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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old March 9 2014, 01:48 AM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

First let me apologize for missing this episode of the week. Things got heck busy but I think I'll be back on schedule. Barely made it this week!





"The Loss" is TNG's first episode where Wesley Crusher is no longer a part of the cast and no where on the ship. Not only that, we start out with a Troi episode, and it's not a bad one.

"The Loss" opens with, surprisingly, a moment where Troi is seen giving counseling to a non-main member of the crew. One reason I chose to personally do these "Episode of the Week" posts is to log my journey of watching every TNG episode in chronological order. This is a big deal for me because I still have yet to watch every single episode of TNG. And now that we're well into Season Four, I cannot recall a moment where Troi's position as ship's counselor is used in such context as seen here. Four years on you'd think we'd see more moments like this of her doing her job, especially one that doesn't involve her being romantically involved with a one-shot guest star (Which sadly still happens later in large numbers).

One subject that this episode deals with is losing a sense. In Troi's case, it's her telepathic ability. Wow. Not only does this episode showcase Troi doing actual counseling, it also has the unique challenge of trying to give her telepathic abilities relevance since the depiction of such abilities provide only useless information or obvious information. How do you depict a character going through hard times when what she's lost can easily be rectified with common sense?

I'm sure that many real folk who have lost the ability to walk, see, hear or anything that we take for granted would be something that would draw out a lot of emotions. No doubt. But does anyone else think that Troi written as being too quick to give up? I know it can come as a shock, but this episode sure takes it's time before she finally builds the courage to endure what she's lost and figure out the problem the crew are facing. I'm also a but bummed out that everyone treats the resolution as a "it's just being human" instead of trying to understand what it must be for someone who isn't human in how they deal with situations WE take for granted. Nope. It's got to be from our point of view because that's the only one that matters. Jerks.

CONCLUSION:
While not a great episode, it does do a good job at showing what a main character does with their position during their off-bridge hours. Even though it's pure coincidence, I thought it was cute that the solution to the big problem was thinking two-dimensionally where as the exact opposite strategy was used to defeat Khan.

STINGER:
Picard: Most starship captains have to be content with a human counsellor.
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Old March 9 2014, 02:13 AM   #2
Trekker4747
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

This is an okay episode for me. Not great but not too "bad" either, I guess.

I always felt Troi's reaction in this episode seem extreme. Granted losing a sense that's a major part of her life would be traumatic her reactions just seem over the top. I mean she says she cannot do her job.... Because all counselors are telepathic?

She says Riker is no more "real to her" than a character on the holodeck (since she can't empath his emotions.) So... is Data not "real" to her?

Accepting that everyone assumed what happened to her was an actual accident and she actually lost her empathic senses it seems logical to me she should take a few days off from work rather than throwing her whole career out the window a day after it happening.

The "two-dimensional" beings are also hard to wrap my head around. As I suppose they're supposed to be. I mean granted drawing a two-dimensional object on a piece of paper is still a "3 dimensional" object since the paper has thickness on top of the pencil lead or ink on the paper having thickness to it. Even though both may be very, very thin thickness it's still "there" and not truly 2D.

So, okay, these creatures are truly 2-dimensional beings with absolutely no thickness whatsoever. Nevermind how that works (they, er, keep their organs and whatever in another dimension... or something) shouldn't they be visible when seen from above? Like from the establishing shots outside which is slightly higher angle than flat-on?

Meh, whatevs. Interesting concept, though.

An okay episode but often one I'll skip on watch-throughs.
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Old March 9 2014, 03:47 AM   #3
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

The concept of this episode sounds good...I read where someone involved described it as, "You're the only person with sight on a ship full of blind people, you go blind, and everyone else says, 'So what?'"

However, the execution always bugged me for a number of reasons...

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
She says Riker is no more "real to her" than a character on the holodeck (since she can't empath his emotions.) So... is Data not "real" to her?
...chief among them being this. IIRC, they never touch upon the fact that she already deals with Data, and occasionally alien races who can't be read by Betazoid abilities such as the Ferengi. What's more, "Tin Man" established that normal, fully telepathic Betazoids don't develop their telepathy until puberty. It stands to reason that the same held true for Troi's half-Betazoid empathy...in which case she actually functioned as a child without empathy.

