Star Trek: The Next Generation

"The Host"

3 stars

Air date: 5/13/1991
Written by Michael Horvat
Directed by Marvin V. Rush

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Crusher falls head over heels in love with a visiting Trill ambassador named Odan (Franc Luz), who is assigned to negotiate a solution to an alien dispute that is threatening to escalate into war, pursuant to the Two Warring Factions standby oft employed by TNG. The Federation knows so little about Trill society at this point they don't even know they are a joined species.

So Crusher is shocked and saddened when Odan is critically injured in an attack on a shuttlecraft and it turns out the symbiont slug inside him (not even referred to as a symbiont here) is actually "Odan" and the external body is just a host. The symbiont is joined with Riker as an emergency to keep Odan alive until a replacement Trill host is sent. It's interesting to look back at "The Host" and realize how much the Trill backstory and rules evolved after DS9 came around. The host here is depicted as more of an empty shell rather than a fully participating half of a joined whole, which begs the question of where Riker's mind goes while Odan is joined with him.

Odan's negotiations with the Two Warring Factions are pure MacGuffin, and I frankly don't care. But as a romance, "The Host" works for all the reasons "Half a Life" fails. First of all, we have an actual spark of chemistry between the leads. "Half a Life" was labored and stolid, whereas "The Host" shows evidence of actual passion and emotional risk. Second, we have an alien element to the story that actually enhances the storyline rather than detracting from it. "Half a Life" was about people who kill themselves at 60, which is so arbitrary as to make it impossible to become emotionally invested in the premise. "The Host," on the other hand, asks an interesting question: What is it that defines us in the eyes of a lover? How important is the physical component of love, when you know someone by touch and by sight and by the sound of their voice? If the same person you knew had a different external package, would they be the same person?

These questions put "Doctor Beverly" through the ringer in fairly interesting fashion — although I think the story would've worked better if a regular character had not been the emergency host. Riker's role as host merely complicates matters (is it ethical for Odan and Crusher to pursue the relationship while Odan is in Riker's body?) and provides a distraction from the true heart of the story, which is: How far does love transcend our physical presence?

Previous episode: Half a Life
Next episode: The Mind's Eye

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73 comments on this post

Mon, Mar 24, 2008, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
I agree "The Host" deserves the 3-star rating. It's good, but not great.The Host really was a nice episode.

I know many get caught up in the discrepancies between DS9's Trills and this episode but I could care less. For me the story works because of the interesting look at the nature of love. Do we really love the person? Could we still love that same person in a different body? It would seem for Beverly the answer is No and I loved that story decision because for all the criticisms against TNG's characters as perfect or PC this was an instance where it showed that no matter how far we come in the 24th century we still do have some limitations on love. And I know many felt the ending was not daring and was homphobic but I don't see it that way.

Would we have said it was anti-heterosexual if the character was a gay man and the new form that the symbiot took was a woman?

I also enjoyed Beverly trying to get rid of Data so she could be alone with Odan and her conversation with Troi where Deanna encouraged Beverly go for it with Riker/Odan.
Thu, Jul 23, 2009, 9:38am (UTC -5)
Just saw "The Host" again on "SyFy." (You ain't kidding--that's about the dumbest name change ever--I read it as "siffy.")

But anyway, I liked the episode generally and just wanted to point out one thing that makes it extraordinary--Frakes' performance. He is clearly someone else while carrying Odan--the characterization never slipped. Really brilliantly done.
Sat, Nov 26, 2011, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Beverly's central dilemma in "The Host", whether she could accept Odan in Riker, seems ultimately moot unless Riker had consented to "be" Odan for the rest of his life, which is of course not the case by a longshot. And while the death at 60 thing in Half a Life was indeed silly, while grading the broader stories, I'd swap them with Jammer...Half A Life gets 3 stars, and The Host only 2.
Wed, Apr 25, 2012, 11:09am (UTC -5)
The way BSG needs to stop using "frak".... Jammer needs to stop using "MacGuffin"....
Mike Caracappa
Wed, Oct 24, 2012, 3:09am (UTC -5)
Uh....Odan was dishonest with Crusher. How could he neglect to tell her the most important part of what he is. That he's a worm in a host body. And to find out the moment he's dying and that he has to be transferred to Riker, if I were Crusher I would have been pissed off at him. That's a terrible deception. He lied to her and played on her naivety that she didn't know what a Trill really was. She should have broken it off right there, and Troi should have been smarter as counselor to point out what happened to Crusher. 0 stars.
Thu, Dec 20, 2012, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Odan was very deceptive to both the factions and Crusher. He pretended to Crusher it was an innocent omission that he was a Trill, but with the factions, he deliberately mislead them that he was his own son. I believe he was fully cognizant of his deception when he did not tell Crusher. Odan sucks. I wish they would teleport him.
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 10:58am (UTC -5)
As portrayed here, particularly in the final scene with the female replacement host, the species seem less a joining and more like the humanoids are just husks for the symbiont.
Sat, Mar 23, 2013, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
I found the episode as a whole quite watchable, but found the ending lacking in courage a bit. LGB issues are usually absent in Trek and this was a good moment to tackle it.

On a plot note, I found the complete absence of any reaction from Troi regarding Riker's personality effectively disappearing puzzling.
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
One of the reasons I prefer Dr. Pulaski to crusher is this episode. Pulaski had such a sense of adventure and exploration that I think SHE wouldn't have minded Odan's female form. She would have run with it as the next step in exploring the relationship.

