December 1, 2021

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Fascination”

Relationship troubles abound during the Bajoran Gratitude Festival.

So, there’s this great episode of The Next Generation that Jimmy and I covered where a character, played by a fan-favorite actor from the classic series, has a disease that is unique to their species at his age, causing the character’s emotions to leak out and infect other people.  That was “Sarek,” a serious episode that showed an older man suffering in ways that could cause quite a bit of humiliation for a respected Federation diplomat.

This episode of Deep Space Nine does much the same thing, only it plays the whole thing for laughs with Lwaxana Troi.

I have said it before, and I will no doubt say it again:  Lwaxana Troi seems like a character from a completely different type of show most of the time when she appears on any Star Trek series.  The joke here seems to be she has some sort of Betazoid version of menopause, and Lwaxana’s natural…let’s say flirtatiousness, starts to infect other people around the station.  It’s the Bajoran Gratitude Festival, and there are a lot of visitors to the station.  Lwaxana is among them, much to the dismay of Odo who just can’t get rid of her.

But Lwaxana’s condition means people are now getting really aggressive. Jake, missing his older ex-girlfriend, falls for Kira.  Vadek Bareil, visiting Kira, is now interested in Dax.  Dax starts coming onto Sisko very strongly in a dress that shows just how far down her markings go.  Bashir and Kira throw themselves at each other.  And, once Quark is affected, he gets very aggressive with Keiko O’Brien.

I thought Ferengi were supposed to be resistant to Betazed telepathy…

It’s all very silly, with only Sisko, Odo, and the O’Briens left unaffected.

And that last part there is what I think I liked best about the episode.  Keiko and Molly come to visit Miles for the weekend, to the joy of Miles and the relief of Bashir since he gets stuck playing racquetball with the Chief when Keiko is away for months at a time on her botanical study on Bajor.  Given all of the romantic weirdness going on, it wouldn’t have been out of the realm of possibility, before the truth is revealed, for the sudden argument between Keiko and Miles to be some sort of side effect of the emotional weirdness going on around the station.  But no, the argument is a legitimate one where their respective career goals clash, and Miles even tenders a resignation before Keiko tells him that is unnecessary.

See, that’s the sort of thing I like about the O’Briens:  they act like a real married couple.  They fight, sure, but ultimately stay together and love each other.  And, once again, the thing I always liked best was the way it implied Miles had a life away from the job, something I can’t much say about, well, any of the others.

Plus, in the closing minutes, when Keiko and Molly return to Bajor, Bashir is on hand to toss a racket to the Chief.  I figure Miles will be alright.

But really, this is a Lwaxana Troi episode.  They’re rarely all that deep.  She’s an annoying character on purpose most of the time, someone who keeps showing up despite the fact few people seem to want her around, and she’s the kind of person who would never admit she has a disease that only affects older women of her race.  At this point, I really don’t have much to say about Lwaxana Troi episodes unless we get one of those rare episodes that actually play her as a more serious character and not a cartoon character from a so-so sitcom.

Then again, I do know Alexander Siddig and Nana Visitor had a romantic relationship, even getting married for a few years, so I am curious if this episode came about, in part, because of that since the pair do get a little hot’n’heavy.  It might have been done just to let the couple do a little in-front of the camera what they may have been doing in the comfort of their home.  Then again, if that’s what I am wondering, despite the fact I didn’t really hate this episode or anything, I think it is safe to say that, for this one, I do not have a lot to say.

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