July 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “The Vengeance Factor”

The crew finds some complications while Picard tries to negotiate a peace settlement between warring factions.

In the previous episode, Jimmy and Tom suffered through a terrible plot involving Troi and a disastrous one-off romantic relationship.  For this particular episode, it is Riker’s turn to have a disastrous, one-off romantic relationship.  Will it go any better this time?  The guys share their thoughts below.

“The Vengeance Factor”

The Enterprise crew act as mediators between a planetary government and an exiled group of scavengers.

jimmy:  Phasers on stun?  Riker don’t play that.

tomk:  Nice of him to leave forensic evidence behind when he was done disintegrating his one-off love interest.

jimmy:  This isn’t CSI: The Next Generation.

tomk:  That’s a different show. Not as good as Hee Haw the Next Generation.

jimmy:  Few are.



jimmy:  I rest my case.

tomk:  You rest your case?

jimmy:  You heard me.

tomk:  I see. Case closed.

jimmy:  Thanks.  Bailiff, bring in the next case.

tomk:  We got a murder suspect that hasn’t aged in half a century.

jimmy:  I smell a disintegration coming!

tomk:  Stop inhaling so close to the disintegrated corpses.

jimmy:  Ok, ok.  Well, at least Troi only just embarrassed her love interest and maybe ruined his career in the last episode.

tomk:  Her love interest wasn’t trying to kill a guy who played the game “shirt or chest hair”.

jimmy:  This is true.

tomk:  Troi just went with a douche. Riker followed a killer. Big difference.

jimmy:  After sampling her delicacies.

tomk:  He didn’t go quite that far. He likes equality in the boudoir.

jimmy:  Riker is all about women’s lib.

tomk:  Jimmy is all about cake?

jimmy:  I’ve eaten a lot of cake this past week, so I think it’s fair to say yes.

tomk:  Did you also set out to kill a scavenger?

jimmy:  If “scavenger” is what you Americans call cake, then yes.  Yes I did.

tomk:  It is not.

jimmy:  Then no.  No scavenger killing.

tomk:  Then you are in less legal trouble than the cook.

jimmy:  Also, not disintegrated.

tomk:  And Wesley wasn’t rude to you.

jimmy:  I’m not an alien.

tomk:  Or a thief. I don’t know about your math skills.

jimmy:  I do have a university degree in math.

tomk:  Did you get it from swiping Wesley’s tablet from him?

jimmy:  They didn’t have tablets back then but sure, why not.

tomk:  Well, you still needed to understand the math.

jimmy:  Unlike Brull’s kid.

tomk:  Well, his old man knew robbing others didn’t need a fancy degree.

jimmy:  He only does it to survive!

tomk:  So, he isn’t just a smelly jerk?

jimmy:  Oh, he’s still that.

tomk:  Riker’s call to the transporter bay and then staying put was rather clever.

jimmy:  Riker’s not a smelly jerk.

tomk:  Worf would tell him if he was.

jimmy:  But yeah, it was pretty slick.

tomk:  Did it fool you?

jimmy:  A little.

tomk:  Well, have a little cookie for your honesty.

jimmy:  How do you even coordinate that with O’Brien?
LOUDLY: Enterprise!  Beam us up!
softly: Just kidding, don’t beam us up, we’re setting a trap.

Or…I guess…never actually contact the Enterprise, just yell out to beam them up.

Or…maybe they did beam them up…then beamed them back down directly behind the Road Warriors.

tomk:  We never saw the transporter effect.

jimmy:  I agree, they probably never beamed up, but that would work too.

tomk:  Then again, maybe they should be quieter while wandering around potentially hostile scavenger bases.

jimmy:  I blame Geordi. They did seem to be being quiet until Geordi was like, “Hey Worf!  Check this out!”

tomk:  It was Geordi all along?

jimmy:  Something like that.  Maybe Geordi is just trying to get attention now after being the focus of back to back episodes.

tomk:  That attention whore…

jimmy:  He’s no Wesley Snipes.

tomk:  He won’t sit in his trailer all day, communicating with the director only through post-it notes while getting high during the filming of Blade III?

jimmy:  That’s right.  He won’t.

Bring attention to the away team.  But not that.

tomk:  Well, I am thoroughly confused and blame the Daywalker from New Jack City now.

jimmy:  The future’s a confusing place.

tomk:  Is that how that woman from the movie Porky’s ended up running a planet?

jimmy:  I have no idea what you are talking about, but sure.  That’s why.

tomk:  Yeah, it might help if I had ever seen Porky’s, but I’m not Watson…or my brother.  I’ll let the Reverse Angle guys explain.

jimmy:  Grades too harsh?

tomk:  Maybe a little. Those gatherer guys were obnoxious and it did seem like Picard just upped and decided out of the blue to negotiate a settlement to a conflict he wasn’t really involved with.

jimmy:  They make a good point about the show revealing the killer and then having the rest of the show have a storyline and dramatic beats as if the audience doesn’t know the killer.  That said, the audience knowing whodunit up front and then seeing how the characters figure it out is a common story structure.

tomk:  Unless you’re watching Columbo where they show you the murder and spend the rest of the episode watching a detective annoy the killer long enough to figure out he did it.

That said, while I do enjoy the Reverse Angle guys, especially since they started Buffy the Vampire Slayer reviews as well, but they can sure be grumpy.

jimmy:  Yeah, they have been the few you’ve sent me.

