“Face of the Enemy” is the 140th episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. The 14th episode of the sixth season.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, Troi is captured and forced to masquerade as a Romulan intelligence officer to help several high-ranking Romulan defectors.
Deanna Troi is kidnapped and brought aboard the Romulan Warbird Khazara. After waking up, Troi looks in a mirror and is horrified to find that she’s undergone cosmetic surgery to make her look like a Romulan. Subcommander N’Vek, the Khazara first officer, privately explains that he has no intention of harming her, but needs her to pose as Major Rakal of the Tal Shiar, the Romulan intelligence service and secret police. N’Vek has secret cargo meant for the Federation, and needs Troi to act her role to convince the Khazara commander, Toreth (who is not aware of N’Vek’s plan) into complying. Troi, as Rakal, is able to sway Toreth to head for a planned rendezvous in the Kaleb sector under threat of intense interrogation techniques.
Aboard the Enterprise, the crew brings aboard Stefan DeSeve, a human who had served as an ensign in Starfleet before defecting to the Romulans. Now he has returned with a message from Ambassador Spock. Captain Picard, wary of his prisoner’s motives, considers Spock’s message regarding a meeting in the Kaleb sector that would be prudent for the Federation’s interest, and directs the ship there.
As the Khazara is en route, N’Vek shows Troi the secret cargo – Vice Proconsul M’Ret and two of his aides, held in stasis. They wish to defect to the Federation, and his presence there would aid further Romulan dissidents to flee the Empire. The plan is to transport the stasis chambers to a Corvallen cargo ship at the rendezvous point, who will subsequently deliver them into Federation space. When the Khazara meets up with the cargo ship, Troi senses its captain is not trustworthy, and N’Vek fires upon it, destroying it. He claims he was ordered by Major Rakal. Troi later explains to Toreth that she recognised the captain of the cargo ship as a known Federation spy. N’Vek, in private, explains to Troi that their only other option is to travel to Draken IV, an entry point for the Federation, where Troi can use her Starfleet codes to allow the ship to enter undetected. Troi gives this order to Toreth, who reluctantly agrees to it. However, their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of the Enterprise.
The Enterprise arrives at the designated time and coordinates, but finds no trace of the cargo ship. They start a search, soon finding the wreckage of the vessel. As the Enterprise moves in, Toreth takes this as a sign of Troi’s truthfulness. Troi wants to hold position, but the commander points out that with the wreckage nearby, they will be detected, and has the ship travel some distance away while the Enterprise continues to search. Troi is worried that the Enterprise will not be able to follow them, and has N’Vek create a trail of the cloaked ship.
Toreth learns of the Enterprise trailing them, and suspects that they’ve been detected. She orders a collision course for the vessel in order to test their reaction. When the Enterprise moves to avoid collision, Toreth orders the ship to decloak and attack. Troi steps in as Rakal and takes command from Toreth, then orders the ship to decloak and hails the Enterprise, offering to discuss the matter. The Enterprise crew, though they recognise Troi, feign ignorance and take down their shields. N’Vek fires on the Enterprise with low-powered weapons, appearing to damage the vessel but in reality as a means to mask the transport of the stasis chambers to the Enterprise. Toreth, realising that she is being deceived, executes N’Vek and retakes control of the Khazara. Before the Romulans can leave with Troi as their prisoner, Troi is safely transported to the Enterprise. In sickbay, Troi’s cosmetic surgery is reversed, and she contemplates the value of N’Vek’s efforts to aid the Federation.
Star Trek TV Series
You can find a full index of Star Trek TV series here.
Star Trek TV Series, Films, and Documentaries
You can find a full index of all Star Trek TV series, films, documentaries here.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Gabrielle Beaumont.
- Writer(s): Rene Echevarria.
- Release Date: 08 February 1993.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.