There are many classic episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation. For many fans, “Rascals” isn’t one of them.
Jimmy and Tom have some thoughts about that one below.
A strange accident transforms Picard, Guinan, Keiko, and Ensign Ro into children.
jimmy: I doubt you’ll find this on many all time top ten lists.
tomk: Not a fan?
jimmy: It was fine, but very cliched and has a few cringe worthy moments.
tomk: Like “ I want to see him now! Now! Now! Now! Now!”?
jimmy: Yeah, like that. And the big hug at the end of their “father”/”son” convo. I know it was all an act, but still.
tomk: It fooled the Ferengi.
jimmy: Not difficult.
tomk: Well, I do have some trivia about this episode.
jimmy: Do share.
tomk: OK, as you guessed, this was Keiko’s last episode of TNG. But Miles would be back for the series finale. However, the same actress played Molly O’Brien on DS9, and this was also her last TNG.
It was thought at the time this would be Ro’s last appearance, but they liked the actor playing young Ro and considered keeping her on as Ro opted not to go back to being an adult right away.
The kid playing Young Picard had previously played his nephew.
And this was the directorial debut of Adam “son of Leonard” Nimoy.
jimmy: I meant to check who the director was. I thought it might be Stewart as he had nothing else to do.
So, was this Miles’s last appearance outside of the finale as well? Is there no send off to DS9 for him?
I’m guessing adult Ro returns later.
tomk: Ro has at least one more in the final season.
Miles’s send off is arguably the DS9 pilot.
And I think Stewart directed the next one.
jimmy: That’s what I was wondering, and Picard appears there as well.
tomk: He does. Sisko has some issues with him over the whole Locutus thing.
jimmy: I have a memory of the cameo, but not much else. I’ll have to revisit…one day…
tomk: Too bad I am way ahead of you on DS9.
jimmy: You could have waited.
tomk: There’s always Voyager.
jimmy: Totally off topic, but something I don’t think I mentioned in the “Relics” chat, was that on the audio commentary they talked about how TOS had a distinct look and feel. Same with TNG and DS9, but they felt that Voyager was a “failure” in that department as it had no real distinguishing characteristics. While they’re not wrong, it is a ship from the same era as TNG, so it likely wouldn’t have much in the way of differences in design.
tomk: Do you mean the ship had a distinct look or the series as a whole?
jimmy: The series as a whole.
tomk: I can see that, but Voyager seems to have been reappraised by fans in recent years and gets a lot more appreciation now than it did when it was new. And it still ran for seven seasons, much better than Enterprise.
jimmy: I didn’t mind Enterprise, but from a longevity standpoint, yeah, it fell very short.
tomk: And some folks might have been upset.
jimmy: They should have crossed it over with Quantum Leap.
tomk: I’m sure that never happened.
tomk: No, you’re Impossible.
jimmy: I am.
tomk: Like a genius Ferengi.
jimmy: That said, they outsmarted two ships worth of Klingons and had essentially taken over the Enterprise with almost no resistance, only held back by a computer lock out.
tomk: I thought they said they bought used Klingon ships.
jimmy: Yeah, pretty smart! But, the Enterprise part is true.
tomk: They stunned Worf and everyone else just surrendered.
It’s like they knew better.
jimmy: Well, if they beat Worf, the rest knew they were done for.
tomk: Probably smart. Geordi never did figure out the VISOR’s optic blast.
jimmy: Now that would be awesome.
tomk: Something like this?
jimmy: Yeah. But that would mean crossing over with the X-Men, and that could never happen.
tomk: I think we don’t need to consider something that crazy.
jimmy: But yeah, Geordi with optic blast would be cool.
tomk: Instead, he just sees very well and strikes out with women.
jimmy: Like he could see things in that shuttle wreckage, that I imagine is mostly edged with jagged metal, but that Miles et al moved around with no gloves or protective gear of any kind?
tomk: He’s not a good supervisor.
jimmy: He gets a lot of calls from occupational health and safety.
tomk: That’s probably Troi. It’s why you haven’t seen as much of her lately.
jimmy: Busy with all the OHS cases on the ship.
tomk: It’s why they cut so many of her scenes. Nobody wants to watch someone else fill out paperwork.
jimmy: Makes sense.
tomk: Just like when Picard pretended to be Riker’s son, he was behaving in a manner that he believed was how kids behave.
jimmy: Maybe a younger kid. But like a 12-13 year old?
tomk: Picard hates kids. That probably is how he thinks a 12-13 year old would behave.
jimmy: Good point.
tomk: And the Ferengi didn’t know better. Imagine what their kids must be like…
jimmy: They are like kids as adults.
tomk: Oh, look at Jimmy with his space racism burn.
