob of small minds.

*For values of 'foolish' that include "anything a viewer might find reasonable."
Michael Burstein
8. mabfan
I don't remember this episode at all.

I think that says something about it.

-- Michael A. Burstein
joyceman
9. Kallie
Ha, I knew KRAD would hate this one. The guest actors are exceptionally bland and it's cheesy as heck, sure, but I do get a kick out of Marina Sirtis chewing scenery, as others said. I also don't mind the Riker/Troi stuff at all - thought the last line was kind of sweet.

On the tricorder-not-counting-as-an-autopsy thing, doesn't that also happen in Suspicions? I thought Crusher doing the autopsy of the Ferengi in that episode also wasn't that invasive at all, but even the scanning was supposed to be prohibited by the family.
joyceman
10. Brian Mac
Krad, I really like the phrase "rhapsody in bland," but I have to ask...how long have you been holding on to that one, waiting for the right opportunity to use it?
joyceman
11. Don3Comp
@ Xopher #4: Good point. This is an installment of a "Troi gets to be mean for an episode" sub-series, which includes episodes like "The Loss" (her treatment of Crusher), "Power Play," the upcoming "Face of the Enemy," and in episode whose title escapes me but it ends with Troi forcing Data to eat a cake with his picture on it after he's been dreaming of eating a cake with her on it. Marina Sirtis understandably preferred filming episodes like this to being the Empathetic Empath.
joyceman
12. Don3Comp
@ Brian #10: Well, he must not have had it to hand for the first season...
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
13. Lisamarie
Hah, to me this was one of those 'so bad it's good' episodes - one of my biggest pet peeves is when things like aging or other physical manifestations of a disease automatically reverse once the internal flaw (genetic, chemical, whatever) is reversed. It takes time for new genes to be expressed, new proteins made, etc.

However, I also enjoyed seeing Troi chew the scenery and I really, really want that dress ;)

Otherwise, agreed - we've seen all the various elements in this episode before (and it's yet another 'Troi gets mind raped' episode) so there was really nothing that new about it.

I also loved the counselling session - it's a great example of why I would be a terrible counsellor, because that is pretty much how I would act all the time, haha.
joyceman
14. rowanblaze
@3 & @9 I agree that Riker's closing line is cute/romantic rather than gauche. It's the sort of thing my wife and I (in our early 40s) might say to each other, not to mention echoing an old Beatles ditty. I guess it depends on one's perspective.
joyceman
15. Bob A
Wasn't this the same premise in "Sarek"... because of his "parkinsons-like" ailment, Sarek would dump his emotions on another Vulcan... and then on Picard. Difference was, Stewart sold it... the scene in his quarters despairetly hanging on to sanity while Sarek's anguish washed over him... it chokes me up every time I watch it.
Here, you really don't give a rat's patoot... and given the fact it's a opening-credits cast member takes all the teeth out of any drama. Will Troi be cured? Of course she will; by two minutes to six, she'll be right as rain.
joyceman
16. StrongDreams
Or maybe they could have had something else happen to the energy vampire other than have him aging and dying, as if that's never happened before. Maybe end the vampirisim in act 3, and have act 4 and be about how the negotiations fell apart and people died, and the moral implications of using a negotiator who could only maintain his calm by using what amounted to an illegal drug.

Anything other than what actually happened...
joyceman
17. Don3Comp
@ #15 Bob: The huge difference is, Picard =volunteered= to help Sarek. Troi was given no choice in the matter (aside from participating in the "ritual" before she knew what it entailed). But yes, the concept is another piece of the patchwork quilt.
adam miller
18. adamjmil
Just a dreadful episode. Was good to see I'm in total agreement with KRAD and everyone else here.
joyceman
19. Voodoo Ben
The episode description made it sound like this episode was at least watchable - one might argue that KRAD has a better grasp on what might have been interesting here than the writer's did. :). Just a terrible episode all around.
joyceman
20. Galadriel
My first thought as I began reading this: "Could there REALLY be an episode of ST:TNG I haven't seen?!? Because I don't remember this." My second thought, a paragraph later: "Oh yeah. NOW I remember why I don't remember it. I BLOCKED IT OUT OF MY MIND ON PURPOSE!!!" Hopefully I can do it again. Ugh! This episode was the worst sort of Troi exploitation, pure and simple.
Lee VanDyke
21. Cloric
The plus side of this one is that Marina Sirtis does bad SO, SO well. Her lines of dialog before her change seem stilted and artificial, but once after the ceremony, she really takes off. And the smoldering look in the lift... who wouldn't that work on?
joyceman
22. RobinM
I hate this episode with a passion. It makes me grind my teeth and hide my eyes in horror, more than the transporter made the crew into little kids episode. I think 1 might be to much ,but at least Troi got to do something different even if it made me cringe.
joyceman
23. Earl Rogers
Ah. It's here we see the beginnings of her delightfully evil turns as "Demona" and "Queen Bee" on animated shows many years later.
Joseph Newton
24. crzydroid
I didn't care about the ambassador in "Too Short a Season" at all. The main reason I dislike that episode so much is because he is unconvincing (and a little annoying) as an old person. He's also still annoying when he's young.

