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Rating: ** 1/2
Edited Length: 45:02
U.S. Airdate: April 3, 1994
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [11.3/3]
Patti Yasutake: Ogawa]
Dwight Schultz: "Barclay"
Consulting Producer: Peter Lauritson
Co-Producer: Wendy Neuss
Co-Producer: Brannon Braga
Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Line Producer: Merri D. Howard
Supervising Producer: David Livingston
Executive Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written By: Brannon Braga
Directed By: Gates McFadden
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Executive Story Editor: René Echevarria
Story Editor: Naren Shankar
Carlos Ferro: Ensign Dern
Majel Barrett: Computer Voice
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
In sickbay, Riker is being tended for a ... romance-induced encounter with a cactus, Barclay is being treated for an illness that is mostly in his imagination, and Data brings in a very pregnant Spot for prenatal care (given by Ogawa, who is also pregnant as of very recently!). Bev finds that Barclay has Urodinan flu, and injects him with a synthetic T-cell to activate his dormant immunity to the virus.
When a field-test of upgraded photon torpedoes goes awry, Picard and Data take a shuttle to retrieve the torpedo (the Enterprise cannot chase the torpedo down itself, as the surrounding asteroid field is too dense). Shortly after their departure, however, strange things begin happening. Worf takes the setback with the torpedo very badly, becoming snappish, coarse, and primitive; Troi begins complaining about the ship being too hot and too dry; Barclay becomes hyperactive, willing to do anything except rest; and Riker begins to have more and more difficulty concentrating or thinking.
Things begin to come to a head when Troi, taking a bath in her quarters, is surprised to see a very primal Worf come in. He tells her simply that he needed to be near her - and then bites her, on the neck, hard enough to draw blood. Later, in sickbay, Bev finds that Troi's body temperature is way down, and that she's not the only one. Worse yet, however, Worf is no longer speaking to anyone - and when she finds something on his neck that appears to be a venom sac, he spits venom in her face and escapes. A short time later, Worf still hasn't been found, Bev's in stasis pending reconstructive surgery, and Riker is virtually unable to function. He defers to Geordi's judgement about a security alert, but when he tries to contact Starfleet to let them know what's happening, he can't remember the code for a secured channel...
Days later, Picard and Data return to find the Enterprise adrift and without power. They manage to enter the shuttle bay and begin exploring. After hearing a number of animal-like noises and finding what appears to be a layer of skin someone shed, they reach Troi's quarters. Entering, they find Troi in the bathtub - completely submerged, and with gills as well as lungs. Data's scans suggest that her genetic codes are being rewritten on the spot, and that she has mutated - in effect, she is now amphibian rather than human.
Moving on, they reach the bridge only to find all personnel there dead, ripped apart as if by a wild animal. Data manages to get enough power to read out life signs, and finds that everyone on board is changing just as Troi has done. He and Picard suddenly hear a thump and a growl in the ready room, and enter cautiously. There, they find Riker there watching the fish-tank - but Riker now appears rather primitive himself, much like a Neanderthal man. He attacks Picard, only to be stunned unconscious by Data.
Further research on both Riker and Troi reveals that, in Data's words, "the crew is de-evolving." A synthetic T-cell is invading everyone's genetic makeup and activating their introns, the effect of which is to mutate them into earlier evolutionary states. Every humanoid should be affected - and since coming on board, Picard has now become infected as well, doomed to de-evolve into a lemur in short order. They decide to adjourn to Data's quarters, where his independent computer might be able to help them search for a cure.
There, they find that Spot has also de-evolved (into an iguana), but Spot's day-old kittens have not been affected. They quickly theorize that the natural antibodies in Spot's amniotic fluid might be the cause, and suggest that amniotic fluid from a pregnant humanoid (i.e. Ogawa) might prove an effective basis for a cure. They decide to get Ogawa from the arboretum, but are first forced to stop in Engineering to fix a plasma conduit.
After the stop in Engineering (where they encounter Barclay, now well into his transformation into a spider), the pair retrieve Ogawa and find that her amniotic fluid does, in fact, contain the antibodies they need. Just as they begin creating a retrovirus of sorts, however, there is a strong pounding at the door - and scans suggest that it's a horribly mutated, and horribly strong, Worf.
They realize that Worf's likely reason for coming to sickbay is to find Troi, Worf's perceived mate (hence the earlier bite), and that they must lure him away if Data's research can be successful. As he works, Picard takes an extraction of Troi's pheromones and lures Worf away with them. Trapped in a Jeffries tube, however, Picard is forced to electrify the tube to stun Worf. Data then releases the cure in gaseous form, and eventually everything and everyone is returned to normal, leaving Barclay (whose cellular structure created the mutated T-cell in the first place) with a disease named after him.
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