TNG Mirror TV Guide Listings, aka Through a Sunbeam Darkly

2001 The Enigmatic Big Miss Sunbeam


Rating: R for Language and Suggestive Situations.

Summary: Inspired by the buhrilliant LeneT's TOS listings, I offer this up to you. It's also a celebration of the forthcoming stripping of TNG eps on TNN (The National Network, *nee* The Network That Brought You Thirty-Minute Infomercials on Jimmy Dean Sausages!)

If you'd like to hear these read aloud, please go here immediately: Karmen Ghia Audio Projects - and scroll to the bottom of the page. You'll be glad you did!

Season 1

1. Encounter at Farpoint. Wherein introduced is the basic strategy of TNG episodes: Things Happen So There Must Be a Plot! So tonight Things Happen while you see the cast warming up their characters. It's interesting how far wrong Brent Spiner and His Love-Yahweh SirLordPatrickStewartiness (I am not worthy to speak His name) are about their characters, plus Bev is SO hostile! Only Wil Wheaton is actually Wes. Kinda interesting that. Wait, what am I saying? I must be insane! Of course, John deLancie knows EXACTLY what's he doing as Q. U Can't Touch Q! Don't Hurt ‘Em deLancie! (BTW, love the hippy dippy Deadhead who chastises the . . . thing that is doing the . . . thing.)

2. The Naked Now. A sex virus afflicts the crew, and, as Elvis so tellingly puts it in his Peace in the Valley, they are changed, changed from the creatures they am. Since the actors are still searching for their instruments, they make many silly gestures. Deanna calls Will "Bill". Bill. BILL. Jean-Luc clowns around with how much Bev sexually arouses him (boy, he gets over that FAST, doesn't he?) And, finally, Data points out that he's fully functional, thus engendering a boozillion sex fantasies. Not to mention a groozillion teeshirts.

3. Code of Honor. Those crazy Negroes! A terrible episode! Not even Governor Wallace would have an excuse for this racist ep! Tasha fights a black gal in the Star Trek equivalent of "Under the Bamboo Tree" and one of them either wins or loses, depending on your point of view. Also, it looks as if Jean-Luc may not be as good an archaeologist as he thinks he is. At the beginning, he gives the Negroes a sculpture and says in his best RSC way: "Here, you lot, something as primitive as you are! A Sung dynasty sculpture of a horse!" SUNG!!!! When it is so clearly T'ang!! I mean, that's one of those things you learn in remedial Chinese art history! It's like saying, here's an Egyptian mummy from the time of George Washington!!!! Fortunately, TPTB get their act considerably together after this.

4. The Last Outpost. Here Riker is declared bestest guy in the whole damn world by T'Kon, the Carekeeper. "Oh, I am Riker, Sexgod of Sexgods. Look on my good stuff, ladies, and get down!" Of course, his only competition is a bunch of Ferengis (first Ferengi sighting, by the way). Poor Jonathan Frakes: he's just crucified by being Roddenberry's Marlon Sue. Hey, I'm not making this crap up; I've done research! Frakes reports that he was told by Roddenberry not to smile the whole first season because GR wanted Riker to get that "midwest Gary Cooper thing" going on. OH REALLY. We thought it was that "midwest piece of wood thing". On a related topic, upstairs in a closet chez Sunbeam, I have one of those Big Cardboard Rikers! Everyone here is fond of Big Cardboard Riker; he comes to all our parties, and he helps us out at Halloween too! A couple of years ago as a birthday gift, I gave Mr. Sunbeam a handmade bar guide which I entitled "Put Some Gin In It This Time!" (something I say a lot). Among other things, it contains a recipe for a Big Cardboard Riker; you have to use blue curacoa and a little plastic trombone.

5. Where No One Has Gone Before is your basic NAMBLA episode. A couple of guys come on board the Enterprise and make it vroom all over the universe and the vrooming just gets out of hand basically and the scarier one of the two guys, the one named Traveler (curiously this is also the name of Robert E. Lee's horse), takes a fancy to Wesley and tells Captain Picard how precious and wonderful and Mozartean etc., etc., little Wesley is. It is a mark of how civilized they are in the future that no one openly laughs in Traveler's face. (It takes six years, but Traveler finally finally nails Wes).

6. Lonely Among Us. So much plot! My head can hardly retain all this plot. Okay, the plot: basically two races hate each other (they are the Calico Cat and Gingham Dog of races); the episode ends when it runs out of plot. (Note to TPTB: More sex and ass and nipples and quivering manhoods and so on. And less plot.)

7. Justice. Riker and an away team go to the Planet of the Zombie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders! Bunch of blondes of all genders fetchingly tug at their thong-like outer garments as they welcome our gang. (Many visits to Wig Outlet Mall went into the making of this ep.) Turns out these new people are hot to trot AND they want to kill Wesley (someone in the front office seems to be working through some issues here). Poor old Jean-Luc has to explain all this to Bev. (Bev is slightly affected.) Head of Zombie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders gets on her knees to Picard, but nothing much happens. Oh, BTW, we get to see God. Worf sums it up when he says: "Nice planet."

8. The Battle. Listless Ferengi plot. Jean-Luc goes mad. This is before PSHimself realized Jean-Luc *doesn't* go mad. In theory we get backstory on JLP, but none that helps us any.

9. Hide and Q. Q wears the hottest outfit in his career, a French Empire kinda thing: I must say, he has a sexy lap. He also tries to seduce the thuggish Riker who just doesn't get it. "Say, Blue Eyes, it's hot, isn't it, and we could play a little game, couldn't we, and let me ply you with alcohol, and what are you doing later tonight?" But Riker just goes "duh". Bafflingly, Q still grants Riker the power of the Q, so Riker makes a lame attempt to give everybody what they want most. Wesley gets suddenly grown up (he turns out to be the kind of guy who works at Chess King in the mall), Worf wins a date with Acquanetta the Eel Woman, and Geordi can see! Only Jean-Luc spurns him, and all of sudden ALL CREATION realizes what Q's getting at. Jean-Luc, for God's sake, man, put out!

10. Haven. Wherein we are introduced to the explicable gifts of Lwaxana Troi. We also get to meet Wyatt with whom Deanna was betrothed from birth and also his Etch-a-Sketch hobby. Everybody makes a huge big fat deal about this betrothal, and then it is never alluded to EVER again. We also get to see Jean-Luc pretending Lwaxana's luggage is heavy (I love hokey stage business like that, and JLP is good).

11. The Big Goodbye. Hey, whatever happened to the Ship's Historian? We never see this character or this role again! Boohoo! At any rate, Jean-Luc goes off and plays detective Dixon Hill on the holodeck in order to relieve certain bug-related tensions (the bugs are a tribe of aliens who demand that he speak their pointless gibberish perfectly when he greets them or else they'll pack up their doll clothes and go home). Not much of a plot premise if you ask me. Nonetheless, Atrickpay Oowartstay *really* earns his Star Trek nickel here. In one fab scene, he's Dixon Hill glaring at the police goons who are giving him the third degree and then, in the same take, he breaks character and tells the holograms how good they are. You gotta see it! Plus he graces his 1940's costumes with the most heartfelt eleganza. Can you blame Q for loving him so? (Since this is before everyone knew what they were doing, JLP and Bev make plans to go his Dixon-Hill-office and GET BUSY. JLP and Bev tres hot here. He's dying to put his hand on her knee, right under the edge of her rayon hem, and then move that great paw up to the tops of her nylon stockings and toy with her garters while she whispers "no, Jean-Luc, no, we mustn't," but of course she wouldn't mean it. *sigh*)

12. Datalore. This is where we meet Super Fantasy Fodder Lore! AND the Crystalline Entity (grrr!) Lore is your classic evil twin: sinister, amusingly effete, and PRETTY HOT! But, of course, stupid Wesley has to fling Lore into outer space. (Also, stupid Wesley seems to be alone in recognizing that Lore is NOT Data. I guess Wheaton was the only one to read that week's script.) We learn about Data's off switch too. Hmmm, I think I'd like a man with an on and off switch, knowwhutimean? Hey, yall, who's hot for Lore? Is it Geordi? Or Deanna? Tasha maybe? And then who does LORE want most? Riker? Or Cap? Or is it . . . Data himself that Lore fancies? A capital episode!

13. Angel One. A planet where Girls' Gym Teachers Rule! Seems these Girls' Gym Teachers capture Riker and put him in a dress and earrings! And then there's some plot. Like all the other first-season red-herrings, the fascinating image of an ultra-femme Riker is not followed up in the next seven years.

14. 11001001 – starring the Bynars! For a long time, I thought this was the ep where some problem occurs and so Jean-Luc has to set off a ship-auto-destruct mechanism (so teen-aged-girl petty that I was surprised our captain didn't go to the mall afterwards and shoplift some nail polish). Turns out I was confused. But still a problem DOES occur. And then a solution. Hey, while Riker falls for holohottie Minuet, JLP seems to be there only as background noise. Ho ho. You can tell GR is still fruitlessly grooming Frakes as TNG's resident stud. (Roddenberry really likes that kitten-faced-boy/angular-man dyad, doesn't he? Riker and Picard. Kirk and Spock. Pike and Spock. Even Pike and Number One. And way back in The Lieutenant with Gary Lockwood and Robert Vaughn. Even way way WAY back to the early 1950's Rocky Jones serial with Richard Crane as the criminally cute pug-faced Rocky and the pointlessly ferret-y Scotty Beckett as his sidekick Winky. Say, where is the torn-from-today's-headlines Ph.D. thesis on Rodenberry's deep debt to Rocky Jones? That's what I want to know! Hey you! Quit sitting in front of the Internet and get to work out there!)

15. Too Short a Season. Guy gets young v. quickly (useful skill). There's also a mean alien named Karnas who wants to wreak revenge on young-ing guy. Mean alien is played by soft-core porn actor/producer Michael Pataki. I LOVE Michael Pataki. His speciality as an actor is the wicked blowhard, from the insulting second-Klingon-in-command in The Trouble with Tribbles to the hot ‘n' ultra slashy J.C. in Mystery Science Theatre 3K classic, The Sidehackers (which is where I first fell in love with Michael Pataki). I'm not sure what this episode is about, but I'll probably try to stay old.

16. When the Bough Breaks. Starring Radue!!! Studio audience, give a warm welcome to Radue! The plot is that there's a race of people and they have screwed around with nature and so they're sterile and they're really sad but they cheer up a lot after they steal Wes and some other children from the Enterprise and this looks like a good deal for everybody!!! Yay! Especially the studio audience! Radue is the ringleader of this wacky scheme; he is played by Jerry Hardin! Jerry Hardin! He who had a small role in Thunder Road ("And it was Thunder! Thunder! Over Thunder Road! Something something something and white lightnin' was their load!" I love old movies about the hotheaded drawlin, brawlin, lovin, smoochin South, esp. if they have Robert Mitchum in them.) (Jerry Hardin also gets to be in Joe Don Baker movies!) However, the downside of all this is that Jerry Hardin also played the single most irritating character on TNG when he was the wheezy Mark Twain in Time's Arrow I and II. Oh, yeah, Wes and them get to go back to the ship, and somehow the magic faerie of fertility visits Radue's race, so this was another ep with no real point.

17. Home Soil. What a splendidly cheap show! Lots of scenes where the cast stares into the camera pretending to look at "dangerous" microscopic creatures. "Look at what they're doing now!" Close-up Bighead JLP says! "Oh, no!" says Close-up Bighead Geordi! "Those creatures are multiplying exponentially," says Close-up Bighead Data! No sex. Although that would be easy to script. Close-up Bighead JLP: "Mon dieu, I've never seen a bigger lovepole!" Close-up Bighead Worf: "Too bad, Captain Picard! Now pull down those drawers!" Close-up Bighead Riker: "Meanwhile, Data, help me hogtie Geordi so I can take out Li'l Willy and . . ." (Man, I could write this script all day long!)

18. Coming of Age: See, Riker's getting a suntan in the holodeck but he stays in there too long and gets sunburned and so Bev has to give him a big shot of cordrazine and Jean-Luc is wandering around and he says, "whatcha doin' Bev?" and it startles her and her hand jumps and she accidentally injects the cordrazine into Jean-Luc and he goes crazy and starts having sex with everyone in sight, starting with bright red Riker in baggy swim trunks, um, and then Jean-Luc moves back to earth and gets his own series and it's called "Howdy, I'm Jean-Luc!" and his wacky next-door neighbors are played by Suzanne Somers, Lee Iacocca, and Flipper and there's always a moral where everybody learns some sort of lesson and then there's a big final music salute to "Coming of Age"!!! [teeny voice] I'm a terrible Trekkie! I don't have any idea about what happens in this ep! I made all that up!

