As of this post, I have been running this series for three full years. While my reviews of Star Trek The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine have come to a close, Retro TV Review continues on with Star Trek Voyager. That doesn’t mean you can’t go back and catch up on the episodes you missed. You can find the rest here!
Dark secrets, personal pain and more are explored in the episode that originally aired on November 1, 1993. This is Dark Page.
Stardate 47254.1 Dark Page
Lwaxana Troi returns to the Enterprise as an ambassador to a new race of people called the Cairn. While there she finds herself distracted by a dark secret that she has been keeping for most of her life.
Lwaxana arrives on board the ship with the Cairn, a telepathic people who communicate without words. As the delegation meets the crew she is distracted by her star pupil, Hedril, who’s father is a widower. Obviously she attempts to connect Hedril’s father, Maques, and Deanna much to Counselor Troi’s dismay.
It soon becomes clear to Deanna that something is bothering Lwaxana but she plays it off as stress. Soon she discovers that Lwaxana is the first to communicate with the Cairn people. Maques indicates that, when talking to Lwaxana, he noticed that there was a part of her that was blocked off and un-shared. He refers to it as a dark place and Deanna explains that it is only a matter of privacy making it nothing to be concerned over.
The next day Lwaxana barges into ten forward and yells at Will Riker, accusing him of being the reason Deanna has never married. She is rushed to sick bay and soon regains her control. Dr Crusher explains that Lwaxana has overworked her telepathic powers and needs to take a break. Deanna volunteers to take over the negotiations and instructs her mother to stop using her telepathic powers until she is better. As they tour the ship with the Cairn, Lwaxana has a difficult time not communicating telepathically. When Hedril falls in a small pond, the group find Lwaxana unconscious on the ground, unresponsive.
It is soon determined that there is something about the communication with the Cair that has opened up some bad thoughts in Lwaxana. Maques explains via telepathy that there are some dark and bad thoughts in Lwaxana that are hurting Deanna’s mother. It appears that there is something secret and dark that Lwaxana has buried and kept from her daughter. In order to get Lwaxana back, they must find out what it is in Lwaxana’s meta-conscious that is affecting her. That night, Deanna attempts to contact her mother telepathically only to hear her mother begging for help in her head. Before long Deanna awakes in sickbay and discovers Maquis attempting to telepathically link with Lwaxana.
Maquis explains that he was attempting to help Lwaxana and has determined that Lwaxana psyche has collapsed in on itself. Maquis offers to bridge the minds of both Lwaxana and Deanna in order for Deanna to reach her mother telepathically and bring her back to them. She goes through with the procedure and enters her mother’s mind.
In Lwaxana’s mind (which looks remarkably like the Enterprise hallways), she searches for her mother. While in there she encounters several things that block her way including a version of Picard and a dangerous wolf. As she runs from the wolf, she encounters her father in one of the rooms. Before long she realizes that this is another attempt by Lwaxana to get rid of Deanna. It isn’t until she runs into Hedril in Lwaxana’s mind that Lwaxana appears and violently chases Deanna away. Deanna awakes in a rush, knowing that she needs to talk to the young woman.
Hedril informs Deanna that the little girl makes Lwaxana sad. The child doesn’t know why but says that there is something about her that reminds Lwaxana of someone. They decide to investigate further and Deanna contacts Mister Homn to send Lwaxana’s personal logs to Deanna in order to discover more about Lwaxana’s plight. She soon discovers that there are logs missing in her mother’s files. It appears as if Lwaxana has deleted key moments of her life that started shortly after a year after her parents wedding and resumes just after Deanna’s birth. Deanna realizes that the answers can only be found in her mother’s mind and she returns to find out just what happened.
Diving back in she encounters Hedril petting the wolf. As she follows the little girl Deanna finds herself in a park near the pond Hedril had fallen in. As she explores deeper she discovers the secret her mother has been hiding. It appears that Deanna had once had an older sister that drowned when Lwaxana was distracted by her new child. She has been carrying the guilt of losing her oldest daughter, Kestra, for her entire life. When Lwaxana met Hedril, the memories of Kestra came back in full force and she was unable to handle it. In the end, Deanna gets Lwaxana to say goodbye to her daughter Kestra, something she has not been able to do her entire life.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is possibly the best Deanna and Lwaxana episode of the series. We finally get a chance to see why Lwaxana is so very protective of her only daughter and it comes from a genuine place in her heart. This is one of the more touching and heartfelt episodes that honestly will bring a tear to your eye.
Deanna is one of the few characters in the series who really hasn’t been fleshed out completely. Many of her stories have been lackluster and frankly pretty forgettable. It is sad that it took a full seven seasons for the writers to finally find a story that really spoke to Deanna as a character and all it took was bringing in the one person Deanna tried to avoid, he mother.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We finally get to see Deanna’s father, Ian. I find it very cool that the producers make use of the classic red uniforms from the TOS films for people in the past. It adds a really cool continuity that would otherwise be forgotten on this show.
We also learn that Deanna had an older sister that she knew nothing about.
Kirsten Dunst plays the role of Hedril. Yep, that Kirsten Dunst.
This is the final appearance of Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek The Next Generation. It isn’t the last we will see of her in the franchise however…
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Attached
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Late To The Game 8/23/2020 (Originally published 1/2/2019)
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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