Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, June 26, 2017

It ate my post...

The blogger just ate my whole fucking post.
I am... so pissed off right now.
I have to redo the whole thing.
I want to throw this laptop across the room.


Monday, June 12, 2017

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Nineteen "Manhunt"

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Nineteen "Manhunt"
Production Order: 45
Air Order: 45
Stardate: 42859.2
Original Air Date: June 19, 1989



Sci-fi yoga:
INHALE the good TNG energy.
EXHALE the bullshit STV energy.
Repeat.
Repeat.
Use a neti pot to wash away the sins of those who consider Sybok to be canon.
INHALE Picard's steady presence.
EXHALE a slew of plot holes that had to be written away in the STV novelization.
...annnnd shavasana in a red shirt.

*******



Picard's Log 42859.2: "Going to this planet Antede III to get some dignitaries, which we'll then take to a conference on Pacifica."

Picard is all dressed up in his longer-than-a-scant dress uniform and leggings. Worf and Pulaski are in the transporter room already, along with Wes. Picard has asked Wes to be in attendance as an educational thing.
O'Brien beams up a pair of fish-like humanoids. Picard introduces himself as captain, but the Antedians say nothing.
Wes asks if they're okay, and while Pulaski scans them, Picard explains that Antedians deal with space travel by going into a self-induced catatonic state. They'll stay that way until the ship reaches the conference.
Um, then why did you bother getting dressed up and introducing yourself? For the sake of showing everyone what nice legs you have?



Pulaski says she doesn't really have room in sick bay for the Antedians right now, so she asks if O'Brien can store them.
...whut?
"Sure, I can find an out of the way place to stash them," he agrees.
Dude, aren't those passengers? Like, I get that they're in a catatonic state right now, but they're not luggage. They can't even find them quarters?
Picard goes back to the bridge, and Wes asks Pulaski what the barrel is that beamed up with the Antedians.
"Vermicula," she says. "It's what they eat."
It's pretty much little fish. Wes thinks it's gross.
Worf remarks that the Antedians are handsome. I suppose the joke is that Klingons are also severe-looking, but I disagree. Aside from some unfortunate wardrobe choices (why did Vixis have leather thongs braided around her scalp?), I think Klingons are actually fairly good-looking.



Back on the bridge, Riker asks Wes what he thought of the Antedians.
"Fugly," says Wes.
"Wow, that's rude," says Data. "Why do humans gotta be so freaking prejudiced?"
I thought maybe the rest of the bridge crew would break in and defend themselves, but no one does. And maybe I expect that because of the times in which we live, where someone would undoubtedly try to defend humanity from being the assholes that we are. But that's not what happens.
"That's true," remarks Picard, admitting to the asshole-ishness. "I bet to some species, we're pretty fugly, too."
It's announced then that there's a small ship approaching them, and it's hailing the E.
Troi freaks out. "What's she doing here?"
Riker and Picard are concerned, because Troi doesn't just react to things for no reason.
They put it up on viewscreen, and a pilot says he's carrying a VIP passenger to transfer to them.
"Let me talk to them!" says the passenger.
FUCK YEAH!



Two weeks of bullshit, and Star Trek rewards me with a Lwaxana episode!
Good show! Have a biscuit!
So it seems that Lwaxana is also going to the conference, and Starfleet has granted her full ambassadorial status.
"That's really naughty, Jean-Luc," she chides through the viewscreen. "But that's really flattering, all the same."
Picard's face says, "Awww, fuck me."



Hesitant music! Opening credits break!

Picard, Troi and Riker go back to the transporter room, and Picard and Riker are in their dress uniforms again.
"It will be... pleasant to see your mother again," Picard tells Troi.
Riker smiles because he knows that Picard is really trying to convince himself of this.

Riker will spend the entirety of this episode laughing at Picard's awkward discomfort.


Lwaxana appears on the pad, facing the wall and kneeling. She screams about her legs being gone, until Troi reminds her that they're underneath her, and she stands and turns around, complaining about the transporter technology and calling Picard Jean-Luc.
(A quick aside: if Lwaxana had appeared on the transporter pad of the E, facing backward and on her knees, that means she started out the beaming process facing backward and on her knees. Which begs the question - what the hell was she doing at beam-up?)



Troi admonishes her for not addressing Picard as "captain." Lwaxana turns fully around and sees the Antedians, starting.
"Those are the Antedian delegates," explains Riker. "They're being stored here temporarily."
"They look like fucking sushi," says Lwaxana.
She steps forward to hug Troi, compliments Picard's legs, and tells O'Brien to beam up her valet, Mr Homn.



"You can carry my bag," she tells Picard.
"Oh, I don't want to interfere with Mr Homn's valet duties," he deflects.
"It's cool, I'll get it," says Riker.
And he proceeds to give himself a hernia carrying that heavy-ass case to her room.



As they all move down the corridors, Lwaxana talks to Troi through telepathy.
"Riker also has nice legs. Is he still yours?"
"Humans no longer own each other in that way," Troi responds.
"Really?" Lwaxana says out loud, to a strange look from Picard. "That's a custom we may have to re-introduce."
I'm... I'm confused. Own each other in what way? They no longer date monogamously, or...?
When they reach the room, Riker ditches the case and high-tails it away.
Picard tries to do the same, but not before Lwaxana announces a Betazoid dinner of greeting tonight, an ambassadorial function in her quarters.
He agrees, then quickly leaves.
Troi chastises her mother for talking about men like they were commodities, and Lwaxana argues that they are, especially human men. As an example, she asks if Ian was ever unhappy with her.
"No, he was very happy with you," Troi agrees.
They hug it out.
I... have some concern with Lwaxana's argument there. One satisfied husband does not mean that all human dudes are going to be the same, madam. #notallhumans



Gossip on the bridge, y'all.
Riker is telling Data and Wes what Lwaxana was saying, and Wes laughs about how she complimented Picard on his legs. Data ponders out loud Lwaxana's tendency to leave her filter in the off position, especially considering that she's a telepath. He thought mind-readers would be more discrete. Picard enters the bridge and tells them to knock it the fuck off, that Lwaxana is an ambassador, and needs to be treated with respect.
"Even if she is somewhat eccentric," he finishes.
"Also, this is a dress uniform dinner," he adds, before getting into the lift.
"What dinner?" asks Riker.
Everyone shrugs.



Picard is back in his skant, carrying a bottle of Romulan ale. (For an illegal substance, they sure do drink and gift a lot of this stuff.) He runs into Pulaski and, seeing as how she is not in dress uniform, asks why she isn't going to the dinner.
"I already ate, thanks," she says cheerfully.
Picard is let into Lwaxana's quarters, and he politely hands Mr Homn the bottle of Romulan ale.
Homn chugs it like a frat boy.
"I'm early," he says, looking around, and seeing no other officers.
Homn shakes his head, points to Picard, then points beyond him.
Lwaxana is standing in the doorway in a dress that's supposed to look like a nightie (I think), and she purrs that it was good of Picard to come.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!



When we return, Homn serves an awkward dinner for two to Lwaxana and Picard.
She gives a toast to sexy Earth dudes.
"Um, okay, thanks," he replies, clinking glasses with her. "Soooo, I was thinking before that this was going to be a dinner that all of my officers attended..."
"You shouldn't assume things where I'm concerned," she says, and she rubs her leg against his.
Picard moves his leg away.



