As I have said multiple times in my Deep Space Nine write-ups, Keiko O’Brien is one of my favorite supporting Trek characters in part because she and Miles have what looks like a sweet though sometimes rough (and, as a result, highly realistic by Star Trek standards) marriage, implying that both O’Briens actually have a life away from their jobs, and you can’t say that about most characters on these shows.
As it is, her first appearance is in a Data-centric episode, and Jimmy and I chatted it up when we discussed “Data’s Day”.
Data records the events of what he calls a typical day.
jimmy: Between Keiko and Spot, I really feel like I missed an episode.
tomk: You didn’t see the one where Geordi took Data to the local pound to adopt a cat?
jimmy: Maybe that was on a webisode.
tomk: Right, They had those in the early 90s.
jimmy: I dunno. Maybe it’s dumb, but there was no introduction to Spot, no storyline or build up to the Keiko/Chief wedding…and Data runs the “night shift” (we won’t even get into why there is a “night” and “day” shift in space)…poor Captain Jake.
tomk: Captain Jake was probably throwing the bachelor party in Ten Forward.
jimmy: Makes sense.
Or was pretending to be Data in the dance off.
tomk: Look, if you want a good bachelor party, who do you ask? Captain Jake or the emotionless android?
jimmy: Captain Jake.
tomk: There ya go then.
Meanwhile, you’d think Starfleet would have figured out how to spot a Romulan posing as a Vulcan by the time Star Trek: Picard started.
jimmy: Well, it’s not like a human trying to pass as a Klingon. They look identical, just gotta remember not to smile.
tomk: This is why you shouldn’t watch TOS when Klingons could pass for human.
jimmy: I’m sure that will be explained in an episode that Watson would surely hate.
tomk: “The Trouble with Tribbles”?
jimmy: I was thinking more “Trials and Tribble-ations”.
tomk: That’s DS9. Watson might appreciate Dax in a mini-skirt.
jimmy: As do we all.
tomk: Regardless, different show. I’ve only gotten as far in DS9 as Quark meeting the Prophets to get them to turn Grand Nagas Zek back to his greedy ways.
Ok, though, did you like spending a day with Data? Is it as fun as a 1960s Spider-Man cartoon?
jimmy: Not as fun as season one, but better than two or three.
tomk: You didn’t like Troi’s battle with Mole Men while Geordi fought a giant flower?
jimmy: I’d rather watch Geordi get a fake haircut.
tomk: The Blue Man Group has come a long way.
jimmy: They can talk now.
tomk: And there’s only one of them.
Unless they take turns.
jimmy: Maybe he killed the others.
jimmy: You brought it up.
tomk: Not the “killing them” part.
jimmy: Didn’t you, Tom? Didn’t you?
tomk: No. You did.
jimmy: Oh. Right. Anyways, Geordi wants to look good for his next holodeck escapade.
tomk: Right. Because the blind man can tell the difference.
jimmy: He can feel the difference. Just like he can spot a liar and Troi should be able to sense a spy. Oh wait.
tomk: Vulcans are incapable of lying.
Perhaps Romulans have a hard time telling the truth.
jimmy: She did a hell of a job if neither Picard nor the rest of the Federation suspected a thing.
tomk: Why should we be suspicious of an ambassador who suddenly asks Data about security protocols?
jimmy: She was just joking.
tomk: Vulcans joke?
jimmy: She’s not one.
tomk: …you make a good point.
Have a pudding cup.
tomk: Of course.
tomk: It’s all going according to the Moose’s plan now…
jimmy: Maybe he’s a Romulan spy too.
I mean, the Beaver, sure, but not the Moose.
jimmy: I’m not surprised.
tomk: Unless the reality is they’re actually just secretly giving out dancing lessons. The Moose certainly is light on his hooves.
If Mooses have hooves.
jimmy: They do!
tomk: Well, then, they can teach Data to dance if Crusher loses interest.
jimmy: That was so silly. Someone asks you to teach them how to dance and they immediately go to tap? Maybe Crusher is a descendant of Besh Garcia.
tomk: Or it was just a chance to show off Gates McFadden’s dancing skills.
She was a theater actor first.
jimmy: Yeah, that was fairly obvious. As was Spiner’s dance double.
tomk: Oh, like you wouldn’t love a chance to learn tap from your doctor.
jimmy: Dr. Schafer? Hmm. Maybe.
tomk: Well, in the end, Data said what he thought of the rest of the main cast, he met a baby, danced at a wedding that really did happen, and took Captain Jake’s job while Jake was sleeping off the hangover from O’Brien’s bachelor party. Did I miss anything?
jimmy: He didn’t get a haircut or drink tea. He asked Doctor Crusher to teach him to dance when the holodeck could have easily have whipped up a partner. He was suspicious of the Ambassador, but used logic to brush it off, and apparently never told Picard about her “test”.
tomk: You’re right. Bruce Maddox will be so disappointed.
Then again, the ambassador rubbed Riker the wrong way and he did jack about it too.
jimmy: That was typical Vulcan behavior though. Sarek was just the same.
tomk: Sarek was still diplomatic.
jimmy: Sure. But her behavior was nothing out of the ordinary, even if Riker didn’t like it. Wasn’t something that should have set off alarm bells.
Now if she was more like “Hey Riker, how you doing?” Then we would be suspicious.
tomk: Maybe if she hosted Scotstoberfest in Ten-Forward.
jimmy: They could combine it with O’Brien’s bachelor party.
tomk: Sure. If there is such thing as Scotstoberfest.
jimmy: There better be! shakes fist
tomk: Check with the Moose. He and the Beaver were up to something with Data during the commercial breaks.
jimmy: Maybe they were planning something for next episode.
tomk: Next episode? Next episode may do something nutty like spotlight a longtime supporting character and introduce some prominent bad guys.
jimmy: Sounds like something Moose, Beaver and Data would do.
tomk: Wanna find out?
jimmy: Let’s go.