“The Dauphin” – TNG 2X10

After taking on “Justice,” Anne Thériault and I continued our Wesley Crusher fest with “The Dauphin.” Anne’s comments are in bold.

All right, folks. It’s time to get romantic in that adorably geeky, unbelievably earnest, impossibly hopeless way only Wesley Crusher can. 

Salia and Anya arrive and greet Picard in the transporter room

The love interest is Salia, the Dauphin of Daled IV, returning from exile with her guardian, Anya, to bring peace to her world after a civil war. 

Salia meets Wesley

On the way to Salia’s quarters, she bumps into Wesley Crusher and is immediately drawn to his superconducting magnet (his literal superconducting magnet, although that is also probably what he calls his junk).

Salia: “That’s a superconducting magnet, isn’t it?”

Pickup line ON POINT.

Wesley and Riker

A girl who has been locked away for 16 years doing nothing but studying? Wesley is so smitten he leaves Geordi hanging without a magnet. Sadly, Riker says she might not have time for him, since she’s destined to rule an entire world.

Yeah, but she’s the only teenager I’ve seen since Planet Nipple.

Salia and Anya as another teen girl

In her quarters, Salia is talking to a strange girl about the weight of her responsibilities. Inexplicably, the girl, who is actually Salia’s chaperone, turns into this:

Anya as a small, bug-eyed furry animal

Sometimes I’m an old lady; sometimes I’m a sexy teen; sometimes I’m an ewok.

Geordi sees Wesley in Engineering

In Engineering, Geordi yells at Wesley for being distracted. Geez. you think he’d be happy to have his mind away from any new science experiments.

Geordi: I suppose it had to happen to you. It usually does at about this age. 
Wesley: What usually does? 
Geordi : Glands erupting with hormones. It happens to all of us. 

Geordi, don’t talk about glands. That’s disgusting.

Wesley: Just because I said that I think she’s interesting 
Geordi: You said she was perfect. Come on down. You’re no use around here for now. Come on down. Go talk to her. Use the ladder. 

Use the ladder, because glands.

Worf talks about romancing, Klingon-style, while Wesley rolls his eyes

The next scenes of the crew mentoring Wesley on dating are the best things ever. Probably the best instances of giving Wesley advice ever. Certainly head and shoulders above Yar’s advice on drugs.

First, Worf explains Klingon mating rituals. When Wesley next turns to the ship’s resident Dr. Love, Commander Riker, Riker models flirting with Guinan.

Riker and Guinan flirt in Ten Forward

And it’s a thing of beauty.

Riker (to Wesley): Now, the first words out of your mouth are the most important. You may want to start with something like this. (to Guinan) You are the most beautiful woman in the galaxy. But that might not work.

Guinan: Yes. Yes, it would.

Riker: You don’t know how long I’ve longed to tell you that.

Guinan: But you were afraid?

Riker: Yes.

Guinan: Of me?

Riker: Of us. Of what we might become.

But meanwhile, Anya is being overprotective of Salia, refusing to let her go on a tour of the ship because she has to stay “where it is safe.”

But oh, snap, it totally backfires because it means Anya’s off lecturing Geordi and Worf when Wesley shows up at Salia’s quarters.

Wesley greets Salia at her door

Wow. The guard has pecs and pecs!

Like the men of TOS, Wesley exhibits the classic “frozen in love” demeanour on the mere sight of Salia.

Wesley stares, lovestruck

He has a really pretty face.

Salia is demure, asking Wesley for help with the food replicator and his advice on what to order. 

Wesley: On Thalos Seven they age the beans four hundred years.

Salia: You’ve been there?

Wesley: It’s one of my favourite places.

Salia: It must be fun to visit a planet like that.

Wesley: It’s the best part of being on the Enterprise.

Salia: I’ve studied about some of them, but to see them, that would be wonderful. Tell me about some of the other places you’ve been.

Wesley: Oh, there’s too many.

Wesley and Salia at the replicator

Everything you say is fascinating! I mean I guess it kinda is, but you’re a f*ing princess!

Anya and Worf in Sickbay

On her tour of the ship, Anya is ruffling feathers right, left and centre. But it all comes to a head in sickbay, where she turns into a giant monster and tries to kill a patient she believes to be contagious, and thus a risk to Salia.

