Type Episode
Date 1993-02-01
Tags shapeshifter, mystery, amnesia

Aquiel

Star Trek: The Next Generation 6x13

The Enterprise visits a remote relay station on the Klingon border to deliver supplies, but they do not respond to hails. Investigating, Crusher, Riker, La Forge, and Worf find the station deserted, with the station's shuttlecraft missing and a deposit of organic matter on a deck plate that probably belongs to one of the station's crew, either Lt. Aquiel Uhnari or Lt. Keith Rocha. They also find traces of Uhnari's blood.

While Crusher examines the organic matter in sickbay, La Forge attempts to retrieve data from the station's computer--in particular, he spends his time lounging around in Lt. Aquiel Uhnari's bedroom while listening to her personal logs. They reveal that she had some trouble with Lt. Rocha. However, they find Klingon DNA on board the station, and Uhnari's logs also indicate that the Klingon officer that patrols the area, Morag, has made threatening gestures, so it is unclear what has happened.

The Klingon governor Torak is initially unwilling to help them investigate, taking offense at the accusation that a Klingon may have murdered the crew of the station, but eventually (after Picard threatens to go over his head) he cooperates, and proves that Morag has not killed Uhnari by producing her. She was caught in Klingon space, fleeing in the station's shuttlecraft. Oh, and she has a convenient case of amnesia, so the episode doesn't have to end yet.

Eventually the murder plot resolves: a big ball of shapeshifting alien goo killed Rocha and took his place, tried to kill Uhnari, and eventually took the place of Uhnari's dog, which has been conspicuously present throughout the episode. Geordi zaps the goo with a phaser and everyone goes home.

Or that would be the (spineless) whole of the episode, except that we are treated to yet another example of Geordi failing spectacularly at romance.

Back in Booby Trap, he fell for the holographic depiction of Dr. Leah Brahms, and then tried to parlay that experience into romance in Galaxy's Child. He spends this episode watching an attractive and apparently dead woman's personal logs. What do you suppose he does when she turns out to be alive?

True to form, he tries to romance her. Never mind that she's the prime suspect in the murder of Lt. Rocha, and Geordi is in charge of a major part of the investigation. Very professional of him. And he's again using personal knowledge about her to give him a leg up on the romance thing.

He didn't learn anything from his experience with Dr. Brahms? Well, probably not, since that episode painted him in the most positive light it possibly could, letting his "I was just trying to be your friend" excuse stand without objection, and we get the same thing in this one. "I thought you were dead" explains why he was reading her diary, but it doesn't excuse him for using that knowledge to seduce her. This is looking like a pattern...

Frankly, Uhnari never seems that into Geordi. Any time she's encouraging him, it just feels like she's clinging on because he believes she's innocent and, hey, he's in a position to see to it that everyone else thinks so, too.

Anyway, once Uhnari is cleared of the murder, she's out of there ASAP. Geordi offers to pull some strings and get her a position on the Enterprise (also super professional, Geordi), but she tells him thanks-but-no-thanks, leaving Geordi zero for two on the romance front. Or probably zero for a hundred, if this is how he goes about it.

They'd have had a much more interesting show if Uhnari had turned out to be the killer. Geordi could have examined how he got too involved with her, or they could have had a few more words about suspecting the Klingons, or whatever, but that's not how it ended up. This is hardly the most excruciating experience in mid-season Trek, but it's not a winner.

Character TypeName
Aquiel Uhnari MainRenée Jones
Geordi La Forge MainLeVar Burton
Beverly Crusher SubGates McFadden
Torak SubWayne Grace
William T. Riker SubJonathan Frakes
Morag AppearanceReg E. Cathey
Worf AppearanceMichael Dorn
Name RoleCharacter
Brannon Braga Screenwriter
    Cliff Bole Director
      Gates McFadden Actor
      Jeri Taylor Author
        Jonathan Frakes Actor
        LeVar Burton Actor
        Michael Dorn Actor
        Reg E. Cathey Actor
        Renée Jones Actor
        Ronald D. Moore Screenwriter
          Wayne Grace Actor