*** (3 stars out of 5)
Troi points out that Worf has ambiguous feelings about famed negotiator Riva of Ramatis. Riva helped broker important treaties between the Klingon Empire and the Federation.
"Before him there was no Klingon word for 'peacemaker'." (I choose to believe this is compatible with the later stories, so long as alien Riva is many decades older than he looks.)
Troi's own feelings about Riva are less conflicted- she likey.
Riva the mediator is deaf and mute, his unique mode of communication uses a telepathic chorus of three: The Scholar/Poet, The Warrior/Lover, & Wisdom/Balance.
He's needed to make peace on Solais V, now at war for 15 centuries and on the verge of extinction.
En route, Troi enjoys some ginger with her meal.
I see the battle for the planet of the apes is still going strong. Unfortunately, a Solari with an itchy laser finger incinerates the entire Chorus. Holy Crapweasels! That was a shock. Shockingly effective effect, too.
Data learns Riva's gestural language to communicate, but with Riva's confidence shattered by grief and anguish, only Troi can provide the answer.
Riva will have the Solari learn his signs for months to teach them patience and give them something in common.
Mention is made of the fact that Geordi's options are increasing: Pulaski says there are new but risky procedures to either give him eye-like VISOR implants, or to replicate him some organic eyes. Either would reduce his pain, but either might not work. So stay tuned... for eight years.
"Loud As A Whisper" is well-intentioned. Riva actor Howie Seago, deaf himself, got the producers to make the resolution of the story better. I read that Geordi was named for George La Forge, a Trekkie who lived a good life with a handicap. Levar Burton's expressive eyes are hidden behind a symbol that mattered to people. It mattered to me.