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Old October 9 2012, 01:57 AM   #1
Captrek
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Episode of the Week: Haven

Lwaxana Troi has something common with the Ferengi: she’s used effectively in DS9, but she’s never anything but an irritant in TNG.

I intend no slight to MBR, who is very good in the role. She’s nothing but an irritant because that’s pretty much all the script wants her to be. The only time she’s asked to do anything other than be irritating is in the conversation in her quarters with Wyatt, but she’s still pretty rude and I’ve already had more than my fill of the character by the time we get to that scene.

Frakes gives his best performance in the series to date. That’s not saying much, considering how ineffective he has been through the first nine episodes. This episode asks him to do little more than feel sorry for himself and mope, and he does it pretty well. Although the performance reflects well on the actor, it unfortunately makes the character less appealing.

The biggest failure of the episode is that the central tension doesn’t resonate. The episode doesn’t give the viewer much reason to care whether or not Troi ends up getting married and leaving the ship. It’s too early in the series to have become attached to her. Riker’s behavior in the episode leaves the impression he’d actually be better off without her on the ship.

***

The episode begins with Riker watching a hologram of two women playing music. The vacant looks on their faces are creepy. The instruments they play have no great aesthetic value, and the melody sounds like it could have been created by a random number generator. In post-TOS Trek, music written in-universe almost always sounds like crap (The Inner Light being a notable exception).

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That amazing jewelry in the chest looks pretty cheap in HD.

***

TROI: I'm Deanna.
VICTORIA: Deanna darling! You probably don't even remember me.
STEVEN: Wyatt was absolutely right. She is a beauty.
This is peculiar. Wyatt has been having these visions since he was a child and draws her obsessively, but either has never told his parents about her or has never shown them the drawings.

***

LWAXANA: Darling, I'm terribly sorry about what happened here. Truly I am. Steven Miller tracked me down and reminded me of the vows we had made.
Miller invoked those vows without ever asking if Deanna’s okay with it? That seems inconsistent with Roddenberry’s vision of 24th-century humans.

***

Why do the Tarellians refuse communication with Haven? Later in the episode they say, “We don't ask to make contact with those living below. All we ask is to be on the edge of some sea, some unpopulated island, a faraway peninsula.” If they think they’re asking so little, why not ask permission instead of attempting an act of hostility?

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Captain's log, supplemental. It has been believed the Tarellian race was extinct, an assumption contradicted now by the sight of one of their vessels approaching Haven.
There has been no communication from the ship and the Tarellians are believed to be extinct. What makes them so sure that there’s anybody alive on that ship, let alone that they’re Tarellians? It turns out to be true, but given what they know so far it’s a leap.

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CRUSHER: The Tarellians had reached Earth's late twentieth century level of knowledge.
And they had starships?

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Why is it so easy for unauthorized parties to use the transporter? As many times as it happened it TOS, you’d think they’d have figured out by now that it’s a good idea to have some security on the controls.

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On that note, why is it necessary for Wyatt to do it the way he does? He’s a free citizen. Isn’t it his right to join the Tarellians if he wants to? His parents may not like it, but how can they stop him?

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TROI: He can never come back, Mrs. Miller.
“Never” is a hefty word. If he succeeds in his efforts to cure the plague, then he and the Tarellians can rejoin society. Troi should encourage his parents to be hopeful, not to despair.

***

TROI: Wyatt, I'm happy for you, and for Ariana too.
Most of all, I’m relieved for myself. I hope I didn’t say that out loud.

***

STEVEN: Keep the chest. You'll have use for it some day.
She already has a very nice chest. She needs another?
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