19. Heart of Glory. To think TPTB didn't hire Dorn fulltime at first, and then he ends up striding two whole series like the Colossus he is! Here, some hot ‘n' leathery Klingons come on board the Enterprise and taunt Worf for being a nelly federation Klingon. He is torn. Eventually one of them dies and Worf gets to growl at the camera to warn him the dead are coming: Kool Klingon thing.

20. The Arsenal of Freedom. What a great Twilight Zone episode! See, okay, lotta plot here, and it's v. ironic! Species of Vincent Schiavelli-lookalikes invent weapons so clever that the species destroy themselves with them. Fair enough. But, in the process of destroying themselves, they also leave a CGI salesman who looks EXACTLY like Vincent Schiavelli who keeps trying to sell the same terrible machines to our gang by showing them how destructive the machines are. Shakespeareanly clever JLP figures out that the only way to get Vincent Schiavelli to put a sock in it is to buy the stupid program. And he does. And it does. A nice ep! Tasha (hey, does she have the eightiest hair in the world or what) and Riker get threatened with annihilation! Way to go!

21. Symbiosis. Drug Addict ep. The chief drug addict is played by the actor who was David, Captain Kirk's pretty-boy son. He does a lot of v. pubic acting with his Shatneresque mouth and it's a pleasure to see him. Actually, the whole ep is kind of a prototype of Velvet Goldmine only without the music. And without the nudity. And the buttfucking is only implied.

22. Skin of Evil. Love that title! See, there's a horrible villain and his name is Armus and he kills Tasha and he gets Riker dirty and he's got skin of evil and we hate him and they leave him alone and he lives in a swamp and he's got no friends and he's crying and he's lonely and . . . oh, no, I'm on Armus's side all the way! Tasha: what is it Shakespeare says! We owe God a death! Get over it, blondie!

23. We'll Always Have Paris. Jean-Luc appears to have had an affair with the cuter girl from the old sixties group, The Mamas and the Papas. Guess he stopped into a church. Guess he got down on his knees to pray. Etc. etc. You get the picture; they'd been in love once [snoresnore] but she married a big cosmic physicist instead. Despite all the potential, kinda boring the way all them early eps is. (You know though, if I knew a guy who had power over Time and Space, I'd have second thoughts about messing with his wife. What was Jean-Luc thinking of?)

24. Conspiracy. A favorite episode among slashers because of the presence of Walker Keel. See, Walker introduced Jack Crusher to Bev, and, of course, Jean-Luc (theoretically) caused Jack's death but, since Jean-Luc was also friends with Walker, Walker's a key erotic figure. What do you want to bet that Jack, Walker, and Jean-Luc had some three-way action right out of André Gide? But then Jack and Jean-Luc got a load of Beverly's stuff and that was that. Seems like Walker has been sulking all these years. Also: giant bugs come out of people's mouths. (Hey, Jean-Luc, that happens with my ex-boyfriends too!) Added pluses: Riker eats worms!!! and another guy's head explodes! Fun for the whole family!

25. The Neutral Zone. Boo! We're Romulans! Beware not only of us but also of our fearsome shoulder pads! Hey, three cybernetically frozen guys from the 1980's show up; they are meant to be typical frozen guys of the 1980's, to wit, a frazzled housewife, a country singer, and an asshole. The country singer (played by eerie Brechtian hillbilly Leon Rippy more as a hillbilly might be than as an actual hillbilly) hooks up with Data, the asshole is an asshole, and the frazzled housewife locates her great great great great grandson and makes plans to go and live with him. This is not a good thing! If my great great great great grandmother turned up from outer space, she would not be welcome, being no doubt much like Granny Clampett, only more primitive and less charming. And even MORE likely to offer marsupial-flavored snacks.

Season 2

26. The Child. The second season of TNG was tough going for us fans, primarily because of . . . PULASKI!!!!! ARRRRGGGGGHHH! Did Helen Keller do that casting??? Honestly. Well, back to the plot: aliens impregnate Deanna, she has a child and names it Ian, and Ian just grows and grows and grows until he explodes. Okay, that's kinda different. (Strangely enough, no one ever alludes to Ian ever again. Ever. What's up with that? In real life, people would at least THINK about Deanna's strange child. Does Deanna not want them to? "Cap-TAN, I sense the crew is thinking of IAN AGAN." So Jean-Luc strips down to nothing but a pair of lion-tamer tights, picks up the whip, and says in the sexiest voice in history: "Belay that thinking about Ian, you lot, or taste the whip." Ooooooooohh.)

27. Where Silence Has Lease. Nagillum takes over the ship. Help! I'm scared of Nagillum! His head is as big as a horizon! It's creepy! Jean-Luc decides, rather than cede control of the ship to creepy Nagillum, to blow it up along with all the people on it. Oh, I see, KING Jean-Luc. L'Enterprise: C'est HIM! No chance of playing along with Nagillum and then fooling him later? No, just le boomboom maintenant, eh, mon frere!

28. Elementary, Dear Data. Buncha Sherlock Holmes stuff with Data and Geordi. Geordi screws around with the holodeck, and Professor Moriarty becomes real and takes over the ship. Moriarty also kidnaps Pulaski "because he wants to." Oh, sure. The uncanny lack of chemistry between Pulaski and everyone else in existence is quite striking; do you think she has like a . . . forcefield going on? Still: Jean-Luc gets to wear gorgeous nineteenth-century togs! Two sex points: Sex point A) When Jean-Luc goes to Geordi's quarter, Geordi apologizes for screwing up. The camera shuts down. Jean-Luc says, "now that the camera's off, you must do what you always do when you fail me, Geordi. On your knees and make it last longer this time." Then he fumbles at his fly. A dot of saliva appears in the corner of Geordi's mouth. Sex point B) The amusingly snippy and affected actor who plays Moriarty is originally from . . . Arkansas!!!! That's right: tell your ma, tell your pa! Moriarty's from Arkansas! Wonder if Bill Clinton tried to have sex with him? Wonder if Bill got state troopers to bring Moriarty to the Razorback Hilton? Wonder if Bill said, "Al, turn yore head! Moriarty, yew are MAHHHHHNNN!" *sigh* I miss our Zeus-like Bill Clinton. Shakespeare might have been speaking of the US government in 2001 when he has Hamlet Jr. compare Hamlet Sr. to Claudius by observing "Like Hyperion to a toad."

29. The Outrageous Okona. TNG still loitering at the edges of what it could be. Guinan and Data tonelessly discuss "being funny". Then Joe Piscopo does an ineffably tragic turn as a holoststandup comedian showing Data how to be funny. Oh, for God's sake, Gericault's Raft of the Medusa provokes more laughs than these deadly scenes! Some guy who's supposed to be cute (he DOES have a ponytail) does some things. His name's Okona and the best thing about him is that we lovely ladies can slash him with JLP/Will/Worf til the cows come home, so he's not totally useless.

30. Loud as a Whisper: Deaf Guy and his three backup singers, AKA the Pips, board the ship. The Pips get murdered and Data has to learn sign language so he can be a Junior Pip. Yay! This works out tremendously well for everyone. Except for the first Pips.

31. The Schizoid Man. Disturbing ep. We get to see a corpse. EWWWWW!!!! The corpse's soul possesses Data's body for classic corpse motives: so he can get laid by his surviving pretty assistant! He's like a mad scientist, so, see, there IS a plot. Now, back to your desks.

32. Unnatural Selection. Pulaski turns into a horrible old bag. Ah. (Insert your own joke here.)

33. A Matter of Honor: Great Riker ep and slashy as hell! Apparently, Jean-Luc and the captain of a Klingon vessel grant each other most-favored-boytoy status; the Klingons get Riker. Lotsa of steamy moments ensue. Riker takes a real shine to lanky farouche Klag who returns the favor. Klag's dad doesn't understand him. "Neither does mine," Riker says and bites his lower lip, "but I always wanted someone, a daddy, who would unnerstand me." "I know what you mean," Klag breathes. "Jean-Luc, he's nice ‘n' everything, but he doesn't give me what I really want." Klag swallows, "What do you really want?" "Sometimes," Riker fixes his most limpid gaze on Klag, "sometimes I think I need a spanking. With my pants down." "Ahh," says Klag, nearly swooning, "you mean, with your knees apart. So I can see everything?" "Yes," Riker whispers demurely. Wow. You all get the picture. Happy ending! Klag and Riker get married, plus there's bacteria and a comic Benzite!

34. The Measure of a Man is just so eighties! I refer of course to the lawwhore who wants to declare Data insentient. She's Phillipa Louvois, overly aerobicized careerbag, and she's apparently being offered up as a role model for real women. She snaps out with her steel jaws, "Jean-Luc, you're the sexiest man I ever knew," which is a genuinely scary moment, but Pee Ess, great actor that he is, doesn't flinch. Then Riker dismembers Data and we are reminded of the sad little incident where Data slept with Tasha.

35. The Dauphin. Wesley gets a girlfriend, but, oh, no! she's a shape shifter! Thus revealing TPTB's prejudice in favor of ineluctable-modality-of-the-visible! Their bias towards stasis! "Everybody's great," they say, "and we got, heheheheh, the Prime Directive goin' on, unless a guy changes one little shape and then forget it! Drown 'em in their own lake!" But I paraphrase Melville: who ain't a shapeshifter? I mean eventually?

36. Contagion. This ep appears to be all about the set! And there's a terrible virulent computer virus and even Data gets it. So Geordi has to reboot him. That's right! Geordi has to reboot his lover! Is that not so Geordi! The Geordiest! None more Geordi!

37. The Royale. Another show about the set! See, there's this planet and they're all living out a vivid fantasy life of gambling and women and meanwhile there's, like, a dried-up corpse upstairs, just lying there! And Jean-Luc and them come in and tell the others to knock it off. What party poopers! Hey, what's wrong with living in a fantasy world! Not that we know anyone who would do such a thing!

38. Time Squared. Uhoh! Shuttlecraft accident! Et voila! Deux Jean-Lucs! Not as much fun than it sounds, because the Nouveau Jean-Luc just stares into space! Well! Then they kill the Nouveau Jean-Luc because they don't know what else to do. (If Bev had been there, she'd a known what to do. She'd say, "I believe I'll take Nouveau Jean-Luc to, uh, sickbay for, uhh, experiments." But really she would lead the bovine newcomer to her pad, plug in some Percy Faith, and GET IT ON.)

39. The Icarus Factor. Here Mitch Ryan turns up as Riker's mean daddy. Yeah, the very same daddy who turned out young Will to the mining camps of the Yukon back when Will was the most lissome fifteen-year-old under the Northern Lights. When I went to my first con this year (KiSCon, March 2001) I thought I was in Heaven! Because SURELY there's a round-the-clock video room in Heaven which shows nothing but old William Shatner television shows! What. A. Trip. KiSCon screened one early-60's episode of *The Defenders* where Shatner played a man-in-the-grey-flannel-suit type who accidentally kills a guy. Well, Shatner has to go on trial, but the defense claims that nobody really liked the dead guy so Shatner might as well be declared innocent (and we all better watch our asses!). Interestingly enough, Joanna Linville, who played the Romulan Commander, is Mrs. Killer-Executive Shatner here, and then Mitch Ryan shows up! He's the dead guy's brother and he wants Shatner to fry! (Ryan must specialize in wicked relatives.) Anyhow, Shatner makes a big courtroom speech ("get a life!" he tells the jury) and then the credits roll. I agree with the jury completely; Shatner is just precious here. Oh, yeah, back to TNG, Riker and Mitch end up pounding on each other with big Oedipal anbo-jyutsu sticks, and nothing gets resolved.

40. Pen Pals. Before Data saves tonight's kitten, Jean-Luc splays those fabulous thighs across a fine piece of horseflesh. Alas, the camera does not linger, but, who cares, Jean-Luc's ineffable foxiness . . . is just ineffable. See: stupid old TPTB wanted J-L to just be, like, what?, the Obi Wan Kenobi of TNG? Then, when everybody in Hollywood found out how much WE ladies LUUUUUUUUUUUURVVVVVVVVE His P.S.ness, they start doing all this shit, like f'rinstance giving Daniel Benzali a teevee show. "Yoohoo, girls, he's a Brit, and bald, and kinda of temperamental! Now watch Our Show!" The corporate mind clearly misunderstands the many-throated Cleopatra that is American womankind. Jean-Luc Picard and Only Jean-Luc Picard will do. Now peel us a grape.

