An Unfortunate Episode – Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 7 Episode 14: Sub Rosa

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Screen: Paramount Television)

Doctor Beverly Crusher is entangled in a gothic romantic world of erotic grandma journals and magical heirloom sex candles. Directed by Jonathan Frakes.

This episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation begins in one of those phony boloney outdoors sets that makes you wonder, “Are they on a planet or enjoying a holodeck playdate?” Turns out, it’s for real. We see the Starship Enterprise’s first medical officer Beverly Crusher, ship’s counselor Deanna Troi, Captain Jean Luc Picard and a crowd of somber old people standing in a gothic cemetery, paying tribute to Crusher’s deceased grandmother, Felisa Howard. Crusher eulogizes of her guardian and role model, “Her remedies often included words of advice as well as medicinal teas. And often they were just as bitter tasting.” Hmm, sounds like another feisty physician we know… but that’s not the last thing Bev and granny are gonna have in common.

As the funeral goers line up to toss dirt on Nana’s grave, Crusher stares off in stoic reflection. But when a sexy red flower lands on the dirt pile, her curious eye is drawn to this dude:

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Screen: Paramount Television)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Screen: Paramount Television)

Repeat, that is not holodeck hair. Beverly gasps.

Cut to the title cards, then back to the graveyard of intrigue. Crusher asks Troi if she noticed the strange young man who tossed a camellia upon Felisa’s plot. “It was her favorite flower.” We have officially entered bodice ripper territory. Mentioning that she has some final business at Nana’s house, Crusher invites Troi to accompany her.

Cut to Picard and the Governor of Caldos exiting the graveyard. The Governor notes that, being one of the Federation’s first terraforming projects, Caldos has some pretty ancient weather control gear. Capitalizing on the Enterprise’s unexpected visit (thanks, Felisa), he asks Picard for free engineering diagnostics. Classy. Since everyone in the Federation is super privileged, Picard’s all, “That’s cool.” Then the Captain asks the not-human Governor why he chose to live on a Scottish replica colony. He replies, “When I was a boy, my family visited Glamis castle in Scotland. And as I looked out across the Highlands, I felt as if I had come home.” In the future, SCA geeks get their own planets.

We next see Crusher and Troi entering Felisa’s quaint, knick-knacky cottage. They chat about Beverly’s upbringing, the early death of her mother and memories of Nana. Deanna notices her friend playing with a beautiful candle, which Beverly identifies as an ancient family heirloom. “It’s supposed to symbolize the enduring Howard spirit. ‘Wherever they may go, the shining light to guide them through their fortune.” Ugh. White people never change.

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Tara Rose
About Tara Rose 106 Articles
Since 2009, Tara has been writing snarky essays about pop culture, motherhood and her various neuroses at Rare Oats. She spends most of her other time selling cheese, raising a small human and goofing off with her husband Dan. E-mail:
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