December 1, 2022

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Weekend Trek “Power Play”

Troi, Data, and O'Brien are possessed by evil entities!

So, do supernatural entities exist in the world of Star Trek?  Well, probably not, but there are plenty of things that act like ’em.

Jimmy and Tom discuss what happens when the Next Generation crew meet things like that.

“Power Play”

Troi, Data, and O’Brien are possessed by evil entities.

jimmy:  Now Tom, you know I can’t even say “penal colony” without giggling like a schoolgirl. Hee hee.

tomk:  Fine. We’ll just call it Space Jail.

jimmy:  Or the Phantom Zone.

tomk:  That works. You get a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Don’t eat too many or you will spoil your lunch.

jimmy:  Too late.

tomk:  Well, if they give you a stomach ache, at least you won’t get possessed by evil things.

jimmy:  Yeah, for 200+ year old prisoners, they sure are picky on who they possess.

tomk:  They apparently didn’t know O’Brien was made to suffer all the time…on DS9 at least. Pain is his second cousin

jimmy:  What about Gain?

tomk:  Only by marriage.

jimmy:  So Pain but no Gain. Got it.

tomk:  Speaking of marriage, sort of…I watched this episode and DS9 episode where Keiko was possessed by an evil entity at about the same time.

jimmy:  Strange coincidence.

tomk:

jimmy:  Not that Strange.

tomk:

jimmy:  Why thank you.

tomk:  There are stranger things.

jimmy:  So, did being possessed by a criminal give them super strength?  Troi threw Worf around like a ragdoll.

tomk:  She managed to get past Troi Level in Worf’s workout program.

jimmy:  Troi level is just finishing a double chocolate sundae isn’t it?

tomk:  I thought that was the Impossible Level.

jimmy:  I think we both know better than that.

tomk:  Oh right. That’s the Triple Chocolate with a meat lover’s pizza.

jimmy:  Better.

tomk:  The Moose just finished that level.

jimmy:  He’s a jerk.  Like possessed Data.

tomk:  Data apologized for humiliating the Klingon.

jimmy:  He’s still a jerk.  Like possessed Miles.

tomk:  Miles is so lucky he lives in a universe where you can use “I was possessed!” as an excuse and people will buy it.

jimmy:  Buy it, and immediately forgive and forget the second you are de-possessed.

tomk:  While holding a baby that looks like neither parent and was probably possessed herself.

jimmy:  Worf probably switched the baby at birth as a joke.  He’s such a kidder!

tomk:  Then whose baby is that?

Well, it may not matter. Did you believe the story that they were Starfleet ghosts?

jimmy:  Because it’s less believable than prisoner ghosts?

tomk:  They knew that a Federation ship crashed there.

jimmy:  Which they used to their advantage…except for behaving nothing like Starfleet officers.

tomk:  Yeah. I would think a Starfleet officer would try talking first before hijacking the ship and taking Ten Forward hostage.

jimmy:  And then picking fights with Klingons and threatening children.

tomk:  The Klingons might have still been enemies back then. And don’t get started with babies.

jimmy:  Heh.  Good point on the Klingons though.

tomk:  Babies are the natural enemies of everyone. Some baby somewhere, Jimmy, is gonna grow up to take your job someday.

jimmy:  Not if I get them first!

But anyways, how exactly does a ghost possess Data?

tomk:  Same way Crusher could cure his amnesia and he could get that disease that made him wanna prove how fully functional he was to Tasha.

jimmy:  The old Plotitis.

tomk:  You know who spreads that?  Babies.

jimmy:  No wonder O’Brien hates them.

tomk:  The real O’Brien or the possessed one?

jimmy:  …possessed?

tomk:  Judges?

Looks like you need to be more specific.

jimmy:  …possessed.

tomk:  That’s better. Have a grilled cheese sandwich.

jimmy:  Thanks!

tomk:  The cheese bares a terrible curse.

jimmy:  It’s blue cheese ain’t it?

tomk:  No, but it comes with a free frogurt.

jimmy:  That’s good!

tomk:  Drinking the frogurt will leave you possessed by an evil convict that will threaten your loved ones.

jimmy:  That’s bad.

tomk:  But no one will blame you afterwards.

jimmy:  I’m blame free and no longer hungry.  Sounds like a win win to me!

tomk:  The cheese also contains potassium benzoate.

That’s bad.

jimmy:  Can I go now?

tomk:  Sure. As soon as you can determine if it was possible for the Three Disembodied Jerks to take any worse hostages.

jimmy:  Do you mean who they inhabited or the folks in Ten Forward?

tomk:  Ten Forward. Two of the three they inhabited were good choices, and if Troi showed off any more cleavage, no one notice if she ever did anything wrong.

jimmy:  Well, Ten Forward was kind of forced on them.

tomk:  True, but they took Picard, who believes in Starfleet; Keiko, who would die for her baby; and Worf, who just don’t mind dying.

