I know what you mean, Wesley. Mädchen Amick is very beautiful. Oh wait, he was talking about Salia. Nevermind.
When I settled down to watch this episode my initial reaction was "Oh joy, a Wesley centric episode." But, to be perfectly honest, 'The Dauphin' didn't turn out to be as bad as I feared it would be. It has Shelley Johnston for a start. Oh, Mädchen Amick, I can't hate any episode that has you as a guest star, even if your role is a tiny one.
The big problem with this episode is that nothing much actually happens. The Enterprise is tasked with escorting Salia, the new ruler of Daled IV, back home so she can help bring peace to her planet. Despite Anya's worries, no one seems to want to do Salia any harm so I don't see why an entire starship is needed to escort her. Do they not have civilian transport services in the 24th century? Is Starfleet nothing more than a glorified taxi service? Can you rent them out for sweet sixteen parties?
With no external threat of any kind, the entire episode is devoted to the romance between Wesley and Salia, and what a dull, unconvincing and rushed romance it is. There is just no chemistry whatsoever between either the characters or the actors. This is a romance that happens are warp speed. Salia locks eyes on Wesley and she's all "Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but I like your magnet, so call me maybe". For Wesley, the feeling is more than mutual. He's so enamoured with Salia he forgets all about his duties and goes back to his quarters to check his hair. He's known this girl for all of five seconds and he's going around saying she's perfect. Why does she think she's perfect? I have no idea. He hardly knows anything about her. It could be because she's good looking, but that would make Wesley seem very shallow.
So shallow in fact that the minute he finds out she's a shape-shifter like Anya he dumps her. I can understand Wesley being upset she kept such a big secret from him, but accusing her of not being able to love? That is just cruel. Way to be open minded, Wesley. I thought humans by this point were meant to be more evolved and less bigoted. I guess just not in terms of relationships and sex. That won't kick off until the 51st century.
Anya's over-protectiveness felt unnecessary, an blatant attempt to force some tension and conflict into an episode that probably didn't need any. Another thing it didn't need was any horrendous hairy space monsters. Let us be thankful that Rob Bowman, the director, saw how bad the monster costumes were and made sure they appeared on screen as little as possible.
|Dance-off, bro. Just me and you|
Notes and Quotes
--Mädchen Amick was the runner-up to play Salia.
--According to Memory Alpha, the disease Anya nearly goes homicidal over, Andronesian encephalitis, is perfectly treatable.
--The best part of the episode was Wesley going around asking everyone for dating advice, which provides us with some insight into Klingon dating and Riker and Guinan's flirt off was great.
--I found it amusing that Picard had Riker relay his orders to Ensign Gibson when he could've just as easily told her himself. Did they have a bad breakup and weren't talking to each other?
--Palanski calls security to sickbay and not five seconds later they burst in with Picard. That is an exceptional response time.
--The term "Dauphin" was traditionally used as the title of the crown prince of the French monarchy. But since Salia is female surely this episode should've been called 'The Dauphine'.
Worf: (roaring) "That is how the Klingon lures a mate."
Wesley: "Are you telling me to go yell at Salia?"
Worf: "No. Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects. And claw at you."
Wesley: "What does the man do?"
Worf: "He reads love poetry... he ducks a lot."
Wesley: "Worf, sounds like it works great for the Klingons, but I think I need to try something a little less dangerous."
Worf: "Then go to her door. Beg like a human."
Two out of four Klingon love poems.