The USS Enterprise-D arrives at the planet Haven. Captain Picard notes that the planet has been said to mend souls and heal broken hearts. Lieutenant Commander Data tells the captain that those legends are completely unsupported by fact; but Picard believes that such legends are the spice of the universe, as they sometimes can become true. Meanwhile, Commander Riker sits in his quarters, relaxing to miniature holograms of attractive women playing harps. Just then, security chief Lieutenant Yar informs the commander that his presence is requested in transporter room one.
Arriving at the transporter, Riker asks what he is needed for. She answers that an object is being beamed up to the Enterprise but does not know what it is. The transporter chief informs them that Haven has approved the beam up and the object materializes on the transporter pad. Riker finds it odd looking. Counselor Troi then enters, asking what is going on. The box‘s “face” opens its eyes and states “I hold a message for Deanna Troi. Lwaxana Troi and the honorable Miller family will soon arrive. The momentous day is close at hand. Rejoice! Ha, ha, ha!” After frightening Yar, a compartment underneath the “face” opens, spilling jewels onto the pad. Troi tells Lieutenant Yar that the jewels are “bonding gifts“, or what Humans would call wedding presents. When asked by Commander Riker who is getting married, Troi says “I am.“
In Picard’s ready room, Troi tells the Enterprise‘s captain that she thought the arranged marriage would never happen, as the years she assumed she would be on the Enterprise‘s mission of exploration for, as well as the distance it would take her from Betazed. She tells him that a man named Steven Miller was her father‘s closest friend. When asked by Picard if she will be staying on the ship along with her soon to be husband, she says she will not. Picard nevertheless congratulates her and excuses himself, leaving Riker and Troi alone together. Addressing the Enterprise‘s first officer as “Bill”, she tells her former imzadi that more than anything else, he wants to be commanding officer of a starship. He tells her that is not all he wants in his life. Troi can feel that and she invites Riker to come dance at her wedding. Riker promises he will try and leaves. Troi is told by Data that she has a message from Haven. They wish to beam the Miller family aboard the Enterprise.
The Miller family arrives on the Enterprise to make the necessary arrangements for the wedding. Greeting them in the transporter room is Captain Picard and Troi. Steven Miller tells Picard that he has quite the starship and looks forward to his visit. His wife, Victoria Miller warmly greets Troi. Their son, Wyatt, appearing to be shy, comes up to Troi to introduce himself. He gives her the gift of a chameleon rose, a flower that changes color according to the mood of the individual holding it. Troi thanks the young man for his gift and asks where her mother is. Wyatt tells her that she is still on Haven. Victoria Miller seems to be disdainful of Troi’s mother and asks to be taken to their quarters. Picard agrees and has the Miller family escorted out of the transporter room.
Picard remarks that Wyatt seems like a fine young man. Troi agrees but notes that she is not what he had expected. Picard does not understand and nor does Troi but she senses that she is definitely something of a surprise to him. Before Troi’s mother is beamed aboard, Troi warns the captain that her mother is “a little… eccentric.” With that, Lwaxana Troi and another very tall individual are beamed aboard. Lwaxana materializes backwards and wonders where everyone is. She turns around and remarks on how much she hates beaming. Troi verbally greets her mother. Lwaxana however, insists that she think it, not say it. In defiance, Troi again says “Hello, mother“.
Lwaxana appears dismayed that her daughter has chosen to speak verbally, wondering telepathically what her current life has done to her. “Don’t tell me, you’re the captain.” Picard tells her he is aware of her telepathic ability, but Lwaxana tells the captain that it was merely common sense and asks Picard to carry her luggage. Troi is aghast that her mother is demanding the captain do this menial task, but Picard insists it is all right. However, Picard finds the luggage case almost unbearably heavy.
Picard leads the way to Lwaxana’s quarters, straining to keep ahold of the luggage case down a corridor, past Data and La Forge. Lwaxana exhibits what most humans would consider to be rude behavior during the entire trip from the Transporter room to the guest quarters. So much so that in the middle of the trip, Deanna Troi insists that her mother’s valet, the tall Mr. Homn, carry the heavy case himself. Picard gratefully allows it and Homn lifts the case up with ease. During this luggage transfer from Picard to Homn, Lwaxana tries to fill the silence with small talk. While in a turbolift, Lwaxana continues talking and talking, and at one point, tells of how Betazoids are much more advanced than plodding Humans, before her daughter telepathically tells her “that’s enough!” Lwaxana finally ceases talking.
Lwaxana finds her quarters “adequate”. She tells Picard that he may go and the captain sarcastically bows and leaves the room. Lwaxana apologizes to her daughter for the sudden marriage. She tells her daughter that Steven Miller had tracked her down and reminded her of the vows they had made many years before. Troi tells her mother she is having trouble believing in those vows as she did in the past but she will honor them as she is a Betazoid. Lwaxana tells her daughter that she may find Wyatt Miller to be an unusual person, as she has sensed remarkable depths in him.
