Star Trek 294: Q-Less

294. Q-Less

FORMULA: Qpid + (Galaxy's Child x A Matter of Perspective) + eBay

WHY WE LIKE IT: Sisko punched Q out.

WHY WE DON'T: Vash, Vash, Vash and more Vash!

REVIEW: I'm disappointed, but not surprised that the show would use some well-known TNG guest-stars to spruce up interest in the new Trek show. I'm even more disappointed that hte match is not a good one. At all. Part of the annoyance is that Vash is not a character I like. She suffers here from the same problem she did in her last TNG outing - an innate charisma that's acknowledged by almost every character on the show, but not the audience. It's a matter of the writers TELLING us that Vash is a charming, sexy rogue against everything our senses and reason tell us. Bashir's taken with her, Quark's taken with her, Q's taken with her... I just don't see it, and no amount of demeaning oomox is going to change my mind about that.

Q is much more fun, of course, and he gets a few good jokes in, such as forcing Vash to unpack again and again, his pugilism with Sisko, or his telling the cast that Picard's crew "would have solved all this technobabble hours ago". That last line, as on the nose as it is, highlights two problems with the episode. In the first place, yes, it's a technobabble problem with technobabble solutions, and it's all very, very boring. The second half of the episode, between the lame auction (masked aliens and 6-fingered hand gag aside) and button-pushing at Ops, is as good as a sleeping pill. The other thing is that it's way too early for Q to come aboard and insult "the little people". Many fans were already comparing DS9 unfavorably to TNG, and neither the ones who agreed or disagreed with this comparison needed a writer's voicebox enforcing it. It's self-defeating.

As usual, there are good character moments, such as Bashir's penchant for Dabo girls and the first mention of his preganglionic nerve/postganglionic fiber snafu (which doesn't impress O'Brien one bit). O'Brien's reaction to seeing Q is wonderful, and Odo is quickly becoming a great twist on the "outsider who comments on humanity" archetype - unlike Spock or Data, he's incredibly judgmental about it. But the guest-stars take up way too much screen time and we just don't get enough of those.

LESSON: Never put an item you know nothing about up for auction.

REWATCHABILITY - Low: Q gets his licks in, but Vash and the techie plot are insupportable.

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