Now, if they took, I dunno, Barclay, the baby, and Cowardly Bob, Starfleet’s worst security officer, it might have been a different story.

jimmy:  Funny, Barclay was one of the examples I was going to use.

tomk:  But taking Data and O’Brien as hosts meant they could control the ship very effectively.

jimmy:  It’s funny how many ways the “possessed” person always knows how to bypass security protocols and/or lock others out of the ships systems.

tomk:  That’s why they maybe shouldn’t send their top experts on dangerous missions.

jimmy:  This crossed my mind this episode too, but then there wouldn’t be much of a show.

tomk:  True. Maybe next time there’s someone possessed, they can call in their own expert.

jimmy:  Huh.

tomk:  You got a problem with Jeffrey Combs?

jimmy:  Not at all.

tomk:  Well, good. Many believe that movie is a Doctor Strange rip off. It isn’t actually as Mordrid was created for a movie by Jack Kirby.  And the movie has more stop motion attack skeletons and naked women than anything in the MCU.

I’m sure Mordrid and the Night Crew would have saved the day in about a minute.

jimmy:  Stop motion skeletons eh?  Naked women eh?  Maude eh?

tomk:  I am sure that my obscure and weird movie references work better with something involving Jeffrey Combs and not, say, talking cats or purple hulks.

jimmy:  Like Toonces?  No, wait, he was a driving cat.

tomk:  I don’t think you want me to remind you of the Talking Cat, Jimmy.

jimmy:  I do not. I’d rather watch Riker react nonchalantly to a broken arm.

tomk:  I am sure Dr. Crusher can fix that in a few minutes with a magic wand or something.

jimmy:  Sure, but prior to that it’s still broken.

tomk:  Riker is a manly man.  It’s why Worf respects him.

jimmy:  Riker can finish higher than Troi level.

tomk:  We saw him do it with Worf once.

jimmy:  Indeed we did.

tomk:  But here’s a thought:  if the “ghosts” had just used the “we’re dead Starfleet personnel” from the beginning, they might have had more success than trying to take the ship by force.

Because, I would think, any halfway intelligent member of the bridge crew would have recognized that story as a pile of crap.

jimmy:  I agree. They’re possibly not very bright.

tomk:  It’s like they never learned their lesson.  Like whenever Superman has to deal with someone from the Phantom Zone.

jimmy:  In 200, years they probably pushed past being apologetic and straight onto Bitterland.

tomk:  Jimmy, this is Star Trek, not the Real World.

You know, when people stop being polite and start getting real.

Still, trying the cover story probably would have worked better than cracking Picard on the back of his bald dome, knocking Worf over a console, and reminding Jonathan Frakes about his muscle injury that is the secret reason why Riker swings a leg over a chair when he sits down.

jimmy:  Like I said, probably not that bright.

And since they were a bunch of convicts just trying to escape, not possessing Riker because of his broken arm doesn’t really make a lot of sense.  They could have still used him. Especially if they had any idea his arm would be instantly fixed upon return to the Enterprise.

tomk:  But the fact Riker was in pain was why they couldn’t possess him.  That was their weakness!  Their Achilles Heel!  Their Kryptonite!  Their Watson!

Ok, Jimmy, I think we know what to do in case of weird alien possession now. Do you have anything else to add?

jimmy:  Maybe if a race has the technology to turn people into energy and strand them on a prison planet, they have the tech to place a warning beacon there. Just seems like common courtesy.

tomk:  Some people just don’t think that far ahead.

jimmy:  Maybe they didn’t know others would stop by. Or figured the planet was so inhospitable that no one sensible would attempt to land there.

tomk:  Or they figured it wasn’t their problem anymore.

You know, because they took advice from Wesley.

jimmy:  Typical Kryptonian attitude.

tomk:  You know what can make things harder?  Typical Klingon attitudes.

jimmy:  That can ruffle some feathers.

tomk:  Or create a segue thanks to you.

jimmy:  I try.

tomk:  You succeed. Time to give the Impossible Level a try with a triple chocolate sundae and a meat lover’s pizza.

jimmy:  This may be the best Saturday ever.

tomk:  You ready to move on to the next one?  Before the Moose and Beaver beat you to your workout again?

jimmy:  Sounds like a good idea.

tomk:  Good. You can consult Chidi from The Good Place since our next discussion will be about doing the right thing.

Next:  “Ethics”

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