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Rating: ** 1/2
Edited Length: 45:27
U.S. Airdate: October 27, 1991
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.0/2]
Ellen Geer: [Dr. Kila Marr]
Susan Diol: [Carmen Davila]
Co-Producer: Joe Menosky
Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Co-Producer: Peter Lauritson
Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Teleplay by: Jeri Taylor
Story by: Lawrence V. Conley
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
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While Riker, Data, and Bev are visiting the Melona Four colony, the Crystalline Entity appears and utterly destroys it, although all but two of the colonists are saved. The Enterprise is sent to track the Entity down, with the help of xenologist Kyla Marr-a woman who, although capable, has no trust for Data, due to Lore's previous assistance given to the Entity in the past. Picard, realizing that if her attitude will be a problem, it's best to know early, assigns her to work with Data in nearly every detail.
She doesn't take to it well initially-she accuses him of collaborating with the Entity (thus "explaining" why this group of colonists wasn't killed like all the other attacks in 20-plus years), and reveals that her interest in the Entity began when her son was killed at Omicron Theta (Data's homeworld). However, after Data has provided help in several occasions (including finding a way to track the Entity by a method Dr. Marr had overlooked), she appears to realize that he really isn't much like Lore.
As the Enterprise follows the Entity (which is apparently headed for the Brechtian cluster), Picard has to point out to Marr that the intent is not to kill the Entity unless they absolutely have to-he'd prefer to find a way to communicate with it, and see if its needs can be supplied in some other way. Marr is understandably skeptical, but agrees to work with Data to find a method of communication.
They find one-and Marr further finds that through Data's programmed memories and experiences of the Omicron Theta colony, she can, in some respects, hear her son again. (After the Entity captures and "consumes" the inhabitants of another ship, Data reads one of her son's journal entries aloud in his voice, bringing tears to Marr's eyes.)
They eventually find the Entity and begin broadcasting a series of graviton pulses to it. It appears to respond, and emits a pattern which is almost undoubtedly a sign of intelligence, although they cannot yet decipher what the pattern of pulses means. Picard is elated-but then Marr, who wrote most of the program, alters it to emit a continuous pulse of gravitons with rapidly increasing amplitude, and locks the program in such a way that neither Data nor Geordi can stop the emission before the Entity is shattered.
Data takes Marr back to her quarters, her mind virtually snapped. She asks "Rennie," through Data, to tell her that he understands she did it for him. Data demurs: from what he knows of her son through his journals and vivid memories, he believes Rennie would be very sad at the loss of both the Entity and of his mother's brilliant career.
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: July 12, 1999