The Cairn are a telepathic race looking to join the Federation, and helping them to learn spoken language is Lwaxana Troi. When she opens their minds, her own secrets start to come to the surface forcing her to relive deep, personal pain. Deanna is there to help, but her mother’s secret hits very close to home. Dark Page is next on Mission Log.
Tags: Amick Byram, arboretum, Betazed, Cairn, Dark Page, dog, dream, dreams, drown, Freud, heaven, Hedril, Hilary J. Bader, Ian Troi, Kestra, Kirsten Dunst, Lake El'Nar, language, Les Landau, Lwaxana Troi, Majel Barrett, Maques, metaconscious, mind meld, Mr. Homn, neurotransmitter, Norman Large, poem, psilosynine, psychoanalysis, psychology, Sigmund Freud, subconscious, telepathic, telepathy, The Next Generation, The Next Generation Season 7, TNG, trauma, wolf
Having watched through the series at least twice now, I did not recall this episode at all. It was nice to have a little surprise instead of knowing the endings to everything. As such, I thought for sure the ambassador was up to no good.
Now, that is one hell of a secret to keep from your daughter. Not even a hint of it has ever come up. Lwaxana went to great lengths to hide her first born from her DeAnna
And how does a species that does not communicate verbally have vocal cords? Perhaps they did once?
Let’s give Lwaxana props for being able to teach a non verbal society how to speak.
An episode that is not as bad as others have been this season, but completely forgettable
I used to feel the same way but I understand why Lwaxana kept it a secret from Deanna. My grandmother had a little boy who passed away at the age of 5 mos from “crib death” and she rarely ever spoke of it to anyone, especially family.
Same experience here. My aunt had a baby that died when he was 2 months old. This was years before I was born. But I only found out about it when I was 19 or 20.
This time of year is also a little difficult for me personally as 3 years ago on Sept 11 I found out that I was going to be having a miscarriage.
God bless ya.
Having lost a few family members in tragedy, it never gets easier.
I am sorry to hear that. This must have been a really difficult episode to watch.
It was. Thank you for your sympathy.
As I mentioned to Gail, this was not an infant, this was a young child.
And then Lwaxana took extra steps to completely erase her child from memory and existence. I totally get the desire to not speak of her, but to completely erase her gives me serious questions. Not a healthy way to deal.
No, but we don’t always deal with these things in healthy ways.
Yes, but she took it too far by removing all evidence of her child
At first I agreed with you but I was looking at it from the perspective of a person who has never been a parent. For a parent, I think that it won’t matter whether the child was 4 months or 40 years; their heart is gonna break the same way. Can’t imagine how it would feel but no parent should ever have to bury their child.
But if you are looking at it from a scientific point of view, maybe she would have to take extra steps because she has more memories of Kestra. It may take more of her Betazoid power to wipe out those memories, I guess.
Maybe not healthy, but people don’t often deal with grief in a healthy way.
I get the hesitancy to not speak of her death, but this was not an infant, this was a young child. Lwaxana took extra steps to completely erase her child from existence and memory.
This is going to be a hard one to listen to. Just watching this episode had me in tears last night.
Lwaxana has a narrow window of effectiveness as a character. In the episodes of broad farce, it’s a miss. Sorry, but it is. ‘Half a Life’ is without a doubt her best outing. Here, the writers again try for drama. In my opinion, though, they hit melodrama. I know it can be part of life, but ‘dealing with the loss of a child’ just pushes me away as a viewer. I’m not blasting the acting or writing; I’m just saying it’s not for me. Very good podcast, though.
I’m gonna have to quote SF Debris on this one, because he puts it so much better than I can:
Do you really think that the response of a character to guilt over their child dying because they weren’t paying her any notice is to forget she was ever born, expunge any sign of her existence and never mention it to anyone ever?. Guilt over negligence doesn’t sound like something you should double down on.
I think that’s the biggest problem with the episode in trying to introduce a situation that we haven’t heard of before and we will never hear of again. NOt that Star Trek doesn’t do that as a matter of course, but…
By the way, you guys should really have SF Debris on your show, he’s really good.
Ya, it is not that she did not want to talk about her first child, it was the extra steps she took to completely erase her from memory.
I always remembered this as a weak episode and would skip over it any time I watched the whole series. Maybe it’s just where I am in my life at this moment, but when I watched it last night I was weeping at Majel’s performance. MAN did she come a long way from Nurse Chapel.
The trauma she endured is a real struggle for many in real life.
They just made this episode boring.
I struggled to remember ever seeing this episode. I think that it was because it was so painfully boring that my subconscious mind blocked those memories.
It’s not that I don’t like the actors, I do, it’s just that this was a preposterous story told in a sleep-inducing way. I wasn’t moved and didn’t empathize with the characters because it was a ridiculous plot. How’d this episode ever make it to production.
