Majel Barrett makes a welcome return as Lwaxana as she comes to the Enterprise for a conference. While there, a Daimon Tog (played by Frank Corsentino who portrayed another Ferengi in the first season episode "The Battle") sets his sights on her. When she is on Betazed, after interrupting a romantic interlude between Riker and Troi, Daimon Tog beams them up as prisoners and Lwaxana as his prize. Lwaxana, watch out for the "umok"!
Trivia note: it's funny to see Troi and Lwaxana transport - OUT of their clothes! Also, Troi and Riker kiss in this episode (though Troi tells Riker in Star Trek: Insurrection that she's never kissed him with a beard before). Ethan Phillips stars as the Ferengi Dr. Farek (later he will be Neelix on Star Trek: Voyager) and Carel Struycken returns as the comical Mr. Homn. AND, Wesley is given a promotion to full ensign (from acting ensign).
. . . Until the last few minutes or so, wherein Picard summons his inner Shakespearean in a standoff with the Ferengi ship. This however is very funny because Patrick Stewart's going for broke. He completely livens up this sleepy episode. And it's no wonder that that image of him hamming it up has been co-opted into Internet meme infamy.
As well as the welcome return of Lwaxana Troi, this episode fills in many of the Blanks concerning Ferengi. Frank Corsentino is "Daimon Tog" and you may have recognized him also as "Daimon Bok" from "The Battle" - And so he has the distinction of being one of the first Ferengi shown not wearing the original "Marauder Moe" pelted uniform which was seen in "The Last Outpost". You may also recognize him as a Native from Gilligan's Island, and he was last seen as the Ferengi "Gegis" in the Voyager episode "Inside Man" (Where they steal Lt. Broccoli's Hologram). So this is a Ferengi for All Trade Negotia... Er, Seasons.
For the first time in History, Ferengi are invited to an event on Betazed, where they "behave and make a profit" - But Tog sees Lwaxana and goes Bugsputz. Ironic for Lwaxana, she finally finds a man interested in her, and he's a Ferengi Troll! Tog's Doctor, Farek (a Pre- Neelix Ethan Phillips) thinks he is being foolish, and continues to think that.
Riker and Troi decide to take leave on Betazed and their Sylvan Glade is interrupted by Lwaxana and Mr Hom (Carel Struycken) - This is the last time we see him, even though he is referred to in other episodes.
But Riker and Troi have more to worry about than being Coitus Interruptus by Lwaxana - They are Interruptus by Tog who beams down with Ferengi "pericules".
Lwaxana should have been honored, but Tog was of the Old-School Ferengi, not the enlightened type like Quark and Rom. Besides, the changes in Ferengi Society which take place in Deep Space Nine had not happened yet.
Tog beams them all back to The Krayten, and when they all wake up he transports Lwaxana and Troi to the Bridge - San Clothing, in the best Transporter Effect of all Trek.
The Krayton is a Ferengi Ship full of Ferengi Gadgets - Transporters that are programmed to remove females clothing, and beds that come out of their Daimon's walls!
Majel Lee Hudec Barret-Roddenberry is the spotlight of this entire episode, you can see the disgust roll off of her face as Daimon Tog touches her. But she fools him well - But not well enough to get his command codes before Neelix-Farek catches her and sticks her into a Ferengi BrainSuck Machine.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise had to go check out another Stellar Nursery, so they don't know about this abduction until they get back to Betazed. They can't find The Krayton, Ferengi Toads have even better security then The Federation.
As Riker finds out, after he punches his Ferengi Jailer in the nose and almost breaks his hand: He can't break into the Krayton's Comm System, so he creates a warp field distortion that can't be mistaken as random. This gives the Enterprise an arrow to follow as to their whereabouts, and it was Wesley again who figures it out- Wesley was supposed to leave and go to Starfleet Academy, but his last minute discovery gives him a few more episode's grace on the show- And Picard elevates him to full Ensign for that time.
This was the episode where we learned quite a bit about Ferengi Civilization - Their Females to not deserve the honor of Clothing, and that their Lobes are the most sensual part of their bodies - Introducing Oo-Mox, the arousal of a Ferengi Male by the stroking of his lobes.
This gives Lwaxana ammunition she uses against Quark later in Deep Space Nine. "I know where it hurts, you little toad!"
I was giggling all through this episode, and it is one of my favorites, despite the 6.8 IMDb rating. And none of the information was wasted, it became part of Ferengi Canon.