Thursday, May 17, 2012

Face of the Enemy

**** (4 stars out of 5)

Don't you just hate it when you get kidnapped on vacation and dressed up as a Romulan? Counselor Troi does. You'd think after La Forge's abduction in 'The Mind's Eye' that Enterprise crew would only take leave in pairs and make Worf be the other half of that pair...

Romulan Subcommander N'Vek is a sneaky peeky spy from Spock's underground. He's kidnapped Troi and had RuPaul make her over as Major Rakal of the Tal Shiar. (Which is Romulan Intelligence, named for all the neck breaking, one presumes.) N'Vek's smuggling Vice-Proconsul M'Ret into the Federation. Their Veep defecting should be a major blow to the government. Provided the average citizen even knows he's gone. (Personally, I think they'll just kidnap and surgically alter some poor random alien to take his place... they're pretty good at that.)

The commander of warbird Khazara is Toreth, identical cousin of Taris, who we met four years ago. Carolyn Seymour is once more sublime in the antagonistic role. The best part is she's probably perfectly nice: without a jack-booted thug like "Rakal" all up in her Romulan grill.

Human Ensign DeSeve is a another perfectly nice traitorous dog who defected to the Romulans, and because the Federation is what it is he can easily defect back. He just can't bear to part with his horrific haircut. He brings a message from Cowboy Spock to get Picard into the Kaleb Sector for a meet and greet with the Runaway Veep.

The defection is supposed to include an alien middleman. This Corvallen guy came first in the Benjamin J. Grimm look-a-like contest at Comic Con, but was confused since he didn't enter. It's Corvallen Time!

When Troi senses the mercenaries are lying, N'Vek blows all 18 of them to space dust.

Toreth deplores the loss. But Troi can't show any similar weakness. It's great that Troi's natural compassion has to take a back seat today: to being a towering bad-ass. Which she manages quite well.

"Face of the Enemy" lives up to the potential of the Romulans with ghoulish glee. We rarely see their world and this is a great example. It's also a fine showcase for Troi, proving her butch bravery once and for all. In her position I would have been wetting my quilted grey culottes.

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