41. Q Who. OOOOOoooohhhh. Another ep centering on Jean-Luc's thighs! See, there's a bar full of hot men and no women at all! And the most handsome and dominant man drapes his huge thighs across a barstool and says to the prettiest boy there: "You're fascinating to learn about but next of kin to chaos." And the prettiest boy's wide dreaming poppy-colored mouth opens and he's stunned. Everywhere in America, brains caught ON FIRE!!! (Even if the grammar was baffling.) John deLancie is at his maximum beautifulness here; it's just uncanny. This ep starts off with the famous (to us) kidnaped-in-a-shuttlecraft scene between Jean-Luc and Q, as meaningfully crafted as a Vermeer.

42. Samaritan Snare. Featuring the Pakleds. What's their thing: why, they're dumb as mud!!! It's Star Trek for Dummies! And they steal Geordi because "He is smart. He makes things go." Then our gang fools them and they end up returning Geordi. I still think Pakleds Rule!!! Oh, yeah, this is the one where Wes and Cap go off in a shuttlecraft and Cap tells Wes about his artificial heart. "Would you like to see my scar?" Cap says. Wes swallows. "And, by the way, Wesley, I have other scars as well. On other parts of my body. There's nothing wrong with two manly men showing each other their scars, you know. Can I examine you for scars, Wes? We'll just put this little craft on automatic and go in the back and look . . . for scars, right, Wes? It will be our little secret."

43. Up the Long Ladder. Huguenot clones on one side, Irish spacemen on the other. I kid you not. And then Riker gets laid by one of those terrifyingly over-simplified zestful-breastful full-of-life girls that are completely fictional.

44. Manhunt. Lwaxana. Hey, guess what I just found out? (Ole Sunbeam has done her homework.) While researching hillbilly drive-in movies (I have many interests), I found that Majel had a featured role in Country Boy! Yes, the classic 1966 hillbilly drive-in movie Country Boy! Starring Skeeter Davis! And Sheb Wooley! You surely remember Country Boy? Where the wicked agent discovers the title character pumping gas and singing and signs him to a career? Alas, according to the All-Movie Guide, the aforementioned country boy has stage fright, so his agent has to "help him out by dressing him up as Abe Lincoln and getting him to sing rock & roll. The audience is totally offended and the US President personally requests a meeting with the boy's father to try and persuade the lad to give up his sacrilegious act." As they say in the print-humor biz, I am not making this up. Majel plays the part of "Miss Wynn", and, using my enormous Lwaxana-like psychic powers, I believe that means she's the agent's secretary. Thank God she married well. Oh, in Manhunt Lwxana grazes on the holodeck for a while. She doesn't seem to quite understand holodecks, BTW, so I must say she's awfully unworldly for a psychic ambassador from outer space.

45. The Emissary. Worf's old girlfriend shows up. They snarl at each other. This passes as a plot.

46. Peak Performance. Featuring the mandarin and effeminate Zakdorns, with the brilliant Roy Brocksmith as Public Zakdorn Number One! Brocksmith is a great alien; notice how his movement suggests that he might have three or more legs (and why not?) This ep has such a rockin plot: Zakdorns, games, Ferengi subterfuge, Riker fights Jean-Luc, Data learns some kind of lesson. It's got it all!

47. Shades of Gray. A slide show! An audiovisual! I do this all the time. I say to myself: do I really want to go in and try to taunt that herd of teen satan-worshippers into giving it up for see-aye-tee-spells-cat! NAWWW, I'll just prop my feet up and show an AV instead! Hence this show: Riker going into a coma and strolling down memory lane. And Pulaski compounds the error.

Season 3

48. Evolution. Thanks to Wesley, nanites run amok. See, it's his science project but it got out of hand! Oh, Wes, you asshole! The director of this episode, Winrich Kolbe, calls this the "kudzu" episode because science goes crazy and does evil instead of good. Not unlike kudzu. What? Yall don't know what kudzu is! Even as I type, I am looking out my office window at a big old mess of kudzu, the Japanese plant brought to the American South sometime in the 1940s to stop erosion. Turns out kudzu LOVED the American South, loved it so much it wants to cover every damn inch of us with its harmless but excitable vinery (most reminiscent of the Andrew Marvell line: "my vegetable love should grow vaster than empires"). Kudzu grows an inexorable six or seven inches a night, but it still has a baffling loveliness. Say, wouldn't that make a great Klingon name! Captain Kudz'U! (Here you go: a nice kudzu site: http://www.alltel.net/~janthony/kudzu/)

49. The Ensigns of Command. Lots of plot, and, amidst it, a mild attempt to establish Data as a heterosexual. No one is really fooled. Oh, I forgot to say that last week's episode marked the . . . (wait for it) end of . . . PULASKI!!! [HUGECECILBDEMILLECROWDWRITHESINECSTACY!!!] See, the previous episode opened up with a slow pan of Ten Forward and then we see Jean-Luc sitting with . . . BEV!!! Bev's back! And she says, "Hi, Jean-Luc, yes, I'm back, replacing that horrible Pulaski." "Well, Bev," he intones, "that's a relief for me, but even more for our studio audience." "Sure enough, Jean-Luc. No more will their ears be assaulted by her fingernails-on-chalkboard voice." "Nor their eyes by her scary ropy face! Huzzah! Guinan, General Foods International Moment Coffees all around. And," Jean-Luc stands up, "I think I'll lead us all in a song of gratitude: [sings] "O come all ye tykes that ply the brine . . . Join in everybody!" etc. etc.

50. The Survivors. Or Watch Out For Kevin! Kevin Uxbridge is a strange superpower who slaughters an entire planet of 56 hundred booboozillion souls. Kevin is not my idea of the right name for someone who would do that. Kevin is a pretty small hovering mouse-like name, really. I am KEVIN, destroyer of worlds. Kevin. What an odd choice. Kevin. No slash. Riker gets trapped in a thing and has to hang upside down is about it. Otherwise, no nothing. Kevin.

51. Who Watches the Watchers? Old-timey Vulcans have a toe-tapping hoe-down (much to Starfleet's amusement; see, Starfleet is observing this crowd much as you and I might play with our ant farms). Things turn ugly when . . . something happens. The old-timey Vulcans think Jean-Luc is God (a reasonable assumption) and Riker and Deanna have to disguise themselves as old-timey Vulcans, and then Jean-Luc gets shot in the arm. Thus proving there is no God. Sort of. Also, killer dad Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks seems to be head ant of the old-timey Vulcans.

52. The Bonding. There's a kid and his parents are dead. Deanna says: well, I'll be up there terrectly to talk to you. So: is it any wonder that aliens use this poor abandoned little kid as a conduit to the Enterprise? Most unsexy. Worf seems to figure in it. Plot, plot, plot.

53. Booby Trap. Featuring Leila Brahams in the title role (raucous strip music and cheers!). This is a Geordi episode. He solves an engineering problem and doesn't get laid. Meanwhile, Data (who at times has a weird but unmistakable resemblance to the central figure in Botticelli's Birth of Venus) just stands around waiting. Sad really.

54. The Enemy. The ep that proves there are no heterosexuals in foxholes.

55. The Price. Deanna downgrades her choice in men from Riker to Deivoni Ral, who gives her a foot massage on screen! To quote George C. Scott in Hard Core: "Turn it off, turn it off!" Matt McCoy (who has a real gift for slimy creations) plays Deivoni. He's done some curious things in his career: he was in the 90's greatest movie L.A. Confidential as the slimy TV cop based on Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey's character). (Say, wouldn't Kevin Spacey make a great Mizarian! I love Kevin Spacey! And, apropos de rien, wouldn't Christopher Walken make the GREATEST KLINGON in Federation history!) Since L.A. Confidential also featured the faboo James Cromwell (I love James Cromwell too!!!), I think Curtis Hanson, the director of LAC, has a little hard-on for Star Trek; he was the director for The Hand that Rocks the Cradle which had Matt McCoy (again) as Annabelle Sciorra's husband and John deLancie as the gynecologist who molested her. Yes. JdL was the gynecologist who molested her: swooooooooooooooooonnn! What a sexy sentence. Of course, the stupid whore turned him in to the obgyn cops and poor Q had to shoot himself. HORRIBLE, MOST HORRIBLE! Who here hates that bitch Annabelle Sciorra! Aha, I thought so! I have always fantasized about an AU version of The Hand that Rocks The Cradle where she dies and JdL is set free to molest everybody and we get to watch every bit of it! (And furthermore, wouldn't Tommy Lee Jones make the SECOND GREATEST KLINGON IN FEDERATION HISTORY! And because he's Tommy Lee Jones of Harvard, he could play a psychotic Klingon who recites Wallace Stevens and T.S. Eliot as he psychoes around!!!! "Death is the mother of beauty! Grrrr! We who were living are now dying with a little patience!" Wow! "You have not read The Wasteland until you have read it in the original Klingon!!" SWOOOOnoovius!)

56. The Vengeance Factor. Featuring the Hunters, a race of Richard-Geres-thinking-about-that-first-gerbil, and their enemies, the fat-Princess-Leia-like Gatherers. Riker gets some from a blond Gatherer, but then he finds out she's really old and so he shoots her. Dead. Ah. My. Well. But she's OLD; what's his HURRY?

57. The Defector. Okay, a Romulan defects to the Enterprise. He's kind of a interesting type, slickly handsome with a gravelly voice. I imagine that, back on Romulus, he's like a . . . game show host or something, maybe the Romulan Gene Rayburn, hunkered down over his hand-held mike as he taunts the rube Romulan contestants. The Romulan Bret Somers says, "A chandelier," the Romulan Charles Nelson Reilly drawls, "American cheese," and the Romulan audience goes wild. Seems like our guy commits suicide. Being a game show host is hard on Romulans. (Before that, however, he and Bev swap phone numbers. Doesn't she have the worst luck in men! Goodness!)

58. The Hunted. Crazed Viet Nam vet ep: Military killing machine is returned to Peacetime Planet and he doesn't fit in. Unlike 90 per cent of all deranged televison vets, he isn't played by Martin Sheen, but it doesn't really matter. We do get to see James "Babe" Cromwell in yet another ST role, and Jean-Luc is quite impudent to him. (No one plays impudent in quite the Heroic/Sophoclean way Sir Big-He P.S. does.)

59. The High Ground. Here revolutionaries kidnap Bev. And then somehow kidnap JLP too. And then some others. Great Moment: it looks like curtains for Our Gang so Bev crawls on over to Jean-Luc and says, Jean-Luc, I want to talk to you about something. And – brilliant – Satrick Ptewart had been lying down but he does this ballet-type leaping-jacknife sit-up, clearly indicating the terror he feels over Bev confessing her messy inconvenient love. One of the revolutionaries, BTW, falls in love with Bev and does Police IdentiKit drawings of her. Just like a woman: she doesn't care if Che Guevara will take her to the moon and back; it's Jean-Luc and Jean-Luc only.

60. Deja Q. Q has loved his Johnny for some time, but Jean-Luc doesn't fall in love with Q til this ep. Oodles of hot stuff: Q naked and "these aren't my colors" and Q spitting out the phrase "little trained minions" at Data as they both march down the halls of the Enterprise! (John deLancie's erotic fury is beautiful to behold.) Then Q decides to commit suicide in a shuttlecraft, and Riker, (oh beware the green-eyed monster, Will!) wants to let Q die, but Jean-Luc stays his hand: saying "I'd hate to waste a perfectly good shuttlecraft." (Which is Startrek for "hitch me to your buggy, Q, lemme ride you like a mule".) A scene that didn't make it to the television screen: Jean-Luc retires to his ready room and there's a beep. "Come" he says. The door whooshes open, and Riker is standing there. The door closes. "Daddy, no," Riker says in a low rough whisper. Jean-Luc lifts his elegant head: "Boy doesn't tell Daddy no." SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNN.

