Star Trek: The Next Generation


2 stars.

Air date: 9/27/1993
Teleplay by Jeanne Carrigan-Fauci & Lisa Rich
Story by Roger Eschbacher & Jaq Greenspon
Directed by Cliff Bole

Review Text

"Liaisons" is in the spirit of TOS-era alien encounters, where aliens behave strangely, our human characters do not understand, and then the story's lesson is revealed in a long soliloquy at the end that explains everything that came before. (For some reason that seems like a TOS template, anyway.) The problems are (1) I don't really buy the rationale after all is revealed, and (2) much of what comes before that is either forgettable or tedious — when it's not being laughable, of course.

The story doesn't show all its cards until the end, but for the sake of simplicity I will explain it up front — the Enterprise is being visited by two ambassadors who have been assigned to learn about concepts that do not exist in their society and they don't understand. To that end, they've paired up with Troi and Worf to learn from them the concepts of, respectively, pleasure (via foodstuffs, not sex, mind you) and antagonism. (I suppose they already know enough about both antagonism and Worf to make the assumption that he's the right candidate, which makes the whole experiment seem unnecessary, but whatever.) A third ambassador (played by the always reliable Eric Pierpoint of TNG's TV contemporary Alien Nation) takes Picard back to his world in a shuttle, which instead crashes on a desolate planet, thereby giving the writers of the then-forthcoming Voyager ideas for years to come.

On the planet surface, Picard is rescued by a woman named Anna (Barbara Williams), who also crashed there and has been stranded for seven years. Picard assures them they will figure out a way to escape the planet using technology from the shuttle to call for help, but Anna is a little ... off. The two of them sit and converse, Anna expresses her gratitude, and it slowly turns into a riff on Misery. She won't let him leave, comes up with excuses for why not, becomes infatuated with him, and then "accidentally" destroys the shuttle transceiver she's supposed to be retrieving. Serious question: Am I supposed to laugh when kooky Anna finally throws Picard to the ground and repeatedly demands "Love me!"? Because I did.

Aboard the Enterprise the two ambassadors drive Troi and Worf crazy, but mostly Worf (who gets the most entertaining iteration of this particular storyline), who has to deal with a guy who provokes him at every turn — as if he were doing it on purpose! (Because, plot twist: He is! But for a reason! Whoa!) This finally results in Worf kicking the guy's ass (after, yes, threatening him with disembowelment) when he cheats during a poker game. Somewhat funny: yes. Relevant storytelling: hardly.

Turns out "Anna" is actually the ambassador in disguise, who attempted to get Picard to fall in love with her/him in order to understand the concept of love. Their society first learned of the curious concept from the logs of two people who fell in love after being stranded in a similar crash/survival situation — so he decided he'd replicate the scenario to see if he could make Picard fall in love with him/her. I'd say his experiment's biggest flaw was that he expected it to succeed on the timeline of a typical TNG romance, which is to say, immediately.

So what we have here is story that obeys the Trekkian mantra of seeking out new cultures and trying to understand them (in this case, from the aliens' point of view), but does so in probably the most prosaic and forgettable ways possible.

Previous episode: Descent, Part II
Next episode: Interface

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55 comments on this post

    I liked your point about "giving the writers of Voyager storylines for years to come".

    In some ways this feels like an unofficial episode of Voyager.

    I was very sorry that the Anna story turned out to be false--I thought that had potential until it became ridiculous.

    And I did enjoy the WHOA! I was about to write "the ambassador's hangover" until I realized I had gotten that from Voyager. Shows how much they did mimic this!

    Again I agree a boring 2-star episode. It certainly didnt help that this originally aired around the same time as DS9's 4 star episodes "The Homecoming" and "The Circle".

    I rarely felt TNG did fluff pieces that felt like pure filler but this is one of the few that I would categorize as such. It felt like it was spinning its wheels and was the first hint of TNG in S7 running on creative fumes. I didn't find any of the ship storylines the least bit interesting and the attempted humor with Worf was forced and stupid.

