Star Trek: The Next Generation


2.5 stars.

Air date: 2/3/1992
Teleplay by Pamela Gray & Jeri Taylor
Story by Shari Goodhartz & T. Michael and Pamela Gray
Directed by Robert Wiemer

Review Text

The Enterprise plays host to some Ullians, a race of telepaths who have the ability to probe others' minds and bring to the surface long-buried memories that are lying dormant in a subject's head. The Ullians do this to help people and for reasons of historian scholarship. But then strange things begin to happen. Troi experiences a memory with Riker that suddenly goes awry. One of the Ullians, named Jev (Ben Lemon), puts himself in Riker's place in one of Troi's memories and assaults her. The memory invasion leaves her in a coma. When Riker and Crusher attempt to get to the bottom of the coma mystery, they also end up in comas. The story itself makes no mystery of the villain; the teaser ends with an ominous shot of Jev that has no purpose other than to make him look suspicious.

Here's an episode that tries to deal with some challenging, more grown-up subject matter that is somewhat less ... shall we say, sanitized than your typical Trekkian fare. It does this while trying not to step for a moment outside the boundaries of family-friendly TNG that could air at any hour (or TV-PG, in the parlance of our post-1996-American-TV-ratings-system times), despite the fact that an implied sexual assault is at the center of the plot. If that sounds like a paradox, it is. The result is an episode that could've been edgy and psychologically intense (and at times comes close, within its predefined constraints) but in the end sort of comes off as a compromise. To put this in the terms of the TOS mantra of Using Sci-Fi Metaphors to Tell Stories We Otherwise Couldn't Get By the Censors: If memory invasion is supposed to be a metaphor for rape, it's odd that the metaphor then includes an actual (well, kinda-sorta implied) rape.

The idea of using a person's memories against them, for the sake of psychological terror, is intriguing. (Crusher ends up in a coma when she relives a twisted-around memory of her husband's death.) And some of the dreamlike atmosphere here is suitably intense. This episode could've worked.

But the last act falls apart when Jev — who believes he has already gotten away with the crime by framing his father Tarmin (David Sage) for it — goes to Troi's quarters and then tries to attack her all over again, this time physically. It just doesn't make any sense — unless Jev is so obsessed with Troi he has completely lost his mind. Why would he go to the trouble of turning his mind-rape spree into a frame-job only to then out himself as the perpetrator? This is just a sloppy way to tie things up with action rather than dialogue — and it's unnecessary too, since Data and Geordi solve the case with their own investigation.

I also could've done without the episode's preachy final scene, which has dialogue that basically says humans (unlike Ullians, apparently, who are condescended to here based on the actions of one person) are so perfect now that there's apparently no such thing as violence as extreme as rape anymore, which flies in the face of common sense. This scene is also a clear violation of the show-don't-tell rule. "Violations" shows and then tells, just in case you didn't get it.

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72 comments on this post

    Yeah, I'm not sure if this episode could've worked given its constraints. And what's the message? "Rape is bad"? I'm not saying every episode of Star Trek should have a message, but if you're going to deal with rape, you'd better have something more profound to say about it. How about "the most damaging part of rape is not the physical act but the psychological consequences". Simple, but true and not shown enough in fiction.

    I think people are looking for more in this episode than was ever intended by the writers. It isn't meant to be a big rape episode--it is a psychological thriller and on those intended terms it works very well or at least it did for me since I felt genuine concern for each of those assaulted by the crew, were invested in each of the attacks, enjoyed Data and Geordi's investigation efforts especially the scene where we see Geordi methodically narrow down possible causes, the banter at the dinner scene.

    I could care less about the heavy handed final scene. Bottom line it was entertaining. 3 stars.

    Yes, the climax was a bit too obvious, but, hey, it's not Troi's fault she so freakin' hot.


    Has anyone else noticed the music got really crappy in the fifth season. As terrible as the first season was, I actually hum some of those tunes, even the armus one. But by the fifth season, it sounds like they hired some cheap soundstage to do cheap background music that is identical in every scene?

    Whenever I do a google search all that ever shows up is Jay chattaways "Inner Light" suite. The problem with that is that in the episode it is only ever played on Picards' stupid flute, as for the music in the episode itself, it is the same stupid season 5 background music.

    I am a HUGE lover of soundtracks and score, and I must admit, this is really hampering my enjoyment of this season. Has ANYONE else noticed???

    Nick: Regarding the music on TNG, this was well documented at the time. There was a piece in a popular sci-fi magazine after the sixth season of TNG (I still have it somewhere), that basically explained that the people in charge of the show (specifically Rick Berman, I believe) had given edicts to make the music essentially into generic wallpaper, as to not "overpower" the visuals and dialogue happening on the screen. Strange but true.

    The composers were given very specific cues of where they should score and they were constantly told not to use bombast or significant percussion.

    Ron Jones, widely regarded the best Trek composer of the era (he did the memorable "Best of Both Worlds" scores, among many others) was fired during the fourth season because he too often broke the rules set by the producers and went over budget with music.

    By the time ST:Enterprise ended, it seems Berman & Co. had adjusted their philosophy, because the music improved dramatically in the later seasons of Enterprise. But for long stretches of TNG, DS9, and Voyager, bland was the norm.

    Thanks Jammer, I will have to look for that article. I don't think I nescessarily disagree with the "bombastic-ness" of the first season, but they really toned it down in the second, and the third and fourth were movie quality (I agree with BOBW, PHENOMINAL), but it really seemed to turn TV-ish in 5.

    I think I really noticed it when I watched the Scotty episode from season 6 right after watching "Boobytrap" from season 3, and it struck me that in every measureable way Scotty was the better episode, the music alone kept me from loving the Scotty episode (except for the one courage moment!) It just seemed so much less fun in seasons 5-7.

    I very much agree about the music. A vibrant score can really enhance drama. ( E.g. see not only Star Trek: TOS and early TNG, but the reimagined BSG as examples of how it can do this). Having the score dulled back to generic strings with few melodies was just stupid.

    The composers also had the tendency to reuse the same chord progressions over and over. It becomes almost parody in "Future's End: Part II" when the car chase sequence has the same old "dun-dun-dunn, dun-dun-dunn" chords.

    Though the most hilarious bit of scoring has to be in "The Way of the Warrior" when there's a cut to the long shot of the dead Klingons in Ops, and the music lets out a completely overwrought sustained chord.

    Music is used in film/tv to force emotions upon you. I'm assuming that they had the Trek music guidelines to ensure that the story stood on its own merits.

    Any interview I've ever seen or read with a scorer (if that is the correct term) always contains the line:

    "If I'm doing my job correctly, the view shouldn't even notice the music."