61. A Matter of Perspective. Good evening and welcome to Libra Theatre! Where all points of view are valid! Hey, there's a scene in the movie *Giant* where Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, and Earl Holliman are all sitting around discussing women. Prettttttttttty ironic if you ask me. Something of the same thing happens here when snippy Mister Apgar (love that name), snippy court martialist Craig Richard Nelson (he was the gay bridegroom in Robert Altman's The Wedding) and the always ambivalent Will seem to accept Missus Apgar as the epitome of hot-momma-ness. Since the plot turns on the point that there's some truth to everything, does this mean that when Missus Apgar says "first Riker touched my quivering bazooms and then he moved his fierce paw to his own love stem and the next thing I know I was saying yes and yes and . . ." she's telling it true? Hot dog!

62. Yesterday's Enterprise. Champion bestest episode of all time! See, Jean-Luc and them are all messing about as they always do, and they go through a temporal rift where they're twenty years in the past and the Klingons are mopping the floor with the Federation and it's kind of an AU and everybody's nerves are on edge, and it's really sexy, and Jean-Luc has to snarl at Riker for being such a big freelance pussy, and barkeep Guinan is acting battle strategist (Whoopi is so wonderful; you can see how Guinan persuades Jean-Luc that she's right.) The greatest moment is one which repudiates all you TOSers who say that Jean-Luc is a social worker and a big femme and a girlycow that goes moomoo. At an analogous climactic moment when Shatner just kind of weaves around and says "Those Klingon bastards killed my son", My Man leaps like Nijinsky off the bridge, says to the Klingons who want him to surrender "That will be the day, cocksuckers!" and proceeds to machine-gun his way back to "real" time. Words can do no justice to this ep.

63. The Offspring. Trying to slash this episode is hard because it's DATA'S DAUGHTER! She is so cool! She looks like Snow White! (The casting is perfect: Hallie Todd plays Lal and is totally brilliant: did you all know in RL Hallie Todd is the daughter of the actress who played Millie on "The Dick Van Dyke"? She comes by her cunningness naturally.) Meanwhile, she's a misfit! She works in Ten Forward! She kisses Riker! (Rather nicely done scene.) She dies! Or blows a fuse! Or whatever! This is one of those great eps like Yesterday's Enterprise where so many emotions are present that one is left rather happily drained. But no real sex.

64. Sins of the Father. Once in a while, I get a spell of KRF – Klingon-Related Fatigue. And this is one of those times. Still, I rather like B'Etor and Lursa. (If only for their hot names.) Besides, I must say if I were a young, ambitious, attractive actress and I offered my choice of roles: Deanna, Vash, or a Duras Sister, I'd pick Klingon in a second. That whole Deanna/Vash thing is somebody else's strange fantasy, not mine, but Klingons are winners and that's IT for the Klings. (See, just when you think you're through with the Klingons, they give you a big open-mouthed kiss and everything starts all over again.)

65. Allegiance. Only the anti-Christ doesn't love evil-twin stories! Here we double our pleasure and double our fun with Jean-Luc's alien-synthesized evil twin. This is the only ep of TNG Mr. Sunbeam ever saw, so he thinks ALL episodes of TNG are like this, i.e., that TNG is a musical variety show hosted by Jean-Luc in Ten Forward. "Tonight, the Next Generation Boys and I want to sing Minnie the Moocher for all our friends at home!" All that aside, JLP has never looked foxier. And when the synthetic twin puts his limited moves on Bev, I stopped breathing. Oh, yeah, Deanna's alleged "powers" are useless in this episode too.

66. Captain's Holiday. I don't want to talk about it. My therapy sessions are continuing nicely: I am allowed two thirty-minute walks a day and one hot bath a week, and, although I still have to use plastic utensils when I eat, the doctor says I'm doing much better. (Arrrrggggh; fifty of television's most traumatic minutes. Haggard Jennifer Hetrick creates a clone of Captain Picard who then swanks about Risa in the most amazing swimtrunks in American history while things happen. Meanwhile, the unfilmed truth is that the real Jean-Luc keeps his real holiday aboard the Enterprise reading the Peter Pauper edition of Marcus Aurelius. Hey, Jennifer turned up about 1998 in an Oil of Old Age commercial playing the MOTHER! Hahahaha! Sunbeam is avenged!) (You can see an unbelievable picture of Jean-Luc's swimtrunks on page 43 of the December 1999 issue of "Star Trek: The Extremely Expensive Magazine"; that's the ish with Odo on the cover. You will go thud when you see this photo. "Star Trek: The Extremely Expensive Magazine" knows its audience. In the December 2000-ish – Sulu's on the cover – there's a fascinating article on "Jim Kirk: A Man and His Ripped Shirt!" They even include a pie chart in page 18 showing Jim Kirk: 15 percent eps bare chested, 7.5 percent eps ripped shirt, and 77.5 percent eps fully clothed. You can see Kirk's chest in 22.5 per cent of eps! Not bad odds. Could be better. But not bad.)

67. Tin Man. Nice title, and the name of the top guest character is Tam Elbrun, which is a pretty cool name too. This is a staple ST plot: we meet an alien sentient intelligence and, uh, in order to . . . uh, deal with it, we leave this week's guest star with it as we zoom into next week, yeah, that's the ticket! (i.e., Corbomite Maneuver, Metamorphoses, etc.)

68. Hollow Pursuits. TPTB fearlessly attack . . . fan fiction! And mighty tepid fanfic it is. Poor old Reg Barclay gets on the holodeck and pretends. The best part is Data, Cap, and Geordi as the Three Musketeers. Brent, Lavar, and King PS really throw themselves into it, and they look FAB YOU LUSSSS!

69. The Most Toys. I once saw a fan letter bitching about this ep: a gay man, it grumbled, the only time we have an episode about a gay man, he's evil and he kidnaps Data and wants him to run around without clothes on. It took me a while to realize that this was a "bad" thing. I thought it sounded great!!! Face it, Internet: which interests you more! Data saves a kitten, or Data's kidnaped by an evil sodomite who wants him naked? Oh, yeah, which one would you pay GOOD MONEY to see? I don't think that being Evil is bad. (I possibly need help.) Besides, it's not clear that Kivas Fajo is gay; if anything, he seems quite omnisexual. (I am very sure Fajo's doing henchwoman Varria offscreen; she's Alice Kramden to his Ralph.)

70. Sarek. If you don't love Mark Lenard, you are invited to step outside now. (Really, the nerve of some people.) Mark Lenard IS Sarek. He is so handsome and stately and lovely and sexy, and just think of all the hot babes he's had, THREE wives!!!!, man, he just can't keep it in his pants, can he!!!! Here (this is a cool plot) he's got Vulcan Alzheimer's and he's weeping and boohooing and then the whole ship gets infected and Wes and Geordi square off making surly tiny sexual accusations at each other, etc. etc., and Bev SOCKS Wes! Yay! Anyway, Cap has to mindmeld with Sarek, which calms Sarek down long enough to complete his diplomatic mission and everyone lives happily ever after!!! (A classically brilliant scene where Picard has to let it all hang out with Sarek's memories: not necessarily hot but pretty cool all the way around.)

71. Menage a Troi – "Lwaxana Troi, you WILL be mine." A darling little Ferengi gives that line a wonderful reading, and then there's naked Betazoids just standing there, as if their nakedness communicates something (odd, really), and Mr. Homm is confused and Riker tries to kiss Deanna and then he beats out those rhythms on a drum-like deal, and the whole thing is mildly shameful, both to watch and to have appeared in, is my guess.

72. Transfigurations. Is the tale of a strange alien with a wobbly face who gets named John Doe. Well, I'm okay with that; remember Se7en where Kevin Spacey played John Doe? Seems a sound enough role. Hey, rumor has it that both Bev and Jean-Luc look on John Doe with lust in their eyes (I myself notice that neither one can keep their hands off him). I hate John's tight-white jumpsuit, though; it's the prototype for Julian's terribly disturbing DS9 racquetball suit.

73. The Best of Both Worlds I. Another seed of smut for me: see, Riker and them find JLP's clothes in a drawer. You know what that means? It means he's naked somewhere. Naked. Or even if not currently naked, he WAS naked. The suit is neatly laid out. So he was carefully rendered naked. The drawer is in a public corridor, not off in a closet. So he was naked in public. What a great idea! There's also a woman named Shelby and she makes everybody's life a living hell. Then Riker decides to kill JLP, who had turned into a Borg after getting naked.

Season 4

74. The Best of Both Worlds II. Fortunately Riker doesn't kill Jean-Luc, so the Borgs get to show some muscle until Borg Jean-Luc is captured by us and put in a sort of vending machine-type deal wearing only his Speedos. Why aren't these vending machines everywhere! Happy ending. SirKingWonderStewartPatrick acts his Speedos off!

75. Family. Jean-Luc goes back to "France" to see the family. Cool thing: his sister-in-law is Samantha Eggar! Remember her in "The Collector" where Terence Stamp kidnaped her and kept her in the basement and wanted to sleep with her but never did? That movie was the ultimate in sexiness ‘cause, man, she died before they could do it! Wow! And another cool thing: there's a teeny little visual quote from Maxfield Parrish at the end of this episode. Ultimately, Jean-Luc has to tearfully confess to his mean older brother Robert what the Borg did to him. (Mean older brothers are a Star Trek staple.) Seems the Borg held him down and one Borg after another had its evil metallic will with his flesh and after a while he got to love it and now periodically he craves semi-metal flesh penetrating his most secret self, etc. And, since we were there with J-L, we know what he's saying.

76. Brothers. Brent Spiner, Master Thespian! He acts and acts and acts here! In three distinctly different roles, so it is pretty damn amazing. He plays himself, and his mean older brother, AND his father. He's fun as dad Noonian (although Noonian seems to have visited the same makeup counter as Jar Jar Binks), and, of course, everybody loves mean older brother Lore, that scary scary Lore. Subplot about (can you dig it) mean older brothers – gee, that's different!

77. Suddenly Human. "Death in Venice" for Cap. Some boy (he's one hot-looking Tadzio) with his pick of inter-galactic sugar daddies keeps nuzzling Jean-Luc. Jean-Luc is tempted, but, when the boy stabs him, he wusses out and sends the boy back to his prior Sugar Daddy. Rats. Best moment: Jean-Luc telling Tadzio to turn his stereo down!

78. Remember Me. Wes is screwing around with Time and Space down in the boiler room and makes his mom's universe disappear. Actually, this is a most disturbing ep: Bev's alleged universe keep getting [Pee-Wee Herman voice] smaller and smaller and smaller until just about everything disappears. She tries to take advantage of it to make a pass at JLP, but even HE disappears mid-pass. Hey, thanks, Wes! It takes annelidan pederast Traveler to straighten everything out. And Bev doesn't even ground Wes!

79. Legacy. Suppose there was an episode that featured Live Underwater Nude Wrestling with Jean-Luc Picard! Don't you suppose the ratings would just GO. THROUGH. THE. ROOF. Paramount's timidity is so baffling. (The only thing better would be Live Underwater Nude Wrestling with Jean-Luc Picard: The Sweepstakes! YOU Could Be a Winner!) This episode, alas, does not feature live underwater nude wrestling with anybody, not even live underwater nude paramecium. It does have Tasha's Live Clothed sister and she does betray Data, but that's pretty colorless compared to Live Underwater Nude Wrestling with Jean-Luc Picard.

80. Reunion: Is this the one about Worf's baby brother, Kurn? Kurn. [smile] Kurn. Somebody was having fun at Paramount that day. Well, anyway, Jean-Luc replicates a roast turkey for Kurn and Kurn (naturally) takes this as the most grievous Klingon insult imaginable. What was Jean-Luc thinking of! Et, apres le turkey, things happen.

81. Future Imperfect. Riker goes into the future! He has a son named Jean-Luc (Riker is a desperately sick man!). He's married to a hologram! Deanna gets a little gray in her hair! (Betazoid Formula would clear that right up.) Jean-Luc (I guess now he's PawPaw Jean-Luc) wears the same kind of beard that the Mayor of MunchkinLand wears! Turns out none of this happened; another ep with no reason to live!

82. Final Mission – Deranged loser takes Jean-Luc and Wes for a ride in his Outer Space 1975 Orange Pinto! They crash (natch!) in a desert, but Jean-Luc the Fabulous sets about conquering the elements pronto. You must see Jean-Luc in his improvised French Foreign Legion hat. Ooooooooooooooooooohh, he looks wonderful. Too bad he nearly dies and only Wes is there to save him. Doesn't matter. The main thing here is Jean-Luc in his improvised French Foreign Legion hat. Too beautiful for words. Sleek as a cat. Hot as a coal. Meaningful as a promise.

