The Perfect Mate
It's refreshingly sophisticated to see how this episode's single
mention of the Prime Directive is so naturally part of the
background instead of the foreground of this adventure,
with Picard casually tossing it off in jest with Dr. Crusher.
And as Picard later points out, the bulk of the drama is all
Crusher's fault - we can always trust a Trek crew's Doctor
to help us step over the Prime Directive boundary and find
better values to march for.
Of course, in order to get to the compelling ideas and
quality dialogue of this story, we first have to endure
a number of backflips and somersaults to try and make logical
sense out of the situation. First of all, one has to wonder
how our favourite flying hotel managed to get to play host
to a situation it isn't exactly comfortable with in the first place.
Well, they went in half-blindfolded and it's for the favourite
noble cause of ending a war between two planets, so maybe that's
not too much of a stretch.
What IS a stretch is the logic of the two planets.
Their war apparently started from a fight over a woman,
so to end it, they put a highly desired and rare woman at
the heart of the negotiation to end it - great formula for
triggering off the old conflict all over again. And one
only has to observe the behaviour of the Ferengi here to
believe how easy that is.
Next nit - male metamorphs are common but females are rare.
Well... why? Wouldn't it be much more fun if there was a greater
balance here, as in perhaps making both equally common? It would
feel more natural anyway. The way they have it, it all seems a
little too conveniently contrived to support their 45-minutes of
Still, they managed to take an interesting idea (gimmick?)
and produce a decent, emotional, and thought-provoking episode
here. It feels a bit like an X-men reunion in retrospect,
with Patrick Stewart getting on Famke Janssen's good side,
long before Cyclops, Wolverine, or James Bond come into her life.
Personally I think Janssen is at her best here, where she gets
to play opposite the most interesting actor as love-interest.