    I find that a bit glib and general, but it also kind of true. If the music stands out too much, then maybe the scene isn't working as it should and the music is making up for it.

    That's just my rambling anyway.

    I have fond memories of this episode in that it was suitably odd. While I agree it is somewhat a rape-allegory, I don't understand why people insist that it must contain some sort of message.

    Why must every episode of every incarnation of Trek have a moral message? Why can't it just be about a guy who gets his kicks by dominating other people?

    I have a three-fold response to that, Stef:

    1. The composer's job is to punctuate ideas or feelings that *are not* obvious on the screen. If the scene in question is dramatically perfect before a composer comes in, then that scene probably shouldn't have music at all.

    2. Homogenous music - especially if its music that has little artistic or emotional merit - can often be more discracting in terms of quality than "overblown" music.

    3. Most TV shows and movies are indifferently spotted nowadays; and composers, directors and music editors are too focused on temp-tracks to make the key decisions on when and where music should start and stop.

    For a long time I thought the blandness of Trek TV scores was due to lower budgets (the film scores, after all, are almost all terrific). Then I heard about Berman's 'edict', and around the same time I saw Bear McCreary's work on the new Battlestar Galactica and realized the potential that's been squandered on Trek all these years. The BSG score does not shy away from swelling up and calling attention to itself when needed. Except for maybe one or two scenes, I never felt this detracted from the drama.

    This episode was okay, but I have to comment on the music thread. I am a professional composer. This is what I do. Music does not "force emotions" or even enhance drama. When you put music to drama you are creating another emotional/psychological dimension. While of course one can't have the brass drowning out the lines of dialogue, the space in which music lives in our brains is much deeper than language or visuals. They don't compete, they work in concert (if done well). "Enhance" implies making something good better; music makes of drama something entirely new, it reïnvents. Bad scores (like the Berman-era ones referenced) make good drama worse, rather than just not adding anything. They ruin well realised dialogue or visuals because they deaden the foundation of our dramatic perceptions.

    I can't stand you, Jammer, saying that a society has managed to do away with rape "flies in the face of common sense." It is sensical then that people should rape others? Human beings have evolved past the point screwing whatever shows up on their radar now haven't they? As Tuvok would say "Is there a point to your pessimism?"

    It has been established that crime still exists even in the 24th century. Murder as well. It may not be commonplace, but Picard acts as if violence on the level of rape is unheard of when he lectures these people based on the violent actions of ONE man. I just found it condescending. You're telling me that out of all the billions of people on Earth and throughout the Federation no one has ever committed rape? I guess humans really are perfect in the 24th century.

    I have two responses to this Jammer;

    1) I think there is a middle ground between being perfect and being a rapist. A society which finds rape incredible and intolerable is not definitively perfect, just better than one which does methinks.

    2) If Picard's attitude indicated a kind of naïveté in humanity which made him impotent to deal with a crime like rape, I could understand your frustration. That's not the case, however. The people of the 24th century aren't jaded the way we are where an act of supreme violence and torture can be tossed aside emotionally as "part of life" or what have you. That doesn't mean they're childish or incapable.

    I agree that the condensation (for the purposes of condescension) as you put it of all Ullians is stupid, but it's also a Trek standby and nothing to gripe at this particular episode about.

    In short; humans don't have money and they don't rape each other unless (I suppose) some serious mental illness plagues them. That doesn't make them perfect.

    "1) I think there is a middle ground between being perfect and being a rapist. A society which finds rape incredible and intolerable is not definitively perfect, just better than one which does methinks."

    I thought it was the Ullian society that was shown as finding mental rape incredible - ISTR some statement about how there had never been any crime like the one portrayed in this episode for the past 300 years - something about how they had to blow the dust of some old legal precedents to come up with some way of punishing/treating the guy. I guess, Picard saying in passing that humans, even the worst low-lifes don't commit rape any more just hasn't stuck in my mind.

    I remember this episode, though I haven't watched it in quite awhile. It's definitely a rape allegory - so I do think your comments are on the money that it ought to be more allegorised than it is - maybe they could have just done the guy watching Troi's memory of Riker, instead of have him change it about so that instead of being like it was it turns into a memory of violent sex.

    I think the guy came over as creepy enough without the need to bang the viewer over the head with it.

    Thanks Jammer again for pointing out one of the conceits of Trek I could never get past, the idea that humans are so wonderfully perfect in the future. I found it ironic in the final scene that Picard is lecturing the aliens on how humans have left violence behind when he himself was stabbed in the chest in a bar brawl if memory serves (no pun intended)...although I will admit that the bar brawl may not have been thought of at the time of this episode.

    @pviateur: Picard was stabbed by a Naussican, not a human.

    A barfight and rape do not constitute the same definition of violence. No one could be so obtuse as to propose that humans would ever lose the urge or necessity to use force on occasion or have a "brawl"--hell, just look at "Family." But rape and premeditated murder are the kinds of commonplace occurrences in our time which have been naturally selected out of most of the human population by the 24th century, or so goes the mythology of this universe. Did you know that in 2010, about 1 in 3 American women has been or will be molested or raped? 1 in 3! I couldn't begin to guess how those numbers work in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Uganda, but I'm guessing there are large portions of the world in which it would be 3 in 3. THAT'S our world today, and that's what Picard is so sickened by in his speech.

    Portraying Picard with hairpiece alone, makes this episode more than all right! One of the better ones of season 5 so far;
    I expected 3 stars here judging from the general feeling the episode leaves you with - even having become more severe in judgement after all your terrific reviews, Jamahl - great job!

    I had never considered that last comment about why Jev would be so stupid as to go back to Troi's quarters and re-assault her (mentally or otherwise). I suppose the premise is that he could not resist, as he was addicted to these assaults. Troi was his first attackee, and it was a 'sexual' memory that was invoked. He seemed to like her in the early-going. Perhaps he actually did have a thing for her, so he wanted to honestly [pretend] to apologize for his father, but then his addiction got the better of him when he saw her. But still, you make a valid point that I'd never considered.

    Tasha Yar grew up on the Planet of the Rapists. Or are we supposed to forget that, like her tryst with Data, ever happened?

    @Grumpy :

    Her planet (Turkana IV) was a failed Federation colony. It was implied in "Legacy" that its inhabitants represented the criminally worst in Federation society (whose bright idea was it to give them a planet?) who quickly fell into anarchy and disorder when they broke of governmental ties.

    Again, it's not about whether or not rape happens, it's about the attitude with which it's treated. This is a universe where a teenager can pilot the flagship, therapists are given military ranks, and amidst a devastating war, a newly instated ensign can be coddled and consoled for his injuries in the lap of luxury. It's just different.

