(airdate: November 30, 1987)
Story: Tracy Tormé and Lan O'Kun Teleplay: Tracy Tormé
Director: Richard Compton
Lwaxana Troi: Majel Barrett
Victoria Miller: Nan Martin
Mr. Homn: Carel Struycken
Wrenn: Raye Birk
Wyatt Miller: Rob Knepper
Steven Miller: Robert Ellenstein
Electorine Valeda: Anna Katarina
Ariana: Danitza Kingsley
Transporter Chief: Michael Rider
Captain's Log: The Enterprise is visiting the planet Haven when a message arrives for Counselor Troi: the marriage that was arranged between her and a man named Wyatt Miller when they were both very young is set to occur. Wyatt is slightly surprised when he meets Troi - he had assumed she was the woman he'd been dreaming of since he was a child, but she's not - but they both seem to be willing to go forward with it, even while his parents and Deanna's mother, Lwaxana, squabble with each other over aspects of the ceremony. However, while this is going on, a Tarellian ship - a race of people all infected with a deadly plague - approaches Haven. Aboard the vessel is the woman Wyatt's been dreaming of, Ariana - and it turns out she's been dreaming of him. Wyatt beams over to be with her and to help the Tarellians with their plague, even though it means he'll never be able to leave the vessel. The wedding is thus cancelled, and the Tarellian ship departs from Haven.
Whoops!: There's a slight continuity glitch due to this episode being held back in the running order: last week we were told Troi was gone because she had taken a visit home, where you'd think this subject of marriage would have come up - and you'd think Lwaxana would have berated her daughter's telepathic abilities then instead of now. [Unless Deanna didn't actually visit her mother when she went home.] For the second and final episode, Riker is referred to as "Bill" instead of "Will". [Every time is by Deanna Troi, so if you want an in-universe explanation, perhaps she used to call him Bill when she first knew him and he subsequently changed to Will, and these are just occasional slips of the mind.] And it's a little weird how Picard declares all disagreements resolved, rather than simply tabled.
The first pressings of the Season 1 Blu-ray set featured a faulty audio track on this episode. (The first pressing can be distinguished from later pressings by the absence of a Starfleet logo next to "Disc Three" on the disc, while later editions of the set also have the logo on the spine.)
Classic Lines: Data to the reception guests, after Deanna has stormed out: "Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing."
Alien Love: Obviously Deanna and Wyatt is the big one, and they even share a tender kiss on the holodeck. But Wyatt also has feelings for a Tarellian woman named Ariana that he's seen in his dreams, and he ultimately chooses her over Deanna. Riker appears to still have a thing for Deanna, although he's not willing to sacrifice his career to pursue it. [He'll get there in the end, but not until Star Trek: Nemesis.] Meanwhile, Lwaxana keeps claiming various men find her sexually attractive.
Library Computer: Haven is a class M, Earth-like planet in the Beta Cassius system, renowned for its beauty and peace. According to legend, it can "mend souls and heal broken hearts". Haven's government includes the position of First Electorine, which at this time is held by Valeda Innis, a young woman with pink skin, brown hair piled high on her head, and brown eyes, dressed in an elegant green and sheer dress. She speaks [English, or whatever we're calling the 24th-century equivalent - Federation Standard, perhaps?] with a slight accent. Haven has a treaty with the Federation where they rely upon the Federation for defense, as Haven doesn't have its own defensive capabilities. Bypassing Haven's stargate [whatever that is] is a violation of their law.
Lwaxana Troi is Deanna Troi's mother. A Betazoid, she's fairly tall, with pink skin, dark hair, and black eyes. She's daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. [Presumably this means she's kind of a big deal.] Deanna notes that her mother is somewhat eccentric, which is borne out by what we see here: she tends to talk quickly and at length, and she's used to being treated specially wherever she goes, to the point of expecting Picard to carry her luggage for her. She seems proud of Betazoid traditions [although it's possible she's doubling down on these to wind up Victoria Miller], and she's not above petty sniping and point-scoring with people. Unlike her daughter, she doesn't have much of an accent. She prefers communicating telepathically when she can and doesn't have an issue with reading the thoughts of others. She refers to her daughter as "little one". She keeps a pet plant, a sort of vine that wraps around her arm and can move on its own. She's hired a number of valets: the most recent is Mr. Homn, hired after she fired her previous valet, Xelo, for having sexual thoughts about her. She also claims Picard finds her attractive, although his expression (and Deanna's subsequent comment) suggests she's joking.