He starts eating, and she toys with her food, saying she's not really hungry. She puts a bite in her mouth, and Homn rings a chime.
"Oh, right. I forgot. You guys give thanks for your food," he says.
I guess each time they take a bite, they ring the chime. I wonder how this is done? Like, if they're having a small, family dinner and don't have a servant, does one of the family members have to ring that chime? Is this a thing you do with snacks as well? What if you live by yourself?
They take a few more bites, and Picard wonders aloud how many other cultures gives thanks for their food in this way.
Lwaxana's purring seductress act slips. "Um, I dunno."
You can see a lightbulb go off over Picard's head. It's actually a damn good idea.
"Let's find out!" He calls Lt Google. "Hey, Data! How many cultures give thanks for their food like the Betazoids do?"
"Lots!" says Data, who is stoked to have a use for his trivia knowledge. "There's this one culture - they hit rocks together while eating, and everyone has to eat until one of the rocks breaks!"
"Rad!" exclaims Picard. "You should join us, and tell us more interesting, useless shit!"
"Sweet, I will!" The android signs off, and rushes to the lift.
"The hell?" demands Lwaxana. "Why would you think I'd want that robot at our dinner date?"
Picard ignores her robophobic slur. "Because Data has the most interesting dinner conversation!"



A while later, Data is telling a story with a lot of math in it, while Lwaxana stares unseeing at him, and Homn yawns in the background. Picard hangs off of Data's every word.
"Talk about brown dwarf stars now!" says Picard.
"Cool!" Data is so damn excited to be included.



Troi and Pulsaki are walking down the corridors, discussing the situation.
"So hey, did I ever tell you about Betazoid menopause?" asks Troi.
"No, what about it?"
"Um, so my mother is entering what we call "the phase" and it means she's reaching her full sexuality."
"That explains a lot," laughs Pulaski. "I saw Picard going to her quarters in dress uniform."
"Oh! Maybe I should warn him!" worries Troi.
"Naw." Pulaski smiles. "As his doctor, I consider it to be very good for his reflexes and agility."
"Gross!" Troi is horrified.
"No, I mean in his ability to dodge her advances." Pulaski is thoroughly enjoying herself.
Troi is not only mollified by this, she actually also seems to be enjoying this situation. "Yes, an animal is always at its best when being hunted," she says happily.
"Or hunting," Pulaski agrees in a cheerful tone.



Troi goes to her mother's quarters, where Data has broken out a Power Point.
Lwaxana is overjoyed to see her, and Picard looks at this as a way to escape.
"I have to do captain stuff," he says quickly. "Thanks for a nice dinner. We should do it again sometime."
Nope, too far on the politeness, Picard.
Lwaxana drops back into her predatory purring. "I know we will."
"Data, you should stay and entertain our guest," suggests Picard.
"No! I don't want to keep Mr Data from his bridge duties," Lwaxana adds.
Data and Picard leave.
They head back down the corridor for a bit before Picard stops and thanks Data.
"I owe you big-time," sighs Picard.
"You wanna hear more stories?" asks Data. "I got some good ones about -"
"Thank you, Mr Data."
"No? Okay, cool."



Troi yanks her mother out into the corridor so they won't be discussing things into front of Homn, who is actually minding his own business while he goes around the table, finishing everyone else's alcohol.
"Now I know why you came on board!" Troi accuses.
"What?" asks Lwaxana innocently. "We were both going to Pacifica."
Troi demands to know how far along her mother is in "the phase."
"Far enough along to enjoy it," says Lwaxana flippantly. "So now I'll do the honorable thing with Picard."
"Why would you think he'd want to?" demands Troi.
"Because he was thinking about it all through dinner," says Lwaxana.



"The fuck?" demands Picard when Troi relates this story.
He takes a moment to compose himself, then delicately tells Troi that her mother's telepathic abilities suck.
"Actually, they're pretty advanced," she admits.
Making Lwaxana Troi an unreliable narrator... on purpose. Let's face it, girlfriend likes to shock people and watch them squirm. What better way than to claim you can read their lustful thoughts?
Troi then explains the phase. Riker jumps in to add that when he first started hooking up with Troi, she warned him about it, stating that a Betazoid woman could expect to quadruple her sex drive during this time.
"Or more," says Troi.
"More?" he asks, startled.
"I didn't want to frighten you," she says sheepishly.
And Riker reacts like this:



"So she's going for the dignified option," explains Troi.
"Isolation?" guesses Riker.
"No, she's gonna focus all of her sexual energy on one male, who she'll eventually marry. Um, looks like she's picked you."
Picard is mortified.
Riker laughs. "Congratulations, sir!"





"It's not funny," snaps Picard.
The fuck it's not. This is one of my favorite Star Trek scenes ever. I'd rank it right up there with TOS' "The Apple" where they discuss... replacements. Riker is amused, and so am I.
I do kind of feel for Picard, though. There's nothing more uncomfortably awkward that having someone admit that they want you, and you really, really, REALLY do not reciprocate those feelings.
"I'm gonna hide until we get to Pacifica," says Picard decisively.

We switch over to Picard programming the holodeck. He's gonna indulge in some Dixon Hill for a little while, and he's made sure to dress the part first.
He enters the officer, where his secretary is working. It takes him a second to remember her name.
"Madeline. Good to see you again."
She laughs. "You act like you ain't seen me in a year."
Eh, eighteen months. Close enough.



"Do we have any cases?" he asks.
"We ain't had a case since Hitler and Stalin were bosom buddies," she replies.
Wait, does that... well, not science, but history? Yep. Hitler and Stalin were in a non-aggression pact from 1939-41, and the Dixon Hill stories take place in '41, so she could be talking a matter of weeks to six months, depending on what month this particular story takes place.
Probably longer than a few weeks, since she says the landlord told her to tell him that he needs to pay the rent on the office, or they'll get kicked out. She also complains about not having been paid in a month, and mentions that he's been in the hospital.
Picard goes back into his office to chill. He hangs up his trench, turns on the radio, and puts his feet up on the desk.
(There's a funny sort of detail here that I'm not certain completely fits: when Picard puts his feet up, you can see that there's a hole in one of his shoes. If Dixon Hill has fallen on tough times, then this would work. But Picard is not Hill, and he has to request his clothes from the replicator. He's also not aware of what Dixon Hill story the computer will choose to depict, so there's no way for him to tell if Hill has fallen on hard times, unless HIll is always in that state? Would he really specify "Brogues, circa 1941, with a hole in the sole"? Seems a touch too specific.)



In Lwaxana's quarters, Troi is telling her mother that Picard is unavailable because of "ship's business." She's annoyed, but sits down next to Mr Homn and quickly resigns herself to her Plan B. (Mr Homn once again minding his own business by drinking every bottle of space booze on the ship.)
"What the hell is Plan B?" demands Troi.



Madeline lets someone into Hill's office, whispering that he doesn't look like a client.
A guy comes in. "Hello, Mr Hill. I'm (dime-store-novel name that's inexplicably a noun or verb, combined with equally ridiculous last name). I'm here because my buddy asked you last week to find his girlfriend."
"Did I find her?" asks Picard.
"You're funny," replies Mr (WTF kind of name is that). It is obvious that he has no sense of humor. "Yeah, you found her face-down in the river, and now my buddy is on trial for her murder."
He pulls a gun, and Picard freezes the program.
"Less violence, please," he tells Majel.
"Okay," says Majel.
Madeline lets a new dude in, who tries to beat the crap out of Picard. This guy also has no sense of humor.



