Production Order: 15
Air Order: 14
Original Air Date: January 25, 1988
Picard's log 41363.9: "So this freighter, the Odin, went missing seven years ago, and we just stumbled upon it floating in space. Looks like the escape pods were used, so we're going to the nearest planet, Angel One, to see if they might have made it there."
They talk briefly about Angel One and Data says that it is similar to mid-twentieth century Earth. They have a constitutional oligarchy that's run by elected females. Troi says it sounds like Betazed, her home.
Worf's one line for this episode is about how Klingons like strong women.
Data relays back that the Federation hasn't been to Angel One in over sixty years, and Picard says that the planet has strategic importance, so maybe they should frame this up as a diplomatic call as well as a "we're looking for crash survivors" call. He invites Troi to talk to the inhabitants.
There's no visual for Angel One, but Beata, "The Elected One" (aka head bitch in charge) answers the phone.
"Hey, Angel One," says Troi. "I'm Troi of the Enterprise."
"Hey, Enterprise. What's up?" asks Beata. She almost, almost sounds friendly.
"We were in the neighborhood, and thought we'd do a pop-in," says Troi.
Clearly, Beata hates the pop-in as much as the next person, and did I say she sounded friendly? I meant salty.
"We in no way feel neglected, Counselor. A diplomatic courtesy call is neither expected nor required."
Troi mentions the possible Odin survivors, and there's a pause before Beata replies. Again, I could paraphrase, but her actual line is much harsher:
"A brief visit will be tolerated."
Sassy Geordi Moment: "Ever feel like you're not really wanted?"
Riker goes to the transporter room with Yar, Data, and Troi. Picard reminds them not to fuck anything up down there, because the Federation is hoping to eventually hook up with Angel One.
Picard's Log, supplemental: "So Angel One is like, a matriarchal society. The females are hunters and soldiers and are larger and stronger than males. Like Earth a while back, only reversed."
The away team beams down into the city and is shown into what I guess is council chambers to meet with The Elected One. The HBIC, Beata, is in the middle, and that smug motherfucker behind her is Trent. He's played by Leonard Crofoot, who does a really great job acting as though everyone in the room is jealous of the fact that he's Beata's little right-hand weasel.
|I really like the council's uniforms. They're structurally interesting, and remind|
me of caryatids. Also, one side is blue and the other reddish, which makes me
wonder what the branches mean. It's never explained.
"We don't consider even one survivor to be petty," he corrects her.
Oops, wrong move.
She replies in a sexist tone, addressing Troi: "Is this man implying that we put a lesser value on life than you do?"
Troi throws Riker some side-eye, then smooths it over by saying they stumbled upon the freighter by accident, and just happened to be in the neighborhood, checking it out.
Beata is less salty when she asks what they will do if they find survivors. Troi answers that they'll take the survivors home.
Council time! A chick named Ariel butts in to ask if they can "take these strangers at their word."
"Good question," Beata replies.
Yar gets pissed off at possibly being called a liar. "Why the fuck would we lie about that?"
"Another good question," Beata says.
Okay, I like that. I was kind of pissed off when she implied that Riker was not as good as her because of his gender, but I do like the fact that she's being fair to both sides... even if "both sides" presenting the questions are female. I wonder if she would have thought the question was a good one if Riker had brought it up instead of Yar, though...
We get a bit of an answer next when Riker decides to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and ask point-blank if there are Odin survivors on Angel One. Beata pauses then says sharply that she's "not prepared to answer at this time," whatever the fuck that means. Then she snaps her damn fingers at Trent and barks, "see to their comforts!" in a tone that indicates that she doesn't give two shits about how comfortable her guests are while staying there.
Trent shows them to a room and Yar scans for surveillance devices before they start talking. Riker asks for Troi's reaction. She says that everyone in the room seemed afraid, but not for the same reason. The away team is pretty sure that survivors are on the planet.
Upstairs, Picard and Worf are in the lift, and Worf gets some actual lines! Woo-hoo!
