Star Trek: The Next Generation “Sub Rosa” (part 3 of 4)
Down at the weather control station, Geordi and Data get weird readings. The source turns out to be Groundskeeper Willie kneeling below a console, yanking on random circuits and wires. Data tries to stop him, but Willie cries, “Yew dunna unnerstand! He’s tryin’a kill us all!” Just then, some cartoon green electrical bolts come out of the machine and hit Willie, frying his Mars bar good. Data feels his pulse and says he’s dead.
Soon, the Governor is down at the station. He doesn’t know why Willie was attempting to shut down the entire weather control system. Geordi says it’ll take at least a day to get the system back online, during which the severe weather will continue.
Dr. Crusher is there, and she calls the men over. Crouching over Willie’s body, she says it wasn’t mucking around with the wires that killed him, because there’s an “anomalous energy residual” in his body. Data detects the same “anaphasic signature” as whatever’s causing the problems with the weather control system. According to my Treknobabble-to-English dictionary, that’s another way of saying that whatever’s causing the storm also killed Willie.
Crusher has a random Blue Shirt take the body back to the ship for more tests. The Governor wonders why Crusher won’t be running those tests herself. “I have some things I need to attend to,” she explains. Oh, I bet she does. Namely, a little Ghostly Afternoon Delight.
Sure enough, she runs right back to Casa de Nana and calls out for Ronin. He whispers, “Beverly, did you miss me?” Oh, boy. Those stay-at-home ghosts are all alike. Next, he’ll be asking how her day was. She’s already starting to writhe in pleasure, but she forces herself to concentrate into a mirror. “There’s been an accident!”
Ronin already knows Willie is dead, then tries to change the subject to something “more important”. Only, this attempt to change the subject is about as feeble as if he had said, “So… how ’bout them Yankees?”
Beverly demands to know what happened to Willie, when suddenly, Ronin appears in the flesh, holding her face. And, hey, look who it is, it’s Duncan Regehr! It’s been a while since anybody from V has popped up on this site, so it’s a good time for another digression. (Actually, with this episode, any time is a good time to digress.)
Duncan Regehr played Charles, a Visitor commander who guest-starred on a few later episodes of the weekly series based on V. In a sign of how far that show had fallen, one of their big attempts at grabbing ratings was to have Charles marry Commander Diana. Get it? The wedding of Charles and Diana? Hilarious, huh? Regehr would also show up as a recurring character on Deep Space Nine where he played Bajoran First Minister Shakaar Edon.
Anyway, In-The-Flesh Ronin explains it’s hard for him to take “corporeal form” and he can’t do it for long. Ronin tells her to light the candle, cause momma, he’s sure hard to handle now, yes he is. Sorry. Mae West flashbacks.
It turns out Willie was telling the truth, because Ronin “lives in the candle”, and when he’s away from it for too long, “I begin to weaken. That’s why the women in your family have always kept the candle lit!” Throughout this, Ronin is holding Crusher’s face, and the way she’s writhing around on his hand reminds me a lot of when you scratch a dog’s ear.
Beverly explains the candle is on Enterprise. He says he can go with her to the ship, because he can travel along the power transfer beam. Oddly, Beverly finds nothing odd or alarming about a spirit that can travel along a power beam to a starship. He says that once the candle’s lit, “we can be together… always!” They kiss, and while Crusher’s eyes are closed, Ronin dissolves into spooky vapor.
Back on the ship, Beverly lights the candle using a tiny laser. Okay, I know I mocked the ballpoint pen earlier, but this is just overkill. She sits on the bed and draws her knees up to her chest, anxiously calling out to Ronin.
Ronin appears, grabbing her from behind. He declares that “We’re going to be one! I’m going to become part of you, Beverly!” He explains that it was the same way will all the Howard women before her, and it will be the same way with her. “And you will feel love as you’ve never felt it before!” True to his word, he suddenly turns into green vapor and, um, flies into her. That’s the only way to describe it. She then lies back on the bed in contentment.
Cut to Picard entering the transporter room. He finds Beverly on the transporter pad, out of Starfleet uniform and with her bags all packed. He holds out a Gameboy and yells, “What the hell is this?” Beverly says it’s pretty self-explanatory. “I’m leaving Starfleet. Energize.”
Picard belays the order. Oddly, we won’t see the transporter crewman at all during this scene. We’ll only hear his overdubbed voice. I can’t believe they couldn’t spring for a nobody Redshirt to stand behind the console and recite these lines, so I have to assume it’s just something they ran out of time to film.
Picard tells Beverly she can’t resign, but Beverly says she’s staying behind on Caldos to be a “healer”, which is a “proud Howard tradition”. She again tells Crewman Invisible to energize. Whoever he is, he doesn’t energize.
Beverly tells Picard that since she’s officially resigned, keeping her here would be “kidnapping”. Picard finally turns and nods to the empty air, and Crusher beams out.