Why do episodes focusing on Counselor Troi often feel…less fun? It does often feel like the writers had no idea what to do with the character, and episode focusing on her tend to show her upset about this or that while other characters get more adventure-based stories or deep character work. Regardless, there’s another one up here for Jimmy and Tom to talk about.
During a crisis, Troi loses her empathetic abilities, and she doesn’t take it very well.
jimmy: It’s been along time since we’ve seen Guinan.
tomk: Yeah, well, the actual ship’s counselor needed to smack some sense into Troi.
jimmy: She does seem like she’d be better at the job.
tomk: I mean, there’s a part of me that’s trying really hard to sympathize with Troi essentially losing a major sense that really helped her do her job, but she sure is hard to like in this episode.
jimmy: They all seemed to call her out on it too.
tomk: Riker perhaps the harshest. Enough to keep him from getting some at the end of the episode.
jimmy: She had her powers back by then and could sense he was horny. Actually, she probably didn’t need abilities for that.
tomk: He was leaning forward. Even I could sense that.
jimmy: Maybe we can’t relate because we’ve never lost a sense. If only she could talk to someone that had…
tomk: Yeah. Worf has been dead once or twice. That’s like losing all of your senses.
jimmy: And her whole “how do you people function without empathic abilities? You’re like a bunch of degenerates” was pretty insulting to…just about the whole crew.
tomk: Especially Picard because he was the same way when he lost his hair, and that’s a total embarrassment.
jimmy: I can’t blame him there.
tomk: And Crusher has had an artificial lower half since the series started.
jimmy: Darth Maul style.
tomk: She also has a double bladed…scalpel.
jimmy: Well, with the lack of other doctors on the Enterprise, she needs it.
tomk: That’s not true. Doctor Solar, the tall Vulcan, is always in the back room somewhere.
jimmy: Next to Dr Fury.
tomk: Dr. Fury specializes in removing all those mothergrabbin’ snakes from the motherlovin’ starship.
jimmy: That’s why we never see them on the ship. I was wondering about that.
tomk: Someone has to do it.
jimmy: I also found it funny that the new unknown Ensign had more lines than Wesley has had in most episodes lately.
tomk: Yes, but Wesley still had a name.
jimmy: She had a name. I can’t tell what it was, but Picard used it.
tomk: Clearly memorable. Unless you just thought “Oooh, there’s a woman on the bridge I ain’t ever seen before!”
jimmy: I figured she’s disposable, just funny that she got so much to say.
tomk: See what Wil Wheaton could have gotten if he just stuck around a bit longer?
jimmy: Poor Wil Wheaton.
tomk: Maybe he left to avoid Angry Troi.
jimmy: Those 2D creatures certainly have a “Wesley experiment” feel. Maybe he saw this coming.
tomk: Or he set it up before he left.
jimmy: That’s what I was implying.
tomk: Ah. Implying. Very clever.
I suppose you also know how to talk down an angry ship’s counselor.
jimmy: No. Usually I make them angrier.
tomk: I told you to make appointments first.
jimmy: But how do I know that’s when I want to talk???
tomk: So, you just go down and demand time even if they have someone else already there?
jimmy: Or maybe I go down after office hours.
(Don’t tell Riker…)
tomk: Oh, he knows. Your name is Jimmy Impossible, not Jimmy Imperceptible.
jimmy: Hmmm. I better get more than a door chime to protect my quarters.
tomk: Weren’t you the one that asked why Worf didn’t just beam into Picard’s room that time he got replaced by weird aliens?
jimmy: I really should start listening to my own advice.
tomk: Or get a transfer to a different ship. Or join the Night Crew.
jimmy: At least I wouldn’t get berated by Troi for being “normal”.
tomk: Dude, there’s nothing normal about you.
jimmy: Harsh. Fair, but harsh.
tomk: That’s what I like about you.
jimmy: That I’m not normal?
tomk: Well, you’re normal by Troi’s standards. I like you and your goofy ways, with your pal the Moose and your neverending love of snacks, Worf, and gold stars.
jimmy: And I exist in three dimensions.
tomk: Like many, you do move through a fourth.
You go forward…one quarter mile at a time.
jimmy: Unlike the Enterprise.
tomk: Well, the ship covers a quarter mile a lot faster than we do.
jimmy: Unless it is being pulled to it’s destruction by creatures from an Atari game.
tomk: It still moves faster than we do.
jimmy: You’ve never seen me move, Tom.
tomk: Regardless, it’s like we don’t actually want to discuss, you know, Troi.
jimmy: I don’t think there’s a lot to discuss here. The 2D creatures were mostly a force of nature that the crew had to figure out. Troi lost her powers and had a nervous breakdown, insulting everyone along the way. By the end, all was resolved. Did Troi learn anything? Shrug…maybe?
tomk: Did we learn anything?
jimmy: Don’t mess with the blocks from Super Breakout?
tomk: Well, we were probably meant to feel bad for Troi, what with her losing a major sense, but Star Trek isn’t about interpersonal conflict, so it didn’t really work out that way. She just seemed to be taking it out on everyone else for not getting it. I mean, it’s not like her powers are ever all that useful.
jimmy: Ya know, we probably be the same way with the loss of a sense. But it almost seemed like they spent too much time on the Troi Smash stage and not enough on the Troi Still Good At Her Job And Adapting stage.
tomk: And then she got her powers back.
jimmy: And they all lived happily ever after. Except Riker, who needed a cold shower.
tomk: Right. Troi episodes do tend to be less fun. You know who’s more fun? Data.
jimmy: He plays the violin.
tomk: And other things. Would you like to see what a typical day for him is like?
jimmy: I bet it involves doing stuff.
tomk: Probably. Ready?
jimmy: As I’ll ever be.
tomk: Good. We meet a somewhat familiar character in this one too.
Weekend Trek “Chain Of Command Part Two”
Vikings: Valhalla “Towers Of Faith”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #51 (August, 1967)