Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: November 3, 1989
Written by: Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by: Robert Scheerer
A gifted negotiator brought in to bid for the rights to a stable wormhole ends up shagging Deanna Troi.
So Troi has clearly had a rough day, but just when she thinks she's about to sit down and relax while reading a ton of her mother's email, she's called to 10-Forward to witness the Barzan Wormhole coming into view. The Enterprise was called to host an auction for the rights to control the wormhole owned by Bhavani of Barzan II. The bidders include Seth "Captain Mustache" Mendoza, negotiating on behalf of the Federation; Leyor for the Caldonians; and Devinoni Ral, a human representing the Chrysalians. Ral also happens to be a yuppie and Troi, as it turns out, is really into that.
Before negotiations can start, a Ferengi, DaiMon Goss, shows up and whips out his hefty sack (of gold) onto the table. And now that everyone's there, preliminary bidding can begin. Except Ral decides he doesn't wanna get involved with the preliminaries and instead goes to Troi's office to hit on her. He invites her to dinner at 8 and a shag at 9. Meanwhile, Data and Geordi decide it would be a good idea to actually do some research on this unstable wormhole to see if it's actually a good investment for the Federation. Not wanting to be left out, Arridor and Kol, DaiMon Goss's assistants, demand to go with. This, however, is after they come up with a devious plan to take out Captain Mustache.
|The Black Spot|
Meanwhile, Data, Geordi, Arridor and Kol fly into the wormhole in separate shuttles to check it out. When they get on the other side, they take some readings and Geordi discovers that the wormhole is becoming more unstable. The only problem is he's the only one who can see it because of his VISOR. Arridor and Kol don't believe him, so when Geordi pilots the shuttle back through the wormhole while it's invisible to them, they stay behind until it becomes visible again. The only problem is that when it does... it immediately shifts away.
|"But I had a tooth sharpening appointment!"|
During all this hullabaloo, Riker is called out of negotiation to deal with it and Ral is left alone with Bhavani to finish negotiating. Ral comes out and announces that they have made a deal, and tells Goss that if he'll stand down, he'll agree to give them free passage through the wormhole. So, yay! Everything is cool, right? Well, not exactly... Troi sees the arrangement as extremely unfair. She knows that Ral has used his empathic powers to win the negotiations. She confronts Ral and senses a lot of tension in him, but the tension wasn't from the Ferengi confrontation, it was from her confrontation. She then reveals that he is empathic and has used his powers to manipulate the talks in his favor.
|This is the face of a man who has just lost his brick cell phone.|
There's a lot of moving parts to this episode, just like there is with the wormhole. It's intricate, and I like that. The only problem I have is that there is a lot more focus on the love story between Ral and Troi than there probably should have been. To me, the interesting part was the wormhole part. But, hey, to each their own right? Some people like yuppie love stories.