    The Anna mystery lacked no sense of urgency or intrigue to make it the least bit compelling--the scenes were slow and dialog middling. The ultimate reveal was lacking and couldn't make what came before it in hindsight compelling with more context.

    David said: "The Anna mystery lacked no sense of urgency or intrigue to make it the least bit compelling--the scenes were slow and dialog middling."

    I think that was what I liked about it at first-- Picard slowly trying to figure out what was wrong with this seemingly tragic woman. I wish she had been a real stranded person.

    Oh my god, the 'LOVE ME!' epiode. Me and my sister used to crack up so much at the trailer for this episode, which featured this line. The episode as a whole is pretty dull, but a bit of unintentional humour helps you make it through.

    Half a star almost entirely for the hilarious way Patrick says "failed" at the end, turning it into a four syllable word.

    Reading Jammer's reviews on Season 7 TNG has been an interesting experience for me. I have lots of nostalgia tied up in TNG's later seasons since I remember watching them when they first aired. I was 3 when I started watching the show, and my memories of the earlier seasons are faint and usually tied to one or two unusual moments from an episode, but with the last few seasons I vividly remember the shows (especially the cliffhangers with the dreaded "To Be Continued..."!).

    Anyway, Liaisons is an episode I remember from it's first run and I found it interesting all the way through. From the shuttle crash to the electrical discharges on the surface, to the crashed freighter. I was definitely disturbed by the thought of jumping off the cliff and the revelation that the woman was actually a man. I really enjoyed the moments of Worf just barely containing his anger with that prick ambassador.

    Sure, as an adult this episode is pretty silly and could easily have fit into the run of Voyager or Enterprise with it's plot-holes and leaps in logic. Still, simply being TNG, and tied to my nostalgia, I give this episode a pass and can always enjoy watching it. I guess I'm just able to put myself back into my 7-year-old mindset.

    It's strange that they chose a Klingon when they stated they were studying humans.

    Not a really great episode overall, though I always get a kick out of Worf at the end when he describes the eleven hours of fighting as excruciating. That look of pleasure and his tone of voice just cracks me up.

    I just watched this, and even though I haven't seen this episode in probably over a decade I started playing a computer game over all the Picard bits. I stopped whenever we got back to the Enterprise -- not so much because of the Troi material, but because I have a soft spot for the Worf story.

    TROI [after talking about how her guy likes dessert]: I admit he's testing even my limits.

    Haha. But no, watching Worf try to keep his cool when someone piles on and tries to get him riled up both demonstrates how far he's come and how much he's still a hot-tempered guy, and is generally quite funny.

    Anyway, this is an episode where I mostly applaud the idea -- aliens have their own style of cultural exchange, what seems to be a difficult situation has a purpose -- but the execution is flat and as Jammer says the rationale makes little sense. In particular, Troi's guy's search for the true meaning of pleasure means eating dessert after dessert, which is, uh, not the only kind of pleasure humans experience. (I was thinking about the pleasure of watching a great play! Get your mind out of the gutter!) 1.5 stars for decent intentions and for the Worf plot.

    This could have been a four star episode if it hadn't resorted to the tired old 'Picard has shuttle trouble, gets marooned on a hostile planet' plot device.
    Worf's arc was the most entertaining. Had me in stitches throughout.
    Troi's arch was actually played out in the food transition; it wasfun for about two scenes but quickly became bland.
    Once I saw the reaction of the ambassador, to the fight Worf gave him, I immediately realised that Picard was also being tested and correctly surmised that 'crazy Anna' was in fact his male traveling companion.
    Seemed strange that Troi was talking as if Betazoids and humans were the same species, as she explained human procreation.

