June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “The Q And The Grey”

Janeway has to fend off an amorous Q, and then comes his ex...

OK, that tropical resort thing on the holodeck is starting to make sense as basically a nice place for the crew to relax in.  I mean, I’m still pretty sure part of the reason is to show off female characters in bathing suits because this was still produced in the 90s and advertisers still didn’t realize girls like sci-fi too, I suppose, but the point stands.

But hey, Q came back!  I always dig me some Q!

OK, on second thought, Q with Janeway is a little weird because Q then combines all his usual arrogance with a healthy dose of sexual harassment, particularly in this episode when he shows up out of the blue to announce he wants Janeway to mate with him.  That does mean I get to see John de Lancie in a cartoon character’s idea of seductive, trying everything he can think of to get Janeway to agree to mate with him, a position he holds for most of the episode even as she keeps telling him “no” because she finds him repulsive, and no, duplicating Chakotay’s tattoo won’t fix that even if Q’s is bigger.

I know Chakotay’s tattoo isn’t something that’s actually on Robert Beltran’s face and all, but man, that seemed kinda disrespectful to me.

Besides, it is somehow appropriate that Q gets his best ideas from Neelix, even if Neelix was telling him off at the time.  Personally, it might have been nice if Janeway was allowed to keep the puppy, but we’re still one series away from a captain with a dog on the ship, so no cute puppy.

However, there is a better highlight to this episode, a character I expect to be one-and-done, and that’s a character that might best be described as “Miss Q,” a female Q who says she’s been dating the male Q for a few billion years only for him to dump her for a much younger woman in the form of Janeway.   She’s got all the great Q arrogance, but somehow in a way that seems different.  Most other Qs in Star Trek are a lot less, well, Q.  They aren’t exactly polite, but they’re at worst a little snotty.  Heck, Q has been punished in the past for his treatment of less advanced beings.  This Miss Q is a woman after Q’s own heart.  She looks down her nose at everyone, and if de Lancie’s Q is like a cartoon trickster, Miss Q is more of a cartoon seductress except she isn’t trying to seduce everybody.  That all comes out of her voice and mannerisms, and it really helps that’s she’s played by the great Trek guest star Suzie Plakson.

Plakson, as far as I can remember, did three episodes of Star Trek: The Next GenerationIn the first, she was the Vulcan physician Dr. Selar.  Though Selar only appears in this one episode, she’s mentioned multiple times after that as a member of the medical crew.  She may have also been intended as a love interest for Worf, but that never panned out.  However, her next two appearances did as she was a love interest for Worf, namely the half-human, half-Klingon ambassador K’Ehleyr.  I always felt K’Ehleyr was a good match for Worf, and though I did come around on Dax over on DS9, K’Ehleyr was the mother of Alexander, and that makes her pretty important to Worf’s story in the long run.

It also means when Miss Q says something about admiring the directness of a Klingon woman, namely B’Elanna, I can’t help but think there’s a double meaning there.

Regardless, I just really dig how Miss Q basically sneers at everyone.  She’s clearly a female version of de Lancie’s Q if ever I saw one.  Sure, she’ll help the crew get Voyager into the Q Continuum when her powers fail, but she’ll be a really snob about it the entire time.  That makes three female aliens Plakson has played so far during my Trek run-through, and while Selar may not have been all that memorable–through no fault of Plakson’s as Selar is basically just filling in for Pulaski in that episode–K’Ehleyr and Miss Q certainly are the sorts of characters I can really like, and at the same time, I don’t think I need to see that much of them since then they run the risk of overexposure.

Besides, by episode’s end, I got to see Q mating as it is just Q and Miss Q briefly joining index fingers and then reacting like it was great sex in an underplayed way, and “underplayed” is not a term that should be used often with Q.  I suspect that the fact that Q pops in at the end of the episode with Baby Q, his son, may be why he doesn’t pop up again too often.  At least, I hope not, even if Janeway agreed to be the godmother for…reasons.

Did Picard ever find out about this?

As for the rest of the episode, it’s a nice follow-up to Q’s previous appearance on Voyager, as the suicide of the other Q in that episode led to a civil war in the Continuum, one that leads to supernovas and the loss of Q powers in the Delta Quadrant (and presumably elsewhere too but I’ll never know).  There’s a Colonel Q at one point, done up like a Confederate army officer, but he’s actually polite to Janeway before he decides she needs to die for aiding and abetting.  Cue the Voyager crew in Union army uniforms and with what look like muskets but are, apparently, weapons that can kill a Q.  No one seems to die here, but the idea that the Qs need to change is what prompted all this, and while Q thinks just getting some human DNA into the mix will fix it, Janeway suggests maybe raising a baby to care and be nice in a loving home would be more appropriate.  That’s basically what Q and Miss Q decide to do, and everything goes back to the way it was, and Janeway never even got to keep that puppy.

I’ll just have to wait for Porthos to see a cute dog on the ship.