Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: February 20, 1989
Written by: Scott Rubenstein and Leonard Mlodinow
Directed by: Robert Bowman
Wesley falls in love with a girl who happens to also be a giant, furry beast. Riker has taught him well.
The Enterprise is given the task of transporting Salia, the young ruler of Daled IV, back to her homeworld after being exiled to Klavdia III with her guardian, Anya. When they arrive at this gas giant planet, they wonder how anything could survive on it, but they figure stranger things have happened and open hailing frequencies. Anya answers their call and asks what species they are. Without paying any attention to Worf, Picard says they're human, and then they transport up two very human-looking female Daledians. One an old grump, and the other a young, beautiful teenager. And then they bump into Wesley on their way to their quarters. And you know where this is going.
Wesley is immediately attracted to Salia and asks around about her. Besides that, he finds it difficult to focus on his job and screws up some stuff in engineering before Geordi kicks him out. He asks Worf for advice, but apparently Klingons are more into BDSM than Wesley is comfortable with. He asks Data, for some unearthly reason, and Data is only able to describe anatomical nature of love. He is, after all, fully functional. Then Wesley goes to the master, Commander William T. Riker. Riker takes Wesley down to 10-Forward and shows him how to impress a lady by practicing some lines on Guinan. The sexual tension between the two of them becomes palpable, but Wesley is more uncomfortable than inspired.
|Afterward, Guinan showed Riker how to make a "vanilla sundae with chocolate topping".|
Elsewhere on the ship, Wesley has gone to talk to Salia and show her around. He treats her to some Thalian chocolate mousse, and then they go to the holodeck to check out some other planets. They go back to 10-Forward and talk for a while. This is when Salia become sad that she won't be able to leave Daled IV once they get there because she has to do this ruling thing. When Wesley suggests she stay on the ship, she becomes distraught and runs out. Guinan encourages Wesley to follow her and that's when they both bump into Anya and get into huge trouble.
|"They are right behind me, aren't they? Wow..."|
They finally get to Daled IV and it's time for Salia and Anya to leave. Salia visits Wesley one last time, but Wesley just can't get past the fact that she's a shapeshifter. He thinks she deceived him. But, I mean, c'mon, changing into the same form as your host is just common courtesy for a shapeshifter, right? So, Salia prepares to beam down, but she is surprised by a last minute visit from Wesley who comes to say goodbye in the transporter room. They kiss one last time and she tells him to leave so she can turn into her true form for the beam down. She wants him to remember her as a human. But he insists he can handle whatever her true form is.
|And this is what she was afraid of Wesley seeing.|
This is a pretty great story about young love. It handles the subject a lot better than other stories have. And what makes it great is Guinan's speech at the end. Most young love stories teach that it's the best you'll ever get and it'll last forever (which is a flat-out lie), but this one teaches the hard truth: that it will end, it will hurt, and it will be worth it. This is one of the many reasons I love Guinan.