Oh, a live one, huh?
In the words of Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist for Spinal Tap, "But this goes to eleven."
Or, in other words: YA-HOOO!!!
I loved it. Some humor, the return of Q, some wonderful bits of continuity, a little personal abuse, and the Enterprise almost going foom. Beautiful.
With that gushing aside out of the way, here's a hopefully-quick (but probably not) synopsis:
Picard, on his way to change his uniform after having hot chocolate spilled on it by a young ensign (bwa ha ha), steps out of a turbolift (oh no, not again) to find himself in a shuttle, out of the Enterprise's scanner range, with Q at the controls.
Evnetually, Q brings him back...to Ten-Forward, which he apparently cleared of all personnel. All, that is, except for Guinan, who's had dealings with Q before...TWO CENTURIES before. Q's been kicked out of the Q-Continuum, and has decided that he really likes it on the Enterprise. So, he'd like to join the crew. Picard, naturally, has other ideas. Q gets a bit upset at Picard's assertion that they don't need him, that they're adequate to the tasks that await them, and decides to give them a taste of what's out beyond the space they've explored. He snaps his fingers, and Boom!, the ship's two years out from the most outer-rim starbase.
I won't give too many details beyond that, except that the race they meet is called the Borg, they're a race of cyborgs, they're exceptionally nasty, and that the ending's probably not what you expect. (In some ways, it resembles "Conspiracy"--not a "oh, everything's wonderful now" ending at all.)
Now, for my usual ramblings:
Continuity ho! Remember those outposts that got wiped out (literally) in "The Neutral Zone"? Well, it appears that the Borg were responsible for it. It took them nearly a season, but they actually mentioned it. Yippee! (One thought, though; does this mean that the truce with the Romulans is now over? As I recall, the truce covered that one issue only.)
I hereby take back every last qualm I had about Whoopi Goldberg's acting ability before the season started. Guinan lent a wonderful air of mystery to the episode that I don't think could have been done otherwise, and I eagerly await more details about her and her people.
John DeLancie was his usual wonderful self. It's nice to have a recurring villain; gives the show a certain texture. And if they have to have one specific person come back, Q is it; but only when DeLancie plays him. Who else could get away with saying to the newly arrived (to Ten-Forward) Riker and Worf, "Ah, Commander Riker. And Micro-Brain! So nice to drop in. Give me a growl so I know you still care." Got to love him.
I've said that in some ways, the show resembled "Conspiracy". (Actually, it was lots of ways: the ending, the superior enemy, the possibility of a coming invasion, etc.) Certain bits of it also resembled "Encounter at Farpoint", but only in good ways. I'm referring specifically to the ship being chased by the Borg craft, when they're going as fast as they can, but it isn't enough. A good chase now and then is nice to see.
Lastly, the teaser was quite nice, albeit irrelevant until the last twenty seconds. I don't remember who played Ens. Sonia Gomez, but she was fun. It's not everyone who can boast about spilling hot chocolate on the captain and surviving, after all. Tee-hee.
Well, my summing up is sort of a foregone conclusion, but I'll do it anyway.
Plot: 9.9. A tenth off for murky logic after they wounded the other ship, but that's all.
Plot Handling: 10. 'nuff said. Characterization: 10. Between Picard, Q, and Guinan, I don't think I could have given it anything else.
Technical: 10. Beautiful shields on the Borg, among other things.
TOTAL: 9.9975---> 10. Very, very nice.
Picard undergoes a dangerous operation while Geordi is held hostage by terrorists. Could go either way.
Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy Major) BITNET: H52Y@CRNLVAX5 INTERNET: H52Y@VAX5.CIT.CORNELL.EDU UUCP: ...!rochester!cornell!vax5.cit.cornell.edu!h52y "Frightened? You are talking to one who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom, and chuckled at catastrophe. (I was petrified.)" Copyright 1994, Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free to ask... This article is explicitly prohibited from being used in any off-net compilation without due attribution and *express written consent of the author*. Walnut Creek and other CD-ROM distributors, take note.
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