Picard tells him that they need to be ready to go at a moment's notices because Romulans near Neutral Zone, blah, blah, blah. This Romulan subplot, which is not actually a subplot but a Disable the Ship device, is not terribly interesting. It only figures in because they have to Disable the Ship somehow. It feels shoe-horned in, mostly because it was added a bit later in the script-writing process.
Anyway, they get off the lift, and are immediately accosted by snowballs. Wes and his friend were skiing on the holodeck and decided to have a snowball fight as they exited, which has now hit the captain instead. Which is interesting, because matter should not be able to exist outside of the holodeck. Picard starts to lecture the boys on... I dunno, not having snowball fights or something, when he says he smells something weird. Worf says the smell reminds him of a Klingon plant. Wes says he doesn't smell it, because he's congested from imaginary snow. His poor friend gets no lines, and is mostly set dressing. They might as well have put that kid in Christine Chapel's uniform.
Back on Angel One, Data has discovered a bottle of perfume, and misunderstanding, sprays that shit in his face. The others are amused and tells him that certain cultures consider perfume to be an aphrodisiac. I'm surprised that Yar displays no awkwardness here, considering that she just screwed him a few months ago. Nope, she thinks it's funny.
Trent comes in to lead them back to the council chambers, but when they exit before him, he stops and spritzes himself with the perfume.
So the council has decided to trust them, and Beata tells the away team that there was some arguing amongst them, but they feel like they have to trust the away team.
"Don't know why you wouldn't," says Riker, "but thanks anyway, I guess?"
Then she drops the bomb: yep, there are four dudes on Angel One who hopped out of that escape pod. She has no idea where they are, because they're in hiding... because they're fugitives. Her cryptic description says that they "started making unreasonable demands" and "went against the natural order."
Soooo.... they didn't want to wear a sparkly codpiece like your boy Trent?
Dramatic music! Commercial break!
|Trent had his hands on his hips before Beata, but the repetition suggests that|
they're a kind of pair, at least in Trent's mind. And I'd wager that Beata often stands
like that, so he's mimicking her before she even knows it.
Upstairs, Crusher calls Picard from sick bay. Seems that Wes and his set dressing friend have come down with a respiratory ailment from some field trip they went on. Crusher can't figure out how it spreads. He mentions the Romulan thing again, and says he doesn't want the illness spreading to his crew, then he rubs the back of his neck and there's some mysterious music to suggest that he already has it too.
|Hellloooooo, sexy matte painting! We'll see this a few more times, but altered.|
Riker asks Data how to use the E to find Ramsay, the head survivor, and the other guys. Data replies that he needs access to the Angel One computer library. All of Beata's next few lines are super-sexist.
"Hey, can Data use your library?" Riker asks Beata.
She shakes her head. "Our libraries are far too sophisticated for a man to comprehend."
Riker actually rolls his eyes so hard that he turns his body away from her. I do too. What a shitty thing to say.
Data, who does not find sexism logical and really just wants to get this shit taken care of, tells her that although he is male, he is actually an android. It's a rather clever tack for Data to take.
Beata is impressed and gives her permission, but not before taking another jab at males: "Is that so? Maybe you can teach our males a few things."
Like what? Civil rights and equality?
Trent looks annoyed that this android-come-lately gets access to something that he doesn't, and also, that Beata is now more taken with the away team. I get the feeling that, if given the chance, Trent would open a little hotel by the highway and murder girls in the shower while wearing Beata's clothes, all the while talking to her corpse up at the big house. Because according to the attitudes on this planet, the men wouldn't hurt a fly.
Riker returns to the away team's quarters and Troi says that clothes were dropped off for him. It's the sparkly blouse and leggings that all the men wear on Angel One, and it's kind of the male version of Leia's metal bikini.
"Please tell me you're not wearing that," says Troi.
"Yeah," says Riker. "I requested an audience with the Head of State, so I can do the diplomacy thing, and when I do diplomatic missions, I wear the indigenous costume to honor them."
Troi and Yar are mildly disgusted, but then he suggests that they might be jealous, which pisses them off.