"Stop!" yells Picard. Dude disappears. "Computer, you just swapped out one kind of violence for another. Try again."
A guy runs in with a machine gun.
"OMG, computer! Freeze this and get rid of this guy, and what the hell did I say?" barks Picard. "I wanted a nice, quiet program, and you keep sending in these guys to kill me."
"Bitch, what do you want?" demands Majel. "You opened a film noir-style program about a private eye. Shit's gonna go down, and all I can do is give you the violence that goes with it. It's like asking for a WWII program where Nazis and Allied troops join hands and sing kumbaya."
"Huh. That's true," admits Picard.



Worf and Wes are back in the transporter room for no reason, and Worf again remarks that he thinks the Antedians are good-looking. Wes disagrees.
"Did you think that about me, when we first met?" asks Worf bluntly.
"Kind of, at first," admits Wes. He has the good sense to be embarrassed about it. But then he puts his foot in his mouth. "But I've gotten to know you, and I've seen some other Klingons, and now I think you're pretty handsome, for a Klingon."
Worf gives him a Vulcan-like eyebrow raise.
"That came out wrong." says Wes quickly.
Lwaxana and Mr Homn enter. She remarks that the Antedians still look like sushi, then she sizes up Wes.
"One day, you'll be a big, strong man."
Creepy, Lwaxana.
"But I don't have time to hang out and wait for puberty to finish it's magic. You're pretty awesome, though," she tells Worf. "But I like humans. Who is next?" she asks Homn.
Homn holds his hand flat across his eyes, indicating a VISOR, and instead of discriminating against Geordi, she seems excited to go chat with him.
Equal opportunity human humping?
They leave, and Worf and Wes wonder why the hell she was there.



Back on the holodeck, Picard is exiting his office to see Madeline stock-still applying make-up at her desk. He starts to talk to her, then realizes that she can't respond. He unfreezes the program. LOL, Picard. You wuss. He's been chilling in his fictional office with the program paused this whole time.
Madeline asks if Picard is going to Rex's bar, as she left a note about it on his desk.
"Sure," he says. "Wanna come?"
She readily agrees, kind of stoked because he's never asked her to go with him for a drink before.
"But if we're going to Rex's bar," she says, taking a gun from the desk and handing it to him, "you'll need this."

Swanky music! Commercial break!



They enter the bar, and Rex the barman comes over to take their drink orders. They light up cigarettes and talk about the impending world war while Rex pours the drinks. Picard does a thirty-second TED Talk about how beneficial WWII was by way of technology and culture, and Rex wonders aloud if he should pour Picard a drink, as he appears to be drunk already. Then he asks for money for the drinks.
"Damn," says Picard. "I forgot to bring money again."
Rex starts talking about Jimmy Cuzzo, and Picard can't place where he knows that name.
Madeline says Jimmy Cuzzo is why she gave Picard the gun, and that he and Rex both gave testimony that put Cuzzo away, and now he's back and kind of looking for both of them. Picard recalls vaguely the Dixon Hill adventure that featured Cuzzo.



Lwaxana waltzes onto the bridge.
"You can't just walk onto the bridge," Troi tells her.
Sassy Lwaxana Moment: "I didn't walk, I took that turbotube, or whatever."
She scans the bridge. Her eyes fall on Riker. He notices her looking at him, and squirms a bit.
"Not him," says Troi telepathically.
"Why not him? He's adorable," Lwaxana replies.
Pulaski calls to tell Riker that the Antedians are starting to wake up.
"Cool, I'll tell the captain," he answers, and he stands up to leave the bridge.
"You're going to see the captain?" asks Lwaxana. "I thought he was busy with ship's business?"
"He is," replies Riker. "I'm not going to disturb him, just give him the message."
"Okay, and you can let him know our news," she says. She grabs his arm. "Friends," she announces to the bridge, "when we're on Pacifica, you're all invited to the wedding of Commander Riker and I."
"The hell?" asks Wes.
Troi does not look pleased.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!



We return to the same scene.
"Um, Mrs Troi..." starts Riker.
"It's okay, I know you're super excited!" she gushes. "We'll take care of the details!"
And she sweeps into the lift with Homn.
Troi makes to go after her, but Riker holds her back.
"Let me go, I need to yell at her!" protests Troi.
"Leave it," says Riker.
Data approaches Riker. "Are you going to the holodeck? Can I come?"
"Sure," shrugs Riker.

We go back to the bar. The shadow of a figure pauses in the frosted glass on the door, and they all think it's Cuzzo, but when the door opens, it turns out to be a smartly-dressed Data, followed by Riker, who did not bother to change his clothes.
"Hey," says Riker. "Our passengers are waking up."
"Oh, I should go," says Picard.
"Your friends should have a round first," suggests Rex.
"Sure, why not?" says Picard. He introduces everyone, calling Riker "Nails, from Chicago" and Data reminds him that in the Dixon Hill program, he is "Carlos, from South America." Picard pauses when introducing Rex. "I don't know if I remember your last name," he admits.
"Don't know if I have one," shrugs Rex. "It's just Rex."
I'm not certain if that response was Rex, the cheeky barman, or Rex, the NPC holodeck character who doesn't have a last name, and is trying to reply in the style of Rex the barman. Whatever.
"So a certain wealthy and beautiful woman we know now thinks she's going to marry me," Riker tells Picard.
"Looks and bucks?" asks Rex. "Sounds like you got it good."



In her quarters, Lwaxana has changed into yet another purple dress. She decides that Riker should see how awesome she looks in it. Out in the corridor, she consults the wall panel.
I love these scenes. Majel Barrett is talking to herself.
"Where is Commander Riker?"
"On the holodeck." This ship has no chill.
"Where is that?"
"I'll light up the comm panels on the wall as a sort of yellow-brick road," says Majel helpfully.
For serious, ship. What if Lwaxana had been stalking Riker? I feel like I've complained about this before. You can just ask the ship where someone is, and it'll tell you, like a 24th century Marauder's Map. No privacy. "Commander Riker is in the head, taking a shit."
The comm panels light up as they move down the corridor.
"Oh, that's so helpful!" says Majel.



This time, when a shadow falls across the frosted door, it's Mr Homn, holding the door for Lwaxana. She's annoyed as hell, chastising Picard for hiding out here, and barking at riker that she knows how he really feels, and that she's too much for him to handle, anyway. Rex is at once impressed by her, being the dame with the big bucks.
"He's not good enough for you," coos Rex, pouring her a drink.
Lwaxana is just as taken with Rex, whom she cannot read, telepathically. She declares him to be a mystery, and in her world, that's quite the aphrodisiac.
"Carry my drink to that table," she purrs. "We have some things to discuss."
They canoodle at a small table while Homn looks on.
"We should tell her," says Riker quietly to Picard.
"Eventually," agrees Picard. "But let her enjoy the moment for now."



In sick bay, the Antedians have woken up. Worf grabs handfuls of the vermicula to... hand to them? I dunno what his plan of action was there. Anyway, they push him to the side and basically use the barrel as a trough. Pulaski calls Picard to report that they're awake and hungry.
"Would you like to be shown to your rooms?" she asks.
They ignore her.
And knowing they had rooms makes me wonder why they were being stored in the transporter room. I mean, I know that they wanted them in sick bay to keep an eye on them while they were in stasis, but in the meantime, could they not have stood around in a room with a medical guard rather than hang out in the transporter room?



Picard approaches Lwaxana.
"We have to go. We're almost to the conference."
"Tell Riker I'm marrying Rex instead," she replies.
"That's great, but the conference...?"
She finally gets up, telling Rex she'll see him later. On the way out of the bar, he breaks the news to her that Rex isn't real.