    TNG plays its parodies too straight, at least Voyagers and DS9s parodies were funny

    The story concept was very good. Braga's rewrite of the Picard/Anna relationship didn't work (and he pretty much admitted it). The story could have worked...but had to transcend the egos of Picard/Anna to be something more than the sum of its parts. Plus it had SERIOUS pacing issues inside of the down downed freighter. Part of that was the directors fault who needed to speed things along. The actress talked too slow which was a subconscious irritant.

    The subplot that Braga wrote for the Enterprise was top notch entertainment though. Many classic Worf moments in this episode!

    I love when losers get together to criticise. Where are your efforts...Toh-pahs.

    I like this episode. It is entertaining. If your hearts are so closed by detailed interrogation of the episode, you are never going to enjoy i!

    The moment that Picard wakes up in the downed freighter, wearing the restriction device and meets Anna, I thought to myself, "Obviously someone just watched 'Misery.'" I honestly kept expecting Anna to break Picard's legs.

    At least there was a nice twist when it was revealed that "Love me, Picard! Love me!" Anna was actually a dude. Who says STNG had no conception of non-straight relationships?

    Despite the Misery mimicry, I thought the episode could have been a decent one apart from the Worf plot. Seriously, what ambassador could possibly be that rude without being called on it? The main characteristic of diplomats is DIPLOMACY. I just couldn't accept that Riker, as Worf's superior officer, told Worf to keep being patient rather than at least trying to directly confront the unbelievably hostile ambassador and questioning him about the motive for his actions.

    As for the third ambassador, the insatiable junkfood junkie -- that was just hilarious.

    Want to know a depressing little secret? "Liaisons" was the very first episode of Trek, any Trek, that I ever saw. Want to know an even more depressing little secret? My actual introduction to Trek wasn't even with an episode; it was with a movie. And that movie was "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier".

    And yet, I wasn't scared away and still managed to become a die-hard Trek fan. For all you atheists out there - if that isn't proof that God exists and that miracles do happen, I don't know what is. :P

    However, despite the fact that "Liaisons" should probably hold something of a nostalgic place in my heart, it doesn't - because this episode is BORING! Aside from a few humorous moments from the Worf and the asshole ambassador plot, what is there, really, to say? The Troi plot is just absurd - her ambassador wants to experience the concept of pleasure and all he can think to do is eat desserts? Um, you know there are other forms of pleasure, right writers? And yes, I'm talking about sex (I'm perfectly happy to have my mind in the gutter, thank you very much! :P). The Picard plot is about as dull as you can get, most likely due to the fact that the actress playing Anna is about as convincing as.... well, I don't even know how to describe it. And yet, I can't even blame her. She's playing a character that has no idea what love is and yet is attempting to get someone to fall in love with her. How exactly was she supposed to play that? I blame the rather odd idea, or perhaps the writing, instead of her. If you want to see something like this done properly, just watch "Misery."

    I do want to point out that this is the first, and probably only, time that Trek has attempted to portray female on male rape seriously. And that is exactly what the scene is when Anna throws Picard to the ground and attempts to force herself on him. Usually Trek, for whatever deluded reason, likes to play that concept for laughs (as in "First Contact" and later in ENT: "Unexpected"). Given that it happens in real life a whole lot more than most people are even willing to admit, it's nice to see them at least trying to treat it like the serious issue it is. However, like Jammer, I found the scene unintentional funny because Barbara Williams played the part so damn kooky and unconvincingly. But, again, that's not her fault. How else could you portray a possible rape scene when the script demands that you say asinine things like "You should love me now" or "I know more about you" and "Love me!"?

    If it wasn't for those few glimpses of humor in the Worf plot (Data telling Worf that he's "demanding, temperamental and rude" and "You see? You see? They are insane!") I would give this one a below average rating.


    On the bright side this must have felt practically Shakespearian after ST5...

    I wouldn't go that far, but it was definitely a step up. :)

    Definitely one from the old school of "teach me of this Earth emotion called love" TOS episodes. Which actually might have worked a bit, if we hadn't segued into a desperately slow and dull Misery knock off for the majority of the episode. The sole real highlight is Worf's increasing struggle to maintain his composure, but given the pure fluff factor of the chocoholic ambassador it is not by far enough to save the episode.