Yeah, Riker. Anger your teammates, one of which is your former lover. That sounds like a great idea.
Upstairs in the ready room, Crusher scans Picard and tells him to go to bed, because he's sick.
"Screw you, I'm the captain," he protests, shaking from fever and chills.
"Screw your screw you," she shoots back. "I'm CMO, and I override you."
(Hopefully it takes this time. We've seen her pull rank on him before a few times, and neither time, he refused to step down. This seems like a very tenuous thing, the CMO outranking the captain on medical situations. He has to agree to it, or it doesn't work.)
On the bridge, not only does Worf get another line, he gets a Sassy Moment too:
Worf: "I think I'm going to sneeze."
Geordi: "A Klingon sneeze?"
Worf: "Only kind I know."
Fortunately, Picard agrees to temporarily give up command. He puts Geordi in charge, who sits impressively in the Big Chair, and when Worf says he found traces of platinum on the planet and asks if he should beam the away team there.
"Make it so," says Geordi coolly. And not to be outdone, he gets a Sassy Eyebrow.
Riker comes out in his "diplomatic" costume, and the girls can't help but laugh at him. He seems to find it ridiculous also, but is trying to be all, "I value all cultures equally highly." He says it's comfortable, which is the best he can muster in the face of having to wear such a thing. In the meantime, the Trekkie Bears in the audience have all had a sploosh moment while watching this episode.
|Also, recognize that lamp? It and several others were the only good thing to come|
out of that POS episode "Code of Honor."
Riker goes for his audience with Beata, and she tells him he looks handsome. At the audience is also Mistress Ariel from the council. He's kind of cold when he accepts Beata's compliment, and then tells them both that the E found Ramsay. Beata says she's impressed. Ariel says she's suspicious. She says she "hears the words, but not the sincerity." Beata reveals that Ariel was one of the dissenters at the council meeting.
Ariel doubts him because it's been seven years since the Odin escape pod found its way to Angel One, and now the "great Enterprise" has come looking for it. Riker repeats to her what she just said about hearing words and not sincerity. She excuses herself and leaves. Beata excuses Trent, leaving just the two of them. He says they want to start the search right away. She, now suddenly attracted to him, suggests that Yar and Troi can do it without him. He calls Yar.
"In the interest of diplomatic relations, I'm going to stay here with Mistress Beata."
"Sorry?" she asks.
"I said, I'm going to bang Beata for the good of the universe," he repeats.
Yar has the E beam herself, Troi and Data to where the platinum was found. It's an outside location with a cave. Ramsay gets up from a picnic table and toasts them.
"Whut up, Enterprise?"
Dramatic music! Commercial break!
Picard calls Geordi for an update. Bad Picard, he's in his room, but working from his desk. Geordi reports 82 more cases of the illness and more Ship Disabling in the form of Romulans... somewhere. Worf sneezes several times, and Geordi tells him to go to sick bay.
Engineering calls and says they're having problems with some fool thing, and Geordi says he's right on top of that, Rose. But on his way off the bridge, Worf stops him to say that "with all due respect sir, there are people to do that for you now."
Yep, Geordi forgot he was in charge and can delegate that task. I kind of like that. Geordi is all go, go, go and help, help, help... so much so that that's the pattern he automatically slips into without thinking. Also: once again, they've called the pilot instead of the shift chief. Or maybe the shift chief called him. Is Geordi really that good, or do the rest of the people in Engineering really suck that much?
In the end, Geordi calls back Engineering and is all, "Handle it, 'kay?"
Back on the surface, Ramsay asks the away team how they found him, and Data replies that he has some platinum on him, which does not actually occur on Angel One. Ramsay says it's his pilot's pendant, which he kept for sentimental value. So far, this guy sounds exactly like the dangerous criminal that Beata described.
Troi asks him why she senses no excitement from him about being able to go home.
Truth Bomb #2: the Odin survivors actually like it on Angel One. They have wives and children with the natives. They don't view this as "going home."
