After attending the funeral of her grandmother, Beverly Crusher encounters a ghost that has romanced the Howard line of women for generations.
This episode provides examples of
- Achilles' Heel: The candle, to Ronan.
- Cassandra Truth: Ned. He tries warning Beverly about Ronan and the candle, but she doesn't believe his warnings. He had apparently tried warning her grandmother as well, but she refused to listen as well.
- Declaration of Protection: Ronan promises to protect and love Beverly like he had done for her grandmother.
- Green Eyes: A common trait in the Howard line, excluding Beverly and her mother. Subverted as the green eyes represent Ronan's control over the Howard women.
- Large Ham: Gates McFadden is quite unusually hammy here, likely as a result of having to spend several long shots all by herself reacting to a disembodied voice.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Paired with Single Line of Descent and a reversal of Lineage Comes from the Father. Apparently Beverly is the first Howard woman to not keep her maiden name and pass it to her children since at least the seventeenth century.
- Mind Manipulation: Ronan is clearly doing something to Beverly, but it's never really clear what the extent of it is. She goes from resisting his advances to so in love that she upends her entire life for him between edits, and towards the end she shakes it off and is furious.
- Night of the Living Mooks: When Ronan briefly possesses the body of Beverly's grandmother.
- Our Ghosts are Different: Ronan is a spectral entity made of "anaphasic energy". He's kinda like an alien incubus, feeding off his victims.
- Scotireland: It's supposed to be a planet of Space Scotsmen, but the accents of the people are hardly Scottish. Amusingly, the actor who plays Ned Quint was actually Irish. May be an in-universe version of The Theme Park Version; many of the citizens aren't even human, they just built their colony on the theme.
- Voodoo Shark: Ronan's getting on-board the Enterprise by travelling through the power transfer beam was such a silly solution to a non-problem — rather than taking the obvious solution and having him jump into Beverly's body right before she's beamed up — that episode writer Brannon Braga later admitted that for years afterwards he was ridiculed by the show's other writers.