The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Cost of Living

This will be my last Great Rewatch blog for a couple of weeks – I’m currently in the USA and though I understand you guys have Star Trek over here (hell, you invented it), my viewing companion stayed behind to look after the cat and I can’t watch any more without him. I can’t even start DS9 as he wants in on that (“until it gets boring”) too.

Anyway, on with the show.

Deanna Troi is less than enthused when her mother Lwaxana returns to the Enterprise with the express purpose of holding her wedding there – to a man she hasn’t even met. Meanwhile, Worf is having trouble keeping Alexander in line – even more so when the boy forms a bond with Lwaxana, who is more interested in showing him how to enjoy himself than imposing endless rules.

I always dread Lwaxana episodes, but in fact, this is another one that I actually enjoy. Yes, the holodeck mud baths and jugglers are a bit silly, and the B-story about metal parasites eating the ship is pretty much unnecessary, but I really enjoy the bond between Lwaxana and Alexander. Here’s a boy who just get foisted with endless rules from his father and Deanna, and whilst I’m far from saying “let your kids do whatever they want”, I think it helps to try to properly communicate with them instead of being dictatorial. Then along comes Lwaxana to be this poor kid’s first friend, and the chemistry between them is great. We even get a great feminist message when Lwaxana turns up naked to her wedding – in the end, it’s better to be yourself than to force yourself into a restrictive mould just to get a man.

Bits and pieces

  • If Troi and Worf had said “computer, end program” whilst Lwaxana and Alexander were in the mud bath, would that have left them sitting naked in the middle of the holodeck?
  • During the asteroid destruction, everyone’s suggestions seem very rushed and last minute. It felt like this was a planned thing they were doing, so, er, why not plan a bit better? You’re trained Starfleet officers!
  • Once again, if not for Data, the Enterprise would have been destroyed. Lucky the parasites didn’t infect him, eh?

Summary – Cost of Living: “You mean you won’t be naked at your own wedding?!”

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