The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Menage a Troi

When a Ferengi captain takes an interest in Lwaxana Troi and her telepathic abilities, he won’t take no for an answer; instead, he kidnaps Lwaxana, Deanna and Riker whilst they’re on shore leave on Betazed. Now, the Enterprise must track down the Ferengi ship and mount a rescue mission.

The trouble with whipping through these episodes at this pace is that feels like it’s hardly been any time at all since Lwaxana Troi last graced us with her presence. This episode, whilst not as unbearable as Manhunt, is another one of those ones that was probably a lot funnier back when it first aired than it is now. Mostly, it’s fairly pedestrian fare, but there are a couple of things that make me feel uncomfortable from my 21st century perspective – first, the casual racism towards the Ferengi because they’re just the greedy, joke race; and secondly, the need for Lwaxana to apparently belong to another man in order to get Tog to back off.

Check and mate

  • 3D chess is so popular across the galaxy that even the Ferengi play it. Of course, they’re not allowed to be any good at it.
  • Unlike Starfleet communications, Ferengi transmissions appear to actually be encrypted.
  • Ethan Phillips appears as a Ferengi in this episode – of course, he would later go on to play Neelix in Voyager.
  • This is our first look at the planet Betazed, and the part we see looks like a pleasant, temperate region. In fact, it’s a nice enough place that Troi and Riker seem about to rekindle the intimate aspects of their relationship.
  • We miss out on getting rid of Weslet once again, and in return Picard promotes him to full ensign. At least this means he gets a proper Ops uniform instead of that unattractive grey number.

Summary – Menage a Troi: The best thing about this episode is the apparent secret anime reference.

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