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Eye of the Beholder (episode)

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"Eye of the Beholder"
TNG, Episode 7x18
Production number: 40277-270
First aired: 28 February 1994
169th of 176 produced in TNG
169th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
313th of 728 released in all
Plasma stream
Teleplay By
René Echevarria

Story By
Brannon Braga

Directed By
Cliff Bole
47622.1 (2370)
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For the TAS episode with a similar title, please see "The Eye of the Beholder".

Counselor Troi's investigation into the suicide of a crewman suggests a murder was committed aboard the Enterprise while it was being built, and that the murderer is still aboard.

Summary Edit

Riker and Worf are summoned to the nacelle control tube where Lieutenant Daniel Kwan is on the catwalk about to jump into the plasma stream. Riker slowly moves towards him and tries to talk Kwan down from the catwalk. Kwan replies by saying, "I know what I have to do." Kwan then jumps into the plasma stream. After Kwan's suicide the ship's crew is shocked.

Captain Picard states that in his time as a commanding officer, he's had to notify families of Starfleet personnel deaths, but never a suicide. He puts Worf and Counselor Troi in charge of an investigation, in order to explain Kwan's death to his family and "try to help them make sense of this." Picard gives them the right to look at Kwan's personal logs. One of the first people questioned in the investigation is Kwan's girlfriend Ensign Calloway. Calloway says that Kwan was pretty much happy and easygoing. Calloway also says that Kwan didn't seem like the kind of person that would take his own life. Worf and Troi have already agreed that Kwan didn't seem the type to commit suicide. In Kwan's personal logs he doesn't show any sign of suicidal thoughts, mentioning the recently completed work as well as looking forward to seeing Calloway more.

Marla E Finn

The empathic impression

Troi decides that it is time to see nacelle control. She first examines his workstation, then climbs to the platform where Kwan died. There she is overwhelmed by a strong empathic impression. After being examined by Doctor Crusher, she is told to wait a few hours before returning to the nacelle tubes, as she is detecting elevated psilosynine levels in the counselor.

Worf, from his experience in the alternate realities where he was married to Troi, begins to think about starting a relationship with her. In Ten Forward, while Riker is having a drink with Lieutenant Corell, Worf asks the first officer if it would be alright for him to date someone he had been close to. Riker says that it wouldn't be his choice. Then Worf asks if there is anyone that Riker prefer he not date on the ship. Riker laughs and says that Worf is beginning to sound like he's asking him if he can date his (Riker's) sister. Worf realizes he's getting nowhere with the hints and leaves Ten Forward.

Marla Finn and William Hodges

The man and woman

Later, Troi returns to nacelle tube with Worf. This time, she has a vision of a man and a woman, one of them in danger. She can tell it is in the cell where the plasma stream is held. Then the vision is of a man and a woman laughing at her, but not actually her, but whoever's eyes she was looking through. After the vision Worf takes Troi to Dr. Crusher. Crusher assumes that because Kwan was half-Napean that he may have gotten the same vision as Troi. Since the Napeans are also telepathic it is a possibility. Crusher also tells Troi that she may be able to give her an inhibitor in order to manage the emotions she was feeling during the experience.

While waiting sixteen hours for the inhibitor to be synthesized by Dr. Crusher, Troi goes over the computer logs to see if anybody else aboard the Enterprise had worked with Kwan in at Utopia Planitia when nacelle control was under construction. In the logs she sees the man from her vision: Lieutenant Walter Pierce. Troi and Worf decide to question Pierce in engineering about if he remembers anything about Kwan or from during the building of the Enterprise. Pierce doesn't tell Troi and Worf much of anything. Troi can't tell if Pierce is lying or what Pierce is really feeling, but thinks he may be lying.

Worf escorts Troi to her quarters. Worf says that maybe they should start earlier the next morning. Worf then says good night, but doesn't leave. Worf takes Deanna's hand, touching her hand to his face, then sniffing her hand. Worf then embraces Troi in a kiss, a long kiss.

The next morning Worf is still in Troi's quarters. Crusher summons both of them to the sickbay, Troi for her inhibitor and Worf to supervise the transport of medical supplies to the cargo bay for Barson II. They walk in together. Troi notices the way Worf acts toward Ensign Calloway. This leads Troi to later ask if Worf is sorry for having been with her. Worf says no, he doesn't.

Troi goes to investigate the cell where the plasma stream is kept. Lieutenant Nara states that Kwan had been in the cell the day before he had jumped and vaporized himself. After Geordi La Forge removes one of the bulkheads he detects Human DNA. Troi gets another vision of the woman being attacked. La Forge and Data remove a skeleton. Ensign Calloway sequences the DNA sample and matches it to Starfleet records and finds Marla Finn. Troi says that Marla Finn was indeed the woman in her vision. She says that something doesn't match up and pulls up Lieutenant Kwan's record. She realizes that it could not have been Kwan's eyes she was seeing through as he wasn't posted to the Enterprise until about six months after Finn's death. It must have been either of the men in the vision. She realizes that it was Lieutenant Pierce's eyes she was seeing through when she sees her reflection in the computer panel. Troi finally understands that Pierce must somehow have telepathic abilities since she could not read his emotions before and because she also sees him in the visions.