Unlike Beverly, who could only say "Ew."
Sat, Jun 22, 2013, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
I'm sorry but this was just too icky for me. The trill was clearly hiding it's secret from Dr. Crusher and everybody else. It only used it's ray gun when no one else was around, and instead of saying that the transporter would kill its symbiote, it gave a weak excuse about being 'uncomfortable' with molecular transport. It knew that if Crusher knew the truth she wouldn't have gotten involved with it.
As for the violation of Riker. I'm sure he wouldn't have a problem doing the doctor, but he would have wanted to be there to enjoy it. He was basically used as a blow up doll by a woman and a worm. icky
William B
Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
More than most episodes, how you take this episode depends on how much you buy into the central metaphor and ignore the bits that run counter to it. To wit, the episode is ostensibly “about” to what extent the physical body of a person determines how we view the person inside. It works both ways: Beverly has to adapt to seeing that Odan is the same person when he gets transferred to Riker; and to change her responses to Riker’s body so that she no longer views him as Riker but as the person controlling that body. Those aspects of the episode work very well, and the episode additionally is about something greater, about love—about the question of how much love really is about an embodiment, about the physical rather than the spiritual. We get numerous references to the physical side of love—the clear physical, sexual passion between Beverly and Odan, Beverly’s wanting to be her (physical) best at the spa. When Beverly and Deanna have their dialogue in Ten-Forward which basically amounts to two extended monologues, both the descriptions of love are physicalized: Beverly fell for the soccer player because he was just so beautiful, even though the relationship was all in her head; and Troi’s description of her father involves mentions of his appearance and him holding her, and how she wishes she could feel him holding her again. This all ties in, weirdly enough, with Beverly as physician, especially since most of the excuses Crusher and Odan make to spend time together have to do with her administering hyposprays. Love may be something more than the physical, but the episode sets us up for the ending by reminding us how much the locus of love is in the physical realm. (Even Crusher and Picard, whose relationship is as unphysicalized as seems possible for a quasi-romantic one, share a hug late in the episode.)

So that’s all well done. The question is: what about Riker? As mephybe says above, Riker is violated here. Riker agrees to have his body used for Odan, at risk to his very life, to prevent a war. I don’t think “preventing a war” means signing up to have his body used for sex. No one mentions this even as a possibility—not Odan, not Crusher and certainly not Troi. And this hints at part of the big problem with Odan in this episode. He preaches tolerance, and Beverly basically apologizes for not being able to keep up with the way the Trill do things; but until he presses the issue of him being disconnected from Riker to save his life (to Odan’s credit), he never makes any effort to consider what it would mean for Riker to have his body completely hollowed out for another being, to be just a body to be used and (eventually) discarded. Odan even seems pissed off when Picard says that a line of Odan’s reminded him of Riker. We saw both Sarek and Picard’s reactions to their mindmeld; what this joining means to Riker is completely unknown.

As others have pointed out above as well, Odan is being disingenuous when he claims that it never occurred to him to bring up that he was a joined being—he certainly wasn’t hiding it! That might fly if not for the fact that he dissembled about the real reason he didn’t want to use the transporter; and, more obviously, lied to the people he was representing diplomatically by claiming that he was the son of his last identity/host. Odan publicly lied in order to protect his Trill identity; while he may not have “wanted” to lie to Crusher in particular, he clearly knew that she believed him to be an unjoined being.

Speaking of disingenuous: Crusher dances around the truth in that last scene with Kareel Odan. She was enthusiastic and excited to see Odan’s new host until she found out the new host was going to be a woman. It’d be one thing if Crusher just said outright that she’s too far on the left side of the Kinsey scale to adapt to the idea of loving a woman, even if the woman is Odan. But she claims that it’s because she just can’t keep up—who is the next host going to be? Well, as far as I can tell, hosts only get switched when the host dies, so the risk of Odan switching bodies on her again is about as likely as losing another husband, so…unless she thinks that Odan switching bodies is worse than Jack’s death, that argument falls apart. It’s okay for Crusher not to be able to handle the change over the past few weeks, but (again) she was excited before she realized that Odan was going to be a woman, which makes her not only rejecting Odan’s romantic overtures but seeming annoyed with her frustrating.

So while I actually do agree with Jammer about the episode’s strengths, which are numerous—I want to add that Frakes’ performance here is quite good—its weaknesses are still pretty significant. 2.5 stars, I guess?
Thu, Aug 8, 2013, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
I'm with mephyve on the icky factor. And also, considering that in this iteration of the Trill, the host is not a part of the intellect, but rather a husk, it seems bizarre that the symbionts would be attracted to humanoids.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 10:46am (UTC -5)
It makes no sense that Kareel (or any other Trill) would volunteer to be a host to a symbiont if it meant having her entire consciousness and personality wiped out. You might as well commit suicide! The symbionts are nothing more than deceptive, exploitative parasites in this episode. DS9's take on the whole Trill thing is a lot more plausible.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
It makes sense if one assumes, as I did when this episode first aired, that Trill hosts were little more than shaved apes with no consciousness to sacrifice. I prefer that concept to the bureaucratic rigamarole that arrived with Dax. The only thing implausible about symbionts being exploitative parasites is that the Feds would be on friendly terms after discovering their true nature. Frankly, it's more implausible that Trill symbionts were unknown to the 1701-D crew, given Odan's fame (not to mention later DS9 canon that integrates Trill into the UFP by this time).
Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 9:49am (UTC -5)
Crusher seems fine with the idea of Odan having a new body until she sees it is going to be female. It's interesting that this is where the line is crossed for her. I wonder if he had come back as a hideously ugly man would she be similarly uninterested? And would we think less of her if she were?
Thu, May 1, 2014, 9:53am (UTC -5)
@ Grumpy

Well the "shaved ape" was capable of speaking a language that Beverly understood (or at the least, a universal translator could handle) and had the sentience to show up for what they knew was an impending death.

The "shaved ape" assertion doesn't wash with me at all. It's getting into the territory that ENT's "Cogenitor" tackled.
Thu, May 1, 2014, 9:54am (UTC -5)
@ Kieran

Maybe I'm shallow, but I thought that the guy who played Odan was quite ugly himself.
Mon, Jan 19, 2015, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
I keep coming back to this episode. I really love it. And hate it.

I'd like to address the "Odan was disingenuous" argument. Yeah, sure, he wasn't honest. But for this episode to work, he HAD to be dishonest. If, when it came time to transport, he had said "Hey, I can't because I am a joined being," he and Beverly would have had to have THE conversation right then. It had to be kept secret for suspense and pacing reasons.

