‘MÉNAGE À TROI’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Ménage à Troi’ features the return of Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi, Deanna’s mum who makes her third ‘Star Trek’ appearance. This episode also has Lwaxana, Deanna and Riker kidnapped by Ferengi.
A reception takes place aboard the Enterprise following a trade conference on Betazed. The Ferengi are also there, which makes the Betazoids very uncomfortable since they cannot read Ferengi minds.
Lwaxana Troi also attends the conference, but makes her daughter Deanna uncomfortable. Lwaxana insists Deanna gets married and raises a family. Deanna seems happy with her life on the Enterprise.
It’s interesting how the mother and daughter relationship is explored in this episode regarding this matter. Lwaxana is concerned for Deanna’s happiness, but Deanna is frustrated by her doting on her.
It was even more interesting when Lwaxana raises the point that Deanna ‘had her chance with Commander Riker’. Deanna defends this saying that she and Riker ‘have become very good friends’.
Meanwhile during the closing reception of the trade conference, Lwaxana gets the attention of Frank Corsentino as DaiMon Tog of the Ferengi starship Krayton. Lwaxana doesn’t like this attention.
Tog is interested in Lwaxana’s telepathic abilities to help him and his Ferengi make business in outer-space. But he’s also interested in a sexual way, as he clearly demonstrates that when talking to her.
Tog tries to make an offer to Lwaxana, but she rejects him flatly in front of everyone else in Ten Forward. Lwaxana can be quite forceful when talking to Ferengi. Tog however is not put off by her.
Whilst Riker, urged by Picard, joins Deanna for a spot of shore leave on the planet Betazed, Daimon Tog comes along and kidnaps Lwaxana, Riker and Deanna. They are transported to the Krayton ship.
By the way, I really like that outfit Deanna wears when she’s spending shore leave with Riker on Betazed. She looks glamorous and beautiful and there’s even a moment when Riker kisses Deanna.
Carel Struycken returns for a brief appearance as Mr. Homn in the episode. I found it amusing when he returns to find Lwaxana, Deanna and Riker gone once they have been kidnapped by the Ferengi.
On the Krayton ship, Riker, Deanna and Lwaxana wake up in cell. Deanna and Lwaxana soon get beamed over to the lab of Dr. Farek, where their clothes…are left behind…and they end up naked!!!
Whoa! That was shocking and unexpected when I saw that. I know Ferengi disapprove of females wearing clothes, but this is going rather far. Dr. Farek believes women don’t deserve to wear clothes.
By the way, it’s Ethan Phillips as Dr. Farek in this episode. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, Ethan Phillips would later play Neelix in the ‘Voyager’ TV series. It’s amazing to see him as a Ferengi.
Unlike Tog, Farek is sceptical and distrusting of Lwaxana being used to help the Ferengi’s business in space. He wants to study Lwaxana’s telepathy with mind probes, where Tog doesn’t share his views.
Lwaxana pretends to be interested in Tog to give Deanna and Riker time to escape. It was strange to see how Lwaxana is made to flirt with Tog, especially with that Ferengi ear massaging called Oo-mox.
But whilst Lwaxana tries to persuade Tog to give him his access codes in order to help Riker and Deanna to send a message to the Enterprise, Farak catches her in the act. She soon gets taken away.
Riker thankfully sends a message to the Enterprise, which Wesley recognises as he helps to decode it. This of course stops Wesley from making his way over to do an oral exam for Starfleet Academy.
Yeah that’s a sub-plot that’s been going on in this episode. Wesley is about to take final exams to get into Starfleet Academy. But he sacrifices his chances and help the Enterprise locate their lost friends.
Eventually, the Enterprise rescues Deanna and Riker before they rescue Lwaxana from Tog. I really love the scene where Picard quotes Shakespeare to profess love to Lwaxana in order to get her back.
The story ends with Wesley being allowed to reapply for Starfleet Academy, but also getting a field promotion of full Ensign by Picard. I like it when Wesley gets his proper Starfleet uniform by the end.
This ‘Star Trek’ episode has been pretty entertaining to watch with Lwaxana, Deanna and Riker getting kidnapped by Ferengi. I also liked it when Wesley gets the field promotion he deserves here.
‘Ménage à Troi’ rating – 8/10
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