The Rewatch 133: The Price

Series: Star Trek:TNG
Episode: 3.08 The Price (11-13-1989)
Rating:  4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/22.5

Notable Guest Stars:

Matt McCoy – Devinoni Ral  He has most recently been in the Jack Ryan series produced by Amazon.
Elizabeth Hoffman –
Bhavani.  She was most known for her role in Sisters, but I’m just going to point out its Catherine Langford on Stargate SG-1.  According to IMDB that was her last role in 1998.
Castulo Guerra –
Seth Mendoza.  Recent credits include Madam Secretary and Jane the virgin. He also guested on The West Wing.
Scott Thomson –
Goss.  The credit I know him for is his role in 1996’s Twister.
An Shor- 
Arridor.  He will continue this role in 1996, in Voyager.
Kevin Peter Hall –
Leyor.  He played Harry in Harry & The Hendersons.  Unfortunately, he died in 1991 at 35.

Review:

This episode is a mixed bag for me.  It has a lot of good character moments, but the initial way the romance between Deanna and Devinoni Ral was a little sketchy for me.  So for right now I’m going to put that aside and focus on some character moments.

This episode deals with other facets of the Federation outside what goes on in the ship. There are times where it seems like everyone in the Alpha Quadrant is a member of the Federation.  This episode shows that’s not true.  There are at least two systems that are their own, which are in amicable relations with the Federation.  The Barzan seem to be a solo endeavor as well, but dependent on others for resources.  They seem to be technologically advanced enough, yet have no space travel.  They are peaceful, and wish to use this wormhole as a way of securing finances and resources to be more self sufficient.

Those negotiating for the rights to use the wormhole are the Federation, The Caldonians, and the Chrystalians.  We don’t get to see an actual Chrystalians, as they are represented by a human neogociater named Devinoni Ral.

Riker endsup being the Federation’s negociater when the original gets sick after the Ferengi decide to help their chances by taking Seth Medoza out of the running.  Mendoza was impressed by Riker’s ability to read a room, which came from years of playing poker.  He’s nervous, but ends up doing an excellent job, even impressing Devinoni.  Devinoni tries to intimdate Will by mentioning his lack of a captaincy and Devinoni’s current relationship with Deanna but fails to do so.  Will walks away with the upper hand in that conversation, as Devinoni is left surprised his manipulations were not working.   So I think this is character development for Will, who sometimes gets a little annoyed with people talking down his ship or his relationship with Deanna.

Deanna also has some character development.  She is seen outside her role as counciler and Captain’s lie detector.  We get to see her with her hair down (literally) and enjoying a romance. Her friendship with Beverly is showcased, with the two of them having an exercise regiment together. It also shows her level of concern for the way people use empathic abilities.  She sees Devinoni using his skills as unethical, especially as he has not told anyone he is a empath.

To a lesser extent there are some positive character moments for the rest of the cast, but this episode seems to put Riker and Troi in the front seat.

Another positive about this episode is that it sets up quite a bit about the setup of the Milkyway.  This is the first time you effectively hear about the different Quadrants of the galaxy.  The Federation is mainly in the Alpha Quadrant, and the wormhole is supposedly in the Gamma Quardrant.  This would make travel there much faster and allow for exploration further from the center of Federation Terretory.

This is important as it sets the stage for both of the TNG era spin offs.  Deep Space Nine, which will start in a season or two, is based around a stable wormhole near Bajor.  Voyager is about a ship that gets lost in the Delta Quadrant.  It does in fact connect to this episode by showing us what happened to the two Ferengi who got trapped in the Delta quardent

Now back to the romance part.  I don’t mind that Deanna has a love interest – they should all have love interests.  I just think the way they played the suduction scene came across more creepy manipulative then sexy.  And the weird foot message scene shouldn’t have focused on her foot so long.  It just felt weird.

Also being with someone because they make you change is probably not the best of reasons.  You should be able to change yourself by your own decision, not anyone elses.  You can seek help changing, but it has to be your decision first or it won’t stick.  So I don’t really think Devinoni is going to change much.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Hannah Louise Shearer
  • Directed by Robert Scheerer
  • This is probably only the second episode of Ferengi participation without Armin Shimerman.
  • Direct sequel with 1996’s False Prophets.  Also, the idea of a stable wormhole and the delta quadrant are both explored in TNG’s direct spin offs Deep Space Nine and Voyager.
  • First episode to confirm that there are four quadrants in the Milkyway.

Pros:

  •  Wormholes
  • Culture exploration
  • Downtime activities

Cons:

  •   Some weird camera choices and the initial romance scene.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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