Date: April 7, 2020
Season 3, Episodes 24 and 25
Musical Accompaniment: Top 40 Acoustic Guitar Covers, also from 2019. Apparently I am yearning for it to be last year.
Interstellar News: I am a Billy Joel song tonight. At least I’ve finished five loads of laundry over the past two days and have been on a nightly walk every evening it’s been nice out.
Favorite Quote from “Ménage à Troi”:
Tog: You see, your Betazoid skills would be very useful to me, and I find you very attractive. I am willing to pay handsomely for you.
Lwaxana: I don’t believe this.
Tog: You must be aware that every female has her price.
Lwaxana: Let’s get one thing straight, little man. I am not for sale. And if, by some chance I were to become available, I would rather eat Orion wing-slugs than deal with a toad-faced troll like you! So go away and find someone else to become your property.Lwaxana is not for sale!
“Ménage à Troi” starts off with a Ferengi who “must have” Lwaxana and a lot of tension between mother and daughter, because that’s what happens when you’re unmarried and your mother has nothing better to do – sigh. Riker and Troi take some shore leave on Betazed and are joined by Mrs. Troi and Mr. Homn, but are interrupted by DaiMon Tog who beams everyone away but Homn, who was away berry picking. Lwaxana decides to negotiate and almost has the access codes when the doctor busts in and wants to study her.
The Enterprise gets the notice that their people are missing and are on the case. Just as Wesley heads to the Bradbury to take his oral exams, the last thing he needs to get into the academy, he realizes Riker’s message was in the static. Lwaxana eventually decides to ask DaiMon Tog to let Riker and Troi go and she’ll stay, willingly. Troi realizes her mother intends to have Picard save her by pretending they are lovers and he wants her back. He starts out awkward and then gets better and better pretending that Mrs. Troi is his great love until Tog gives into the bluff and Worf is clearly, and visibly, uncomfortable. Picard promotes Wesley to full Ensign and he gets a shiny new red outfit, although he has to wait another year to apply to the academy.
There are very few things rewarding about this episode. Lwaxana is an overbearing mother who knows what made her happy so that must make her daughter happy, right? As someone who had the exact same mother, I feel for Troi on this one. However, to Lwaxana’s credit, she does try… a little. She also beautifully plays her rescue and really does embrace her sacrifice so she can save her daughter. Picard’s awkward reciting of Shakepeare is nothing on John Cusack in “Say Anything”, but it’s hysterical and Riker can’t even keep it together in the background. It was a fun episode, but not remarkable, so I’ll assign it Sonnet 4.
Favorite Quote from “Transfigurations”:
Picard: It’s not up to us to judge their laws, Doctor.
Riker: I know how I would feel if the situation were reversed, if they were in our territory holding a Federation citizen.
Troi: The Zalkonians truly don’t understand our indecision about returning John. In their eyes, we shouldn’t even be involved.
Dr. Crusher: But we are involved. I saved his life. For what? So that they could chase him down and take away that life away?The good doctor asking a really good question.
Worf’s One-Two Punch: “I have much to teach you about women.” … “I’ve been tutoring him. He learns very quickly.”
“Transfigurations” begins with the Enterprise charting a new star system and there’s apparently a fading life sign on one of the planets and is temporarily hooked up to La Forge to help stabilize the alien. Dr. Crusher is amazed by the cellular regeneration happening to the alien but when he wakes up he has no idea who is is or where he came from, so he’s called John Doe.
Data and La Forge talk shop at Ten-Forward and Worf calls for MORE MEAD!, as he’s there to relax not talk about work. All of a sudden La Forge gets all Rico Suave on a female crew member I could have sworn was “just wasn’t that into him” a few episodes ago. John is quite charming, so much so that Wesley thinks his mother is smitten, and also making remarkable progress physically, but not mentally. Data and La Forge figure out that there are navigational charts in the pod that were found with John and as they figure out where he came from, he starts to get his memory back. He knows he was trying to escape and asks for time to regain his memory and his body is pulsing a weird yellow light. All of a sudden there is the running… not quite as bad as “Let That Be Your Battlefield“, but John has got to get to a shuttle craft and leave the ship.
Strange things are afoot, however, when John can lay hands on O’Brien and heals his dislocated shoulder as well as bring Worf back from the dead after accidentally killing him. John also inadvertently helped La Forge with his confidence. John doesn’t know what is happening but knows he’s dangerous and he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Another vessel approaches and it is the same type of alien as our John Doe, who is apparently a criminal, a dissenter. As Picard tries to work with the Zalkonians, they pull a Darth Vader and start Force-choking everyone on the Enterprise when John remembers who he is, and what he is, and saves the whole ship. Apparently some of John’s people are mutants. John transforms into a yellow shiny man, the Zalkonian vessel flies away, and John beams himself away.
I loved the mystery of this episode and loved that it was an X-Men story, basically. Some people had a genetic mutation and those who didn’t were jealous/pissed/scared and hunted the “weirdos” down. I wasn’t pleased that the ending was so anti-climatic and seemed rushed, but it was a pretty awesome episode otherwise. A man who was hurt is genuinely pleased to have had his life saved and keeps working at it everyday until he is better. He is frustrated that he doesn’t remember but he tries to stay positive and is quite kind. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone and he just wants to be who he was meant to be, even if it’s living in a silly yellow suit and flying about the galaxy as a ball of energy. I’m knocking some points off for the severe lack of Dame Maggie Smith, but I give this one a warp 9.72, out of disrespect for the Zalkonians.