TR: you must think me awfully remiss ~ I've only just seen this revived thread!!
Was it really so difficult for the writers to give Beverly a true sense of consistency with her character or were they so wrapped up in their episodic tendencies that they didn't know how to use here except as anything but the verbalization of the contradictory opinions of the moral of the show?
She's rarely right about her decisions and she moralizes to a degree of - to use Q's term - shrillness.
Maybe it's a measure of how underdeveloped her character was that I've never analysed any of her actions to that degree. She's never greated on me to the degree that Deanna in her early days did, but I still preferred Pulaski who did seem to come onboard with a complete character.
We learned in the first episode that Troi and Riker had already been an item and had left that relationship hanging...and that was okay. So why did we have to have the only other female character pout over Picard?
Why did they have to create Crusher to be as weak in the knees for Picard? She just needed to be a regular crewmember...
I think they struggled with Crusher. They wanted some kind of dynamic between her and Picard from the get-go and it never really worked out ~ at least it didn't before McFadden's little sabbatical. I guess it was a kind of parrallel to having Riker and Troi know each other before serving together on the ship. I think Crusher and her son were supposed to represent a bad point in Picard's past ~ perhaps a time when he wasn't quite the expereinced man we saw in TNG.
I don't think Attached was supposed to show us a Beverly pining for Picard (although you could argue it that way in The Naked Now). My assumption is that the episode was to show how their friendship had grown over the time they had been serving together and deepened into something that could have gone places. My impression of that episode was that it was Picard who had been doing the pining ~ ever since Jack Crusher had married her in fact ~ and at the end if the epiode it was Crusher who had put the brakes on the relationship becoming more domestic.
That they didn't become lovers probably speaks to the quality of the episode. I think the epsiode was much more about their emerging friendship than anything else, it wasn't really about lust. I'll agree that, latterly, Crusher became too closely linked to Picard to the considerable detriment of her character.
In one way I couldn't agree with you more about female crewmembers being defined by the relationship, or lack of, with men. If you consider DS9 and VOY, every female character had at least one sexual relationship with another regular character, but then, people of both sexes tend to have relationships and the shows lasted for seven years! In the case of Dax and Kira, they had several dalliances, but they were strong enough characters in themselves that they weren't really defined by their liaisons.
I think it's about balance, which is why I think that characters need to develop outside of their [ersonal and sexual relationships first ~ just like real people in fact!