ST:TNG 4.23 The Host ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Beverly falls for the Trill ambassador Odan, but she doesn't know that he a co-existing being in 4.23 The Host.

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...

The Host
Season 4, Episode 23

  • The Enterprise is transporting Ambassador Odan to mediate a dispute between two moons. Beverly and Odan fall in love, but he is injured at which point it's revealed his is a dual being with a host and symbiont, when the host dies from injuries Riker volunteers to host the symbiont Odan.
Character Focus:
  • Beverly is the focus here, and we don't see that all that often the last time was in 4.05 Remember Me before Wesley went off to the Academy. In this episode she has fallen in love with the Trill ambassador Odan, but it becomes more complicated for her when she finds out he is is a co-existing being of a host and a symbiont, and can't easily transition her love from one to the other.
  • Odan is key here, and it's the first time we see a Trill in Star Trek, a very unique race of a host and a symbiont where the symbiont can live for millennia. Odan himself is a negotiator and a very sensitive and caring person who falls for Beverly.
  • Riker plays a key role in this episode as he volunteers to serve as a host for Odan when the host is damaged in a shuttlecraft attack. Jonathan Frakes does an amazing job in this episode portraying the two characters.
  • Deanna is also important in this episode through her talks with Beverly on relationships, they are quite touching which is impressive as we also had this in the previous episode with Deanna and Lwaxana in 4.22 Half a Life.

The three different hosts for Odan
Images Source: TrekCore

What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remember the romance of this one, because it's so strong and the idea of someone being an entity like Odan and transferable from person to person was fascinating.
  • I wonder if this was one of the episodes that got me on the Riker train. Not only does he without hesitation volunteer to be host to Odan, something that's never been tried before, but also Jonathan Frakes performance as Odan is amazing. You can totally feel that he's a different character, and that her truly cares for Beverly. I was floored by it.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I loved the scenes with Beverly and Deanna, both in the spa-like place (seriously...The Enterprise has everything!) and in Ten Forward where Deanna shares that she would do anything to have more time with someone she loved, so that Beverly should "Accept the love". Very sweet.
What feels different now, than then:
  • I completely had no recollection of what the plot/story was of the episode (as in why Odan was there), but I didn't really care. This one for me is all about the relationship between Odan and Beverly. Actually watching it this time I thought it was kind of funny that the two warring factions that Odan was there to mediate where called "Alpha" and "Beta", I mean if that doesn't say throwaway side-plot, what does?
  • It's very refreshing to have a character come on the show, and be something different than they initially appear (pulsing stomach!), but not deceiving or bad in any way, just different.
What remained the same:
  • I still love the romance in this one, which they don't do often in Trek and rarely involving main cast members. This one could feel like a bit of a creative work around, because who would imagine Beverly and Riker together? But the idea of love persisting past the current physical is an idea that is absolutely fascinating. And the reminder to accept the differentness when it comes to love.
  • I did think at the time it was an easy-out to have the reveal of the next host be a woman, and therefore there wouldn't be a long-standing relationship. Even though on the rewatch Beverly never says that specifically, at the time it did read like. It's a boundary Trek doesn't go to very often, and I think it was more sensitive here than I initially remembered.
What I see differently:
  • Odan looks different I remember, not him (as in the first host) per se, but as a Trill. Later in Star Trek they look different, I don't think there are any forehead ridges and the notable trait is more like birth marks on the temple/neck and back. I also don't think the sensitivity to transporter usage persists past here, although that was key story point to have the shuttle damaged and then the host/symbiont reveal. I wonder if there was any thought to having them be on the show more than once.
  • I wonder if they specifically waiting for Wesley not to be on the show before having a romantic one with Beverly.
Great Quotes:
  • "Did you ever tell me you were a single being? Of course not. It's normal for you." - Odan
  • "I loved Odan. I'm sure of it. I had no doubts, no fears. But what was it I loved? His eyes? His hands? His mouth? They're gone. If that was all it was, I should mourn him and go on. But it was more than that. I felt completely free with him, unguarded. At ease with myself." - Beverly
  • "If you can feel those things, from the man we know as Will Riker, accept them. Accept the love." - Troi
Left off at:
When Odan's new Trill host arrives, Beverly performs the surgery to completely the transition but she ends the possible relationship by stating that she can't live with the uncertainly of all the change, but also says she does love Odan, to the new Odan.

Images Source: TrekCore


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