Spock’s work on Romulus is revisited in the episode that originally aired on February 8, 1993. This is Face of the Enemy.
Stardate 46519.1 Face Of The Enemy
Counselor Troi discovers that she has been kidnapped and altered to look like a Romulan in order to facilitate defectors from the Romulan Government.
Troi awakes with no memory of where she is or how she got there but soon discovers that her features have been altered to look like a Romulan. Soon a Romulan officer, identifying himself as N’Vek, arrives and informs her that she is no longer Deanna Troi but Major Rakal of the Tal Shiar. She must act as this person if she wishes to survive. She soon encounters the Commander of the ship, Torath, and must act the part in order to convince the Commander of her validity. With Trois insistence, the commander directs the ship to the Kaleb sector.
Meanwhile aboard the Enterprise, they take on a defector of their own in the form of Ensign DeSeve. While there, he relays a message from Ambassador Spock to pick up cargo from a specific ship in the Kaleb sector.
Troi soon learns that the cargo they are transporting is not comprised of items but of people defecting to the Federation. N’Vek indicates that he is part of Spocks underground movement and they needed a StarFleet officer undercover as a Romulan should the mission become compromised in any way. Her mission is to get the bodies back to Federation space no matter the cost. Later, she dines with the Commander of the ship and finds herself challenged at every turn. The Commander has no love for the Tal Shiar and it is clear by her words and actions. Soon another ship arrives for the cargo and, when Troi senses that they are being dishonest, N’Vek destroys the ship claiming to be following Troi’s orders.
Soon the Enterprise arrives at the coordinates they were given only to find nothing. Thinking it was a hoax, Picard questions the defecting Ensign. Ensign DeSeve indicates that his instructions came to him from Spock through a trusted source. He indicates that the ship they were due to meet should have had the cargo they needed. Picard decides to investigate further.
After the destruction of the ship, Troi learns that her position as a Federation officer is needed and she is to order Commander Toreth into Federation space to go to a Federation outpost. Just as they are about to go, the Enterprise arrives and the Commander sees that they are there to locate the spies that may have been aboard the freighter they destroyed. Troi asks N’Vek to help her contact the Enterprise but he explains that they would be caught immediately. Troi demands that N’Vek find a way to let the Enterprise track them or she will have him killed as a traitor. He arranges to have the engineer readjust the cloaking device to send a signal.
Arriving at the location the freighter was destroyed, the Enterprise surmises that the Romulans still may be nearby. Soon they detect a strange distortion that may be coming from a cloaked ship. It is an intermittent distortion but, on Ensign DeSeve’s suggestion, they begin to follow it.
On board the Romulan ship Commander Koreth believes that the Enterprise can indeed detect them. She orders the ship to head toward the Enterprise to prove that they can track them. When the Enterprise backs away from the cloaked ship, Commander Koreth commands the ship to attack. Troi immediately takes command of the Romulan vessel under her role as a member of the Tal Shiar. Commander Koreth reluctantly gives in and Troi decloaks the ship. Contacting the Enterprise, Troi explains the situation as best she can convincing the Enterprise to lower their shields in order to transport her aboard. Troi commands the ship to fire at the Enterprise using the beam to mask a transport of the defectors. Commander Koreth calls out Troi’s deception as she realizes what has occurred. Killing N’Vek, she commands the ship to drop shield and cloak. Just as the Romulan ships shields drop, Troi is rescued by the Enterprise. Troi is saved and the Romulan defectors have been delivered. All is well.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
While it was a well constructed episode I am reluctant to call it a good one due to the fact that nothing in the episode had any bearing on future events despite the implications it presented. This was a HUGE opportunity to really drive home the work Spock was doing on Romulus but instead…nothing. Literally. Not even the film Star Trek Nemesis acknowledges the events of this film or Spock’s work and that film had everything to do with the Romulans!
Overall it was a cool concept and a well produced episode but since it had no real ramifications it goes into the forgettable pile. Shame really, this was one of Troi’s best stories yet. That being said, there is a similar story on DS9 that is done so much better with Major Kira and the Cardassians, but that is for a later time.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We learn that cloaked ships not only can not fire while cloaked but also can not use their shields, making cloaking technology all the more dangerous.
Worf gets a Pony Tail!!!!
We never see nor hear from the Romulan defectors again…
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Late To The Game 6/20/2020 (Originally published 11/19/2018)
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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