Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 4, Episode 23
Original Air Date: May 11, 1991
|via Memory Alpha
Dr. Crusher has fallen in love with Odan (Franc Luz), a visiting Trill ambassador. When Odan is "killed," the symbiotic relationship between the parasitic Trill and their hosts is revealed. The symbiont must be implanted in Riker while a more suitable host is rushed to the scene.
"The Host" is an important episode for a couple reasons. In-story, the introduction of the Trill makes it an essential prequel to Deep Space Nine, though the concept went through significant development between this first appearance and the debut of Jadzia Dax. In the broader world, it was the rare story of that television era to address homosexuality and the attendant homophobia, though not directly. The eventual Trill host, you see, is female. We know from future stories that switching genders from one host to the next is common for Trill. But it's a bridge too far for Beverly.
Beverly never actually states that the problem with the new host is that she's female, though it's strongly implied. Her explanation is certainly a cop out. She refers to her discomfort as a "human failing." The better choice might have been for her to acknowledge her personal feelings rather than blaming society. After all, there are plenty of bi- and pansexuals among humans now. Surely, the same will be true in the 24th century. Nonetheless, in 1991, that would have been a far more taboo conversation than it is in 2021.
In light of all this, "The Host" provides an essential set up for the best Star Trek episode I've ever seen.
|via Memory Alpha
Franc Luz was born December 22, 1950 in Chambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated from New Mexico State University. Over twenty years, he had a respectable career across theater, film and television.
On stage, he was the original dentist in the Off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors. On TV, he was a lead actor on the soap opera Doctors, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. On the big screen, his best-known credits were in The Nest, Ghost Town and When Harry Met Sally...
Retired since 1999, Luz devotes his time to several fine art museums in and around New York City, for which he serves as both a trustee and a tour guide.