So I would argue that it was not Odan who lied, but the writers of the episode. Because they had to. If we knew the "secret" too soon, it would have ruined it.
Sat, Feb 14, 2015, 11:26am (UTC -5)

That's the writers sacrificing their character for the sake of pacing, which is a pretty crappy thing to do. Especially considering the anti-transport thing Odan had going on was really only to get he and Riker into a shuttle together for it to be shot down. Riker needing the symbiont could have been handled in any other way, so writing Odan as a liar just to get him in a shuttle is just... bad, bad work.

IMO, this episode is... okay. Nothing more. 2.5 stars, I guess.

Getting to the end of Season 4 on my re-watch and I find that Beverly is probably the least interesting personality on the show. I greatly prefer the minor crew members to anything featuring her -- Guinan, O'Brien, Barclay, Ro (eventually), etc. She's completely bland and has no foibles that make her intriguing. Her role is a lot like Geordi's - a specialist in her field and necessary for episodes in which she needs to be a professional. But where Geordi's abilities come into play all the time (since everything he does involves traveling through space or the ship itself -- the *reason* we watch the show), Crusher only does her thing when a specifically medical issue rolls around, which isn't often because it's a space drama and not a medical drama.
Sun, Apr 26, 2015, 6:48am (UTC -5)
Omg - everybody's so intellectual and seemingly not viscerally disturbed by this episode as I was - I'm so grossed out by this episode in so many ways - it's kinda nauseatingly creepy how it starts off as an almost Aliens-like impregnation suspense theme, combined with the betrayal of Odan's self presentation to Crusher. So creepy.
Then, when they did find out that he was actually just a worm squirming inside a host and Beverly had essential fallen in love with this Trill thing, there was virtually zero reaction from any of the crew, least of all Dr. Beverly. I mean, sure when things went south after the shuttle incident they seemed a natural level of concerned, but after that it was as if nothing had phased her about her boyfriend being basically pregnant with the alien-worm (true) version of himself. Seriously!? Sure in the TNG universe everyone in Starfleet is super open minded and educated and generally unphased by strange beings or
bizarre phenomenon, well, mostly anyways, but I would've expected at least some base level reaction of mild disgust or turned-offness in some respect. i mean... Look at that thing!!
Yeah so, I agree about Riker's performance and the philosophical intrigue of pondering love in many forms, and even slightly agree with the comments about it being a good opportunity to "tackle" homophobia (although in a way they kind of did - it was probably pretty edgy for 1990's television - she did after all, sensually kiss Beverly's wrist and for a belief moment Dr. Crusher seemed quite taken...)
I also wondered where Riker's conciousness went. But overall it was just a weird and disturbing episode for me. The fact that everyone acted so normal was disturbing in itself. Plus, McFadden's character role often makes me laugh - a lot of the time when things are supposed to be serious, she just carries on with an almost childlike goofiness - it's fairly subtle but sometimes it's just that slightly vacant , off-in-la-la-land look in her eyes or that slight goofy smirk when shit's going down that provides a bit of comic relief when things get tense on the Enterprise. So it wasn't the most convincing portrayal of a heated romance from my POV either. It was amusingly disturbing. I'll give it that.
Mon, Jun 8, 2015, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
While this episode ask some good questions, at least in the rewatch I'd only give it 2.5 stars.
Some have asked why the trill look different on DS-9. When they went to put the head piece on actress Terry Farrell (who is obviously supposed to be a resident hot babe) she looked terrible, so they settled on what always looked like a skin fungus to me (ok I had something like that once!)
As for the TNG episode. I really thought the symbiant looked cool. Sort of a cross between a liver fluke and a giant grub with caterpillar spots thrown in for good measure.
Sat, Jun 13, 2015, 5:37am (UTC -5)
I think it's a story about slavery. I'm honestly disgusted both by this episode and the entire symbionts. They are obviously using trills as slaves & the worst thing is that the trills are brainwashed into loving it and thinking of losing their individuality as a great honor. I give this episode and the entire idea thumbs down. Zero star from me.
Mon, Jul 20, 2015, 8:21am (UTC -5)
My oh my oh my oh my, how the Trill have changed! And, let's face it, only for the better.

I liked this one. It wasn't spectacular or anything, but I enjoyed it. It's always good to see Crusher in the limelight and she shines as usual. It's also good to see that the writers have finally realized that Marina Sirtis isn't the only good-looking woman in the main cast. The overall story, about what love truly is - is there a necessary physical component, is quite well done. I, personally come down on the side of physicality being an essential ingredient, the side I think "The Host" also comes down on. The scene between Crusher and Troi in Ten Forward was particularly nice, given that it was just two women talking about love and relationships (something I'm usually not riveted by, to say the least).

The only thing about the episode that drags it down, sadly, are the Trill themselves. Thank God DS9 came along and totally revamped the Trill as a culture and a species. Here the symbionts really do not come across very well. They seem to be using the hosts as a slave caste. The hosts, also, don't come across very well either. They seem to be willing slaves, eager and ready to give themselves and their entire identities up for the sake of their superiors. Seriously, thank God DS9 made the host/symbiont relationship an actual symbiotic one that was mutually beneficial. If it wasn't for the good performances, the rather interesting plot and the retroactive continuity from another series, this could have easily tanked the episode hard for me.

Thu, Sep 3, 2015, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
For all of you getting creeped out by being in love with a worm, have you seen what a brain looks like ?
Diamond Dave
Sat, Sep 19, 2015, 9:57am (UTC -5)
Almost an excellent episode, but again falling short in the end. The Trills make for an interesting concept, although as others have noted the DS9 revamp improves things markedly. And it says some interesting things about the nature of love and attraction, even if you can make a reasonable case to say that the conclusion dodges the point the rest of the episode has striven to present.

But file me under those who thought that this was just a bit, well, on the nose. The treatment of Riker in particular - OK, we get Beverly is getting her oats, but given that the Trill host is arriving in 40 hours she can't resist until then? And Riker as the host gets no say in the matter? Clearly, we shall never speak of this again but it all seems a little queasy to me. 2.5 stars.
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, I could have done without Riker's body being used for sex with a colleague/old friend minus his consent, or even his knowledge.
Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 12:28am (UTC -5)
Ah, good old 1991. They could not conceive of having a woman/woman relationship on Trek. Many years later when Jadia had her on screen kiss I remember it sparked great outrage to have that on TV. So, here in 1991, Beverly is supposed to be horrified it is a woman. Looking through the eyes of 2016 it is pretty distasteful to have her reaction be as such.

