"The Host" is the 97th episode in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.
It is the first appearance of a Trill, although in a somewhat early version.
This episode was a test case for the Gay Star Trek movement, who hoped that Beverly might follow her heart. Gay and gay-friendly Star Trek fans initiated a letter writing campaign to pressure the television franchise to address how the utopian society dealt with sexual orientation and gender identity. The extent to which this episode addressed these issues is a point of contention among Star Trek fans.
The Enterprise is on an urgent diplomatic mission: to assist in mediating a peace treaty between two historically hostile races. Dr. Crusher is drawn to the charismatic Trill negotiator Odan, who is the mediator chosen by Starfleet.
As the story progresses, the negotiator is struck down when a dissident faction attacks the shuttle he is on, and Dr. Crusher discovers that he is symbiotically linked with another life form residing within his body - a Trill. She still remains loyal to Odan despite his alien circumstances as a symbiont entity, and attempts to repair the damage to the host, but she is unsuccessful.
Given the importance of the negotiations, and with the host dying, Commander Riker volunteers to be the new host for Odan, while Odan's homeworld sends a new host. This temporary joining proves to be unstable, however, and Riker's condition deteriorates rapidly. Once the negotiations are completed, Riker is no longer able to continue as a host for the trill—his life hangs in the balance. The ship carrying the new host experiences engine difficulty as well, so the Enterprise must rush to rendezvous with the Trill vessel. Crusher anxiously awaits this event, as Odan too will perish without a stable host.
When the new host arrives, to Crusher's horror and confusion, she is (outwardly) female: apparently, the Trill themselves have no preferences or hang-ups about their hosts's orientation, for it has no bearing on their compatibility as a host. Crusher quickly transplants the Odan symbiont into the new host nevertheless, and both seem to be in good health, as well as Riker. Later, the "new" Odan visits her, explaining that Odan still feels love for her and the host understands how strong their feelings once were, but Beverly claims to be uncomfortable with a seemingly ever-changing host, and cannot commit. The episode ends on a melancholy note.
The episode is somewhat unclear as to what constituted Crusher's true motivation to end her relationship with the Trill; and by extension, what the canon implications are for Star Trek in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity: of her plea for a day when humanity's ability to truly love unconditionally is not ultimately limited. Depending on how one wishes to interpret the ending, Crusher's plea is either directed at real-world homophobia, suggesting that it still manifests itself in a utopian future, or else it is a simple plea (within the Star Trek universe) for an end to fear about human-Trill relationships.
Patent Application Titled "Host Device and Method for Accessing a Virtual File in a Storage Device by Bypassing a Cache in the Host Device" under Review
Aug 28, 2012; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by...
Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Host Device and Method for Accessing a Virtual File in a Storage Device by Bypassing a Cache in the Host Device", for Approval
Aug 28, 2012; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent...