July 16, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Contagion”

During a rescue mission to the Neutral Zone, the Enterprise begins to malfunction in a variety of ways.

Well, there are no shapeshifting love interests in this episode, so perhaps Jimmy and Tom will enjoy it more than the last one.

OK, that’s a given.  But in the meantime, what exactly was the “Contagion”?


The Enterprise responds to a distress call from a Federation ship doing unauthorized archaeology in the Neutral Zone!

jimmy:  That’ll teach Geordi not to use the elevator during an emergency.

tomk:  They should have just called the IT department.

jimmy:  I can’t watch the video, but that’s essentially what they did with Data.


tomk:  And then everything else.

And try to find the British sitcom The IT Crowd if you can.

jimmy:  It’s too bad they had to destroy that base.  Technology to allow you to travel from one location to another instantly could come in handy.  Hmm…wait…

tomk:  Yeah, but this one lets you step through a wall.

jimmy:  Very similar to the Borg transporter tech in Picard.  Maybe they assimilated the…ah, I have no idea what they were called.

tomk:  Um, the Wall-Gate?

jimmy:  I meant the people that Picard and the other Captain kept talking about that used to live on the planet.

tomk:  Oh.

The MacGuffins?

jimmy:  Haha, that works.

tomk:  They left their stuff in perfect working order in the Neutral Zone all along.

jimmy:  For like 2000 years.

tomk:  They got the extended warranty.

jimmy:  lol

tomk:  Look, they had all their controls on a color-coded system. They may not have been that advanced.

jimmy:  They did that so Data could easily relay instructions to Picard.

tomk:  How forward thinking of them.

jimmy:  I mean, if they could create a transporter door…

tomk:  They still needed somewhere to go.

jimmy:  Several of the window offerings looked like Earth.

tomk:  They probably weren’t. One was probably Starkiller base.

Say, was this the first time Picard mentioned an interest in archaeology?

jimmy:  Yes?  I was wondering if it was the first time he ordered “tea, Earl Grey, hot”?

tomk:  It was for the tea. But it wasn’t the first time they actually got some.

But Picard does love ancient mysteries.

Like why hot dogs come in packs of ten but buns in packs of eight.

jimmy:  Even in the 24th century, that one hasn’t been solved.

tomk:  Well, Riker said they don’t keep animals as a food source anymore.

jimmy:  All the food is made of soylent green.

tomk:  That’s apparently made out of people.

jimmy:  It’s people!!!


jimmy:  Indeed.

tomk:  Wesley, meanwhile, goes to Picard when he’s scared.  Not Troi, whose job it is, or Guinan, who is actually good at that sort of thing, but Picard.

jimmy:  I can see going to the Captain, but I get your point.  And Wesley has had plenty of conversations with Guinan in the past to feel comfortable with her.

tomk:  Or not comfortable.  Guinan is all about the tough love.

Maybe everyone knows Troi is just kinda bad at her job.

jimmy:  Heh.

Even Riker sends her off to “look after the evacuation”.

tomk:  I’m pretty sure at this point, Troi’s job is to be the young woman in the tight outfit that sits next to the Captain.

jimmy:  It only took you almost 2 seasons to figure that out?  :slightly_smiling_face:

tomk:  I may have figured it out sooner but it didn’t come up until now.

jimmy:  I think it has come up that Troi is not particularly useful most of the time. Often she talks about people’s feelings that are obvious or sometimes usefully acting as a lie detector.

tomk:  And even then, she can only say when someone is hiding something…that was also often obvious due to body language.

jimmy:  Oftentimes, yes.

tomk:  Then again, you need some jackass from the 20th century to tell you Romulans are arrogant.

jimmy:  They got their comeuppance in this one!

tomk:  Yeah, they got the fix for their ship, but Picard ordered the Enterprise get as far away as them as possible anyway.  In case that Romulan captain was anti-vax or something.

jimmy:  Haha.  It was a subtle dig at their engineering expertise…but they do have a cloaking device…so they’re not idiots.

tomk:  Or, you know, in case it didn’t work because the Romulans put their on/off switch on the exterior hull or something.

jimmy:  That’s such a Romulan thing to do.

tomk:  The engineering is truly impressive.  But, like a lot of car manufacturers, they built it in such a way to force you into going to a dealership to get it fixed.

They really are against do-it-yourself work.

jimmy:  Those Romulans are the worst!

tomk:  Well, only because the bluegills never came back.

jimmy:  They were busy hanging out with the Ferengi.

tomk:  I see.  Well, you seem to know a lot.  What happened to the MacGuffins?

jimmy:  I think they went through the transporter door and ended up in Marcellus Wallace’s case in Pulp Fiction.

tomk:  Huh.  Interesting theory.

jimmy:  Well, we know Tarantino loves Trek, so the pieces are all coming together…

tomk:  You and Picard would get along well.  He likes putting puzzles together too.

Though here’s a thought: why is archeology much more dangerous in fiction?  Picard should take some advice from Holodeck Indiana Jones instead of playing Dixon Hill.

jimmy:  How do we know it’s much more dangerous in fiction?  Maybe that’s just the way it is?

tomk:  Well, these death traps always seem fairly elaborate for the societies that built them. Or they’re still in perfect working order millennia after the fact.

jimmy:  I tell you what.  When the pandemic is over, me and you will get together and build an elaborate death trap.  Then we’ll build a time machine and go ahead 2000 years and see if it still holds up.

tomk:  That sounds expensive and time-consuming. Can’t we just subcontract Ryan’s kids for the first part?

jimmy:  And the second part?

tomk:  I say we talk to, let’s say…Moe.

jimmy:  I did find the name of the episode a little…odd. I mean, correct I guess, but one assumes the people would contract some disease.

tomk:  Nah, just Data and the different ship’s computers.

Unless Picard got sick because he tired to drink that plant he got when he asked for a tea. 

jimmy:  I did like that the Enterprise had a sister ship…even if it last 3 minutes and blew up.

tomk:  She’s as reliable as Spider-Man’s sister, only showing up sporadically, often enough so people remember she exists…

jimmy:  Even if just an excuse to not have to build a new model.

tomk:  Well, I’m sure there will be another sister ship…eventually.

jimmy:  They don’t take long to build.

tomk:  In the meantime, the Enterprise will have to deal with cousin, niece, and great-uncle ships.

jimmy:  As long as they keep Geordi out of the turbo lifts, everything will be fine.

tomk:  At least give it a seat belt.  And maybe a seat.

jimmy:  Everyone enjoys a good sit.

tomk:  It’s why all the people with rank plus Wesley have comfy seats on the bridge.

jimmy:  Not Worf.

tomk:  Klingons don’t mind standing around all day.

jimmy:  It’s more honorable to stand.

tomk:  Real warriors do it all the time. How many chairs did you see on that Bird of Prey?

jimmy:  One.

On the bridge anyway.

tomk:  Exactly. You gotta fight to earn that chair.

jimmy:  Not like those marshmallows in Starfleet.

tomk:  But not chocolate souffles.  Those are surprisingly common.

jimmy:  Indeed.

Shall we “Blue blue blue” and open the door outta this one?

tomk:  Yeah, I think when we’re talking Klingons and souffles, it’s safe to say an episode with Romulans and MacGuffins might be all talked out.

jimmy:  And as delicious as a MacGuffin sounds, I think you’re right.

tomk:  Then let’s find a place where you can check out but you can never leave.

jimmy:  Hotel California?

tomk:  It might as well be!

Next:  “The Royale”