    I agree with those that felt Picard's last speech was silly. Overall I'm sure crime would have gone way down by the 24th century, but it's only logical some would still exist.

    Speaking of crime, I wish Worf would have broken psycho boys neck at the end!

    Not trying to illicit sympathy for 'psycho boy' but I did not see rape as the central focus of this episode. From the outset it was established that not only was the father better than the son in doing the memory thing, but the father went out of his way to ridicule his son about it every chance he got.
    Now 'psycho boy' meets a woman that he's attracted to and his dad pretty much emasculates him in front of her. His self esteem was dead so he does not know how to deal with his romantic feelings. But hey, he has this power that allows him to have the girl. This episode just gave us a glimpse of why this guy resorted to rape. Rape isn't about sex, it's about power. An emasculted man wanted to feel powerful.

    I've been trying for a while to get a handle on how to talk about this episode. I think my big problem is this: the Troi violation -- the imaginary Riker/Troi rape scene -- is, I think, a real misfire, or at least brings up things that the episode can't hope to follow up on. The Beverly "violation" is a scene which almost certainly really happened, except for Picard and Jack looking like Jev, and Jack opening his eyes; and whether or not that Engineering situation Riker's "violation" took place, Riker *is* in command of situations in which people die (see: Yar, Natasha) and so the spirit if not the literal text of that memory is surely real. In other words, those two scenarios are based either directly on Beverly or Will's actual memories, or, failing that, on fears that are quite reasonable. Beverly had to deal with the trauma of Jack's death; Riker really does have to deal with losing people under his command.

    So if that's the case, why open with an illusion wherein Troi is raped by Riker/Jev? It starts off with a scenario we expect might really have happened -- cleaning up after a poker game, maybe a moment in which the two steal a moment alone. At what point does this move from something that really happened to something that is only in this illusion created by Jev to torment her? And once again, whether the Crusher or Riker scenarios actually happened or not, they are related to actual experiences and reasonable fears. So did Riker nearly rape Deanna, or was there a moment in which Deanna was really afraid that Riker wouldn't listen to her telling him to stop? Nowhere else in the episodes do any of the Ulians seem to create an entire narrative out of nothing -- the closest is Jev replacing the memory of his own face with that of his father's, but that is a memory of the mental violation itself, not a memory contained within the violation. If I follow the episode's internal logic, I keep coming to the idea that for the episode to make sense, either Deanna was nearly raped by Riker, or genuinely has some subconscious fear that Riker would rape her. Fairly obviously, I don't think that is the episode's intent; even if the episode were to go there, Riker and Troi's relationship would have to be fundamentally changed, to say the least, and there is no way the show could continue without dealing with that. So then, why rape? Why choose Riker raping her as the basis of the trauma that puts Troi into a coma, analogous to having to relive the experience of seeing Jack's body, or the experience of losing someone under one's command? It doesn't come from Troi on a character level, so it mostly comes from Jev, but even to the extent that it makes sense that Jev's figurative rape could express itself as a fantasy of literal rape, he *doesn't do that* with either Riker or Crusher, and Troi's comes first so it is not as if there is a forward progression of the mindrape being more and more explicit in its connection to physical rape. And so while it's not as blatant or as bad, that Troi scene seems to me to be in the same vein as the rape scene in Nemesis, perhaps the low point of that already-terrible movie, gratuitous violence which is sexualized only because Troi is supposed to be the "hot" character.

    Anyway, that scene is only a smaller component of the bigger episode, but it bothers me, and it maybe gets at what bothers me about the rest of the episode. What exactly is the point of this? As Nic says, there is no real point here. The episode could have been used to demonstrate truths about the characters, but largely isn't -- Jack's death hurt Beverly, yes, got it. And yes, I agree that Jev's going back to assault Troi at the episode's end is barely credible. He has managed to avoid detection for months; it's not as if Troi were genuinely his first attackee, just his first on the ship. I agree with mephyve that the episode does a good job of demonstrating the point of view of the rapist, however -- of emphasizing that Jev's dysfunction and horrible behaviour stem from feelings of inferiority and a desperate need to have power over others, by any means necessary. I do like the investigation stuff with Data and Geordi as well. So the episode is not a total loss, but it leaves a sour taste; 2 stars from me.

    I'm writing regarding comments made by both Jammer and William B. Both question the credibility of Jev returning to Troi's quarters for a second rape. Their argument is that he had gotten away with it, so why should he take the risk of being caught with a second attempt. This is actually a very accurate description of a sociopath. In their mind, they believe they had previously gotten away with it, so getting away with it again won't be a problem.

    I have a relative that was ordered by a judge to stay away from the ex partner after a restraining order violation. Less than 3 hours after the judge had ordered my relative to stay away or face severe consequences, that relative was back harassing their ex partner. Why did my relative do this after they had gotten away with the first violation? Because, in that persons mind, the judge, had said it was okay because their was no punishment for the initial violation. That relative is now facing up to 5 years in state prison because of this violation when all they had to do was heed the judges order and stay away. I know this example is anecdotal, but I believe this behavior is typical of sociopaths. Yes, I know I'm calling my relative a sociopath, but that's because I believe this person is.

    I think it is credible that Jev tried a second rape. The fact that he had gotten away with it previously reinforced his belief that he could continue to do it with out consequences.

    As for the other complaints about this episode. I agree. I actually found this episode to be quite boring and actually fell asleep on 3 different occasions trying to watch it.

    This episode is one that I really dislike. One star is generous for this one.

    I really hate the dream/memory sequences, visually they are just unpleasant to watch. Not to mention the ridiculous wig on Patrick Stewart's head.

    The story is just a frustrating who-dunnit where we are waiting for the crew members to catch up to what the audience knew the entire episode. It's really simple and there's just not much to it.

    Certainly one of the worst of the seasons, but also maybe one of the worst in the entire series.

    I have no problems with Jammer's complaint about the final Picard speech, because it does completely fly in the face of common sense. Besides the unfairness of Picard lecturing an entire race because of one person being the only serial mind-rapist of the past 300 years, the idea that the Federation is a 100% rape-free society is silly. You can say that humanity has "evolved" or whatever so that it isn't part of the culture, but there's probably 100 billion humans in the 24th century. Even if 99.9999999% of humans are nice and evolved, that still leaves 100 bad guys out there. An analogy would be cannibalism. Nobody thinks it's a problem in modern Western society; nobody thinks it is part of our culture. Yet every once in a while you read about someone who went full Hannibal. Is that an indictment of our culture? Of course not. It just means that outliers unfortunately exist.