Troi and Worf head to ask Pierce some questions, but Worf says that the inhibitor may still leave him lying so Worf goes to question him alone. Troi returns to her quarters when Pierce shows up. She calls for security. Pierce says that Worf told him to go to Troi. When security officers Kellogg and Garvey arrive, Troi asks where Worf is and Pierce says that he is with Ensign Calloway. Pierce is taken away and Troi finds Worf and Ensign Calloway in a kissing embrace. The two start to laugh at her. She responds to the laughter by shooting Worf dead with a phaser. Distraught, she then runs to through the corridors to nacelle control, running into Lieutenant Pierce who tells her, "You know what you have to do." She gets to the nacelle tubes, opens the plasma panel, and walks up to the catwalk and stares into the plasma saying, "I know what I have to do." Just as she is about to jump into the plasma, Worf grabs her by the shoulder, whereupon it is revealed that her uniform has changed. The preceding events were a hallucination going back to when she had the initial vision in the spot where Kwan committed suicide.

Galaxy class nacelle tube (interior)

The interior of the nacelle

The investigation ends with Troi telling Picard in the observation lounge that Kwan had been affected by some sort of telepathic leftover from Pierce's memories. It turns out that Pierce had found his girlfriend Marla Finn in an embrace with another man and killed them before throwing their bodies into the plasma stream to cover up any hint of murder, and then jumped in himself. The reason the account had seemed to be sent telepathically is because Pierce's maternal grandmother had been a Betazoid. Worf asks Troi why she had seem surprised to see him alive when he pulled her from her hallucination. Troi replies that in her version of the vision, Worf was killed. Worf asks her who had killed him, and Troi replies, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Memorable quotes Edit

"Counselor. When I pulled you from the plasma stream you seemed... surprised I was alive."
"Well, actually... in my hallucination, you were killed."
"May I ask by whom?"
"Well, you know what they say, Mr. Worf. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.""

- Worf and Troi


"They laughed at me!"

- Daniel Kwan, shortly before committing suicide


"I know what I have to do..."

- Daniel Kwan's last words before vaporizing himself


"In my years as a Starfleet captain, I've had to... notify many parents of the loss of loved ones but never before to suicide."

- Picard


"Geordi, would you agree that the instinct for self-preservation is shared by most lifeforms?"
"I'd say it's probably the most basic instinct, Data."
"Hmm. That being the case, I find it difficult to understand why someone would deliberately terminate their own existence."

- Data discusses his lack of understanding about suicide to La Forge


"Is there someone in particular that you're talking about?"
"No. Is there someone in particular you would rather I not be involved with?"
"Mr. Worf, you sound like a man who's asking his friend if he can start dating his sister!"
"No! No, I was merely... never mind. Excuse me, sir."

- Riker and Worf

Background information Edit

Arlene Fukai, stand-in

Arlene Fukai (left) and Nora Leonhardt (right)

Cliff Bole and Michael Dorn

Director Cliff Bole and Michael Dorn on set

Story and production Edit

  • Because regular Marina Sirtis stand-in Nora Leonhardt was busy, filming her scenes as Marla Finn on Paramount stage 8, Second Assistant Director Arlene Fukai got a wig from the hair department and replaced her for the light settings on stage 9, standing in for Marina Sirtis.
  • First UK airdate: 8 May 1996

Continuity Edit

  • This episode continues the romance between Troi and Worf, albeit in illusory form since much of the episode takes place in Troi's imagination.
  • According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, imaginary scenarios are usually shown only from the character's point of view. This episode breaks that convention by showing Dr. Crusher speaking in sickbay as she pages both Troi and Worf on the morning after they begin their affair.
  • In Nacelle Control, after Troi was injected with the empathic inhibitor, the prop Commander La Forge uses is identical to the interphasic scanner seen in "Phantasms".
  • While Troi and Worf are discussing Troi's grandfather, Worf states, "Yes, I too have sought visions in fire." This statement alludes to "Rightful Heir", in which Worf travels to a temple on Boreth in an attempt to see a vision of Kahless.

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins Edit

References Edit

2363; 2368; 2369; Barson II; bulkhead; Enterprise, USS (NCC-1701-D); Galaxy-class; inter-species reproduction; Jefferies tube; Mars; nacelle; nacelle tube; Napean; plasma; plasma injector; plasma stream; psilosynine; Starbase 328; suicide; Tilamin froth; Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; warp coil; warp drive; warp field stabilizer; Yridian tea

Okudagram referencesEdit

Altair IV; Baton Rouge, USS; Beta Aquilae II; Beta Ursae Minor II; bioengineering; J. Bruce Award; Campbell Award; Chicago, USS; Clayton, USS; Donovan, USS; enlisted; Epsilon Indi II; Extended Tour Ribbon; Finn, Ellen; Finn, William R.; Jalhal Award; interspecific reproduction; Kerrey Award; Kliever Citation; Kwan, Ronald; Kwan, Emiraa; life support; Malone, USS; Niels Bohr, USS; non-commissioned officer; Northridge, USS; Okuda Award; okudagram; optical data net; Omicron Ceti III; Pacelli, Helene; personnel file; Petersen, USS; Philadelphia, USS; primary hull; Pierce, Ambrose; Pierce, Anita; protoplaser; Psi Upsilon III; Psi Upsilon IV (Psi Upsilon system); Pueblo, USS; Salvatore, Giuseppi; Salvatore, Viola; San Francisco; Seaquest, USS; Seaview, USS; Sepek Academic Scholarship; serial number; Silversides, USS; specialist; Suleiman, USS; stabilizer; Starfleet OSHC; Starfleet Technical Services Academy; Syracuse, USS; Tolley Citation; Umibozu, USS; viewscreen; Wallace, Dennis; Wallace, Laurel; warp field dynamics; Ziff, Benjamin; Ziff, Marsha

Retconned material Edit

USS Clavyn

External linkEdit


Previous episode:
"Masks"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 7
Next episode:
"Genesis"

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