**** (4 stars out of 5)
Did you ever wonder whether Lwaxana Troi ever did any actual work or was always just talking people's ears off at stuffy dinners?
Well, wonder no more. She's been hard at work teaching prospective Federation members, the Cairn, how to talk. They were entirely non-verbal, image telepaths only, before she breezed in and started setting them all up with her daughter.
If only Deanna would hit it off with strong, silent Maques, then immediately start making a sister for Hedril and a grand-baby for Lwaxana- all in one go! (Hedril is the future Mary Jane Watson, tiny Kirsten Dunst. Adorable!)
Magues expresses concern about the dark spot in Mrs. Troi's mind which she called 'privacy', a concept unknown to him. It's much worse than that, as anyone who knows Mrs. Troi is already aware she doesn't really recognize that concept, either. Deanna doesn't pick up on this.
Exhausted Lwaxana is having outbursts. She screams at Will 'If it wasn't for you, she'd be married by now!" And mere seconds after Deanna breezes 'She'll be fine', Lwaxana has fallen into a coma.
The mental dark spot is a heretofore unknown trauma. Deanna, with Maques' assistance in creating the imagery, pursues the dark place within her mother's metaconscious mind. While mentally calling out for help, another part of Lwaxana is also keeping her daughter away. A slavering wolf, a creepy version of Hedril, and angry Lwaxana herself try to drive prying Deanna out. The lucid dream also puts up distractions, like a vision of Deanna's kindly young father to sing to her. (Ian Troi's appearance here raises the question of where exactly Deanna picked up her Greek/Betazoid accent... if both her parents sounded American. Nanny? Tutors? Space Rosetta Stone?)
"Dark Page" certainly explains Lwaxana's obsessive overprotectiveness, while fudging timeline details here and there in some ways only nerds can't easily overlook. I'm O.K. with wonky stardates when the drama is well achieved.