Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 30 (The Outrageous Okona)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

There were a lot of episodes during the first and second seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation that weren’t memorable. There are actually a whole lot of them. “The Outrageous Okona” is one of them. Had it not been for the fact that I decided to review all of them, I probably would have just forgotten about it.

The Enterprise comes across a ship in need of repair. The captain of the ship, Okona, gladly agrees to let the Enterprise fix whatever’s wrong with his ship. Shortly after beaming over, he tries to tell Data a joke. Data, being an android that doesn’t understand humor, doesn’t get it. Data wants to understand humanity and he knows that humor is a big part of being human. This sets Data off on a mission to learn what humor is. He does so by talking to Guinan, who runs the ship’s lounge/bar. She refers him to the holodeck, which can run all sorts of simulations. Data finds one that he likes and runs it.

Meanwhile, Okona is proving to be quite the ladies man, hitting on (and sleeping with) several of the women on the Enterprise. That’s why it’s suspicious when the leader of a nearby planet approaches the Enterprise and demands that they turn over Okona. The man claims that Okona impregnated his daughter and left. He wants Okona so that Okona can marry the daughter. Before Captain Picard can make a decision, another ship approaches. This time, Okona is accused of having stolen a national treasure. They, too, want Okona.

Neither ship poses any credible threat to the Enterprise. Legally, the only thing that Captain Picard can do is simply let Okona go to fend for himself. In the end, both of Okona’s problems end up solving each other. As for Data, he comes to realize that humor isn’t the only thing that humanity has to offer and that you can’t learn to be funny from a holodeck program.

The episode comes across as bland. It seemed like both stories tried too hard. Okona is supposed to be this sort of 24th-century pirate type of character, yet comes across as too much. He seems to be interested in any attractive woman that walks in front of him. As for The Comic, he’s also this composite of 20th-century humor, but comes across as nothing more than a computer program. Because of the fact that Data can assimilate information at a very fast rate, he ends up watching the program in fast forward.

I’d give the episode two stars. It’s worth watching if it comes on TV, but don’t rush out to buy or rent this episode. This is another one of those episodes where I have to wonder why it was even produced. 

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