138. Loud as a Whisper
FORMULA: Too Short a Season + Is There in Truth No Beauty?
WHY WE LIKE IT: That freaky x-ray laser effect.
WHY WE DON'T: Like all of Deanna's romances, it seems, pretty boring.
REVIEW: Here's the thing. While the idea that in the future, handicaps will be seen in a positive light, is a worthy one, if ultimately too PC, the episode sort of works against its own argument. After all, Geordi has a VISOR, and Riva a chorus. And in Geordi's case, it's not that I found it unlikely that he wouldn't give up the bulky and painful prosthetic for more normal vision (though go back and watch The Naked Now for another point of view), but that we never get closure on the subplot. Disappointing.
Of course, it is Riva's show, and on that character, I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I quite respect the decision to cast a deaf-mute actor in the part. On the other, as with Okona, the script would have us believe he's this incredible charismatic. Sorry, but once again, I had trouble with this. The character is less than expressive, a little creepy in the romantic scene (much too overbearing, for example), and so arrogant and picky, that I couldn't see him in a mediation role. The chorus didn't really work for me either, and as with all of Troi's romances to date, there's no chemistry on screen.
That said, I did like that Troi was a useful member of the crew, and how she forced Riva to turn his disadvantage into an advantage. An elegant solution. Also cool are the x-ray lasers used by the Solari to disintegrate the chorus.
LESSON: It occurs to me that most enemy factions can only ever agree on a single, specific mediator.
REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Very close to Low, as it is let down not so much by the casting, but by how the script relates to that casting. It's really too bad that most Troi-heavy scripts are on the dull side.