If the truth ws "I can't handle the host changes", I can be fine with that and if they wrote the story as such. However, the showed her huge anticipation for the new host, and then almost an "EW YUK" when a woman is introduced. It was written to say she would have been happy with another host as long as it was a hetero relationship.

This is one thing I find so fascinating about Trek. They are all written to be a future for humanity; however, the stories so many times really reflect the social constructs of the times they were written. THere was very little risk or daring with TNG (which I guess was necessary, I can't imagine the public outcry if they kept Beverly with that female Trill).
Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 12:30am (UTC -5)
PS - I wouldnt be surprised if the new 2017 Trek series will have a gay character or two. Times they are a changing!
Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 11:08am (UTC -5)
@Dave - "They could not conceive of having a woman/woman relationship on Trek."

Maybe Beverly is just really straight. If my wife suddenly ended up in a man's body it'd be nice to think I'd be ok with it... but really don't think I'd be able to handle it.

And that's a spouse. This was a fling with a guy she met like half an hour ago :P I mean... how would you feel? I sort of think the new equipment would be a deal breaker. I'm glad I don't have to really contemplate it at any rate!

That said I do hope the new Trek has a gay character and that they don't have a coming out story line. I started watching "The Flash" last year and the male police chief just randomly brings up that his boyfriend is trying to make him eat healthier. And that's it. You meet the boyfriend (then fiance) in the second half of the season briefly, but it's all off screen. It's just a gay character and nothing about him is about him being gay. I thought it was very cool.

I'm not opposed to the new Star Trek's gay character having a relationship, but the less time we spend focusing on the fact that they are gay the better. I want it to just be a non issue in the (crosses fingers) 25th century.
Mon, Feb 1, 2016, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
@Dave - "However, the showed her huge anticipation for the new host, and then almost an "EW YUK" when a woman is introduced."

I agree with Robert. Maybe she's just not a lesbian.

Let's flip things here. If Crusher had been established as being gay, Odan had originally been a woman and the symbiont was put into Troi instead of Riker, would you still be upset if she showed an "EW YUK" attitude to a new male host?
Fri, May 20, 2016, 8:01pm (UTC -5)

Nicely put.
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
"These questions put 'Doctor Beverly' through the ringer in fairly interesting fashion"

Sat, Feb 4, 2017, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
This episode was interesting if problematic, for reasons others have largely discussed.

Setting aside the 'humanoids=empty shell' early iteration of the Trill concept, and setting aside (though not ignoring) the creep factor of Riker's body being used for sex with Beverly when another host body was already on its way (it was perfectly legit for Beverly to find it awkward to engage in romance with the body of her friend and commanding officer; and Riker agreed to the use of his body to prevent a war, not have sex), and looking at just the Trill/Romance angle:

On the one hand, yes, the ending is a little jarring upon review in 2017; that Beverly had clearly acclimatized to the idea of a new host, and then rejected Odan solely on the basis that Odan's new body was female, comes off as... well, potentially homophobic from a screenwriting perspective.

But then on the other hand, being 100% heterosexual is as legitimate an orientation as being 100% homosexual; as another commenter pointed out, if Beverly were a lesbian in love with Odan's female form, and Odan switched to a male, would it be 'wrong' for Beverly to no longer feel attracted?

I think this is partly the crux of the matter. The idea that 'Who We Are', and 'Who We Fall in Love With', is NOT solely a matter of some internal 'soul to soul' match up of the minds. We are bodily beings, and love and attraction have very physical, chemical elements. Heaven knows, I've had friends I've wished I could be 'In Love' with because the mind-to-mind match-up was so good-- and I've been in love when the minds had virtually no common ground at all. If a person you don't love recites the same words to you, with the same expression, as your loved one does-- if they express the very same ideas and feelings-- it just doesn't have the same effect as experiencing those expressions from the whole person (including the body) of the one you're 'in love' with.

If anything, I'm impressed that Beverly was able to transfer her feelings of romantic love to Riker. I guess the presumption is there's some latent capacity for at least sexual attraction there (what with Riker being a handsome lady-killer and all), so both mind and body were still covered to some degree. And that was fundamentally missing for her in the follow-up host.
Wed, Feb 22, 2017, 2:26am (UTC -5)
Yeah, this story is just kind of a mess. I get the metaphor they were going for, but the way they went about it just didn't work. I'm glad DS9 retconned the heck out of the Trill, changing them into a workable race.
Wed, Feb 22, 2017, 11:54am (UTC -5)
I remember my headcanon when this episode first came out. The Trill started out as horrible monsters who enslaved the local population of humanoids. As their culture evolved, they became uncomfortable with the ethics of total slavery, and genetically engineered humanoid bodies that were just automatons. After many centuries of cultural evolution, a modern Trill would rather die than enslave a sentient being, but that doesn't change the fact that by nature they are horrible monsters designed to infest and mindrape and enslave.

That was my headcanon, anyway. The DS9 retcons probably open up far more complex identity stories than what I came up with. My version only allows for a few stories about a noble people with an incredibly ugly history and cultural guilt, and physical requirements that make even their workaround somewhat morally grey.
Fri, Mar 3, 2017, 9:55pm (UTC -5)
Dr. Crusher falls in love with a tape worm. Honestly, this episode reminded me too much of the childhood horror I felt towards the "yeerks" from the Animorphs series- and the yeerks were capable of a truly shared mind with their hosts, unlike the trill in this episode, who completely took over and enslaved them, none of the original remaining.

The way the hosts were treated was very callous and kind of out of sync with what the show usually tries to be. No one seems to care that these slugs were enslaving sentient beings. No one mourned the death of the original host, and the new host is clearly brainwashed. The trill treated the old host as a cast- off, just a means to an end and not part of the "symbiotic merging" he claimed. Using Riker's body for sex without consent was also icky.