Back in Beata's bedroom. Riker asks why they were so hesitant to tell them about Ramsay and Co, and she replied that those guys are anarchists, and she had to make sure that the E crew were not here to aid and abet them. They discuss the Prime Directive, and he says he isn't allowed to interfere in her culture.
She makes another sexist comment about how on Angel One, men enjoy the pleasures of life while the women work hard to provide it. This time, he kind of calls her out on it, but in such a way that her hackles don't rise.
They kiss, he hesitates. This is not how "diplomatic courtesy call" is described in the Starfleet handbook. He shrugs it off.
But oh damn, they're cock-blocked by Trent, who brings in this thing that Riker brought down with him. He gives the thing to Beata, then looks at her expectantly, as though maybe they'll ask him to join them. She flatly tells him to GTFO, and he looks disappointed, turning and leaving to check Craigslist for hotels for sale.
The thing turns out to be an Albeni Meditation Crystal, which lights up and makes a throbbing noise. You know that thing is probably going to fall off the bed and break while they're going at it.
Over in Ramsay's camp, he tells them that when they first arrived on Angel One, everything was great. But then they noticed the sexist attitude that the women had toward the men. Men do not get votes or opinions. It contrasts sharply with Beata's description of men "enjoying life while the women worked." Despite these issues, Ramsay and the others want to stay. Data points out that the Odin was not part of Starfleet, and as such, the PD does not apply to them. Ramsay can stay if he wants.
Geordi calls Crusher to check on his Ship Disabling plot. Crusher says they have over 300 sick crew members, and she can't find a cure because the virus mutates every twenty minutes.
Yar calls and asks for a beam-back to their previous location, where they will collect Riker and then beam back. Geordi reports on the illness and the Romulan whatzits, then they sign off. Then Yar asks Ramsay how he knew to expect them, and of course he says he can't answer that, because everyone on this planet must be mysterious AF in order to keep the suspense alive.
As soon as they beam away, Ariel steps out of the cave and kisses him. Of course she's his wife. Then we get the most soap opera screencapture ever.
We go back to Beata and Riker's love nest, and she says some more sexist bullshit about how nice it is to be with a man who knows what he wants (instead of a woman telling him what he wants). Bitch, whose fault is that?
"Women, by our very nature, want only what's best for our men."
I'm vomitting. She says that she knew Riker was "bright enough to understand." Now I'm dry-heaving.
"Men are not objects to be possessed," he tells her.
She tries to play it off by saying that it's only a figure of speech.
They're cock-blocked again by Trent, who rings the doorbell this time. He comes in with the away team, and says they came back without the fugitives.
"WTF?" asks Beata. "You said you'd take them away!"
"They won't go," explains Tasha.
Truth Bomb #3: because Ramsay and his guys aren't leaving, the state is going to execute them.
Crusher enters Picard's bedroom, where he's finally in bed. She's got a Thermos full of nastiness that's guaranteed to make him feel better, but because she's not Mary Poppins, there will be no spoonful of sugar. She asks if he's wearing cologne, like something Klingon. He says he smelled it just after Wes and Set Dressing exited the holodeck, but before he got sick. Crusher has a revelation, saying that the scent encourages a person to breathe in deeply, then becomes the virus in the body. She rushes off to make an inoculant. Friends, isn't it awesome how, in the future, once you know what causes an illness, you can automatically figure out the cure? Like, without any research in between? It's like on House, where it's never Lupus, unless it is.
Back on the surface, Data gives Riker and the others the low-down on the Ship Disabling. They talk about this for a while, but it isn't important, because we'll never hear about the crisis again. Riker votes to leave so they can take care of the Romulan thingy. Troi says it isn't right to leave when Beata is going to execute those guys. He argues that Beata has to find them first, and Troi suddenly says that something is wrong, which was kind of not necessary, as Beata and Trent waltz in with Ramsay, his guys, and their wives.
Ramsay yells at Riker for giving them up, but Beata says that she had Ariel followed. She's going to kill everyone involved the next day.
Dramatic music! Commercial break!
When we return, Beata is filling out execution forms. She is approached by Riker, who asks why she is doing this.