On the bridge of the Enterprise, helmsman La Forge reports that a message is coming in from Haven. Appearing on the Enterprise‘s viewscreen is Valeda Innis, the First Electorine of Haven. She tells Picard that their timing is fortuitous. Picard is puzzled but Innis tells him that an incoming vessel has bypassed their stargate and violated their law. Picard asks if she believes the vessel is hostile and she replies “failure to communicate is inherently hostile.” She notes that Haven has no defensive capabilities and the Federation specifies the Enterprise‘s obligations in this matter. Innis again expresses to Picard her gratitude at the Enterprise‘s presence.
Meanwhile, Troi visits Wyatt Miller in his quarters. She wanted to apologize for her mother’s behavior but Wyatt finds her honesty refreshing and respects it. Wyatt begins to describe himself to her, telling the counselor he is a medical doctor. When he asks her about her mind reading ability she tells him that someday, they could be able to read each other. She tells him she has only felt this way with someone is currently aboard the Enterprise. When Wyatt asks if he has any competition, she says no, what he really wants is to captain a starship. Wyatt says that what he really wants to do is cure people. Troi sees the drawings Wyatt has done of a woman. He thought that Troi could be this woman which explains why he was surprised at her appearance. Wyatt tells Troi that he has seen this face ever since he was a boy and when he closed his eyes, he heard her voice whispering his name. Troi tells him she’s sorry she is not what he expected but Wyatt feels honored to be married to her soon.
Back on the bridge, Data has gotten an image of the rogue vessel approaching Haven. It is traveling at sub-warp, several hours away from reaching the planet. When La Forge increases magnification, Picard asks his android operations officer “is that the trouble I believe it is?” Data replies that it is, indeed, a Tarellian starship. Picard signals for Dr. Crusher to report to the bridge at once. He says that ship must not be permitted to destroy the crew of the Enterprise… or Haven.
In the observation lounge, the crew discuss the current problem. Riker and La Forge suggest the ship has been damaged, explaining its slow speed and why it would have taken all these years to reach Haven from their world. Data explains that Tarella, their homeworld, was once much like Earth but “hatred outpowering intelligence” occurred, as Data puts it. During the hostilities, one group of inhabitants unleashed a biological weapon on the other group. As the Tarellians were at a 20th century level of technology, the virus became deadly and infectious. As all Tarellians were infected with the plague, they were hunted down and destroyed since they could take their sickness and spread it to other worlds. The last Tarellians were believed to have been wiped out by the Alcyones eight years prior. The Tarellians will reach Haven in just over thirteen hours. Picard reminds the crew that they will protect Haven from the Tarellians and asks his crew to help him find answers. He also tells the crew that their voluntary second assignment will be the pre-joining announcement of Deanna Troi and Wyatt Miller. Riker sadly leaves the lounge.
In a lounge on the Enterprise, Victoria Miller asks Picard if he will perform the marriage ceremony. Picard agrees, so long as both parties request him. However, Lwaxana’s eccentric behavior causes friction as she demands the traditional Betazoid marriage ceremony, be respected. Lwaxana refuses Victoria’s request, stating that the captain is not experienced in Betazoid tradition, so Mr. Homn will conduct it, and although he never speaks, Lwayana remarks that he is experienced in signed language. The Millers and Lwaxana Troi continue to argue over this, Mrs. Millet asking Lwaxana who she thinks she is, to which Lwaxana responds, “I am Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. Who are you?” but Captain Picard states that it is a Starfleet tradition that disputes at social gatherings are not permitted. He declares “all disagreements resolved.“
Later, Picard raises his glass in a toast to Deanna and Wyatt, as well as their families. Homn, who is drinking beverages profusely, bangs the Betazoid chime at a regular interval during the meal, generally annoying everyone in the room as they drink and eat. Wyatt asks the captain if there is indeed a Tarellian ship approaching. He says the biological virus analysis was one of his favourite subject at school. He suggests that Doctor Crusher and himself could prepare medical supplies that could be beamed to the Tarellian ship. Crusher likes the idea and responds that sickbay is at Wyatt’s disposal.
The dinner however, continues to go badly, as Victoria and Lwaxana fight over differences between Humans and Betazoids traditions. Lwaxana knowingly let her plant pet climb on Victoria’s hand, who start to scream.
Riker excuses himself, claiming to Picard that he would like to consider the Tarellian situation further and he leaves the celebration.
Data, curious as to what the Betazed wedding ceremony is, asks Lwaxana to explain. She, of course, accepts, and goes on saying that it’s often regarded as the most beautifull ceremony in the universe, in which everyone must go naked. When Victoria caughs in surprise, Lwaxana tells her that her body is not that bad, and she also remarks that Victoria’s husband quiet likes the idea of seeing her naked !
