The Enterprise is being dragged to its doom by two-dimensional creatures headed to a destructive cosmic string. Time with Counselor Troi might help us deal, but she has her own problems. She has lost her Betazoid emphatic abilities. Can she still function as ship’s counselor? And will everyone die before we know? Find out when we add The Loss to the Mission Log.
Tags: 2 dimensional beings, Alan J. Adler, Allenby, Chip Chalmers, cosmic string, empath, empathic, graviton, Hilary J. Bader, instinct, intuition, Janet Brooks, Kim Braden, Mary Kohnert, mourning, The Loss, The Next Generation, The Next Generation Season 4, TNG, two-dimensional beings, Vanessa Greene
Love the opening. Funny as heck!!
Guys, the aristocratic thing is totally sexist. This whole episode is a lesson is negative female stereotypes. She’s the shrew. Her job could be done by anyone. She’s ‘overreacting’ whereas a man would have it written differently. Ooh cue you saying archetypes just as I’m typing that. This show expresses nothing so much as that the writers see women as more alien than aliens.
Look at how the women are written. The bad mother. The needy mother. The widow. The nurturer. The sexual beings. The doctor does not have the gravitas and respect that Bones did. No women in the whole series are real people until Tasha comes back as the Romulan. And of course she’s just a guest star, who are the only women that get real roles.
I would love a special at the end of the series about the basic systemic othering of women in the whole thing. With some feminist fans. Because it’s actually worse in some ways than the original. Ohura is often better written. (Key to why she is a poorly written Tasha Yar is the writers cannot get around her femaleness. Hence the terrible rape thing.)
Deanna has PTSD and people just want her to walk it off Princess. People are telling her how to cope. It’s truly awful and abusive how they treat her. It is awful how she’s written. It is belittling how they treat women and grief. When Data had the emotion chip he was treated better than Deanna by the crew and the writers.
Really, this is a terrible, horrible, no-good, episode. Which is a shame since the concept of having her deal with this, as well as the 2D subplot, is amazing. It is a real waste.
Thank you for pointing this out. I totally missed this when I watched the episode last week, must of been tired, but you’re absolutely right.
Seriously disagree with you.
Her being aristocratic is because she is from an aristocratic society and being an aristocrat… That being said, she clearly doesn’t like that society and she should have reacted really badly to that, because she tries to fight it.
That being said I Picard is a stateman and puts him in the same spot as Deana with regards to her stereotype. Just because it is a stereotype, doesn’t make it sexist, however, I do think that there is something to be said that we are given a chance to explore some depth with the female version of the stereotype and there is a significant lacking in depth, (pun not intended). And the same can be said of Beverly who is stereotype/mirror of him and his father which is never explored when clearly it could be which would give tons of depth. I can’t help but think that the reason it was never addressed had less to do with them being tertiary characters and more to do with them being female characters… if not for the writers just innately thinking less of the female cast member but also because it would have to be pointed out that Beverly may be an awful mother.
I think saying Deana has PTSD is just dumb though. She doesn’t, not even in the slightest and you shouldn’t toss around serious illnesses like that when it is so far from what it is. Those types of things do harm to people who actually have those problems, but yes, she is treated awfully, largely because they treat her with kid gloves… which in all fairness, given how nutty she is might be perfectly in character for them to do towards her… if not for the fact that these people have all gone through Starfleet which means they’ve done some serious sensitivity training (as we have seen in Wesley’s academy test). What we see falls more in line with what feminists say you should do, which one of the reason feminists are horrible in general. That aside, if you were to thow in a male character in there you’d get a different treatment and that does make it sexist (for both males and females). The funny thing here though is that without even discussing sexism you can just point them towards the fact that you would not be treating a blind person this way if they lost their site/visor so why are they making that comparison…especially when there are episodes that have Laforge lose his visor v.v
And yup. It is a real waste of a good treatment and idea. I would say it would be handled better today, but for whatever plus you get from her not regaining her telepathy by the end it’s balanced or made worse by todays standards that would cause all the bad bits about how they treat her that much worse with fewer balancing scenes such as how Riker treats her.
I was crafting a thoughtful response to Durakken’s misguided statement and then read them say “one of the reason feminists are horrible in general.” Alas. You can’t argue with people like this…..
I really felt the females in TNG, got shafted. Minimal fleshing out of characters and Troi’s concept was just bad. A counselor on a ship where people get a long pretty well. They try to play up the couch psychiatrist angle, but it’s rarely done and makes for a waste of time in a sci fi adventure show. Add the wise sage Guinan, and well, you have a sexy European in a low cut outfit. If they had kept Yar as a no sht tough gal who whopped ass a la Jason Bourne and Crusher as hmmm something more passionate, that would have helped a lot imo
Imagine if they changed the episode that had Yarr getting killed switched to having Troi killed due to naively trying to “fix” the alien.
