Rewatch 167: Identity Crisis.

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.18 Identity Crisis (03/25/1991)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/34

Notable Guest Stars:
Maryann Plunkett (Susanna Leijten)- Plunkett is a long time Broadway actor, known especially for her portrayal of Barbra Apple in a series of plays by Richard Nelson.

Patti Yasutake (Alyssa Ogawa) – Yasutake is a reoccurring actor on the show, playing Dr. Crusher’s primary assistant in the sickbay.

Mona Grudt (Graham) – Grudt had won the Miss Universe pageant in 1990, and so far remains the only Norwegian to win the title.  She appeared on the show while holding the title and was the last contestant to tour with Bob Hope’s USO tour.

Review:
 

This episode is a interesting one, which is a relief after the last two duds we watched.  The episode starts with a recording of an away mission Geordi undertook five years previous, before he was assigned to the Enterprise.  The members of the away team were investigating the disappearance of the settlement there, and now they too are disappearing, leaving Geordi and Susanna Leijten the last remaining members.

The Enterprise, always ready for a good sciencing, decide to investigate.   They find the clothes of one of the AWOL team members but otherwise there is no sign of the other crew members.  But then Susanna starts to out of character and that’s when the clues start to fall into place.

This episode is interesting because it takes on the idea of a species which uses a host to reproduce.  They infect a new being with a parasitic bit of DNA that allows the being to be transformed into their species, therefore carrying it on.

Its an interesting episode for Geordi, as well.  We get a bit of a backstory on Geordi through his relationship with Susanna, who had become almost an older sister to him.  According to Memory Alpha the original idea had Susanna as a romantic prospect, but I am glad they changed that.  Not all relationships have to be romantic, it was nice to see Geordi have some family.  We have seen the family of the rest of the crew but Geordi.

Overall I liked this episode.  Episodic television doesn’t allow for much follow through so won’t see any continuing issues with Geordi after this episode, but

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Timothy De Haas and Brannon Braga.
  • Directed by Winrich Kolbe
  • Braga wanted to focus on Geordi, who he saw as having less screentime.
  • Originally there was going to be a romance for Geordi, but thankfully they cut that out.  Good call.
  • This episode was nominated for an Emmy for Makeup.
  • Supposedly the episode was originally creepier then the end version but was toned down by Braga.

Pros:

  •   Good concept
  • Geordi family

Cons:

  •  Some of the pacing of the story seemed off.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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