148 – Suspicions

Grade: D-

Suspicions (1993) on IMDb


Dr. Crusher has apparently done something which merits losing her position as Chief Medical Officer on the Enterprise. Guinan comes to her quarters with a fake injury so she can ask Crusher for an explanation. Then the Doctor narrates the rest of the episode.


Looks like I’m really in the minority here, and I’m sorry – I intend no offense to anyone involved in the series or anyone who actually liked this episode. But honestly, this one is just a stinker. If there’s anything I liked about it, it’s that the story is moderately interesting in some places, and there are some non-stereotypical characters which could be interesting, but that’s about it. It’s weird to see a Ferengi scientist, but even more weird to see a Klingon scientist. I guess there would have to be some scientists among these races, but we never see them in this series. So there’s some potential for an interesting character development, but unfortunately, it never comes.

The writing in this episode is terrible – probably the worst in the last four seasons worth of work. Many of the scenes have some truly awful dialogue. I hated the scene when Troi comes up to Picard and says “I’m concerned about Beverly.” Not only that, but the narration just didn’t work at all. Many times, Crusher would narrate a line or two, and then in the action, she would say the exact same thing. For example, she narrates that she had never seen anything like the physiology that a certain alien had on the Enterprise. Captain Picard comes into Sickbay to check on Crusher and she then tells him something about how this alien has a physiology unlike any she has ever seen. Yeah, we just heard that in the narration. There’s no reason to repeat it within the scene.

At the beginning of the episode, Crusher says of one of the characters that he was “the first of his species that I’d ever seen.” At first I didn’t catch that. She didn’t say “the first I ever saw” but “the first I’d (a contraction for I had) ever seen”. OK, so this means that since this event, she saw others of his kind. And yet, when she’s narrating this story, it has only been a few days, and she has never left the Enterprise. So how could she have met any others of his species? OK, maybe that’s reading too much into this episode, but still, it’s lazy writing.

But it’s more than just horrible dialogue and unnecessary narration. One thing that immediately struck me as very inconsistent writing was that Crusher wanted everyone to know about this Ferengi scientist’s work, partially to help break down a stereotype. But then later in the episode, she makes some pretty stereotypical comments about the Klingon scientist.

Another bit of bad writing was when Crusher asked if the visiting Vulcan scientist on board could have been jealous of the Ferengi’s work. But she doesn’t just ask her point-blank. She also talks to Dr. Reyga about it before the first test. Duh, Vulcans don’t have emotions like jealousy.

Additionally, the story is just dreadfully boring, though it shouldn’t be at all. OK, so we know that Dr Crusher has lost her post on the Enterprise, and we want to find out why. But it takes so long to tell the story, and it’s just so slow in getting there. Plus, there are a ton of plot holes all over the place. For one thing, how does an alien survive after having gone through an autopsy? An autopsy is so invasive that it would certainly kill you if you weren’t already dead. This must be a really hearty species. Sorry, bad pun. But still better than this episode.

But there are still unanswered questions when this whole thing ends. Like – who killed Dr Reyga? Why isn’t Picard concerned that there has been a murder on board? Why isn’t Worf investigating it? How did that alien get on board a shuttlecraft when he was supposed to be dead and in the morgue? OK, so I know he really wasn’t dead, but seriously, how did he get himself out of the morgue? Are there controls that open the doors inside the coffins? How did he then wander down the hallways and get inside a shuttlecraft? Is the security on the Enterprise so lax that dead people can just walk around unnoticed? Besides, how did he know he should leave the morgue and get on the shuttlecraft? Was he somehow monitoring Dr Crusher’s actions?

Speaking of Crusher, wasn’t she supposed to have been kicked out of Starfleet, because she performed an autopsy despite being ordered not to? Captain Picard made such a huge deal out of the potentially volatile relations between the Ferengi and the Federation, and that’s why he didn’t want her to perform the autopsy. She does anyway, but then NOTHING happens to her over it. This is a huge plot hole.

But I don’t understand why this is a Crusher-centric episode. Given the heavy-duty technical subject matter, why wasn’t this a Data-centric episode or a LaForge-centric episode? If it were a medical story, that would be one thing, but this is a scientific one dealing with shields. It has nothing to do with medicine. Stupid.

This writing just doesn’t seem like a sixth season episode, but more like the second or third season before the writing became decent and the characterizations were consistent. Suspicions came in the same season as Tapestry, Chain of Command 1 and 2, Ship in a Bottle, Face of the Enemy, Lessons, Frame of Mind, etc.

I would not recommend this episode.

Of Note

It’s interesting that Dr. Selar is mentioned yet again in this episode. The last time she was ever seen was in the awful second season episode “The Schizoid Man.” And yet she keeps getting mentioned over and over again.

Here’s something else that’s interesting. Near the end of the episode, Riker tells Crusher something about how Captain Picard will do everything he can to help her out of this mess. That’s certainly something he knows from personal experience. How many times has Picard had to bail Riker’s rear out of trouble?