Star Trek 513: The Q and the Grey

513. The Q and the Grey

FORMULA: Hide and Q + Redemption + The Child

WHY WE LIKE IT: The opening shot. Suzie Plakson.

WHY WE DON'T: Q's plan. The slapstick.

REVIEW: This episode features a beautiful opening shot of a supernova, a natural phenomenon that will soon be contrasted with the ironic banality of the Q Continuum. So indeed you may say that it's downhill from there. After all, this is the episode in which Q tries to mate with Janeway. And why? Well, I'm not sure his plan is at all logical. Seems like Quinn's death in Death Wish sparked a civil war in the Q Continuum, and to bring peace, Q feels he must create a human-Q hybrid by mating with a human woman. Just how humanoid DNA can intermix with Q energy is never really explained. In the end, Q will mate with one of his own, which also works. Why? How? I really don't know. Is Janeway the only human woman in space-time, all of a sudden? And why must she agree to it when Q has massive powers of misdirection? Finally, have we forgotten past infusion of human values from Hide and Q (Riker) and True Q (Amanda Rogers)? Yes.

The plot is nonsense, but we do have John de Lancie doing his best to be witty, playing it for laughs. Sadly, he seems to have been asked to do double-takes and moan as if he's been shot when he only believes he's been shot. He's a cartoon in this thing. Similarly, you won't hear me complaining about Suzie Plakson's return to Star Trek as Lady Q, despite this character being less interesting than either Dr. Selar or K'Ehleyr. Still, I appreciate her cattiness. Both actors provide amusing moments (comparing tattoos, insulting the crew, etc.), but the script doesn't give them a lot of support.

This time, the Continuum looks like the American Civil War, which is a fine visual metaphor for what's going on, though it does beg the question as to what's really happening on the cosmic scale once Q passes out and Janeway takes things into her own hands. She can apparently move about and hide Q without Q-powers. Or is some of that power imparted to a person brought into the Continuum? Similarly, the crew of Voyager can wield Q weapons and truly threaten the Q. (More nonsense: The crew learns to augment their shields tenfold here, but promptly lose that knowledge in later episodes.)

Random notes... Those crash zooms at Q's execution really call attention to themselves. Please don't try that again. The new Talaxian resort holodeck program seems to be the new recreation area for the crew. I can't say I like it much. Sandrine's had its clichéd characters and everything, but it also had more atmosphere. The resort looks like an excuse for T&A, like a sunlit Quark's. And who can resist a baby in a Starfleet uniform? Anyone?

LESSON: Suzie Plakson can save most anything.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Not unpleasant to watch, mostly thanks to the guest actors, but it's another brain dead Voyager plot.


Jack Norris said...

So, if the Civil War setting is a metaphor, does that mean that every detail represents something, so that when, say, a lamp is broken, does that represent damage of equal significance in the "actual" continuum?
And what about the animals? Do they represent similarly less advanced energy/cosmic lifeforms?
(Actually an idea of a friend of mine that I had to bring up here.)

Siskoid said...

Well, that makes sense. I think the animals are actually, say, the concept of movement (a horse) or a Q (they've all been "the dog", according to Death Wish).

mwb said...

To borrow from ST:TOS, this episode is the bringer of "pain and delight."

The delight Suzie Plakson and the pain pretty much everything else in the story.

This was exactly one of the episodes that I was thinking of in comparing the show to Lost In Space.

All they needed was Neelix to channel Dr. Smith just a little bit more...


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