    But more importantly, the Picard speech is debunked by THIS VERY EPISODE. What was Troi's nightmare? Getting raped. So either Riker actually did rape or attempt to rape her in the past (unlikely), or she has some residual fear of being raped (far more likely). Again, use cannibalism as a metaphor. If Jev was mind-raping you, would your memories be of nearly getting eaten? No! The fear of someone eating you is hardly common, because cannibalism is so freaking rare! I mean, murder and rape are rare in our culture too, but those still happen often enough that you may have the fear of it. So why did Troi have these memories? Riker's memories (the horror of leaving someone to die) and Bev's memories (the horror of seeing your dead husband's body) are realistic enough that one assumes Troi's memory is also realistic. Which only makes sense if rape is still a rare yet common (you know what I mean by that) occurrence in the Federation. So what the heck is Picard lecturing about?

    Which is really the problem of this episode. What the heck is any of it about? What the heck is with the memories? Did they actually happen (as WilliamB pointed out, that would really kill Riker's character, so clearly the rape didn't happen)? Or something like it happened? Why did it cause them to fall unconscious? Is it the severity of the horror experienced? But shouldn't trained, professional Starfleet personnel be able to deal with those horrors? Was it something else magical about the experience? What exactly was Jev doing?

    It's obvious why they fell into a coma and couldn't remember it afterwards; it was a plot excuse to allow Jev to escape justice. But it still made no sense.

    And the whole point of the episode didn't make sense either. Was it a whodunit? Of course not; we know it's Jev from the beginning. So why spend all this time having Geordi and Data solve the mystery? Was it an Aesop story? If so, why is it needed (Oooh, you mean rape is BAD? Thanks for telling me; I never would have guessed!)? Is it an insight into the characters? Given that their memories were rather pedestrian (other than Troi's), it didn't tell us anything. And since we have no idea how much of them was real, it REALLY doesn't tell us anything. Was it a character piece of Jev? Maybe... that's actually about the best part of the episode. Jev really does seem like a good psychological profile of a predator: daddy issues, mostly socially acceptable yet still slightly awkward, and lashing out at anyone with any perceived slight against him. But still, that's not enough to carry an episode. Was it just for entertainment value? I would hope not, because it wasn't entertaining.

    So what was the point?

    To a couple of critiques... I think the "rape" scene did happen in reality, but that it didn't have rape connotations.

    I'm imagining a scene where after a poker game and a bit too much to drink they got a little physical with each other and Deanna had to remind Will that they can't be like that anymore. They probably did kiss a little bit and he probably did lie on top of her.

    Remember, they can communicate telepathically with each other, even though it's not shown. Riker may have been the aggressor, but Deanna feels safe with him, that's pretty well established.

    I think the "rape" connotation came in when the face changed. It went from a bit of consensual whatever that she was trying half-heartedly to stop to somebody else on top of her.

    As to Picard's speech..... I took it to mean the opposite you all did. We, like you, had violence once and have abolished it. But we have to acknowledge the seed for violence is still in everyone. I didn't think he was saying "we have to acknowledge the seed for violence is still in all of you". We've met violent humans in Star Trek. Doctor Marr's murdering of the crystaline entity a few episodes ago just to use a random example.

    Wow - Troi literally gets mind f-cked.

    The somewhat sanitized treatment of disturbing subject matter reminded me of the Quinn Martin cop shows of the '70s - with the villain a typical creep.

    Worth it to see Worf's bitch slap at the end - just an open palm straight into his face. Hilarious.

    I didn't really like knowing that Jev was the villain from so early on, the randomness of how Troi and then at the end the others recovered from the coma or the techy investigation but I still thought it was mostly well done, appropriately somber and intense. It's interesting to see Picard dealing with suspicion in more pragmatic than absolutist terms than he did in "The Drumhead."
    I liked how in the beginning Picard and the Geordi were resolutely against having their memories examined, Picard especially a little resentful at Beverly urging it. I loved how both Picard and Crusher looked believably younger in the flashback and it showed how supportive Picard was; on the other hand, Riker looked a lot heavier than he did just two or three years ago.

    I was just thinking about some of the episodes I wasn't a big fan of and couldn't pin down. This one is an example of one that I didn't like particularly because I couldn't figure out a point. What, is the point, "rape is bad"? Is it just to reimagine the horror of sexual assault in a new way to let the audience understand it in new terms, because if so I don't think the episode succeeded. But it just hit me: Jev, like Tarmin, is a guy whose job it is to help people remember things. He's basically the equivalent of a hypnotist, or, when it comes to particularly important memories, a type of psychiatrist. And so his extracting and/or creating painful memories for his own pleasure takes on a different form: Jev is a representative of unethical and sadistic psychiatrists, hypnotists, and just plain wackos who actually *want* their patients/clients/whatever to feel pain so they can enjoy the feeling of power that gives them. Psychiatric malpractice, in other words, especially the possibility (which I'm not too familiar with, but I've heard about) of false memories being "implanted"/"suggested" while being "discovered" in hypnosis or therapy. That's a much more specific target for the episode than "rape is bad," and I think it sort of works. I don't think this is a great episode, but I think that helps the episode feel like it has more of a point.

    Jammer, first I'd like to thank you for your reviews, which have been a great source if insight for me during my ongoing TNG rewatch. Also, thank you for setting up this site with a comment section and providing the opportunity for many interesting discussions.

    Some thoughts on this episode:

    I don't have a too much of a problem with the fact that Jev was immediately revealed as the one who intruded on people's memories. The story could have been made as a whodunnit, but as it is, it works well as a sort of psychological study of Jev as a rapist. He feels emasculated by his unapproving father and tries to regain a sense of power by violating other people's minds.

    The dream sequences were the most chilling thing I had seen on TNG since the holodeck crime scene reconstruction in "Identity Crisis". I'm just glad that I hand't seen this episode as a child, since it would definetely have given me nightmares.

    I don't think that Troi's dream scene leaves it unclear whether Riker raped her or had intended to do so. My interpretation of all the dream sequences was that they began with real and intense memories, which were then intensified and turned into nightmarish scenarios, with Jev finally appearing in the dreams as himself. In Riker's dream, he remembered a warp core breach. The only time such a situation has come up before this episode was in "The Drumhead", but noone from the crew had been lost there, and if that had happened, it would have been referenced by somebody in the show. So I think that Jev's twisting of this memory starts at the point where someone from the crew is said to be trapped in the warp core chamber. Crusher's memory of seeing her dead husband starts getting twisted when he opens his eyes and attacks her. So I'd reckon that Troi's dream is also built on a real memory: After winning at Poker, she and Riker came to her quarters, started kissing and were en route to having sex, when she began having second thoughts and they broke it off (it had been established in "Encounter at Farpoint" that they had put their relationship on hold for career reasons, and here she says "not while we're serving on the same ship"). Jev's manipulation of her memory starts right after that, when Riker doesn't take "No" for an answer and forces himself on her. So this is not part of the real memory anymore.