Unlike some of the others here, I do remember this episode. It is one of the "Troi gets mind raped" episodes. I remember it is to be avoided.

@3: Maybe the comment is tactless if the person has Dorian Gray Syndrome, and you don't know how to accept aging as a part of your life.
joyceman
25. 4tothefloor
Well, clearly crazy-Troi counseling sessions are effective seeing as Ensign Janeway went on to become a captain.
Joseph Newton
26. crzydroid
Oh, and I forgot to say, when Riker is getting his face healed, he says, "You wouldn't have recognized her last night." Last night? Why isn't he getting this fixed right away? He's sitting on these crazy woman scratch marks all night? Did he have to go to the holodeck first?
Keith DeCandido
27. krad
crzydroid: Nobody cared about Jameson in "Too Short a Season," that's why I said, "Where past stories have given us an ambassador we care about who suffers a crisis and/or at least a notion of what’s at stake in the negotiations."

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
joyceman
29. Stapel
First post here. I've been lurking for months, I guess, and finally managed to catch up. I must say I'm a bit disappointed that my introduction has to coincide with possibly the worst episode...
However, back then, I liked this one for the simple reason I figured Troy was hot. But that's really it.

There is one thing I'ld like to mention in general:
I assume (well, I do know whose mothere assumption is) most of you are American and thus used to a school rating systems with A, B, C, D & E. I'm from the Netherlands and we use the KRAD-system :) . In this sytems a 6 (or rather 5,5) is what is considered 'enough' to pass. Just figured I should mention that.........
Rob Rater
30. Quasarmodo
Season 6 is off to a rough, shakey start...
Robbie C
31. leandar
If I'm not too much mistaken, ''Relics'' is next, and at least, to me, it's one of the highlights of the entire series and by far, the best crossover of a TOS character to a TNG episode. I'm interersted to see what Krad has to say about it. As far as this episode goes, something tells me it took all of Picard's willpower not to just shoot that Alkar, he deserved what he got in the end, but yes, this is a completely craptastic episode and it's one I'll not miss if I never see again!
Rob Rater
32. Quasarmodo
Of this episode in general, it appears Alkar is quite the sex addict, as it seems almost all of Troi's behavior once saddled with Alkar's "negative emotions" center around sex (wanting sex, needing sex, angry and violent when sexual advances are rejected, jealous that others are maybe having sex with someone she's focused on). It would seem as long as he's not negotiating with someone of the opposite sex (based only because Troi targeted the opposite sex), his negative emotions shouldn't affect him, and he shouldn't have to dump them on an unwilling subject. Except if whom he's negotiating with has an attractive, nubile assistant...
Alan Courchene
33. Majicou
@29: Actually F, not E, just so you know. F is usually thought to stand for failure, while E might be misconstrued as "excellent." Actually, when I was in the earliest part of elementary school, we used a much simpler grading system that was E for excellent, S for satisfactory, and N for "needs improvement."

Oh, and on-topic, this episode is rubbish.
joyceman
34. Donald Simmons
I did like at the very end how Worf was not exactly on fire to get the guy who's dying right in front of him medical help.
joyceman
35. Lisamarie
@33 - we had 'E' as a failing grade in our school. We didn't have F.
NICKOLAS POLISKEY
36. jlpsquared
I am really surprised no one has brought this point up yet: Was Marina Sirtis 100% "real", if you know what I mean?

BTW, I am also curious how Krad will rate relics. I am going to make a guess that he will agree with me on my analysis: 6. The scene between Picard and Scotty on the holodeck is truly in the top 3 of any scene in any trek, but the rest of the episode is fairly bland, Geordi is out-of-character around an engineering legend, and the acting from the rest of the cast was fairly bland.
Robbie C
37. leandar
I don't know, if you've ever read ''A Time For War, A Time For Peace,'' written by Krad btw, (and one of my favorite Trek books), in it, Scotty admits that if someone had been acting as he did in Geordi's engine room in his engine room, he would not have been nearly as patient as Geordi was. For me, that episode is at least an 8, maybe higher. I'm not sure without seeing it again.

And I'm pretty sure that that really was Marina. Every pic I've seen of her, she looks pretty.... uh.... full. Yeah, we'll put it that way. Full. Uh, huh! Yeah..... *whistles innocently*
Christopher Bennett
38. ChristopherLBennett
I missed this recap until now. Perhaps fitting, since I've never sought to rewatch this awful episode after the first time I saw it. As far as I'm concerned, it never happened.

As a rule, rapid-aging episodes are silly, especially when they involve age makeup like white hair and wrinkles. Even if the hair follicles suddenly stopped producing pigment, it would take months for them to grow out gray/white. And wrinkles accumulate over decades due to cumulative skin damage. If someone experienced something akin to rapid aging, the effects would mostly be internal, a progressive weakening, failure of the organs, etc. The only work of fiction I've ever seen that got that right was an episode of Sliders's fourth season, and that may have been because they didn't have the budget to do standard old-age makeup so they had to "settle" for actually employing competent science.

