Thursday, September 19, 2013

ST:TNG 6.14 Face of the Enemy ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Troi takes the place of a Romulan in 6.14 Face of the Enemy.

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Face of the Enemy
Season 6, Episode 14

  • Troi wakes up on a Romulan ship, and made to impersonate a member of the Tal Shiar, to ensure the safe delivery of a prominent Romulan who is defector to Federation hands.
    Character Focus:
    • Troi is obviously the focus here even though she is impersonated Major Rakal of the Tal Shiar. This is a great character episode for her, even though she didn't agree to any of it she shows a lot of courage and savvy.
    • On the Romulan ship we have Subcommander N'Vek who arranged for this all to happen, Vice-Proconsul M'ret who is to be transported and Commander Toreth, who is the Captain of the Romulan vessel and makes it very clear she isn't a fan of the Tal Shiar.
    • We also have a Stefan DeSeve, a human who defected to live among the Romulans.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember the shock of Troi being a Romulan! At least initially I thought somehow she had BECOME a Romulan (hey, on Star Trek anything is least at the beginning of the episode). I also remember her really throwing her weight around and being convincing as Rakal.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • I find it unbelievable that Stefan DeSeve would have been accepted to live among the Romulans. They aren't super warm and fuzzy on outsiders. And he didn't seem either gutsy enough to defect, not subtle enough to be back. I found his character very confusing.
    • I also noticed this time how much more sympathetic the Romulans appear, especially through Toreth who continues to bring up how awful the Tal Shiar are and how hurtful they were to her and her family. I wonder if they are trying to show them less as enemies as a way to make The Cardassians the new bad guys.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It's weird because now I really like shows that have long-arc stories and this clearly comes after the events in 5.07 Unification and 5.08 Unification (Part II) with Spock working towards unification of Romulans and Vulcans, but I'm not super keen on arcs-over-time in TNG. I don't even remember if this has a continued impact in TNG, DS9 or Voyager.
    • Very little time is actually spend on The Enterprise in this one.
    What remained the same:
    • It's a pretty uncomfortable episode. Troi is in a horrible situation, the stakes are very high and deception is needed at every turn.
    What I see differently:
    • I have mixed feelings on this one, because on one hand it's great to see Troi get an episode where she is the focus and it's not centred on a love story or emotional elements, but I don't like that it seems to be taken "more seriously" because it's a political based story with a lot of danger.
    • I totally recognized Carolyn Seymour, who plays the Romulan Commander Toreth; she pops up in Trek a fair amount and we've seen in TNG most recently in 4.15 First Contact as the forward-thinking scientist Mirasta Yale whose planet is on the verge of breaking the warp barrier. She's always so great to see. Fabulous actor.
    Great Quotes:
    • "I don't need your devotion, Commander. Just your obedience." - Troi, as Rakal
    • "People blame the military for the wars that we are asked to fight. But I think it is your kind, Major, that will be the death of us all." - Toreth
    • "We're not playing it your way anymore, N'Vek. I've been kidnapped, surgically altered, put in danger. I've gone along with all your plans; now *you* are going to listen to me!" - Troi
    Left off at:
    Troi is able to finesse the situation on the Romulan Warbird to let The Enterprise know it's her, and to track the ship so that both the defector is transported and she is rescued. Transporter saves the day!

    Images Source: TrekCore

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