Star Trek 152: Manhunt

152. Manhunt

FORMULA: Haven + The Big Goodbye + Journey to Babel + Amok Time

WHY WE LIKE IT: Those funky Antidians.

WHY WE DON'T: Lwaxana Troi at her worst and stupidest.

REVIEW: The Antidians are cool, but are they really the villains of the piece? Much like Picard's various holographic foes, they don't cause too many problems, being stopped in less than 10 seconds flat by a deus ex machina. So the fishy aliens are fun, but don't amount to much, basically only a springboard for Lwaxana's racist comments.

No, the real antagonist here is Lwaxana Troi herself. A pain in the butt in Haven, she was at least enjoyable there. No so here. With her libido quadrupled (or more), her characterization limits itself to two traits: lascivious and stupid. The former is expressed as the usual inferences that Picard is having naughty thoughts about her, something I've never really been fond of in the first place, but in this instance, it just gets incredibly repetitive. Once she's eyed Wesley, she's strayed too far.

On the stupidity front, we have her looking for her legs when beaming in, taking a hologram for a real person (never realizing that this was a simulated environment aboard the ship), not knowing how to work a computer, etc. Her attitude has always been a little anachronistic when compared to the Enterprise's professionals, but never more so than here.

There are better moments, such as Data acting as a chaperone, and there's the smile on Picard's face when arriving at dinner that does betray a certain attraction for the middle-aged Betazoid. Riker's having fun throughout. The scenes on the holodeck where Picard tries to adjust the program's violence level are cute, as is Picard's inviting Madeline to the bar. But this is all padding trying to cover up the fact the script is pretty slim to begin with.

LESSON: That I probably wouldn't have recognized Mick Fleetwood anyway.

REWATCHABILITY - Low: Another attempt at a comedic episode fails miserably, and if fandom dislikes Lwaxana, I believe that attitude began with Manhunt.

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