Original air date: November 30, 1987
Lwaxana Troi visits her daughter, Counselor Deanna Troi, and prepares her for an arranged marriage. Meanwhile, a ship carrying diseased aliens is approaching the utopian planet Haven around which the Enterprise is in orbit. The two events are actually connected.
This episode contains examples of:
- '80s Hair: The female main cast during the reception, particularly Tasha◊.
- Altar the Speed: There's no reason given for why the wedding must happen right now, to the point that there's disagreement over whether it will be an Earth-style or Betazed-style wedding.
- Arranged Marriage: Betazoids still do this, although it is by no means universal. Oddly, the Millers initially agreed to it when Troi's father was still alive, the three of them all being humans rather than Betazoids. In fact, Lwaxana was prepared to blow the whole thing off until the Millers contacted her about it.
- Early-Installment Weirdness:
- Wyatt, a medical doctor, believed that his visions of a beautiful woman were the result of Deanna, a Betazoid, projecting herself into his thoughts across interstellar distances. She never says that such a thing would be impossible, and given Wyatt's scientific background it is implied that this is a known capability of Betazoids. But as with Deanna's ability to mind speak to Riker as shown in "Encounter at Farpoint", it does not come up again.
- Data is smiling throughout the party, though it's unclear if this is an emotional reaction to the bickering that he clearly finds fascinating or if he's just imitating what he thinks people are supposed to do at parties.
- It is hinted that the reason Troi and Riker have ended their romantic relationship is that Riker's desire to become Captain trumps everything else that he desires. The same Riker who will go on to turn down multiple offers for captaincy in favor of remaining on the flagship.
- Troi once again refers to Riker as "Bill". It's "Will" Riker from here on out, and for ever will be.
- The engagement party takes place in a generic Enterprise dining room, and the wedding is set to be held in another small room. Ten Forward, introduced in Season 2, is the location of nearly all such formal events on the Enterprise from then on.
- The leader of Haven says that an unknown ship has "bypassed their stargate." This was seven years before the film Stargate was released, but such a structure is never mentioned again.
- This is Mr. Homn's first episode and the only one in which he speaks. In all other episodes, he's The Voiceless.
- Not So Stoic: Despite having acted cold and distant towards Deanna in previous episodes, Riker is clearly upset that she's being set to marry another man, as he was never quite able to get over her.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Take your pick. Lwaxana Troi and Victoria Miller are both equally bad. Both Troi and Wyatt are mortified by their behavior.
- Oh, Crap!: When it is announced that Lwaxana is on her way to the Enterprise, Deanna looks about ready to have a panic attack.
- Psychic Link: Wyatt and Ariana established this as children despite never having met, which is how each knew what the other looked like, and how Ariana knew to come to Haven. Lwaxana asserts that all consciousness is interconnected, although humans tend to dismiss this as superstition, and that it is possible for this sort of thing to occur. They are not quite Mindlink Mates however, as they cannot sense each other's actual thoughts through their connection.
- The Quiet One: Homn. Weirdly, this episode has his only line of the whole series: "Thank you for the drinks."
- Runaway Fiancé: Turns out that Deanna was not the woman of Wyatt's dreams after all, and that he would rather go for the blonde with the fatal disease.
- Schizo Tech: The Tarellians supposedly had a 20th century level of technology when they nearly wiped themselves out. Since then, they've apparently developed starship technology that is unique to them.
- Space Romans: The Tarellians are basically space lepers, which they are explicitly compared to in dialogue.
- Synthetic Plague: The Tarellian Plague was actually a biological weapon that got out of hand.
- Temporary Substitute: The final script draft contained several lines for Worf and Wesley that were either cut or reassigned to other characters.
- Try to Fit That on a Business Card: "I am Lwaxana Troi, Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. Who are you?"
- Your Normal Is Our Taboo: This episode establishes that in Betazed weddings all participants and guests are completely naked, "to honor the act of love commemorated."