Troi explodes at her wedding party, especially at her mother. She storms out, knocking over Homn’s chime as she leaves.
In a holodeck, Riker is sitting on a rock while in a simulation of an alien world, brooding. Troi enters and asks if she can join him. Riker admits that he will miss her and calls her by her first name. Troi is taken aback and says “I am no longer Imzadi to you?” and Riker replies with “You taught me that the words means ‘my beloved,'” implying that the word would no longer be appropriate to use. They discuss the difficulty involved in their parting and Troi remarks that Humans, particularly those who are young, often have difficulty separating platonic and physical love. Riker admits that he cannot, not now.
Suddenly, Wyatt Miller walks in marveling at the realism of the holodeck. Troy explains that “Bill” was concerned that Wyatt would feel unconfortable that she cares deeply for him. But Wyatt doesn’t seem to care that much. He also says he liked what Deanna did earlier at the ceremony, even though, as she says, she just lost her temper.
Riker excuses himself again and leaves the holodeck. Wyatt tells Troi that their parents have come to an agreement, the captain will be conducting the ceremony and Mr Homn will be Wyatt’s best man. Some wedding guests will go naked – the bride, the groom, Lwaxana and Wyatt’s father – and some will not – not Wyatt’s mother nor the guests. Wyatt asks Troi if she really wants to go through with their wedding and Troi says she really wants to. They kiss.
“Captain’s log, supplemental. All attempts at warning off the Tarellian ship have failed. They still refuse to communicate and I am growing concerned.“
Picard is faced with a difficult decision. The Tarellian ship still refuses to answer their hails, even though Data has evidence the messages are received.
At the moment, Valeda Innis contacts the Enterprise and fearfully notes that the plague ship will soon be approaching transporter range. She asks the Enterprise crew to take action before the alien ship turn her planet into a graveyard. Picard agrees that he will do somthing, but refuses to fire on them.
Picard comes up with a solution. He orders that Enterprise hold the Tarellian vessel with a tractor beam. At last, the ship sends communication, showing their bridge crew. Troi recognizes the woman in front as the woman in Miller’s drawings.
The leader of the Tarellian group introduces himself as Wrenn, and he wants to know if there is someone on board the Enterprise named Wyatt. As he enters the bridge, he sees the woman on the viewscreen. She also sees him, and recognizes him immediately.
Picard explains that he is concerned with threat that the vessel poses to the planet, if they are still carrying the diseases. Wrenn confirms they still carry it, all eight of them, the last survivors of the crew, the others having passed away during the time it took to reach Haven.
Wrenn explains that they don’t want to make contact with the people living on Haven, but they wish to live their last days on an isolated beach on an unpopulated island. Picard will present their needs to the government of Haven.
Wyatt consults Lwaxana about why his thoughts were of this woman who he now sees is real. She responds that the solution is easy, so easy that humans don’t understant it : all life and all conciousness in the universe is bound together, is part of the same thing. She then returns to our frivolous self and asks “seriously” which bit of jewellery would look better on her naked 🙂
Later in sickbay, Wyatt is preparing a small case. Docteur Crusher arrives and he seems surprised. He says the supplies are ready, and gets ready to leave, but comes back to take hypospray.
He joins his parents and Deanna, and tells them to take care of each other. He kisses Troy, and exists the room, leaving his parents confused.
In the transporter room, he incapacitates the transporter chief with the hypospray and he beams aboard the Tarellian vessel without authorization. On the ship, he sees drawings of himself, obviously by the woman.
On the Tarelian ship, Wyatt is welcomed by the crew. They tell him that, once they saw he was real, they knew he would help them.
Wyatt’s parents blame the Captain for not preventing the transport. When they ask that their son be beamed back, Troy says that is impossible, with Wyatt now probably infected by the virus.
Wyatt communicates with the Enterprise and explains he’s decided to remain on the ship, to try to cure the Tarellians. Everyone, especially his parents, are shocked but they come to respect his decision.
The Tarellians agree to move on, removing the threat to Haven, and are released to return to space.
Wyatt’s parent beam back to the planet, telling Troy that she can keep the chest, that she might have a use for it one day. Lwaxana suggests that she could remain on the Enterprise and be joined to a new mate. Deana is baffled, and Lwaxana remarks that Picard is highly attracted to her, but a little too old. She then turns to Riker. Deana protests that “he has other obligations.” Lwaxana steps on the transporter pad, and Mr Homn speaks to thank the Captain for the drinks ! Before she leaves, though, Lwaxana scolds Picard for having thoughts even Xelo never had about her. Deanna assures the captain this was a joke, but he was not amused.
Eveyone is back on the bridge, and the Enterprise warps away from Haven, to continue its mission of exploration.