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Star Trek TNG - Season 6 - Episode 14

Star Trek TNG - 6x14 - Face of the Enemy

Originally Aired: 1993-2-8

Troi becomes a pivotal part of a Romulan defection. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.93

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 2 18 2 4 7 6 28 46 48 21


- This is one of many episodes to mention that the Romulans use quantum singularities as power sources.

Remarkable Scenes
- Troi's briefing from N'Vek
- Trio's abraisive meeting with Commander Toreth.
- Riker arresting Ensign DeSeve for treason.
- DeSeve delivering Spock's message.
- N'Vek blaming firing on the freighter on Troi.
- Troi and N'Vek discussing the failure of their plan.
- Commander Toreth's objections to Troi's new plan to cross into Federation space.
- Troi forcing her plan on N'Vek.
- Troi challenging Toreth's command.
- N'Vek firing a low powered disruptor to piggyback a transporter.
- N'Vek's death.
- Troi's escape.

My Review
A human defector to Romulus returns to the Federation and Troi unwillingly becomes a Federation spy on board a Romulan warbird. The political web weaved for this episode is a complex one, but definitely interesting. Seeing more of the inside of Romulan vessels is certainly interesting as well. The thrilling plot keeps you on the edge of the seat as the warbird and the Enterprise become ever so dangerously closer to one another, climaxing with Troi's extremely risky maneuver hailing the Enterprise under the guise of being a member of Romulan intelligence. Granted, N'Vek's death is a huge cliche and in this case extremely needless. There's no reason the plot couldn't have been further complicated by Troi pleading Picard to transport him out too, only to find that his fate was now sealed once the warbird went to warp. I enjoyed watching him vaporize, but it seemed entirely senseless. Having him simply remain on board while Troi escaped would have beared so much more emotion. Finally, this is possibly Troi's greatest episode in that she played the most important role and did so spectacularly. Bravo.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-17 at 2:58pm:
    This episode is great. The plot hatched by N'Vek is far-fetched at best, but this it's worth it in the end. I love the way that Troi starts to throw her weight around, and I absolutely love the way that the Romulan people are presented as a very complex people. Recently they've been been fleshed out much more than they ever were in the past, and I like that Spock's work on Romulus is revisted here. Overall, this is top-notch. I give it a 9.
  • From J Reffin on 2009-08-03 at 2:02pm:
    It's a great episode, but The Inner Light (s 5) is in another league.
  • From Inga on 2012-03-17 at 10:12pm:
    I liked the Romulan Commander. A strong episode with strong female characters and an engaging plot.
  • From Dennis on 2013-03-31 at 11:29pm:
    I didn't know they could spend money. Riker tells Ensign DeSeve to go buy some civilian clothes because he doesn't want to see him in a Star Fleet uniform.
  • From Harrison on 2013-08-24 at 10:52am:
    Any weaknesses (there are few) in this episode are rendered trivial by the outstanding performance by Carolyn Seymour as the Romulan Commander Toreth. It's a compelling and memorable portrayal, of a calibre rarely achieved on television.

    Marina Sirtis delivers a pretty remarkable performance, too. It's a little shrill in places, but her repartee with the Romulan Commander is pulled off wonderfully. It's almost jarrig how departs so thoroughly from the soft & sensitive "Deanna Troi" in this episode.
  • From Mike on 2016-10-28 at 12:47am:
    This is a fantastic episode, and I'm glad they used Troi's character for it as it worked very well.

    I think we have to assume, though, that Troi speaks fluent Romulan. If she doesn't, then how do the Romulan captain and crew not notice that she's using a universal translator?

    It stands to reason that she would know Romulan and is familiar with the culture. During the senior officers' dinner, the captain suggests she try a dish which she correctly identifies, in a moment that makes N'Vek nervous she'll be discovered. Maybe at the start, they could've had N'Vek mention that her Romulan fluency is one of the reasons she was chosen.

    Anyway, just a minor problem. The episode, overall, is one of the best of this season.
  • From Kethinov on 2016-10-28 at 4:38pm:
    Some common rationalizations:

    For those with the UT embedded in their brains (probably most advanced cultures), the UT may simulate natural language to receivers, including creating the illusion of natural lip movements in your mind. This would have the unintended consequence of preventing you from noticing when someone is not speaking your language.

    It's also possible the Romulan Empire is made of several different cultural groups that each speak different Romulan languages. So any lip movement observed would be chalked up to being from some other province of the Empire.
  • From McCoy on 2018-01-16 at 7:44pm:
    A good episode with great Romulan captain. And Troi completely out of character. It just wasn't her. Too proffessional undercover work, too much bold behaviour and lack of her standard irritating psychological mentalplasma.
  • From Alex on 2021-02-20 at 2:43pm:
    Gotta love comments like that.

    "this character sucks, mentalplasma"
    *episode where character kicks ass and handles the situation well*
    "wtf this is too good for this character, this sucks!

    For me it was definitely a strong, intense episode. Troi isn't "too profesionally undercover", she can sense their emotions and gain this insight that lets her know how to react and how to provoke when needed. And she was already familiar based on a previous episode. It all made sense and was thrilling to watch.
  • From FH on 2023-06-02 at 8:22pm:
    Mike: "During the senior officers' dinner, the captain suggests she try a dish which she correctly identifies, in a moment that makes N'Vek nervous she'll be discovered." - actually, I think Troi chooses the wrong dish. After all, once Troi has picked one of the dishes, the Romulan commander says: "I realize that it's nothing compared to what you are accustomed to on Romulus ... but you could at least try the vineriine." This implies it's not the vineriine (the suggested dish) that Troi is trying. Troi just manages to save the situation (and herself) by snapping: "I've smelled better vineriine on prison ships."

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