Friday, October 23, 2020

Star Trek: The Vengeance Factor

Episode: "The Vengeance Factor"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 3, Episode 9
Original Air Date: November 20, 1989
Our heroes work to broker peace between the Acamarians and their pirate kinsmen, the Gatherers.  However, ancient clan feuds surface when one of the Gatherers is murdered.  From the viewer perspective, it's not much of a mystery.  We know whodunit well before the other characters do.

Last week was Troi's romantic tale.  This time, it's Riker's.  The lovely Yuta is the servant of Marouk, the Acamarian sovereign.  Riker falls for her hard.  Unfortunately, she's also the murderer - not much of a spoiler.  Like I said, we know right away.  

A missed narrative opportunity: Riker's weakness for women could have become far more of a liability than it ever did.  No one ever sets a honey trap for him.  Why not?  Just not that kind of show?

Food Notes

Yuta is a gifted cook.  She prepares parthas, an Acamarian vegetable, for Riker and Troi.  In his efforts to charm her, Riker refers to the dish as Parthas a la Yuta.

The final peace negotiations between Marouk and Chogran, the leader of the Gatherers, are conducted over Acamarian brandy.

Acting Notes

Lisa Wilcox (Yuta) was born in Columbia, Missouri, April 27, 1964.  She graduated from UCLA.  Her best known role is that of Alice Johnson in the Nightmare on Elm Street films.  In 2000, she and fellow actress Tuesday Knight founded ToeBrights, a toe jewelry company.


  1. A TNG episode very much in the flavor (heh) of an original series episode, but without the obvious physical elements (which in a way, thank goodness, considering how the first season played out). Kind of an episode halfway through to Picard being viewed as his eventual role as a moral authority, but presented as a Riker episode.

    1. Hmm. Interesting perspectives, both. There was another TNG episode recently which I thought, in many ways, felt more like a TOS story. "Who Watches the Watchers?" maybe.

      This is another episode where I feel the writers felt more comfortable with Riker, the younger man, having the romance whereas in fact, it could have been a more interesting story if Picard had been the one to fall for Yuta. Out of character? Definitely. But overall, Picard and Riker could have been a more interesting character rolled into one rather than separate.


    2. It would have been more interesting. Picard would’ve given it a lot more thought rather than spend his time reacting.

      It’s always implied that Picard was kind of like Kirk when he was younger. Riker was kind of a tempered Kirk, about halfway between Kirk and Picard. It’s funny to see an aged Riker in Picard because he has very much become his own man, and yet still the best ally Picard ever had, both his appearances among the true highlights of the show’s first season. The great difference is perhaps that he finally allowed himself to settle down with Troi, which is something Kirk and Picard both never achieved.

    3. I imagine I will get to Picard eventually. So much ground to cover...

  2. I actually have no response to this at the moment.
    Too busy, I guess.

  3. This is weird because I don't remember much of this episode. Didn't Riker have to vaporizes his love interest at the end of it?

  4. I remember this episode but I don’t think I guessed right away...I shall blame youth...or vodka. Anyway, this was an ok episode and it makes me think how some men just can’t see what a viper their girlfriend/ wife is.

    1. You would have known. We watch it happen.

      I laughed at your latter point. To be fair, often women fail to recognize the viper, too...