Did you notice Young Picard running his hand through his hair at one point early on?
jimmy: Definitely. And regular age Picard lamenting his lost follicles once again near the end.
tomk: I was just glad to get a guy with his actual accent back.
jimmy: Accents change as you age.
tomk: That’s just science.
jimmy: Don’t blind me with it, Tom!
tomk: We’ll just get you a VISOR with an optic blast.
jimmy: And we’re back!
tomk: OK, which of the kid actors do you think was the worst?
jimmy: I don’t remember any of them standing out as really good or bad. You have a vote?
tomk: Not really. I just didn’t find any of them particularly impressive.
tomk: That and it was a really bizarre foursome to go to a conference together.
jimmy: Yes, very random. Was it a conference though? Sounded like it was supposed to be R&R.
tomk: Still a strange group. I mean, it’s not completely weird as long as you remember three of the four were not members of the main cast.
jimmy: I guess Stewart needed some R&R himself.
tomk: Also, missing captains create more drama. Like, what if he became Wesley Crusher’s Academy roommate?
jimmy: That might have been a better show. Or not.
tomk: I vote not if we have to wait fifteen seasons to get Patrick Stewart back.
jimmy: That anomaly that turned them into pre-teens was probably an experiment Evil Wesley flushed out the space toilet.
tomk: Probably. The Ferengi were probably also his idea.
jimmy: Genetic experiment gone awry.
tomk: He was probably trying to make people older, not make O’Brien uncomfortable.
jimmy: You can’t blame the Chief though. Yes, mentally it was still Keiko, but physically she was 12.
tomk: Yeah, but Keiko didn’t seem to realize that.
jimmy: Yeah. I get where she’s coming from, but it shouldn’t take much to realize the position they’re in.
tomk: Yes, well, Molly reminded her.
jimmy: Kids don’t mess around.
tomk: Neither did the wardrobe department. I think everyone’s uniform shrunk with them except for Ro’s.
jimmy: I thought when they first showed up on the transporter paid the uniforms were too big and the during the commercial break on the way to sick bay they got them perfectly fitted ones.
tomk: I just noticed Ro’s sleeves were too long.
jimmy: Hers was the most obvious. Maybe she was a late bloomer.
tomk: Guinan’s hat was apparently OK.
jimmy: Guinan’s head was not a late bloomer.
tomk: She’s MODOK?
jimmy: That’s a different show.
tomk: One where jumping on the bed and teaming up with Alexander is less necessary?
tomk: So, was this episode just kinda silly?
jimmy: A lot of it was. And the Ferengi are always more comic relief than villains, even when threatening to kill people to get what they want.
tomk: Maybe they could do something evil like kill Riker and wear his face as a mask.
jimmy: I don’t think it would fit.
tomk: That just makes it more evil.
jimmy: You’re right.
tomk: But that’s more of a Star Trek Discovery kinda thing.
jimmy: But we wouldn’t know about that.
tomk: I’m guessing.
jimmy: Maybe the Discovery characters do a lot of jumping on the bed.
tomk: Maybe. I may find out…eventually.
jimmy: Same. But for now, we know Ro and Guinan do.
tomk: There’re gonna ruin those mattresses. That means someone will need to take them out to the curb, and that can be dangerous.
jimmy: Do they have garbage day in the 24th century?
tomk: That’s any day the Ferengi come by because Picard is a space racist.
jimmy: Luckily for them they picked a day when Picard hadn’t hit puberty.
tomk: But unluckily he still has a working trigger finger.
jimmy: And that Riker can distract with technobabble.
tomk: Technobabble does have its uses.
jimmy: Like explaining how people can be de-aged physically and have zero side effects.
tomk: Eh, that happened to me last week.
jimmy: You got better?
tomk: Sure. It was easy.
tomk: More or less. You probably want something more challenging.
jimmy: Like re-aging?
tomk: I was thinking a malfunctioning holodeck, but that could make it worse.
jimmy: For as often as those things malfunction, you almost wonder if they’re worth it.
tomk: Are you saying you don’t want to see Wild West Worf?
jimmy: Wild West Worf!?! Why didn’t you say so!?!
tomk: You didn’t ask.
jimmy: I shouldn’t have to.
tomk: In that case, ready for that sort of thing?
jimmy: Who wouldn’t be?
tomk: Good. Let’s go.