One of the most infamously bad episodes, according to the fans, is “The Game,” an episode where Wesley Crusher has to contend with an additive video game with only help from guest star Ashley Judd. It’s, well, kinda goody.
Jimmy and Tom discuss it below, and they don’t seem to hate it.
Wesley Crusher returns for a visit just as the crew seems to be become obsessed with a strange new game.
jimmy: So, why is this infamous?
tomk: Apparently, many consider it…bad.
jimmy: I thought it was fine. Typical Wesley saves the day episode. Plus you got to look at Ashley Judd for 40+ minutes, which is alright.
tomk: Was it the Starfleet uniform or her date outfit that you preferred?
tomk: I suspected that would be your answer.
jimmy: What can I say? She’s attractive. And apparently knows a few things even Wesley doesn’t in engineering.
tomk: Well, she’s probably an Academy graduate and…wait, how old is she compared to him? Is this some kind of Peter Parker/Betty Brant scenario?
jimmy: From what I can figure, he is 18 and she is 22. Or thereabouts.
tomk: Well, I think I know why we never see her again.
tomk: Yeah, that or Crusher got mad.
jimmy: She could just severe her synapses.
tomk: Eh, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t think Wesley or Ms. Judd were all that smart in the end. I would have kept the fake game set on my head as I went about my sneaky business on the ship.
jimmy: Yeah. Why ever remove it? And who got to her in the end?
tomk: I’m guessing Molly O’Brien. You really can’t trust infants.
jimmy: Even when it was the bears, I knew it was her.
tomk: Who else was it going to be? Barclay? Ro? Or, let’s say, Moe?
Gotta watch out for Ensign Moe.
jimmy: He was filling in for Guinan.
tomk: Guinan doesn’t play video games.
Even remarkably ridiculous-looking ones. She saves all things ridiculous for her headware.
jimmy: There’s no arguing that. (Which I funnily enough mistyped as “hat”.)
tomk: And let’s face it: Riker’s libido is an excellent weakness to exploit if you are a Federation conqueror with boobs.
jimmy: Yeah, that one is almost too easy.
tomk: It is too easy. Have a cupcake.
jimmy: Nom nom nom.
tomk: And snacks work on you the same way. Good thing I’m not evil.
jimmy: …good thing.
tomk: Oh look. Someone ordered a pizza.
jimmy: Does it have pineapple?
tomk: Did you want the pineapple pizza?
jimmy: If you give it to me, I will know you are truly evil.
tomk: Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza.
jimmy: I knew you weren’t evil!
Unlike the woman with the strange eyes.
tomk: Exactly. Here’s your pizza.
I didn’t order it. Some red headed woman in sunglasses dropped it off.
jimmy: I’ll take it. And share it with whoever doesn’t have a seizure from watching the climax.
tomk: Well, the Simpsons are out. I blame Ensign Moe for that.
jimmy: Now I want a club sandwich.
tomk: You just got a pizza from a mystery woman who kept her eyes hidden for some reason.
jimmy: Probably because she couldn’t see.
tomk: Right. But we got this episode here where I think we got to see some of the actor’s oh-faces.
jimmy: …you may be right. I hadn’t really thought about that…or suppressed it…so, thanks for bringing it up.
tomk: If I were Watson, I would have opened discussion with that and pointed at Beverly Crusher.
jimmy: Though sometimes they looked like the “o” stood for “overdose”.
tomk: That’s what happens when you stay up all night playing Space Tetris.
jimmy: I don’t know what happens between now and then, but video games in the 24th century have sure gone downhill.
tomk: I blame Google Glass.
jimmy: Certainly similarities.
tomk: Well, I can sympathize with Wesley. I felt the same way when Pokemon Go came out.
jimmy: Yeah, people went nuts over that. Though, it probably wouldn’t be your mom trying to get you and your girlfriend to try it.
tomk: Wesley had a date to prepare for. I mean, he probably had to decide between three whole outfits.
jimmy: And that was the best one? Oy. Future fashion sucks.
tomk: Well, he still had his cadet uniform. And I didn’t see you complaining about Ensign Lefler’s outfit.