The ending was stupid, too. I get they couldn't have Beverly having a relationship lasting longer than one episode because the writers are afraid of commitment, but couldn't Odon just hop another body if that was the only thing standing between their love?

I understand the kinds of questions the writers were trying to ask, but this episode just doesn't work, it has too many holes. 0 stars.
Mon, Jul 10, 2017, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
-The opening scene with Data interrupting and unaware.
-Some believable romantic scenes done better than in other episodes
-The concept of personality versus looks
-Crusher being open and honest in the last scene when she was explaining her human failings
-Troi calling out Crusher and her secret romance.
-Data asking if Crusher had helped with the headache.

-Why would Crusher put in her log that she is "in love"?
-How does Riker's intestines not get smashed?
-Some cringe-worthy romantic scenes
-The fact that you can't beam a Trill. Probably made up to justify a shuttlecraft attack scene.
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Riker as blow up doll for Dr Beverly's amusement, ick.
Day Tripper
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 6:00am (UTC -5)
Half-baked idea - even if she got drunk and overlooked her doctor-patient responsibility and assuming Riker was consenting for the three-way.

Imagine if Wesley Crusher was still on board and had acted as Odan's host body instead of Riker ...
Derek D
Thu, Dec 21, 2017, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
I'm glad that some of you above addressed the fact that just because Crusher is not attracted to Odan's new host does not make her homophobic. I am heterosexual and would not want to have a male partner; that does not make me homophobic. What I think the episode succeeds in making us ponder is the degree to which BOTH personality/emotionality and physicality are important in a relationship. Yes, maybe we will have "evolved" past that in 400 years, but maybe not. Maybe being attracted to a person of the same or opposite sex is biological and will not change. As it stands now, if we are not at least attracted enough to a potential partner we probably will not take the time to get to know them as a person, so the physical component is super important. What if Odan's original body stayed the same and another symbiant--with a very different personality, different sense of humor, different ways of reacting to life, etc.--was placed inside? Would Crusher have felt the same way about this new partner? Should we expect her to? What stood out to me was that ultimately the attraction between two people is going to be a combination of physical and mental.
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
4 Stars. This is a great episode.
+ Riker acts a different person
+ Diana is okay with Beverly dating Riker/Odan (a bit more conflict should be expected but since there is only 45 minutes...)
++ I love it when Odan argues to an understandably pissed off Beverly that he did not mention it because that simply is what he is and as little point to mention that e.g. as your grandmother was French. Okay, it is over the top but the direction is great. This episode plays on so many interesting themes - what/whom do we love, appearance vs character, conflict of friendship and ex lovers, I'd say even themes such as gay/bi or whatever kind of "different". Like a number of episodes this would deserve to be explored in a fat book though, not just one episode.

+- the choice of Riker is great BECAUSE of the conflict it starts between Crusher/Riker, Troi/Riker, Troi/Crusher but of course it would only make sense if this was long-term and Riker had agreed to forego his personality which would not happen in an instant.

It's totally what I love about TNG though. Even if there is much left to be desired in an episode - and there always is - at least it makes you start putting on your "what if we were super open-minded, respectful and ethically advanced"... and then the discussion goes back and forth and continues so long until after the " solution for this episode is around the corner" stopped its 45 minute reel.
Dave in MN
Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Is this really the place to post fan fiction/spec scripts?

I don't know how it is for other people, but seeing a post as long as ^ instantly makes my eyes glide right down to the next person's comments, especially when the subject matter of that long post ignores the purpose of the website.
Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 7:15pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, actually, please delete it Jammer. It's a mad ramble I wrote whiskey in hand.

Here's the TLDR.

Could have been good but generic alien plot boring and ick poor Riker.
Dr Lazurus
Sat, Apr 7, 2018, 2:03am (UTC -5)
So . . . It is ok to have sex with aliens who may not even have human-like sex organs, but not an alien with a worm brain? What would Dr Beverley had done if the worm was in Odan's pants? That's where it hangs out in a host body. If a Vulcan, Klingon, or Cardassian have their internal organs in different locations than humans, why would you assume their sex organs are in the same place, or look the same? I'm sure you've all seen tentacle sex in Anime hentai? Captain Kirk had no issues in hooking up with green slave girls. That would be as disturbing as having sex with a manatee or dolphin. Yeah they are mammals, but . . .

If I had a bad experience with an alien, I would be off of them for life. That would be far more disgusting than having sex with someone of the same gender. Seems like a lonely life on a Starship if you choose not to hookup with a member of the crew, or an alien maggot. That would make a five year mission seem like a lifetime.
Cody B
Sat, May 12, 2018, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Moving into Riker must have been like a mansion
Wed, May 30, 2018, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
I thought this was a good episode.
The 'alien peace bringer who is suddenly incapacitated' storyline is getting way too worn out to be accepted but as Jammer says the main
theme is 'what is love' ( by Olivia Neutron Bomb).
Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Felt like half an episode -- just not enough plot/tension here. Crusher is put through the ringer to examine romance and love and how it affects somebody depending on what happens to the one they love. I wasn't sold although McFadden doesn't do a bad job.

So TNG introduces the Trill concept here although I don't know why Riker would volunteer and why the RIker part of the combination is like non-existent. If Riker is to be completely subjugated, why not get some no-name to do it? Guess the writers give Trills more thought by the time of DS9. So the Enterprise loses a 1st officer while a war could break out. This didn't seem like a smart thing for Picard to accept and for Riker to offer to do -- nobody knew what they were getting into. I must say Frakes did a good job portraying somebody who seemed like he was about to die for nearly a whole episode.

The initial romance between Crusher and Odan looked believable but it's just in your face right at the start so it was off-putting. And then it just gets weird when it's Riker who is in love with Crusher and finally some alien woman. Odan wasn't forthcoming at first either -- the line about him being a Trill just as Beverly is one person is nowhere near good enough for the lack of transparency.

And of course, this episode has everything work out perfectly. In no way did it seem like Riker/Odan could carry on 6 hours of negotiations, but he did and they were successful and then so was the surgery to remove the symbiont from Riker and get it to the new host -- don't you just love how all these things work out so perfectly? Those guys on the Enterprise are so damn good. Too much arbitrary crap for me.