Lwaxana, getting out of the lift while orbiting Pacifica, is pissed as hell.
"He let me carry on!" she says, outraged. "And that man wasn't real!"
Marina Sirtis trips over Majel Barrett's long-ass Lwaxana dress as they're getting out of the lift, and for some reason, they left it in instead of reshooting. It's kind of funny.
Sassy Troi Moment: "I thought you liked surprises, Mother."
They enter the transporter room.
"Why are they still here?" Lwaxana demands, eyeing the Antedians.
"You're going to the same conference," explains Riker.



"They're not delegates," she announces. "Their robes are lined with explosives that your transporter wouldn't detect. They were planning on blowing up the conference."
"Lies!" says the first Antedian.
"Whatever. I can read your thoughts," she waves off.
Data does a scan. "She's right."
"Take them to the brig," says Picard, "and disarm them."
So like, strip 'em down?
The Trois hug goodbye, and Lwaxana and Mr Homn hop up on the transporter pad.
"Didn't find a fuck buddy, but I guess I saved the conference," sighs Lwaxana. "Close enough."
O'Brien energizes, and they start to disappear, when Lwaxana says, "Jean-Luc... shame on you for thinking such a thing."
Picard rolls his eyes.
Riker grins.



This is one of my season two favorites, combining two types of episodes that are frequently used for comedy: Lwaxana Troi, and holodeck shenanigans. Some Lwaxana episodes contain some poignant parts, but these earlier episodes, she was used mostly for comedic value. We got some character and culture development for the Betazoid people, which I enjoy. We learned how they eat, and some physiological stuff, as well as some tiny peeks into the relationship between Riker and Troi. His reaction to her "or more" comment clearly says that he's thinking that he still has time to hook up with her later, but it isn't approached in a weird, creepy way.
Lwaxana's behavior was borderline creepy, though. That was something I hadn't noticed much of previously, but something you take in more when you view an episode in snippets over the course of several hours. Her sizing up of Worf and Wes was a bit much, though it seems like that was the goal to begin with - she's on a mission to secure a friend with benefits, and she rejected Wes for being too young, and Worf, for not being human. I like that she considered Geordi despite his alternate abilities, and considered Worf based on his straightforward personality. I wonder what would have happened if she had gone all the way with Rex before finding out that he wasn't real. We know, thanks to Minuet, that one can "go all the way" with a holodeck character, but you better lock the damn door, because the ship will tell everyone where you are and who you're doing.
I also appreciate when the Enterprise characters go back in time on the holodeck. Picard's not remembering to carry money on him in the Dixon Hill stories worked out in a funny way this time around, as he chides himself for not carrying any, and Rex replies something along the lines of "Haha, you're funny. You can't keep your bar tab open forever." In this case, his mistake worked out nicely, in that it appeared that Dixon Hill didn't have money on him and was making a joke. But it's amusing seeing people of the 24th century trying to navigate the early 20th, and I think the writers made the correct choice in allowing the NPC holodeck characters to react to their gaffes.



Fun Facts:

- It took me forever to figure out why Lwaxana's eyes looked so large and kind of strange to me, and I finally figured it out - Majel Barrett has blue eyes, meaning that she wore contacts to make her eyes dark. I initially thought this had been done because Marina Sirtis has dark eyes and they wanted to make sure that they appeared to be related, but it turns out I was incorrect. Though I can't recall it ever being discussed, Betazoids have black irises. If their children are interspecies, they might have dark-colored irises. Now that I'm comparing photos of Deanna and Marina, it seems that they may have given Marina contacts as well, as her eyes are naturally a light brown. Not gonna lie, the contacts given to Majel creep me out a bit. I think they made these contacts larger than her actual irises, because I'm reminded of both black-out lenses, and the ones you can get now that make your irises look huge, to create an anime look.



- Betazoids appear to be polytheistic, as Lwaxana thanks "the four deities" when Troi shows up in the middle of Data's Power Point presentation.
- Mick Fleetwood, of Fleetwood Mac, is given credit as making a guest appearance on this episode, but you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who looks like him. He plays one of the Antedian assassins.


- LeVar Burton doesn't appear in this episode. He's alluded to, wordlessly, by Mr Homn.
- This is Robert O'Reilly's first Star Trek appearance. He plays Scarface here, the guy in the Dixon Hill program who threatens to beat the crap out of Picard. We'll see him again in season four and beyond.
- Tracy Torme wrote this episode, but was credited under a pseudonym because he was unhappy with the rewrites that were done. He especially did not care for how the Dixon Hill scenes were rewritten. This would be Tracy's final authored episode before leaving at the end of the season.
- When Picard looks out of the window in Dixon Hill's office, old movie footage is used to depict the street outside. However, the name of the film is not listed.


Red deaths: 0
To date: 2
Gold deaths: 0
Blue deaths: 0
Unknown color crewmember deaths: 18
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 6
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Riker Moments: 1
To date: 7
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 13
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 13
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 6
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Pulaski Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Troi Moments: 1
To date: 1
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 1
To date: 2
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 1
To date: 20
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 23
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 2
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 1
To date: 13


Episodes Left Until We Get Rid of Pulaski:






Uhura judges you.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Part 2

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Part 2
Stardate 8454.1
Release Date: June 9, 1989

Lady Archon's Blog, -305574.319298833: "So this shit-tastic movie started out last week with a guy forming some kind of cult on a backwoods planet in BFE, Space. The dude is a Vulcan named Sybok, and according to Spock, he rejects Vulcan logic and goes with emotion. He kidnaps a Terran, a Klingon, and the world's peppiest Romulan, all so he can get a starship to the planet to take them away. This dude gets people on his side by telling them he knows of their secret pain, like everyone in the galaxy is an emo teenager. The Enterprise crew were on leave in Yosemite while Scotty fixed up their new ship (cuz remember? They blew up the old Enterprise in movie 3 and then stole a Klingon cruiser to hang out in in movie 4). They're called away from shore leave to go get the hostages, but it's a fucking coup, and the hostages all have Stockholm Syndrome, and they take the E crew hostage. Also some Klingon d-bag wants to kill Kirk for funsies. Also also, Spock has fucking hover boots.
We left off at the part where Sulu has flown the shuttle back to the E with his crewmates and some cult members, Spock has refused to kill Sybok, and Sybok has the Golden Trio tossed in the brig, while saving out Uhura and Sulu for his own purposes. The only one on board the E who realizes what is going is Scotty, because he was spying on all of the shit going on in the shuttle bay when it arrived full of cult leaders."



Kirk is irate as he, Bones and Spock get tossed in the brig.
"WTF is wrong with you?" he demands. "I told you to kill Sybok. He was standing there with the barrel in his chest, and you responded by doing nothing!"
"I couldn't kill my brother," says Spock simply.
"Dude, screw Vulcan brotherhood!" rages Kirk.
"Naw, you don't get it," explains Spock. "Sybok is literally my brother from another mother. Like, we got the same Daddy."
"You fucking liar," snaps Kirk.
"Wait, really?" asks Bones, who seems oddly Team Spock.
"Yeah, his mother was a Vulcan princess," Spock tells Bones. "When she died, we were raised together."
"Bullshit," growls Kirk.
"STFU," says Bones. "Spock could no more kill you than Sybok." Sassy Bones: "I mean, what are you gonna do? Throw him in the brig?"
Kirk makes an "ICWYDT but I'm still annoyed" face.
"Bigger fish to fry," says Bones. "How the fuck do we get out of here?"
(Side note: seriously? Vulcans have a monarchy? Are you fucking kidding me? Sounds like bullshit.)



