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TNG 6-13

TNG 6x13

Original airdate: 2/1/1993
Rewatch date: 9/3/2012

While investigating an apparent murder aboard a small relay station near Klingon space, Geordi starts to have feelings for the prime suspect.

Spoiler-free notes:

"Aquiel Uhnari" is a cool name. It kind of dances off your tongue.

This episode is like The Thing: it's got a dog that's actually a homicidal, shape-shifting alien. All that's missing is the paranoia, the Arctic cold, the gross special effects, the horror, and Kurt Russell. Okay, so it's not that much like The Thing.

Geordi has a bad habit of falling in love with women he hasn't actually met.

Wouldn't it make sense to assign Data to watch Aquiel's logs in search of information? He could do it much faster than Geordi.

It's been a really long time since there's been a storyline involving the Klingons. The last time we saw any other than Worf and Alexander was all the way back at the very beginning of Season 5, with "Redemption II." That may be the longest stretch in Star Trek history thus far in which the Klingons are absent.

It seems like a bad idea to have a space station manned by only two people, especially when those people are of the opposite sex.

This is a weird episode to talk about, because it feels like it should work better than it does. The underlying plot is a clever mystery with a good, sci-fi conclusion, and the film noir undercurrents of Geordi falling in love with a woman who may or may not be a murderer is interesting. Unfortunately, the story is told in a pretty stilted, uninteresting way, and there is absolutely no chemistry whatsoever between Geordi and Aquiel. As with the two or three other episodes from this season that haven't been the best they could be, "Aquiel" isn't a bad episode; it's just not a very memorable one. It needed more of a hook--like perhaps if the story had been told from someone else's point of view. Imagine if, for example, it was Data unraveling the mystery while the love story between Aquiel and Geordi is actually going on in the background. Since love is enigmatic at best for Data, it would play as an interesting dynamic given his friendship with the Chief Engineer.

Spoiler section:

Geordi and Aquiel bonding using the telepathic crystal reminds me of how Trip gets pregnant in "Unexpected."

TNG 6x12
"Ship in a Bottle"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
TNG 6x14
"Face of the Enemy"
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