Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3

3.1 – 3.10 (Stardate 1703.25-1703.26 / 1704.01)

I watched 3.1-3.5 on the plane on my trip to California, then 3.6 in the plane, in the baggage claim area, and in the rental car place. I don’t know why I’m specifying where I watched it because I’ve never specified it before oh well. And then 3.7-3.10 on the flight home. It was a little infuriating watching on the plane and not being able to look up the guest actors and see where I knew them from. “Who Watches the Watchers” was good. I was a bit concerned watching “The Price” when there was this really long close-up of Troi’s feet and I’m like oh my god people are going to think I’m watching foot porn. I fell asleep during “The Vengeance Factor”, but I don’t think that’s because it was particularly boring episode or anything. I kind of don’t like that her name is spelled Yuta when they kept calling her Utah.


3.12 “The High Ground” (Stardate 1704.08)

I always kind of thought that the word “terrorism” was invented after 9/11, because I never recalled hearing the word before then. I didn’t consider that’s probably because I was eleven and there were lots of words I’d never heard of before. Anyway, I found the opening scene almost a little too real. Like, I don’t know if they could do that scene today. I’m going to seem callous here, but there was some terrorist attack at a cafe, right? I can’t keep track of them all anymore.


The other day, I noticed the front door was slightly ajar, so I went to close it. My mom asked where I was going, and I said I was just closing the door, and she said I thought you were going outside, and I said, “In these clothes? With unshaven legs? No thank you” and smirked to myself. Okay, it’s not as elaborate and eloquent as “Cyrano” but I’m still proud of myself for working a “no thank you” into real life where it didn’t belong.

Also, I was playing QuizUp for the first time in forever, and I found they changed the titles, so my level 5 in Boston Bruins trivia now gets me the title “Prove it in Providence” instead of “Big Bad Bruin”. Which, totally fair, that title never should have been a level 5 title in the first place. So I changed my title to “Stuck in the Neutral Zone”, which is also applicable to Star Trek. Unfortunately, I can’t earn any Star Trek titles, because the only Star Trek quiz that gives titles is one for all the serieses. I played that quiz once, and the first question it gave me was “Who played Worf?” and one of the answers was Mickey [sic] Dolenz. (I of course stupidly picked Peter Dorn because half of the game is just speed and I didn’t bother looking for another Dorn.) The TOS only quiz is fan-made and all the questions are way too long to be able to read in the time given, and the questions are super hard. Like, if it was a Monkees quiz, no problem, but I’ve only seen TOS once, so I’m not ready for that yet. Luckily, there was another TOS quiz that was more my speed with questions like “Qui est-ce?” and a picture of Kirk. Thanks, French TOS quiz.


3.13 “Déjà Q” (Stardate 1704.09)

Spoilers for Groundhog Day, because that makes sense here

I’m a little bit sad because this is surely going to be the best Q episode. I can’t think of a better premise for a Q episode than Q loses his powers and becomes human. Must be all downhill from here.

Q: These aren’t my colours.

<3

Q: How rude.

And for the second time now, Star Trek has caused me to look up when Full House first aired.

Q: What must I do to convince you people?
Worf: Die.

I was thinking the other day about how TNG characters are all so boring, and like, if you asked me who’s my favourite TOS character, no hesitation, it’s obviously Spock, but Kirk and Bones and Scotty are also great too. But who in TNG is even good? Who’s my favourite TNG character? Uh, well, I guess, maybe… Wesley? So here we have Worf reminding me he’s in the running too. His answer is at once very emotional and very logical.

I don’t remember where exactly the facepalm occurred, somewhere around here, but how delightful to see its origins, and in this episode.

Q: Hey, I’m claustrophobic. I don’t like it in here.

Don’t mind me, I’m just going to quote everything Q said in this episode.

Q: If you would speak to the captain on my behalf, I would be eternally grateful. Which doesn’t mean as much as it used to, I admit.

I didn’t catch this line at the time, but nice.

