The Enterprise arrives at Ligon II To negotiate delivery of a vaccine. The natives have had trouble with foreign relations in the past because of their strict ritualistic society, but of course that does not deter the Enterprise crew. Everything seems to be going well until leader Lutan kidnaps Tasha, then claims her as his bride. Lutan's first wife is pretty pissed about this and challenges her to a duel, which is exactly what Lutan wants. He's hoping Tasha will kill his wife, making his wife's land his. Tasha does win, at which point both women are transported to the Enterprise and Lutan's wife is revived. Lutan's wife divorces him for another man, the Enterprise gets the vaccine, and everyone lives happily ever after.
In case you couldn't tell from the summary, this episode is all about Tasha, and that's cool because I didn't like her very much in the previous episodes. She's perhaps a bit too eager to please, and definitely too eager to shoot at peaceful aliens. To be fair, even Worf almost shot the viewer when Q appeared there. But there was something about her eagerness that felt naive, and since she had to deal with rape gangs from the age of five to the age of thirteen, naive equals stupid.
Now, thankfully, she gets to kick ass. First she gets to show up the natives in a neutral setting, and then she gets to fight to the death - and win. I seem to remember times when certain male captains did not manage to win fights to the death (ep ?). At the same time she shows some common sense, seeming to know instinctively how to treat the natives. Though, that's also what gets her kidnapped. Still. Fight to the death.
(This is the part where you can forgive her for being drop-dead gorgeous.)
And while we're talking about pretty women, I loved the snippet of dialogue between Picard and Beverly. Good doctors never do become completely numb to things like millions of people dying in an epidemic. Oh, and having the vaccine not be replicable? Sure, that was a convenient plot device, but it's nice to see some limitations to the Awesome Future Science.
On the other hand, I'm waiting for an episode with a plot a bit less recycled. Or one with Q.
And what's with leaving at warp 3.5 when millions of people are dying, waiting for the vaccine? Just saying.