After the last few episodes showed the series improving into what we remembered, there was bound to be one to remind Jimmy and Tom we were still in season two.
Looks like “The Dauphin” might be that episode. Not surprising since it is about Wesley Crusher…
Wesley experiences first love with the heir apparent of an alien world!
jimmy: Tonight, on a very special Star Trek: The Next Generation…Wesley learns that love at first sight is possible.
tomk: And yeah. Pretty girls his own age with advanced engineering knowledge are a dime a dozen in his time.
jimmy: Though the “pretty” and “own age” are highly questionable.
tomk: A shapeshifter can be whatever she wants.
jimmy: That could come in handy. Except when they turn into horribly cheap costumed aliens.
tomk: And wrestle Worf.
jimmy: They are the same at heart.
tomk: Perhaps. Then again, we saw another glimpse of Wesley’s Space Racism.
jimmy: He came around at the end.
tomk: Yeah, but imagine if her true form had been hideous.
Then again, Worf got off lucky. Here’s that woman challenging four other mighty warriors and showing what her shapeshifting can really do:
jimmy: She had better effects in 1984.
tomk: That Marshmallow Man wouldn’t fit in the Enterprise’s corridors.
jimmy: He could fit in that musical system on the holodeck.
tomk: That’s clearly for sightseeing.
jimmy: And what a sight that would be!
tomk: Cosmic Candy Men?
jimmy: Sounds delicious. But has nothing on all those wasted chocolate soufflés.
tomk: Food waste on the Enterprise truly is the unexamined issue.
jimmy: Right?!? How many bowls of desert had one tiny mouthful taken from them, or none at all, and then abandoned?
tomk: Someone else was probably eating the rest. Probably O’Brien if they leave it on the transporter pad.
jimmy: Not surprising. A Chief’s wages aren’t like those of the bridge crew.
tomk: Do they even earn wages?
jimmy: They don’t get all those chocolate soufflés for nothing!
tomk: Well, with the replicator, they might.
jimmy: C’mon. Chocolate soufflés, for free, whenever you want?!?!
tomk: The bigger mystery might be why the crew doesn’t look like a bunch of beach balls.
jimmy: You can tell in the films he’s been living on them for 30 years…
jimmy: Well, not in that universe.
tomk: That’s your excuse for everything.
jimmy: So I was thinking…why did the princess even beam on board as a teenage girl? They only took human form because they were picked up by humans. They could have looked like anyone at any age. The body guard turns into a young girl at some point. Was it an approximation of their actual age? Or just plot convenience?
Well, perhaps we can point out a way that Wesley is dumb: he’s got romantic problems, and the first person he goes to for advice is Worf.
tomk: And after that…Data.
jimmy: He is fully functional.
tomk: That said, I did like the scene where Riker demonstrated his pick-up technique with Guinan.
jimmy: So did Guinan.
tomk: Wesley had to leave early.
jimmy: Riker’s practiced a lot on those harp girls.
tomk: And Guinan knows what she wants.
Not Wesley’s constant interruptions.
jimmy: She wants Riker in a tub full of chocolate soufflé.
tomk: You sure are hung up on that stuff.
jimmy: I did find it a bit much that Wesley was so love struck he couldn’t work. And that Geordi thought it was something normal while almost launching into a birds and bees conversation.
tomk: Geordi has less luck with women than Data or Worf. Man, Wesley doesn’t know who to talk to about anything.
jimmy: Not like any of the crew seems to be all that successful with relationships. Maybe he should have tried to find Okona for some help.
tomk: Picard and Riker seem to do alright.
jimmy: He tried Riker. And Picard would have just told him to stay away.
tomk: Yeah, but Picard is getting rather fatherly to that kid. He might have done so in a way that was in sort of comforting and still authoritative.
Then again, I am not sure Wesley ever knows who to ask for advice. Isn’t this sort of Troi’s job?
jimmy: She was the first one I thought of.
tomk: Guinan also seems to be good for that sort of thing.
Maybe Wes just doesn’t think to ask a woman how to talk to women.
I think I see a pattern developing…
jimmy: He’s only special when it comes to quantum mechanics.
tomk: And being the only racist left in the galaxy.
jimmy: He’s probably not the only one.
tomk: Well, the only one who doesn’t bottle it up.
jimmy: He’s young. Maybe he should talk to Guinan about that instead of chocolate soufflés and how to pick up girls?
tomk: That’s a good point. Guinan does give consistently better advice than Troi. Heck, the Moose probably gives better advice than most anything Wesley got in this episode with the possible exception of what Guinan said at the end of the episode. Have a cookie for your own wisdom. You can dip it in the chocolate soufflé.
jimmy: Space cookies are delicious.
tomk: Probably healthier too.
jimmy: How about the elephant in the room? Obviously, most episodes would be a step down from “Measure of a Man”. But this was less of a step and more of a free fall.
tomk: Oh yeah. I mean, it’s to be expected there’s be some drop off in quality after the recent upward swing, but this one was too much.
jimmy: Right? I mean the story is ok, from an after school special point of view, but the monster effects were terrible. And like you pointed out, no one gives Wesley any useful advice. Maybe that was the point. This episode might have played a lot differently if his mother was around.
tomk: He never goes to her for advice either.
jimmy: Picard told him not to be making any more long distance calls after he saw their last subspace transmissions bill.
tomk: You don’t want to disappoint Picard.
jimmy: Hell no.
tomk: Though that nanny seemed willing to kill a guy with a minor illness. Seemed weird considering as shapeshifters, disease shouldn’t really be an issue if you completely control your own molecular structure.
jimmy: Weird she would want the guy killed or weird she would think to have that reaction…or both?
Related question, can a shapeshifter expunge any foreign matter like an illness from their bodies? And how gross does that sound?
tomk: I would think the shapeshifter would just turn into something immune to the disease.
That’s why it’s weird.
jimmy: Can they do that though? I don’t think when they shape shift into a human they are human for all intents and purposes.
tomk: Then why worry about a human disease?
jimmy: Maybe it attacks more than humans?
tomk: So turn into a rock or Groot.
Plants h as be different cellular structures and can’t get animal-based diseases. And rocks don’t get sick.
jimmy: Again, you’re assuming that turning into a rock makes them a rock. They could look like a rock and still be whatever makes them them on the inside. Which makes sense since if I turned completely into a rock…I won’t be able to change back.
tomk: We were told the nanny had complete control of her molecular structure. That’s not just looking like something. That’s being something.
jimmy: Fair enough. I still think my point is valid. Also, if I shapeshift to look human, am I going to make everything right down to the internal organs, etc? I’m too lazy for that.
tomk: You aren’t the nanny.
But you make a fair point yourself. Want another gold star? It’s more interesting than a Wesley episode.
jimmy: I’ll take all the gold stars I can get.
How sad was this episode if we spend most of the discussion nitpicking shapeshifters and making harp girl jokes? Are we done with this one?
jimmy: I’m sure I can think of some shapeshifting harp girl jokes.
Or Riker can at least.
tomk: Ready to move on then? The next one has Romulans.
jimmy: Not to be confused with Klingons.
tomk: You better not or Worf will want to have a talk with you.