You know, it’s going to have to be Worf, I think, because he and Q have somewhat of a Bones/Spock antagonistic dynamic going on, and that is just so me to have my favourite characters be characters who hate each other.

I kind of don’t like how these planet people are so helpless and like they’re basically saying well if we die, it’s all your fault, Picard. Like help yourselves, geez.

Q: This is getting on my nerves, now that I have them.

Picard: Mr. Data, you are hereby assigned to Q for the remainder of his stay.

Cue me going ugh. Except Q and Data’s interactions turned out quite well. It was nice to have Q interacting with the lesser characters (ie. not Picard and Riker) a little more.

Q: Can I have a Starfleet uniform?

Q: This is obviously the result of a large celestial object passing through at near right angles to the plane of the star system. Probably a black hole.

Pretty sure Wesley was originally supposed to be in this episode, but Wil Wheaton had to go to his graduation or something, so they just gave Q all his lines instead.

Q: Simple. Change the gravitational constant of the universe.

Q: Ow. I think.
Dr. Crusher: Now what?
Q: There’s something wrong with my stomach.
Dr. Crusher: It hurts?
Q: It’s making noises.

Q: I’ll have ten chocolate sundaes.

Q: This is not a moment I’ve been looking forward to.

Oh, but we have.

Guinan: Seems human enough to me.

Guinan: You’re a pitiful excuse for a human.

If Guinan was in more episodes, she would probably be in the running for favourite character as well. Well, I mean, she beats Q in number of episodes, but it’s not fair to pick either of them, or Pulaski for that matter.

Worf: Energy patterns are reading as highly organized.
Riker: A lifeform?

Is anything in this damn universe not a lifeform?

Data: To function aboard a starship, or in any human activity, you must learn to form relationships.
Q: It’s so hard.
Data: And of more immediate importance is your ability to work within groups.
Q: I’m not good in groups. It’s difficult working in a group when you’re omnipotent.

Is it wrong for me to identify with Q here? Because I identify with Q here.

Scientist: Our population has already taken shelter, but I’m afraid no shelter will be adequate if you fail.

That’s what I’m talking about. Jerks.

La Forge: We’re recalibrating his language circuits, so he can’t talk yet.

Dammit. They didn’t get how brains worked in “Spock’s Brain”, and they still don’t get it now. Okay, okay, so I probably don’t know what I’m talking about either, but I feel like language processing and production is pretty connected, and it’s unlikely they would have one working completely and not the other. Here is where they could have used the excuse about the vocal chords not being connected, and that would have made everything fine.

Picard: Q, return to the ship immediately.

Why, dammit, why? Why do they care? I don’t like this at all.

Q2: Sacrificing yourself for these humans? Do I detect a little selfless act?

Is this a trope? Being set free after committing a selfless act? Isn’t that how Groundhog Day ended? I feel like there’s gotta be a Disney movie with the same ending too. Wait, yeah, duh, this is the resolution to basically any story with an anti-hero. Okay, nevermind. Oh, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas too, basically. But also we’ve got the failed suicide attempt connection with Groundhog Day. I dunno, enough film analysis for me for one day.

Q2: What a dreadful colour.

I thought Q2’s actor did a nice job, but I’m still curious to see what the other Q’s are like. Are they all like this? Or does it just make sense that the one other Q we saw is similar to our Q because they are friends and so would likely be similar?

Q2: And they’re still at it. They just tried to beam you up, back, whatever it is they call it.

This was a long scene for two guest actors, and normally, I’d be complaining, but it’s okay here.

Love that the first thing Q does when he gets his powers back is get himself a Starfleet uniform. And love Picard’s reaction when he sees it.

I also like how Picard pretty much always keeps his cool, but every once in a while, he’ll do something like shout “I DON’T” or like–oh yeah, the other time, it was Q that caused it too: “Dammit, Bones! I need you!”

Q: Please, don’t fall back on your tired cliché of charging to the rescue just in the nick of time.

