Star Trek
TNG: “Sub Rosa”

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Keckler: F | Grade It Now!
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It's a Family Affair
There are very few things in this world that can repulse me. Bellybuttons, toenails falling off, and the crackle-pop my cartilage makes when I get a massage rank as my top hits, but this episode goes above and beyond those paltry stomach-turners. I'm not sure if it's the sex, the sex with a man in a candle, or the sex that Dr. Bev sort of has with the man in the candle when Picard happens to walk in mid-orgasm. Maybe you should decide. Anyway, this is seventh-season TNG, and most Trekkies are well aware that the seventh season was not exactly what one would call this series' finest hour. Still, this is one bad episode. We open looking down a beautiful scene at a funeral. Nothing sexual there. Not yet. Everything is green and misty. As we cut to various people and aliens draped in Scottish plaids and tweeds, Dr. Bev gives the eulogy for her healer grandmother. Picard and Troi look saddish. The casket is lowered into the ground and dirt is thrown on top of it. But soft, what is this? A lone red flower is tossed on top of the dirt! Who could be the author of such a romantic gesture? Dr. Bev looks around quickly (she needn't have worried, it's not like he was going to go away without making sure she saw him) and sees a broad-shouldered, square-jawed man pause and turn toward her as he exits the cemetery. He stares at her wistfully and soulfully from behind his mullet and excessively heavy eye makeup. Now, this actor is also in DS9 as Kira's second most boring love interest, Shakaar, but since I've had his role in "Sub Rosa" ingrained so painfully and so indelibly on my memory, I simply cannot watch him in DS9 without shouting at him to get back in his damn lamp. Mysterious Square-Jawed man stares at Dr. Bev long enough to make her think she's getting her bodice ripped on the cover of a Harlequin romance novel in a supermarket checkout line, and walks off. Troi and Dr. Bev dish over Nana's grave. Troi didn't see the "long-haired man" who threw Dr. Bev's Nana's favorite flower (the camellia) on the grave, but suggests it was one of Nana's patients. Dr. Bev negs this, saying that it was a very personal gesture: "He gave me a remarkable look." So remarkable that she had to get a change of panties beamed down. Dr. Bev invites Troi back to Nana's house to help her with a few things. The governor of the terra-formed colony persuades Picard to stay and update their systems in exchange for a tour and a home-cooked meal. Just as long as it's not haggis. Picard is more than happy to oblige even though they are due at another star system the next day, "We can delay for a few days. Yes, I'm sure we can find the time." See, Picard finds the colony's resemblance to the Scottish Highlands re-MARK-able. The governor, whose pig snout betrays his evidently alien roots, explains that the cornerstone of every one of their buildings was brought from various Scottish cities: "The founders wanted everyone to feel that they had a piece of the real thing here. They didn't just want to imitate Scotland, they wanted to recreate it." Somewhere they have Glaswegians running around saying shit that no one can understand.

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