Barely 2 stars for "The Host" -- barely enough here for an episode, plenty of filler as we explore Crusher in love and being put through an emotional ringer. Nobody gives a crap about the alpha-moon and beta-moon aliens at war. Odan is deceptive, Riker/Picard come across as foolish for me. And ultimately where does it leave Crusher -- she can't deal with the changing appearance of a lover. That's perfectly normal. Nothing special here.
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Crusher sees the new host and thinks "Damn, now I have to go lesbo..."

Having previously watched all of DS9, and coming backwards to TNG, and having never seen this episode, the fact that the Trill stuff is all different is weird. DS9 did it better.
Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!


I enjoyed your take on it, but thought you glossed over (just a bit) about Odan not telling Beverly about being joined:

CRUSHER: Well maybe you should have thought about that sooner. Maybe you should have told me what you were. It didn't seem to bother you to remain silent yesterday.
RIKER (Odan): It never occurred to me. This is what I am. Did you ever tell me that you are only a single being? Of course not. That was normal to you.

If a pile of species they'd come across were joined/dual in some way, perhaps. But Odan knew there were few if any other races that did this. He knew ahead of time that his situation was rare, being joined, and not thinking to mention it to someone who might just have fallen in love with you is... strikingly bizarre to me.

We all know what the Future is in DS9, but that hadn't happened yet. In this episode, at this time, that was a lame excuse. I'd have liked it better if he'd said something along the lines of "I would have told you eventually, when our relationship was stronger", or words to that effect.

Thank you for your comments, I've enjoyed reading them...

Regards... RT
Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 9:51am (UTC -5)

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, I didn't belabor the point about Odan not being transparent and you're right, it is a pretty big deal and a intriguing theme of love/romance in this episode (which gets lost in the shuffle of all the other reasons to be critical of this episode) that the appearance of a love interest is paramount for Crusher and being open and honest up front. That in itself is not a particularly enlightening concept from this episode if applied widely as a general commentary. It's more like common sense.

From Odan's perspective, even if he knows being a joined Trill is rare, it is likely not the first thing that comes to his mind if he gets romantically involved and he'd eventually find the right setting to open up -- although he did spend enough time with Crusher... So maybe what you suggest should happen would have happened had things not been precipitated. But I still think, as I said initially, that Odin is deceptive.
Mike Latoris
Wed, Nov 28, 2018, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
" turns out the symbiont slug inside him (not even referred to as a symbiont here)...."

It's referred to as a "symbiont" during the scene in which Odan explains to Beverly that he is the "parasite."
Circus Man
Wed, Nov 28, 2018, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
According to this transcript, "symbiont" is used four times: It's odd that it's used interchangeably with "parasite," since they're not perfect synonyms and parasites by definition cause harm to or at least inconvenience their hosts.
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
All of this bothers me. They don't do bio scans as a matter of standard procedure when an alien comes on board? Is trill not a federation planet? they have no idea about the trill/symbiont situation? None of this makes sense. Essentially this dude has a severe medical condition he's hiding. Beverly is conflicted about who she actually fell in love with? He was obviously deceptive and lied about his "condition". To me his dishonesty alone is enough reason to discontinue any romantic relationship. Regardless of where the slug is.

This is the kind of thing where a person's consciousness is being transferred. Typically people don't fall in love with a person's consciousness. Would she still feel the same if his consciousness was transferred into a computer? Hell no. Personality, consciousness or whatever is just one component of romantic attraction. Physical attractiveness, smells, pheromones, body language are all necessary to establish romantic feelings. The story is severely flawed and poorly written. Two thumbs down.

I like "half a life" much better.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
the premise brings this to a 7/10.

Did they have to pick Riker? His gazing at Beverly in 10 Forward. Holy...ugh..... I am sorry I am being shallow. I think Beverly and Riker are two of my least favourite characters. Beverly's thinly disguised revulsion at the female host at the end. Her polite smile...

Picard on the other hand. His expression in sickbay when he knows what is going on. His expression was precise and prefect. What acting!

and for the episode's LOL: put a cold cloth on ...your head.
Sam Mickle
Sat, Jun 15, 2019, 1:38pm (UTC -5)
Everyone is thinking way too hard about this episode. It was about the most simple issue that everyone seems to overlook in this episode. Penis size. Don't believe me? ok think about this. Odan must have had THE BIG ONE. So he dies right and the host swap out happens. Then oh look Riker is the new host. Well guess what? Bev is his doctor so guess what she knows? That's right his peepee size. And then at the end of the episode that lady doesn't have one at all. Bet that makes you think huh.
Jason R.
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
"Well guess what? Bev is his doctor so guess what she knows? That's right his peepee size. And then at the end of the episode that lady doesn't have one at all. Bet that makes you think huh."

Guess that explains why we never see Riker with the same woman twice. Bravo sir - you are wise indeed.
Dave in MN
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 12:45pm (UTC -5)

Not like I particularly care very much (I'm no PC warrior), but I find it ironic that if commenters were making similar comments about Beverly's breast size, the condemnation here would be swift and brutal.

It's petty and sexist.
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
I read the comment as tongue in cheek.
Mon, Jun 17, 2019, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Sorry Dave I would, as always, be swift and brutal but I have a hard time seeing the screen because my eyes won't stop rolling.
Also let's not forget the Riker maneuver

A man who "presents" himself that way certainly has no problems down there.

But Dave because you asked I issue my most severe warning
Sat, Aug 24, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Damn, Riker. Are you so thirsty to sleep every woman on board the Starship Enterprise that you’re willing to literally infect yourself with a *potentially* deadly parasite, just so you can get up in Crusher’s guts?

Kudos on the commitment level, 10/10.

And how you like them apples, Picard?
Sun, Apr 12, 2020, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
I really dislike the episodes in which Beverly or Deanna falls for some random interplanetary douchebag.
Mr Peeepers
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
If I hooked up with a female Trill, and she had to get a male body, It's over for me. I got no plan with a man.