83. The Loss: Does Deanna really have a job description, or is she just the Captain's exotic arm candy? Maybe she's part of some lend-lease thing with the Betazoid government. Well, anyway, in this ep, something happens and she loses what little ability she has. "I can't read minds anymore, CAPTAN," she says, but she seems to get her "powers" back at the end. Rilly.

84. Data's Day – a fluffy widdle episode about Data's day! Just like a child's book where everybody is perfectly cute and well-behaved (except for a naughty-faced Romulan girl subplot). The main point is Miles and Keiko's wedding; you can tell their marriage will end with them clawing at each other eight years later. Tonight, Keiko points out she must be Irish too; after all, she's sharing her bed with a pig.

85. The Wounded. Tonight's Special Guests: Those Wacky Cardassians. Although many fans have commented on TPTB's obsession with humanoid-looking aliens, these consistently humanoid aliens don't particularly bother me. Except for the eyebrows: aliens always seem to have rococo and byzantine eyebrows. Hey, what makes eyebrows an universal constant? "Breathes there a race with souls so dead they don't have eyebrows coming out of their head?" I mean, we humans probably have more in common with ducks than with, say, Klingons, but ducks don't have eyebrows. Or do they? Well, anyhow, leaving eyebrows out of it, the thing I want to know is how come aliens are always so proud! And sneering! I mean once in a while you see craven aliens scurrying about, but those two extremes are it: proud or craven, no in-between. Never a pleasant game of cards; never aliens going to buy alien patio furniture. No middle ground for the aliens, nosireebob! So tonight, Colm Meaney is cool, but mainly the Cardassians get haughty on Starfleet's ass.

86. Devil's Due. A good ep!!!!! See, okay (deepbreath) there's this sad little planet and they're all reading copies of Intergalactic Left Behind and they just know the end times are at hand and a hot babe shows up and says, "that's right, it's the end times and I'm God!" And the saps buy it! (Losers!!!!!) Ergo, Jean-Luc and them have to persuade A WHOLE PLANET that she's not God. Ooh, one night, the God gal sneaks into Jean-Luc's bedroom and we get to see him strut his stuff magnificently in his jammies! MMMmmmm. A nice hot moment when she says I know the nookie you need and turns into Deanna!!!!!!!!!! Awyeah!!! For those of us into Klingon trivia, Feklh'r the Klingon Satan turns up and growls at the cameraman!

87. Clues. Tonight there's a lot of clues! I actually find this ep sort of irritating. Everybody seems a little out of character. *sigh* Why are there no TNGs about, you know, Moonies!? Or flubber! But no, we get this. Things happen. Hey, wouldn't a website devoted to weird symptoms be a great thing? It could be like "Do You Have Leprosy! Take This Test and See! Maybe It's the Bubonic Plague! Or Rabies! Or Lockjaw! You Never Know What Those Strange Symptoms Could Mean! Find Out Now!" Just think of the billions in advertising this site would make! I know I'd go there EVERY DAY! Just to be sure! I seem to be drifting off-topic.

88. First Contact. Not the movie with James "Babe of Babes" Cromwell, but the episode with Caroline Seymour (spending too much time on the intergalactic treadmill, but still cool) who believes in aliens! Turn out she's right! They exist! And . . . they're us!!! Us, I mean, we, decide to postpone coming out of the alien closet on this planet til the planet can handle it, but we get a lovely parting gift in the personage of Caroline Seymour herself! George Hearn (played a great "Sweeney Todd" on HBO years ago) is a doctor who tries to help disguised-alien Riker. (And, for us guttersnipes, there's a risque interlude with one of those porn staples, a white-stockinged and sultry nurse; seems she wants a taste of Riker's alien love-tool.)

89. Galaxy's Child. Star Trek's answer to Bambi! They kill a gigantic space creature's momma and the space creature begins to nurse the Enterprise and steal its energy, and Geordi conjures up the spirit of Leah Brahms (I think) and there's a happy ending. Still, hurt-animal stories do a number on me.

90. Night Terrors. Nobody's getting the sleep they need and everybody is tired and cranky and Bev is too tight-assed to give them the Valiums and Percodans and Hycodan they so obviously need, so the night-terror monsters come to life (rather spookily) in sickbay to get Bev for being just plain mean and unreasonable. Oh, and Deanna pulls her weight for once and solves things.

91. Identity Crisis AKA Big Blue Geordi! He turns blue! He has turquoise veins all over his body. If you look close enough, you can see the perfect copper coins of his nipples! And the promising folds of his underarms! Pretty sexy, for something with that color scheme. See, some people who went on an away mission several years before are all turning into these critters. And thus our gang has to go over the records of that mission to figure out what went on so they can return Geordi to his original Geordiness. There's something slightly unsettling in the way they go over the records again and again, kinda like the Zapruder film in a weird way.

92. The Nth Degree. Barclay eps are generally pretty cute; this one is slightly less cute, but it does address the issue of Space Tedium!!! Yes, it can be tedious in outer space! That's okay, says Bev, we'll put on a little play! Yup, the cold wind of Borg breath is at our back, and we'll start a community theatre! And Barclay takes over the known universe until he doesn't anymore.

93. Qpid: Despite the depressing presence of . . . VASH, she-who-rimes-with-trash, this is pretty hot. And probably as close to canon slash as TNG will get. Jean-Luc puts on his jammies and gets in bed and, in a sudden flash of light, Q appears on the bed with him. Q says, "she makes you . .. small" (fabulous significant emphasis). Q says, "I didn't know she'd have that sort of effect on you." Q says, "I wish I'd come to you as a woman." Then he has the effrontery to steal Vash from JLP and take her away. (Q really doesn't want her; if he turns his head, he can't remember her spiky features, but he doesn't want her to lure Jean-Luc into her fatuous traps any further.) Great costumes in the allegedly-comic Robin Hood subplot. Jean-Luc wears tights, and no one in the history of the world wears tights as well as he does (I'll give Vash this: Jean-Luc dresses hot when she's around). Q looks real sharp too as the Sheriff of Nottingham, and they are both so beautiful and alluring and they send so many melting glances towards each other. Why Does Vash Live? Why Does Vash Live At all? What Is God Thinking of?

94. The Drumhead. Another courtroom show. Notice how cheap they are: get some ham actors and some tables and a big bunch of script and go to town. This mess all begins with a guy with bat-like ears who says his grandmaw is a Vulcan but really she's a Romulan. His Royal Shakespeare Majesty PeeEss gets to act and act and act, but there's a little more script than there ought to be.

95. Half a Life features the guy with the popular designs on his head. How popular are these designs? Well, down where I am, all the hillbillies I know have these very same designs airbrushed on the hoods of their Pontiac Trans-Ams. This doesn't help tonight's guest star at all. Seems Lwaxana's in love with him and he commits suicide. Oh. (We get to see her call Worf "Woof" for the first time – Dorn coulda stopped that if he'd piddled on her leg just once).

96. The Host. The Trill ep. This is great but confused. Great because a woman comes on to Bev! Great because Bev does the wild thing with Riker (when he's possessed by the Trill)! Great because Riker nearly dies! Confused because the initial Trill Bev falls for, is, sigh, not an attractive piece of manflesh. Confused because the Trill inside the unattractive piece of manflesh is even less attractive – it looks like a cow's stomach! Confused because Bev says to herself: I'll just put this cow stomach inside Riker and that way we can have sex! Somebody get this woman a "Good Vibrations" catalogue quick!

97. The Mind's Eye. Filmed in Fabulous GeordiVISION! All right, let's all leave aside the smut moment and live up to our IQs for a moment and talk about BIG SMART STUFF. So why didn't Noonian Soong program Data with visual-filtering programs? I mean, Adobe can do it; they can take a picture of your cat Fluffy and make it contrasty or pencil-ly or water-color-y or sepia-toned or done in weird complementary Andy-Warhol-like colors and just overall make the Fluffmeister look too cool!!! So why can't Data adjust his vision to something a little out of the ordinary? (And his vision must be ordinary: think about his paintings.) Can you imagine watching TNG one night and *poof* there's a pointillist Worf! [BEAM!] Too great an idea!

98. In Theory. I wonder why there's not more fanfic about Jenna D'Sora. She's perky and blonde! And way hot to trot! (Hey, it's pretty clear she and Data do it that night on the sofa.) But, alas, Data understands love no better than any of us, and so Jenna is elected mayoress of Lonelytown once again. We also get far too much information about Miles' dirty socks.

99. Redemption. B'Etor (or is it Lursa) makes moves on Cap. Pretty steamy, if you ask me. "Let me reheat your Earl Grey," she breathes. "My goodness, what a huge teacup!" There's also a lot of Klingon rodomontade, Gowron gets to Gowron around, and, right after he hands in his commission, Worf is elected Homecoming King of the Enterprise Harvest Ball.

Season 5

100. Redemption II. Now Lursa (or is it B'Etor) turns her dark and mighty attentions to Worf. Worf looks absolutely stunning in Klingon drag, but there's just so much plot, and it's all Klingon plot. Seems like Jean-Luc and Gowron start dating during this episode.

101. Darmok. *sigh* A noisy episode. Don't aliens ever go to the mall or stand on the porch and scratch themselves the way we do down here? Why must they always have inexplicable intergalactic agendas? Captain Dathan (for it is he) is not the cutest thing under the sun, but he and Jean-Luc bond. Sort of. Then he dies. Jean-Luc wears a very nice-looking jacket. (Oddly enough, this episode was a pivotal plot point in a New Yorker short story a few years back.)

102. Ensign Ro. Fresh meat Ro Laren boards the Enterprise and Riker is jealous of her bewitching hold on JLP. Still, bewitching tho' she is, she's a Bajoran, and thus hard to whip up any interest about. See, I bitch and moan about aliens being too damn alien and along comes a species that's all too human and what do I do? I GET BORED! Because I am heavy bored by Bajorans. And you know why? Because they don't have one single characteristic! The two main Bajorans we know, Ro and Kira, are victims with spitfire personalities; well, that HARDLY makes sense. To tell the truth, a great deal of my life is spent trying to think of amusing japes to put smiles of the faces of you, yes, you, the rhapsodic rainbow of lovely ladies who make up ASCEM. So I was going to tease you with the idea of a Bajoran teevee show. But what would it be? A Bajoran Bonanza? A Bajoran 60 Minutes? A Bajoran Lamp Unto My Feet? See how utterly plausible those are? Bajorans are as boring as humans! (Contrast this with my other offering: the Klingon Andy Griffith Show! Does that not rock! The Klingon Gomer! The Klingon Goober! The Klingon Barney! The Klingon Floyd the Barber! And, of course, the Klingon Aunt Bee!!!! Or would it be Aunt Be'E!) That being said, I loovvve Ro; she is so gorgeous. And I love (a little more mutedly, but still) Kira. And I especially love the plump-armed tender-voiced Kai Ratched as so enchantingly embodied by Louise Fletcher. *sigh* There's probably a point here, but I don't know what it is.

103. Silicon Avatar. Great title. Riker chases a woman. And, NO, she did not have big breast implants and thus get nicknamed the Silicon Avatar. Now get your minds out of the gutter.

104. Disaster. You have shows for weeks where nothing happens and then there's something like this and everything happens: Data accuses Riker of wanting his body! Keiko goes into labor in Ten Forward! Worf says to her you may deliver! (Calling Dr. Klingon! Calling Dr. Klingon!) And Jean-Luc is trapped with (the horror the horror) THREE child actors!

105.The Game. THIS IS THE MOMENT, to paraphrase that song from Jekyll and Hyde. Because this is when I first realized hot sex could happen on TNG. Worf and Will are holding Wes's knees apart and Jean-Luc is leaning over, readying him to play their wicked little game. (Which involves things with large heads popping up and is followed by the soft orgasmic sigh of the players.) I was taping this show, and, as I watched it, my eyes literally jumped out of my head and walked around the room trembling. I could not believe it: I was staring in the heart of sexness, damp and breathless. That JLP didn't actually pull it out and make Wes take it like the little bitch he is . . . is just irrelevant! No surprise that the lush and pneumatic Ashley Judd was hovering on the perimeter.

