Liaisons (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 7, Episode 2) Picard is Marooned with a lovelorn woman; Worf is grumpy; Troi eats desserts

Rewatching ST:TNG

Worf grumbles about his dress uniform, saying it looks like a dress. He’s preparing to receive two ambassadors on the Enterprise-D, along with a pilot to shuttle Picard to their homeworld.

While Troi cheerfully introduces Loquel to the concept of “dessert,” Worf gripes that Byleth is “demanding, temperamental, and rude.” Data helpfully observes, “You share all those qualities in abundance, perhaps you should try to build on your similarities.”

As we’ve learned to expect whenever a main character boards a shuttlecraft, something goes wrong and soon Picard is waking up in front of a fire in a low-tech structure, where a human woman has bound his broken ribs. Anna locks him in when she goes out, reports the pilot is dead, and ruins the shuttle’s comm panel. She’s been marooned for seven years, and instead of escaping, she wants to keep Picard for company.

Back on the ship, Troi is getting sick of dessert and pleasure-seeking, and Worf declares himself a failure at diplomacy and requests a reassignment. Riker suggests that they try a poker game. Byleth mocks Worf’s strategy, openly cheats, and prods Worf in the chest. Worf, who’s had enough, throws the ambassador across the room, and the two start brawling. (Loquel keeps eating.)

Picard realizes the device Anna told him was binding his broken ribs was actually causing him to feel injured — his ribs are fine. When she repeats her profession of love and runs off, the pilot returns, very much alive, and Picard starts putting some pieces together. When his plot resolves, a brief infodump also explains the B-plot on the ship.

On my rewatch the plot contrivances bothered me a bit. Would aliens who are so skilled at mimicking miss an obvious detail like Anna’s necklace? How would aliens who need to be told the very basics of how humans reduce be able to simulate exactly how Anna at first acts like a nervous teen with a crush, then an overly attached girlfriend, and then pins down and smooches her rescuer? Just what was in those personal logs they found?

I suppose one could claim that all these little quirks were planted by the aliens to see what Picard would do, but the plot contrivances deserve a facepalm. Still, overall this was an enjoyable episode, with some good character-based humor.