Season 3 Episode 13
Original airdate: February 3, 1990
Much to Capt. Picard’s displeasure, Q reappears on the Enterprise claiming to have been ejected from the Q Continuum and stripped of his powers.
My Brief Review
Ah, a bit of Q-based comic relief after some heavy episodes. Once again I’m forced to think of current events, as “Q” is presently more strongly associated with a ludicrous online conspiracy theory (one that was involved in nearly taking down the federal government this week) than with John de Lancie’s love-to-hate-him omniscient immortal.
I have mixed feelings about Q. The worst Q episodes make me pine for the Ferengi, but this is a pretty good one. Q actually has been stripped of his powers and turned into a mortal being — a human, per his request. And as he discovers the trials of mortality — fatigue, hunger, Guinan stabbing his hand with a fork — he begins to question why he chose to be human. The real reason, of course, was that he knew Picard was one of the few entities he’d encountered in the universe who might actually come to his aid when vengeful species hunted him down to retaliate for his transgressions. But ultimately Q realizes he’s a failure as a human, and in one final act, with a whiff of self-sacrifice, the Continuum welcomes him back, and he uses his restored powers to… uh… bring a mariachi band onto the Enterprise bridge, save a planet from destruction and… oh yeah…
Q gives Data the gift of laughter. It’s in moments of emotive expression that I really feel Brent Spiner is best suited for the role of an unfeeling android.
Ensign Bennett! For the first time in a while, we have an uncredited crew rando who actually has a name! I’m not sure if he’s the curiously old character at the helm in the final scene, or one of the other passing randos earlier. There’s also a crewman guarding the brig who, curiously, just nods faintly in the captain’s direction as Picard enters the room, without even standing up. Shouldn’t a crewman stand at attention in the captain’s presence??
Distance Rating: 4K
IMDb score: 8.6/10