Date: April 20, 2020
Season 4, Episodes 22 and 23
Musical Accompaniment: The Amélie soundtrack.
Interstellar News: Today is the 29th Founder’s Day for the Gamma Chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon, an engineering sorority. I was proud to be Chapter Vice President, President, Membership Educator, and International Executive Board Vice President, as well as a member and head of many committees. Gamma love.
Favorite Quote from “Half A Life”:
Lwaxana: I just can’t accept that fate will allow me to meet him like this and then take him away. I mean, he’s not ill. He hasn’t had a tragic accident. He’s just going to die, and for no good reason. Because his society has decided that he’s too old, so they just dispose of him as though his life no longer had value or meaning. You can’t possibly understand at your age, but at mine, sometimes you feel tired and afraid.
Deanna: You’re feeling very vulnerable. Very mortal, if I may say so. I know you, Mother, and believe me, you will never be one of those who dies before they die.A touching conversation between Mother and Daughter.
“Half A Life” begins with Troi stating “my mother is on board” and that’s all you really need to know. The Enterprise is working with the people of Kaelon II to help fix their dying sun, they’ve found a suitable other sun in an uninhabited world that they can run tests on. Lwaxana immediately latches onto Timicin when he arrives, going so far as to make excuses for spending time with him, but he is very reserved. After the promising test literally explodes Timicin discloses about what awaits him upon return… “The Resolution” where he will turn 60, be celebrated by his friends and loved ones, and then go kill himself, per Kaelon tradition.
Deanna does some amazing but slightly unethical counseling with her mother, who obviously doesn’t want Timicin to die so soon after they have found each other. Timicin and Lwaxana have an interesting philosophical discussion, each making very good and valid points. Timicin requests asylum because he needs to finish his work, what’s the point if his world dies after all, but after a visit from his daughter he realizes he needs to go home. Lwaxana, carrying her own luggage, accompanies Timicin to attend his Resolution and they depart for Kaelon II.
I had a really hard time writing about this episode. I’ll admit I was very teary eyed watching it and I’ve had to take a bunch of breaks while revisiting it just an hour or two later. This episode breaks my heart but is so good in so many ways. I will admit I’ve never visited Kaelon II, but there’s never a good reason to pick one age and apply it to the whole population, it just doesn’t work like that as we all age differently. Lwaxana makes that point and I believe it is a good one. As people age yes, they sometimes become a burden on their children, my mother spent her last seven months living with me while her health deteriorated rapidly and we had a ton of fights and other unhappy memories… but we had good ones too, ones that we would not have if I sent her off at the first sign of decline. Those who are of an advanced age have so much life experience and wisdom to offer, but it’s also their body and they know it best. While I am glad I do not live on Kaelon II, sometimes I think people who believe in the “sanctity of life” don’t actually think about the quality of life aspect either. I feel it is the same as those who claim to be “pro life” but then do not support policy that allows that life to benefit. George Carlin said it best, sometimes people are just “pro birth” and don’t really think about life at all. I can’t rate this episode, but it was absolutely a fine one and maybe I’ll revisit it once we are no longer in the age of Covid-19. Either that or I’ll go watch Coco again and cry throughout that whole movie, which is amazing and you should go watch it immediately.
Favorite Quotes from “The Host”:
Dr. Crusher: I feel his pull. It’s very powerful. I wish he’d never come on this ship.
Troi: Don’t wish that, Beverly. You can’t be open to love if you don’t risk pain.
Dr. Crusher: I don’t care. I’d give anything not to feel the way I do now.Same, Bev, same.
Dr. Crusher: Perhaps it is a human failing, but we are not accustomed to these kinds of changes. I can’t keep up. How long will you have this host? What would the next one be? I can’t live with that kind of uncertainty. Perhaps, someday, our ability to love won’t be so limited.I have never related to someone more, who knew there’d be a whole episode that I understood Dr. Crusher?
“The Host” has the Enterprise en route to deliver Ambassador Odan who will be assisting with peace negotiations, after he’s had afternoon and evening delights with Dr. Beverly Crusher. Odan refuses to use the transporter, oh great another McCoy and Pulaski… can you hear me rolling my eyes? Riker pilots Odan but they are attacked and Odan is hurt… except it’s just his host, he’s really a parasite that needs a new host, yeesh.
Riker volunteers to be tribute, I mean host so as to avoid war. Crusher tries to figure out what she loved the man or his appearance. The representatives from Alpha and Beta moon allow Riker/Odan to administer the proceedings. Odan decides he must be removed at the end of the day, regardless of the outcome. The sides agree not to go to war but Odan is taken out of Riker and the new host body is en route but delayed. The new host arrives, but is female, and Crusher and Odan/Kareel leave.
This is an interesting episode. Dr. Crusher is finally experiencing some love and she has to come to terms with figuring out if it’s the appearance or the man inside that she is attracted to. For some it’s all about the personality, for others it’s all about the looks, and some others still need a bit of both. It was disturbing watching Riker and Crusher kiss, and I’m kind of upset that Crusher never takes into account how Troi must be feeling with the risk Riker took on. There feel like a lot of things were missing, like too much time was spent on some things and not enough on others. I was very underwhelmed with this episode, especially because we didn’t get to see nearly any of the negotiations. I’m still too emotionally drained from the previous episode, but I think a 3 is in order for this episode.