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Recap / Star Trek: The Next Generation S4E16 "Galaxy's Child"

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The woman of Geordi's dreams... and the actual Dr. Brahms.

Original air date: March 11, 1991

Geordi is delighted to welcome starship engine designer Dr. Leah Brahms aboard the Enterprise. He's a big fan, having "collaborated" with a holographic recreation of her back in "Booby Trap." In spite of Guinan's warnings about being fixated on a fantasy, Geordi is dismayed to find the real Brahms to be curt, cold and highly disapproving of his modifications to her engine designs. Still, Geordi soldiers on, trying to establish friendly relations with the engineer while occasionally creeping her out by his mysteriously comprehensive knowledge about her.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise funs across a starship-sized creature that seems to dwell in space as its natural habitat. Picard is overjoyed to discover a new, exotic lifeform and orders the ship closer to examine it. The space slug is not so enthused to see the Enterprise, however, and attacks. With no other option, Picard orders the ship to fire phasers at their lowest setting, which unfortunately kills the creature. Picard is mortified that his mission of discover has led to a death.


Brahms finally discovers the records of Geordi's interactions with her holographic alter-ego. Geordi bursts into the holodeck to explain, but it's too late. The horrified Brahms chews him out for using her image as some sort of fantasy girlfriend. Geordi reacts with equal indignation, declaring that his behavior has been entirely justified and that he has only ever tried to be friendly.

While that mess is going on, the bridge has detected that the dead space slug was pregnant, and the offspring is trying to be born. The crew use the ship's phasers to perform the galaxy's larges-scale caesarian-section. However, the newly born slug immediately imprints on the Enterprise and begins feeding on its energy like it would its mother. They find a nearby asteroid field with minerals that would likely sustain the creature, so they begin shepherding the creature there.


At the asteroid field, however, the creature refuses to detach itself. Worse, it starts summoning other adults of its kind. If the crew can't figure out a way to dislodge the baby slug, they'll be put in a very sticky situation. Geordi and Brahms must put aside their differences and concoct a plan to alter the frequency of the ship's energy, souring the baby slug's "milk." The ploy works. The slug joins its kind, and the ship is free to leave in peace.

After all the hubbub, Geordi and Brahms reconcile. Brahms apologizes for treating Geordi so coldly from the very beginning, while Geordi states that he's glad that he's gotten to know the real Brahms.

Tropes featured in "Galaxy's Child" include:

  • Aesop Amnesia: In "Booby Trap," Geordi learned he was trying too hard in his attempts to woo Christy Henshaw. In "Transfigurations," he finally gains the confidence to pursue a relationship with Henshaw. In this episode, he slips back into trying too hard, going into intricate detail preparing his dinner date with Brahms. He even thinks of playing a Johannes Brahms song once again, which was something he'd done during his first date with Henshaw. There is, in fact, no mention of Henshaw or what became of their relationship.
  • Broken Pedestal: See Whoopi Epiphany Speech.
  • Cassandra Truth: Brahms refuses to believe Geordi's reassurances that her holographic counterpart was not created for romantic/sexual reasons.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Geordi is apparently single again, with no mention at all of his relationship with Christy Henshaw, even though this episode explicitly references the episode that introduced her.
  • First-Name Basis: When Picard tells Geordi that Dr. Brahms will be visiting the ship, Geordi remarks, "Leah!" before remembering that he's never actually met the woman.
  • Ice Queen: Geordi is shocked to discover that the real Brahms is quite cold. She admits in the end that she's aware of how she comes across, and it's something she's always trying to work on.
  • Imprinting: After Worf and Dr. Crusher deliver the space creature's infant by C-section, using the ship's phaser as a scalpel, it starts following the Enterprise, eventually latching on and "nursing" by draining energy from the reactors.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Inverted. The warm and flirty holo-Brahms wears her hair up, while the real, cold Brahms wears long and flowing locks.
  • Let's Just Be Friends: Eventual resolution of the Geordi/Brahms plot.
    Geordi: I should have told you straight out.
    Brahms: Well, if you had, then I never would have had the chance to see the look on your face when you walked in on me, and me, in the holodeck.
    Geordi: [laughing] The look on my face? How about the look on your face?
  • Loving a Shadow: Deconstructed. This episode shows what happens when the real person gets to see the shadow in question, and the results are not pretty.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Geordi has a truly unique case of this—both the Missus and the Ex are the same person: one his holofantasy and the other the real woman.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The space creature didn't want the Enterprise around because it was pregnant.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Picard after unintentionally killing the space creature.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The space creature and its baby.
  • Non-Verbal Miscommunication: This is what inadvertently leads the crew to kill the space creature.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In the previous episode, Geordi had genuinely not been trying to hook up with holo-Brahms. While he did ask the computer to add elements of her real personality, he didn't choose to simulate her (the computer instead making the decision) and even after developing feelings for her never tried to pursue a romantic/sexual relationship with her. Of course, for Brahms walking in at the end of the show, it looked more like Geordi had intentionally used her image to generate a Brahms love toy.
  • Oh, Crap!: Geordi has two in succession, the first when he finds that his crewmember has showed Dr. Brahms the holo-simulation, and the second (even bigger one) when he finds Dr. Brahms already there. His feet momentarily break the other way upon this discovery as if they almost want to say Screw This, I'm Outta Here.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Brahms finds her holographic self from "Booby Trap," who repeats that episode's closing lines, "Every time you look at this engine, you're looking at me. Every time you touch it, it's me." She feels understandably violated, and at that point, nothing La Forge could say would convince her that he didn't do more than collaborate with her holo-self.
  • Phlebotinum Analogy: The Trope Codifier is La Forge and Brahms' "souring the milk" explanation—if the baby creature is "nursing" on the Enterprise, then they need to make the energy it's feeding on unappetizing so it will leave.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Brahms thinks Geordi is this after seeing the holodeck recreation of herself.
  • Tempting Fate: During his conversation with Guinan at the beginning of the episode, Geordi claims quite confidently that no matter what, the real Leah Brahms and him will at least be good friends upon meeting each other.
  • Visual Pun: Geordi considers employing an audio pun for his date with Leah Brahms, having the computer play some Johannes Brahms as mood music. He decides that's too corny and obvious, and changes it.
  • Wham Line: Brahms telling Geordi she's actually married.
  • Whoopi Epiphany Speech: Guinan's response to how disappointed Geordi is with the real Leah Brahms.
    Guinan: You had a perfectly wonderful, marvelous little fantasy... until the real Leah showed up and ruined it. Now, she's probably done the most horrific thing one person can do to another—not live up to your expectations. So I'd take a good, long, hard look, La Forge. See her for who she is, not for what you want her to be.