    "Excruciating" indeed. 1.5 stars.

    When I watch this episode on netflix I only watch the parts with Worf and that one ambassador.

    The dumbest thing about this episode is Picard's reaction at the end, where he seems to be positively delighted to have been taken into captivity. Compare this to his (rather more normal) reaction to involuntary confinement at the end of "Allegiance", and it's a total double standard. Picard should've remained furious at the Iyaarans.

    It might be immature, but the talk about how the other forms of pleasure besides desserts reminds me just how... Unfortunate that scene, where the ambassador touches the little kid and offers him his dessert, is. Anyway, it could just be me, but does that part really make sense? I can buy they wouldn't understand antagonism or love but pleasure? Even if they only do things for practical reasons, wouldn't they simply find pleasure in success?

    The funniest lines are when Worf is preparing for the meeting and says the ceremonial suit looks like a dress (I always thought so too) and Riker says "You look good in a dress". Can't imagine how Worf didn't blow his top at that.

    The Worf scenes are awesome! The rest is boring drek. Thankfully, Netflix makes it very easy to skip boring stuff. Just hold my cursor over the bar until the little mini-image of Picard and Anna end, and Worf is back on screen. Click. Boom! A really awesome 20 minutes or so length Worf story. :-D

    I like this episode. But I also liked both parts of Descent, so perhaps I'm not to be trusted. Yes, the story is boilerplate, and there's definitely that sense of "been here, done this," which Jammer accurately locates in on-screen elements (the "Trekkian mantra" or "TOS template") and off-screen elements (borrowing from another film: Misery).

    So okay. "Liaisons" doesn't offer the freshest strawberries in the patch, but I appreciate episodes that, despite all the weaknesses, still shine through. Like William B, I too have a soft spot for Worf, and he's hilarious here; his antagonist is also terrific because he's instantly loathsome! The food-addicted ambassador is a hoot as well, and he and his surly colleague make quite the comic pair. I laughed out loud as one scene ended with Mr. Loathsome insulting Worf, and then another scene started with Mr. All-You-Can Eat, accompanied by Troi, sipping a fruity drink from a giant Hurricane glass the size of a small vase.

    I agree with others that if the Ana storyline had been treated in earnest, some real drama could have been generated. I love "Liaisons" portrays Ana (initially, at least, before she gets kooky) as deeply scarred and beyond lonely. She has lost some of her speech, and cannot gauge how much time has passed, mistaking her seven years marooned on the planet as "only one or two." Yikes! I felt for her; I really did.

    But such drama wouldn't have matched well with Laurel and Hardy/Abbot and Costello/C-3PO and R2-D2 back on board the Enterprise (honestly, pick your thin/fat comedic duo of choice with which to compare Mr. Loathsome and Mr. All-You-Can-Eat!).

    So there's that. Comedy--and just an overall sense of fun--thrives in this episode, at least for me. I also like Picard's comments near the end, where he admits that even though human ways are more "balanced," he does find it "nice" to see a culture take its curiosity to the "furthest extreme." I agree with Picard. The basic material of "Liaisons" might sound at first like a sleepy, familiar tune, but it's jazzed up with enough idiosyncratic grace notes that I was thoroughly engaged.


    The Picard segment was actually very creepy. The guy picking on Worf just came off as a racist who hates Klingons. At the end when all was revealed, the aliens still seemed like they took it too far. At least Troi got paired with a nice alien for once and wasn't raped. Too bad Picard almost was.

    I actually didn't mind this episode too much, it was mildly entertaining. I don't mind occasional fluff as long as it's with characters I like, and there were some funny moments.

