When the Enterprise comes to the rescue of an ambassador and his "mother", Deanna finds herself attracted to him, and seeks to comfort him upon her death.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Charles Lucia ...
Ambassador Ves Alkar (as Chip Lucia)
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George Wallace ...
Admiral Simons (as George D. Wallace)
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Ensign Janeway
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Sev Maylor
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Jarth
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Liva
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Storyline

The Enterprise comes to the rescue of a transport ship after it is attacked while carrying Ambassador Ves Alkar to a mediation between two constantly warring planets. Alkar asks for another freighter to avoid a military appearance but Admiral Simons agrees security requires Picard remains his host. Alkar arrives with his 93-year old mother, a witch whose aggression and warnings not to have close contact with Ves are rather scary, as her hateful thoughts are to Troi, but soon she is found dead in his quarters. Dr. Crusher doubts a natural cause of death, but without danger to the ship, Picard must respect the ambassador's objection against an autopsy on traditional grounds. Troi accepts to partake in a ceremony requiring empathy, after which she turns much more emotional, irritated and seductive, even scratching her lover Riker. Troi is also aging rapidly, so now Picard allows an autopsy, which proves the late Sev Maylor is no genetic relative of Alkar, who admits the joining drains ... Written by KGF Vissers

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3 October 1992 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first Trek episode where Jonathan West became the director of photography, taking over from Marvin V. Rush who moved to the soon to begin Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). There were a few subtle differences to the show's visual style after the change over. See more »

Goofs

When Alkar leaves Sickbay for his quarters after seeing Diana's corpse, Picard orders Transporter Room 2 to maintain a lock on the woman in Alkar's quarters in order to quickly beam her out of danger. Later, when Dr. Crusher revives Troi while Alkar is in his quarters performing his meditation, Picard calls Transporter Room 3 to beam the woman out. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Commander Data: [on seeing Troi dressed up with an unusual hairstyle] Counselor Troi has altered her appearance.
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Connections

References The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
A 24th century "Dorian Gray"
20 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Chip Lucia is "Alkar", a Man of the People, an ambassador who seems just as apt as Howie Seago was in "loud as a whisper"..

But where the ambassador from "loud as a whisper" was a good and honest person who just happened to have a disability, Alkar is a cheater.

Alkar has his mother with him, who instantly and constantly accuses Counselor Troi of trying to hit on Alkar- which is partially true, she appeared to be attracted to him. And he to her, but after his mother dies suddenly, with arms outstretched in a hideous reach, he appears to tone down his interest.

He appears to be a concerned negotiator, and a good person. But then Counselor Troi starts undergoing some interesting changes. All we know is that she participated in some kind of funeral meditation with Alkar: which involved the use of two stones which were contained in an ironically coffin-shaped box.

This is interesting variation of "Dorian Gray"- whereas in that original story, the painting was the one that aged, in this rendition it is his "receptacle" that ages while he remains young and apparently free from stress.

Of course the enterprise crew can't figure out what the blazes is going on, but Dr. Crusher eventually pieces it together and discovers something about Alkar's mother that he was hiding.

This was a most interesting episode, and I can forgive the solution, where Troi De-Ages almost as quickly as she had aged- I don't think aging can be undone as easily as shown here, it would have been more correct for the healing to take several days. It did d make for some great special effects, though. The irony here was when Alkar had the tables turned on him, he ended up exactly as his "mother" had, with the same hideous grasping reach, arms outstretched as if demanding or pleading for something. Almost like a fish gasping for water, it was hideous and appropriate for Alkar.

Alkar seemed to have a unique ability, similar to Counselor Troi's, but in his case it was used to remove his undesired bad emotions from himself. Which would have been acceptable if he had a safe way of getting rid of those, but I would imagine that any form of self improvement that has a cost of trivializing or causing harm to another person, is not much of a self-improvement.

Look for Chip Lucia in the Voyager episode "Alliances", where he plays a similar character.


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