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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

3 October 1992 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Marina Sirtis' evening dress was later auctioned off on eBay. See more »


When Picard talks to Alkar on the planet, the boom can be seen at the top shortly before Alkar tells Picard about his ability to channel his unwanted emotions to others. See more »


Ambassador Ves Alkar: I think maybe my biggest asset is patience. I let everyone talk until they're exhausted. And when I start, they're too tired to argue.
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References The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The Enterprise Women Have to Be More Careful About Hooking Up With Diplomats
7 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Troi meets a handsome ambassador accompanied by what appears to be his mother. The mother is aggressive and vitriolic toward Deanna. When she dies, Troi participates in what is termed a funeral ritual, but in the process a sort of id impulse is transferred into her brain. She begins to act like a harlot, enticing men and becoming possessive of the ambassador. She is also beginning to age rapidly. It turns out that this guy has the ability to send his baser instincts to another person so that when he negotiates he is free of those negative things. The fact that the host dies doesn't seem to matter to him. He is manipulative and though good at negotiations, immoral. Picard tries to intervene, but there is a significant summit between to warring factions (isn't there always?) and he sees this as more important. Deanna lies, dying on an operating table, grey hair and wrinkles taking over. Interesting episode.

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