    I have to express my discomfort with the Picard segment a little more, however. "Anna" was pretty horrifying. She fitted Picard with a device to keep him in pain/unable to escape, locked him inside, and sabotaged their means of escape. Then she tried to rape him, and threatened suicide when she failed. I know people tend to dismiss cases of abuse of men by women, but how is this behavior given a pass? I just can't get over this disturbing sequence of events to enjoy the corniness of it. The "twist" at the end where it turned out "Anna" was the ambassador all along was initially a relief but in retrospect deeply troubling. On the one hand the thoroughly deranged "Anna" wasn't a real person, but on the other hand the ambassador didn't seem to think his actions were wrong at all. I'd leave these guys off the list of potential future federation members if I were you, Picard.

    Is it just me or is Picard less horrified by all the stuff "Anna" did to him and the fact that the ambassador did/staged it all than he is by the fact that the ambassador's ostensibly a dude? What a time to be alive.

    First time commenter here. Jammer, thank you for these reviews; I've used them as a viewing companion for the past few years as I've watched TNG for the first time. I happen to agree with most of the ratings, and I find the arguments compelling.

    Here's a thought: when I first saw 'Ambassador Chocolate's' hedonistic pleasure in eating dessert, I first thought he might be a child in a man's body. He later tells Troi that his species are 'born' in fully adult form.

    Is it possible that 'Ambassador Chocolate' is simply a kid? For that matter, is it possible that the three aliens are, in fact, rather young--hence the naive manner in which they approach learning of culture in Starfleet? (Perhaps this offers too much of a smoke screen to a story that lacks internal coherence.)

    Just saw this one for the first time, after missing it every time in original run and syndication.

    The planet-side part with "Anna" was indeed tedious in the extreme. However, I must say that the second-to-last scene between The Ambassador and Picard was extremely well done... I think it was the combination of the eerie wind/sound effects, the rather effective music (some interesting melodic detail actually snuck through the usual background dirge of latter seasons!), and the excellent acting by both Stewart and Pierpoint.

    Some, uhhhh...interesting...comments about---gulp--- rape, by a few of you!

    We can probably explain-away the Picard act as simply a poorly-written creepy story, poorly written by some creep. (Remember Deanna and Lloyd Braun in "The Price"?!!!)

    The rest of the episode was quite interesting, and even legitimately funny.

    Didn't like this one -- boring, tedious for long stretches and then downright irritating for others like when Anna is begging Picard to love her. There is a big reveal at the end but it doesn't make up for like 40 mins. of crap.

    Seemed a major stretch for Picard to go all by himself with one of the aliens in the shuttle. I think the Enterprise needs to re-think how it gets acquainted with a new species -- I assume there's some research done ahead of this bizarre first encounter.

    Picard and the Enterprise crew take the unusual tactics from the aliens pretty well -- the one guy doesn't understand what a crime is. Of course, in the spirit of mutual friendship, they don't hold the aliens' bullshit against them.

    Picard's situation was the most interesting (Worf's was annoying for me as was Troi's) -- as it reminded me of "All Our Yesterdays" with Zarabeth wanting Spock to stay in the frozen wasteland she was trapped in. That interaction (with McCoy's help) was miles better than this. Picard did a fine job acting as usual, but the Anna character was written/acted pretty poorly.

    1.5 stars for "Liaisons" -- forgettable episode, fluff, inconsequential etc. Seems like a mishmash of elements from other Trek episodes to generate some kind of lead-up to a big reveal that doesn't deliver at all. The alien race looked stupid as well - some facial prosthetics in a 1-piece grey sweat suit.

    Picard should have leaned over and said “you didn’t need to take the form of a woman to experience love with me” and then laid a big sloppy wet kiss on the ambassador. Would have been the WTF moment of the series.

    "Picard should have leaned over and said “you didn’t need to take the form of a woman to experience love with me” and then laid a big sloppy wet kiss on the ambassador. Would have been the WTF moment of the series."

