Friday, March 24, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 94 (Qpid)

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

Most of the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation were relatively serious.  There would usually be some serious point about the rights of a minority or arranged marriages.  Sometimes, the message was subtle.  Sometimes, it was glaringly obvious.  There were a few episodes that seemed to be more humorous.  (Somehow, silly doesn’t seem like quite the right word, but they probably get called that.)

Q is back and claiming that he owes Captain Picard a debt stemming from the events of Déjà Q.  Q had been kicked out of the Continuum and stripped of his powers.  Without Picard’s help, Q never would have been reinstated.  Q desperately tries to think of something to do for Picard.  The ship is in orbit of a planet, Tegus III.  Q offers to take him to the planet’s ruins, which are off limits to outsiders.  Picard refuses that and any other suggestions, simply wanting Q to be gone.

Also on board is Vash, a former love interest of the captain’s from the episode Captain’s Holiday.  Apparently, he’s never mentioned her to anyone, despite having told her about all of the crewmembers.  Q sees an opportunity.  As Picard is starting his keynote speech for an archaeological convention on the ship, Q changes the clothing of the bridge crew, who are all sitting in the back row.  Worf gets a red outfit.  Data is changed to look like a monk.  Picard is also given a new outfit before the bridge crew is transported to a planet.

They quickly figure out that everyone is supposed to be a character from Robin Hood, with Picard taking the main role.  (Data is Friar Tuck, Worf is Will Scarlett, Riker is John Little and so on.)  They eventually realize that Vash is presumably Maid Marian.  They can’t tell for certain, as she’s being held by Sir Guy of Gisbourne.  Q inserts himself into the story as the Sherriff of Nottingham and informs the bridge crew that they’re to rescue Vash.  Eventually, she’s saved and the bridge crew is sent back to the ship.  Q drops in later with Vash and informs Picard that they’ll be traveling the galaxy together.  All is right again.

The episode seems to be written to bring the characters of Vash and Q together.  It seems odd to me, first off, that Q would want to repay a debt to Picard, since it was really Data that seemed to show him the most compassion.  At the end of the episode, Q even says as much, telling Data that he acted more compassionate than most of the humans did.  Shouldn’t Q be more focused on Data?

Also, Q goes through all this trouble to show Picard how much he really cares for Vash.  Then, Q and Vash go  running off together.  Picard points out that the two have a lot of similar traits and makes Q promise to ensure her safety, but it does seem like a rather selfish thing to do.

I always remember thinking that it was strange that Picard went through all of the trouble to write his speech, then had to miss it.  What strikes me as odd having watched it recently is that it didn’t seem like anyone missed the bridge crew.  Yes, Riker says that he’ll tell everyone that Q is around, so whoever took command of the Enterprise probably figured out what was going on, especially considering that the conference members witnessed the bridge crew leaving the ship.  Still you’d think someone would want to alert the bridge that they were back.

There were several scenes that were memorable, including Worf’s line, “Sir, I protest!  I am not a merry man!”  I remember referencing this for many years.  The other was Worf smashing a lute against a rock, apologizing immediately.

The episode is kind of hard to take seriously.  I don’t even get what the point was supposed to be, as Vash and Q both leave the ship at the end of the episode.  Nothing really changes.  Since Q is known for tormenting the bridge crew, it could very easily have been another one of his games.  It’s hard to recommend buying the episode on VHS, as it references so many of the previous episodes.  You’d be better off spending your money on the DVD set or watch streaming through Netflix.

IMDb page

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