The Enterprise plays host to the Ullians, a race of telepathic aliens who are able to dive into the minds of others and reawakened long forgotten memories. But what seems like an innocent talent takes on a darker turn when someone starts “mind raping” the Enterprise crew, forcing them to experience traumatic and twisted versions of their memories.
This episode is probably as dark as TNG gets, moving away from light space opera into more sinister territory. The presence of telepaths in the Star Trek universe naturally raises the question as to what happens when someone forcefully enters another’s mind, and here that idea is explored. In a more modern show or film, the mind rape scenes would probably be a lot more graphic and intense, but Troi’s especially are still effective enough at conveying the sense of violation.
Points of note
- Whilst the scene where Geordi interrogates the computer is somewhat dull, props to LeVar Burton for managing all that technobabble.
- Even though he isn’t the culprit in the end, Tarmin’s “but sometimes with a beautiful woman, I can’t help myself” is still worrying. Combined with his constant needling of Jev, I blame the parents.
- Trying to get Picard to undergo the memory probe is pretty heartless given that he has all this trauma about being assimilated embedded deep in his psyche.
- The Federation has no laws against telepathic rape, even though various member races are telepathic. Whilst I can believe that most Betazoids and Vulcans are highly moral people, I would imagine that there have been incidents in their less developed pasts that would set some legal precedent.
“Klingons do not allow themselves to be probed.”
Summary – Violations: In which Troi gets space-raped again. You’d think as an empath she would be the best shielded against these things.