Ten episodes in and we finally get an episode that gives Deanna Troi some much-needed background. We already learned that she and RIker have a past but much more than that has only been speculation at this point. So without any delay, originally airing on November 30,1987 we present Haven.
Stardate 41294.5 Haven
The Enterprise arrives at the planet Haven for some much-needed shore leave when a surprise visitor shows up much to the dismay of Deanna Troi.
Lwaxana Troi, Deanna’s overbearing mother, arrives with the news that it is time for her daughter to marry her betrothed, Wyatt Miller. However, Wyatt has a secret that will likely disrupt this arranged marriage.
Meanwhile a dangerous ship carrying a potential pathogen is in transit with a mission that is most unexpected.
We are first introduced to the indication that Troi is engaged when a talking box (with a face!)is beamed aboard the ship from Haven. Troi is devastated as she has to marry someone and then leave the ship with her new husband. Really? Starfleet is just like, ‘Sure your parents had an arranged marriage for you, we don’t mind you giving up your commission so easily’ then again, this is a recurring trope when an officer in Starfleet wants to do something they shouldn’t they just ‘resign their commission’ and when they come back they are forgiven so why shouldn’t this work too?
We soon meet her betrothed, Wyatt and his family. Wyatt is slightly surprised by her appearance as she is not at all what he expected. Ok, he is flat-out disappointed but the dude went with it anyhow. I mean, why wouldn’t you? He won the arranged marriage lotto with Deanna. She could have been a Horta after all! After they depart, Lwaxana beams aboard with her servant Mr. Homn. She speaks to her daughter telepathically and is quite interesting in her manners. Okay she is a total asshat but a really great character. She really is just an overbearing mother who cares deeply and demands everyone respect her nine rings of some such title, but what’s not to love!
Later Deanna meets up with Wyatt in his quarters only to find the reason he seemed confused at her appearance. All his life he has been dreaming of a woman and has many drawings of her from a young age progressively getting older as he aged as well. He believed that this was Deanna but accepts that this may just be a dream. Riiiiiight. You know that Wyatt still thinks his dream girl is out there but he’s just doing the right thing and marrying this other beautiful woman his parents chose for him. It’s called settling folks.
Later, at a dinner, there is quite the disruption about how the wedding will take place. Lwaxana wants a traditional Betazoid wedding but Wyatt’s human parents want a traditional human wedding. Lwaxana goes off on a rant and Troi storms out in a huff. She meets Riker in the holodeck and he reluctantly says goodbye as her marriage will mean that she will be leaving the ship permanently. Riker, although he has clearly shown that he will jump in the sack with any woman, is really upset that Deanna is leaving, Apparently at some point in their past they were Imzadi (meaning they were pretty serious back in the day). He’s bummed but he doesn’t have a beard so we can’t feel too sorry for him. Beardless Riker deserves no pity.
Soon an unknown ship arrives and it is identified as Tarellian ship. The problem is that the Tarellians have gone all but extinct due to a biological pathogen that is highly contagious to anyone around them. However, when they appear on the viewscreen Troi sees why Wyatt thought he would be meeting his dream girl on this trip. One of the Tarellians looks exactly like his drawings! Surprise!
Wyatt, upon finding out that his dream girl is on the ship, jumps ship and exposes himself to the pathogen. But he thinks he can cure a disease that has decimated an ENTIRE species but hey, love can move mountains right? oh yeah…that’s Faith. yeah, Wyatt probably died after the credits.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a very solid episode that really builds some background for Deanna Troi and even builds on her and Riker’s past a bit. We also learn more about her people and their customs. All in all it is a fantastic world building episode that makes an already big universe feel bigger.
The crux of this episode deals with love and the concept of a soul mate. Wyatt arrives willing to marry someone he was prearranged to only to find that she is not who he thought she would be. Despite this, he is willing to go ahead and settle for a chance at happiness. So often we do this very thing in our live and not just in love but with meals, entertainment and even with work. Wyatt finally finds his real soul mate and risks his very life to be with her. Whether soul mates exist or not, it’s not always worth it to settle into a manufactured happiness or just be happy in what you do either. Sometimes, however if you go looking for that one thing that will make you happy, you may miss it all together. It’s a careful balance and Wyatt had the benefit of a psychic connection from the stars. Then again, he probably died not long after meeting his soul mate so there’s that too.
In the episode we also get to meet Lwaxana Troi who is played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. Recognize that last name? That’s right she is the wife of the series creator, Gene Roddenberry! While this would seem a little Nepotistic, Majel Barrett was a fantastic actress in her own right. She nails this role perfectly but, unfortunately, the writers end up wearing her out later in the series and she just gets to be annoying as hell. Sadly, She doesn’t really get to evolve all that much until after this series ends.
We learn that Deanna’s father was Starfleet Officer and that Deanna is only half Betazoid but still retains much of her abilities despite the union.
We also meet Mr. Hohm. He is really awesome.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
One cool thing about Majel Barrett is that she has a long history with Star Trek. She was the original ‘Number One’ in the Original Series Pilot ‘The Cage’ and also is the computer voice for the Federation ships all the way through Star Trek Voyager and some of the movies. Her legacy will live on forever.
Wyatt is played by Robert Knepper who would later end up playing bad guys for much of his career. This role was very different from his later ones and he is fantastic in it.
The ‘Face Box; is played by Armin Shimerman who was already a Ferengi in ‘The Last Outpost’ and also would later play Quark on Deep Space Nine. It wouldn’t be until many years later that we would see his real face sans makeup on an episode of Star Trek.
The ship the Tarellians are in looks very retro and its bridge looks like something from the Original Series. Even the view screens have a marked retro look. This implies that this ship is over 100 years old but that is never directly addressed.
Counselor Troi, of course, does not get married in this one but we do see an early bit of Lwaxana’s (unwanted) attraction to Picard.
We catch the still beardless Riker watching the beginning of a holographic ‘Space Porn’ in his quarters. Okay, not really but come on, dude you really can’t go a few minutes without some scantily clad women to ogle. Geez a loo.
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Late To The Game 01/22/18
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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