WARNING: The following article contains spoiler information on this week's TNG episode, "Manhunt". Those not wishing spoilage should not proceed any further. I mean it, now. They did it. They actually did it.
They brought back Lwaxana Troi, easily the most unwanted character in ANY universe, and they made it enjoyable. Wow.
But comments come later. Now, a quick summary. (I'm ignoring a subsidiary plot involving some Antedian (?) delegates, since it's very small anyway.)
While transporting some Antedian delegates (there I go, breaking promises already :-)) to a conference on Pacifica (yay! there again!), the Enterprise suddenly is hailed by a shuttle carrying Lwaxana Troi, who just happens to be the Betazed delegate to the conference. As it happens, Lwaxana is currently going through a phase similar to human menopause. In Betazed women, however, this stage of life sends their sex drive off the scale. Lwaxana Troi decides to do the honorable thing, that being to devote all her prodigious energies to just one man, whom she will eventually marry. All well and good. Unfortunately, she decides that one Captain Jean-Luc Picard is that man. From there, as you might imagine, all hell breaks loose, _particularly_ because Betazeds in this condition are also very sensitive, so cannot simply be told to go away.
The rest of the episode involves Picard trying to stay out of her way, and Lwaxana's "alternate" plan, or, more precisely, alternate MAN: one William T. Riker. I won't give away how they solve the situation, except to say that I definitely considered it just desserts.
Now, for my usual ranting.
There's one big problem with writing anything about Lwaxana Troi: you have to be careful not to do it too well. You see, she is easily the most irritating person in all the twelve galaxies. So, if you write her too well, no one who's watching will be able to stand seeing her. That's how it is with me.
However, the writer of this episode (Terry someone; I've forgotten the last name) neatly avoided that trap, by focusing not on her, but on everyone else's reactions TO her, which tend to be "AAAAAAAIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!". In doing that, he managed to craft a very enjoyable episode.
Some of the conversations were very interesting in this episode. Firstly, I've rediscovered somethig we always knew: Pulaski is one mean woman (well,sort of). When Deanna's wondering whether she should warn Picard about her mother's current condition, Pulaski's reply is absolutely priceless (no, I won't type it here--nyahh!).
Also, the scene where Picard actually finds out about Lwaxana's condition, and the effect it has on her, was quite well played, and a scream to watch, particularly Riker's reaction to all this. He finds it wonderfully amusing... at least, until Lwaxana decides he's her man.
There's not too much more to say about this episode. It wasn't particularly serious, or indeed at all serious. It was pure fluff, basically. However, it was an absolutely lovely piece of fluff, and I loved it. That's all.
And now for something completely familiar: my ratings:
Plot: 9. Well crafted.
Plot Handling: 9.5. The ending with the Antedians left me a little cold, but absolutely wonderful otherwise.
Characterization: 9.5. If they'd even showed Geordi once, it would be 10.
Technical: 9. Nothing to complain about.
TOTAL: 9.25---> 9.5. Real nice, folks.
Worf's old flame...and our first glimpse of a NEW Klingon ship. This looks like a good one, folks.
Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy Major)
- "A Betazed woman, in going through this phase, quadruples her sex drive."
- "Or more."
- "Or more? You never told me that."
- "I didn't want to frighten you."
Copyright 1994, Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free to ask...
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