And Troi just comes off as a major bitch in this one...which is kind of nice in a way, at least she's doing something interesting.

Accepting that everyone assumed what happened to her was an actual accident and she actually lost her empathic senses it seems logical to me she should take a few days off from work rather than throwing her whole career out the window a day after it happening.
This, too. "You got struck blind? That's too bad....Back to work!"
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Old March 9 2014, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

This one shows me just how little range Marina Sirtis has as an actor. Decent enough story sunk by her lack of range.
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Old March 9 2014, 02:18 PM   #5
Mutai Sho-Rin
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

I have to toss out the correction that Troi is an EMpath, not a TELEpath and there is a world of difference. Babylon 5 has strong depictions of telepaths, good ones and nasty ones. Incidentally, the nastiest one of all, Bester, is played brilliantly by good old Walter Koenig.
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Old March 9 2014, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

I found this one to be godawful. The whole setup didn't work. Anomaly of the week appears, Deanna loses her empathic abilities and then gives up immediately. It doesn't take a genius to work out the two incidents are related - solve one and you probably solve the other. I "get" what the writers were trying to do regarding disabilities but it fell flat and I had no empathy with Deanna's character. It might have worked much better over a couple of episodes - having her disability continue even after they'd solved the alien problem, and only being cured when they discovered she'd been affected by mysterious cosmic string radiation or some such technobable.

My enjoyment of this episode was increased immensely by Mrs S's insistance that Deanna's Ma was behind it all (?)
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Old March 9 2014, 06:59 PM   #7
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

Mutai Sho-Rin wrote: View Post
I have to toss out the correction that Troi is an EMpath, not a TELEpath and there is a world of difference. Babylon 5 has strong depictions of telepaths, good ones and nasty ones. Incidentally, the nastiest one of all, Bester, is played brilliantly by good old Walter Koenig.
TNG seemed to mix this up from time to time. She was able to converse telepathically with her mother, and it seemed she was able to speak telepathically to Riker in the beginning.
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Old March 9 2014, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

jimbotron wrote: View Post
Mutai Sho-Rin wrote: View Post
I have to toss out the correction that Troi is an EMpath, not a TELEpath and there is a world of difference. Babylon 5 has strong depictions of telepaths, good ones and nasty ones. Incidentally, the nastiest one of all, Bester, is played brilliantly by good old Walter Koenig.
TNG seemed to mix this up from time to time. She was able to converse telepathically with her mother, and it seemed she was able to speak telepathically to Riker in the beginning.
I don't know is she was able to strictly "speak telepathically with her mother" exactly. In that for her it wasn't an "active" process and more of a passive one. She knew her mother could speak telepathically and "spoke to her" in that way. She'd think what she wanted to say knowing her mother would "hear" it telepathically.

The "Imzadi" moment from "E@F" seems to be the odd-man out when it comes to "speaking" telepathically to Riker and we can either chalk that up to the writers/show not having her abilities nailed down yet. (Much like Data with emotions, and Troi's emoting of what she was feeling.) So either this is the odd-man-out in her "speaking telepathically" or this was us simply "hearing her thoughts."

IIRC from "Menage Troi" she "spoke telepathically" with her mother and then spoke aloud to Riker. In fact she had to do this often when her mother refused to speak aloud around non-telepaths.
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Old March 9 2014, 11:00 PM   #9
Mutai Sho-Rin
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

jimbotron wrote: View Post
Mutai Sho-Rin wrote: View Post
I have to toss out the correction that Troi is an EMpath, not a TELEpath and there is a world of difference. Babylon 5 has strong depictions of telepaths, good ones and nasty ones. Incidentally, the nastiest one of all, Bester, is played brilliantly by good old Walter Koenig.
TNG seemed to mix this up from time to time. She was able to converse telepathically with her mother, and it seemed she was able to speak telepathically to Riker in the beginning.
I stand corrected, Jimbotron is right. In several mother and child reunions, Troi and Troi did actually carry on a telepathic dialog. Perhaps it is only a family thing.
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Old March 10 2014, 01:29 AM   #10
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I don't know is she was able to strictly "speak telepathically with her mother" exactly. In that for her it wasn't an "active" process and more of a passive one. She knew her mother could speak telepathically and "spoke to her" in that way. She'd think what she wanted to say knowing her mother would "hear" it telepathically.
I would call it active if she's able to have two-way conversations with her mother. Passive would only make sense if Deanna couldn't 'hear' what her mother was saying back.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:01 AM   #11
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

