I thought I had seen every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation over the course of my childhood. Apparently, that is not true. Over the past little while I have been slowly re-watching the series, and I am on the final stretch with the seventh season. Tonight I watched the episode entitled Sub Rosa. It was kind of like watching what I imagine would happen if television writers routinely trolled the internet looking for creepy fan-fiction rather than writing the episodes themselves. Not that I think anyone will mind, but spoilers are ahead.
Apparently, Dr. Crusher's grandmother lives on a weird colony that tries its best to emulate Scotland in the 1800s. While I figured that is what the holodeck is for, I guess it is the future when people can do all sorts of frivolously ridiculous things, including making an entire planet into a Scotland emulation, so perhaps we can forgive the setting. The episode doesn't really have much to do with any of the characters beyond Crusher, with Data, Riker, and Geordi providing minor plot bits. Picard and Troi have slightly larger roles, but their roles are unfortunately mainly served as foils for Crusher's weird and creepy trans-generational ghostly love affair. You see, Crusher's grandmother had a secret lover named Ronin who was actually an "aniphasic" alien who lived in a candle (a regular candle, but somehow it turns out to actually be a plasma candle). Now that Crusher's grandmother is dead, he seduces her. If the story of someone's grandmother's lover seducing them is not awkward enough, he repeatedly tells her how much he loves her within the context of loving her just like he loved her grandmother, and her great grandmother before that, all the way back through the generations.
I not only have no idea who pitched this storyline in the writing room, but I cannot imagine how anyone who heard it thought, "Grandmother's ghost lover seducing Dr. Crusher - how is that not television gold?" Apparently there is another episode that I also have not seen (or at least have no memory of seeing) coming up that is even worse than this one, but I have a hard time imagining that. Also, I realise that this post in no way holds any sort of worthwhile news or interesting bits about science, but I felt the need to share my pain.