121 – The Perfect Mate

Grade: C-

The Perfect Mate (1992) on IMDb


The Enterprise is helping two groups of aliens in their dispute. They will meet on the ship midway between their planets, so that they can negotiate terms of peace. Also, one of the aliens will present a very special gift to the other – a female alien who subconsciously becomes everything her mate wants her to be – even when he himself doesn’t know it.


I have to be honest. I hate this episode. There’s almost nothing that I like about it. I suppose watching the title character fulfilling her responsibility rather than stay on the ship with Picard is supposed to be pretty tragic, but on the other hand, not even Riker “opens another man’s gift”, so why should Picard?

Besides, why isn’t anyone lecturing him (or why isn’t he lecturing himself) on the Prime Directive? What’s more, does it seem like Picard could even be happy with a woman whose only goal in life is to make him happy? I think about the other women Picard has been attracted to – Dr. Crusher, Vash, Eline (from Inner Light), and Lt. Cmdr. Nella Darren. They are all strong, independent and intelligent. Kamala is just whatever he wants her to be. Maybe I’m giving Picard too much credit, but I just didn’t buy it that he would even find Kamala attractive.

In my opinion, the only people who should watch this episode are those who have to see everything that Famke Janssen has ever done. This was only her second credited role in her career, and while she does a good job with the role, I personally couldn’t stand the character – she was really annoying. And it was very annoying to see every male character falling over backward whenever she walked into the room. Ridiculously bad.

Aside from that, there are also some other annoying parts. First, right after the Ambassador tells Picard that he wants the cargo bay declared “off limits”, the Enterprise picks up a couple of Ferengi, but they don’t post guards or even lock the cargo bay doors. Duh. How stupid can these guys be?

Second, Riker shares a few kisses with Kamala, and then he says “I never open another man’s gift” just before he leaves. Yeah, whatever. Everyone knows he “opens these gifts” all the time. Couldn’t the writer have found something a little more consistent with his character to say?

Third, the writing is awful. When Alrik talks to Picard, he says he’s already heard about the incident with the Ferengi. But then not five minutes later, he asks if the metamorph is already on the ship. Well duh, if he knew about the incident with the Ferengi, he would have known the answer to that already. Another example: at one point, Kamala asks if she’s among the most unique aliens that Picard has ever encountered. The word “unique” needs no qualification. Either something is unique because there’s nothing else like it, or it’s not. Duh. One more example: Picard and Crusher are discussing the issue. Picard says something about looking “into her situation”, and Crusher asks “the metamorph?” Of course. Who else would they have been talking about? My goodness this is bad.

Honestly, if this episode weren’t so memorable, I would have to give this an even lower grade. This is certainly not their best work, nor do I think it is particularly watchable. In total, this seems like a second season episode.

Of Note

You may recognize the actor (Tim O’Connor) who plays Ambassador Briam. He also played Dr. Elias Huer in the 1979 TV series “Buck Rogers.”