    And by the time the ambassador tried to put her clothes back on it would be too late, because by then he would have *seen everything* :)

    This was definitely one of the most bizarre episodes I've seen of not just Star Trek TNG, but star trek as a whole. Weird that Picard kissed a dude. Picard should have introduced him to the concept of "pain" after that.

    The ONLY entertaining thing about this episode are the Worf scenes. Yes, he is funny as hell and does a great job here. The rest of the episode is twisted and weird and not in a good way AT ALL.


    They know nothing about each other (e.g procreation) and send Picard with one of them and let two on board.

    Its funny I remembered that sweet tooth ambassador taking the entire plate of cupcakes or whatever they were to the table.

    Then there is "deranged woman ".

    I could barely finish watching it.


    Michael Dorn is such an awesome comedic actor! :-D
    Worf's scenes are priceless! If this were purely a Worf episode, I would highly recommend it. Alas, the rest of the episode is meh, at best.

    Michael Dorn almost redeems this episode but the space Misery storyline needed Cathy Bates and James Caan not the avuncular Patrick Stewart and whoever Anna was.
    It may have helped if Anna had called Picard a 'naughty bird' before smashing his legs with a sledgehammer and given him a novel to write.
    'Love Me,LOVE ME!' -OMG,that was unintentionally hilarious wasn't it?

    No stars, 3 ion storms from me.

    A pretty poor episode, despite some entertaining scenes.

    Perhaps the biggest issue lies in the fact that we're meant to buy into the idea that this alien species doesn't understand things like love, anger and pleasure, but is somehow able to perfectly mimick them, based on little more than a diary left on an abandoned spaceship.

    Not one worthy of watching twice!

    The shuttle that took Picard to the planet is laughably bad. One of the weakest efforts ever.

    I have trouble suspending disbelief with this episode. It feels like a prank show where the audience is supposed to be in on it, like we're supposed to be laughing at the Enterprise crew for buying into everything. Picard's segments are like the Yandere Simulator of the early 90s.

    You'd think by season 7 they'd be able to hire an actual wardrobe person but, no, the producer's cat lady aunt is still dressing everybody. Just as well, this feels like a season 1 episode, so I guess nothing is out of place.

    I love the look the kid gives his mother (or whoever it is) when the alien is manhandling him. Also loved the glutinous alien contentedly munching away as his masochistic co-worker and Worf slug it out.

    What does Anna mean when she says "Love Me!". Was she talking about the act or the emotion? If a woman asks you to immediately Love her, how do you do that? Kiss her? Hold her hand? Take her to the movies? Bring her flowers?? Maybe I'm just another dense guy?

    The ambassador assign to Worf seemed to know how to fight, so I'm not sure what he wanted to get out of Worf. Surely he had to spar with someone to get to the level that he was. Or maybe he just watched Jackie Chan movies like Lenina Huxley said she did in Demolition Man?

    Another gender bender episode, but this time it's Picard's turn to be cat fished.

    The ambassadors plan would had worked on Picard if they used the right bait to get him to fall in love with him. Had he took the form of the Perfect Mate, Kamala (Famke Janssen), Picard would had been all over her.

    Not sure what the other one who liked food as pleasure. He could had had Door Dash deliver everything off the Enterprise replicator menu, and stayed on his home world. I didn't see a single thing he learned from Troi. The one that Worf had seemed lacking too. It was obvious he already knew how to fight, so what did he need Worf for? He and the "Love Me" guy could had fought it out trying to get the other to submit.

    All they all did was bring their own preconceived notions with them. Neither of them experienced anything except what they wanted to see happen. Why wait for love to develop naturally when you can just rape someone? And egging someone on to whip your butt isn't antagonism, its just pissing someone off. And lastly, coming aboard the ship and eating like a pig isn't pleasure. He should had either gone to Risa, or DS9 and visited a Halo suite.

    I really liked this one a lot. I found the different personalities and interactions - of the two ambassadors on the Enterprise, and (especially) of the stranded woman who also turns out to be an ambassador, really intriguing. Didn't see the plot twist coming at all.

