Maybe the Ferengi weren’t that interesting as villains go, but Star Trek the Next Generation did give the franchise one good reoccurring villain: John de Lancie’s Q.
Q comes back for his second appearance in this episode, and Jimmy and Tom have their usual thoughts on the subject.
“Hide and ‘Q'”
Q has a new game to play, and it involves giving Riker Q-powers!
jimmy: So, no Troi. Similar to that episode with no Worf. Makes me wonder if they were under contract for less than a full season of episodes.
tomk: It could just be actors got an episode off here and there.
jimmy: And it’s not like it doesn’t still happen today or on other shows. There are plenty of episodes of say The Walking Dead where major characters don’t appear at all.
tomk: I’ve mentioned I watch old Doctor Who. When the show was new, they did 50 episodes a year, roughly one a week. And from time to time, an actor would take an episode or two off…including the actor playing the Doctor, AKA the guy the show was named after.
This one just gives us an in-episode reason to exclude her. Besides, Troi would have probably had some effect on Riker’s decision making here.
And remember, we got no Wesley in the first Ferengi episode.
jimmy: That’s true. And we got to see Wesley get killed.
tomk: Wes is brilliant. Worf goes down, so he runs right in to help him, um, stand up in the middle of a mob of pig men?
jimmy: He’s got what we call the book smarts but not the street smarts.
tomk: No wonder the Traveler finds him interesting.
jimmy: And Worf didn’t turn out to be much of a warrior.
tomk: He was a pretty good scout.
And he took down more with his bare hands than anybody else did there!
You know, except for Riker, who suddenly feels like he can call Picard by his first name. He’s lucky Jean-Luc didn’t give him a Picard Maneuver right upside the head.
jimmy: He gave him a mental one instead.
tomk: Probably gave him a ton of extra duties between episodes.
jimmy: It’s an interesting question to pose though. Who could turn down all that power?
Batman can do anything, even in other universes.
jimmy: Judges? We’ll accept that. Though he did fall prey to the power of the Möbius Chair.
tomk: Chairs are different. Even the mighty Tick almost lost everything to the World’s Most Comfortable Chair.
jimmy: Well, I’m no Batman. It would be hard to turn down. Until all my friends started rejecting their gifts I guess.
tomk: He never offered the women anything.
Just the men. Except Picard.
He really doesn’t know these people very well…
jimmy: And it’s uncanny how much grown up Wes looks like Will Wheaton today.
tomk: And sounds like young Will Wheaton too. At least the sweater still fits.
jimmy: His clothes aged up too.
tomk: Geordi got to see for a minute. He made sure to tell Tasha she was beautiful.
jimmy: So…he can’t tell if she is beautiful…but could spy a freckle on Worf’s face a mile away?
tomk: He already knows Worf is beautiful.
Maybe that’s why Troi wasn’t there. To make Tasha look better.
tomk: It’s such a Classic Trek thing to make sure to tell the woman she’s beautiful.
jimmy: Unless it’s Dr. Crusher.
tomk: She’s a mother. I guess mothers can’t be beautiful on Trek.
jimmy: That’s a discussion for next episode.
tomk: Well, maybe just Wesley’s mother.
jimmy: Anyway. If you’re blind your whole life and could suddenly see, is telling Tasha she’s beautiful high on your list of things to do?
tomk: Would I know what is considered beautiful if I had been blind my whole life?
jimmy: Well, it’s not like they all had pig snouts.
jimmy: What would he offer Tasha or Beverly?
tomk: Let me think…Tasha might get to have everyone to stop telling her she’s beautiful. Maybe Bev gets her dead husband back. Or Wesley moves out.
jimmy: The dead husband is what I thought of too.
tomk: Riker probably would have just conjured a rotted corpse if he did that.
jimmy: I dunno. He seemed pretty accomplished with those powers.
tomk: Yeah, but he kept getting the wishes wrong.
jimmy: The turkey was dry on that sandwich he made for Picard.
tomk: It was that or a full head of hair.
tomk: See? He was lucky the turkey was dry because that hair is the real turkey.
But I could be wrong. Maybe it looks good. Judges?
jimmy: Hard to disagree.
tomk: The thing I like best about your pic there is Stewart’s expression that says, “Yer kiddin’, right?”
jimmy: No kidding.
tomk: Also somewhat kidding: Q. He seems more like himself this time around.
jimmy: And not some tyrannical overlord?
tomk: Well, here’s he more of a whimsical overlord.
jimmy: Yes. I definitely remember him as being a playful pain in Picard’s rear.
tomk: He still does some dangerous stuff, but he seems to be having more fun, like how he first appears as what he says is some kind of serpent from another planet and not his true form.
Plus, going all Napoleon must be to taunt Picard.
jimmy: He does love to play dress up as Earth’s historical figures.
tomk: Or Data.
jimmy: He must have loved that day in the makeup chair.
tomk: Spiner was probably standing to the side, laughing.
jimmy: “Stop crying de Lanice. I have to do this every. Single. Day.”
tomk: And then the golden contacts go in.
jimmy: That was a great day for Spiner.
tomk: We’re still waiting for Michael Dorn’s version of that story.
jimmy: That Klingon make up can’t be fun to put on every day either.
tomk: I’ll say one thing: Worf has to be a rather impressive warrior just to keep his forehead ridges attached.
jimmy: Maybe that’s what allowed the pig soldier to shishkabob him.
tomk: Well, there were a lot of them just wandering around in random spaces.
jimmy: Good thing Riker became a Q then. Worf and Wesley dead. Tasha in time out. Geordi hiding. Though, I guess Data could handle them all.
tomk: Not fast enough to stop everyone else from dying.
jimmy: Well, no.
tomk: Besides, this isn’t the sort of show to show Data casually tossing pig-men over the horizon.
jimmy: Maybe it should be. Now I want to see that.
tomk: Well, my work here is done.
jimmy: And so is Q’s. For now.
tomk: Well, he did get exiled back to the Q Continuum where, um, I dunno, he goes to a tribunal headed up by these guys:
jimmy: Maybe he is the same character. Like Impossible Man.
tomk: So, they need Superman and not Batman to resist the power of godhood?
jimmy: Or Riker. Whom Picard didn’t think Q stood a chance against right from the start.
tomk: Picard seems to know things.
Like he can read minds and see what people really think.
jimmy: That’s his Xavier side showing.
tomk: Well, we now know Data doesn’t want to be human that badly, Wes is willing to age at a normal rate, Worf has no room for romance, Geordi prefers being blind, Picard got the dry turkey, women don’t want anything, and Riker doesn’t want to be a Q. Did I leave anything out?
jimmy: I think you summed things up pretty good.
tomk: Well, what can we see that might bring us down from happy vibes caused by Q?
jimmy: The news?
tomk: Well, that’s too depressing. How about Troi’s mother?
jimmy: That doesn’t sound so bad.
tomk: Well, we’ll see about that.