Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation--"Haven"

I had only the vaguest memories of “Haven” when I sat down to watch it for this review. The only thing I recalled were several of the “moments,” like the talking gift box played by DS9’s Armin Shimmerman and mr. Homm’s fondness for alcohol while suffering under Lwaxanna Troi’s employ. After watching, I remember why that is. The episode is not all that great.

The Enterprise arrives on Haven, a planet known for its alleged mystical healing properties. While there, Troi begins receiving wedding gifts. Unbeknownst to anyone, she has been given away in a prearranged marriage at birth. Naturally, this upsets her imzadi, Riker the most.

It is hard to blame him. Troi never said anything about this to him. Why would she deceive her beloved that way? Oh, yes. Because Troi’s entire purpose is to be a manipulative, emotional leech. Not that Riker has handled their relationship much better himself. While it was obvious they always had a thing for each other, riker never pays much attention to Troi unless someone else is after her. That includes a cloned version of himself in “Second Chances.”

The pattern establishes itself in “Haven.” The two are not romantically attached, but Riker hauls off to the holodeck to pout when he learns he cannot string Troi along at his convenience. Once the wedding his called off because trio’s to be husband, Wyatt, finds a calling more to his liking, Riker settles back down, refusing to consider marrying troi himself because he has other obligations. Said obligations will involve a string of other women in future episodes while bouncing back to Troi during lulls.

Like I said above, Troi is deceitful person who will use her abilities to manipulate friend (recall pointing out Tasha Yar’s base fascination with being kidnapped by primitives in ’Code of Honor”), foe (The Ferengi in ’The Battle,” although she previously said she could not read through their thick skulls. She also lied to Zon in “Encounter at Farpoint” when she said she could only ability was to read the emotions of the willing when she had just been communicating telepathically in the previous scene), and now, hiding her arranged marriage from riker for years. I cannot blame him a whole lot for seeking greener pastures.

“Haven” was awfully trite and shallow. You knew Troi was not going to get married, so you were never surprised when Wyatt found an alternate plan for his life. I obviously do not care much for the Riker/Troi relationship, so I have no emotional attachment to Riker’s on again/off again jealousy. I am not crazy about Lwaxanna troi, either her cougar antics towards Picard in Tng and Odo in DS9 are played for such silly, forced laughs that I cannot stand the character, at least in her less serious episodes. She shines a couple times in future episodes, but not often.

No one ever mentions she sounds just like the computer, either. What is up with that? Are the Starfleet personnel observant or what?

Rating; * (out of 5)

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