And of all Trek's rapid-aging episodes, the justification here is one of the silliest. I can somewhat rationalize "The Deadly Years" and "Unnatural Selection" because those are cases of genetic damage, and that could theoretically affect rates of cell regeneration and decay. "The Lorelei Signal" is a borderline case, because the idea of aging being caused by loss of "life energy" is ridiculous, but the artwork and dialogue are ambiguous enough that I'm able to believe they're not really aging rapidly and the wrinkling is just an effect of extreme dehydration or something. But this... aging because of getting negative emotions dumped into you and suffering neurotransmitter overload? What's the connection? Why did it even occur to them to include rapid aging as a symptom of this? It's complete nonsense.

And the morph effect they did to show Deanna de-aging looked even worse than a simple dissolve would have, because they didn't bother to keep her head in the same position between the two shots so the one image sort of smeared into the other.
joyceman
39. Ginomo
Wow, a Warp 1, I was thinking at least a 2 ;) There haven't been many of those. I'm betting there's a least one more episode this season that earns that distinction.
joyceman
40. NullNix
ChristopherLBennett@38, I can think of one rapid-aging episode that didn't strike me as silly: DS9's haunting _Distant Voices_. *That* makes sense because it's happening inside Bashir's own mind and is merely a metaphor for his failing condition in the real world. (That it's happening to a doctor who knows perfectly well exactly how ridiculous the whole idea of rapid aging is, even while it's happening to him, just makes it better.)
joyceman
41. RMS
Did you know when I was in middle school, I used to ask my parents why the school psychologist was not like Deanna Troi?? hahaha
joyceman
42. etherbeard
Pretty awful episode. I was pretty distracted by how much Alkar resembled Mitt Romney... right down to the white bread personality.
Brickhouse MacLarge
43. Midnightair
@ 21 Cloric "And the smoldering look in the lift... who wouldn't that work on?".......In answer to that question, me. It wouldn't work on me. I do not find either Marina Sirtis or her character to be attractive, rather in fact the opposite. I find her extremely unattractive and annoying, and she functions as severe Fan Disservice on the show for me. She did back when I was 13 with raging hormones, and she does so today. It is for that reason, then, owing to the irritation she gives me, much more so when I am supposed to think of her as anything near "sexy", that this episode scores a big negative 7 (-7) on my bore-o-meter, much like "The (M)asterpiece Society" did. Buoyed on by the fact that the guest "stars" were yawntastic, and the plot was -------------- Oh yay, another diplomatic mission, you say? Two boring Rubber Forehead Human people we've never met nor will ever meet again duelling it out with off-screen diplomatic verbiage, you say? Entertaining, you say? Bleh! As Darth Vader eloquently put it: "Do Not Want!"
Dante Hopkins
44. DanteHopkins
That's unfair, @43. Marina Sirtis is a very attractive woman, especially back when she was Deanna Troi. Its funny. When I was a kid, I never looked at Troi or Marina Sirtis that way ( and I was a hornball preteen when this episode aired), but as an adult I fully appreciate what a beautiful woman Marina Sirtis is. That said, watching this episode, the definite highlight was Troi's smoldering hotness in this one (a comment I ironically never would have said twenty years ago about Troi, probably because she reminded me of my mother at this point).

Beyond that, this episode is really really boring, another ambassador helping a species we've never seen and never will again, except this ambassador is an exploitative asshat. Still, yawn. I was glad that the asshat got his comeuppance, that part was satisfying. Still...yawn. For Marina Sirtis' awesome performance (as someone said above, Sirtis does bad really good) I would rate this a 4.
Brickhouse MacLarge
45. Midnightair
@44. To each their own.
joyceman
46. JohnC
@etherbeard: Alkar resembling Mitt Romney - perfect! As I read through these reviews and comments, it's pretty clear to me that I tend to think the generally accepted "great" episodes are merely pretty good, while I still find the supposedly crappy ones entertaining. As for this one in particular, Troi's not my type, but Trashy Troi piqued my interest.... lol
joyceman
47. KLR
This was funny, I got about 10 minutes into this, yawned aplenty, got the itch to see what KRAD's rating was just to see if should actually slog through all this badly written mushy pseudoscience. Well, to say the least I moved on to the renunion with Scotty, although I did fast forward a bit here and there to see Troi gnash her teeth and flaunt it a titch.

I've plowed through every ep so far but figured I'd play it a bit safe for the rest of the series, given how all I've heard about 6 and 7 is that they're pretty much downhill with some occasional bright spots. Building a table of all of Keith's grades I was surprised how highly he rates this season - probably higher than the previous two. True, some of them he really burns too. Seems like this one is a case of extremes.

Even some of the sorta duds look like fun, such as the one with the 2 Rikers. Props to the commenter from the last ep who mentioned the YouTube re edits - check out the one with the double dose of Number 1 by searching for "Beard on Beard." My other favorite is "PicArt." You'll guffaw!

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