Star Trek 204: The Host

204. The Host

FORMULA: Transfigurations + Too Short a Season

WHY WE LIKE IT: First appearance of the Trill (such as they are).

WHY WE DON'T: They're nothing like the Trill we'll see in Deep Space 9. And more besides...

REVIEW: A second doomed romance in a row? I'm not sure that was a good idea. And while I love Crusher as a character, and want more episodes to spotlight her, I simply can't support yet another sappy romance with a mysterious and ethereal alien character. Odan is just John Doe with a slug inside him, isn't it? And then, the host body dies, and it turns into some kind of fanfic, with Beverly bedding Riker. Why not jump hosts every 15 minutes and do the whole crew, Bev? It certainly doesn't help that Frakes doesn't really differentiate Odan and Riker. I kept thinking that Riker was just taking advantage of her.

The Host might've been a good "historical" episode if you want to see where the Trill began, but they've got almost nothing in common with the joined species presented in Deep Space 9, so it's actually better ignored. Different make-up (including the symbiont itself), different attitude towards the host body and the changing of hosts, the beaming danger, the amazing inflatable stomach (imagine Dax doing that), Starfleet's familiarity with them... You'd rack up the no-prizes trying to explain it all. The words are the same, but that's it.

This leaves us with character moments, such as Picard's discomfort when he realizes Beverly's in love with someone else (very different from her attitude when she meets Vash, so it seems he's the only one who can't resolve his feelings). Troi seems much more evolved when she throws Crusher into Riker/Odan's arms. The two "girl talk" scenes fall flat for me, especially the "comedy" version in the salon. And then Crusher cops out of girl-on-girl action. It's 40 minutes of gossiping, crying and melodramatic music, occasionnally punctuated by what might have been interesting negotiations. Better luck next time, Doctor Crusher.

LESSON: Don't forget to vet your new boyfriend before taking him to your parents. If it takes invasive surgery to do it, then that's what it takes.

REWATCHABILITY - Low: I thought for sure The Host would make it to Medium, but it doesn't. It's derivative, mushy and strident.

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