It is the return of Lwaxana Troi. Ostensibly on an ambassadorial mission, she is in fact a woman on the prowl. Lwaxana is going through “The Phase,” a time in the life of a Betazed woman that ratchets her sex drive to 11. She must have a husband. While her sights are initially set on Captain Picard, when he proves elusive, no man is off limits. Who will be the lucky guy? Find out when we put Manhunt in the Mission Log.

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  1. Wildride says:

    There’s something distinctly Deltan about the Betazoids in this episode. Not surprising in that Wil and Deann are partially based on Decker and Ilea. Probably just an element Roddenberry had been meaning to shoehorn in for awhile, and given how they were mining old Phase 2 stories for the strike shortened season 2, it’s no wonder.

    Really, though, they are seriously running low on momentum at this point. It’s a good thing they decided to cut it short, or I have no idea what they would’ve done for the last four episodes after Planet Clipshow. You have to commend them on stretching no story into an hour of television.

    • wchmara says:

      Wil Decker. Will Riker. William Shatner. I sometimes wonder if the similarity in the names was intentional or subconscious on GR’s part.

      • Stigs_Helmet says:

        Riker is almost an anagram of Kirk. I always thought that in the beginning, the Riker character was there to step in if Picard didn’t work and make it more like an updated TOS. The episodes with Lwaxana sucked as they were far too panto like in performance. ST was always better in the more thoughtful or thought provoking episodes. This one was just silly and should have been canned at the writing stage.

  2. CmdrR says:

    This is yet another season two episode, where when I started to watch the repeat I could not recall the ending. Oh good, I think, I may have Alzheimer’s but at least I’ve got a “new” Trek to watch. Come to find the reason I couldn’t recall the endings of these eps… is because they essentially don’t have an ending. They have the sit-com wrap-up where all the miscommunication is spoken aloud, everyone chuckles, ep over. I like the characters and situations in this ep, but feel that they circle the arena but never do much of anything. Meanwhile, Lluxanna comes off in this ep as a 60’s era stock character — “The Manhunter.” See also: barracuda, black widow, etc… It seems as though Majel is having fun, in the way actors can enjoy a matinee of a bad play, but it’s not the show’s finest hour.
    (Good point about the Squidbillies failing to detonate their bombs.)

  3. CmdrR says:

    OK, you guys dance around it, but I’m thinking that’s one happy shuttle pilot.

  4. wchmara says:

    Guys, how about doing some supplementals on the higher quality fan films? (Exeter, Phase 2/New Voyages, Continues, Farragut, Aurora, CHDanhauser’s animated episodes, and Axanar.

  5. ketracel says:

    Lots of discussion, in the podcast, about how Picard was treating Lwaxana. Why didn’t he “just say no.” Was it her ranking as Ambassador… etc.? I think they mentioned, but glossed over, the most important thing — she’s Deanna’s mother. Picard respects Deanna so much that he does his best to honor — or at least tolerate — her mother for the three day trip. After all, if Lwaxana is upset, she will share it with Deanna. Picard doesn’t want to see Deanna hurt.

  6. Cygnus-X1 says:

    @John Champion

    John, with respect to what you and Ken said about the media’s “gotcha” modus operandi relating to political correctness and what you guys are doing in your commentary, particularly in regards to Ken finding something “sexist” to indict in nearly every, single episode of Star Trek (certainly in almost every episode of TOS), I honestly don’t see any distinction. Ken, I must say, does not seem any less “gotcha” about his charges of racism and, especially, of sexism, than the media—judging by the frequency of his indictments and the import that the issue seems to carry with him in these commentaries. Though, obviously, Ken is not in the position to cause someone to lose their livelihood for having slipped up and said something un-PC consequent to, for example, being provoked on the street by paparazzi.

    I should say that I am not out to promote antiquated values or gender roles, but I would simply point out that I was raised by a single mother in the 1980s and she had no problem with the gender roles as they were then, nor with how she was treated at work. In fact, I cannot recall any member of my large family ever raising the issue of sexism. If a woman in my family complained of mistreatment by a man, it was not because of “sexism,” or because of a societal problem pertaining to gender roles, but rather because that man was simply being a jerk. The women in my family never minded being treated differently from men; in fact, they sometimes complained when the benefits of being female did not redound to them—that is, when they were not treated “like a lady.” The point herein being that the writers of TOS were not implicitly “wrong” or “bad” by definition for the “sexism” in their writing. It was a different time, with different common values. Not every woman wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore back then, or even today.