Limitations of episodic tv/appealing to the cleavage desire of male viewership! haha
Thank you Trixie for bringing this up. Deanna has been TRAUMATIZED by something. So many people call her a Princess for not snapping out of immediately. Like, get over it NOW! This very second! Sorry, trauma doesn’t work like that. TNG was periodically on shaky ground with writing women as 3-dimensionsal (pun possibly intended) beings with a natural range of emotions, as they wrote the men. I feel like this was an attempt at showing someone deal with trauma. Though I’m not sure which is worse, the other characters expecting her to smile about it right away, or the FANS expecting that. Although this podcast episode could have delved a bit further into our reactions to trauma and the reasons why Deanna was “mean” to people, I’m glad they brought up how they would react in the first day(s) upon losing their sight or hearing, etc. We’d all be frustrated, scared, and likely snap at a lot of people. Welcome to dealing with trauma, folks! It’s not rainbows and unicorns on the first day.
I didn’t see that because I never thought TNG was good at characters much anyway. I liked it when Troi got angry. I sympathized – many of those fake characters piss me off anyway. But as I think about all the episodes, I am forced to think you are exaggerating. There was Crusher’s Remember Me, for instance. Or Pulaski. Or Worf getting angry, or Riker (all the time)
“You lost your superpower?!?”
I was really wondering how you guys were going to handle this, all in all, I’m pretty happy with this week’s take on it.
I will say this for this ep, the anger… is spot on. I speak as someone who does have a disability (half deaf). Now it’s not the same (er, not the emphatic thing), I was born with mine as opposed to losing it. But I share with Troi the… aggravation of attempting to people who simply do not get it. Since my hearing disability shows no outward mark and 95% of the time it has very little impact on my life and I can function just about as well as anyone else, it doesn’t come up. But because of that, it makes it very difficult to convey to people what is missing when I am having trouble and of course makes them doubt that I actually need help.
Consider, and I think it’s one thing that I think you guys missed (and the episode also missed) comparing Troi’s loss to LaForge. Think about it, here is a man who is blind, but you can SEE he is blind. Without his VISOR he couldn’t function as Chief Engineer of the Enterprise and probably wouldn’t be able to serve in Starfleet, but all of that you can actually see. It’s a lot easier to understand and deal with it. Troi however… you cannot see it and it would seem that she should be able to function in her role in Starfleet just fine without it. Now wonder she was aggravated with her crewmates, they simply couldn’t grasp what had actually happened to her. She looked fine, she could function without any kind of tools, so why isn’t she just getting on with things? You cannot help but wonder if the same would be said to LaForge if his VISOR stopped working, why not just get on with things?
So, no, I don’t think this was a sexist ep as stated below (or above), but I found Troi’s reactions to be very, very believable because I’ve been there.
Wouldn’t 2D beings sheer the Enterprise in two parts? Wait, I’m sorry. I accidentally used my brain on this episode. Sorry. Your podcast is the ONLY thing in the universe that could bring me back to this episode.
The answer is… no… probably.
The way things are cut is by having a wedge that has one edge small enough to fit between the matter and then slowly pushing it apart. The 2d beings are just a flat plain with no depth as such they’d not excert a force that woud cut because there is force pushing the matter apart… although they could have had them all over the ship just passing through people which would have been cool to see.
So, what you’re saying is that I probably shouldn’t base my ideas of physics on a 1964 episode of The Outer Limits called “Behold, Eck!” Hmmm.
utterly forgettable episode imo. My VHS recordings from tv, had this at the start of a tape and I recall avoiding the tape because of it…lol
Overall the treatment (plot, summary, point to point draft of the story) that must have been this episode probably was really good… but the script itself is terrible.
One of the largest problems is she is being hyperbolic due to the nature of an hour long story telling which is understandable, but it could be much better if they built it up correctly and inverted how Deana / the rest of the crew acted with regards to this…
She should not have been all “I can’t do my job” and how she acted as well as the rest of the crew were horrible role models in this. What they should have done is have Deana continue to do her job, but have other ask her, accidentally, things that rely on those powers to get that information and eventually she blows up and breaksdown.
With regards to the rudeness of Riker. I don’t think he was rude. Think about the scene. She was saying “You’re all shallow”. Why? Because she is used to everything they are saying being right there for her to see. By Riker taking that disposition with her she is acting without a filter.
It was said that “it’s not like LaForge cuz they can fit him with a visor” but here’s the thing and why people have issues with getting things right often. When you say that, you’re not treating it from a scientific point of view. Whatever the betazeds are doing it’s not magic and surely there are enough members of the federation that have telepathic powers that it’s not unreasonable that they have done the research and know how this is being done. To do that, they must have a measuring device, and they certainly have devices that can transmit to the brain and receive signals from the brain…. So actually, they could just fit her with a prosthetic.
Side Topic – Can you guys make your RSS feed point to your site rather than the podcast site…or both. I prefer to stream the audio, and have access to the Disqus comments so all the RSS feed does for me is make me have something to delete and remind me that its up and then i have to manually come to the site unless i want to download the file.