    Those commenters who saw Picard's speech at the end as condescending towards the Ullians seem to have misunterstood it. According to my understanding, Picard does not mean: We were once violent, *as you people still are today*, but we have gotten over it. He says: We were once violent, *as you people were in the past*, but we have gotten over it, *just like you people have*. Remember, he says this in reply to Tarmin's statement that a crime like Jev's had been common in a particularly violent phase of Ullian history, but has been unheard of for the last 300 years. Also Picard ends his speech with the important comment about how we need to be aware of the seeds of violence which are ever present in everyone of us (I don't remember the exact phrasing), so he really says that even though a society may be highly civilized, violence is always a possibility to be wary of.

    I have a question about a actual human relationship. I herd (insiade), a term used in this episode referring to rikker when (troi) as under the images. Please I want to know ur explanation of (insadi)!

    @ KittyKatt: Imzahdi is a word that was previously used by Troi and Riker in a different episode. Sorry, I don't remember which, but it was in an earlier season. It means "beloved" in Betazoid.

    I agree with William B that the story makes more sense as one of psychiatric/psychological malpractice. There have been real-life cases of implanted false memories. That said, it did seem that Jev did try to rape Troi. His later assaults on Riker and Crusher were basically non-sexual assaults to silence those who were leading the investigation.

    I would have awarded the episode 3 stars, especially as I enjoyed the Geordi/Data detective team. For an episode in which the tension was almost purely psychological, I found it was well paced and it kept my interest. It loses an entire star from me, however, for Picard's ridiculous moralist speech at the end. I just don't buy that every human "carries the seed of violence" and that it's possible for that seed to "gain control." Especially not when we're referring to sexual violence rather than the biologically programmed "fight or flight" extreme stress reactions.

    For an episode with a great deal of potential, it's really sad that "Violations" falls so short. All the elements are here to tell a really dark, adult-oriented story. But, alas, it's executed so clumsily. And I'm not going to give it the excuse of "TNG had to be 'family friendly.'" Even under those constraints, they could have done a better job than they did.

    First, why is there absolutely no mystery as to who is the villain? The teaser literally ends with a shot of Jev looking villainous for absolutely no reason other than to let us know that he is, in fact, the villain of what we're about to watch. What was the point of this? Was it to do a sort of inverse who-dun-it story (a how-catch-em) a la "Columbo"? Well, if that was the case, then I can safely say that "Violations" is no "Columbo"! This would have been much more effective if there had actually been some mystery as to the identity of the rapist.

    Second, the final confrontation between Troi and Jev is just laughably bad. Like Jammer says, it just makes no sense what-so-ever for him to re-attack Troi. However, I don't think it's because he's so obsessed with Troi that he's out of his mind. I think it's just that he has no mind at all, that he's a moron! From his point of view he's gotten away with these rapes completely scot-free. So, what does he do? He goes and tries to mind rape Troi again and psychically assault her as well (for what, good measure?). Was he thinking "I'll just blow my whole carefully contrived cover for the fun of it"? Oh, and besides having no way to explain why he tried to mind rape Troi as well as beating her up, he's also found out by LaForge and Data in an independent investigation. So, he's doubly an idiot!

    Third, Jev's reasons for these rapes makes no sense. I can somewhat buy his reason for attacking Troi - his perverse sense of pleasure from doing it to someone so nice and beautiful. But what was the reason for attacking Riker? To throw him off the trail of the investigation? Not a particularly good idea there, buddy? What was the reason for the attack on Crusher? Again, to throw her off the trail? All that does is provoke a much more intense investigation. That's like someone saying "I killed a man and now this guy thinks I'm the murderer so I'll kill him to cover my tracks." That only makes you look more guilty! The more I think about it, the more I think Jev is a dim-wit despite the episode wanting me to think he's clever.

    There are a few areas that are done well, however. The memory sequences, for example, are quite evocative. They have some really good camera work and have effectively disturbing atmospheres. I also like the fact that Troi fights back against Jev, physically, in the otherwise ludicrous final confrontation. It's nice to see TNG encouraging rape victims to have their own agency, especially since in today's world we literally have people encouraging women to instead piss their pants or vomit on themselves in order to disgust a potential rapist away. Fuck that! Kick his ass, Deanna! You go girl! And, I also like that the episode doesn't shy away from the fact that man can be victims of rape as well, even if Riker's rape doesn't make sense story-wise.


    I really didn't get along with this one. Ironically, for something titled Violations, I thought it was a bit coy about what it had to say. I suppose that is inevitable given the target audience, but as others have noted there was an opportunity to produce a really dark episode here.

    I found the dream sequences to be grating rather than disturbing, and that open question of what really happened between Troi and Riker lends an unsavoury tone to the whole thing. Add in a desperately slow and lumpen plotting and dialogue, and it all adds up to a bit of a clunker.

    Worf's pimp slap of Jev is a bit of a highlight though. 1.5 stars.

    I just found the whole episode completely boring. The only part of it liked was the way the dream sequences were filmed. I really thought it gave a good perception of someone watching a dream, then invading it. And having them replay the same scenes over a few times, from different angles, sold them for me. While I have by no means watched everything ever made that had dream sequences, these are the best I've ever seen (and the Beverly/Picard one was the best of the three, in my humble opinion).

    Have a great day... RT

    God, those "mind rape" montages reminded me of horrible early 80s long form music videos. I wish the writers had credited the audience's intelligence and stop having those overlong shot of the guest star looking menacing when he thinks all eyes are off of him.

    A young guy with an overbearing father is full of rage and pent-up violence, and uses his mental talents to psychologically invade and assault other people by forcing traumatic memories into their minds. This can fairly be called "mind rape".

    But one of the mind rapes is an actual mind-rape *rape*. And the episode ends with an attempted real-life rape. And at the end the father speaks of "it's been centuries since we have had anyone commit this form of rape." Which form of rape? The mind rape or the mind-rape rape or the real-life rape? Okay - there are just way too many rapes muddying up the narrative!! We've got a rape-within-a-rape, a nonrape rape, a semi-rape rape, climaxing in an attempted hands-on rape!? It's an extravaganza of rapes both physical and mental, both literal and sci-fi-esque, all nested like matryoshka dolls!!

    The first time I saw the episode was with a roommate in college. And at the end, she looked at me in great puzzlement and asked "So, okay, he raped both the women.... But why on earth did the guy rape Riker too?"