Riker: I don’t need your fantasy women.
Q: Oh, you’re so stolid, commander. You weren’t like that before the beard.

This is a stretch, but like… does Q know this is a TV show? Has Q ever broken the fourth wall? I have this tiny inkling that someone did ever so briefly in TNG, but I don’t want to look it up because I always get spoilers.


Not long before or after I started getting into Star Trek, I remember seeing some Monkees/Star Trek discussion, as is wont to happen, seeing as they both premiered with in a week of each other. Perhaps stemming from a character comparison discussion, a Mike is Spock type thing (which I’ve already discussed is completely wrong, but I digress), it led to a Mike vs Spock thing in a battle of… I don’t know what. Wits? Intelligence? Sarcasm? And then someone else chimed in saying they’ve always thought it would be more appropriate to have Mike vs. Q. And again, I don’t know what this is. If it’s a battle of powers, clearly, hands down, Q wins. How anyone could argue against that is beyond me.

Except.

This brings us back to the fourth wall. Mike knows he is a television character, and that gives him great power. If Q does not know this, Mike could surely come up with something that would allow him to win this battle of whatever. And if he can’t, he can always just ask the writers. (Though they usually have terrible ideas; they’re really overpaid.)


3.14 “A Matter of Perspective” (Stardate 1704.11)

Picard’s shitty painting made him infinitely more likeable.

Did I already discuss the Breaking Bad thing and how I apparently still think John de Lancie’s name is Mark Margolis? Because that led to some brief confusion during this episode’s opening guest credits. Also, how does IMDb trivia not have a fact about this, especially considering Q was in the episode that aired just before this one, and that clearly makes this an important connection. They have every single North and South character appearance in there.

IMDb trivia does have a fact about “this episode is similar to ‘Wolf in the Fold'”, which is normally something I would point out, except I didn’t really get that vibe here. I totally see it now: both stories about crew members being accused of a murder they didn’t commit. “Wolf in the Fold” to me is more about multiple murders, especially of women. And Bones getting everybody high.

Hm. Breaking Bad is only 62 episodes… I could–


3.15 “Yesterday’s Enterprise” (Stardate 1704.13)

I was so damn confused. I thought this was “Mirror, Mirror” but with Guinan instead of Kirk. And when Riker died, I was expecting the Kobayashi thing to happen.

The alternate timeship was cooler looking. Yes, I thought the doors sounded more ’60s, and I was totally right.


My mom and brother were watching Survivor and they had a stack of pizza boxes in a reward challenge and my brother said something like “I want ten pizzas”. Like, how could I not say I wanted ten chocolate sundaes, I ask you.


3.16 “The Offspring” (Stardate 1704.14)

Pretty early on in this episode, I was like hm, I think Data’s going to have something in common with Troi when this episode is over. And like with “The Child”, I got a little misty-eyed at the end there. Damn you.

This was a really good episode though. I laughed out loud–or should I say lolled–a lot. Like when Lal first tried to drink.

In the back of my head, like they mentioned Riker being away a few times, and I’m just like oh he must have not been available for filming, and then later Picard’s all like Riker’s back, I’m gonna go see him, and I’m like that doesn’t make sense, why would they show him only halfway through the episode.

And then he walked into Ten Forward. And even if the music hadn’t given it away, oh, I knew what was coming. I didn’t expect it to happen like that, but it was still perfect.

Oh, it’s because he directed the episode? That’s cool. I’m really glad it worked out that way.

There are just so many dickish, unlikable characters in this series, especially dudes from Starfleet.


I was looking for an app on the app store, and in the search results, up pops Trexels. FarmVille for Star Trek fans. So I’m addicted to it now. I kind of didn’t pay much attention to “Allegiance” and “Captain’s Holiday” because I was too busy playing Trexels. At first, I was like this is horrible, it’s overwhelming, there are too many different mechanisms, but I’ve got it figured out now.