jimmy: Her date outfit was a little odd, but we’ve seen much worse on the likes of Troi or Beverly.
tomk: Troi wears hers on duty.
jimmy: Indeed. But Riker yells at Ro for wearing an earring.
tomk: And how about that brainwashed Riker? He thinks he needs to take over the Enterprise, so he says, “I have to start small. I better take down Geordi and Crusher so I can take out Data, Engineering, and Sickbay, but I better grab Troi too because…um, she sure look purty in that bodysuit.”
jimmy: I felt like Riker was just “recruiting” whoever he could. But maybe you’re right about targeting Geordi and Crusher first to take down Data.
tomk: We can figure put later how the game or Data’s cure works on the blind guy.
jimmy: Haha, I wondered that when Riker asked him to play it.
tomk: It probably had to be done because Geordi, unlike Data, does not come with an on/off switch for narrative convenience.
jimmy: He could probably hook it up directly to his visor.
tomk: I get the feeling sometimes that people like you and me put more thought into Geordi’s VISOR and how it sees things than the show did. Between this and how he can do anything in the holodeck, I get the impression they just liked to make LeVar Burton wear that thing.
jimmy: Like most things, it’s only thought about when convenient to the plot.
tomk: That’s so right. So, who wants a club sandwich?
tomk: Too late. The Moose and Beaver split it.
You’ll just have to make due with that whole pizza from earlier.
jimmy: You think that’s still around?
tomk: It was a whole pizza, and you are but one man.
jimmy: One hungry man.
tomk: I got just the thing for that:
jimmy: Hmm. I’ll take it.
tomk: It does have a hyphen.
jimmy: And hyphens are delicious.
Don’t eat punctuation.
tomk: You might not be able to dodge the entire Gabbing Geek security staff if you eat too much. You know, for when Watson or Jenny bring an addictive game into the lobby.
jimmy: So, no one got suspicious that everyone was getting completely addicted to the game? Even Wesley and Ashley were more just investigating it, not so much trying to figure out how they had turned heroin into a game. I’m surprised they even got Picard to try it.
tomk: Picard was looking for a way to get out of his crippling Fruit Ninja addiction.
jimmy: A game moving a frisbee into a cone would be just the ticket for that!
tomk: It’s called frisbee golf, Jimmy.
But you raise a good point. Picard doesn’t seem like a gamer at first glance, but he grew up in the far future, not as a contemporary of, say, us where an older guy into games seems…odd.
jimmy: Beverly probably got him to try it.
tomk: I’d say Captain Jake, but your answer works.
tomk: Captain Jake would attempt to entice Picard with alcohol. Beverly would attempt to entice Picard with Beverly.
jimmy: So, we’ve got this alien race (though we only ever see the one of them) with the tech to easily brainwash and take over the flagship of the Federation with ease…and I’m guessing are never heard from again.
tomk: They got into a war with the Gorn, and they were wiped out.
jimmy: Good. They suck. The Gorn were cool.
tomk: For one episode’s appearance in the original series, sure.
jimmy: One very classic episode.
There might have been one on Enterprise.
Regardless, Jimmy, I think we all learned a valuable lesson: Riker needs to stay far away from Riza. Nothing good happens when he or someone he knows goes there.
jimmy: It does seem to be a trend.
tomk: Well, it was a good thing Wesley came by to make sure no one was messing with his turf. He and Lefler probably went off to use her rules to further his own evil plans.
jimmy: Rule #126: Don’t let anyone mess with your turf.
tomk: I heard Watson only really knows Rule #34.
jimmy: Which is?
tomk: Eh, look it up.
jimmy: I’m surprised “There’s 14 states you don’t need to reveal you got the Herp” is one of Lefler’s rules.
tomk: That’s Rule #37.
jimmy: What rule is “we heard too much about Wesley’s birthmark”?
jimmy: We’ll get to that in a subsequent Lefler appearance I guess.
But hey, would you like to see someone else that will be familiar to you but new to Picard?
Someone whose life need not be saved by Data with a flashlight?
jimmy: Heh. I would.
tomk: In that case, I have one word for you, Jimmy. Ready for it?
tomk: Ready to move on then?
jimmy: For Spock? For sure.