In which we get an interpersonal episode, Riker is a big pouty face, and I think Netflix heard me complain.
I gave up on watching Galaxy Quest for this. It better be worth it. The Enterprise is in orbit above Beta Cassius, otherwise known as ‘Haven,’ a paradise planet about which Data is utterly unromantic, because he is both an android and and an operations division officer with a minor in sciencing. Actually, come to think of it, there’s a marked absence of blue shirts on the Enterprise-D for a long-range exploration vessel. The Constitutions were warships, and the Galaxies can (probably) hold their own in a fight, but the only blue uniform we’ve seen so far is on Crusher. I guess the nerds don’t spend much time out of their labs.
Incidentally, recreational holography is obviously a thing because of the holodeck, but apparently it doesn’t take all that equipment and dedicated ship’s resources just to display a simple image. Riker is chilling in his room watching two ladies in backless gowns play harps on his table, presumably in preparation for watching two ladies in backless gowns play harps on his dong once he gets planetside. This may be the equivalent of a digital picture frame or something, though I don’t recall ever seeing this technology used again. The conference table did have some holography built into int in “Encounter at Farpoint” though. Holographic display technology is miniaturized.
Riker is called to the transporter room to receive an ‘object’ from haven, which is a silver box with a face on it that wakes up and starts shouting at Troi as soon as she walks in and then spills out a bunch of gemstones as a wedding present for Troi and her soon-to-be-hustband. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
No, seriously, what? Because gemstones have to be the easiest things to replicate. We know they could be manufactured even on the old Constitutions (“Catspaw”) could do it. The technology to manufacture simple crystal lattices has to have been available on Federation worlds basically since living memory. So I guess it’s just a sticky tradition. It’s not like Troi is excited about this arranged marriage, any more than Riker is. And it seems that Troi is going to resign her commission in order to follow through with it, even though it’s a Betazoid custom, not a human custom. Odd since Deanna is half human and her husband is all human.
Her intended hands her a mood rose, and gracefully doesn’t comment on the fact that it instantly turns ghost-white. Troi is not nearly as excited as everyone else in the wedding party, and it’s kind of an acid test to hand her a rose that shows her emotional state. But then we get to meet the incomparable Lwaxana Troi, whom autocorrect wants me to spell ‘Xanax.’ Also, it seems that Troi is something of a surprise to her betrothed as well. Incidentally.
Lwaxana can talk. And talk. And talk, until Deanna is forced to think at her to shut up just to prove she still knows how to telepath. Picard makes his exit as fast as humanly possible, and Deanna’s color-changing rose stays the same shade of white all throughout her bickering with her mother, which doesn’t bode well for her upcoming marriage. It’s only when Lwaxana tells Deanna that her husband Wyatt has hidden depths that it changes to purple.
The other plot involves some spaceship violating Haven airspace (space-space?) and the Enterprise, by the terms of their treaty with the Federation, is obligated to provide defense.
Wyatt is apparently a doctor, and Troi slips up by mentioning that she used to have a deep connection with her ex, although it is by way of trying to reassure Wyatt that they too could share that connection. He also draws, and draws very vivid depictions of some woman who’s not Deanna. He had apparently assumed Deanna was projecting herself into his mind, so it looks like they both have… personal complications.
The ship violating Haven airspace is Tarellian, who are apparently supposed to all be dead, and Picard is worried that they’re going to destroy the Enterprise or Haven. Apparently there was a world war that ended in a biological plague that can cross species and infect other planets. Picard is torn between protecting Haven and his duty to aid a species in need. Which sadly does not stop them from being expected at the pre-wedding reception. the Millers and Lwaxana have a screaming row about whether they’re going to do a Betazoid wedding or a Human one before Picard steps up and tells them to save it until later. It is an awful tense situation that ends in Riker excusing himself shortly before Lwaxana drives Deanna out of the room in a huff (or if that’s too soon, a minute and a huff, thank you Groucho). Great lines: “Could you please continue the ‘petty bickering’? I find it most intriguing.” -Data.
Riker is brooding in the holodeck afterwards and Troi comes to talk to him because as his getting-married telepathic ex and also his military-appointed therapist, wow this is a giant mess for them isn’t it? Him sulking on a rock, her wearing pajamas, and who should walk in but Wyatt. He’s adorably naive, or else cleverly oblivious, and manages to dissolve the tension, at least once Riker leaves, and oh god that feathered hair, and Deanna’s insane braid-cinnabon. My god the ’80s. My god.
Back on the bridge, the Taralian ship is getting way too close to Haven, and when the Enterprise captures it in a tractor beam, they finally establish communications. Who should be on the bridge but the woman Wyatt has seen in his mind and been drawing since he was a child. They call him to the bridge and everything is all fairy-tale except that there are only eight individuals left in the species. They’ve come hoping to take advantage of the legendary healing properties of Haven. Of course, it’s still a plague ship. Wyatt has a discussion with Lwaxana where she tells him that all consciousness is linked forever and convinces him to go running off to the plague ship to cure them. He can never come back, Lwaxana threatens to marry Riker, and the episode is over without a whole lot of revelation about much stuff that I actually care about. Although coincidentally, there are a bunch of science-division crewmembers at the actual science stations in the back. I think they heard me, guys!