    Disliked this episode even from the opening scene with Keiko--the invasion of her mind even for a "positive" reason felt like a dangerous violation. Was not expecting, nor did I enjoy an episode centered on intense psychological rape.

    I did enjoy Worf knocking out the creep with one smack.
    Usually I'm a fan of Picard's speeches, but the one at the end was smug and out of place.

    Btw, Riker's interrogation skills have much to be desired. Perhaps he had some gut feeling that Jev was the culprit, but even so, at the start of an investigation you should play it cool and come across as objective. Here, Riker shoves accusatorily toned questions down Jev's throat while maintaining that he was not accusing him of anything. Right.

    1 star

    This is one of maybe 3 or 4 episodes that I wasn't allowed to watch when I was younger, but seeing it now, I can definitely understand why

    This episode is icky, but it seems to be pulling too many punches with all of the murky science fiction metaphors to be relevant as any kind of social commentary on rape, or to even be effective as a mystery. "Mind Rape is Safe-for-TV Rape because it's only Kinda-Sorta-Rape" is the strongest message I get from it, which is troubling at best. This is an example of the show trying to do something brave, but essentially chickening out with metaphors that feel more like euphemisms. "The Outcast" had similar issues. Enterprise did a much better mind rape story about forcible mind melds that actually worked IMO.

    Analysis aside, I simply didn't find this episode entertaining or pleasant to watch. It brings up some interesting in-universe points for discussion, but the entire topic it broached could have been handled way better. The Ullians were a really interesting race and the opening scene with Keiko had me excited for exploring this memory recovery concept, then it devolved into what felt like a bad episode of Law and Order SVU. I cringed my way through this piece of garbage after that and there was nothing endearing, plot-advancing, or even worth my time, including the music. I'd go as low as one star here, and put it at the bottom of the TNG barrel with Riker's other memory coma.

    Not an episode I enjoyed watching -- not because of the subject matter per se but I'm not sure what it accomplishes other than just simply being a matter of deduction/investigation by Data/Geordi and nabbing the rapist as he's about to do it for real. Mind rape is substituted for physical violence with telepathic aliens.

    There is the issue of Jev being belittled by his father which plays into his antagonistic behavior -- it seems people in today's society who commit violent crimes sometimes have experienced similar emotions or rejection. Certainly doesn't condone their actions. Jev aims to get back at his father. He does. But he's already a sick "man" and makes another mistake is finally stopped.

    There's not that much to this episode for me. Plenty of time doing boring investigations, watching Troi, Crusher, Riker getting memory raped, Picard trying to play nice with the Ullians.

    Picard's speech at the end about putting violence behind them is BS -- this is trying to show how humans have evolved in the Trek paradigm but at least he admits the seed of violence is still there. Perhaps the proportion of criminals is down, but the whole evolution/advancement of society such that it has put violence behind it seems hollow/unrealistic/naively utopian to me.

    2 stars for "Violations" -- a different take on rape, but what does this episode say about it that hasn't already been said? It actually says nothing, for me. Doesn't go into the consequences for the victim or anything. As an investigative episode, the whole thing is pretty arbitrary as the crew go through standard procedures. Jev comes back to really rape Troi and is apprehended -- as he would have been eventually. There's just not enough here to even call this a decent episode.

    I agree that the drama in this episode was thrown away by it being obvious that Jeb was the culprit.
    The huge offence in this episode is the typically TNG nonsense about humanity having evolved beyond violence by the 2300s.
    In A Taste of Armageddon ,I think ,Kirk makes a much less condescending speech about this (" we are killers but we are not going to kill today") and even though Picard reminds us that we retain the potential for violence somehow he just sounds so patronising that we are back to the awful first season all over again.
    One to be flushed down the intergalactic toilet.

    Boring drivel. Another waste of celluloid, where you had better have something better to do like play mobile games or shuck peas, while this boring stupidity plays in the background.

    This is the most tolerable use of Troi though--put her in a coma so she just lies there and doesn't be the stupid idiotic bimbo that she is.

    In the course of my exploration and investigation of the telepathic abilities of various species---including, of course, Vulcans---I have come across instances of "rotten apples" among some of those species. Here we have one such example: a character named Jev who apparently has rape on his mind, and when the Ullians are transported aboard the Enterprise he sees his chance to be the rottenest apple he can be. He starts with the mental rape of poor Counselor Deanna Troi, goes after several other crewmembers, and then---near the end---appears again and this time tries to do it for real, but is quickly subdued by several crewmembers. This is still another example of the phenomenon which unfortunately continues to exist among various telepathic---and nontelepathic as well---species, human or not. I can only shake my head in utter bewilderment and disgust at this as I add it to my research.

    This episode is confusing, and my brain filled in gaps where the plot holes were. In my pieced together version, the rape actually happened and then Jev hastily tried to cover it up with memory alteration, something like Jev finding a similar memory with Troi on the floor in a sexual situation and trying only mostly successfully to substitute his rape memory for that. Then, like a serial killer getting close to being caught, he starts hastily putting everyone hot on his trail into comas.

    This episode feels like it overwent a rewrite halfway through because I'm not entirely sure my version wasn't what was originally intended. The end feels really tacked on, and the intention of other comas were never discussed. Not that it's entirely necessary, but having an end-of-episode recap where that isn't mentioned causes more problems than it solves. I'd rather probe the mindset of the criminal than hear an arrogant, ironically supremacist speech from Picard.

    The episode is still of average quality, though, despite the flaws.


    Its funny how Picard thinks there is no basis for prosecution. Well an assault is an assault. If you live the terror of a rape and another person puts you through that experience isn't that an assault, especially since they are doing it for their jollies? Picard whitewashed it pretty easily I would say. And Picard's sanctimonius speech at the end about the fact that seed of violence remains inside all of us... he is saying that right in front of 3 people who were just assaulted - and came out of their comas feeling that rape....and now know more about what happened. Picard is FAR too detached and cavalier for this. Good work writers and director (sarcasm).

    Crusher is the epitome of unprofessional when she goads the captain into the memory work. Even if they were off duty during that dinner, which I think is unlikely since they had official guests, her behaviour was harassment to the captain considering their personal relationship. She was alluding to him having some memories that they would all like to hear, and she is doing this from an inside perspective being closer to the captain. It was far too personal an approach she was making. I was appalled by her unprofessional and harassing behaviour.

    I know I have said this before but they gave up a true medical lead for a Picard love interest and Patrick Stewart, if he was involved in the lobbying to bring back the character, should be ashamed.

    Before they uncovered the deception, I was impressed that they might leave the episode with us uncertain as to who was responsible...a perfect crime. But they did solve it in perfect star trek future so that was disappointing.

