The Perfect Mate
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|"The Perfect Mate"|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Cliff Bole|
|Teleplay by||Reuben Leder
|Story by||René Echevarria
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Original air date||April 27, 1992|
|List of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes|
As the starship heads to the rendezvous point, Kriosian Ambassador Briam meets with Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Picard inquires if Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge was able to provide the cargo handling provisions. Briam replies that he was, and requests the storage hold be placed off limits due to the cargo's "irreplaceable" nature.
An apparent accident brings aboard two Ferengi.
La Forge and Picard escort Briam to the Holodeck so he can examine La Forge's recreation of the Temple of Akadar, where the ceremony will take place. Briam is amazed at the recreation and says that there are details that need to be added.
Briam is confronted by one of the Ferengi. Picard has Chief of Security Worf keep them under surveillance and out of the way. Worf discovers the other Ferengi in the cargo bay and a woman held in stasis in Briam's shipment. During the confrontation with the Ferengi, the woman is accidentally released from stasis.
Picard demands an explanation. The woman introduces herself as Kamala, and she is a gift for the Valt representative, Chancellor Alrick. Kamala immediately downplays Briam's attempts at overcomplicating the situation, stating that Captain Picard has no patience for such things. First Officer William Riker asks Briam if he is transporting a sentient being as property. Picard further says that it is a core principle of the Federation Constitution that a person's individual freedoms are protected and that no person is the property of another. Kamala appreciates their coming to her rescue, but is acting of her own free will. Kamala is the key to peace, being an empathic metamorph – a mutation with ability to perceive desires of men and adapt her persona to be their perfect mate.
Kamala tells Riker that in her current state, she is at the cusp of adapting herself to a permanent mate, therefore her body is producing pheromones which affect the males near her. When they reach her quarters, she kisses him seductively.
When Picard shares breakfast with Dr. Beverly Crusher, she tells him that Briam has ordered Kamala to remain in her quarters and is a virtual prisoner. Additionally, Beverly voices her disapproval over sealing a political union via an arranged marriage arguing that it is as good as selling her into prostitution. Picard responds that political marriages are and have been used in numerous cultures, including on Earth. He states the alternative: forcing Kamala to stay would mean the war would continue. In the end, Picard promises to look into it.
Picard goes to Kamala and offers her some freedom of movement. Kamala starts to respond as a metamorph to Picard. Kamala says that she is as Picard would have her be: adventurous, brilliant and independent. Indeed, she proves to be an intellectual match for the Captain, having been educated in archaeology and literature, two of his passions. He asks her to stop doing "this you do with men"; she replies she cannot help who she is.
Picard will not allow Kamala to be confined. Briam protests that every man will fight over her. "Not every man", Picard replies.
Picard assigns Commander Data to escort Kamala, knowing the android will be impervious to her charms. Data accepts the assignment saying that he will be happy to act as her escort. The two visit Ten Forward, where some of the Enterprise's male civilian residents sitting at the bar begin competing for her affection; Kamala immediately adapts to their wiles, donning the persona of a flirty, vivacious woman who just wants to "have a good time." The men keep attempting to get Data to leave; he adamantly stays by her side. Finally, Worf comes over, asking in a very authoritative voice, "Is there a problem here?" The men immediately stop their antics and Data begins to escort Kamala out. However, as she leaves, she turns to Worf and gives him a low, visceral growl – the Klingon display of lust. Worf is at first surprised, but growls back as Kamala leaves Ten Forward.
Kamala comes to Picard; she agrees to stay in her quarters if he will visit her, but he responds that this would be "inappropriate". She is curious what lies beneath. Picard replies that there is nothing beneath, that he is trying to "be as dull as possible." Kamala tells Captain Picard that eventually the walls of Jericho fell, and never to take it lightly when a metamorph finds you interesting.
The Ferengi try to bribe Briam into releasing Kamala to them. As he starts to leave, the Ferengi restrain him. Briam is injured when he falls.
With Briam unable to participate in the ceremony, Kamala suggests Picard take over Briam's role. Picard is hesitant, but the two parties involved agree to let Picard fill in and empower him to make several favorable compromises.
Kamala and Picard prepare for the ceremony. She asks if he finds her unattractive; he replies that he finds her "unavailable". The two share a few personal details with each other while preparing for the ceremony with Picard venturing that Kamala's life must have been lonely with the expectations of everyone else being forced upon her. She answers that the opposite is true; that she has always had tutors and servants with her to prepare her for this moment in her life and this journey is the first time she has had time to herself and she finds it ironic that she should meet a man like Picard before an arranged mating. She likes the person she is when she is with Picard and that's what every metamorph wants at the end of the bonding process. But, that is not meant to be. Riker contacts Picard to announce the Valtese ship has arrived and Chancellor Alrik is ready to beam aboard.
Alrik has little use for the copy of the Temple or the rituals and Ceremony of Reconciliation, calling the Kriosians "sentimental people". Alrik is more concerned about trade agreements and the exchange of technologies than about Kamala.
Picard tells Kamala he must prepare for the ceremony. Replying that she doesn't want to be alone, she asks him to stay, causing Picard to ask if he has "not done everything possible to discourage this".
Picard and Crusher meet. Picard confesses that, as Kamala changes as each man comes, he finds himself wishing that the next man wouldn't come. He is uncomfortable to know that she will be bonding with a man who cares less about her than about trade agreements. Beverly wishes she knew what to say, but Picard tells her he "just needed a shoulder".
Picard arrives at Kamala's quarters. To his shock, she says she has bonded with him. Picard asks if she will go through with the ceremony. She says that from Picard she has learned the meaning of duty and must fulfill hers, noting that she still has empathic abilities and will still please Alrik – "he will never know" – but she hopes Alrik likes William Shakespeare.
Picard escorts Briam to the transporter room. Briam wonders aloud how Picard was able to resist her, but Picard avoids revealing his true feelings as he bids farewell to the ambassador.
- The episode guest-stars Famke Janssen, who would go on to star alongside Patrick Stewart in the X-Men film series. Janssen was also considered for the role of Jadzia Dax but turned it down, and the role went to Terry Farrell.[original research?]
- The episode also guest-stars Max Grodenchik as a Ferengi who would later go on to play the character Rom in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with almost identical makeup and mannerisms.
- The character Alrik of Valt is a play on the Yiddish expression "oy gevalt" meaning "oh goodness".[original research?]
- Star Trek The Next Generation DVD set, volume 5, disc 6, selection 1.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Perfect Mate|
- The Perfect Mate at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Perfect Mate" at TV.com
- The Perfect Mate at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- The Perfect Mate at StarTrek.com