``The Bonding''
Stardate: 43198.7
Rating: *

Edited Length: 45:26
U.S. Airdate: November 5, 1989
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [9.9/6]

Guest Stars
Susan Powell: [Marla Aster]
Gabriel Damon: [Jeremy Aster]
Colm Meaney: [O'Brien]
[Raymond D. Turner]: [Teacher]

Line Producer: David Livingston
Co-Producers: Hans Beimler & Richard Manning
Co-Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Written By: Ronald D. Moore
Directed By: Winrich Kolbe

[end credit]
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry

[closing credits]
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Executive Script Consultant: Melinda M. Snodgrass


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Extended Synopsis (by Tim Lynch) ------------------------------------

While Worf leads an away team to the home of the long-dead Koinonian race, a sudden explosion kills one team member, Marla Aster. She has a 12-year-old son Jeremy on board, who Picard must tell the news to. As he departs to do this (and complains to Troi about having children on board), Wes starts thinking of the day that Picard told him his father had been killed. Picard tells Jeremy his mother has died, and when Jeremy says he's all alone, reassures him that "on the Enterprise, no one is alone."

In 10-Forward, Data and Riker discuss how familiarity affects one's perceptions of another's death, and remember how it felt when Tasha died. Geordi comes back from the planet, with evidence that all the remaining booby-traps had been defused. Worf, meanwhile, rages about the senseless nature of Aster's death, and tells Troi of his plan to make it up to Jeremy by offering him the R'uustaI, or the bonding. Despite Troi's qualms, Worf talks to Jeremy. Though he does not yet offer the R'uustaI, he discusses Klingon views of death, and suggests to Jeremy that they honor his mother's memory together.

Meanwhile, sensors detect an energy field on the planet, and Troi senses a "presence" emanating from it, slowly moving upward toward the ship. After we see a brief conversation between Wes and Bev about Jack Crusher, a hand taps Jeremy on the shoulder, and he turns around to see his mother. At first wary of this strange happenstance, he quickly comes to believe his mother really is alive, and meekly prepares to leave with her to go live down on the planet. Before they beam down, however, they are stopped by Worf, who seizes Jeremy (at which point his "mother" disappears).

Troi leads Jeremy back to his quarters, only to find they now exactly resemble his house on Earth, and that his "mother" is there again. Though Troi tries to convince Jeremy that none of this is real, he is enthralled, and stays with Mom. Picard manages to keep the pair from going much further than their quarters, and the alien quickly explains herself.

There were apparently once two races on the planet below- the Koinonians, made of matter; and her race, made of energy. Her race vowed never to let anyone suffer because of the Koinonians' wars, and she is merely trying to make Jeremy happy. Picard calls Wesley into Jeremy's quarters, along with Worf, and asks Wesley to explain to Jeremy how he felt when he heard Jack had died. After Wes explains how angry he was at Picard for leading the mission where Jack died, Jeremy faces his anger towards Worf, who then discusses having lost his parents, and offers Jeremy the R'uustaI. He accepts, and his "mother" vanishes, as Jeremy and Worf bond.

Highlight Listing:
"The Bonding." When the ship's archeologist is killed on a mission led by Worf, the Klingon feel responsible for the son she left behind.
Advertising Headline:
GUARDIAN ANGEL! Worf saves an orphaned boy from a devastating past!
TV log listing:
Worf rescues orphaned boy on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

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Andrew Tong

Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010