Uhura and Sulu enter the bridge, but there are others with them.
"WTH?" demands Chekov.
"It's okay," says a blissed-out Uhura. "Sybok will explain everything."
Sulu plots out a new course, and Chekov demands to know what he's doing, but then Sybok comes in and starts whispering those sweet "share your pain with me" nothings in Chekov's ear.



We go back to the brig, where Kirk is standing on Spock's shoulders, removing ceiling panels and tinkering around. Each time he reaches for something, Spock advises him that that particular action will not end well. Tired of hearing "no" Kirk finally grabs something that shocks the shit out of him and does a controlled roll to the floor.
"Could've warned me," he complains.
"He did, asshat," says Bones.
"This new brig is escape-proof," Spock tells him.
Then he explains that, for some unknown reason and at some point in the past, the designers of this new brig invited him to break out of it, and he wasn't able to do so.
That makes no fucking sense, but whatever. Moving on.



The new course is laid in, and the E is well on her way... somewhere. Sybok decides to broadcast to the entire ship where they're going and why. So he climbs on the PA, and the audio is piped into the corridors while the video plays on all of the screens. Kirk, Spock and Bones watch the video just outside of their brig cell.
"So hey. I hijacked this ship because we were chosen, and now, so are you. My Vulcan ancestors believed in emotions and a religion, but modern people say it's bunk. I say it isn't, which is why we're going to Sha'Ka'Ree at the center of the galaxy, beyond the Great Barrier."
"Whoa, shit," says Spock. "Sybok got kicked off of Vulcan for looking for Sha'Ka'Ree. Everybody thinks it's a myth. Maybe he found it."
"Dude, who gives a shit?" asks Kirk. "Let's focus on getting out of here, and putting Sybok IN here, then you guys can talk about whether or not Sha'Ka'Ree is real." He pauses. "What's that noise?"
They all go to the opposite wall.
"Morse code," says Spock.
They can hear someone or something banging out morse code on the metal walls, and guess correctly at the letters.
"Stand Back?" asks Kirk. "What the hell does that mean?"
A big hole gets ripped in the wall via explosives and Scotty sticks his head through. "It means stand the fuck back!" he yells.



Sybok enters the brig, confidently telling Sulu how he intends to break up the Golden Trio to get them on his side, then he sees the gaping hole in the back of the cell. Oops.

Scotty takes the trio through some wide, horizontal Jeffries tubes. They need to send a distress signal, but it's way up near the bridge.
"You can take turbo shaft 3," says Scotty. "Closed for repairs. But the climb sucks, and it's dangerous."
Sassy Bones (about Kirk): "Some of us get off on that sort of thing."
Scotty points them in the direction of the shaft. As they're running away, Kirk yells back, "You're amazing!"
Cheap laugh time:
"Nothing amazing about it," says Scotty. "I know this ship like the back of my hand."
He then promptly walks into a beam and knocks himself out cold.



They reach the turbo lift and look up. It's a cool shot.



However, it's also a long climb. Kirk and Bones begin climbing diligently. Spock turns and heads out the door.

Scenes here are interspersed with shots of army members running through the corridors looking for the trio.
One, along with Baldy and Sulu, come across Scotty, who has a bleeding head wound. Sulu directs them to take him to sick bay.

Long about the time that Kirk passes the Level 12 turbo lift doors, they realize that Spock is not with them.
Then -



No.



NO.



FUCK YOU, MOVIE.

They start to sink.
"Too many marsh melons," says Kirk.
They drop down near the floor as Sulu rushes in with Baldy.
"Rocket boosters!" yells Kirk.
"That will shoot us to the top with no brakes," points out Spock.
"Fucking rocket boosters!" screams Kirk.
So Spock hits the rocket boosters, and they're launched to the top of the shaft, somehow managing to stop inches before the ceiling, though I have no idea how, because if they simply turned off the boosters then they'd start sinking again. Anyway, Spock drops them down just far enough that they get to the level where they need to go, and end up in some small, dark room, which turns out to be the Obs Lounge.
Kirk goes to a radio and calls for help. No answer at first, then a woman comes on the line and says she's with Starfleet Headquarters. He gives her the coordinates and tells her to send help to them, because some d-bag has taken over their ship and intends to fly it into the Great Barrier.



Turns out it was Vixis on the line, and for some reason, she has a perfect Terran accent. She gives the coordinates to Klaa, who says they will go where Kirk goes.



What follows is the bullshittiest, most gaslight-y scene from any Star Trek film ever.
Sybok, Baldy, and two armed army members have tracked down Kirk & Co. Looks like he's gonna play Little Emo Vulcan Boy again. He starts spouting off some crappola about how humans once thought certain things to be impossible, but then those things were proved to be possible.
"Some people used to think the world was flat!"
Some people still think that now.
"But then Columbus changed all that."
Columbus was a giant dick, and you're not making any friends here, Sybok.
He then goes on to say that the fear behind the unknown is what keeps people from going through the Great Barrier.
Nope, pretty sure it's cuz it's a barrier, moron.
He says he wants Kirk's understanding and respect.
Okay. *pinches bridge of noses and closes eyes* You don't get that through kidnapping and hijacking. Actions speak louder than words, and your actions say, "I'm an intergalactic con man." Like, haven't we done this before? Isn't this a longer version of "Whom Gods Destroy"?



There's a quick cut over to sick bay, where Scotty wakes up and demands to know where he is.
"You hit your head," soothes Uhura. "but you're okay now."
In this scene, as in the scene where we first see them, she strokes his cheek tenderly, and I keep wondering if we're supposed to be shipping them together. It's weird.
"I had a terrible dream, that the ship was being taken over by a madman," he insists.
"He's not a madman," she replies. "Come see him, he'll tell you all about it."
Scotty realizes that she's hypnotized or Stockholmed, or something, and he fakes his condition.
"Ohh, nooes, can't do it. Not in my condition."



We dash back over to Sybok and the boys. Sybok says that Sha'Ka'Ree is Heaven, or Eden, and describes it in terms of other alien cultures who also have a place of paradise, and when Kirk asks how he's controlling the minds of his crew.
"By helping them confront their deepest pain, and drawing strength from it."
This guy wants you to believe that he's some kind of drive-thru therapist, but he's full of shit.
"Sounds like brainwashing," says Bones.
Sybok descends upon him, saying that Bones' pain is deepest of all, and we hear a voice calling "Leonard..." faintly, and a city skyline appears behind Bones, as seen through some high-rise windows.
"No!" shouts Bones, recognizing the scene.
.We have no idea if Bones' friends can see this or not. My guess is no. How could Sybok create holograms from nothing like that? Also, we never saw any of the other experiences that the others see when he works his flim-flam man magic.
Anyway, Bones' deepest pain is derived from his father dying slowly and painfully from some disease. He struggles with it, trying to make the older man comfortable, but in the end, his father is begging for death, and Bones, not wanting to see him suffer needlessly, pushes a button that leads to that outcome.



Bones is stuck reliving the whole thing, and is obviously traumatized by the memories of it. Sybok keeps pouring salt on the wounds, telling Bones that the medical support system will keep his father alive, and when Bones presses the button to help his father die, Sybok asks why he did it. But Bones seems satisfied that he did the right thing, even though he agonized over it, so Sybok steers him away from the scene and says, "But that wasn't the worst of it, though, was it?"
"No! Shortly after, they found a  cure!"
"This is your deepest pain! Hug me!" And Sybok forces a hug on Bones, who is distraught that his father might have lived if he hadn't helped him die.
This is straight-up mental abuse. And forcing a hug on a person to convince them that you are right is sociopathic.