And Columbo is the first one that comes to mind with that structure, but I’ve seen plenty of others.

tomk:  I usually only share Reverse Angle when I think they put together something that says something I want to say better…or they do something funny.  Mostly when they do something funny.  Like ask Columbo to investigate the gatherer’s murder.

jimmy:   After watching that video, the more I think about the climax of the show, the less it makes sense.  So Riker beams in facing the wrong way for no reason which is weird.  Then he immediately stuns, not kills, the security of the guy he is there trying to save.  Then as he is continually phasering her, (note: not stunning her with a single blast), no one else does anything.  Picard doesn’t try to help.  The guy she’s trying to kill doesn’t get up and run away or draw his own weapon.  And Riker didn’t even need to go over there, couldn’t they have just beamed her directly to the brig on the Enterprise?  One could argue the ship had it’s shields back up…but Riker just beamed on board.

tomk:  Yeah, it was clearly done for the drama of the moment and not for the logic.

jimmy:  Dramatic effect on a sci-fi drama?  How dare they!?!

tomk:  But it was clumsily done. The video made me wonder why Picard was doing anything at all. What was the rush?  It was the kind of thing I wouldn’t have noticed when the show was new, but now makes me think of Star Trek Picard always pointing out how arrogant Picard is/was.

jimmy:  He’s The Picard.


jimmy:  Smug is as smug does.

tomk:  That said, I actually did like how Picard handled the diplomacy. He seemed to know what he was doing. It’s just his motive that didn’t make sense.

jimmy:  His motive or Starfleet’s?

tomk:   Either.  Picard is Starfleet.

jimmy:  Well, he follows orders. Picard probably doesn’t care if the Porky’s and Robocop 2 clans kill each other.

tomk:  Phrased that way, neither do I.

jimmy:  Haha.

tomk:  Presumably, Picard sorted out a few centuries worth of conflict in time to make his next scheduled stop.

jimmy:  He’s that good. Or maybe Riker sorted it all out with his phaser.

tomk:  Well, once you disintegrate one person, it helps to have no witnesses.

jimmy:  And since she was the last of her race (another reason Riker shouldn’t have disintegrated her) there was no need for further hostilities.  The entire crew, who mostly did nothing and was never stressed or in peril deserve some extra vacation time. The end.

tomk:  Well, you know O’Brien worked really hard standing around and running the transporter.  His role was vital.  And then there was the Night Crew…

jimmy:  They would have gotten those negotiations done quicker.

tomk:  You mean get everybody drunk and see where it goes?

jimmy:  Exactly. If St. Patrick taught us anything, it’s that no negotiations go sour over a keg.

tomk:  How appropriate a lesson for this week.

jimmy:  I like to keep it topical.

tomk:  You do. Have a pint o’ Guinness.

jimmy:  I do. I hate it. But I do.

tomk:  Well, a drink of your choice then. Even a strawberry milkshake.

jimmy:  A Shamrock Shake would be more fitting.

tomk:  You sure are a cheap date, but it’s yours.

jimmy:  Don’t you get all handsy now.

tomk:  I was speaking figuratively. And I am not Watson.

jimmy:  Is the shake figurative?  It sounded delicious.

tomk:  The shake is real. The date is figurative.

jimmy:  I can live with that.

tomk:  Can Riker live with what he’s done?

jimmy:  He did seem more torn up about it than he probably should be.

tomk:  Maybe his mother died the same way.

jimmy:  Death by bad writing?

tomk:  Well, the episode with Riker’s dad was so well-written…

jimmy:  That’s why he survived.

tomk:  I might have been sarcastic unless you want to go back to blindfolded men bashing each other with sticks.

jimmy:  I figured you were being sarcastic. And Will’s mother died off screen, so can’t really compare.

tomk:  Dying off-screen can be the worst type of weak writing.

jimmy:  The guy got his paycheck, he probably doesn’t care what we think of his writing.

tomk:  He might if he wanted to get paid to write more of them.

jimmy:  At the time, yes. Now?  Not so much.

tomk:  Ok, if that’s the case, who had the worse one-off relationship, Troi or Riker?

jimmy:  Has to be Riker since he killed his.

tomk:  Which was the worse one to watch?

jimmy:  I’ll say the Troi one. While this one probably made less sense when analyzed, the scenes with Troi and Lloyd Braun and the yoga scene were truly cringe worthy.

tomk:  Maybe if Riker and, let’s say, Geordi we’re doing the yoga..

jimmy:  This one would have been worse.

tomk:  At least Geordi has an excuse if he puts in ugly tights.

jimmy:  A blind joke, eh?

tomk:  It’s my first day.

jimmy:  Haha, ok then!

tomk:  Anything else for this one?

jimmy:  What are your answers to your two questions?

tomk:  Troi’s story is more painful. Her life is too because she always knows how Riker is feeling.

jimmy:  That was another interesting observation in the video.

tomk:  Those videos are full of observations. And so are we.

jimmy:  We’re full of something.

tomk:  We observe Watson. And Ryan’s love of Krull. And Jenny’s lack of firsthand Batman knowledge.

Let’s see the Reverse Angle guys notice that!

jimmy:  If they did, they’d certainly be grumpy about it.

tomk:  Probably give Ryan a D+.

jimmy:  And that’s on a curve.

tomk:  Are we done then?

jimmy:  And without disintegrating anyone.

tomk:  That’s for Romulans.

There might be some in the next episode.

jimmy:  You meant to say, “And speaking of Romulans…”

tomk:  No.  No, I did not.

jimmy:  Lol, fair enough.

tomk:  Shall we?

jimmy:  Sure.

Next:  “The Defector”