April 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Cause And Effect”

The Enterprise is caught in a time loop.

Here was a treat.  I actually remember watching this episode when it was new with most of my family.  That included both of my parents who were, at best, extremely casual fans.  But this one does open with the destruction of the ship, and that happens more than once.  Quite the fun episode.

Maybe Jimmy agreed with me.  See the chat below.

“Cause and Effect”

The Enterprise is trapped in a time loop.

jimmy:  Do you think it would be fair to call the a quasi bottle episode?  Or is there enough variance in retakes, different angles of the Enterprise blowing up and eventually script changes, that they probably didn’t save much if anything?

tomk:  Bottle episodes are about reusing sets, so the scenes can be different.

jimmy:  Or really, anything that saves money. Like a show taking place all in one room for example.

tomk:  Yes. Or redecorating existing sets to look like new rooms.

jimmy:  “an episode of a television show that is written so that it requires only one set or scene and a limited number of cast members.”

So, I did say “quasi”. Obviously it’s not sticking to that definition, but when 1/4 of the show is the same shots over and over, the episode probably came in under budget.

tomk:  And the version I saw was a bit short.

jimmy:  Heh. It did seem like the obvious thing to do. And Picard’s reasoning not to seems plot driven, but he could have been right, maybe every time they change course and that cause the loop.

tomk:  Some people really just get caught up in Fraiser reruns.

jimmy:  Funny enough, I’ve been watching Frasier reruns lately.

And the money they saved likely went towards Kesley Grammer’s salary for 3 minutes work.

tomk:  They asked Kirstie Alley to reprise Saavik, but she wouldn’t without getting the same pay as Grammar, and she didn’t really have any lines. They wanted her to just stand there.

jimmy:  Plus, Kelsey Grammer is awesome.

tomk:  But maybe not much of a captain if he kept hitting things.

jimmy:  The Bozeman side of things almost seems like a plot hole.  Did they initially travel in time and arrive at the point where they hit the Enterprise and then get caught in the loop?  And were then caught in the loop for 17 days along with the Enterprise?

The show seems to imply that the Bozeman was stuck in a loop for 80 years. If that was the case, since the events seemed to happen in “real time” would there need to be 80 years of the Enterprise to crash into?  And the crew of the Enterprise figured the loop out in a few days, the Bozeman spent 80 years and seemed oblivious to what was going on?

tomk:  They came backwards in time 235 years after traveling forward in time 315 years.

jimmy:  Maybe we need to consult with Ryan. He is a master on how time travel works.

tomk:  Has he done much of it?

jimmy:  He keeps on slipping into the future.

tomk:  Oh, that’s easy. We all do that. Going backwards is the harder one, Steve Miller.

jimmy:  But outside of quirky time travel mechanics, this was a fun (if repetitive) episode.

tomk:  Some people really just get caught up in Fraiser reruns.

jimmy:  Uh oh, Tom’s caught in a time loop.

tomk:  Or I was restating an absolute truth.

jimmy:  Like the truth that Beverly is often the central focus of these types of episodes?

tomk:  Well, if you want to watch her go to bed four or five times.

jimmy:  With no way to save that poor glass in any of the time loops.

tomk:  They can replicate more.

jimmy:  Phew!

tomk:  Not like Picard and his book he’ll never finish. Of course he invites Crusher to his quarters after hours…

jimmy:  And she shows up in uniform.

tomk:  You have a problem with these uniforms?

jimmy:  No, but after hours, wouldn’t she put on something more casual?

tomk:  Depends on how many decks you need to cross.

jimmy:  If you’re off duty, you’re off duty.

tomk:  Do you want the whole ship to know you go to the Captain’s quarters when you are off-duty?

jimmy:  That I do?  No.

tomk:  Well, Beverly plays poker in her uniform.  It’s not like it has pockets for her chips either.  And we know how you feel about chips.

jimmy:  I like chips.

