16 February, 2010

Star Trek: How Q Makes Me Hate You

As some people know, I'm relatively new to the whole liking-Star-Trek scene. Well, in watching episodes late at night with TGW, I've had some more recent exposure to the show with a fresh eye for interest in the characters.
However, there is a problem.


I contribute the following more to bad writing, but last night's episode (the primary introduction to the Borg) induced such rage in me regarding the Q Problem that I had to say something. Now, let it be said, I'm biased against Q because John de Lancie creeps me the hell out but also because I really, really hate the character. However, I do actually appreciate many of the other characters on the show.

Every episode I have watched that includes Q has caused some issues with the rest of the cast (I am aware that there are other episodes that do not suffer from this, I just haven't actually seen them.).

The cast suffers from an area effect of Feeble Mind. Upon Q arriving in the plot of the episode, everything goes downhill from there. I also wasn't able to finish the episode - a combination of it being too late, and holy crap Borg babies no thank you.

Let me introduce the cast of characters:

Picard - The writer's version of a corporate CEO - He will ask for your opinion, then dismiss it and do what he wants to do, and then will have conferences in the most dangerous of situations.

Riker - In this episode, he serves as the vehicle for Picard's stupid. Isn't his job to say "Hey, man, this is a dumb idea"? Nope, instead he just douches around the screen. Also, what a waste of Q powers. He's still got them, and doesn't think that maybe he could just bounce them back or anything.

Data - Data's lines are just awful. Half the time he seems bored and completely devoid of knowledge of everything around him, and the other half he seems much more interested in banging Borg ladies, or alternatively, Borg computers. Ick.

Troi - I know it's been said before about her only stating the obvious, but this episode takes the cake. The extent of her lines are repeating the already established details of the plot, and elaborating only with vague but obvious suppositions.

Q - The most petulant, childish omnipotent being who basically initiates the suffering of hundreds if not thousands of people affected by the Borg's assimilation.

Wesley - "I could have solved this. ALL OF THIS."

Guinan - Poor Guinan. She suffers from the worst in this episode. She's sitting here facing the baddies that wiped out basically her entire race, and watching Picard do nothing but make it more likely that the Borg will wipe out humans, even after she explains in detail why they should leave. She is the only one who resists Q's affect with her mad Tiger stance skillz.

Worf - "If you treat me like a dog, Q, I'll just BE ONE. *growl* Raaar!"

Random Recruit - Why is she even here? She's in like half the episode and I can't even figure out why.

Geordie - Oh, wait, that's why... So Geordie can just bounce around shouting "I'm A NICE GUY, lookit how nice I am? I'm a NICE. GUY."

This was possibly my biggest pet peeve with the writing. Interspersed between the introduction of the biggest villain in the entire TNG timeline (in my opinion), we have Geordie walking around with a new recruit telling her how ALSOME she is and just basically making me pissed off because he could actually be doing something far more useful than his dialogue translating into my head as "I'M A NICE GUY!" It's no wonder Levar Burton hated Reading Rainbow so much. After this episode, suffering through false niceness any further would be just plain cruel.

Here is my major question: Why is it, as soon as Q hits the deck, everyone just makes bad decisions?

I don't know how the episode turns out, since I didn't see it, but I saw the most glaring error in judgement at the start of the episode.
Q offers to Picard to have him come work on the Enterprise, and share his knowledge of the Q with the Federation. He even says that he would become as incompetent as the humans and renounce his powers. What does Picard do? He says no. Even after they're spun ridiculously across the galaxy to the Borg, he doesn't tell Q "Hey, my bad, you're right. Let's go home and you can be my deck swabber". Nope.

If that had been done, they could have, I don't know, delayed the deaths of many. And hell, even if they took him on in Starfleet and let him serve on the Enterprise, what stops them from firing him later?

After this wave of stupid, upon reaching the Borg cube, instead of just hitting the road back to safety, Picard repeatedly hails them. Nothing. Then, they just sit down and have a fucking meeting. This happens about fifteen times in the half of the episode I watched. WTF, Picard. WTF.

A borg appears on board, and Geordie interrupts his Nice Guy Speech to... call Security to save his ass because there's a dude there. The weapons don't work, blah blah.

They get hailed after Guinan explains repeatedly that they should just GTFO. They're told not to resist. Beaming time! Yeah! So, they shoot up the cube. And then, when it seems like they could totally make a clean getaway...they have a meeting. Picard decides they must investigate further, in the most ridiculously bad horror flick type of decision, and sends an away team of Worf, Riker, and Data.

Worf basically spends every part of the episode either growling or being useless. I feel terrible about this. I actually like his character and had hoped maybe he'd be a little more badass by second season.
Riker just... stands around? I don't know. He states the obvious and takes on Troi's role for a while.
Data... oh, Data. He pokes his fingers in the Borg's holes. No, seriously. He wanders around positioning himself in the Borg's little stasis queues and pokes at things. Once he's poked a bit, a female Borg wanders by (I think it's a chick, it looked like one), and he just stares like it's a wet t-shirt contest at the Playboy mansion. His eyes get all big and he says "Fascinating" or "Interesting" or some variation of "I'd hit that". Thanks, writers. Thanks.
At this point, I don't think they've accomplished anything other than realising that the Borg just don't really care about people and establishing a complete lack of common sense.

It was about now that I shut it off. Borg babies are a no go for me late at night.

I just was so frustrated with this episode. The Q episodes always leave me frustrated because I feel like many of the problems with him could be solved easily. It also really annoyed me to see that it's possible that none of the crap in the later shows and films featuring the Borg may have happened if Q hadn't been a dickbag. Knowing that Q is the cause for Picard getting Borg'd up and Data being killed really disappointed me.

TGW and I discussed this episode and the common Q Episode Problems for a long time last night. I'm finally starting to really have an interest in the show, but the writing continues to disappoint. Seeing the characters that could have been utterly amazing just kind of stand around and get beat on by stereotypes and bad dialogue is sad, to me.
Hopefully once we purchase the show on DVD I will be able to find more redeeming factors to the whole Q Dilemma, but it's going to be a rough ride, I can feel it.

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