Sub Rosa (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
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|Star Trek: The Next Generation episode|
|Episode no.||Season 7
|Directed by||Jonathan Frakes|
|Story by||Jeri Taylor
Jeanna F. Gallo (idea)
|Teleplay by||Brannon Braga|
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Original air date||January 31, 1994|
Dr. Crusher attends her grandmother's funeral, and spends time in her grandmother's haunted house, romanced by her grandmother's non-corporeal lover.
The Enterprise visits Caldos IV to enable Dr. Beverly Crusher to attend the funeral of her grandmother, Felisa Howard. During the burial, Crusher sees a man she does not know who is obviously very interested in the events. Later, Crusher enters her grandmother's house and collects several mementos, which she takes onto the Enterprise. Reading some diaries, she discovers that despite being 100 years old, her grandmother was involved with a 34-year-old man named Ronin.
Back on the planet, a groundskeeper of her grandmother's tells her that there is a ghost in her grandmother's house and that she should leave immediately. He also tells her that she never should light the candle her grandmother always carried, since this candle will wake up the ghost. Beverly hears a voice that tells her he is a ghost and loved her grandmother and now also loves Beverly. Finally he becomes visible, and Beverly sees a man of about 30 years.
Meanwhile, the colony is suffering from a major storm system, which the weather modification satellite is unable to correct. Data and Geordi attempt to fix the problem but are shocked to find Ned, the Howard groundskeeper, trying to stop them, before he is killed in an explosion.
The ghost called Ronin manipulates Beverly's mind so that she falls in love with him. Ronin tells her to light the candle, which is on the Enterprise. Beverly beams up and lights the candle, and Ronin appears. Beverly tells Captain Picard that she wants to leave the Enterprise and live on the planet. Reluctantly, Picard agrees. Picard goes to Counselor Deanna Troi, with whom Crusher spoke about Ronin before she left.
Troi tells Picard that Ronin is a very strange man, but they have to accept Beverly's decision. Then Picard beams down onto the planet and visits Beverly in her house. He wants to get to know Ronin, and finally Ronin appears. Picard asks questions which Ronin does not want to answer, and Ronin attacks Picard. Despite Ronin's objections, Beverly helps Picard.
At the cemetery, Geordi and Data have found an energy source in Beverly's grandmother's grave. They open the grave, and the grandmother rises and attacks them. Beverly arrives and orders Ronin to get out of her grandmother's body. Ronin does so and tells Beverly to give him the candle. She has by now discovered that he is an anaphasic alien who can only survive because the plasma-based candle is his energy receptacle. Beverly destroys the candle with a phaser and vaporizes Ronin when he attempts to possess her body.
Geordi and Data are treated and recover. As Picard's log states, "Doctor Crusher's recovery will be of a more personal nature." Troi and Crusher discuss the events in 10 Forward, where Crusher says that a part of her is a little sad. She says that her grandmother's journals reveal that "whatever else he might have done, he made her very happy."
Guest star Ellen Albertini Dow did not begin to act until she was in her 70s. After playing Felisa Howard in "Sub Rosa", she became better known as the rapping grandmother in the Adam Sandler comedy film The Wedding Singer (1998). She continued her acting career until 2013, and died two years later at the age of 101.
- This story shares similar elements to Anne Rice's The Witching Hour; the first in The Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy, although the Star Trek writers claim not to have known this until after writing the episode. The character names Ned Quint and Jessel Howard are named for Peter Quint and Miss Jessel in Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, a Gothic ghost story which was likely[original research?] the common source for both The Witching Hour and "Sub Rosa."
- "Remembering TNG Guest Star Ellen Albertini Dow, 1913-2015". StarTrek.com. May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Star Trek The Next Generation DVD set, volume 7, disc 4, selection 2.