Bug monster Anya

Picard orders Anya kept under guard as they try to figure out what the F she is.

Meanwhile, Wesley takes Salia to the holodeck to see all his favourite planets.

Wesley and Salia on the holodeck

He keeps saying things like “Someday you’ll see this for yourself!” and she’s all like *sad trombone*. Wesley just shrugs instead of asking her anything about herself.

Then he takes her to Ten Forward to enjoy a bowl of chocolate, and finally figures out she’s not untroubled about this whole thing. Turns out she’s destined for a life of isolation on Daled IV.

Salia and Wesley in Ten Forward

“I thought you were going to reunite two warring parties,” he says.

“What else do you know?”

“Very little. The ship’s computer doesn’t have much on Daled IV”

I Googled you but I only found two things.

Then he suggests she stay on the Enterprise, literally seeing no reason that might be difficult.

Why not give up the future of a world to be Wesley Crusher’s girlfriend?

Guinan talks to Wesley

Salia gets upset and runs out into the hallway.

Guinan: Just because a girl runs out doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you to follow.

No, Guinan, that is terrible advice.

Salia runs from Wesley

He runs after her and she’s literally saying, “Stay away from me!” It’s like we’re supposed to think women don’t really mean it when they tell you no. 

Then she apologizes to him, because his feelings are what’s really important in this situation, not the cruel and inhuman situation she finds herself in.

Picard lectures Wesley

Picard gives Wesley a talking to, tells him tells Anya is a shapeshifter who will do whatever it takes to protect Salia. He asks Wesley to stay away from Salia for the good of the ship.

Salia tries to stand up to Anya but Anya is having none of it, saying it’s her duty to protect Salia and deliver her safely to Daled IV.

Wesley playing what looks like an electronic version of Battleship

But when Anya falls asleep she goes to see Wesley, who is busy playing Space Battleship with himself.

Salia kisses Wesley

You should go, but don’t. Instead, let’s just gently press our lips together.

Anya's brown, hairy monster with red eyes and fangs

But then monster Anya appears behind them. And when Wesley refuses to leave Salia alone with her, Salia herself changes into a different monster.

Salia's orange furry monster

This is like Godzialla vs. Mothra.

Anya backs down and later, she has a heart-to-heart with Salia. 

Anya: You are ready for what awaits you and you will do well. I know that I have been hard on you, but I wanted to prepare you for anything you might be required to do. 
Salia: Will I ever be able to leave Daled Four? 
Anya: Probably not. But anything is possible. 
Salia: That’s what Wes said

I call him Wes now. We’re really close.

You know what, I’m feeling pretty good about the portrayal of Anya in this episode. Sure, she’s an overprotective chaperone who can also turn into a fanged, red-bug-eyed monster at the drop of a hat, but she clearly cares about and has given up her life to protect Salia. Plus, her final scene with Worf is adorable.

Anya says goodbye to Worf

Anya: You will be happy to see me leave. 
Worf: No. You are a worthy opponent. 
Anya: Thank you. At heart, we are very much alike. 
Worf: Yes, we are. 
Anya: Perhaps we shall fight again. On the same side. 
Worf: It would be an honour.

Just come on and make out already!

Wesley moping

When Salia comes to say goodbye, Wesley is not exactly understanding.

Wesley stands with his arms crossed

Wesley: Was it fun? Playing humanoid?

Was it fun playing games with my heart?

Wesley: I loved you.

Salia: I love you too!

Wesley: Can you?

But then he gets over his prejudice quickly enough to catch her in the transporter room with chocolate mousse.

She changes into her real form, which is basically a light cloud.

Light cloud Salia on the transporter pad

Riker nods, like he’s going: “Good job, son.”

Wesley gets to say energize. That’s the rule. 

Glum Wesley staring into his glass in 10 forward

So sad Wesley is sad with his glass of sparkling water. Guinan comes over to listen. 

Wesley: “I’m never going to feel this way about anyone else!”

This is actually the most teenager Wesley has ever been.

Guinan says he will, but it’ll be different. And he still feels sad. Like you do. 

It was interesting how Wesley was angry because he felt he’d been tricked. Maybe he should have made fewer assumptions and given her a chance to talk more.

There is no obligation to tell someone you’re an amorphous blob until you get to third base.

Bechdel Test: Pass. Anya and Salia talk about Daled IV and her future.

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