jimbotron wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I don't know is she was able to strictly "speak telepathically with her mother" exactly. In that for her it wasn't an "active" process and more of a passive one. She knew her mother could speak telepathically and "spoke to her" in that way. She'd think what she wanted to say knowing her mother would "hear" it telepathically.
I would call it active if she's able to have two-way conversations with her mother. Passive would only make sense if Deanna couldn't 'hear' what her mother was saying back.
See, I don't see it as a two-way conversation. She simply "has a thought" and her mother reads it and then actively puts her response in Deanna's head.

Deanna isn't putting anything into Lwaxana's head she's just thinking. She's being no more "active" in the process than her patients are being when she's empathing their emotions.

She's set to "receive only" it just so happens her mother, a true telepath, can read Deanna's thoughts and get her responses.
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Old March 10 2014, 02:45 PM   #12
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

Mutai Sho-Rin wrote: View Post
I have to toss out the correction that Troi is an EMpath, not a TELEpath and there is a world of difference.
Ok... so what was the deal with her being able to communicate telepathically with Riker in "Encounter at Farpoint" and her mother Lwaxana Troi in, well, almost every episode that features them?
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Old March 10 2014, 03:02 PM   #13
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Mutai Sho-Rin wrote: View Post
I have to toss out the correction that Troi is an EMpath, not a TELEpath and there is a world of difference.
Ok... so what was the deal with her being able to communicate telepathically with Riker in "Encounter at Farpoint" and her mother Lwaxana Troi in, well, almost every episode that features them?
Keep reading.

She's not a telepath because, like other Betazeds, as is firmly established in the series. She cannot read the thoughts and minds of people. She can only glimpse their emotions.

The E@F scene is the odd man out. We'll chalk that up to it being the pilot episode in the first season and a LOT of things changed from then to later in the series. Things weren't hashed out or nailed down yet. We'll just assume in that episode Troi wasn't projecting thoughts but we were simply HEARING her thoughts.

With her mother, I restate my "active vs. passive" ability thing. When Troi is "talking to her mother telepathically" she's not actively sending her thoughts into her mother's mind. She's simply thinking them. Her end of the conversation is passive.

Her mother, however, CAN read minds, being a true telepath, and "hears" Troi's thoughts and implants her response in Troi's mind. An "active" telepathic ability.

If we really want to argue for her being telepathic with her mother we could probably argue she's only telepathic with other Betazoids, but her telepathy skills are non existent when it comes to other species. Maybe at that *very* limited and only possible after training and with someone you have a deep emotional connection with when it comes to humans. (The other half of her genetic makeup and someone she had a deep connection with.)

If Troi were a true telepath when the series got going and found its footing we never see her demonstrate any telepathic ability. And there's many situations where this would have came in handy. But she's said out-right herself she's not a telepath and only an empath and her inability to implant or read thoughts of other people is demonstrated numerous times in the series.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:07 PM   #14
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
With her mother, I restate my "active vs. passive" ability thing. When Troi is "talking to her mother telepathically" she's not actively sending her thoughts into her mother's mind.
Not buying it.
Lwaxana: You realise of course that with Betazoids, our ability to read the thoughts of others does see us grow much faster than the typical plodding human who-
Troi [OC]: Mother, that's enough!
Lwaxana [OC]: So, you're not totally out of practice. Good. Very good.
And if you think that's just emotion reading, how do you explain a very detailed conversation they have telepathically that perfectly transitions to actual vocal communication?
Lwaxana [OC]: You've been slack, little one. Allowed your mental powers to rust.
Troi [OC]: Only to avoid confusion, mother. Humans constantly think one thing and say another.
Lwaxana [OC]: Yes, they do, don't they. Poor dears. Our style of complete honesty frightens them.
Troi: On that subject Mother, there is such a thing as too much honesty with humans.
That to me sounded like Troi and Lwaxana were transmitting their thoughts to one another.
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Old March 10 2014, 07:38 PM   #15
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Re: Episode of the Week: 4x10 "The Loss"

Then maybe Troi is only telepathic with other Betazoids? But the entire point of her character's limitations on knowing things is that she is NOT a true telepath.
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