This next part is extra shitty.
Now having turned Bones, Sybok approaches Spock.
"Bring it," says Spock. "I got nothin' you want."
"Fine," says Sybok.
But then I guess everybody can see these illusions, because Kirk and Spock walk into a scene where Amanda Greyson is giving birth while being watched by a Vulcan high priestess. And Amanda is creaming because she just gave birth to a three-month old baby. The priestess takes the baby to a younger Sarek, how takes a look and says, "So human."
Spock walks away to stare at the wall.



"WTF did you do to my friends?" Kirk demands of Sybok.
"Nothing. I unleashed their greatest pain so that they wouldn't have to carry it around anymore."
Um, no. Spock was unaware of that little scene you just put together. You conjured that shit (who knows how) to make him feel bad, so you could convince him that you and only you, know how to kiss it and make it better.
"Just go along with it," Bones urges Kirk.
"Fuck that," says Kirk. "I know that I've made mistakes in my life, and I know that I have regrets. But that kind of thing shapes who we are, and who we become. And you can't just hug me and make it disappear."
"Cool," says Synok casually. "You can stay here while Spock and Dr McCoy and I leave to go to the bridge."
"Noop," replies Spock. "You think I'm still that little outcast kid? Like, that sucked, but I'm not torn up about it. Go fuck yourself, brother."
"Yeah, I'm out, too," says Bones.



Sybok smiles. "Okay, that's cool, But when we get beyond the Great Barrier, you'll see my vision was right."
"TF are you talking about?" demands Kirk.
"I'm on a mission from God," he says, but it's not in the laid-back way that you get from The Blues Brothers. "He's waiting for us on the other side."
Like, this sorry bitch either believes this crap, or he's perfected how to say it so others think he believes it. Either way, dude is nuts.
"You're bat-shit crazy," says Kirk quietly.
And Sybok actually appears to be taking stock of his own mental capabilities. "Maybe." But then he fucking smiles again, and they leave.



So Sybok goes back to the bridge, and they start moving beyond the Great Barrier, and you guys, it's like the first terrible film, where they get past one kind of mist, only to find another kind of special effects mist. And each one looks like a different form of dropping-colored-water-into-vegetable-oil. We get shots of the E going through these mists, shots of the bridge crew and the army on the bridge, watching the ship move through these mists, and shots of our boys in the Obs Lounge, also watching the ship move through the mists. Chekov reports that none of the instruments are working, and he's getting no info.



Boring, boring, boring. Fortunately, it doesn't last as long as that scene from the first film. We only go through four or five layers of mist before it clears, revealing a small, glowing ball of a planet. Each of the Stockholm Syndrome reps whispers the name of their own Heaven-Eden place.
Now Chekov reports that the instruments are back online, and also that the planet has it's own energy force.



"Whoa," says Kirk in the Obs Lounge, touching a brass plate on the front of the wooden steering wheel.
Cheesy, Movie. Very cheesy.



The people on the bridge are all ogling the planet when the trio exits the lift,
"Ship needs a captain," says Kirk.
"All yours," says Sybok. "I won't interfere."
"I could turn it around and leave right now," says Kirk.
"But you won't," replies Sybok.
Dude, this is too easy. Really? Sybok is just going to give up the ship, just like that?
"Okay, cool. Away team. Chekov has the conn, and I'm taking Bones, Spock, and Sybok." The others start forward, and he's all, "No. None of the rest of you bitches are going anywhere, until we figure out what the hell is down there."



The shuttle goes down. More special effects mists. Then like, mountain ranges.
Spock looks up at Kirk. "I'm not working the controls on the ship anymore. We;re being guided in."
Sybok seems charmed.
They land, and Kirk opens a drawer of weapons, but Sybok places a hand on his shoulder and gives him this look like, "You know better, little boy."
"Fine," says Kirk. "Unarmed."
They leave the shuttle to stand outside, and they line up so that we get a shot of their profiles. This was obviously important to Shatner, so here it is: the trio with some forgettable character from an awful film.



"It's so beautiful," says Sybok.
They're all marveling. Wanna see what they're staring at?



It's the fucking desert. It's nice for like, five seconds, then you run out of things to look at.
Everyone on the bridge steps closer to see the planet, and I have no idea where the camera is that's supposedly catching this footage.



Anyway, everyone is super-amazed by some view you can easily Google.
We get a bunch more gratuitous landscape shots when Kirk & Co and also Sybok climb some rocks, just kind of meandering around. there's like, "wondrous" music playing like, "isn't this amazing?"
No, mofos. They're wandering around outside. The people on the bridge are still transfixed, presumably because they're being made to watch this rotten movie on the viewscreen, and pretend that it's not weird that there's no way they could get those shots.




Uhura tells Scotty that he needs to check out these magical things that are happening, but Scotty is taking the opportunity of not being brainwashed to fix the damn transporter. Also, because nobody is watching any of the equipment, nobody has noticed that the Klingons seem to have passed the Barrier as well.



They come out the other side of the mountains, and there's like, nothing. Not The Nothing from The Neverending Story because that would have been interesting, but nothing as in... dirt. Some rocks. Sybok looks disappointed.
"Here we are," he announces to the dirt and rocks. "We came by starship."
Spock gives him a pitying look. Kirk opens his communicator to call the ship, but doesn't know what to report. Bones shrugs at him.
Then there's an earthquake and the sun goes out. (Why is there a sun here? I saw no sun when they pulled into orbit. Just the glowing planet.)
(Also, didn't have Sybok have long hair pulled into a ponytail? Now his hair is short. WTH?)
So the earthquake is because the planet is making it's own little Stonehenge, popping curved rocks out of the ground to make a circle.
The baffled-looking away team steps inside.



Some more swirly blue mist appears on the ground, and some voices whisper.
"Are you God?" asks Bones.
"Totes magotes," answers a deep voice. It shows them some faces carved from rock (sadly, none of them Monty Python's God), then settles on one that looks like Zeus, because... you know why. "Is this face good?"



"Hooray!" says Sybok. "I traveled a long way to find you, and I brought a starship..."
"Can the starship be used to carry my wisdom beyond the barrier?" asks Mist Beardo.
"It could!" says Sybok excitedly.
"Rad! A starship!" says Mist Beardo.
And now, a kind of funny part:
The trio exchange glances, and Kirk puts his finger up, stepping forward politely.
"Excuse me. I'd like to ask a question."
Sybok and Mist Beardo look at him like he's interrupted their plans for a Second Reckoning.
"What does God want with a starship?" asks Kirk.
Mist Beardo ignores Kirk and tells Sybok to bring the ship in closer.
Kirk is not to be deterred, and asks louder.
Bones: "Kirk, WTF are you doing?"
"Asking a question," says Kirk simply.
Mist Beardo gets mad and demands to know who Kirk is.
"Don't you know? Aren't you God?"
Sybok tries to cover the misstep. "He has some doubts."
"Let's see some fuckin' proof that you're God," says Kirk.
Bones: "Jim, what are you doing? You don't ask the Almighty for his ID."
"I got yer ID right here," says Mist Beardo, and he shoots frickin' lasers out of his eyes like an ill-tempered sea bass.
They hit Kirk, and he goes flying.



