3/20/13

Star Trek: Asterisk "Manhunt"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S02E19
Air Date: June 19, 1989
Written by: Tracy Tormé
Directed by: Rob Bowman

Premise
Lwaxana Troi comes on board the Enterprise to find a mate.

Review
So, the Enterprise beams aboard some sleeping fish creatures called the Antedeans. They are delegates to be transported to a conference for diplomats. They are in a catatonic state as this is the way they deal with space flight: by sleeping through it. Before the Enterprise can head off to the conference, however, they're ordered to take along one more diplomat: Lwaxana Troi, Deanna's mother. Telepath that she is, she beams over and immediately accuses Picard of having dirty thoughts toward her. This does not look good for the Homestar Runner.

After Mr. Homn carries her luggage to her guest quarters, Lwaxana asks Picard to return later for a traditional "meal of welcoming" that she'll be preparing. She says it's a diplomatic function... well, I suppose seduction requires a certain amount of diplomacy. Picard goes all around the ship assuming everyone else will be at this dinner, but no one heard about it. When he finally gets back to Lwaxana's quarters, he finds himself alone with Mr. Homn who drinks the entire bottle of the drink that Picard brought with him in one serving.
Mm... the blue Kool-Aid is the best.
When Picard and Lwaxana finally sit down to dinner, it becomes painfully apparent to Picard that she is trying to seduce him. So, in an attempt to get out of it, he calls in the most effective cock-block he can think of: Data. Ya know how Data sometimes spouts out a string of information that doesn't seem to stop unless he's ordered to do so by a superior officer? Well, in this instance, Picard lets the flood gates open and allows Data to drone on and on about a complex subject about which I've now forgotten, but is totally irrelevant anyway. After a while, Lwaxana is bored and Picard makes his escape. But Lwaxana swears it's not the last she'll see of the captain.

That's when Picard consults with Deanna and Riker in his read room and Deanna says that she's entering a stage in Betazoid physiology where her sex drive is drastically heightened. Exactly how heightened, she had hidden from Riker when they were dating because she didn't want to scare him. Her only thought is to find a man, and this becomes more apparent when we see her wandering the ship looking for one. In the transporter room, Wesley and Worf are considering the fishy delegates while she looks over them in consideration. Wesley is too young. Worf is too... Klingon. As she continues on, Picard decides the best thing to do is to avoid her completely by playing Dixon Hill until they reach the conference.
And then... she walked in.
Lwaxana eventually ends up on the bridge in her quest for a man and announces that when they arrive at the conference she will be married to Commander Will Riker! Thankfully for Riker, Pulaski chose that moment to wake up the fishy delegates, which gives him a perfect excuse to retreat to the holodeck to find Picard and tell him. He gets there along with Data and finds Picard in a bar. And it doesn't take long for Lwaxana to ask the computer where Picard is. She finds him in the same bar on the holodeck, only she thinks it's all real. And she finds the bartender quite attractive. So they strike up a conversation. "Should we tell her?" Riker asks. "Eventually... let's just let her have this moment," Picard responds.

Well, eventually they reach the conference at Pacifica and Picard is forced to tell Lwaxana that the bartender isn't real. Lwaxana is dismayed, but she seems to be a lot less horny at this point, too. As she walks into the transporter room to go down to the conference she asks what the fishy delegates are still doing here. Everyone is confused. She knew they were delegates, right? Actually, she knew something else. She read their minds and found that they're actually assassins with bombs lining their clothes. Immediately and somewhat awkwardly, the fishy delegates are shuffled off to the brig. Lwaxana has saved the day!
"Well," says the fish, "This is awkward..."
With the day saved, Lwaxana steps onto the transporter pad and makes one more pass at Picard, accusing him of more dirty thoughts, before flickering away into the transport buffer. Apparently, she's no longer on a manhunt.

Overall Thoughts
It's always delightful with the eccentric Lwaxana Troi comes on board and mixes everything up. And it's especially delightful to see how Picard handles being hit on. I sometimes wonder if Majel Barrett was more like Nurse Chapel or Lwaxana Troi in real life. I like to imagine it was Lwaxana.