    And I must say that Ken comes across as not entirely fair-minded in his relentless charges of sexism against Trek writers. And do we really need to label Wesley “racist” for his honest reaction to the appearances of other species? Does casting that judgment on Wesley really enrich the viewing experience? Does it make us feel superior to him? More moral/enlightened/”progressive”? I guess I’ve just gotten tired of the endless, ceaseless, unrelenting, intellectually un-discerning, holier-than-thou PC-policing in general. At this point, I think that we have to address the issue of whether this level of oppressive thought-policing yields more benefits than costs to society. You were right to call attention to the issue of Wesley simply having an un-PC thought vs. methodically and repeatedly making un-PC statements. But, even that distinction does not seem to be given much time or consideration in this commentary. Everyone who says “the wrong thing” at some point is not thereby a bad person, you know? And, honestly, who likes the relentless judging and school-marming? Are you more likely to win people over by being relentlessly judgmental and didactic, or by being understanding and sympathetic?

    As an aside, the terms “sexism” and “racism” are intellectually lazy misnomers for the alleged transgressions that those words are typically employed to denote. “Racism” simply means discriminating on the basis of race to the exclusion of other attributes. “Racism” is not bad by definition. Every, single person on the planet is, to some degree, “racist,” in their thinking; and “racism” is in some cases condoned and encouraged by American society—affirmative action being an obvious example. Likewise with “sexism.” What people often mean by “racism” is actually bigotry, and I would agree that bigotry is always bad. But, bigotry and racism are not always the same thing.

    I hope that this rant does not come across as blaming you guys for a greater societal problem, but part of that problem is that we’re not allowed to talk about it, because talking about it is un-PC! Right-thinking will be rewarded; wrong-thinking will be punished.

  7. gizmochimp says:

    I always liked the idea that Picard WAS having those supposed dirty thoughts about Lwaxana. It makes him more human and interesting, even though he of course has to play it off like she’s full of it. I at least didn’t take it for granted that of course he didn’t or wouldn’t have.

  8. Low Mileage Pit Woofie says:

    Wow, this is one that has definitely soured for me as I got older, mostly because it alls on the tired old trope of humour at the expense of an older woman. Isn’t it funny how she is sexually voracious and going after the men? It’s like when some attempt at a comedy movie includes an old woman swearing. It was the one time that I felt sympathetic towards Lwaxana (though you’d think a condition like the Phase would be recognised on Betazed and suitable medication could be taken to lessen the effects).
    Speaking of which: in both episodes to date, she portrays herself as someone who will read the thoughts of those around her with impunity and seemingly tell every non-telepath around her. Which makes her utterly useless as an ambassador, which further supports the notion that it’s all just an act around Deanna’s workmates, as much a flamboyance as her . We don’t know how Betazoid telepathy works, but I’m assuming that they’re not just broadcasting and receiving every thought in their head, but have to make an effort to transmit and receive. If every thought was known to everyone else, a civilisation would quickly collapse.
    Oh, and Antideans: good work on sending assassins to a conference where there are telepaths who can read your minds. Smoke yourself a kipper.

  9. I thought the reason that Lwuxanna was so un”phased” (If you will forgive the pun) by the realization that Riker and Picard aren’t into her had more to do with how Dianna views her mother, every thing we know about the phase comes from a woman that hasn’t experienced it yet,talking about her mother (a strained relationship at best) and was raised in a culture where it talked about in hushed thoughts.

  10. KatieN says:

    Riker during that scene with Troi had my heart all a-flutter- it was adorable. You called it on the Cary Grant aspect. I also noted how close they were sitting from the very start of the scene, it was so intimate/cozy. Their relationship confuses me- I suppose they’re just too evolved for my 21st century brain.

    I actually don’t blame Picard’s frustration with the holodeck. One of my attempted programs would be “Game of Thrones but no one tries to rape or kill me.” I’d probably get a 404 message on that oxymoron.

    Not a great episode but it is what it is.

    • It seems to us like the Riker/Troi relationship was always just on the verge of being some kind of statement about what would be an “evolved” 24th century relationship, but TNG was too much of a family show to really explore that. It sort of went from on one week to off the next.