‘THE HOST’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a love story for Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher. I enjoyed this episode very much and found it an interesting exploration of Beverly’s character development. It’s also another strange one.
‘The Host’ also introduces the Trills, who would become a prominent alien race featured in the next ‘Star Trek’ spin-off, ‘Deep Space Nine’, with Jadzia Dax. I had not realised how important they were.
Just to note, this episode was made at a time when Gates McFadden was pregnant. You wouldn’t notice it when watching this episode and she delivers one of her best performances as Dr. Crusher.
Anyway, in the episode, Beverly is having a love affair with Franc Luz as Odan, who is a Trill mediator aboard the Enterprise. Some of the love scenes between Beverly and Odan were nice to watch here.
Odan has come to negotiate a peace treaty between two hostile races. The hostile races in question are from the Alpha and the Beta moons. Odan seems to be a very charming and charismatic person.
It’s amazing that Beverly and Odan have fallen in love with each other in the space of ten days aboard the Enterprise. I wish plenty of romances happened like that, especially with me and a girl. 😀
There is a nice scene between Beverly and Deanna when they talk about Odan in a spa aboard the Enterprise. Deanna has noticed that Beverly is glowing as Beverly seems to really like the way she is.
Anyway, the Enterprise arrives at the rendezvous for the peace negotiations to take palce between the Alpha and Beta moons. Odan refuses to use the transporters and insists on using a shuttle-craft.
Commander Riker accompanies Odan in the shuttle-craft. On their way, the shuttle gets attacked and Odan gets mortally injured. Beverly tries to save Odan in sickbay, but it seems that it is too late.
Odan then reveals to Beverly that he is a Trill and has a symbiotic worm inside his body. He tells Beverly the worm is the real entity inside of him and his body is just a host. The worm has to survive.
Now I find it peculiar that the Enterprise crew and Beverly for that matter didn’t know Odan is a Trill. If that’s the case, why didn’t Odan reveal this to the Enterprise crew before he took on this mission?
The reason that Odan couldn’t use the transporter was that it would have harmed the worm inside that body. Now I question the argument since I’m sure Jadzia Dax would use the transporter in ‘DS9’.
The worm creature that is Odan will need to have a new host body in at least two hours or else it will die. The next Trill host to be sent for to the Enterprise ship will take 48 hours to arrive until this time.
Now this is an interesting thing about the Trills in ‘Star Trek’. In my opinion, Trills are like the Time Lords from ‘Doctor Who’. With Time Lords, they can regenerate and have new bodies once they change.
It’s more or less the same with Trills. They can change their bodies when the worm goes into the next host body after the previous one has died out. This new body can either be a man or a woman.
Anyway, back to the story. Commander Riker volunteers to allow Odan to use him as a host to conduct the negotiations in the treaty before a new host arrives. Riker seems to take this on quickly.
But I can see why Riker would volunteer so willingly. In a sense, Riker would feel responsible for Odan, as he was the one piloting the shuttle when he got injured. Riker’s volunteering makes sense.
The rest of the episode has Beverly struggling with accepting Odan in Riker’s body, since it’s too much for her to take in. She also questions that love she had for Odan until he was injured and died.
Eventually, Odan in Riker’s body succeeds in the negotiations though the strain becomes too much for Riker. They manage to get the Trill worm out of Riker’s body before putting it into the next host.
The next host body is a woman, played by Nicole Orth-Pallavicini as Kareel. Again, it becomes too much for Beverly to take in when she considers that Odan is a woman and she’s still in love with her.
Some would argue that Beverly’s reactions were against homosexuality. But in my opinion, that’s not the case. Beverly’s feelings about this are understandable, as she’s not a homosexual person in this.
I know times have changed and this episode was of its time. But the views of homosexuality in the 1990s were different compared to today. I find this TV story raised interesting points for discussion.
As I said before, Gates McFadden’s performance as Beverly is brilliant and I like how she portrays a variety of emotions in this episode. I really liked the scene she shares with Picard who comforts him.
The story also features Patti Yasutake as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa. There’s also Barbara Tarbuck as Leka Trion and William Newman as Kalin Trose who are involved with the peace negotiations with Odan.
‘The Host’ is a pretty interesting ‘Star Trek’ episode in the ‘TNG’ series. It’s a good one for Beverly Crusher and I like how it explores her character and deals with themes of love involving a Trill alien.
By the way, Odan has a bump on his forehead compared to Jadzia who had tattoo markings on the side of her neck in ‘DS9’. I prefer the tattoo markings. Why did Odan have a bump for his forehead?
‘The Host’ (TNG) rating – 7/10
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