The Rewatch 172: The Host

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.23 The Host (05/11/91)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/34

Notable Guest Stars:
Franc Luz (Odan) Luz does not appear to have an extensive credit list, but he did have a credit for the movie When Harry Met Sally.

Nicole Orth-Pallavicini (Kareel Odan)  She has several credits to her name, mostly character acting on various TV shows through the years.  She appeared as an extra in the TV show Smash, which is another one of my favorites.

William Newman (Kalin Trose) Newman is a theater and film actor, as well as a veteran of the US Armed forces.  His film credits include Mrs. Doubfire and My Name is Earl.  Unfortunately, Newman died in 2015.

Barbara Tarbuck (Leka Trion) Tarback was mostly known for her soap opera roles, including Jane Jacks on General Hospital.  She unfortunately died in 2016.

Review:

This episode is odd to review.  It is not a bad episode, infact it could be considered one of TNG’s better ones, but it basically stopped existing after it aired. 

The episode begins giving us a giddy Beverly Crusher, who has happy fallen in love with Ambassador Odan, a Trill.  Just as it was nice to see Picard have a love interest, it is nice to see Beverly get a healthy love interest as well.  Odan seems like a great person even, making him a bit better then the last time a female crewmember got an outside love interest.

Odan is there to help negotiations between two moons off a planet.  The negotiations aren’t really a big part of the episode, as the focus is more on Odan’s survival and Beverly Crusher’s reactions to the changes.

Odan is a Trill, a species that is more explored on DS9.  Where everything we find out about trill here other then they are a symbiotic relationship with their symbiotes, is thrown out.  Which makes it hard to take this episode seriously as part of the grand mythos of Trek.

Its also got some awkward parts.  In this episode, the host gives way to the symbiote in personality.  So when you are inhabited by the Trill, the trill is the one in control.  Its more evenly distributed in DS9.  But while in Riker, Odan takes over.  He had Beverly have a romantic interlude.

So here are the issues I have with this episode.

  1.  Why did they change everything about the Trill in DS9?
  2. There was no follow through on how Riker felt about his body being used, and in how it was used.
  3. Beverly’s reaction at the end can be taken two ways, and many have seen it as being homophobic.  I can see where they get that, although I took it as Beverly not able to handle a lover who can change their body when they need to.  But that also leads into transphobia.

I like the idea of Beverly have a nice romance, but I feel the lack of follow through on several issues, and the fact that DS9 pretty much threw out everything about the Trill makes this easy to forgo.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Michel Horvat and Jeri Taylor
  • Directed by Marvin V. Rush
  • Gates McFadden was heavily pregnant during this episode. They had decided not to write the pregnancy into the storyline, so they spent quite a bit of effort to hide the pregnancy.

Pros

  • Beverly and Deanna Friendship
  • Signs of off-duty activities
  • Beverly gets a romance

Cons:

  • Continuity, what continuity
  • Borderline homophobic/Transphobic ending scene.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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