Early in "The Perfect Mate," a Ferengi, Par Lenor, accosts Captain Picard and Ambassador Briam. One of the quips of Lenor is that

Peace is good for trade---unless you happen to be an arms merchant

After a few seconds, Captain Picard smiles and walks away with the ambassador. It seems as though Picard is smiling because he finds the joke funny.

I wonder if this is a goof by Patrick Stewart. Picard is normally stoic, and though he does smile, you'd think that smiling at a joke made by a Ferengi would not be high on his list of things to do.

Though it is possible that the script has Picard smiling. He's not a robot, after all.

  • 8
    Picard has never been a great fan of the Ferengi, he may be smiling in a diplomatic manner, ie "I'm going to smile and walk away because if I don't I may say something I'll regret"
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 29, 2017 at 17:44
  • 3
    The script says Picard steps in, trying to help the ambassador avoid the headaches he knows a Ferengi invariably brings... I would assume he's merely smiling politely.
    – Valorum
    Sep 29, 2017 at 18:19
  • That statement is actually not a joke, but an insight, Picard is maybe smiling because he didn’t expect such wisdom from a Ferengi
    – flq
    Sep 30, 2017 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


The original script doesn't exactly address Picard's smile, but it does give us some insight into his feelings in this scene; annoyed and slightly embarrassed. He's certainly not amused by the Ferengi's antics.

I'll remove the dialogue

Par Lenor suddenly appears in front of them... delaying the Ambassador's exit...

Picard steps in, trying to help the ambassador avoid the headaches he knows a Ferengi invariably brings...

Picard moves the Ambassador down the corridor... the Ferengi follows...

At the turbolift, Picard waits impatiently for the lift to arrive... shoots Geordi a look as the Ferengi continues to drill the Ambassador...

The turbolift doors finally open... as Picard ushers in Briam...

Picard gives Geordi a grateful look as he says...

The door closes in the Ferengi's face.

As you can see, It's only because Picard is a seasoned diplomat and is trying to avoid making a scene that he humours the Ferengi's request to speak to the Ambassador. His smile (and indeed his whole demeanour) is a studied attempt to avoid openly expressing his extremely visible dissatisfaction at Par Lenor's presence and actions. When the opportunity arises, he makes a sharp exit.

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