[ <-- | CREDITS | PROMO | PRESS | QUOTES | REVIEWS | --> ]
Edited Length: 45:27
U.S. Airdate: January 13, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.2/3]
Kim Braden: [Ensign Janet Brooks]
Mary Kohnert: [Ensign Tess Allenby]
and Special Guest Star
Whoopi Goldberg: Guinan
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay By: Hilary J. Bader and Alan J. Adler & Vanessa Greene
Story By: Hilary J. Bader
Directed By: Chip Chalmers
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Story Editor: Ronald D. Moore
Executive Story Editor: Joe Menosky
Story Editors: David Bennett Carren & J. Larry Carroll
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After we see Troi counseling Ensign Janet Brooks about dealing with the grief caused by her husband's death a few months ago, the Enterprise sensors pick up an array of plane- polarized objects...but only for a moment. As they flick in and out of sensor "view", Troi starts shuddering and whimpering with pain (Ens. Brooks has since gone). A diagnostic is run, but sensors are fine-but then, suddenly, the ship can't get into warp, and starts being pulled somewhere at one-tenth impulse.
While the bridge crew tries various alternatives in speed and direction to break free of whatever's holding them (to no avail), Bev finally answers Troi's call for help. While Troi now seems fine, she quickly discovers in the bridge conference that her empathic abilities have completely vanished!
Bev finds no physical traces of her problem, except for some unresponsive neurons...to wit, brain damage. She tells Troi that although she'll look into all possible ways to help, Troi may never regain her abilities, but Troi dismisses the problem as being of no consequence and insists on going back to work. Later, Will comes by to lend a hand, but Deanna rails against the way that everyone's attitude has changed and says she's doing fine.
As Geordi and Data continue analyzing the area they're trapped in, Troi meets again with Brooks, and finds that she's unsure of herself without her powers to back her up. Later, at a briefing, where Data and Geordi tell the bridge crew that they're caught in the gravitational wake of a group of two-dimensional entities, she bristles at Geordi's perceived slight (when he says that it's a pity that they don't know whether the entities are sentient), walks out, and demands that Bev do something to help. When Bev says that she can't, and that Troi may have to get used to this, Troi simply yells at Bev for not coming to help more quickly, says she can never recover from this, and storms off to her quarters.
Not long afterwards, she meets with Picard and resigns as Ship's Counselor, saying that she is now unable to fulfill her duties and refusing to listen to anything Picard has to say. After Will comes by and tells her that now she's stuck on an equal footing with all "normal" humans, another escape attempt from the field is made, with no success. After Troi talks for a bit with Guinan, who manages to show Troi that even her human side has strengths in counseling, the Enterprise comes within view of the entities' final destination: a "cosmic string fragment" about 100 kilometers long, and gravitationally powerful enough to rip the Enterprise to shreds.
After firing photon torpedoes ahead of and into the field in an attempt to disrupt it proves worthless, and Brooks comes by one last time to tell Troi that even their session without Troi's abilities helped, Picard asks Troi to help Data to communicate somehow with these entities, saying that even without her abilities, she's the best qualified. Eventually, after despairing that she feels as two-dimensional as the beings outside, she suggests they might just be acting on basic instinct, and they decide to try simulating the string's vibrational frequencies in an attempt to disrupt their single-minded pace. It works, and as the Enterprise gets away from them, the emotional "short-circuit" they caused vanishes, and Troi's powers are restored.
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