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Old 06-19-2019, 07:08 PM
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June 19th, 1988, "Manhunt"

This is the first time one of my fivers has come up in these retrospectives, I'll try to keep the self-congratulatory comments to a minimum. In fact, I'm completely skipping the fiver section this time, you can go read about it in the dicer thread...

Fiver (by Nate the Great)
Script
Memory Alpha

The Episode

PICARD: Welcome. I'm Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise.

Greeting unconscious aliens seems rather odd. Surely the official greeting could wait until after they wake up and have breakfast.

WORF: What a handsome race.

There's a whole discussion to be had here about what the standards of beauty of alien races would be, but I'm not going to bother. The only thing I'm going to bring up is whether the same race would consider Antedeans and humans/Trill attractive.

DATA: Judging a being by its physical appearance is the last major human prejudice, Wesley.

I thought humans were perfect in these early seasons, thanks for the hypocrisy, Gene. Of course the real question is whether judging by appearance will really be the last prejudice. I expect something related to religion would take that "honor."

TROI: Oh, my God.
PICARD: What's the problem?
TROI: What's she doing here?

I don't have a problem with Troi sensing Lwaxana at this range, between their familial relationship and Lwaxana's stronger-than-normal telepathic ability this is only to be expected. My question is about the religious beliefs of Betazoids. Do they have gods? Or is this something that her father taught her?

DATA: Captain, we are receiving Starfleet orders granting a Lwaxana
LWAXANA: Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed.
DATA: Full ambassadorial status, sir.

I get that this is necessary for the joke, but in real life this is absurd. Even if the ambassadorization of Lwaxana is a relatively recent event, subspace is very fast (except where it isn't, of course).

DATA: She is listed as representing the Betazed government at the conference.

First, that should either be "Betazoid government" or "government of Betazed". Second, while the Fifth House is definitely implied to at least be some sort of nobility on Betazed, I question her credentials in this field. Does the Fifth House govern a region on the planet a la a dukedom?

LWAXANA: You remember Mister Homn, of course.
PICARD: It would be hard to forget Mister Homn.
LWAXANA: I retain his services despite the outlandishly lustful thoughts he spews in my direction.

I thought it was Homn's predecessor Mr. Xelo who had erotic thoughts about her. It's easy enough to chalk this one up to a delusion on Lwaxana's part, since she persists in thinking that Picard is attracted to her.

LWAXANA [telepath]: He has nice legs too, Little One. Is he still yours?
TROI [telepath]: Humans no longer own each other that way, Mother.

Lwaxana's opinion of Riker is an interesting story too long to repeat here. I'll just refer you to the novel "Imzadi" and "Dark Page." And humans do "own" each other that way, they call it marriage. Remember that even Vulcan's use the word in reference to their spouse. Apparently two-way ownership makes it not icky. Apparently...

LWAXANA: I am be serving a Betazoid dinner of greeting tonight, Captain. It is an ambassadorial function.
PICARD: It sounds delightful.

The weird thing is that Picard doesn't ask the computer about this dinner of greeting thing and find out that Lwaxana outright lied.

LWAXANA: He's a fine man. Solid, reliable. He's a little on the stuffy side, but, all in all, he's not that bad.
TROI: I can't believe you, Mother. You sound like you're sizing up a commodity.
LWAXANA: But that's exactly what men are, darling. Especially human men. Was your father ever unhappy with me?
TROI: No. He worshipped you. But I don't think I'll ever learn to see men the way you do.

Another essay that I won't write here.

PICARD: Doctor? You're not attending the dinner with the rest of us this evening?
PULASKI: I've already eaten, but thanks, Captain.

I still feel that there was more to explore with this whole "Pulaski is not a bridge officer" thing. One thing I'll say that differentiates her from Crusher is that Pulaski seems content to be 100% medical. I won't comment on whether this is a good or bad thing. I'll just take a meaningless aside and mention that one of the Strange New Worlds compilations has a story about Kirk practically forcing McCoy to take command for a bit, with interesting results.

RIKER: Yes, it's something Troi warned me about when we first started to see each other. A Betazoid woman, when she goes through this phase, quadruples her sex drive.
TROI: Or more.
RIKER: Or more? You never told me that.
TROI: I didn't want to frighten you.

I think when we get up to multiplying by four, multiplying by five or six instead isn't really all that big of a deal. Troi is wonderfully embarrassed during this exchange.

TROI: She has decided to focus all of her sexual energy on one male, who will, of course, eventually become her husband. It seems, Captain, that you are the early favourite.
RIKER: Congratulations, sir!
PICARD: I'm not amused, Number One.

Riker is having such a great time, just wait until she turns her attention on him instead. You know what they say about karma.
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