Then, because apparently, everyone on the bridge can see what's happening, they all jump in surprise and concern because God struck down Kirk.
Sybok is confused, "Why have you done this to my friend?"
Friend? Seriously? You a crazy bitch, Sybok.
"He doubts me," growls Mist Beardo.
"Dude, where's the answer?" asks Spock. "Why does God need a starship?"
Mist Beardo strikes him down, too. Then he's all like, "What about you? Do you doubt me?" to Bones.
And Bones says that he doubts any God that inflicts pain for their own pleasure.
Sybok looks like he's coming around to the idea that he's getting cheated here. "The God of Sha'Ka'Ree wouldn't act like this!"
"Sha'Ka'Ree? Bitch, you made that up. I've been imprisoned her for eternity. Now give me your fucking ship."
Spock gets up and tells Sybok what he already knows: Mist Beardo is not THE God, or any God, he's just a Beardo made of mist, and who is probably stuck behind the Great Barrier for a good fucking reason.



"Reveal yourself to me!" says Sybok in one last attempt to prove that Mist Beardo is not also a con man.
And Mist Beardo turns into Evil Mist Sybok, who yells at the emotive Vulcan to bring him the fucking ship already.
Kirk quietly calls the E on his communicator.
Sybok runs to Spock. "OMG, I fucked up!" Then: "You guys need to save yourselves."
Spock spends half a second trying to convince Sybok not to sacrifice himself, then they do this like, Vulcan high-five with the ta'al.



"I noticed you have some deep pain," Sybok tells Mist Sybok. "Share it with me, bitch!" And he lunges into the mist at his non-corporeal doppleganger. They fight like season one's "The Alternative Factor."
Kirk opens his comm. "Now, now, fucking now!"
"Firing torpedo!" Sulu answers.
The trio ducks behind some rocks, the torpedo lands, and it blows up all the shit.
When they look back, the blue mist is gone, but is replaced by red mist, and some wailing.
"Let's GTFO," suggests Kirk.

Spock whispers "Sybok?" but you know he's gone. Red mist = redshirted.


They make a run for the shuttle.
I have no idea how long it took them to walk from the shuttle to wherever Mist Beardo's Stonehenge was, but apparently, it only takes them a few minutes to get back to the shuttle. And they realize that Mist Beardo guided them in, and that the shuttle no longer works properly, for whatever reason.
The shuttle rocks, and they can still hear the wailing.
Kirk flips open his comm. "Scotty, transporters ready?"
"Kinda?" replies Scotty. "Like, I can take two right now."
"Cool, take Bones and Spock," says Kirk.
"Wait - what?" demands Bones as he and Spock disappear.
They reappear on the transporter pads, and Spock orders Scotty to beam up Kirk.
Remember that Klaa is inside the Barrier also, and no one noticed?
The Klingons fire on the E, sending sparks flying from the transporter.



Kirk is chased from the shuttle when the red light enters and starts sparking up the craft's control panels.
Spock enters the bridge, with Bones at his heels, saying they can't just leave Kirk on the planet, and how many times has this scene played out over the years? It's like there's a Star Trek formula that includes certain story elements, and there's a quota you have to meet.

[x] Kirk gets kidnapped
[  ] Kirk seduces a girl as a plot device
[x] Bones and/or Kirk makes a racist remark about Vulcans
[x] Spock takes said racist comment as a compliment
[x] Kirk is abandoned somewhere, Spock assumes authority, Bones bitches at him for seemingly leaving the captain behind
[x] Scotty pulls a miracle out of his ass
[x] The day is saved with one second left until doom and/or death

Uhura tells Spock that Klaa is on the line, and wants to tell him the terms for surrendering. He agrees to talk to Klaa.
"Give me Kirk, or I'm blowing up your ship!" announces Klaa. He also speaks perfect Terran, though it's accented in some way that I can't quite pinpoint. Russian? Eastern European?
"He's not here," said Spock casually.
"You're lying!" rages Klaa.
"Bitch, did I stutter? Check the ears. I'm a Vulcan. I'm not capable of lying. He's on the planet."
"Give me his coordinates! I'll beam him directly to me!"
Spock pauses, then turns to Korrd. "Need your help here. You outrank this little shitstain."
Korrd tries to protest, because he's a fucking traitor to the Empire, even though nobody knows that outside of the E.



For some reason, Kirk ran back to the mountains. I don't know why he thought that was would be the wisest course of action, but here we are. Mist Beardo keeps wailing at him, and trying to shoot him with the frickin' laser beams.
Then hello, what's this? The Cruiser comes up over the back of the mountain, and blows away Mist Beardo. Kirk turns to face the Cruiser.
"You want me, you Klingon bastards?" he yells, forgetting that a split-second ago, they blew away the thing he was running from, but reminding us of the previous "shittiest Star Trek film of all time," The Search for Spock, where Christopher Lloyd Klingon killed David, the son Kirk had just met.
Nope. The Cruiser beams him aboard.



Uniformed Klingons wrestle Kirk off the transporter pad and haul him up to the bridge.
He's surprised to see Korrd.
"This little shitstain has something he wants to say," Korrd tells Kirk.
Klaa looks at his sneakers and shuffles his feet in the dirt. "Sorry I tried to kill you. I wasn't authorized by my government to do that."
"Also, check out the new gunner," says Korrd.
And the gunner chair swivels around, and it's Spock.
Why the fuck it's Spock, I have no idea.
Korrd could have given the order to fire on Mist Beardo, and it would have been done. It's completely unnecessary to have Spock as gunner on a Klingon Cruiser, just as it was weird and unnecessary to have Spock road-test the new brig.
But you know why they did it, besides the "fun" reveal?
So we could get these lines:
Kirk: "I thought I was gonna die!"
Spock: "You could not have died there. You were not alone."
Sarcastic D'awwwww.



Later, there's a reception in the Obs Lounge for the E and the Cruiser. Korrd downs some Romulan ale, and it appears to be not to his liking. Scotty offers his Scotch from a flask, then fangirls to Uhura that he never thought he might drink with a Klingon (which is interesting, because he kind of was drinking with Klingons in "The Trouble with Tribbles." I mean, he started a bar fight right after, but prior to that, they were kind of drinking together. Sorta).
Korrd wanders over to St John and Peppy Cheerleader Romulan. What the hell was her name again? Oh, yeah. Caithlin Dar. Anyway, they're all cozy, and I guess we're supposed to ship that. There were a few scenes on the bridge where they could be seen comforting one another, and St John doesn't look quite so slumlord as he did when they first met, so I guess maybe they actually like each other.



Vixis enters the Lounge, followed closely Chekov and Sulu, who are scoping her ass in a non-subtle way. Chekov remarks on how wonderful her muscles are. But her method for shaking guys at the club is to stand next to Klaa, and our boys immediately turn and walk away. Klaa salutes Kirk, who gives a half-assed salute back.
Wait, why is that army member serving drinks?



Kirk goes to Spock and Bones, who are standing next to the wooden wheel, staring out the window.
"Wassup?" asks Kirk.
"We're talking about if there really is a God out there," says Bones.
"Maybe not out there," says Kirk, gesturing over his shoulder. "But maybe there's one in here, in the human heart."



Spock looks sad...ish. Kirk asks what's wrong.
"Sybok," says Spock. "I've lost a brother."
Ugh, we checked off another box: create new character, making some main character care about them, then kill them off for audience feels. The thing is, I never gave a shit about Sybok, so these feels were never there. Like, I don't even buy that Spock is all that torn up.
"Ah, yes," replies Kirk. "I lost a brother once. But I was lucky enough to get him back."
The boys look at him quizzically. They know that he's talking about Spock, but they're probably also remembering that Kirk had a biological brother Sam, who died at the end of season one when he was attacked by killer flying vomit piles. Guess Kirk forgot.