Speaking of “Captain’s Holiday”, IMDb tells me it is the “first of many” episodes that feature Picard off on a side quest and ignore the rest of the crew. Lame, lame. Also, apparently I should have been paying attention because the chick shows up again twice, and in Q episodes no less. One was called “Qpid” and for some reason I’m thinking this is a play on the word “stupid” but then a few hours later it dawns on me that that is not what it meant.

Also, I quite like how in “Captain’s Holiday”, the thing that finally convinces Picard to go on vacation is the fact that he thinks Troi’s mother is going to be visiting. I wouldn’t call that a joke per se, but it’s these little continuity bits that I like in a show, being rewarded for having watched previous episodes.

My brother asked me today: do I like Kirk or do I like Picard. No hesitation, I said Kirk. On Trexels, you can use your dilithium crystals to buy crew members, and like there are no crew members from TNG that I would rather have than their TOS counterpart. Like, okay, for instance, I like La Forge, but I don’t like him more than Scotty. I saved up my crystals and bought Bones, and now I’m saving up for Spock. I’m at level 25 after three days. I dunno if that’s good or sad or what.


3.21 “Hollow Pursuits” (Stardate 1704.16)

This episode made me really uncomfortable, because it made me think, like, is that how I look to the outside world? This guy is super awkward and doesn’t make good words, and like is that what I sound like? I don’t wanna say I identify with this guy, because I don’t, but I worry other people might look at me and see him or vice-versa.

I can’t say I blame him for hanging out with the Enterprise crew on the holodeck, because if I had a holodeck, I would totally do the same thing… but to me, they’re fictional characters, so that’s okay and totally healthy (right? right?!). I take some comfort in knowing that I can’t really be as bad as him, because at least I recognize that recreating people you actually know in the holodeck is creepy, and I wouldn’t ever do something like that. Like, especially if those people could walk in on me at any moment?! What was he thinking?!


I quite like how Trexels has written Kirok’s dialogue.


3.23 “Sarek” (Stardate 1704.17)

We are in orbit around Vulcan, preparing to welcome aboard Federation Ambassador Sarek and his wife Perrin, who like his first wife, is from Earth.

I had to rewind here because I was like um that didn’t sound like “Amanda”.

I’m glad I’m watching everything in the order it was released, so it’s not really a big surprise that Sarek had another wife. I don’t like this dialog though, because the note about his first wife is so clearly there for the viewer’s benefit and does not sound at all like something that would be in a real captain’s log.

Picard: I met him once, many years ago, very briefly at his son’s wedding. I can tell you that was quite a moment for a young lieutenant, standing in the presence of such history. I remember he spoke to me and I just stood there grinning like an idiot.

Again, I mean, Sarek may have many sons we aren’t aware of, so freaking out about this is not really justified, but it’s like whoa, two big pieces of information about an established character’s life, just wham, wham, not really cool, and I kind of couldn’t even.

Also, ambiguous antecedent. Who spoke to Picard? Sarek or his son?

Also also… after how Sarek and Spock treated Amanda and her astounding illogic back in TOS, I’m surprised Sarek would marry another Earth woman.

I was a bit perplexed after Sarek’s scene in the conference room. Yelling? That’s not very Vulcan like. I’m glad this was part of the plot and not an oversight.

Wesley: Well, at least I don’t have to find my women on the holodeck!

Damn, Wesley.

That was a pretty fake looking tear.

Picard: What would you have me do? March down there and destroy the man?

No, thank you!

Star Trek

  1. The Original Series, Season 1
  2. The Original Series, Season 2
  3. The Original Series, Season 3
  4. The Animated Series, The Motion Pictures
  5. The Next Generation, Season 1; I Am Spock
  6. The Next Generation, Season 2; The Final Frontier
  7. The Next Generation, Season 3
  8. The Next Generation, Season 4
  9. The Next Generation, Season 5; The Undiscovered Country
  10. The Next Generation, Season 6