Aquiel (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 6, Episode 13) LaForge adopts a murder victim’s dog. Is she really a suspect?

Rewatching ST:TNG

LaForge gets a little too involved when investigating the disappearance of a lieutenant posted on a remote relay station.

On a routine supply mission near the Klingon border, the Enterprise-D finds only a friendly dog and a mystery. 

The plot requires the details of the mystery to remain fuzzy so that LaForge has time to sift through the personal logs of Lt. Aquiel Uhnari. The technobabble uncertainties with the evidence examined by Worf and Crusher must be untechnobabbled by a lengthy process. We learn that someone likely died from a powerful weapon, that Uhnari didn’t get along with the only other person assigned to the station, and that Klingons may have been involved. 

Picard bluffs the local Klingon authority into investigating the matter, but the plot takes a twist when Gov. Torak produces Lt. Uhnari, alive and well. She describes being attacked by Lt. Rocha, and then losing her memory. The Klingons are not happy that her testimony seems to implicate their border patrol commander. 

LaForge reunites Uhnari with her dog, and offers to leave them alone together, but she’s eager for company. Is she genuinely bonding with LaForge, or is she using him? Of the two officers from the station, Riker is far more impressed with Rocha, and warns LaForge that he’s getting too close to a potential suspect. Things get even more complicated when Uhnari confesses that she has erased evidence that Rocha was planning to charge her with insubordination.

There ends up being a plausible in-world explanation for why it was so hard for Crusher to identify the cellular residue from the deck plate, and for why Uhnari claimed she lost her memory, and thankfully there isn’t a scene where Data droidsplains it all.

The plot twist in sickbay was just random — it happened out of the blue because the writers said it happened; but I can really appreciate how the writers set up the big climax. Once you notice all the little misdirections, you can’t “terrier” eyes away from them.