Unfair comparison due to the storytelling constraints of the time (weird how it was just a 4-5 year difference) but DS9’s handling of Odo losing his powers was much more well done…duh, like so many things… awww Riker, always trying to hook up…can’t blame him though. Yeah, Betazoids seem like the should be a pretty powerful species, strategically valuable…but never fully realized
I always imagined these creatures as cosmic fish or bees that were in a swarm or school, that were migrating across the galaxy. I hate to think the cosmic string destroyed them..that would suck. Troi was such a poor character concept imo. Former love interest of the first officer…ugh, I know it was a left over from the Star Trek The Motion Picture Decker Ilia concept…ugh. I would have preferred some xeno psychologist, but oh well. “I sense ….” feeds into the stereotypical emotional woman hysteria thing. The telepathy of the Betazoids has got to be one of the most underused advantages of the Federation/Starfleet. Geez, negotiating w alien races?full Betazoid members of crew should be MANDATORY! sigh, yes, I know some races are immune but some ain’t!! so use this ability!! Also, Troi and Riker should have used that telepathic link at least a few times during the 7 seasons to get out of a fix or two….
So apparently Fermat’s Last Theorem, a math equation problem? challenge referred to in S2 “The Royale” was recently solved in 2016 and the guy is getting a Nobel Prize…So cool!!
No. It was solved years ago…
In 1984 solution was suggested.
In 1993 most of it was resolved, but not finalized
In 1995 the proof was finalized…
The award is the Abel Prize is being given this year for the Wiles proof dated to 1994.
DARN, they are slooooWWW! lol
I thought that Beverly was overly harsh and kind of cold with Deanna. There is leveling and there is Hey how about you give a day and do a little research before you deliver the harsh ‘reality’ of a condition you don’t understand yet.
Yeah Dr. Crusher wasn’t great in this scene- she deserved Deanna’s snap.
The problem with the situation is that it was not apparent that Troi had lost something so it is hard for the other characters to understand. It not like she lost an eye, or a limb so that it is obvious to the other shipmates.
I agree with what the guys were saying in the podcast, give her some time to adjust. They just expect her to get on with her duties, even though a major portion of her identity has been shut down.
My mother suffers from some rather serious internal issues, but looking at her, you would never know. As my mother dealt with these issues and was quite ill for about a year, several neighbors and a few friends could not understand as she looks whole.
I can never be one to overthink things . . . yeah, right. I always wanted to know why they didn’t run to any of the other empaths or telepaths aboard. Surely, on a ship of 1,024 people, Deanna was not the only Betazoid. What about the Vulcans Dr. Selar or Ensign Taurik (may have just jumped the timeline). And while Guinan’s abilities have never been completely fleshed out, she had some of that . . . why not run and ask how they’re doing? Because of Princess, uh Counselor Troi A-story. I know that Ken and John would say that this is just a tv show but still . . . I always wanted to know why they couldn’t ask someone else. Like when the transporters go down, do the ones in the shuttlecraft go down, too? Sigh. I do overthink the plumbing.
We don’t know of any other Betazed aboard.
They allude to Guinans gifts but never clarify.
Absolutely. If the conflict of the story is based on an inconsistency or tech, then that is no good. Otherwise, I’m ok with it.
1- This would have been a much better story stretched out over several episodes. It is just too convenient she is all better by the end of the episode.
2- Is it just me or is Guinan a better councilor than Troi?
I don’t know, but what a great scene.
I really wanted to like this episode, I liked the idea of both A and B plots. But somehow I couldn’t, if they would have dealt more with Troi being disabled I would have been happier, if we would have gotten to know more about the 2-D beings I would have been happier, if anyone would have been more sympathetic to Troi I would have been happier.
But as it was made I just couldn’t enjoy it.
I cannot believe that they didn’t mention how odd and insulting it was that she never went to talk to Geordi about losing senses.
That wouldn’t work, because Geordi was born blind.
The closest character that could relate to the situation would be Q as his powers, as far as we know, are in born, and he has lost them.
Geordi and Riker have experiences going the opposite way with Riker having Q powers and Geordi with his eyesight.
Maybe data, weirdly enough, might have been a good person to go to because he has lost his faculties several times during the series, but then he couldn’t relate due to him being a machine and knowing those faculties could be repaired.
Totally agree that Troi loosing her abilities should have been a 3 or 4 episode arc.
Also, the entire time they were going towards the rip in space, NO ONE thought of getting into escape pods or calling for help.
A story Marina Sirtis told at con I attended long ago (roughly 1990): she said her boyfriend (future husband) asked her “when Deanna loses her powers, why does she turn into Marina?” LOL
This episode is not as a bad as I remembered – although I do agree with many posters that the show could have dealt with Troi’s loss much better. However, it did allow us to see Picard starting one of his classic inspirational speeches”…a teacher of mine had been confined to a wheelchair from birth…” and being totally shot down! I do like Patrick Stewart, but that one made me smile.
This is the episode where Troi loses her power and gets pissed off, cries, and gets to some real acting. What might have been a terrible soap opera actually have a few great scenes. And the B story actually relates to the A story. It is actually a real sci fi story, since Troi losing her power makes her like us, and having her hate us then is simply wonderful, and makes us wonder what it would be like having those powers ourselves.
Deanna, we need you!