Since they don’t use money, I wondered what they played for?  Just get X chips to start and play for pride/fun?

tomk:  Worf doesn’t seem to be playing for pride.

jimmy:  He’s just there to make sure Data doesn’t cheat by stacking the deck with 3’s or something.

tomk:  Eh, there’s no help for the Klingon.

jimmy:  He needs to learn how to bluff like Riker.

tomk:  That’s probably dishonorable.

jimmy:  Hmm. That’s an interesting point.

tomk:  I mean, in battle, anything goes.  But a game?  There are rules.

jimmy:  Bluffing is part of the game though. It’s not really cheating.

tomk:  I wouldn’t know.  I don’t gamble.

jimmy:  Since there’s no money involved, neither do they.

tomk:  It’s a game of skill.  Worf’s preferred skill is his workout program against the forces of Snake Mountain.


tomk:  That gif looks like someone stuck in a time loop.

jimmy:  Gifs are like little time loops. You’re right!

tomk:  And for that, you get a prize.

jimmy:  Is it a time loop?

tomk:  It’s a way out of one.

jimmy:  Good to have on hand. You never know when you’ll need it.

tomk:  It consists of, among other things, some tossed salad and scrambled eggs.

jimmy:  They’re calling again.

tomk:  Calling again?  Time loop!

jimmy:  It’s so easy to slip into one of those things.

tomk:  Like your turkey pants?

jimmy:  Just like them. Easy to slip into, tough to get out of.

tomk:  Maybe you need less snacks.


tomk:  In fact, here’s a nice, healthy fruit salad.

jimmy:  Does it have pineapple?

tomk:  Only if you want to eat it.  You can otherwise pelt your enemies with it.

jimmy:  Pelting it is.

tomk:  I’ll put on my rain slicker.

jimmy:  You don’t need to worry.

tomk:  I’m not worried you’ll do it on purpose.  And someone might throw stuff back.

jimmy:  Someone?

tomk:  You do have many enemies.

jimmy:  Just one.

tomk:  Is that why Jenny keeps raiding your donut stash?

jimmy:  If she was an enemy, I’d trap her in a donut time loop.

tomk:  Donuts are loops.

jimmy:  Maybe she’s already trapped then.

tomk:  That sounds cruelly delicious. Like Worf at the GAGH! bowl.

jimmy:  He might have eaten a lot GAGH! in those 17 days.

tomk:  So might you if he kept shoving your face into it.

See what happens when you start pelting people with pineapple?

jimmy:  I’ve learned my lesson.

tomk:  Or you like GAGH! now.

jimmy:  Or not.

tomk:  Well, at least you might not rush out to use the tractor beam.

jimmy:  Another case where someone shows they are smarter than Data.

tomk:  Like that time the Moose and the Beaver beat Watson at thumb wrestling despite the fact neither of them have thumbs?

jimmy:  Watson’s not that bright. Maybe he’s an ancestor of Captain Frasier.

tomk:  I think I know who that guy’s ancestor was.

jimmy:  That’s probably how the Bozeman ended up in the time loop. The Captain couldn’t get to the bridge with all the rakes in the turbo lift.

tomk:  Or he can’t seem to avoid hitting things.

jimmy:  They didn’t seem to have much say in the matter.

tomk:  What are you?  His space lawyer?  Defending his drunk flying now?

jimmy:  I’m more a space cowboy.

tomk:  If you say so, Maurice.

jimmy:  I hope the Enterprise left a “Time Loop Ahead” sign before leaving for their next adventure.

tomk:  Do you think they are somehow irresponsible?

jimmy:  Probably not.

tomk:  Well, at least no one had to abandon ship in the end.

jimmy:  Or exploded.

tomk:  Right.  Or that.  Any other final thoughts this time, Jimmy, or should we just blame Wesley again?

jimmy:  Seems like a potential failed #evilwesley experiment…though not sure how it roped the Bozeman in. It’s that evil.

tomk:  Well, he might have been busy.

It’s not like some older version of Wesley was just spotted doing random time travel.

jimmy:  I knew it was him. Even when it was him, I knew it was him.

tomk:  Well, maybe the ship should go check on what Wesley is up to in the present.

jimmy:  I’m sure nothing could possiblie go wrong.

tomk:  You mean the next episode might just be a quiet one where nothing really happens?

jimmy:  You never know.

tomk:  Should we find out?

jimmy:  We should.

tomk:  Well, then, better make sure Wesley isn’t ruining the careers of anyone who might sail with the USS Voyager.

Next:  “The First Duty”