The Rewatch 134: The Vengeance Factor

Series: Star Trek:TNG
Episode: 3.09 The Vengeance Factor (11-20-1989)
Rating:  4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/22.5

Notable Guest Stars:

Lisa Wilcox – Yuta. She had a role in the 1980s horror classic Nightmere on Elm Street. She is also the only cast member listed here who still appears to have an active career.
Joey Aresco –
Brull. Aresco has a mixed credit list, having added producing and directing to his toolbox. He also appeared on Stargate SG-1.
Nancy Parsons
Marouk Parsons was probably best known for her role in the Porky’s film franchase. She died in 2001 at the age of 58.
Stephen Lee – CorganLee was a guest star on many major TV series that I have seen, though never as a staring role. He unfortunately died in 2014 of a heart attack, cutting his career short at the age of 58.

Review:

We return to the Enterprise to find them investigating a base that stopped talking to them.  Turns out they were attacked by “The Gatherers”, a group of people from Armac who fled the world during the last years of the clan wars.

Picard goes to Marouk, the current sovereign of the planet.  He convinces her to meet with the gatherers and try peace one more time to bring their lost people home.   It does not go smoothly however, because then it would be a pretty boring episode to watch. 

I kind of wish we had more of the negotiations.  The world building happening there was interesting in what little we got.  We know they have a single ruler, who oversees a ruling council.  I’m guessing that there is probably another representative body from what Marouk says about representation.

The B plot is a Riker Romance.  He has a crush on Yuta, Marouk’s cook, and it appears to be mutual. Marouk approves, and so does Deanna oddly enough.  Only problem is Yuta has a mission, and her dedication to her mission messes with her interest in Riker, creating a pretty awkward scene which on one hand is good – Riker doesn’t take advantage and they show acceptance of people not being ready.  But there is a lot of weirdness to it, including her mential grouping of Riker with those she is a servant too.

I give this episode of 4.  I probably wouldn’t list this episode as a much watch, but it’s a nice insular episode that shows a range of emotions from the actors, some world building, and an overall thought out plot.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Sam Rolfe
  • Directed by Timothy Bond
  • This is only Riker’s third romance.  Considering how he ends up being seen as the playboy on TNG, its actually not that many. Honestly, I would say this is only the second time it’s a romance, as the previous one seemed just mutual attraction as neither seem bothered with each other at the end of the episode. I still have the theory that the season one episode is more a response to Deanna’s romantic entanglements.  So in reality, this is probably Riker’s first traditional romance.  And its also ending very badly.  At least with Deanna in the previous episode she got to send him away.  Poor Riker has to kill Yuta to protect someone else.
  • The two actors who played the leaders of the opposing sides (Parsons and Lee) both died when they were 58 years old. Which I found weird enough to mention here.

Pros:

  • Diplomacy
  • Riker not taking advantage of Yuta.
  • Excellent acting by Nancy Parsons.  I wish she had been in more.

Cons:

  • Yuta’s behavior with Riker.  It was just awkward to watch.  
  • Poor Riker has to kill his crush
  • They ignore the possibility of Yuta being asexual or demisexual. I try to remind myself that this is the 80s, and they were less aware of these categories then a writer now would be.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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