This is part of my frustration with the Laxana Troi character. I like the character, I like the actor, they just didn’t do anything interesting with the character in the series. Wasted talent. Oh, let’s have her harass Picard, again, that will be funny, again.
Agreed. I’ve watched TNG several times and completely forgot this episode.
We would have to accept that Lwaxana is insane and has been for 30 years. She has just covered it up well until now. Ridiculous
Deanna’s father was/is made of jello, and went along with this re-writing of personal history to forget that a 7 year old daughter ever existed and participating of ridding the family property and memorabilia of any hint that this girl ever existed. Ridiculous.
Also compliant in this cover up are grand-parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, family friends, neighbors, etc. This is like the moon-landing deniers. Ridiculous.
Star Fleet records or Betazed records have been altered or locked and no evidence is apparent to Deanna that she ever had a sister. Silly.
This wasn’t a baby that died briefly after childbirth, as has happened in my family. This was a 7 year old child that had lived a portion of a life, had an effect on several people. Preposterous plot.
Ya, the age really makes it bad. If she was miscarried or even an infant this would be better. But that she was 7 years old makes it so bad.
All that you mention, the lengths she went to to erase her from all memory is just inexcusable.
It’s often hard as hard for the fathers as it is for the mothers to deal with the loss of a child. While what Lwaxana went to in order to cover up or forget the fact that she’d ever even HAD a seven year old was a little extreme, it’s not out of the realm of what I would consider normal.
Unless you’ve been in a mother’s shoes when she loses a child (no matter how old that child is when they pass away) you can’t begin to imagine what it would feel like.
This wasn’t the episode I thought it was. I thought this was the one where Troi was mind probed against her will.
I REALLY hated Lwaxana until this episode (and Half a Life I suppose). While not a great episode it does work for me as a good retcon for the character. When I rewatch the show now I like the character more because I feel she has more depth under the surface and the annoying act is just that, an act.
I find Lwaxana mostly annoying too, but, jumping the timeline, sorry.., there is a really good episode of DS9 when she gets trapped in the elevator with Odo that lets us see the real person under the act.
Not a fan of the Troi episodes. As was said, they often end up feeling like “this week, on a very special episode of…”. It could have just as easily been Blossom, or Who’s the Boss? or any other 80’s tripe.
I also noticed Lwaxana‘s and Deanna’s ability is referred to as their “powers”, which I find fitting considering their empathic ability seems silly. I guess to be frank, I’m just not a Betazoid enthusiast altogether. I know, I know…
Thanks for all your work boys…
This episode is not perfect, BUT it is a perfect example of pathos, one of the 3 key parts of Star Trek … This episode ads so much depth to the Lwaxana character that we’ve seen over the years. Also, it is probably the best acting performance by Marina and Majel was pretty great too … I think you guys were a little hard on this episode. I watched it again last night and it made me cry. I haven’t cried like that since Sarek and The Bonding. Perfectly written no. Well acted, absolutely …
Agreed with all you said, but somehow it is still a snooze.
Yeah…it was a decent concept…PTSD, etc…would have been better if Picard related to Borg incident, or …hmmmm…who knows…? But Lwaxana Troi was to me, just sooOOooOo annoying…I could never take her seriously, and her wailing crying was just hard to believe. Oh well…just another sign of the “Descent” continuing….
I actually did not mind her in this one
This was an annoying nit.
In a previous appearance, Lwaxana says Deanna’s accent is just like her father’s. When Mr. Troi speaks in this one, he sounds American as apple pie.
Was it really that difficult to coach the actor to say his lines the way Marina would? Of course not. Is it a subtle indication that there was no one involved in the production of this episode who had that level of giva damn? Absolutely.
You are not supposed to remember past episodes 😉
Lest you forget, the teaser is:
MAQUES: A moment. Husband. You need a husband. I need a wife.
Yes, there is a lot of time on this that went nowhere.
And then we get two scenes where the music and stern acting make it seem like Maques is going to violate Deanna. Once again.
But oh no, surprise, turns out Lwaxana is really ill.
So, it’s all about how people cover up the tragedies within, only to find it tearing them apart. This is a wonderful life lesson, if it can be accomplished. But, of course, the episode is not about that all. It is all about misdirection, missing pages in diaries, Deanna running away from a wolf, walking down corridors, exposition from her father.
These analogies are ridiculous, tell us nothing about the characters involved, and are just outright dull or absurd.
Just a note on the trivia, although Kiki’s Delivery Service was made in the late 80s, Kirsten Dunst was only part of the US dub, which was recorded years later, after this episode.
I had the same thought as Ken while watching. “Come on, we have the fish eye lens for a few more days, make sure we have another wandering-the-halls shot that is just like last week’s”