Synopsis: Alexander and Lwaxana? Really?
Memory Alpha Summary: Yes, you’re just supposed to sit here
Review: Before we get to the episode itself, I have to say a couple of things. First, I’m not intentionally picking on season five. It truly was a great season. But when an idea failed, it failed hard. Second, I love Majel Barrett and even Lwaxana when she is written well (as she is in Deep Space Nine). Obviously, not here.
Cost of Living is an incredibly poorly paced episode. We are twenty minutes in before there’s any conflict (ship eating parasites). By then, the conflict feels contrived and too easily solved. It really does feel like the writers were thinking, “We need to add a sci-fi element here where everyone could die” and put something together in a few minutes. The Enterprise nearly being destroyed should never be the B-plot of an episode. However, even if it had been interesting, it couldn’t have saved us from a story about Alexander teaching Lwaxana that marrying someone she’s never met because she’s depressed is a bad idea.
The jokes are obvious and the crazy holodeck characters feel like one is at a children’s party with a bad clown (yeah, I know). The only part that woke me up was Lwaxana coming to her senses and arriving at her wedding in the nude. It was that scene alone that skyrocketed this episode from #166 to #165.
Hey, at least it won Emmys for costume-design and makeup. Apparently garish was the prerequisite that year.