In a brief scene before the credits, our boys are back in the woods, sitting around a campfire. The philistine who wrote the closed captioning for this film identifies a plucking instrument noise as a mandolin, but as the camera pulls away from the fire pit, we see that Spock has dragged his Vulcan lyre along this time.
"You gonna pluck at that thing all night, or play something?" Kirk asks.
Without a word, Spock sarcastically plays "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
Kirk begins singing (sometimes substituting notes that don't belong there), and Spock joins in. Eventually, Bones does too. And the camera pulls away to show the whole campground, and then the rest of Yosemite is used as a background for credits.





Ugh, this movie. This fucking movie.
So this one tops my list of worst precisely because #10 involves an original plot, and this one goes back to the same tired, "the crew of the E meets God" premise that Gene loved so much. (While this is, for the most part, the last of the scripts that deals directly with that notion, there's at least one more TNG episode that deals with it indirectly.)
But here's the thing: Gene didn't write this film. Shatner did. In fact, Gene had not been involved with any Star Trek production since the first film, when the studio told him to take a backseat. Bill Shatner actually based this film on Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, a couple of televangelists. He was incensed that these two idiots were claiming that they, and they alone, had a direct line to God, and how arrogant that notion really was. So he wrote a screenplay about a dude who seemingly has this direct line to God, and the E gets pulled into his crap. He takes the screenplay to Gene to see if the big guy approves. He figured Gene would like it because Gene had pitched the idea so many ways over the years, and also, the arrogance of one person speaking for God would probably appeal to the atheist in him. However, Gene Rod was not pleased. Seems for years, he had been working on a project called "The God Thing" which he had told The Shat about, and now here comes Bill with a plot that's really, really similar. ("The God Thing" later became "In Thy Image," which later became the basis for the the first film.) It didn't help any that Gene's secretary kept walking around afterward talking about how Bill was a bastard, and had stolen Gene's ideas. Bill later admits that Gene probably did talk about that project with him, and that parts of it may have subconsciously slipped into his screenplay. So there we go: a bunch of Gene's ideas, as filtered through Bill Shatner. The same old, tired ideas, too. Gene would always consider this movie to be non-canonical, and because it was awful, many fans do as well.



And a movie about someone who meets God is tricky. If you build it up as a big thing (like they did here), then you're always going to get a disappointed audience when your version of God doesn't meet theirs. It's like the movie Contact, where they built up the fact that Jodie Foster was going to get to meet these aliens, and when she finally does, the alien chooses to take the form of her dead father, to put her at ease. But people wanted to see the actual alien, and not her father. Here, they use a "traditional" God (ie, one who is white and looks like Zeus), but he turns out to be a frickin' alien.



Then our flim-flam man is twelve kinds of wrong. First, he turns out to be related to a beloved character, and his very existence denies a favorite ship, that of Amanda and Sarek. (The wiki says that Sarek was never married to Sybok's mother, but it seems that Sybok came first? I dunno.) The idea of a non-logical Vulcan is intriguing, but it wasn't done well. Sybok is not likable, and he dances the line between villain, and anti-hero. I guess when he sacrifices himself, he's supposed to be sympathetic, and you're supposed to feel for Spock, but neither of those things occurred, so I failed to care either way. I was never really certain if Sybok ever believed his own bullshit about taking other people's pain away, and that ambivalence left me luke-warm. I neither loved nor hated him, and that's sort of needed here. It's okay to have a hated character who has some sympathetic traits so that you're a bit confused as to how to feel about them, and to also have some understanding as to why they do what they do (ie, Kahn's wife died, making him a bigger dick), but none of that was present with Sybok. What's more, none of that mystery is solved: what connection was there between Mist Beardo and Sybok? Somehow, Sybok knew where to look, how to get through the Great Barrier, and that he would need to bring a starship with him. We also have no idea how he produced those hologram-things of people's past regrets. He came, he saw, he recruited people, he did mysterious shit, then he died without explaining anything. Dissatisfying.



Okay.
Those boots.
Those fucking hover-boots.
I get it: the studio wanted a lighter-hearted film like four, because four did well. They seem to have ignored the fact that two also did well, and was not a comedy. Here's a tip to studios that make franchise movies that are one-shots, but loosely connected: if one kind of film does well, do not make every film in the franchise just like it, hoping for repeat success. That will not work. Each installment must be treated like it's own film, or you're going to have films that flounder. (I am looking at you, Marvel. You cannot make every film like Deadpool.)
Still, when the studio said "go lighter on your film about meeting God," they didn't mean "add the stupidest fucking piece of tech, ever."
Then they wrote two ridiculous scenes in which to feature said stupidest fucking piece of tech ever.

So this film fails a lot. Movie ten and Reboot two also fail pretty hard, but this one seems to fail on all levels and not just a few, which is why this one gets my pick for Shittiest Trek Movie EVAR.
Congrats, Star Trek V. You suck the most.
Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie and the blue unicorn it rode in on.



Fun facts:

- Baldy's name is J'onn, but no one ever calls him that onscreen, so I figured Baldy would work just as well.
- Paramount's president is a religious man, but he liked the story when Shatner pitched it to him, so he green-lighted it.
- William Shatner claimed that one of the reasons why this film did not do well was budgetary. He wanted more money to spend on stuff, but didn't get all the cash he asked for. This film was done for $30 mil. Two was done for $12 mil, three was done for $16 mil, and four was under-budget at $21 mil. But Executive Producer Ralph Winter felt like the budget wasn't the correct place to lay blame. He didn't think more money would have made the film any better.
- Weird continuity and plot holes "fixed" by the novelization of this film: Sybok shows the crew of the E how to pass through the Great Barrier by adjusting their deflector shields. The Klingon Cruiser scans their ship and learns this information as well. Also, the trip to the center of the universe should have taken decades, but instead takes hours. Sybok messing with equipment on the E makes this possible, though it doesn't say how it makes it possible for the Klingon Cruiser to follow them at that same rate. The novelization also included some talk between Bones and Spock about how the Great Barrier may have been created to keep Mist Beardo in, rather than keeping others out.
- The chase scene between Kirk and Mist Beardo was supposed to be longer and more complicated, but was cut down drastically because the special effects sucked.
- Here, we have another example of Star Trek picking someone to play a part, and then naming something after that person, only to have that person not appear in that role. In this case, Sha'Ka'Ree was named after Sean Connery, who was asked to play Sybok. But Connery was busy elsewhere, namely, filming Indiana Jones.
- There were supposed to be rock creatures that emerge during the Mist Beardo-Kirk chase scene, and they were supposed to attack Kirk. But again, those special effects sucked so badly that the rock creatures were cut out of the film completely. However, the idea was used in the Star Trek parody "Galaxy Quest."


- The comic book adaptation of this movie corrects Kirk's assertion that he lost a brother but got him back. In the comic, it is corrected to "I lost two brothers, but got one back."
- In the turbo lift scene, not only do the trio pass several levels that are labeled with the same numbers (they pass Deck 52 twice), but they're also counting the wrong way, as the numbers go up when they should pass the decks, when they should be counting down. (The bridge is on Deck One.) What's more, there are too many decks listed. There are only 23 decks on that ship, but they pass Deck 78.




Buried Uhura in a pile of nip-filled cat toys.
She seems pleased.