The thing I find funny about Trekers love affairs is this. Every time someone falls in love with a person/alien on some planet, there is usually some societal conflict that splits the couple up. But how can someone on the Enterprise have a relationship with a person on a planet when they will be leaving in a few days, and will be many light years away? It would be at least a year, and a few weeks/months journey to take leave to get back with them. You will burn up all your leave just getting there and back to your ship, with maybe a couple days with your true love. Far easier to meet someone new at your next stop. Riker probably only gets back to Risa once every 2-3 years. Can't be too healthy for a relationship. Beverly would probably never see Odan again, even if he was still a male.
Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 12:16am (UTC -5)
@Mr Peepers
"The thing I find funny about Trekers love affairs is this. Every time someone falls in love with a person/alien on some planet, there is usually some societal conflict that splits the couple up. But how can someone on the Enterprise have a relationship with a person on a planet when they will be leaving in a few days, and will be many light years away? It would be at least a year, and a few weeks/months journey to take leave to get back with them. You will burn up all your leave just getting there and back to your ship, with maybe a couple days with your true love. Far easier to meet someone new at your next stop. Riker probably only gets back to Risa once every 2-3 years. Can't be too healthy for a relationship. Beverly would probably never see Odan again, even if he was still a male. "

This would be true if bodies could have relationships. Bodies are just a collection of cells, and cannot relate at all. Sure, they can touch, kiss and have sex. But it is our minds, our personalities, that put any meaning on it. After all, we don't consider the interconnectedness of all the different cells in our own bodies as relationships. Perhaps in the 24th century, with instantaneous communication, they have understood that physical proximity need not have as much meaning as it did in earlier times.
Richard Nollman
Mon, Jun 8, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -5)
My main reaction is: Give me a break. Beverly is going to have sex with Riker.. What no one seems to mention is that Riker still seems to be Riker.

As a doctor, she would not allow herself to have sex with a patient under the circumstances presented in this episode. Picard certainly would not allow it if he found out and would severely reprimand the doctor and possible take away her license to practice medicine.

The fact that Beverly knows that having sex with Riker would be a HUGE issue between Riker and herself as they are very close friends. I cannot even begin to imagine that Riker himself would allow that to happen and if he had known that was a possibility would not have made sure that Beverly would not have any sexual contact with his body.

RIker , as I see the character, is a man of principle and would see Beverly's willingness to have sex with his body and not his mind as serious violation of his trust -- not to mention the problems that Troi would have with the encounter.

It is also ridiculous to assume that she could enjoy making love to the physical Riker. I mean what if it was her brother who was the temporary host or her father or Worf, for that matter, what is the likelihood that she would even be interested in having sex with him?

And it was never clear to me that the character of Odin was present in Riker's body. It was always Riker acting as Riker. Odin had, IMHO, already disappeared. It was a stretch for me to believe that Odin was really speaking through Riker.

And then the idea that the disgusting looking organism really was Odin before he died would have disgusted Beverly. That is what she was making love to or falling back in love with? Give me a break! I mean, she actually opened up Odin and took this thing out of him. And them she placed it inside Riker. How could she imagine that making love to IT. I mean, a real person would want to vomit. I just don't see her getting sexually aroused. Just imagine making love to a woman or man knowing that they are really this slimey alien thing.

I also did not buy the idea that her love for Odin was still percolating once she knew the facts. KIssing Riker and believing it was the idea of Odin, knowing that Odin was really this slimey alient thing.

I could live with the fact that Odin lied to Beverly and tried to pass it off with a stupid argument.

And then, Troi, as ship's counselor is telling Beverly that it is ok to fall back in love with the Riker/host new combo. That is ridiculous in itself. As a professional, her job would be warn Beverly to tread very carefully and make sure that she does not violate Riker by having any physical relationship with him. It all stinks to high heaven. Her advice to Beverly should have been, let it go. Beverly's first reaction was the most believable one, and the conflict seems very much contrived.

And the comments on the fact the SNG treats the host as just a shell is so inferior to the way it is handled in DS9.

I laughed when Beverly, expecting a male host, is treated, instead to a gorgeous female host. Beverly, you got what is coming to you! i liked that part of the episode the best.

If I were the writers, I would eliminate the scene where Beverly decides to have sex with Riker and change the dynamic. What would be a lot more interesting would be to expand on the new host role. Beverly, now confronts Odin as a beautiful female and has to deal with the possibility of falling in low with her.

Her struggles with her own sexuality would be refreshing. And if she chose to continue her relationship with the female, then the risk of the host dying would not be a problem. Another host could be an attractive male or female, a nice opportunity for a new exploration of her sexuality. Not possible at the time, but now, I think it would be well-received.

Imagine how interesting it would be have a new character join the crew. Just think about how much the addition of Terry Fallon to DS9 improved the show. I loved Fallon and the fact that of all the crew members, she chose Worf. Definitely better writers in DS9 (IMHO). Just imagine Picard's reaction if Beverly chose a female as a mate. Wow!
Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
An interesting contrast between the way the reaction of the cast to the indwelling symbiont in The Host and the way they responded to the analogous creatures in The Contagion back in the first series. No question back then of responding to it as a strange new lifeform which needed to cautiously investigated , but instead destroyed sight as a filthy alien monster.

I agree that the Deep Space version of The Trill was far more interesting. There was a hint that the Next Generation version might not be quite as nasty a set-up as has been assumed here, and that was when Picard commented that the updated combination seemed to have retained some characteristics of Riker. If they had wanted to reconcile the two versions they could have made it that, while the symbiont's personality was overwhelmingly stronger initially, the hosts was still potentially present, and needed a little time to make itself evident, or even in time equal of even dominant.
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Correction - The preceding episode with a plot about symbionts, treated in a rather different fashion, was of course not Contagion, it was Conspiracy.
James G
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
Yet another one I hadn't seen before - looks like most or all of the rest of the fourth series will be new to me.

I hope that whoever wrote this abomination was either provided with the appropriate psychiatric care that he or she evidently badly needed, or weaned off their drug habit.

I must admit though that I became morbidly fascinated as well as repelled, as the episode wore on.

A few thoughts. Isn't it extraordinarily unethical for Beverley to tonk Riker's body while he's unconscious in it? Isn't it even more unethical of the weird ambassador slug to use it for that? Reminds me of that episode of Red Dwarf where Rimmer borrows Lister's body and then proceeds to abuse it hedonistically.

