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The Loss
Stardate 44356.9
Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode 84 (4.10)

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03

         
Cast:
Patrick Stewart   IMDB   Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes   IMDB   Commander William T. Riker
Levar Burton   IMDB   Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn   IMDB   Lieutenant Worf
Gates McFadden   IMDB   Commander Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis   IMDB   Lt. Commander Deanna Troi
Brent Spiner   IMDB   Lt. Commander Data
Guest Cast:
Kim Braden   IMDB   Ensign Janet Brooks
Mary Kohnert   IMDB   Ensign Tess Allenby
Whoopi Goldberg   IMDB   Guinan
Music:
Dennis McCarthy   IMDB
Director:
Chip Chalmers   IMDB
Teleplay:
Hilary J. Bader   IMDB
Alan J. Adler   IMDB
Vanessa Greene   IMDB
Story:
Hilary J. Bader   IMDB
Published
Laser Disc   ST:TNG LaserDisc Volume 42
DVD   ST:TNG DVD 4.3
VHS   ST:TNG VHS 4.4
Teaser
The Next Generation Teaser #084: The Loss

While the U.S.S. Enterprise struggles to contend with a mysterious life form, Troi inexplicably loses her empathetic powers.
Synopsis
When starship sensors detect a strange pattern of images in the U.S.S. Enterprise's path, the crew stops to investigate. Unable to pinpoint the source, they attempt to resume their course, to the shocking realization that they are being pulled by an unknown force - a force they are unable to break away from. Worried, Picard calls an emergency staff meeting and asks Troi if she senses a life form. The counselor suddenly realizes that she is unable to sense anything from the force or from anyone else in the room. Her empathetic powers have failed.

After examining Troi, Beverly tries to prepare her for the fact that her powers may be lost for good. Troi grows impatient, telling her she only wants to get back to work. Later, Deanna begins to panic when she attempts to counsel a patient without her empathetic abilities. When Beverly is unable to offer any immediate hope, Troi lashes out at her. Meanwhile, Data and Geordi discover that the force that is pulling the U.S.S. Enterprise is a cluster of two-dimensional lifeforms.

Unconfident in her ability to perform her job without her powers, Troi resigns, much to Riker and Picard's dismay. Later, Guinan spots her in Ten-Forward, and tells Troi how her experiences as a bartender make her the ideal candidate to take over the counselor's job. Deanna immediately sees that Guinan is joking, and suddenly realizes that while she may be without her Betazoid powers, her human instincts are still intact. Back on the Bridge, Data and Riker discover that the creatures are heading toward a cosmic string - a force similar to a black hole - and the ship, caught in their gravitational wake, is headed for certain disaster.

A desperate Picard asks Troi to use her human abilities to psychoanalyze the creatures. As she struggles to make do with her instincts, she realizes that since most life forms have an instinctive will to survive, making the creatures aware of the danger might make them change their course. Data constructs a replica of the string directly in front of the creatures as a sort of warning device, but instead of turning back, they increase their speed toward it. At that moment, Troi realizes the creatures must want to head for the string.

Data reconstructs the replica behind the creatures, and, confused, they stop momentarily, allowing the U.S.S. Enterprise to escape. They quickly resume their course and disappear inside the string. Troi's powers come rushing back to her, and she is overcome with the creatures' happiness and the realization that the string is their home. She concludes that the strength of their longing temporarily short-circuited her powers, and with renewed confidence in her human abilities, Troi happily resumes her post as ship's counselor.
Reviews

By Dark Materia on 14 Dec 2002 08:21:13
It would be unfair to just call this dull. It does contain some good characterization of Deanna Troi and an interesting scientific sub-plot. Seeing how Troi is affected by her loss is disturbing. She gets quite nasty. But in the end it is not terribly exciting either.

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