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Cost of Living 

Shortly after the Enterprise saves a planet from an asteroid impact by exploding it, the ship experiences strange break-downs which are ultimately attributed to an impossible to detect ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
... Cmdr. William Riker
... Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
... Lt. Worf
... Dr. Beverly Crusher
... Counselor Deanna Troi
... Lt. Commander Data
... Lwaxana Troi / Enterprise Computer Voice
... Alexander Rozhenko
... Third Minister Campio
... Mr. Homn
... Young Man
... Juggler
... Protocol Master Erko
... Young Woman


Shortly after the Enterprise saves a planet from an asteroid impact by exploding it, the ship experiences strange break-downs which are ultimately attributed to an impossible to detect timely metal parasite, which will destroy it unless eliminated, so Data suggests luring it to an asteroid. Deanna Troi counsels Worf to deal with his son Alexander's authority problems by drawing up a two-ways contract on paternal and filial rights and obligations, but is still practically terrified to hear her overbearing and impulsive mother, ambassador Lwaxana, announces her own arrival, soon meddling with the educational contract, and that of a planet's Third Minister Campio whom she decided to marry solely based on computerized profiles, but finds less compatible once he and his protocol master Erko arrive for the wedding... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

18 April 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gates McFadden only appears in one scene, and has no dialogue. See more »


Visible at the top of screen, when Picard and Riker are discussing Lwaxana Troi's wedding while walking down a ship corridor. See more »


Counselor Troi: Alexander, this is my mother.
Lwaxana Troi: Alexander? What a wonderful name! You know, I once knew a tall, handsome warrior named Alexander. Oh, he utterly adored me and we went everywhere - simply everywhere. Have you been anywhere yet - Contract? What contract?
Counselor Troi: Between father and son. A fair and balanced way to achieve a mutual sense of order.
Lwaxana Troi: [at Alexander] Well, how ghastly for you. And you are doing this to your own child, Mr. Woof?
Counselor Troi: Mother!
Lieutenant Worf: It is Worf, madam.
Lwaxana Troi: Contracts are usually between people who ...
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Code of Honor (1987) See more »


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

Luwaxana and Alexander, two unlikely cronies
10 June 2015 | by See all my reviews

And this episode had me in stitches as it had Worf and Troi and Third Minister Campio in convulsions and knots.

Worf is having difficulties getting Alexander to start taking life seriously, therein lies the problem. Where Worf is great at planning Battle Tactics or Photon Torpedo configurations, he cannot handle one small Klingon/Human Boy, he never expected to have to. And he would not have had to, had Kehy'Ler lived. But Alexander is Worf's responsibility now, and where they both hurt from the loss of Keyh'Ler, the have to learn how to take solace in each other. But it is difficult, Worf is such a Party-Pooper. Even Guinan says so, she's seen other Klingons laugh, just not Worf.

So this episode is important for that developing story of Worf and Alexander- Luwaxana just happens to show up right when Alexander needs her the most.

And I have to admit something also, I also did not like the Luwaxana character that much - Until this episode.

I had to realize, this was Gene's wife, who had been part of this show ever since she was the original "Number One" in the first Star Trek Pilot "The Cage". So - WHY was she driving me nuts in every Next Generation episode? I think it was because, she was not acting, she was playing herself. And that was it. I am honored to have communicated to her in several emails in the 90's, when I was discussing her "Earth: Final Conflict" show that she created from one of Gene's old ideas. Luwaxana is who Majel is, so once I accepted that, I was able to accept Troi's eccentric but talented Mother. Even when she showed up chasing Odo on Deep Space 9.

This episode has Luwaxana times three, pulling out all of the stops. The wackiness and audacity of commandeering the Enterprise D to hold her Wedding to a Stuffed-Shirt nobility figure Tony Jay ("The Supreme Being" from 'Time Bandits') as Third Minister Campio, which was obnoxious enough! She had nothing in common with that guy, no disrespect to his position intended! But then she steps right in and commandeers Alexander. And that they both had fun despite Worf and Campio's interference, or even our interference.

Meanwhile, there is some Conundrum-Goop eating the electrical components of the ship, that adds a bit of tension.

But what makes it is the final scene, where Luwaxana shows up in the "traditional" Betazoid "garb" for weddings. As Picard said in "Up The Long Ladder": "Sometimes you just have to bow to the absurd".

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