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When Picard returns from exhausting diplomatic negotiations, Riker recommends him to go on vacation to Risa. Picard's relaxation on Risa is over when he runs into an attractive woman named Vash and finds himself in the middle of the chase for a powerful device from the future, the Tox Uthat. Two Vorgons from the 27th century want to take it back to their time and they know that it would be Picard who gives it to them.

A Ferengi called Sovak is eager to buy the Uthat - or take it by force. He follows Picard and Vash to the excavation site, where they dig for it in vain. Picard, however, recognizes that Vash has already found the Uthat and just wanted to get rid of Sovak. The two Vorgons appear again, but instead of giving them the Tox Uthat, Picard has the returning Enterprise destroy the device. The Vorgons leave with the remark that this was exactly what was supposed to happen.

Errors and Explanations

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 2:40 am: Vash plans to sell the Uthat and make a profit, but in the DS9 episode In the Cards, Jake says that Humans don't have money? LUIGI NOVI on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 9:40 pm: As did Kirk in ST IV and Picard in ST First Contact, and we not only beat that horse to death, but danced on its grave and pissed on its headstone. I'll make this succint:
    1. Maybe they meant money in its 20th century paper and coin form, as opposed to the "credits" they mentioned in Explorers (DS9).
    2. Maybe they don't, but the Ferengi do have money.
  2. Near the end of this episode Vash reveals to Picard (or Picard guesses) that she is going to Sarthong V to `acquire' an archeological artifact and I believe all that Picard does is say something like, be careful. In Qpid Vash reveals that she did indeed steal that object. Now Picard is a representative of the Federation and a captain in Starfleet and several episodes have touched on his ambassadorial skills, so wouldn't you think that he would be morally, ethically, and even legally, bound to report, first, a planned crime, then later an admitted crime, to the proper authorities? She may have figured a way to acquire the artifact in a legal manner.
  3. Why don't the Vorgons go back in time to dig up the Tox Uthat before Vash and Picard do? Three possible reasons.
    One, they don't know where it is. Honest, it's a valid statement. The Vorgons did not know where the Uthat was before. They only found out by following Picard, but if they go to the sight and dig it up before Vash digs it up. Picard will never know where it was and if Picard doesn't know where it is, they will never be able it find it. In essence, by digging it up before Picard knows where it is. they will erase their own memories of where it is and probably get stuck in a causality loop like the one seen in Cause and Effect. [N 1]
    Two, the Vorgons don't like to dig or are unable to dig because they can't bend over. (Do you remember them bending over once in this episode?)
    Three, now it's been a while since I saw this episode, so I can't remember if the Vorgons confessed to being crooks or not, but what if the Vorgons were the good guys, pretending to be bad guys? They know Picard is supposed to destroy the Uthat, they come back to ensure that he does and afterward they monitor the location of the Uthat to keep anyone else from digging it up before Vash does.
    The Vorgons may not be able to either directly control the time-travelling, or produce a realistic copy of the Uthat. In any case, the pair state that Picard was destined to destroy the Uthat[N 2]
  4. John A. Lang on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 6:30 pm: During the Vorgon's last appearance, Picard uses his Combadge to destroy the Tox Uhtat by using Emergency Transporter Order 14. The Tox Uhtat is destroyed along with the Combadge.
    HOWEVER, When Picard is saying "Goodbye" to Vash...guess what? He's wearing a Combadge! Did he pack another Combadge? (I guess that Starfleet Officers just feel naked without them!) dotter31 on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 8:42 am: Possibly, in case of loss or theft. Or maybe the Enterprise beamed him another one.


  1. Actually there is a way to get around this. Now that the Vorgons know where the Uthat was buried, they return to their time, make a copy of the Uthat, go back in time, dig up the real Uthat and bury the fake one. That way Vash will have something to dig up and Picard can have something to destroy. There would be no way for Vash and Picard to know it was a fake, because the only way to test it would be to turn off a star.
  2. This conundrum is listed under Plot Oversights in this episode's entry in the Nitpickers Guide for Next Generation Trekkers, Volume 2 - Page 235.

The Next Generation Season 3
Evolution I The Ensigns of Command I The Survivors I Who Watches the Watchers I The Bonding I Booby Trap I The Enemy I The Price I The Vengeance Factor I The Defector I The Hunted I The High Ground I Déjà Q I A Matter of Perspective I Yesterday's Enterprise I The Offspring I Sins of the Father I Allegiance I Captain's Holiday I Tin Man I Hollow Pursuits I The Most Toys I Sarek I Ménage à Troi I Transfigurations I The Best of Both Worlds Part 1