Star Trek 623: Q2

623. Q2

FORMULA: Charlie X + Every damn Q episode ever

WHY WE LIKE IT: Nightclub Engineering.

WHY WE DON'T: Q teenagers are exactly like human teenagers.

REVIEW: There must be a lot of expensive episodes this season, because this is the second bottle show in a row. This time, Q brings his baby Q to Aunt Kathy for some babysitting and tough love. Junior has grown in the last four years and is now the equivalent of a teenager. And when I say teenager, I mean teenager. He acts just like one of ours, complete with nightclub dancing, peeking at naked Borg chicks, and generally acting out. Is this believable? Shouldn't omnipotence create a very different development?

But this is the Q as spacetime's biggest idiots. They're omnipotent and omniscient, and yet Q knows nothing about parenting, and has to be told about his son's progress as if he didn't know. Maybe he doesn't care. Maybe he's only feigning ignorance to bug Janeway or to teach his son a lesson. At the end, he does engineer the events that lead to Junior putting Icheb's life in danger, so it's a possibility, but the episode is too focused on its broad Qomedy to really really be coherent with the Q's characterization. I mean, a Q tribunal in which they all wear those 21st-century "atomic horror" robes? The writers have obviously forgotten their context in Encounter at Farpoint, and it must've seemed like a massive non sequitur to Janeway.

As for Junior, Janeway manages to make a decent young officer out of him - he was only angry and rebellious because his father was so down on him - but the pace seems off. I don't just mean how quickly Junior is changed by boot camp. It just feels like the shenanigans and the crew's impatience escalate too quickly. It's to get all the other stuff in, I understand, but it's still too quick. I do like that Q the Elder has a stake in all this too and is just as much at odds with the Continuum, but otherwise, it's fast and dirty script without the wit that makes the best Q episodes shine. As if they thought using John de Lancie's real son in the role was clever enough to stop trying.

Whenever the Q come calling, especially for favors, the question of their ability to get Voyager home instantaneously crops up. It's at least addressed here, and Q's answer about no easy fixes is actually a good one. However! Junior uses a shuttles deflector array to open some major rifts in space many times throughout the episode, with no Q powers at his command. Don't the shuttle's computers now have this technique on file? Or can't any destination and ship size be extrapolated from the data? ("Don't look at that plot hole, look here, the robes from Farpoint!")

LESSON: They grow up too fast.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium-Low: The adolescent comedy is just that - adolescent - and the emotional core of the story basically that of Déjà Q. Quite ordinary with few smiles and no laughs.


Austin Gorton said...

("Don't look at that plot hole, look here, the robes from Farpoint!")


Another unfortunately apt summation of far too many Voyager episodes :)

De said...

One redeeming thing in this episode was finally establishing that Kirk's 5-year mission ended in 2270. It's a nitpicky nerd point, but we finally got an answer.

Unfortunately, it opened up another canon war whereby fans already predisposed to hating Voyager were pissed that the Okudas' timeline wasn't adhered to.

LiamKav said...

I just never got WHY is was changed. Was someone in the production office so bored with his job that he decided to get some jollies by moving a date back a couple of years for no benefit whatsoever?


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