And what happens to the minds of the hosts, when they submit to being taken over by parasites? How could a relationship like that between two species even have started?

I don't get why the Transporter wouldn't have worked, and this nonsensical plot element adds nothing to the story except an easy excuse to have the shuttlecraft attacked.

The conclusion is hilarious. Interesting though that they both let go of their relationship a lot more quickly and less emotionally than when the parasite slug creature was inhabiting Riker. Troi's persuasive words on Ten Forward don't count for much when Beverley is confronted by a lesbian lifestyle.

Anyway - really quite vile but it functions as a bad taste parody of the worst kind of pulp science fiction, albeit unintentionally.
Juan R
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
This episode came out of nowhere, which is why it mostly works. Liked how Dr. Crusher ditches her no nonesense professional image and basically acts like a smitten teenage girl. It was cool to see her as a sexual and passionate woman. Deep down everyone needs someone to spark that fire inside of us.

The Riker angle felt contrived and kind of silly but Jonathan Frakes does a great job of acting, which saves the episode. That host thing is not the point of this. Instead, we must question what is true love and how much are we willing to adjust to keep and save those feelings? The answer: to a certain point. We are just being human. Nothing more.

Overall good episode. Gates McFadden ( I thought she was sexy) finally has something more interesting to do than run a tricorder over someone. She was a lot better off without Wesley.
Lynne Cullen
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 6:43am (UTC -5)
No one has commented on the creepiness of the Riker-trill harassing Crusher until she agrees to have sex with him. What’s the rush? The trill’s presence within Riker was to be short lived. Why was it so urgent that they “do it” at that time? Both Riker and Crusher were used by the pushy Trill.
Top Hat
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 8:44am (UTC -5)
I always faintly wondered if anyone ever told Riker that his body was used as a human sex doll.
Hotel bastardos
Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Well, he's a renowned shagger- but the thing is , now his esteemed colleague has experienced his "length" - how can she look him in the eye
Logan C
Mon, Nov 2, 2020, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
While I enjoyed the hypothetical that "The Host" presents with the question of "Could you continue loving someone even if their physical body changed completely?" I feel like it completely misses the mark by the completion of the episode.

Firstly, I think this episode has a serious issue with establishing that consent is vital in relationships. Odan did not reveal to Beverly that he was truly a slug like creature inhabiting a male humanoid body. He evaded revealing his true self for fear of scaring the Doctor and the other dignitaries away. However, I give the writers some credit with the analogy when Odan asks her "It never occurred to me. Did you ever tell me that you were only a single being?" This seems to be more relevant today than when this episode was made. Many transgender folks struggle with revealing their gender identities because they either fear rejection or they think it's unneeded to be said. So I feel like Beverly's reaction to Odan's forced confession is fair. To her she feels like it was a lack of consent and a betrayal of trust because he lied to her and the crew about why he couldn't use the transporter and what he truly was. His host body's "death" forcibly reveals this to everyone.

But to make matters worse, Riker volunteers to be the temporary host for the interests of diplomacy and peace. He only consented to ensure Odan didn't die before negotiations were finished. But what he did not agree to was for Beverly and Odan to use his body for sex. After the original host perishes, Beverly seems to relive her husband's death and Deanna asks her if she was only attracted to his body. I found this interesting because it begs the question, if Bev's dead husband were resurrected in a new body, could she still love him?

So ultimately the sexual tension between Odan and Beverly erupts in his quarters and they presumably have sex. Which is pretty despicable since Riker, Beverly's friend that she sees "as a brother" is essentially raped. It does not matter if we think Riker would or would not give his consent because he was not in control of his body. It's no different than someone getting date raped while under the influence. Why could Beverly not control herself for a couple days until another consenting host came to hold Odan?

But then the icing on top of the cake is that Odan's replacement is a female body. At first, I was excited to see Star Trek pushing the envelope on social issues like it has been lauded for in the past. You would think Beverly would be accepting of this surprise since she was all too willing to rekindle her feelings with Odan in Riker's body despite his unwilling participation. But no, Dr. Beverly is immediately cold and formal to Odan and their new body. She gives them some pedantic speech about how humans aren't flexible enough to love beings like the Trill. Apparently to Dr. Beverly love is only skin deep, she's fine with raping her friend but being in a same-sex relationship is going too far! I know ST:TNG is a show made in the 90s when LGBT+ folks were seen as taboo but this is some BS. Its simply inconsistent writing. If it weren't for Beverly violating Will, I could accept her saying "For me, im not physically attracted to you in a different form." It's as simple as that. She's a heterosexual woman, that's fine. But if her only reason for not being with a female Odan is that she's not flexible enough to be with them because they change bodies too quickly. Then why was she able to be flexible with Odan when he switched to Riker's body? Am I wrong to come away from this episode thinking that the message they're trying to convey is unconsenual sex is fine and that LGBT relationships aren't valid? All I know is that if this episode was made today, they would either be more daring with the conclusion of Odan and Beverly's romance or allow Beverly to be consistent in her sexual orientation. It's a shame that this episode shows it's age because the questions asked were good ones. With a little less bias, I think the answers that we could have gotten would have been that love is timeless and transcends physical appearance.
Tue, Nov 3, 2020, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Given the massive retcon DS9 did with the Trill and certain moral problems this episode creates and never addresses, 'The Host' is best left forgotten. It also one of those few examples where TNG slips on such an easily avoidable conundrum, in this case the nature of a host's identity and its seeming disappearance after joining. If they wanted to make this work, they should've unequivocally presented the hosts as 'shaved apes' as Grumpy wrote in his previous comment. This would in turn make the story with Riker more compelling where the reason for his body's rejection of the symbiont could be explained by incompatibility with human nervous system, mind or whatever scientific mumbo-jumbo along those lines. This would easily resolve the episode's glaring problem in a satisfying manner and would add a bit more creativity to the story instead of just using the obvious 'the body's rejecting foreign tissue lodged inside it.' With that being said, I'll stick to DS9 Trills.

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