Vulcan ambassador Sarek comes aboard the Enterprise after his staff members have warned the crew that the ambassador needs his rest and is not to be disturbed. Picard and Riker are therefore surprised to meet an energetic Sarek who wishes to inspect immediately the conference room being prepared for his upcoming negotiations with the Legarans. Nonetheless, Sarek's assistants Mendrossen and Sakkath are very protective of the ambassador and discourage him from attending a concert arranged by the Enterprise crewmembers, though Sarek's human wife, Perrin, later persuades him to attend. At the concert, Counselor Troi and Doctor Crusher are as shocked as Picard to see the Vulcanmoved to tears by the music. Meanwhile, numerous crewmembers are afflicted by fits of rage. Crusher slaps her son across the face for a minor disagreement, a bar brawl breaks out in Ten Forward, and Picard and Riker shout at each other when Troi and Crusher express their concerns that Sarek may be suffering from Bendii Syndrome - a condition in elder Vulcans that causes complete loss of emotional control. It seems clear to Picard that if Sarek is projecting violent emotions, then he must not oversee an important diplomatic meeting. After Sakkath admits that he has been using telepathy to help Sarek retain control, Picard confronts the ambassador, who becomes so enraged that his denials are meaningless. Picard proposes a mind meld that will allow Sarek to use his strength for the negotiations. While Sarek is able to carry on logical diplomacy, Picard suffers through the agony of Sarek's uncontrolled emotions. When the negotiations are concluded, the meld is ended, and Sarek and Perrin thank Picard for allowing the ambassador this final triumph.
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