56 – The Price

Grade: C

The Price (1989) on IMDb


Captain Picard hosts a group of people bidding for the rights to a stable wormhole. The Ferengi show up late to the negotiations, but they are still allowed to come aboard the Enterprise and bid for the wormhole. And among the bidders is a partially empathic person who takes a liking to Counselor Troi.


This isn’t my favorite episode. The premise and the storyline are fine, and there are some nice scenes – like when Counselor Troi has dinner with Devinoni Ral. There’s also some good characterization in this episode, and by the time it ends, it’s really easy to see Ral as a villain. But there just aren’t enough good parts of this episode to overcome the bad ones.

The acting is really bad. Some parts are OK, but the guest actor playing the part of Ral needed to spend more time reciting his lines. He came across as really flat in several scenes, and it was harder to get involved in the story.

The dialogue was just terrible in several scenes, and they were almost painful to watch. Honestly, they’re every bit as bad (if not worse) than the junk we heard in Attack of the Clones.

But on the other hand, there are a couple of nice parts of this episode. We get to see the Ferengi get stuck in the Delta Quadrant, and we’ll deal with them again in Voyager, several years later. We also have a very nice discussion about the ethics of secretly reading other people’s emotions and using them to your advantage. As I said before, this is by far the best scene in the entire episode. It’s only too bad that there isn’t much else to recommend in this episode.

Of Note

When I first saw this episode, I objected that they were calling this the first stable wormhole known to exist. I thought that was in Deep Space Nine. Well, the end of the episode explains that.

One of the most annoying parts of this episode is when a guest character yet again brings up Riker’s rank in Starfleet. I personally don’t understand why in just the third season of this show, people make fun of Riker since he’s “only” second in command of the Starfleet flagship. What purpose would it serve the series to have Riker’s supposed weakness and lack of initiative repeatedly brought up? Wouldn’t this make it increasingly more difficult to establish Riker’s character as a competent and responsible leader? I wish they’d just leave this storyline alone. It undermines Riker as an officer.