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Edited Length: 45:27
U.S. Airdate: May 10, 1992
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [10.8/4]
Famke Janssen: [Kamala]
Tim O'Connor: [Briam]
Max Grodenchik: [Par Lenor]
Mickey Cottrell: [Alrik]
Michael Snyder: [Qol]
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: Gary Perconte and Michael Piller
Story by: René Echevarria and Gary Perconte
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Gene Roddenberry
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Associate Producer: Wendy Neuss
Executive Script Consultant: Peter Allan Fields
David Paul Needles: Miner #1
Roger Rignack: Miner #2
Charles Gunning: Miner #3
April Grace: Transporter Officer
Majel Barrett: Computer Voice
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
The Enterprise is ferrying Kriosian ambassador Briam to a meeting with his opposite number, Voltan ambassador Alric, where the two warring systems will finally settle their differences on board the Enterprise. Unfortunately, some Ferengi on board wreak havoc at the wrong time, and Briam's "cargo" is revived early, and revealed to be a beautiful woman named Kamala, who seems to show an immediate interest in Picard. Kamala is a rarity, a female empathic metamorph, who unconsciously molds her personality to meet the desires of those men around her. Eventually, she will bond to one man, and she has been intended since birth to bond to Alric, ending their bitter feud. Riker takes her to some quarters, but she quickly turns herself into his ideal woman and tries to seduce him.
The following morning, after being told by a very angry Beverly that Briam has Kamala confined to quarters, Picard goes to see her. She explains that her presence could be detrimental to the crew, and when Picard asks her to stop changing herself in this way, she explains that it's part and parcel of who she is; "one might as well ask a Vulcan to forgo logic." Picard asks her what she and other metamorphs do or want when there's no one else to mold to. She says, simply, that she's incomplete. Picard leaves, visibly disturbed by her forceful approach.
After initially failing to convince Briam that she can move freely, Picard appoints Data her chaperone. Even Data has his hands full, however, when Kamala causes trouble in Ten- Forward with a group of miners. Kamala later tells Picard that she thinks she should remain in her quarters, and will-but only on the condition that he visit. Picard first demurs, then becomes fascinated when she shows a sudden interest in and knowledge of archaeology. Panicking at his own interest, Picard attempts to convince her that he's really a very dull fellow. She doesn't believe him, but he manages to make his refusal stick.
However, shortly thereafter, the Ferengi's attempt to bribe Briam results in Briam being severely injured. The Ferengi are sent to a nearby Starbase, but now the negotiations are in jeopardy. A delay is not possible, since Kamala's ability to permanently bond does not last long, and Picard is put in the position of having to conclude the negotiations-and worse yet, work closely with Kamala for days in preparing for them.
They become closer over those days, and Kamala admits that until this voyage, she had never been alone at all. She understands her place in history, and intends to fulfill it, "but I find it ironic that on the eve of this ceremony, which I spent my entire life preparing for, that I should meet a man like you." Alric arrives that evening, but is woefully stuffy; by his own admission, he's far more interested in the trade agreements between their two worlds than he is in Kamala. Picard brings Kamala up to date on the arrangements (she is to be presented to Alric the following morning at ten), but Kamala asks him not to leave. He tries to simply sit and talk, but Kamala draws ever closer, not even entirely knowing why.
The following morning at tea, a morose Picard bares his soul a bit to Beverly. He says that although he realizes she "will change as soon as the next man comes in the room...I find myself hoping the next man won't come in." Bev sympathizes, but tells him she doesn't think she can help. Picard arrives to escort Kamala, only to have her tell him that she's already bonded; to him. Regardless, she intends to go ahead with the ceremony; being empathic, she can still please Alric and ensure that he never knows. Picard gives away the bride, looking rather stricken. Finally, the recovered Briam heads back to his ship-but when he asks Picard how he could possibly have resisted her influence, Picard merely tells him to have a safe trip home.
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