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Rating: * 1/2
Edited Length: 45:25
U.S. Airdate: November 26, 1989
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.6/3]
Matt McCoy: [Devinoni Ral]
Elizabeth Hoffman: [Premier Bhavani]
Castulo Guerra: [Dr. Seth Mendoza]
Scott Thomson: [DaiMon Goss]
Dan Shor: [Dr. Arridor]
Kevin Peter Hall: [Leyor]
Colm Meaney: [O'Brien]
Line Producer: David Livingston
Co-Producers: Hans Beimler & Richard Manning
Co-Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Written By: Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed By: Robert Scheerer
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Executive Script Consultant: Melinda M. Snodgrass
Executive Story Editor: Richard Danus
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The Enterprise plays host to countless delegates invited by Bhavani, the Premier of the Barzan people, who have discovered the only known stable wormhole, and are willing to sell it...for the right price. The delegates are Mendoza, for the Federation; Leyor, for the Caldonians; DaiMon Goss and his aides, for the uninvited Ferengi; and Devinoni Ral, a "hired gun" representing the Chrysalian people, who immediately takes an interest in Counselor Troi.
A short time later, while Troi is researching Ral, he comes in and suggests dinner that evening- she accepts. Meanwhile, Picard, concerned that the wormhole may not in fact be completely stable, orders a full sensor analysis. That night, as Deanna and Ral end up missing dinner for other, more...amorous pursuits, DaiMon Goss poisons Mendoza with a nasty, but non-fatal illness. As Picard is playing host, he cannot take Mendoza's place in the negotiations, and puts Riker in charge instead.
After the sensor readings are complete, Picard decides to send Geordi and Data in a shuttle through the hole to investigate the other side, and when the Ferengi object, allows them to go through in their own shuttle as well, while Ral emphasizes the Chrysalians' political neutrality to Bhavani. Later, in bed, Troi finds out that Ral is one-quarter Betazoid, and is also empathic. While the shuttles emerge and find they are about 200 light-years from where they thought they'd end up, Ral plays upon the "scholarly" nature of the Caldonians to convince Leyor to withdraw Caldonia's bid and throw it behind the Chrysalians. When Troi takes Ral to task for hiding his "edge" and using it unethically, he counters by saying she does precisely the same thing in crisis situations, and when she does it, it's a life-or-death situation. Meanwhile, Data and Geordi, fearing the hole will soon collapse, try to convince the Ferengi to come back with them, but to no avail. As they leave, the far side of the hole moves, stranding the Ferengi.
Suddenly, Goss, claiming the Barzan have already signed a secret agreement with the Federation, fires a missile at the wormhole, which the Enterprise destroys. As Ral points out to Bhavani that the wormhole is merely being used as a pawn here, Troi tells Picard Goss is bluffing. Ral comes onto the bridge a moment later and "talks" Goss out of destroying the wormhole, telling him that the Chrysalians have obtained it and are prepared to offer the Ferengi free passage. After Bhavani apologizes to Riker for making him find out this way, Troi exposes Ral as an empath, and says he and Goss were performing a scene staged for their own purposes. Then, however, the shuttle returns and reports the hole worthless, leaving Ral to pay up his side of a bargain that will now net the Chrysalians nothing. Ral says goodbye to Troi, and says he is happy he's been exposed- now, he thinks, he may be able to change his way of life.
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