"I wouldn't expect you to understand," she snipes.
"Why, because I'm a dude?" he asks.
Go Riker, go!
"You won't get very far with that attitude," Beata answers.
Not on Angel One, you won't. Try literally anywhere else in the universe.
They strike a deal: if Ramsay, the others and their families will agree to get on the E and leave forever, she won't execute anyone.
So they go to talk to Ramsay. For some reason, there are more guys in that holding cell than there should be. Looks like it had progressed past just four guys and their wives and families. A bunch of other people think Beata's regime is shitty.
Riker tells Ramsay they're to take everyone away, and Ramsay replies with thanks but no thanks. Angel One or death.
"WTF?" asks Yar.
"Get in my spaceship!" barks Riker. "You don't have a choice anymore!"
"Um, PD violation?" Data reminds him. "You can't just steal people, bro."
"I'll take a court martial over not being able to sleep at night any day of the week," Riker says stubbornly.
No, dude. That's not how it works. You don't get to kidnap others just to feel better about yourself. They get a say in it too. And frankly, by not offering them the choice, you're no better than Beata. Ramsay doesn't appear to be, either. Sure, he's speaking for the whole group, and maybe they said he could, but this is a new offer. He hasn't talked with anyone else since the away team showed up, and it's possible that that guy in the back is willing to leave and take his family with him.
Anyway, Riker calls for a beam-up, but the group gets more time to talk, because Crusher answers and says that everyone is sick as shit, and nobody is allowed to beam up.
I guess Crusher doesn't have Insta-inoculant after all. It's foolish of me to think she might have one this early in the game, though, as we still have eight minutes or so left in this episode, and the miracle cure cannot be found for at least another six minutes. It has to take at least until Beata (or whoever the executioner is) has time to swing an ax at a neck. Suspense: you have to drag that shit out.
In the end, Riker decides to send Data back, because he can't get sick. Data's new orders are to take the E to the Neutral Zone, and I guess just make it look like the almighty Enterprise is going to blow everyone out of the water? When Data beams up, we see some of the other guys in Ramsay's group, and one of the them is comforting another, who is freaking out about his possible fate. I like that. Good job, extras.
Anyway, dramatic music! Commercial break!
The next morning, Trent enters the away team's quarters. He and Riker exchange some side-eye, then he nervously announces that Mistress Beata has invited them to witness "the reaffirmation of Angel One's Moral Imperative."
Oh, doesn't that sound fancy! Not like an execution at all! How fun!
"Fuck off, Trent," says Yar.
"Yeah, seriously: fuck right the fuck off," Riker answers.
Data calls. Seems his instructions to get the ship to the NZ "in time" was cleverly calculated. He figured out how long the outpost and ship involved could stand a Romulan attack, and how long it would take to get there. Crusher has 48 minutes left to come up with her Insta-inoculant before he has to leave.
"You're the shit," Riker tells him.
"Yeah, let's go to this head-chopping," says Riker to his team.
Beata gives this nice speech about how sad she is that her efforts to stop Ramsay's "heretical teachings" and "radical voices" have failed, and how she now has no choice but to execute them all. Bitch, just say what you mean: wah-wah, I don't want equality! I like my life the way it is, with my fuck-boy obediently doing everything I say!
Anyway, somebody puts a black vase on this dais between two tower-things, and then Trent lowers his hand over a crystal ball, and the towers power up and disintegrate the vase.
Wait, she's not even doing it herself? She's making Trent do her dirty work? That's fucking worse! She controls this guy's every move, and now she's making him execute people for her, to keep the status quo. Go jump in a lake, Beata.
She then has the nerve to point out that their method of execution is humane. Yeah, you know who else has humane execution methods? The Edo, from "Justice." Also, the Eminians from "A Taste of Armageddon." Just because your method of murdering people is nicer than some others, doesn't make it okay.
Riker asks for a moment to hop on his soapbox before they start killing people.
