154 – Liasons

Grade: C+

Liaisons (1993) on IMDb


Captain Picard and crew receive two Lyaaran ambassadors who will spend a few days on the Enterprise. One of the ambassadors wants Worf to host him, while Troi will host the other. A third ambassador will take Picard to visit the Lyaaran home world. Unfortunately, there’s a malfunction en route and the shuttle crashes on an abandoned planet. Captain Picard is slightly injured.


Parts of this episode seem to be taken directly from the Original Series episode called “All Our Yesterdays.” Picard is stranded on a planet with a lonely woman who turns out to not be what he expects at first. But while I love All Our Yesterdays, and I find it to be among the best Star Trek episodes, I really don’t feel the same way about Liaisons. I’m not exactly sure what it is about this episode that I don’t like. It just feels too forced and it’s not authentic, but I’m not even sure that’s what I mean. I only know I don’t really care for this episode.

The writing is rather mediocre. One part that was just too over the top for me was near the end when one of the ambassadors told Picard all about their plan and how this whole thing was staged. Picard tells him that there are some people who would consider what they did to him to be a crime. The alien then wants to know what “crime” means. It’s just too over the top for me. OK, so it’s not that bad that aliens don’t understand humanity at all, but it’s really a stretch for me to accept that there could be aliens who have no concept of crime or law. Maybe if that’s true, maybe we should find out why.

The scenes on the asteroid (or whatever it was) between Picard and the female alien are rather uncomfortable and difficult to watch. The female alien is obviously starved for attention, and when Picard shows up out of nowhere, she’s definitely ready for romance. Picard will have none of this since he’s focused on getting off the planet and returning back to the Enterprise. In some ways, it’s similar to what we saw in the far superior episode, The Inner Light.

Probably all of us have been in a situation like this woman or Picard, so it’s very easy to relate to both characters. The actress playing the part of the female alien does very well in the role, and so does Patrick Stewart. The script is very familiar and comes across as entirely believable. By the end of the episode, we really understand both of these characters.

That being said, the problem comes at the very end. Picard soon finds out things are not exactly what they seem to be, and when he confronts the woman about it, the entire plot gets revealed. I really don’t want to say too much about how this ends, but it really left a bad taste in my mouth. For about 43 minutes, this episode appears to be about emotions and how we handle certain situations – even Troi and Worf have to deal with their feelings about these ambassadors and the stress they’re putting them through. But then when it all comes to an end, they pull the rug out from under us and all of the emotions we’ve felt as viewers just go right out the window. I don’t like being manipulated (or tricked) to feel a certain way, and this episode certainly does this. It turns out this was just another episode of the aliens testing the humans. Terrible.

Of Note

During a poker game, Worf accuses one of the ambassadors of stealing two of his chips. Actually, the ambassador took three chips. Oh well.

At the end of the episode, Picard notices something is not right because the woman is wearing a necklace that he had accidentally broken a few minutes before. I wonder if this is meant as a reference to Vertigo, when James Stewart’s character realizes Judy Barton’s necklace is the same one that Madeleine Elster had.