    Some really funny moments as well - Worf losing his temper in the card game and the ambassador's subsequent reaction, Data's comments to him about the personality traits they have in common. The other ambassador's obsession with dessert.

    I recognised the breast gropee woman from Thief of Hearts immediately, though I don't think I've seen her in anything else. But then again I've watched that Thief of Hearts scene a few dozen times. I should have been an actor. I'd have insisted on a few dozen rehearsals, just to make sure I got it right.

    Er.. anyway I must admit I groaned when there turned out to be, as usual, a handy M class planet when the shuttlecraft experienced its disaster. There aren't actually that many of them (Earth-like planets) in real life. But since it turned out to be contrived I can forgive it.

    Noticed that Deanna is starting to look a bit middle-aged by the seventh series.

    Anyway - thoroughly entertaining. Reminiscent of the original series, especially in the twist at the end. Very good.

    Eminently forgettable: this episode about that... Uh... thing that happened... with... Uh... Something...

    This is honestly the first episode where their attempts at humor didn't make me die inside. I genuinely enjoyed some of Worf's pain.

    Also - I need to keep this episode's opening in mind when people bitch about STD being too 'woke' or SJW - as though that is something new for a Trek show.

    welcome to tng season 7.....where we basically force feed to the viewers bad idea episodes or episodes we wished we did in the first two seasons

    Best Worf episode EVER! Michael Dorn should have won an Emmy for this one. And Troi was good 8n this one. Strangely the Picard portion I considered the weakest of the three

    In a galaxy far far away, a Starfleet Captain is stranded on a conveniently nearby M-class planet following a shuttle craft incident. In this vast and remote region of space, he is rescued by a girl who is the sole inhabitant of the planet following another crash years before, and who just happens to look like Julia Roberts, and develops a raging crush on our captain. What are the odds eh? It turns out you don’t need to calculate them as she’s not real! It was all a set-up!!

    Some amusing moments. Troi meets a bigger chocoholic than herself. Worf has to keep his temper in the face of extreme provocation. All this so that an alien species can study certain human emotions without having to explain why until the plot demands that the viewer must understand they have been duped for the previous 40 minutes. (Oh, and how do we know they are aliens? Because they have a few ridges and spots on their foreheads of course, while otherwise looking exactly like humans.)

    A rather tiresome episode that is “TNG by numbers”. It is redeemed by a few humorous moments, and the nostalgia of seeing the Galileo Seven set once again…. Yeah, 2 stars seems just about right.

    This was a really, really cool episode. Not a lot of "sci", as sci-fi goes, but I liked the plot twists as well as the underlying ideas and execution.

    This is way more than two stars; three at least and easily more.

    Certainly not one of the franchise's top episodes, but the way Worf relishes carving that roast during the reception it makes it all worthwhile.

    Over all, I enjoyed this fairly simple story of an alien race making initial diplomatic connections with the multi-species Federation. So they “honestly” have their quirky way to learn about the dominant species running the organization (Earthlings), Klingons notwithstanding, but so what.

    We’re supposed to be pretty thick-skinned by the 24th century anyway. I thought the the plot was clever in the way it was trifurcated into separate scenarios.

    What I do have a beef about is the incredible abundance of negative comments regarding TNG episodes covering the seven seasons that have been posted on this fantastic website.

    I’ve done a bit of fiction writing myself and have had a modest amount published as well. So I can relate to, and respect, reasonable criticism. But my god, I’ve never read so many nit-picky irrational complaints lodged against episodes of formula science fiction in my life.

    People seem to expect to tune into a program like TNG each week and find a runaway Emmy award winning episode each and every time. Fiction stories are like food, people enjoy certain dishes, detest others.

    I just think folks should strive to keep more of an open mind about what is being portrayed and if you take something away from an episode that’s enjoyable, maybe not all, then it’s a positive experience.

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