Star Trek – The Next Generation: 2×05 – Loud As A Whisper

Memory Alpha

I liked this episode.  There were a few little things I found cheesy and wish were elaborated on more, but overall I thought it was decent.  The Enterprise has to transport Riva, who is we’re told a very successful negotiator.  So successful that he’s practically revered and worshipped by a number of sentient beings in the galaxy.  He also happens to be deaf and mute and so communcates through a ‘chorus’ of people he’s telepathically linked to.  The crews mission is simply to transport him to a wartorn planet so he can negotiate a peace.

I can’t really think of any really famous and celebrated mediators from real history, but perhaps there should be.  And like I said, there are a few cheesy and even quetionable moments, such as when Picard seems to think that when a deaf person can’t understand him the thing to do is just talk more loudly into his face.  I’m also curious about Riva’s chorus.  What do they do wwhen Riva is sleeping?  Do they have lives and personalities of their own?  Will one of them have to be in the room when Riva and Troi inevitably…

Ah… well, it doesn’t matter then.

Yes, Riva’s chorus is killed on the planet he had come to negotiate peace on.  In the end, after being convinced by Troi to stay and help the wartorn world, he’s left there on his own.  Without backup.  With no technology to help him, and among aliens who don’t understand sign language yet and don’t know what’s going on.  Obviously we’re left hopeful that Riva will succeed in getting them to talk, and none of them becomes confused and frustrated enough to draw a phaser again.  But there is never any follow up to this episode.

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