Mr. Homn is Lwaxana Troi's valet. He's very tall, with grey skin and a fringe of grey hair around his scalp. He's dressed in a floor-length grey robe. He's very strong, able to easily pick up Lwaxana's luggage case, which Picard had been struggling with. Mr. Homn doesn't speak (although the end of the episode reveals he simply chooses not to rather than that he's unable to speak) but is, according to Lwaxana, adept in sign language. He greatly enjoys the alcoholic beverages provided at Deanna's pre-wedding reception and takes offense to being compared to a human.
Steven Miller is an old human male, with pink skin, brown eyes, and a fringe of white hair around a bald pate. He was Deanna Troi's father's closest friend, although it seems that he hasn't stayed in touch with the Trois. [It's heavily implied, but not really outright stated (other than via the use of the past tense), that Deanna's father is dead. This will be confirmed later in the series.] According to Lwaxana, he tracked her down and reminded her that, when his son Wyatt and her daughter Deanna were very young, they arranged for the two of them to be married via the Betazoid tradition of genetic bonding. [No word on why Steven Miller decided to remind Lwaxana of that vow.] He arranged for a silver chest full of jewels (with a face on the front that appeared to activate when Deanna was present, announcing its purpose) as a bonding gift for Deanna, and after the wedding was called off he told her to keep the jewels. According to Lwaxana, he finds her very attractive. He and his wife used to live on Betazed but now live on Earth.
Victoria Miller is an older human woman, with pink skin, blue eyes, and brown, slightly greying hair. She states she likes pets, albeit not unexpectedly ambulatory plant pets. She doesn't seem to care much for Lwaxana these days, and she states that she hasn't seen Deanna since Deanna was very young.
Wyatt Miller is Steven and Victoria's son. He appears to be in his late 20s, with brown hair and eyes, dressed in a red turtleneck with grey slacks and a weird grey jacket with a large triangular panel on the front. All his life, he'd been dreaming of a woman, to the point that he'd made several detailed sketches and paintings of her; he assumed this was Deanna, that she was reaching out in some way due to her Betazoid nature, and was surprised when he learned this wasn't the case. He went to medical school and became a doctor. When he was at school, biological virus analysis was a favorite subject of his; consequently, he'd read everything he could about the plight of the Tarellian race. He subsequently learned that the face he'd been seeing in his dreams was a Tarellian woman named Ariana, who had equally been dreaming of him her whole life; Lwaxana Troi speculated that, due to his wondering if all consciousness in the universe was bound together, and presumably Ariana wondering something similar, they'd made telepathic contact. [And this is the best explanation we're going to get.] Wyatt found Deanna very beautiful and would have been happy to marry her, but he decided to follow the pull of his heart and be with Ariana aboard the Tarellian ship.
Tarella was a class M world, with a humanoid population roughly as advanced as that of Earth in the late 20th century. [Physically, there doesn't seem to be any visible difference between Tarellians and humans.] There were two [main] land masses, and hostilities broke out between the two populations. One group unleashed a deadly biological weapon on the other, but in time the entire population became infected. Some Tarellians tried to flee their world and settle elsewhere, but when they reached other worlds they inadvertently infected those inhabitants. Consequently, Tarellian ships began to be hunted down out of fear, with the last Tarellian vessel believed to have been destroyed by the Alcyones eight years ago - although the presence of a Tarellian ship at Haven here proved that belief to be inaccurate. The plight of the Tarellians was covered fairly extensively in Starfleet Academy training.
The Tarellian vessel seen here is a generally flat, vaguely trapezoidal ship, with a large translucent purple energy globe in the rear of the vessel that extends above and below the plane of the ship. The interior of the ship was purple in color, with some star globes scattered around and various monitors along one of the walls - as well as artwork of Wyatt done by Ariana. The ship appeared to be travelling at sub-warp speed, and its crew had been reduced to eight, including their leader, Wrenn - a pink-skinned male with blue eyes and a significantly receding hairline of brown hair - and his daughter, Ariana, a younger pink-skinned woman with frizzy blonde hair and green eyes. The Tarellians we see here are dressed fairly simply in shades of blue and purple. These Tarellians had not been able to cure their disease, although Wyatt was determined to help find a cure for them before they all died, even though it meant he himself would potentially die from the same virus.