106. Unification I. Whoa! Brilliant bedroom scene between Jean-Luc and Data. Data's got his back turned to Jean-Luc and keeps rather insistently peeking back at JLP over his shoulder. Jean-Luc tosses and turns, aware that Data's heated gaze is upon him. You say: so what? Well, just imagine this scene were in a James Purdy novel. See? Wow! Jean-Luc is on the verge of inviting Data into the bed with him when something happens. Bev also changes Jean-Luc and Data into Romulans (PEEEEEE-ESSSSS is the cutest Romulan imaginable: just gorgeous) (and Data's not bad either). (Bow down to Sunbeam! After all, I own both Playmate action figures: Romulan JLP and Romulan Data!) To add to your store of useless information, the captain of the Klingon sex-vessel they ride in is played by Stephen D. Root. I love Stephen D. Root: he was the weird blind disk jockey in O Brother Where Art Thou. An amazing performance: his line readings there are the freshest ever. But of course I loved that whole movie: three hot boy prisoners in a Southern prison get out and form a bluegrass band! Delightful premise. Homoerotic tensions abound in O Brother too; my considered opinion is that Delmar was Pete's punk back at Parchman Farm. Yall rent the movie and tell me what you think.

107. Unification II – Okay, our boys get to Romulus. Sela seethes around, and Pardek's there too, looking like a Surinam toad. Lot of double-crossing. I had some hopes that the cute Romulan would turn out to be their Gorbachev and things might get interesting on Romulus: no luck. But the main thing is SPOCK!!!! According to gossip, the goon TPTB producers felt Nimoy played Spock as too zoned out. Well, screw ‘em! Clearly, Spock and Kirk have had a terrible falling out; Kirk's gone off and married Antonia but, before he and Spock could make up (the fondest wish of each of them), Jim's killed on the Enterprise B, and Spock tries to channel his enormous grief into patching up things with the Romulans. The mood he radiates to me is best summed up in "Monody", a poem by Herman Melville about Nathaniel Hawthorne:

To have known him, to have loved him
After loneness long;
And then to be estranged in life,
And neither in the wrong;
And now for death to set his seal –
Ease me, a little ease, my song.

*sigh* And neither Jean-Luc nor Data, fresh as they are, can replace his ineffable Jim.

108. A Matter of Time. Okay, there's this guy, see, and he says he's from the future and he's doing a random sampling of the past and he wants everybody to fill out questionnaires (to which Worf says: "I HATE QUESTIONNAIRES" thus restoring everybody's faith in his Klingonness). Max Headroom plays the guy and he's pretty animated, so that's okay. Jean-Luc tries to taunt him into revealing the future and he won't and then Max and Bev have a elephantine courtship and it turns out he's not from the future, but the past! Well! My word! Data has some cute moments; Monsieur Headroom wants to take Data back to his world as a sort of living souvenir, much as you or I might take a cutting from the begonias in the parking lot of Graceland.

109. New Ground. The camera swoops down on double doors which open and reveal Worf standing there in a lovely creation. "Welcome to this Week's Klingon Playhouse!" he intones. Tonight Worf goes all wussy when his foster momma brings back Alexander. Alexander steals a lizard (I think) and is ratted out by his schoolteacher and then the schoolroom catches on fire and Brent Spiner tries to pretend that he is lifting an amazingly heavy beam and does not, despite his enormous theatrical gifts, convince us. Well, looks like Alexander is here for keeps. I bet Jean-Luc LOVES that.

110. Hero Worship. Another one of those ABC Afterschool Specials where Data saves a kitten. It's a perfectly nice episode: Data paints, Brent acts, Enterprise zooms. But I have to quote Mystery Science Theatre 3K: is this touching? Or boring?

111. Violations: Riker rapes Deanna!!!! Worth it, worth everything just to see Riker rape Deanna! Why have a monstrous piece of manflesh like Frakes around if he's not going to get some action! Turns out it's all a dream. Or something. Hey, in another dream, Jean-Luc puts on a hairpiece and floats around Jack Crusher's body. Are the ship's stores contaminated with ergot? Nope, it's just the Ullians, that fun-loving brain-wavin' race who have calamari glued to their temples. A most amusing people: when they aren't imagining having other people having sex (hey, wait a minute!) they wear Family Dollar mops on their head! JLP's hairpiece is much more plausible; odd, though, how the hair diminishes his handsomeness. His beauty is as pared down as that of the pyramids, and they certainly don't need toupees.

112. The Masterpiece Society. Moody lethargic master race (which seems to consist of TWO people) has its own planet. Deanna fools around with one of them, and Ron Canada is the other one. Canada played Iago to Lord High Pee S's strange color-reversed Othello in Washington D.C. a few years ago. I think that version of Othello is boiling up on the surface here; among other things, Jean-Luc is furious with Deanna for shacking up with the other guy. You little whore, he seems to say, I can't leave you alone for five minutes without your giving it up for the mailman and the mailman's dog. Then he snarls, take down those panties, bitch, Admiral Spanky is docking here tonight. *Sigh* That one scene makes this a reasonably nice ep.

113. Conundrum. Oh, no! An episode with MPD! Yes, the Three Faces of Ep! A) It's a comedy! Uh-oh! Those zany Enterprisians have all got amnesia! Jean-Luc thinks he's Riker, Worf thinks he's Jean-Luc, and Data becomes the new Guinan! B) It's a rompdeelyicious sexfest when outer space's sultriest babes turn up in Riker's lustpad two at a time! C) It's a searing indictment of man's inhumanity to man when the crafty Sataarans enlist the forgetful Enterprise crew into slaughtering the Lysians! A deeply strange episode. Oh, I love this though: see, the crafty Sataarans plant a faux first-officer who lures the crew into his scheme. He fools everybody too, and you know why!? Because he embodies the two basic characteristics of first officer-tude – he's both Doughy and Wooden. (Riker, Chakotay, and Al Gore: Doughy Yet Wooden. Wooden yet Doughy. You Know I'm Right.)

114. Power Play. Where's Colm Meaney's Oscar!!!!!! What a great actor! Okay, he's no Big Lord HimalayaKing Stewart Patrick, but he's still great. In this one, evil lightning bugs take over the souls of Colm, Deanna, and Data and make them mean. Gotta say: Colm, Deanna, and Data are satisfactorily mean. They make everybody go to Ten Forward where Colm is particularly menacing! But brutal as those lightning bugs are, they are essentially . . . lightning bugs and about that bright. Jean-Luc talks them into flying away. Jeez, Jean-Luc, how hard can it be to outwit lightning bugs!

115. Ethics. Worf dies. See, he's messing around down in the storeroom and a big old can of elements falls right on top of him. This paralyzes him and he has to wear shiny fab Pajamas of the Future and he decides to kill himself because he's paralyzed and . . . something happens, I forget exactly what, but it doesn't really matter, because, even though he dies, he still snaps out of it!!! Seems Klingons have redundant anatomies! Dog my cats! Is that handy or what! Worf does have an extremely slashy moment when Riker comes to say good-bye, Riker whispering that he's going to miss the thundering beef of Worf's big one and he doesn't know what he'll do now (probably just become the most prized boy whore on Deep Space Umpteen – where a wandering Klingon sings, *Riker, you're a fine girl, what a good wife you'd be, but my life, my love, my lady is the Klingon homeworld dootdootdootenydoot*), and then Deanna comes in and seconds those emotions. But, since Worf snaps out of it completely, there was really no point to this episode WHATSOEVER!

116. The Outcast. It fries my doughnuts in the worst way when TPTB decide that, if the audience wants gay action, we'll give them gay action, but it will be in the form of WOMEN ON WOMEN. Oh, for God's sake, ALL I WANT TO SEE IS BIG HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STARS GET THAT BITCH THANG GOING ON (BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE MEN.) DS9 was the worst with all its so-called lesbo eps. Yawnoovius. See, Riker hooks up with an androgynous phys-ed major from another planet named Soren (the phys-ed major, not the planet). But the King of All Phys-Ed Majors doesn't want Riker's seed despoiling his minions, so some things happen. Boring Soren and Riker have an unhappy ending in that Riker doesn't get to spend the rest of his life with this piece of cellophane.

117. Cause and Effect. Foxy ep. Ship blows up every twelve minutes. Bev looks at a plant. Boom! The usual gang plays poker. Bang! Jean-Luc leafs through a book! Crash! Through the crafty science of script writing, they finally figure out they're going to blow up. Yeah, the end is near and nobody rushes to get laid! (What the hell does Starfleet put in its food!) Collide! Happy ending! Kerblooey!

118. The First Duty. Wes screws up and it's supposed to be a big deal. All the Sunbeam clan love it when Boothby says: "Jean-Luc, what happened to your hair?" (I bet we still say this to each other about twice a month). Also, we get introduced to the prototype of Tom Paris, Nick Locarno (I always thought that Robert Duncan McNeill had a fugitive resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald). (Odd, now that I think about it, Ed Lauter plays a dead guy's father in this ep and I always associate ED LAUTER with Lee Harvey Oswald too! Ed starred in "Executive Action", about JFK's assassination; old Ed was the REAL assassin, you know, the one over at the grassy knoll). (Of course, I'm probably influenced by the fact that Robert Duncan McNeil and Lee Harvey Oswald both have three names. Then again, I don't confuse with them with David Lee Roth. Or Pliny The Elder.)

119. Cost of Living. Horrid Lwaxana ep. First off, there seems to be an attempt at "fun" on the holodeck with a liberated colony of free-living 1950s Big Sur types. Shudder. It's the kind of "prepackaged" fun of a Chuck E. Cheese. Lwaxana keeps threatening to doff her duds! And then she does! And gets into a hottub with Worf and Alexander and some others! Since Lwaxana's mere presence has the weirdest dampening effect on everybody's sexuality, what is the point of this grim scene!!? Flaccid hot tub scene, listless nudity. BTW, if Riker were to attempt that whole hot tub/naked dancing thing with Alexander, Congress would be passing "Alexander's Law" quick as bugs. Sexism, pure and simple.

120. The Perfect Mate. First ep of any Star Trek I ever saw. (Ah, I remember it well; I was in an Atlanta hotel on a rainy Saturday in August 1992, and I immediately knew what was up.) In this ep, well, lotta stuff happens, but mainly there's this alien sex-o-morph who is affianced to a weird tribal king but she gets prematurely unwrapped and, after cruising all the available male personnel, falls in love with *surprise surprise* Jean-Luc Picard!!! There's an incredibly sexy scene the night before JLP has to give Kamala up to the weird tribal king. It's clear she wants it, he wants it, but they can't have it. Odd that fandom hasn't played with this very much. And the shocking thing is that she's not inappropriate for him! Unlike Jenice and Vash and Phillipa, she doesn't repel! She seems pretty cool. Sure, Bev's steamed but as much by the implicit prostitution of the situation scene as anything else. (My theory about that night together is that Jean-Luc and Kamala play teen games: we won't go ALL THE WAY. So there's ooooodles of hot tongue action and finger play and alternate but nonetheless effective orifice usage. No cell of the other's body is left unstimulated. Jean-Luc can barely walk and his skin is surprisingly chafed and tender. Kamala made it clear to him even as he plunged helplessly for the last time into her amazingly tender alternate-nether flesh that she would fulfill her duty of marrying that little alien king in his leopardskin pillbox hat. Jean-Luc mournfully accepts this.) At one point, Kamala even gets Riker all hot and bothered, so he says he's going on up to the holodeck. Does that mean the holodeck is a universally accepted jerk-off joint? And so what fantasy would Riker unspool? (I think it's the one where holograms of Data and Wesley play panty-free French maids to Riker's home-from-the-jungle big-game hunter, but what do I know?)

121. Imaginary Friend. Little girl with imaginary friend fools around in botany port. Jean-Luc gets dad-like and says don't make me come down there. She does. He does. Imaginary playmate is evil. Well, that's different.

122. I, Borg AKA Free To a Good Home. I love how mechanical men (Data, Hugh) are like kittens in that they intuitively gravitate to those who will take good care of them (Geordi). Plus I got to hand it to Viacom/Paramount: Hugh Borg is a hottie!

123. The Next Phase. Geordi and Ro die! Aw, too bad! Life goes on, as Riker plays the trombone. I am not aware of a sexual subtext to the death or the trombone (though it seems as if there should be). Oh, yeah, they don't really die. They just seem dead. You're telling me. And there's Romulans too.

