Episode 06: Q-Less
Know what I love about Q episodes? They’re fun. That’s all they are. Fun. There’s no great statement about anything. No staring at the bellybutton. Just chaos, witty lines, and more meta than you know what to do with.
DS9’s only outing in the Q genre is no different. The dialog is witty. The plot is a mere excuse to have Q show up and annoy the hell out of the locals. And how everyone reacts to Q speaks volumes about their character.
I know this isn’t one of the favorites from Season One, but I *heart* this episode so much.
The short story: When last we saw Vash, Captain Picard’s bad-girl crush, she had left the Q-created Sherwood Forest on Next Generation (in the very episode which gave us Worf’s immortal line: “I am not a merry man!”) with Q so she really could go where no human being had been before. Now it’s two years later and she’s baaaaaaack. Turns out she and Q had a huge fight and they parted ways in the Gamma Quadrant. (As for who left whom, it depends on whether you ask Vash or Q.) Lucky for her, a runabout piloted by Dax happened by and gave her lift back to Deep Space Nine.
And, as always happens when either Vash or Q show up, trouble ensues. Trouble, in this case, being a mysterious energy drain on the station that gets increasingly severe as the episode progresses.
Does the plot make sense? Does the resolution make sense? Oh, hell no. But that’s not the point. The point, people, is the laugh out loud dialogue that’ll keep you helplessly giggling through the whole episode. Everyone in the cast looks like they’re having the time of their lives as they deal with the arrival of Q and their mystery crisis of the week.
Any episode that lets Avery Brooks strut his comedic timing and Colm Meaney his deadpan delivery is a good thing.
In short, who needs a plot when you’ve got…Q!
God, so many cool points to count:
- In the opening teaser, Dr. Bashir channels his inner Arnold Rimmer and dramatically re-enacts his triumphant path to salutatorian of Starfleet Medical School to an enraptured lady while O’Brien rolls his eyes in the background. What’s really cool about this is that his story about missing one question on his orals comes up at least twice more in two very different contexts. When I heard Dr. Bashir recounting this story, I almost fell off the couch. Typical DS9. Throw in something important in a comedic episode and then hit you with just how serious it really is at a later date.
- Vash comes across as more Ferengi than Quark. What’s more, you can see that everyone knows that Vash isn’t just a real weirdo for when compared to your typical 24th century earthling, she’s really not “earth material,” despite being born there. (“You’ll be bored on earth,” Q sniffs at Vash. “Earth once had character. Crusades. The Spanish Inquisition. Watergate. Now it’s a dull place.”)
- Q is actually creepy in some of his interactions with Vash. Even though, in the end, he agrees to stay out of her life, for most of the episode he comes across as the stalker boyfriend who just won’t let go.
- Although, I can’t resist mentioning this: As part of his attempt to get Vash back, Q promises to take Vash to the Delta Quadrant. Considering that Voyager took place in the Delta Quadrant, I couldn’t help a little “Heee!” at that.
- Vash’s list of Q-caused misadventures when she gives him reasons why she wants out is a hoot. (“What is it they called you? The god of lies?” Vash asks. “They meant it affectionately,” Q sniffs.)
- Everyone is just as knowledgeable and just as ignorant as they should be. O’Brien is the only one who actually knows Vash (albeit slightly) and has had first-hand contact with Q, so naturally he’s the voice of experience (such as it is). Sisko’s only heard about Q in a Starfleet briefing 2 years before, and his reactions are dead on for that. Kira, on the other hand, is all, “Q who?”
- When Sisko asks O’Brien about Vash, O’Brien tells Sisko that Vash was a “special friend of the captain’s.” Sisko’s floored because Vash just doesn’t seem like Picard’s type. “Well,” says O’Brien, “the captain does like a challenge.”
- When Q shows up in Ops, and O’Brien confronts him, Q statement is so meta it’s priceless. He looks O’Brien right in the eye and asks, “Weren’t you one of the little people?” Bwahahahaha!
- While the Deep Space Nine crew are trying to puzzle out what the problem is (they’ve already determined that Q ain’t the cause), Q can’t resist poking them by saying, “On the Enterprise they would’ve technobabbled out a solution by now.”
- And, of course, the immortal exchange when Sisko finally has had enough and lands a right cross on Q’s face. “You hit me! Picard never hit me!” Q exclaims in a wounded voice. Sisko grins in response and says, “I’m not Picard.” Damn straight!
Are there plot holes? Yup. Does the plot actually make any sense? Not really. But that’s not the point! Shut off the brain, kick back, and prepare for one heck of an entertaining hour.