When Star Trek: The Next Generation began, creator Gene Roddenberry didn’t want the show to rely on the original series’s enemies. That meant trying to create some new villainous alien races, and after Q, that meant the Ferengi.
So, here they are, for better or for worse, in an episode where Jimmy and Tom debate, among other things, the best possible uses for time travel, security in the Ready Room, and whether or not Picard would mourn everyone on the ship in case of a terrible accident.
“The Last Outpost”
The Enterprise chases a Ferengi vessel to an even deeper mystery!
jimmy: Quark was a lot different than I remember.
tomk: More disgusting?
Into whipping and punching?
jimmy: All of the above. On a side note, those whips should never be shown as straight out and “petrified” by energy.
tomk: Too phallic?
jimmy: Maybe. This is a PG program, not modern Trek where they are unnecessarily dropping F-bombs every episode.
tomk: And yet, the Ferengi are shocked Tasha can wear clothes.
jimmy: They’ve been hanging out with the Ligonians too long.
tomk: But again, the show reminds us Tasha is attractive.
jimmy: Or, at least, female.
tomk: Yeah, but she was the only one there. Unless some of those kids from the ready room were screwing around behind some rocks.
jimmy: There also seemed to be a very young Starfleet officer on the bridge at the end. Like, Wesley age young.
tomk: But it wasn’t Wesley. He was dying like a man in his room.
jimmy: Yeah, Picard has said a few odd things here in the early going.
tomk: He was probably just glad Wesley was dying.
tomk: He’s also French.
jimmy: Those cheese-eating surrender monkeys!
tomk: Well, he didn’t like it when Data called French a dead language last episode.
jimmy: He did not. Or when Data continued playing “Fun with flags” even though Picard started it.
tomk: Data doesn’t have an off-switch once he gets started. Picard has no one to blame but himself.
Wait, Data does have an off-switch…
jimmy: We don’t know that yet…
tomk: Yes, we do. Picard doesn’t.
jimmy: Well, they didn’t find the off-switch but the Ferengi incapacitated him anyway.
tomk: And he lay there with his arms in the air like he just didn’t care.
tomk: Worf also apparently got his ass kicked off-screen.
jimmy: Well, they couldn’t mess up that make up. Data’s hand makeup was already rubbing off as it was. Budgets people!
tomk: He just needed his paint job retouched.
jimmy: Probably did a lot of takes with the Chinese finger trap…which, with his strength, I wasn’t sure how he stayed trapped.
tomk: Probably did a lot of takes with the Chinese finger trap…which, with his strength, I wasn’t sure how he stayed trapped.
jimmy: He seemed to just be fiddling with it after he found it on the desk and just happened to get himself stuck. That part didn’t bother me.
I would guess the last part of the scene where Geordi throws the trap to Data was improvised.
tomk: Possibly. Still not sure why there were kids in the Ready Room. Riker knew them by name which means those kids get in there quite a bit.
jimmy: Or Riker is more active with the other people on the ship than Picard.
But yeah, shouldn’t the ship not allow them entry?
tomk: Or this same episode had the power go off including communications but the turbolifts kept working just fine.
Is Wesley the only kid on the Enterprise who respects the off-limits notices?
jimmy: When he’s not in his quarters dying.
tomk: But I think we know what Worf’s job is. Take him along when you expect trouble and Tasha might get stuck in some off-screen bushes or something.
jimmy: Better than “stand on the bridge until Picard orders someone more important to do something elsewhere and then you just take his place”.
tomk: That’s true. That’s like my real job.
jimmy: But at least his boss is Picard.
tomk: Yeah. I only took Watson’s spot.
jimmy: Wash your hands.
tomk: I sandblasted the spot and flooded the chamber with disinfectant ankle deep. It only does so much.
Like a Ferengi trying to negotiate with ancient beings.
jimmy: They’re not exactly great negotiators.
tomk: Considering it’s what their whole culture supposedly revolves around…
jimmy: I think by “negotiate” they mean “steal and blackmail”.
tomk: If it isn’t nailed down, then it’s not really stealing, is it? That’s gotta be a Rule of Acquisition.
jimmy: And if it is nailed down, but you’ve got a hammer, that’s ok too.
tomk: And all this because Roddenberry didn’t want every episode to be conflicts with Klingons and Romulans.
jimmy: Deep Space Nine will make good use of the Ferengi. I don’t remember how much we see of them in TNG going forward.
tomk: I mentioned to a friend yesterday we were doing this. He asked how far we got. I told him the Ferengi’s first appearance. He looked sad and said he was sorry to hear that since TNG never used the Ferengi well.
So, at least two more times!
jimmy: Which, over the course of 7 years is not much.
tomk: We got better adversaries later.
jimmy: Speaking of adversaries, I thought Groppler Zorn had returned as Portal 63.
tomk: Name was less cool if nothing else.
But old robed men who just wanna chat philosophy with Riker don’t seem so bad.
jimmy: Better than torturing sentient beings to gain entry to the Federation.
tomk: Yeah, well, I was just wondering why Q thinks humanity is savage but apparently gives the Ferengi a wide pass, so what do I know?
jimmy: Good point. Maybe he hasn’t come across them? Or doesn’t perceive them as a threat?
tomk: Is anything a threat to Q other than other Qs?
jimmy: Maybe not.
tomk: Maybe Q is just an asshole.
tomk: If we’re speculating over Q, does that mean the episode wasn’t that good and we have better things to talk about?
jimmy: It wasn’t bad, but didn’t have a lot of depth. Even when they finally meet up with Portal 63 he’s mostly just “You guys seem all right. I’ll let you go. Want me to destroy the Ferengi ship? No. Cool. Catch you on the flipside!”
tomk: Sounds like how Kirk treated the Guardian of Forever, an ancient portal that allowed for time travel that was only ever visited twice and the second time was the animated series that may or may not be canon.
jimmy: No good can come from time travel.
tomk: Like a time heist?
jimmy: Well, maybe a time heist. Or making sure your parents get together...though that problem was caused by going back in time in the first place!
tomk: What about stopping killer robots from the future?
jimmy: The intent is good, but those pesky robots always find a way.
tomk: What about saving the whales?
jimmy: Yeah. That might be a good idea.
tomk: What if I meet Doctor Who? All he does is time travel.
jimmy: This convo is not helping our “there’s not much to talk about with The Last Outpost” convo.
jimmy: Dangerously crossing the streams.
tomk: That’s another franchise.
Well, did you have anything else to add about the Ferengi or Wesley dying?
jimmy: I don’t think so. You?
tomk: Yeah. I’m good. Maybe we need a reminder: Wesley is special.
jimmy: I guess they let him out of his quarters next week.