140 – Face of the Enemy

Grade: B

Face Of The Enemy (1993) on IMDb


Counselor Deanna Troi wakes up in a strange room. After she turns on the lights, she discovers her face is now Romulan.


It’s great to see Counselor Troi in a new position and in completely different circumstances. She usually has nothing to do except say what other people are feeling. And usually, it’s obvious enough that her character is rather worthless. In this episode, however, we see a completely different side to Counselor Troi. She’s obviously out of her element and faced with many challenges. But she handles it all very well.

The storyline is also very interesting. We first have no idea why or how she ended up as a Romulan. And when we find out why, the story continues to get interesting. It’s a pretty compelling reason to continue watching – and so far this season, there haven’t been very many memorable episodes.

I would rank it a bit higher, except that there are a few big plot holes. First of all, I don’t believe someone like Counselor Troi would have access codes to Federation border stations. She really would have no need for them – unless she were on border patrol or something. But that’s the first major issue.

Second, I really don’t like episodes or films in which native English speaking characters have to pass as foreigners. Just because Troi has her face surgically altered does not mean everyone would think she’s Romulan. There’s this little problem of foreign languages. Oh sure, they have a universal translator, but even that doesn’t solve the issue. Other Star Trek episodes have established that the universal translator only changes the language someone else speaks into a language that the hearer can understand. Anyone watching Troi’s lips would know she wasn’t speaking Romulan. And even if Troi spoke Romulan, it’s doubtful she could speak it with a consistent accent. So that’s another problem with the story.

Finally, one other problem I have with this episode is how lame the last scene is. It seems that in the 6th season, every episode ends with a soliloquy in which one character wraps everything up in a nice package. It’s OK sometimes, but it has really gotten old lately. I didn’t care for how this episode ended. But hey, at least it’s better than Aquiel was.

Of Note

This is the second time Carolyn Seymour has played a Romulan, but in this episode, it’s a different character than in Contagion. Also, this is the first time we see Worf’s ponytail. It’s a good move, in my opinion.

Lastly, this is rumored to be Marina Sirtis’ favorite episode of TNG. I don’t blame her for liking this one, since it’s the best of the Troi-centric episodes. The others are typically lame.