"I think you're not afraid of revolution so much as evolution," he says. "You think that Ramsay started this shit, but given that he has ready followers, that tells me that this has been going on for a while now. Your people want change, and you propose to silence it with death, but that's only a Band-Aid. It's gonna cycle back around again, and you'll have to deal with it once more until the quiet whispers become roars, and the people demand change. What more, Ramsay and his followers will become martyrs, and you can't kill martyrs."
Beata considers, then gives the signal for Ramsay to be taken to the dais. But before Trent can bring his hand down over the crystal ball, Ariel yells, "Beata!" and Beata grabs Trent's hand. She decides to reconvene the council to talk about it.
Upstairs, Crusher calls the bridge to let Data know that she has the Insta-inoculant. They have seventeen minutes left on the clock, and about one and a half left of this episode. Right on time. Data calls Riker, who says they should lock onto the group and prepare to beam them out, just in case.
Beata and the council return, which was pretty quick.
"Okay," says Beata. "We have a solution. Nobody dies today, and you can have your kids back. But we are going to exile all of you to a remote location. Your lives will suck, but you can be together."
She and Riker smile at each other.
"Maybe we can't stop evolution," she says, "But we can reduce it to a slow crawl."
She has time for one more sexist remark before Riker and the others beam out: "For a man, you can be very clever."
Riker, Yar and Troi are greeted off the lift by Crusher, who inoculates each one as they enter the bridge. Picard is in his chair again, but with half a voice. He gives Data the coordinates for the NZ, which Data plugs into the computer.
"On your mark," says Data.
The noise that issues from Picard's throat is a squeak and he looks to Riker, who smiles.
"Engage," says Riker, and they leave.
Like many season one episodes, this one falls into the realm of "just okay." I kind of like that they tried to flip the subjugation of women on it's head, and make women the suppressors, but frankly, they could have done it with any oppressed group, as subjugation of any group is hideous and un-fucking-comfortable.
The thing that really kills me about this episode is Beata's last comments. She kind of buys Riker's suggestion that what they're witnessing is the evolution of their culture from the subjugated to equality for all... but then she attempts to "slow it down" rather than stop it altogether which, as Riker pointed out, probably would not have worked, anyway. Her solution was a bit "separate but equal" without actually being equal, because she said that the place they were being exiled to was remote and their lives would be difficult. I suppose it could work out alright, as more people emigrate to the aforementioned remote area when they decide that they'd like to live differently, and two societies develop, one matriarchal, and one of equality.
No, the part that sticks in my craw is Beata's "slow it down" assertion. She wants to keep things the way they are, insisting that men are not as smart as women, or don't know what they want, or are "enjoying life while the women work." It works for her because she's the Head Bitch in Charge. Things are going her way. If things change, she could find herself being de-throned, no longer able to make off-color jokes about guys. Instead of embracing Ramsay's group and allowing things to take their natural order, she's decided to shut them up in an area where people will probably not venture to hear what the group has to say. She's segregating the population. "You don't have any rights now. You want equal rights. You may get those rights eventually, but not now. For now, I'm going to send you away." By "slowing it down" she's refusing to give equal rights. She's giving some, but not all of the rights that she currently enjoys.
Part of me knows that, logically, if you make a change too fast, it will not stick. There will be backlash, and things will move back into the status quo. That's human nature. But it always seems so shitty to me that, especially where rights are concerned, the oppressed must wait for the day when the oppressor says, "Sure, you can have all of the rights that I enjoy."
On that day, there is no longer "oppressed" and "oppressor," just "people."
Gold deaths: 0
Blue deaths: 0
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 2 - counting that eyebrow
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 1
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 2
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 3
Was checking out at the store the other day when I spotted something in the "impulse buy" section of the check-out: Girl Scout cookie tea.
I grabbed two boxes, because how could you not?
I tried the Samoa this week, which has a black leaf base, with caramel and coconut flavors. The tea itself gives a bit of the chocolate taste, and the coconut and caramel were awesome. The box suggested trying this tea with milk, but that's not really my thing. I just sweetened it, and it was great. Fair warning: this tea can be over-brewed, so watch your brew time.
|Charlie, 6 weeks|