‘Cost of Living’ (TNG) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

I’m not a fan of this ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode. It has overtones of humour that make the episode unbalanced and it is a rather weak combination of two subplots running parallel with each other here.

‘Cost of Living’ features the return of Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi, Deanna Troi’s mother. Her episodes in ‘Star Trek’ tend to vary. They’re often comedies sometimes that feature sex and telepathy.

The episode begins with the Enterprise destroying an asteroid about to collide with the planet Tessen III. It seems like a straight-forward mission with nothing else to add and it seems pointless in the story.

But what may have not been noticed by many viewers is that a mysterious dust heads straight into the Enterprise ship and is absorbed. How does this progress in the episode. Well we’ll get to that later.

The Enterprise then makes its way to the Moselina system. However the main focus of the episode begins with Worf and Alexander arguing in Counsellor Troi’s office since they disagree with each other.

Brian Bonsall returns as Alexander Rozhenko, Worf’s son. Unlike the previous two episodes ‘New Ground’ and ‘Ethics’, Alexander seems more hard to control as he is rather reckless for Worf to handle.

After much debate, Deanna Troi suggests that Alexander and Worf draft up a contract outlining each other’s responsibilities and chores to improve the respect in their relationship. That way they’re equal.

Worf seems hesitant about it but he soon agrees. I like how Deanna tries to reaffirm to Alexander about the respect and love he will come to acknowledge from his father in later years when he is older.

This is before Deanna hears from Riker that her mother, Lwaxana Troi has come aboard the Enterprise with her valet, Carel Struycken as Mr. Homn. Lwaxana informs her daughter that she’s getting married.

Wait, what?! Lwaxana Troi is getting married?! WAIT, WHAT?! Where did this come from? It all seems sudden and unexpected. Even Deanna Troi is surprised by the news when she is talking to her mother.

Lwaxana shares with Deanna that they will be holding the wedding aboard the Enterprise. Wait, shouldn’t she have asked permission from Picard first? She seems to have imposed her will about this.

It seems that Lwaxana wants to have her wedding when her daughter’s around aboard the Enterprise and she wants Captain Picard to give her away as the bride. This is something Picard is so happy to do.

But who is this man that Lwaxana is going to marry? It happens to be Tony Jay as Campio, a nobleman who seems to share many interests with her. But it transpires Lwaxana has never met this man before.

This shocks Deanna. Apparently the match between Lwaxana and Campio was made by a computerised matchmaking system. This story is the reason why I don’t do online dating with girls. 😀

Deanna Troi later learns that Lwaxanai won’t perform the Betazoid custom of being naked at the wedding. It transpires that the Betazoid customs that Lwaxana holds offend the groom and his people.

When Lwaxana meets Campio eventually for the first time, he happens to be rather strict in his conservative beliefs and doesn’t want any familiarity with her bride-to-be after they’re married. Sour!

Lwaxana also interacts with Alexander, Worf’s son as she become friends with him, downplaying the responsibilities and chores he’s supposed to have. It sends these mixed signals that confuse Alexander.

The holodeck gets visited by Lwaxana and Alexander where they experience the recreation of the Parallax colony and have mud baths there. This is something Deanna and Worf get very frustrated by.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise gets infected by an parasite that feeds off the ship’s systems caused by the dust in space. Fortunately, the Enterprise crew soon solve the problem and soon remove the parasite.

The wedding eventually takes place aboard the Enterprise but Lwaxana turns up naked at wedding, causing offence to Campio and his assistant Patrick Cronin as Erko. As if Lwaxana got married here! 😀

‘Cost of Living’ isn’t one of my favourite episodes from ‘TNG’. I admit it’s nice to see Lwaxana and Alexander interact with each other at times, but this episode was uneven in tone and didn’t work for me.

‘Cost of Living’ rating – 4/10

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