124. The Inner Light. The Feel-Good Jean-Luc Movie of the Year! Mainly, Jean-Luc meets a woman worthy of him, Aline of Ressika! He loves her and he loves her brand of stew. Suspicious JLP (taking a big spoonful): "It's . . . delicious." Aline (dimple, beam, dimple): "You always say that!" Too bad everybody dies in the end, including the toddlers. PeeEssoovius has a buhrilliant moment at the end: see, he's been brainnapped to live a lifetime on this dead planet but he finally snaps out it and finds himself back where he started from, on Ye Olde Enterprise with Riker at his knee. The look Sir Pee gives Frakes when he tries to re-orient himself to his changed universe is just . . .so, so [sobsobsob]. . . real. *SIGH* (It's presumptuous for a sub-minion such as my lowly Sunbeam self to say this, but I wonder if this episode is an eerie attempt at a valedictory biography of His Royal Highest Hotness King Pstewarty: see, Jean-Luc's life forks in this ep between being Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Starfleet Enterprise, and being a devoted husband! And being a devoted husband in a small non-outer-space-y type of place! And being a father of two! And they're a boy and a girl! And the boy subtly goes bald! And in the alternate life, he's a weaver! Of course, before TNG, back in cute little England, Our Man was a devoted husband, father of two, boy and girl, boy went bald. PS's real-life momma was a weaver, too, in the textile mills of Northern England. Oh, to add EVEN MORE to your store of useless knowledge, PS's real-life momma was named Gladys. Elaine Dundy in her fabbyswoonful book "Elvis and Gladys" points out that the two greatest sex symbols of the twentieth century had mothers named Gladys, i.e., Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. Hmmmm. Hmmmmoooovius. Well, back to reality, maybe The Man is saying that, yes, he is emphatically choosing to be a part of Starfleet as Jean-Luc Picard, but his former life will always be a part of him. Idn't that sweet! Honestly, PS is just KING OF TNG.)

125. Time's Arrow I. Didn't I tell you that Mark Twain character was optimumly irritating! Give us a break, TNG! Still I like Whoopi kinda of swanking about the 1890's, although the other guy doesn't seem very Jack-London-y. (FYI, Jack London was a commie.) Mostly, I hate the bum at the start who gives Data bum hints; clearly a creepy community-theater actor, he generates a whole forcefield of inauthenticity that threatens to topple our whole suspension of disbelief. Oh, yeah, the plot concerns Data's detached head and a race of people genetically kin to Bug-Zappers.

Season 6

126. Times Arrow II: Okay, all the Bug-Zapper people lose; well, good, and then Jean-Luc helps Guinan out. He and Whoopi really stir up some smoldering heat, very alluring and attractive as they talk and she rests against him. Jean-Luc has a nice voice, have you ever noticed that? [sweatsweatpantpanteyesoutonstemseyesoutonstems]

127. Realm of Fear. "Good evening, I'm Boris Karloff as played by Jean-Luc Picard, and I'd like to welcome you to tonight's episode. It's called Realm of Fear, and it's a real THRILLLLLLUH". More Barclay. Barclay's such a nell he doesn't like to ride transporters, but Starfleet makes him anyway. Okay, tonight while he's being transported, he find himself in the transporter with a . . . tobacco worm! Then there's plot. But not the plot there oughta be! Yeah, in the plot there oughta be, Barclay calmly disembarks from the transporter. The next day two waiters in Ten Forward discuss the puzzling disappearance of all the lettuce from the salad bar. Barclay becomes wigglier over the next few days, and his skin grows strangely shiny, too. Then one night Deanna hears a slither at her door. When it whooshes opens, she hears something shout "Counselor Troi, you are MIIIINNNNNE" and sees coming towards her a giant . . . Meanwhile, one of the kids from the schoolroom finds a little tiny creature with a familiar face who keeps saying, "HELP MEEE HELP MEEEE". Alas, in the *real* plot, notice how at the very end, Colm Meaney actually has none-to-little screen time with his alleged "pet" tarantula.

128. Man of the People. Great sex scene: Riker goes over to Deanna's room and she answers the door and she's dressed the sluttiest ever! Even down to the visible-under-her-low-cut-top diamond-hard nipples (the only other Star Trek erect nipples I ever saw were in Insurrection after Jean-Luc falls in the water, but you probably knew that). Well, Riker's just tickled pink. Until he spies the hot-looking young ensign sitting on her bed. Who apologizes profusely and scuttles out of there. And then Deanna tells Will to cram it, bozo. Nipples! Boring plot otherwise. Some guy does things. Still: Nipples!

129. Relics. Hey, who peed in Geordi's Wheaties?! What a grouch! And towards Scotty! I really do not believe that. I mean I do not believe that Geordi would start bitching over the presence of a engineering genius who'd been stuck in a transporter for seventy-years and wanted a little company. Not Our Geordi. No way. Well, anyway, Scotty does get a hair style for longer than a week! But it's only because he gets stuck in the transporter for seventy-five years! Incidentally, his iron hairdo in this ep reminds me of the three great divisions of Trek. A) Free of Hair Issues: Spock, Jean-Luc, Data, Geordi. B) Out of the Closet with their Hair Issues: Scotty, Deanna, Worf, Chekov. C) Deeply Closeted (and Hence Deeply Troubled by) Hair Issues: Kirk, McCoy, Beverly, Riker. Hey, notice the look JLP gives Scotty when Scotty gets all old and profound and says, "It's like the first time you fall in love. You don't ever love a woman quite like that again." Wonder what Cap's thinking of? [smilegrinhehhehheh] Or WHO he's thinking of?

130. Schisms. Ewoks from the Fifth Dimension capture Riker and Worf and some others and tape measure them. I like to think that they did some erotic probing as well, but the blushing camera turned away. A great scene: Worf gets his hair cut by Mr. Mott, Bolian Barber! It turns out Mr. Mott TOOK TOO MUCH OFF THE TOP last time. Needless to say, one shouldn't do that with a Klingon. You really need to see that scene.

131. True Q. Boring Q ep. Unheard of! But it's boring mainly because it dooesn't focus on Q or Jean-Luc, but on a teen Q who has a crush on Riker. So sad. Well, what do girl Qs do? They generate puppies and gazebos and Rikers in ill-fitting top hats (Riker is devastated by that top hat). But our Q, the really truly true Q, has a nice moment or two, once when he hugs Jean-Luc (Jean-Luc feigns indifference ‘cuz Riker's watching). Also, Jean-Luc makes a big Jean-Luc speeches about . . . life or something, and Q is SO exasperated. No one can act irritatedly exasperated the way John deLancie can. Astonishing.

132. Rascals. Now this is a hell of a show. Something happens and Jean-Luc, Ro, Guinan, and Keiko are made into children. Amazing performance by the brilliant Colm Meaney when he realizes that he's married to a twelve-year-old girl. He's. Just. So. Irish. Cringing! Making the sign of the cross! He KNOWS he's going to hell for this one! Rockin! I rather like the young Jean-Luc as well. Telling the Ferengis that Riker's his Number One Dad! What a rascal! You really need to see this one too.

133. Fistful of Datas. Mixed reviews from everybody on this ep, from everybody but ME, who thinks it is good to the last drop! Holodeck is running a cowboy program for Worf and Alexander and it screws up and everybody turns into Data, who gets to be about seven different cowpokes and one busty lusty saloon-gal who tries to lure Worf into a shoot-out at her O.K. corral. Data the hot drag queen! Does that rule! Then to pile Pelion on Ossa, Deanna turns up smoking cigarillos and wearing the universe's tightest shirt. Wonderful in every way.

134. The Quality of Life. Pouty scientist Ms. Farralon makes these little George Foreman grills that can think. Data weighs the grills' importance in the great scheme of things and inexplicably finds them equal to Jean-Luc. So, when our gang gets get into one of those foolish ST positions where Data alone must choose who lives and who dies, Jean-Luc's goose appears cooked. Mizz Farralon care she nought, and the rest of the crew is . . . thoughtful. Honestly. I hope Jean-Luc turns Data over his knee after the cameraman goes home.

135. Chain of Command, pt. I. This is what Judith Gran calls a "booster plot", i.e., not a real plot, but a formative pretext for the next part when JLP lets the ACTING DAWGS OUT! In this part, Bev, Worf, and JLP wear beatnik clothes and visit the Cardassian Rock City. Then JLP gets captured by David Warner and it turns v. serious.

136. Chain of Command, pt. II. In the continuation, Jean-Luc plays Leonardo diCaprio to David Warner's (reg. TM) David-Warner-Character, i.e., David Warner ties Jean-Luc's hands above his head and then threatens him. Still, I like David Warner, and there's a happy ending. Worm-eating alert! Man, Jean-Luc is STARVED! (Actually, this is a very disturbing episode all about man's indomitable spirit, but mostly our attention is drawn to JLP's naked body, so, under the circumstances, man's indomitable spirit pretty much flies out the window.) (Oh, by the way, something about acting with his fellow British hams brings out the fighting best in King P of Stewartville. Maybe it's that competitive thing he sure has got going on. What it must have been like to be all that talented in the nineteen-sixties, yeah, in the middle of the British Invasion!!!, and to lack that one ineffable alluring Brit thing: hair. He kicks out the jams here with David Warner – also from the north of England – just as he did back with Jeremy Kemp in Family, but nothing compares to his work with fellow Yorkshireman Malcolm McDowell in the movie Generations. When Jean-Luc refuses to give Dr. Soran a rocketship, and Soran starts burbling on about time is the fire in which we burn, look at The Man's face and think about what he's thinking about. Rene. Robert. His face grows paler and more frightened, and he can barely breathe from the grief; then, when Soran finishes nattering, JLP says, "I'll see what I can do," in a strangled emotional voice and basically TAKES NO PRISONERS, ACTING-WISE. Does anyone besides me remember when David Warner and Malcolm McDowell were important British actors? "I'll moptop ye, Ringo-fookin-Starr!")

137. Ship in a Bottle. More Moriarty! Yes, the Arkansas Love-Bug Returns! Kind of a Jorge-Luis-Borges moment at the end when Jean-Luc says, "well, what if, say, WE on board the Enterprise here were just a little program in a little box on a little coffee table for the entertainment of unknown giants." And then the camera shuts down, but Jean-Luc goes on saying, "and suppose the script were kinda sorry and focuses on the guest stars instead of the real stars, like me, LordSirBrave Pat Stewartness," and Data peeks around the camera, "or me, Brent Spiner," and here comes Riker, "Or me!" Yeah, and what if the script is lame and everybody's conscious that it's lame: so, if you're conscious that it's lame, well, how about that? Is it still lame? All too labyrinthine for Saturday night in my opinion. SEX! JUST GIVE US SEX!!!

138. Aquiel. The dog did it! The dog did it! And furthermore there's DNA everywhere! You don't really want to know much about this episode, nor is there much to know. I think Geordi gets some, but it's hard to care.

139. Face of the Enemy. TNG bows to the demands of Marina's agent and gives her an ep. See, she gets surgically altered into a Romulan and she gets to Romul all over the place. But do you know why this episode is important? [blushblush] Because this is the first time Worf wears his . . . ponytail! I had to be sedated when I saw it. Sexy doesn't even begin to describe the effect Worf's long hair had on me.

140. Tapestry. Jean-Luc In Bed With Q!!!!! Hot Voolyvoo-Q-shay-Avec-Moi Action! Oh, when I saw the slomo reveal of Jean-Luc lying in bed with Q, I said, naw, they won't go there. BUT THEY DID. Boring subplot of Jean-Luc's life story (shacks up with a teenaged girl and makes her miserable; is also revealed to be a coward). Happy ending, I guess, in that Jean-Luc ends up in the conference room swapping deadly pussy yarns with Riker. I think the real plot is the Pillsbury Act-Off between deLancie and HisHolyActornessPS. Gotta say: Big John wins this one hands-down.

141. Birthright I. Data has the cutest dream about Noonian Soong! Who turns out to have been a real dreamboat in his youth. There's also a convoluted subplot abut Worf's father, the beautifully monickered Mogh!, and whether or not Mogh Lives! James "I'm a Pig for Your Love" Cromwell turns up in a thin candy shell of latex makeup to taunt Worf that his father is alive (big Klingon insult: snarl! Your father's not dead! Ahahahahaha.*sigh* Those Klingons!) Worf has to go investigate!

