The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Eye of the Beholder

When a crewman unexpectedly commits suicide by jumping into a warp plasma conduit, Troi and Worf are sent to investigate. Lieutenant Daniel Kwan seemed like a happy, fulfilled crew member, so just what was it that drove him to take his own life?

This is an odd episode, since although it initially feels like an attempt to do a detective show, we ultimately learn that the majority of what happened took place inside Troi’s mind. To be honest, by this point in the show, Troi’s empathic powers as a plot point is old new, and there’s not much here to make it stand out. The explanation for what happens to Troi and Kwan is silly even by Star Trek standards, and trying to untangle what actually happened from what was pure hallucination ultimately feels like too much effort. The only really memorable part of this episode is the utterly ridiculous line, “It’s not like Dan to take his own life”. Oh, so he didn’t make a habit of killing himself, then? What a surprise.

Bits and pieces

  • This episode marks the next development in the Troi/Worf relationship, even if some of it only takes place in Troi’s mind.
  • Riker continues to have no problem with dating junior officers. Picard did it once and it was disastrous.
  • In Troi’s hallucination, Worf is a lot chattier than he ever is in reality.
  • Troi says her grandfather would primarily talk telepathically and only spoke out loud to aliens. In Dark Page, speaking telepathically all the time was exhausting Lwaxana – but maybe this was because she was talking to an alien race. We can at least discount my earlier theory that Betazoids use telepathy sparingly, but why do they have a spoken language as well? Did they evolve speech before telepathy?

Summary – Eye of the Beholder: Troi has a kinky sex dream about Worf.

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