So, has Star Trek the Next Generation ever done right by Counselor Troi? Were any of the episodes that spotlighted her (and not her mother) remembered all that fondly?
Well, Jimmy and Tom wonder about that as they talk about the last one.
“Eye of the Beholder”
Troi’s investigation into a mysterious suicide takes some unexpected turns.
jimmy: This episode felt mostly pointless.
tomk: I would mostly wonder if that scene between Riker and Worf actually happened.
jimmy: Yeah. Why would there be solo Worf scenes in Troi’s vision?
tomk: Well, Riker did seem like something of an ass in that scene, so maybe that’s why.
jimmy: And Worf was certainly more smiley than usual.
tomk: Happy Worf is the scariest Worf.
jimmy: Like Batman laughing.
tomk: Or Quasimodo standing up straight.
jimmy: Has that ever happened?
tomk: No. Too scary.
jimmy: Like a skeleton in a bulkhead.
tomk: Worse. A living skeleton in the bulkhead.
jimmy: A living skeleton eh?
tomk: Yeah. He-Man finally found a good prison for Skeletor.
jimmy: Now, that would be an interesting twist to Deanna’s vision.
tomk: Worf keeps fighting that guy in his work-out program for a reason.
jimmy: Yeah, he’s very MOTU-esque.
tomk: And much more interesting than, say, Troi’s near suicide attempt.
jimmy: Which didn’t even really make much sense.
tomk: Sometimes things don’t make much sense.
tomk: Well, so far we’ve mostly discussed one scene with Worf in a Troi episode.
jimmy: He is the MVP.
tomk: But he’s just a supporting player here.
jimmy: That shows how interesting Troi is.
tomk: Maybe that’s why Picard gave her the investigation: so she wouldn’t be around for a while.
jimmy: It did seem like busy work for a couple of bridge officers. Worf was probably doing it as penance for something he did previously.
tomk: She does outrank him.
jimmy: Which makes no sense.
tomk: Worf maybe doesn’t care about rank.
jimmy: He should.
tomk: Why? If he’s happy where he is, he has no need to go further.
jimmy: Fair enough. And he’s kept happy hooking up with Troi in alternate universes.
tomk: Except this was her alternate universe.
jimmy: Then I guess it’s Michael Dorn that’s happy.
tomk: Maybe. Are we?
jimmy: I’m fine with them hooking up. But I feel like they are trying to have their cake and eat it too by always having it occur in an alternate reality.
tomk: Well, it’s not like Troi episodes ever give her much of anything interesting to do.
jimmy: Reading personal logs is not interesting?!?!?
tomk: Well, personnel logs.
And she never does that on screen.
jimmy: She did for a bit. And who writes logs? Is it transcriptions from the video? Why not watch the video?
tomk: She reads everybody’s logs.
jimmy: Uh…I’ve got some deleting to do…
tomk: Just the people on the ship, Jimmy.
jimmy: Oh. Ok. Phew!
tomk: Or am I addressing…Ensign Impossible of the Impossible Corps?
jimmy: Not for a few hundred years.
tomk: Then I think you’re safe. You know, until Chief of Security Ryan and Counselor Greg reads your logs in the present.
jimmy: Uh…I’ve got some deleting to do…
tomk: You don’t wanna know what Watson reads over.
jimmy: You’re right. I don’t.
tomk: Good. It’s nothing. He’s lazy.
jimmy: One of his descendants probably caused that nacelle accident.
tomk: By screwing around with someone else’s girlfriend?
jimmy: Sounds about right.
tomk: I see.
Well, since this probably the last Troi episode, did they ever use the character right?
jimmy: I don’t know that they used her wrong, she just isn’t that deep a character. Especially early on when most of her time was just telling the Captain how she could feel the adversary of the week was lying or hiding something…like he didn’t know that already.
tomk: She’s mostly there to look pretty. Even the movies can’t do much with her beyond Riker’s love interest and maybe comic relief in First Contact.
It’s why I like Troi in Star Trek Picard. She actually feels like a character for the first time.
jimmy: Not that she appears much.
tomk: No, but she gave Riker a good telling off when they were both prisoners in a way that only someone who spent thirty years with that man would.
jimmy: Ironically, they are almost never together in the 7 years of this show.
tomk: And Worf still asked first. In what was probably a dream sequence of Troi’s.
jimmy: Exactly. Which makes sense, as it seemed a bit out of character for Worf. Maybe not even so much his asking Riker, but the way he got on in doing so.
tomk: So it’s Troi’s idea of Worf?
jimmy: Something like that. Or at least, Troi’s idealized Worf…outside of the cheating on her and laughing in her face about it.
tomk: That’s probably more of a Geordi-in-the-holodeck thing.
jimmy: Oh Geordi.
tomk: You don’t know what he does with that VISOR unless you’ve seen TNG After Hours.
jimmy: Oh Geordi!
tomk: But this episode seems to show Troi as a wimp who only survived because Worf knew to quickly climb a ladder.
jimmy: I didn’t find she came off as wimpy, but yes, if not for Worf she’d be vaporized.
tomk: Well, she committed homicide and almost suicide over a guy she slept with once and it wasn’t even real.
jimmy: It was real to her. And she was more reliving the echo than probably how she would deal with the situation.
tomk: I should hope so, but if you don’t know the twist ending, would you think that?
jimmy: Quick to jealousy, anger and murder? Might be a little out of character for Troi.
tomk: But there was little hint it wasn’t real.
tomk: Well, it wasn’t like anything happened that didn’t seem possible.
jimmy: You seem to be leading somewhere…
tomk: Well, I don’t know. You didn’t seem to thrilled with this one.
jimmy: It was fine. I just didn’t feel like it really went anywhere. I guess they solved the mystery, but it didn’t amount to much.
tomk: It meant the ship was haunted.
jimmy: Wesley probably set those two up that were having the affair.
tomk: When he was five years old or something?
jimmy: Evil knows no age limits.
tomk: Usually they need to be able to go to the bathroom by themselves.
jimmy: Oh, I’m sure what babies leave in their diapers is often pure evil.
tomk: But they can’t really do anything.
jimmy: Can’t they, Tom? Can’t they?
tomk: Um, no. They can’t.
jimmy: Remember that the next time you change a dirty diaper.
tomk: That’s about all they can do.
jimmy: And it’s evil!
tomk: Fine, Jimmy. You win. You don’t have to babysit anymore.
jimmy: Ironically, I’m just on my way out now to babysit.
tomk: Baby Moose again?
jimmy: Niece and nephew moose.
tomk: I see. Well, maybe don’t show them the next episode depending on their ages.
jimmy: 2.5 years and 5 months. Too young?
tomk: Probably. It’s the only episode Gates McFadden directed, and it can be creepy.
jimmy: She’s not having ghost sex again, is she?
tomk: No. Nothing like that.
jimmy: Ok good.
tomk: Would you like to see what freaky thing happens instead?
jimmy: I would.
tomk: Good. Prepare to meet a Wereworf.
tomk: You’ll see.