The Rewatch 194: Cost of Living

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.20 Cost of Living (3/30/1992)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/35

Notable Guest Stars:
 Tony Joy (Minister Campio)-  Joy had been a voice actor for several animated shows including the 90s classic Hey Arnold.
Albie Selznick (Juggler) – 
He appeared on The Young and the Restless for two years, and also co-stared in Suddenly Susan.
Patrick Cronin (protocol Master Erko
)-  He appeared on several daytime soaps over the years, and had a reoccuring spot on Home Improvement.

Review:

 Here we are again, seeing Worf’s trouble adapting to fatherhood.  I’m trying to be nice in this review, because I know in the past I’ve been overly critical of his choices.  Particularly that he seems to like to send his son off to someone else to care for him because he finds it hard.  He is at least trying in this episode.

So apparently Worf is having trouble getting his son (who, realistically is like 4 years old now) to clean his room and put his laundry in the right place.  Deanna, who is doing therapy for the two of them, suggests a contract.  Which is an interesting parenting tip, but she is trying to mediate their relationship.  I think its great someone finally is seeing to Alexander’s mental health needs. 

Lwaxana has decided to make her yearly arrival, this time she’s not on the look for a husband, but rather has found one.  She met him on a futuristic dating app and the two are planning to get married on the Enterprise.  She runs into Alexander, and goes into Grandma mode pretty much instantaneously. 

The episode pretty much focuses on Alexander adjusting to being with his father, and Lwaxana realizing that she needs to stay true to herself. It’s a fun fluffy episode and I like it as I do most of Lwaxana’s episodes. I like when they give her more material to work with then crazy Mom.

One of the notes I found while reading the background info that Memory Alpha and Wikipedia had (as I do not yet have a copy of the TNG companion book) is that Piller and others wanted to put a hint of a possibility of romance between Worf and Deanna in this episode given her interest in Alexander.  I really think they should have come up with a better reason, because interest in the child’s welfare does not mean attraction to the parent.  I could perhaps see Worf having feelings due to seeing Deanna helping him with his son, but it doesn’t quite work the other way for me.  But I am bias and really don’t see how that couple worked anyway.

This episode also was probably hard for Majel Barret to film, having just lost her husband a couple of months before.  The themes of being alone must have brought some uncomfortable emotions for her.  She did an excellent job in the episode though.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Peter Allan Fields
  • Directed by Winrich Kolbe
  •  This episode won 2 Emmy Awards: Best Costume and Best Makeup for a series.
  •  

Pros

  • Lwaxana!
  • I find it hilarious how amused by Lwaxana Will Riker tends to be.  He seems to take her personality quirks a little better then either Deanna or Picard.
  • Alexander’s getting some therapy

Cons:

  • Why are some people in dress uniform at the wedding but others not?  And why doesn’t Deanna heva dress uniform yet?

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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