137. The Outrageous Okona
FORMULA: Mudd's Women + Symbiosis + Code of Honor + Han Solo
WHY WE LIKE IT: Lucious Terri Hatcher!
WHY WE DON'T: Thinks it's funny, but thoroughly isn't.
REVIEW: A dismal failure. The main plot deals with Captain Okona and his being wanted by two different worlds for different (but related) reasons. It's standard stuff, but made particularly unmemorable by not one of the main characters being the instruments of that plot's resolution. The episode is much more concerned with repeatedly telling us that Okona is a charming, appealing and lovable rogue. It can say that all it wants, I'm not buying it.
I'm afraid this Han Solo knock-off is rather lacking in charm. Oh, the girls fall for him (including Terri Hatcher's small but well-remembered part) and the boys laugh at his jokes, but it's because the plot demands it. I'm afraid William Campbell doesn't quite have the charisma the script pretends he has, and if Data doesn't get his jokes, it may be because they really aren't funny. And then that whole story devolves into an Elizabethan misunderstanding that's very poorly acted, with Okona coming up on top. Give him is own show, why don't you? I dare you.
The subplot about Data exploring the concept of humor should have been more entertaining, but it isn't. Just like the rest of the episode, it is NOT funny. Joe Piscopo doing Jerry Lewis impressions? Jokes about various ethnicities walking into a bar? An 80s audience? What were they thinking? Data chose his Comic poorly, it seems (from zooming on the list of available comics, all of them people that work on the production, his name was Ronald D. Moore - poor Ron!). Very, very few jokes work in the episode ("My timing is digital" for example), which is sad considering the comic talent of many of the people involved (Whoopi Goldberg and Brent Spiner especially).
LESSON: An unfunny script can make funny actors appear unfunny.
REWATCHABILITY - Low: Humor doesn't always work in Star Trek, but I've never seen it work so badly.