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Hoshi and the Beast

Sickbay. Phlox can't find anything physically wrong with Hoshi, even when she tells him she has the feeling she's being watched. She asks if she could have been exposed to something that is making her hallucinate. Does she mean like that box of green and purple mushrooms Ensign Hashbury smuggled on at their last stop? "There are no mind-altering substances on board," Phlox says. More's the pity, and yet another reason for me not to visit Enterprise. Hoshi's annoyed that everything she's experiencing is being dismissed a result of her stress. Phlox tries to make her see the dancing pixies behind a radioactive cloud in a marmalade sky and says, "On Denobula, when a person under stress hallucinates, it's considered healthy. A harmless way for the subconscious to release nervous energy." "Occasionally, we drop acid to facilitate that process," the Evil Dr. Mathra notes. Phlox comments somewhat sadly that he represses so much, he wasn't able to hallucinate. Instead of being a good friend and engaging in a topic that might actually take her mind off her own troubles, Hoshi goes back to work without asking Phlox anything more. Won't she be sorry when he turns into a werewolf and is eaten alive?

In the new command center, Hoshi hears more whispering, and all the monitors in the room flicker to show a planet. "That's where I'm waiting for you," the voice says. Creepy. Someone should tell this guy that's not the way to pick up the ladies. Hoshi comms Reed for help, and suddenly there's a figure in the Command Center with her. Even though he puts her face up on all the monitors, won't step out of the shadows, and just got done telling her that he's waiting for her, the Hoarse Whisperer tells her not to be frightened. Okay, buddy. Hoshi spins around for awhile, and finally the Hoarse Whisperer admits that he's not actually on board their ship, and that he knows what Enterprise is searching for. He says he can help them. Hoshi tries to make a break for it, but finds herself inside some long hallway in Gosford Park with the camera strapped to her waist. She sees the figure again, runs for a door, throws it open, and finds herself on the wintry steps of a castle embedded on the Cliffs of Insanity. Then Reed is grabbing her shoulder in the Command Center and asking if she's okay.

Sickbay. Phlox still can't find anything wrong with her. Other than the fact that she's dying of boredom. Reed says his scans for ships and intruders have come up empty. Hoshi insists to Quantum that she's not imagining things, but Captain Furrows-a-Lot tries to get her to admit that it's a possibility. Hoshi flies a bit off the handle and shouts that while she's got an active imagination, this isn't part of it. Quantum orders Phlox to keep her under observation, and tells Reed to post a security detail outside Sickbay, as well as in a few other places. They leave. Hoshi asks if she can feed some of his pets. "Be my guest -- the Vulcan root leaf's in that container," Phlox says. I wonder if Hoshi will put Phlox's service to the test. Hoshi feeds the thing in the tank and talks about what it feels like to have the alien communicate with her: "It's almost like he's inside my head, looking at things through my eyes, experiencing what I'm experiencing. Talking to him is like talking to myself -- does that make any sense?" She looks around for Phlox, who is suddenly on the other side of the room. "It makes perfect sense," Phlox-Or-Not says. "Listening to your thoughts has been very pleasurable." Ew. That's not Phlox at all. The Alien in Phlox Clothing says he's been with Hoshi for several days, studying her mind, her memories, reading her diary, and just generally violating her. Hoshi asks, "Why me?" The Alien in Phlox Clothing says he can only violate certain individuals with his stalker telepathy, and that her unique mind is the first he's found in many years. "Right -- all he needs is a mind uncomplicated with many things, thus one that is bored," the Evil Dr. Mathra agrees. Hoshi asks what he wants, and she's transported to a plant room. Is it an atrium or a greenhouse when it's inside a house? I never know. A human figure comes out of the shadows and says he's only three light years away from her, and she's seeing his home. "All I want is to meet you," Alien Von Stalker tells her. Dude, next time try Yahoo Personals. I'll even get you started.

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