** (2 stars out of 5)
Delivering supplies to Communication Relay Station 47 near the Klingon Border, Enterprise finds it empty except for an adorable doggie. And a suspicious meat stain.
Haliian Lt. Aquiel Uhnari and Lt. Keith Rocha are missing.
Geordi listens to Uhnari's logs and ogles her pictures. Her video letters home reference a belligerent Klingon commander who harassed them every few days. Red Commander HehRing was his name, I believe.
Klingon Governor Toe-rag proves his people didn't kill Aquiel by returning her. Aquiel reports that Keith attacked her without warning, but has a memory loss regarding her convenient escape.
Geordi is once again caught stalking someone and briefly earns her ire. What's so wrong about reading a dead woman's porn...uh, I mean, gothic novels? Hopefully it was a Dark Shadows novelization, or something with Sookie Stackhouse.
What with Worf finding Uhnari's phaser was set to kill and all, Riker urges Geordi not to get close to her. Rather than heed a sensible warning against a possible black widow killer, Geordi accuses Riker of being too judgmental.
Also, turns out she deleted a letter of Keith's recommending she be fired for insubordination. So Geordi makes out with her.
She breaks out the sex crystals. "My people are partially telepathic..." breathes Aquiel. "We use the Canar for a stronger emotional link during love." She delivers this in a tone of sublime disinterest, making it difficult to imagine she loves or even likes Geordi.
But once she takes his VISOR off... he's looking helpless enough to eat!
Beverly has learned the stain was from an Odo-like shapeshifter called a coalescent organism. Also known as the thing from the movie 'The Thing'. Could Aquiel be a ravenous monster?
"Aquiel": the thriller that ain't too thrilling. The romance is weak sauce and the murder mystery is just enough of a mystery I don't want to spoil it in case you want to get surprised and/or bored by it yourself someday. Puppy's cute, though.