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Old August 19 2013, 03:24 PM   #1
Jeyl's Avatar
Location: Asheville, NC
Episode of the Week: 3x08 "The Price"

In the words of an "Ira Graves" possessed Data,

...Just look at that face. That is the face of someone I want to tape to a punching bag and never stop punching. If Junie Lowry-Johnson was responsible for casting Matt McCoy in the role as the man who steals Troi's heart, I hereby declare that she should be legally arrested. There is nothing about this actor's looks or performance that makes me think that he can invoke any kind of "love at first sight" on anyone. Now don't let the fact that I'm a straight guy not qualify me to know things like that. Alistair from Dragon Age managed to be the only male Bioware character that made me want to actually romance him, and he was awesome! But instead of having something like him, we got what is pretty much an episode where Troi falls for a car salesman.

Despite all that though, "The Price" is a unique episode when it comes to what it will establish in the later parts of the franchise. It establishes the existence of a "stable" wormhole which would play an important factor in DS9, and it introduces Star Trek to the "Galactic Quadrant", the four sections of the galaxy which are called Alpha, Beta, Gamma and the infamous Delta quadrants. Pretty cool for an episode despite the fact that the main story is utterly forgettable.

Basically, there's a stable wormhole that the inhabitants of this system want to sell to the highest bidder (I guess they never thought of a toll system). We have this Con guy who is manipulating the deals while at the same time trying to woo for Troi's affections. For some reason no fan can ever possibly fathom, it works and later causes Troi to be late for the, uh, aerobics session in one of the ship's hallways.

I think what this episode is most notable for are the characters of Arridor and Kol, two Ferengi who end up being stranded in the Delta Quadrant. This is actually relevant because Arridor and Kol will show up again in the Season 3 Voyager episode "False Profits". Yep. This episode has a sequel.

So in the end, Troi calls Devinoni Ral a con, the wormhole winds up not being stable and he leaves in shame knowing that he owns a useless wormhole. At least there's some justice in a mediocre episode.

The idea of the Federation taking part in a price negotiation for a wormhole is handled fairly well with some cool looking aliens expressing interest, but the plot involving Devinoni and Troi just hammers this episode down into the ground. The fact that their breakup was meant to invoke a sad moment between the two winds up having the exact opposite effect. But don't worry Devinoni, you won't be the last one-shot love interest character who gets ditched in the end. You'll have PLENTY of company soon enough.

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