Manhunt (ST:TNG Rewatch, Season Two, episode 19) — Silly Lwaxana Troi comedy of manners

(Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break.)

Troi’s eccentric mother Lwaxana returns for another comedy of manners, this time with full ambassadorial status and also on the prowl for a new human partner.

Data and Picard mildly scold Wesley for saying a pair of alien ambassadors are “rather strange-looking.” and a bit later Picard tsk-tsks his crew for disrespectful gossip about Lwaxana. The payback starts coming when we learn that Lwaxana has led Picard to believe she’s inviting him to an official dinner, but it’s really a romantic tête-à-tête.

While I have mixed feelings about the Lwaxana episodes, I enjoyed seeing Picard the tactician defusing Lwaxana’s advances by inviting a clueless Data to join them in full chatterbox mode.

Pulaski and Troi have a rare and enjoyable personal conversation about Lwaxana’s hunting techniques, and Riker and Troi have some humorous exchanges about the Betazed sex drive. But the middle act loses focus as Picard kills time in a Dixon Hill holodeck simulation.

After more meandering character-based scenes, on and off the holodeck, in the final scene Lwaxana makes a passing comment that wraps up the plot as neatly as Miss Prism’s reference to the handbag (Earnest), or Philia’s reference to the ring with the gaggle of geese (Forum). For what it was, a frothy comedy of manners, this episode is okay.