    I do like how they query the computer when they are problem solving. That is what a lot of people want from their corporate "dashboards"....but the current interfaces, data and AI aren't quite there yet....I mean at the average work place

    This was one of the first Star Trek episodes I watched, when dropping in on my partner's half-complete first viewing of the series. Trying to remember this from about a month ago -- it couldn't have been more than about the third or fourth episode I saw.

    Suffice to say, not an episode I recommend as an intro to Star Trek. It was uncomfortable viewing, and while that's perfectly valid as something TV can aim to make you feel, a lot of it was uncomfortable in the wrong ways -- at least for me as someone brand new to this show.

    William B commented here in 2013 about how the episode's internal logic might lead you to believe that, given that Riker and Crusher's memory invasion scenes concerned real events, Troi's memory invasion would *also* be a real event. Complete with actually being raped by Riker.

    Well, sit a new viewer down in front of Violations, and there's a damn good chance that they'll actually be on the verge of believing that. I wasn't familiar with the characters or their relationship at all, and reaching that scene -- when it's already been established through faulty internal logic that the Ullians enter Real Memories of Actual Things That Happened -- I didn't have much reason to conclude anything other than "oh god, did Riker actually rape Troi at some point?"

    And let me tell you, I didn't *want* to believe that. It made for a hell of an uncomfortable undertone when watching the rest of the episode, trying to gauge Riker so that I could confirm whether he'd genuinely done what I'd just watched him do or whether the memory was a fabrication (which, again, would defy what the episode had established and would continue to establish). The scene where Riker comes to Troi's bedside to talk to her through her coma did reassure me somewhat, but that's still not "proof", is it?

    In hindsight, now having the experience of multiple seasons of TNG to fall back on, I agree that they *of course* wouldn't genuinely have had this memory be true. I even knew at the time that it *probably* wasn't what they were going for (though "probably" is less than "of course"). What was it even for, then? As per Jammer's review, the episode's rape metaphor is already secure without *actual* rape. William B saying it's a matter of gratuitous sexualisation and violence seems to be on the money. But why give the rapist Riker's face? Maybe it was the easiest shortcut they could think of to slot in something sexual from Troi's history. Maybe it was an intentional attempt to bait audiences into thinking -- no matter how briefly -- that this genuinely did happen, and reap the emotional response from that. The latter would be one hell of a cheap attempt at drama.

    I'm not doing a lot of talking about the rest of the episode here. But then this did overshadow the rest of the episode for me. It's not like they did anything to help with that, not by showing variations on that same damn scene three bloody times. Riker's crew death memories and Picard with hair only get one showing a[hair]piece. Troi's memory invasion unfortunately forms the core of this episode. And it's a rotten one.

    (Alternate Troi memory suggestion: Lwaxana having one of her *particularly* obnoxious moments, and then gasp! Suddenly it's Jev being mortifying in an outrageous dress. Troi goes into a coma from embarrassment.)

    [Final note: I'd originally intended to say all this on the end of my comment on A Matter of Perspective, an episode which internally accuses Riker of attempted rape -- and which, in-universe, I don't think does enough to exonerate him. But I figured it'd be more appropriate to comment all this on the episode I'm actually talking about.]

    I disagree with Eliot. Music can't force you to feel something, but it can cause an emotional response (remember the two note concerto from Jaws, or the shrill vocal piece called " I am Pazzuzu" from Exorcist III The Heretic. Both could cause a fear or "creepy" response or "Inner Universe" from "Ghost in the Shell" could cause feelings of exhilaration, sadness.

    So I disagree with you (I'm a musician too)

    No mention of Worf's mandatory deadpan one-liner?

    "Klingons do not like to be probed."

    When Riker fell asleep halfway through this episode, I thought "Yup, I know how he feels..."

    I think there were the makings of a better episode there, but what we goy was somewhat confusing. The physical rape effort at the end didn't make sense - I imagine it was there to allow Troi to strenuously and effectively defend herself, which suppose was meant to give here dignity a boost.

    What I'd have liked would have been for Troi's memories to give rise to a false belief that Riker had once raped her, and that she'd repressed that memory up till then. This would ultimately have been exposed as a false memory put there by Jev.

    I disagree with the suggestion that Picard's little sermon was in any way patronising.
    It's a mistake to read his talk of human society has having evolved beyond our violent past as being about physical evolution. He's talking about cultural evolution, and he's quite right to remind us that the changes that can bring are extremely fragile. At least as true in the 21st century as in the 24th. (And vice versa, undoubtedly.)

    I have no memory of having seen this one before, and I don't think the Ullians could help me with that. I think I actually hadn't seen it before.

    But despite its flaws, I quite liked it. The mental archaeology aspect of it is quite original, though I'm not a fan of telepathy in the Star Trek universe. It feels a bit like magic. I wish just once it would be explained in terms of highly-evolved neuro-electro-receptors receiving faint electrical transmissions from brain activity. Or something.

    But I digress. It's probably a mistake that the villain of the piece is revealed early on and the method by which Geordi and Data determine his identity is highly predictable. My own neuro-receptors had no difficulty seeing that one coming.

    The hallucination sequences, if I can call them that, with the warped lens effect and the distorted sound are really effective - bravo. And Jev is beautifully creepy when he cerebrally assaults Deanna at the end, telling her how lovely she is - I was cringing. Really well done.

    I thought Younger Picard's hair was quite realistic although it didn't look like that in real life; he was bald for many years before he did TNG so they could have left well alone.

    It always amuses me when different species sit down to have dinner together. People from different cultures on Earth often don't have the same dinner etiquette.

    And at the end, when Picard and Tarmin are recounting how their cultures used to be bloody and violent centuries earler, it would have been a nice touch for Worf to chime in with "my planet's pretty much still like that, actually".

    Good one, not especially memorable but decently average for the fifth series.

    Eh- jammer, yer confusing a rapist with a half decent villian- he thought he'd gotten away with it no doubt- but he couldn't t resist going back for more, and taking it even further. Don't try and rationalise demented fucks like that character.

    I don't think there was enough here for a full show and the memory sequences tend to go on way too long.

    But done great camera work in those sequences! Particularly the one in engineering where an extreme distortion was applied to Riker and the other engineer.

    @James G

    "It always amuses me when different species sit down to have dinner together. People from different cultures on Earth often don't have the same dinner etiquette."

    ??? How on earth do you know that ;-) ???

    As soon as I finished this train wreck of an episode I rushed to this site certain Jammer was going to be giving it something higher than the 1 star it deserves. Sure enough, 2.5/4. Garbage site.