A Betazed joining ceremony is, according to Lwaxana Troi, an ancient ceremony widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in the universe. It involves everyone attending to be nude, as it honors the act of love that's being celebrated. [There's a suggestion that the wedding couple disrobe in front of everyone as part of the ceremony, rather than simply arriving naked.]
Betazoids are generally honest to a fault (presumably due to their telepathic abilities). A Betazoid custom involves hitting a small gong whenever someone eats a piece of food, in order to give thanks for the food being eaten. Apparently Lwaxana didn't used to follow this custom, but now she does. [Again, she may be doing this more to wind up Victoria Miller rather than because it's part of her routine.]
Deanna Troi initially seems very reluctant to be joined with Wyatt, although by the end she seems happy enough to go through with it. She doesn't seem terribly broken up by Wyatt's decision to join the Tarellians though [probably at least in part because it means she can stay on the Enterprise, which apparently wouldn't have been possible once she was married]. She notes that humans, particularly young males (i.e., Riker), have difficulty separating platonic and romantic love [implying Betazoids don't have the same issue]. She was once close enough to Riker that she could read his mind [not just his emotions], and possibly he could read hers; Riker was the only person to date she could do this with. Her mother thinks Deanna's telepathic skills have gotten a bit rusty, and comments that Deanna's accent reminds her of Deanna's father. [This is a little odd; based on what we know of human children, they're ultimately much more influenced by their peers than their parents when it comes to accents. So this may indicate that Deanna on some subconscious level wishes to be identified with her father. Or, alternatively, that he tried hard to assimilate into Betazed culture and picked up the local accent, which Deanna also subsequently acquired but Lwaxana didn't have. (Mind, this detail will have been forgotten when we hear him speak in season 7's "Dark Page".)] Lwaxana's old valet, Mr. Xelo, attempted to rid Deanna of the accent. [Thus, perhaps, corroborating the possibility that Deanna's accent is a lower-class Betazoid accent.]
Riker's biggest dream is to be a starship captain. He also cares a lot for Deanna, but not enough to give up his ultimate dream. (Apparently it would be difficult to be a captain and also married, as Wyatt notes here.) He was once Imzadi - a Betazoid word meaning "my beloved" - to Deanna, and he doesn't like the idea of her married to Wyatt. He likes to relax by watching a hologram of music played on small harp-like instruments by pretty women dressed in ancient Greek dresses.
Picard believes legends are the spice of the universe. He's qualified to lead a standard Earth marriage ceremony (though not a Betazoid joining ceremony), and he claims that disputes aren't permitted at Starfleet social gatherings.
A Chameleon rose is a rose with gold leaves that changes color according to the mood of its owner; Wyatt gives one to Deanna. It's mainly white here, although we see it change to a few different shades of blues and reds.
Data is thoroughly fascinated by the bickering and arguments that occur at Deanna and Wyatt's pre-joining reception.
The Enterprise has a large dining room with a big central table, and the seal of the Federation on one wall.
Sensors can show a responder echo on communication frequencies that indicate a message is being properly received.
A ship in a tractor beam apparently can't use its transporter.
Final Analysis: "I knew I was coming to Haven to meet my destiny. I thought it was to be with you, Deanna. It was Ariana who drew me here." A take on the Flying Dutchman legend mixed with some welcome character development for Deanna Troi, in many ways this episode is simply an excuse for Majel Barrett to steal the show as the larger-than-life Lwaxana Troi. She doesn't completely dominate the proceedings though, and there are plenty of opportunities for the other characters to get their own moments - such as Rob Knepper's thoughtful and rather sweet portrayal of Wyatt, or Carel Struycken's wonderful deadpan silent humor as Mr. Homn. Surprisingly good fun.
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Page originally created: March 8, 2021
Page last updated: March 30, 2021