Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: October 9, 1989
Written by: Michael Wagner
Directed by: Les Landau
The Enterprise finds a couple of survivors from a human colony that was destroyed by raiders... or are they?!
Following another distress signal, the Enterprise comes upon Delta Rana IV where there is supposed to be a huge human settlement, but when they get there, they find every acre of land has been obliterated. Well... not every acre. A small patch of green land with a house on it appears on sensors amid a world full of devastation. So they send an away team to check it out and immediately Riker ends up upside down in a homemade trap with a rifle pointed in his direction in the hands of Kevin Uxbridge. Looks like it's time for the house tour.
Kevin and his wife, Rishon, show the away team around and Data becomes particularly interested in a music box. Rishon says it was passed down to her through generations. But it can also, apparently, play its music in a loop in Counselor Troi's head all the way back on the Enterprise. Not only is the song stuck in her head, but it seems to be really painful and blocking all of her other extrasensory perception. Back on the planet, Riker tries to convince Kevin and Rishon to come back with them, but they refuse. Apparently, it's just fine with them to be stuck in a small patch of land surrounded by hell.
|Who needs to travel?|
Red alert! The ship is back! Picard returns to the bridge for, this time, an all-out battle. The ship had previously only fired measly weapons, but now they were stronger and actually did some amount of damage, but the Enterprise is able to slip away. This time, the enemy ship is chasing them. Picard still thinks something is up, though, so he orders Riker to turn back around as soon as they'd shaken the ship. Riker warns that repairs will not have been able to have been made by then, but Picard insists. Meanwhile, Troi still has "Call Me, Maybe" stuck in her head...
|This is crazy|
Then it turns and heads toward the planet. It takes aim at the little patch of green land and fires. For all intents and purposes, it appears Kevin and Rishon are dead. Picard orders the Enterprise to move away just far enough, but not to leave. They keep watch over the planet for a while, and after a few hours... the patch of land returns. Picard then orders a transporter lock on Kevin and Rishon and transports them directly to the bridge where Picard forces Kevin to explain what's really going on.
|"We're hiding from AARP"|
That's not all, though. After the raiders killed Rishon, he was angry. Really angry. This man who had never killed another being in his entire life, murdered the raiders' entire species. He committed xenocide for the sake of love, and for this he was racked with guilt. After admitting this, Picard admits that they have no law for the scope of his crime. He lets Kevin live the rest of his life back on the planet with a recreated Rishon. As Picard departs, he notes that Kevin should just be left alone.
This turned out to be either really beautiful or really corny. I lean more toward the beautiful, but I can see where some might find it weird that this immortal being was so devastated by the loss of someone he had known for only a tiny fraction of his life. But that's love, isn't it? It smacks you in the face when you least expect it and leaves a lasting mark. So, all-in-all, I give this episode a thumbs up of approval.