WARNING! The following post contains spoiler information on this week's TNG episode, "The Price". Those who haven't seen the episode yet risk summary spoilage if they continue. Last chance to escape. Hmm.
Well, it was better than I expected. It wasn't even all that bad. It wasn't GREAT, mind you, but it wasn't bad.
Unfortunately, it had a number of plots, somewhat intertwined. I'll try to separat them out here for the synopsis.
(Note...owing to sudden brain-death, I've forgotten nearly all the names of the races and guest characters involved. So sorry.)
A race which has relied on other races, including many in the Federation, for help in survival for centuries has finally obtained its own natural resource. They've discovered a STABLE wormhole. If it's truly stable, it could take ships to the Gamma quadrant (normal travel time: 90 years or so) in a minute or two. They plan to hear several offers and then choose. Several different races are involved in the negotiations, which are taking place aboard the Enterprise. The Federation, naturally, has a negotiator there. So do one race of mostly scholars. So do (gasp!) the FERENGI! And then, there are the Chrysalians. We don't actually see them...just the negotiator acting on their behalf, one, er...damn. Forgot his name. Something or other Rol. The various negotiations are quite interesting, particularly because there's no certainty as to just how stable this beastie is.
Counselor Troi falls for this Chrysalian negotiator...hard and fast. A conflict of interest quickly develops (no surprise there), when she discovers that he's 1/4 Betazoid, and is using his empathic powers to manipulate the other negotiators over to his side.
--Data and Geordi head a shuttle into the wormhole to check its stability. A Ferengi shuttle comes along as well. It turns out the hole is only stable on the end originally discovered. The other end is a bitch, and the Ferengi shuttle actually gets stranded.
--Riker ends up having to take over negotiations for the Federation when the regular negotiator is poisoned by the Ferengi, though no one knows about the poisoning but the Ferengi. (The poison was a collection of DaiMon Gaz's own body toxins--harmless to him, but inducing a potent allergic reaction to anyone he shakes hands with.)
Anyway, enough on the synopsis. Let's have some comments.
Well, I'm not really sure what to say. It had some very nice scenes, and some good elements. It also had some horrible scenes, and some stupid bits. Very, very tricky to rate.
I despised the "Deanna falls in love" plot itself, but it had some nice side effects. For example, there's one scene between Deanna and Beverly, occurring while they're both stretching in some gym or other. Here's as much of it as I can recall:
"Sorry I'm late." "You seem awfully LIMBER this morning." "Oh, yes. (says whathisname's name)"
She goes on to say that she's worried about it going too fast. Bev says that it happened to her once too.
"It happened that way with you and Jack?" "No...this was another fella, before Jack. Fell in love in a day, lasted a week. But what a week."
Bwahahaha. We always knew Bev had an interesting past. Besides, didn't most of us always want to see a little "girl talk" between the two of them? This scene alone brought up Troi's plot considerably.
God knows Matt McCoy's performance didn't. Ugh. He may well have been attractive, but how anyone could fall in love with a block of wood is beyond me.
The negotiations were an interesting change of pace. I thought they could have been handled better, but it was nice to see something like this. In addition, it was this type of situation for which the Ferengi were born. They were splendid. Besides, I've always liked their ships.
Riker didn't have much to do (albeit more than Picard), but didn't do so badly. His poker skills came in handy. In fact, early on, when the normal negotiator talks to him, he's impressed. "Do you play poker, Cmdr. Riker?" "Poker...is that a game of some sort?" Hee.
There really isn't all that much to say. In some ways, this episode was vaguely like a Twinkie: sort of fun going down, but leaves a nasty feeling in the pit of your stomach. I thought most of the regulars were handled well, but the episode seemed somewhat...well...purposeless, particularly when the wormhole turned out to be a pig in a poke.
I guess that's about all for now. Time for some ratings.
Plot: 6.5, rounded down. The negotiations themselves get an 8.5, but Troi-in-love only gets a 5. (And THAT was due mostly to Bev's input...'twas a 3 earlier.)
Plot Handling: 5.5. The negotiations get a 7, Troi gets a 4.
Characterization: 8. Competent, but no more. I did like Riker's poker instincts at work.
Technical: 9. I didn't find any real fault with the wormhole, and damn, it looked mighty pretty.
TOTAL: 29/4---> 7.2, again rounded down. All right.
Not a rerun, as I originally guessed. The Enterprise is trying to settle a long-running feud between two clans on a planet. Sounds vaguely "Loud as a Whisper"-like, but doesn't look nearly as good.
Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy Major)
- --Lisa Colleen Hazard, 11/9/89, 10:37 pm, Ithaca, NY
Copyright 1994, Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free to ask.
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