    In 1988, Jodie Foster starred in The Accused, probably the definitive drama that deals with rape. Why, then, did Star Trek think it necessary to feature the same subject - in much diluted form - in an episode of TNG? I can’t help feeling (rightly or wrongly) that this just trivialised the whole matter. I know many here will disagree with this assessment so I’ll just say that I don’t like this episode for that reason , and leave it there.

    I'm not sure if I follow the logic that just because a topic has been covered once, it never needs to be covered again, by anyone. But a simple response would be that TNG is likely to reach a viewership who are unlikely to see an issue drama like The Accused (even an Oscar-winning one). Is science fiction device of "telepathic rape" a "dilution" of the topic, or is it a way to talk about it while avoiding some of controversies the that films like The Accused face (it was itself accused of sensationalism)?

    @Top Hat

    It’s not the notion of “telepathic rape” that’s a dilution: mental rape is just as violent and shattering as the physical attack; indeed, the mental after effects of physical rape are what makes the act so appalling.

    No. The dilution was setting rape alongside the situations involving Riker and Crusher as if all three scenarios were comparable. Yes, it’s a valid storyline, but you have to ask yourself what message it’s sending out. THAT’S the problem here. That and Troi’s apparent “easy” recovery from the attack.

    It's a recurring problem throughout TNG that characters recover from traumatic experiences of various sorts too quickly ("The Mind's Eye" at least alludes to a lengthy, offscreen recovery period but mostly we don't even get that). So I would agree with that criticism. And I hear your point about "comparability," but also hope that the point is that the real horrifying part is that Jev gets off on invading people's memories without permission, and that's horrible no matter the nature of those memories.

    This had to be one of the more twisted episodes of the entire TNG universe. Very disturbing.

    If I remember correctly, the writers added an interesting psychological dimension in showing how the mind-raping son (Jev) was completely silenced in normal interactions by his overbearing father (Tarmin). The father was in love with himself and therefore completely oblivious to how he might have contribut-ed to the creation of a monstrous offspring, a rare aberation among the Ullians. The mother was a cypher. Not uninteresting in what it handled, but really laid it on too thickly. Still left me wondering: Did the father really ever get it?

    Hypothesis: Seems to me (in the beginning of the episode) that it would be explored the power of auto suggestion in a person’s memory. But it would be a mistake, since it could pass the wrong message about people testimony’s who have been raped. And then they changed.

    {{ Those commenters who saw Picard's speech at the end as condescending towards the Ullians seem to have misunderstood it. According to my understanding, Picard does not mean: We were once violent, *as you people still are today*, but we have gotten over it. He says: We were once violent, *as you people were in the past*, but we have gotten over it, *just like you people have*. }}

    Also, people saying that he implicated the entire Ullian civilization because of one person's action seem to forget that he's reassuring a Ullian who had just expressed worry about the state of his civilization. He says in effect, "My people used to do things like this quite often, but it hasn't happened in so long, I thought we had risen above it." And Picard is encouraging them with "You can still rise above it, I know from the history of my own civilization that this is true."

    Anyone clock Riker ogling that server at around the 7-minute mark? *rolls eyes* That guy is just incorrigible...

    Meanwhile, Troi in yonder silky nightie...? Whooooooo, dawgies!!!

    That out of the way, I really enjoyed this installment. Quick-moving, with an interesting underlying story, some great sci-fi detective work and deduction, and a relatable subtext (fallibility of human memory). Troi's illustrious facial contortions I could've done without but very nice overall.

    Three stars, maybe three-and-a-half, from me.

    Like some others on this thread, I too don't see a point in this episode's existence. Were the writers somehow worried people would think they believe rape is okay unless they did a "rape is evil" episode?

    An Original Series episode showed Kirk smacking Chekov silly during an attempted rape of a Klingon woman, and that's in an episode that was made over 20 years before this one.

    The episode really just seems like a misfire as far as Riker goes.

    Beyond the issue with the question of whether the episode suggests Riker raped Troi, his character is just off elsewhere too and I'm surprised only one person seems to have mentioned it.

    As Derek D said, the scene in which Riker questions Jev is played very poorly, in my opinion. I believe the intention was to have Jev say something that makes Riker jealous and angry - reminiscent of Devinoni Ral actually trying to make Riker jealous when it comes to Troi. But what he says, "she has a wonderful sense of humour," seems quite innocuous to me, but that's what seems to ultimately annoy Riker.

    Maybe they were trying to play Riker being annoyed that Jev's comment being flippant an uncaring about Troi being ill? I'm not entirely sure.

    But as Derek says, the beats of Riker being reassuring that there's no accusation and then being accusatory are in the wrong places. He opens with "did you go into her quarters" in a tone that I would potentially also read as trying to find out if anything happened. Then he smiles it off that that's not his intent. Then Jev explains what happened in what seems to be to be a completely unemotional delivery, and Riker acts like Jev was being defensive.

    That's why Jev gives the line about Troi having a good sense of humour and Riker seems irritated for no good reason I can see.

    Then Riker asks if Dr. Crusher can check them for organisms and that's when /Jev/ actually seems offended for the first time. Riker seems to genuinely assures him he doesn't mean anything they intentionally did. This seems to calm Jev down, and as Jev is agreeing /Riker/ seems to get annoyed again and abruptly cuts him off with a "fine. Thank you" and gets up and leaves like he's annoyed. The scene is just... off.

    Then we have the scene where Riker is distraught over the comatose Troi's bed, trying to talk to her. He seems to get on the verge of tears - "I miss you - please don't stay away too long". Nothing in the episode suggests that Troi is potentially going to die. This just seems so out of place given we have been shown nothing to suggest they have become closer recently other than Troi's own dream in this very episode... which. This is particularly so given that Riker is almost nowhere to be seen when Troi is suffering in The Loss just the previous season. He certainly doesn't act like someone who is watching his loved one suffer in that episode. Just a few weeks earlier, Riker is clearly on Risa having a fling with a local, and in a few episodes, he will seemingly fall in love in The Outcast. He doesn't get teary eyed nearly the same way in that episode at the thought of losing Soren.

    And we have seen many crew members going through many medical situations. Riker (and really everyone else) has always remained professionally detached. So to see him about to cry - even with it being Troi - just seems extremely out of place.

    Thematically appropriate that my memory of this was so negative and this rewatch vindicated it.

    The race against time was well-paced and the memories made for great illumination of backstory we know or could only speculate on. Loved the thriller treatment of camera angles and lighting. Stewart and McFadden moving without walking...creepy!

    To the conversation about Riker, Jev's response to basic questioning was so hostile and then lurid, few would have kept their composure, much less a dear friend of Troi.

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