142. Birthright II. Seems like Mogh is dead! Seems like Mogh was dead all along! À bientôt, Mogh! But it's okay: Worf gets laid by a gal who's half-Klingon and half-Romulan. She sure looks like she has her some bad headaches (IMHO, Worf's way too good for her.) At the end, some pretty Klingon boys come back with Worf to the Enterprise while Riker and Jean-Luc lift their eyebrows. Fresh meat, they seem to say.

143. Starship Mine. Jean-Luc wear a hot little outfit. Low cut. With jodhpurs. And he roams around the ship all on his own except for some pointless bad guys (these are apparently the same ones from "Gambit" episodes 155/156: you know the type, shoelaces in their noses and clothespins for ears and hair made from chains and upholstery for clothes and crap like that). Jean-Luc defeats them all without even breathing heavy. Don't worry, Johnny, we'll do the heavy breathing for you.

144. Lessons. Jean-Luc gets some from a woman. This is actually rather less engaging that it seems (although it's a well-meaning ep). Best scene: him and her rehearse some music together in a Jeffries tube and Geordi and Data crawl around trying to find out the source of the music and then the music stops and Geordi and Data shrug. Reason the music stopped: you have to ask! C'mon! Grow up!

145. The Chase. Dr. "Chickenhawk" Galen, Jean-Luc's first lover back at the Academy, comes back to Jean-Luc and expects him to put out. No dice, says Jean-Luc, he has cuter fish to fry (casts a meaningful look at Riker). Chickenhawk goes off in a snit (or is it a shuttlecraft) and conveniently dies. (Elderly guest stars always die.) But meanwhile he leaves Jean-Luc the secret of the universe! Guess what it is! Seems like, EveryONE is BeeYOUtifullll in THEIR Own WAY!!!! How cool is that! Poor old Jean-Luc has to explain that to a fun group consisting of Cardassians, Romulans, and Klingons. :) I like the Cardassian babe's pigtails; with her scales, she looks the way Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz would look if the flying monkeys had gotten ahold of her.

146. Frame of Mind. New Adventures In Riker's Hair! Tonight introduces the Fork-in-a-Toaster/Troll-Doll/Gary-Condit tonsorial cascade. There's also a confused plot: Riker is immured in an insane asylum by a McDonald's Arches-faced race of people who don't believe him when he says, "I Don't Belong Here!" It's that old What-Is-Reality thing again. "Here," TPTB say, "you people at home are watching, YOU decide what's going on!" Why do we even PAY these people?

147. Suspicions. Uhoh, big PLOT ep. Bev quits Starfleet. "I hate them! I hate them!" she says throwing herself on her bed; Whoopi's there and they harmonize on "A Thousand Stars in the Sky" (as made famous by Kathy Young and the Innocents), and then they go to the mall to get their ears pierced and, wait, no, I'm confused by Bev's total teen petulance! That's not what happens at all! Actually, see, there's a Ferengi and he dies and he's murdered and Bev has her "Suspicions" (heheheh) about it, andshe's either right or wrong, I forget which. Attractive alien with gila-monster skin is lurking about so that has a certain charm.

148. Rightful Heir. Well, Kahless comes back from the dead and all the Klingons are pretty impressed. Not that it's hard to impress Klingons; they are hardly a reticent race. Wonder what the average Klingon blood pressure is? Eight billion over seven hundred thousand? Hey, what is it Maggie says about the little no-neck monsters who throw buttered biscuits at her in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof? "My goodness, these kiddies are SO full of vitality." Same goes for Klingons.

149. Second Chances. Okay, bitch, get on your knees and admit you love Riker. And now there's two of them! Seems Riker got doubled in a transporter accident in a cave, and they've just found out. New Riker is cuter than Old Riker (and hotter: he molests the squealing Deanna on the holodeck!) New Riker is also rather more . . . gutsy than Old Riker: he goes off and joins the Maquis (leading to one of the more mystifying DS9's where Old Riker visits DS9 and insults Miles who cowers from him – why? – and then kidnaps Kira and it turns out it's not Old Riker, but New Riker, and then he French-kisses Kira and gets sent to a Cardassian prison camp for life. And that's it. Most of us reading this are okay with the prison camp thing – no smut like prison camp smut – but it is odd to just . . .leave Riker's story like that. I suspect the evil hand of Ira Steven Squeaktoy in all of this; the relentless message one gets while doing one's homework is how much Ira Steven Badguy HATES TNG. Hey, remember Bashir's buddy, the surgically-enhanced fat old bald mutant insecure named . . . Patrick: yeah, wonder what THAT was all about. What an asshole. Ira Steven Frostyheart has no fan in me.)

150. Timescape. Deanna loses a moment whle Data is discussing a conference he went to. What's her beef? This happens to me at administration meetings all the time! Then Jean-Luc sticks his fingertips into a time-warp fiendish-thingy and his nails grow superfast and he does a double take from the classic 1921 horror movie Nosferatru. That's a kinda cool second. Later, Jean-Luc goes nuts and draws a smiley face in the warp core. Also: great Slimer-colored frozen phasar blasts to Bev's chest. And there's Romulans! (Grrr!) Still: nothing seems to happen?

151. Descent I. One of them end-of-the-season cliffhangers that TPTB are so fond of. The first half is breathtaking: Alexander Singer (director) is a genius! The scene where Crosis the Borg seduces Data into deciding to kill Geordi is flat-out brilliant beyond words. Brent Spiner rules! Even the camera is in on the act!

Season 7

152. Descent II. The second half isn't so cool. Crosis has no lines. Data doesn't kill Geordi. And it's all just a subspace thingamabob. Lore doesn't even get to get it on with Deanna as he does in the overprized bookitization, and overall it's a very languid revolutionary takeover. Still: in retrospect, it had its hot moments.

153. Liaisons. Okay, see, there are these guys and they're Iyaarans and there's three of them and they come on board the Enterprise and one is mean and one is stupid and one is weird and the weird one and Jean-Luc go off in a little rocket and wreck on a little planet and the weird one "dies" and Jean-Luc is captured by a woman who also wrecked on the little planet ten years ago and hasn't seen anybody since and Jean-Luc is the first man she's seen in ages. Then she falls in love with JLP! (Surprise surprise.) But he's not in love with her, even though he's stuck there and she's nice if a little unsophisticated and she throws herself at him repeatedly and kisses him but JLP is just ever so funny about it, and anyway after about twenty minutes of pure plot, it turns out that she is really the weird Iyaaran in disguise and he's pretending to be her so he can find out what love is. Huh? The stupid one meanwhile is learning about pleasure from Deanna and the mean one is learning about manners from Worf. See, that's their thing! What great neighbors! Oh, notice how, when Jean-Luc says goodbye to "his" Iyaaran, he is pink-cheeked with the oddest exhilaration. Dude! Only PS could turn in this twisty performance.

154. Interface. You know how I got turned on to Star Trek? See, I used to think I was too damn good for television, but one day I was idly getting ready for class and I was talking to this woman I work with and I told her I was getting ready to show one of our audiovisuals and she said which one and I said "Oedipus Rex" and she said "did you know that the actor who played Oedipus was just elected Most Bodacious Actor in the World by TV Guide and his name is Yahweh Stewartness." I said, "you mean Oedipus lives Outside of the AV Department?" From that moment on, I was a sucker for JLP's brand of love. Well, this is another AV moment: in our Richard Wright story AV "Almos'a Man" LeVar plays the lead and his momma is Madge Sinclair! As in this ep! Cool! See, I'm not REALLY watching teevee! I'm doin' research!

155 & 156. Gambit I & II. Okay, everybody thinks Jean-Luc is dead, but he isn't really; he's just wearing a low-cut jerkin and a weird neck implant aboard a pirate spaceship led by leonine sodomite Arctus Baran. Then the pirates also get Riker and Riker is relieved to see Jean-Luc in a really slashy way and Jean-Luc says "ditto moi" and there's lots of pseudo-butch seething between Jean-Luc and Arctus over Riker's charms and there's also some sort of subplot involving the Los Angeles Lakers and Klingon hygiene tours and also there's a weapon and a Romulan gal and finally Data and Jean-Luc slashily accompany Riker to the brig in the last scene. I must observe that, even though they find out Jean-Luc is "dead" in the first scene, Bev is strangely chipper for the longest time.

157. Phantasms. Data is dreaming: Crusher takes a straw and sucks Riker's brains! Deanna is made into a cake and Worf eats it/her! Astonishing oral quality to Data's nightmares. Hey, that Freud on the holodeck sure doesn't seem very Freudian to me. Bottom line: it's body lice from outer space! Oh, yes, Data gets a knife and attacks Deanna in a turbolift. And yet nothing seems to happen!

158. Dark Page – Well, this is weird. Okay, Kristen Dunst is in it. That's one thing. Lwaxana drowns her older daughter in the holodeck. That's another. Kristen Dunst's father is played by actor Norman Large. Hey, did you all see "The Big Lebowski"? It is something of a cliche to like Coen Brothers movies, but they are awfully good. In "The Big Lebowski", there's a porn movie within a movie, and the porn flick's name is "Log Jammin" starring the (fictive) porn actor Karl Hungus. Karl Hungus! Fabulous porn name! Well, I think Norman Large is a fab porn star name too! Norm Large! It can't get any better: Hot Norm Large Action!

159. Attached: Scowllllllllllllll. Very unrealistic. I mean, suppose you were telepathically attached to your man? What would he be hearing? "Look at how that goon drives: John Milton could handle a car better! And those clothes! What is he thinking of! Is it Sadie Hawkins Day at work?" On the other hand, when Jean-Luc and Bev are telepathically attached (thanks to a race of cranky aliens and their weird machinations), it's "Jean-Luc, I didn't know you cared" and "Bev, how long have you felt this way", etc. etc. And they don't even shack up. Although they come THIS CLOSE. I must say, however, that JLP and Bev are much cuter than my man and me. And Jean-Luc deserves canonization; he carefully does not think of Wesley.

160. Force of Nature. Years have passed since this episode and people are still bored!!!! Its boringness is, even as we speak, being broadcast throughout all the solar systems so people on other planets can be bored! It does feature a couple of scientists who are brother and sister, and very close. I guess they're the Angeline Jolie and James Haven of outer space, but even they don't ignite this sleepy ep. Turns out warp speed is bad. Tralalala. Oh, this is the ep where Data and Geordi are poised sexily in the Jeffries tube and Data says (one of my favorite lines ever): "Geordi, I could not stun my cat." With all the meaning in the world. He is so ineffably precious at that moment that I can't think why Geordi doesn't grab him and paw at his Starfleet trousers until Ol' Fully Functional is naked from the waist down and then Geordi plunges into him again and again. See, that way this ep wouldn't be so boring!

161. Inheritance – Data's Mother. Fionnula Flanagan plays Data's flesh-mother, the consort of Dr. Noonian Soong. Turns out (Calling Rod Serling! Calling Rod Serling!) she's a robot too but she just doesn't know it! Fionnula Flanagan is a hot momma from way back; she was on off-Broadway as Molly Bloom and bared her bazooms in the soliloquy scene. Overbearingly cheerful as most professional hot mommas tend to be, Data's mom talks a lot about Data as a "child" and how he ran around naked. Seems like naked Data was an issue in "The Most Toys" too, along with naked Lwaxana (remember how we are always being threatened with Lwaxana stripping off her clothes.) That's an interesting reveal of the TPTB's anti-sex phobia; comic characters are always being given rococo sex lives or having their clothes torn off (ala Quark in DS9). As if only the lowly would be sexualized and The Good Guys are Too Good to Strip. Fucking Paramount Puritans.

162. Parallel. Bunch of parallel universes converse all at once. AwRITE!!! Buncha different Worfs, especially. Some of whom are shacking up with Deanna, some of whom aren't. Something new: a diffident Klingon! Happy ending. And we get to see what would happen if Jean-Luc had stayed in his Locutus drag: Riker's beard goes all fuzzy. Odd, I expected more than that.

163. The Pegasus. This other bald guy who outranks our bald guy comes on board and hangs around Riker in a slashy dom way and making all kinds of insinuations. Listen, the guy also claims that he has a "wife". Oh, I'm so sure. Hey, did anybody see "Waiting for Guffman"? Remember Corky's "wife"? Ha Ha. Lots of pseudo-butch seething over Riker's harms and pulling rank ensues! Then they all get caught in a Styrofoam asteroid and have to use an illicit cloaking device to get out (see, all these years Riker had been in on the earliest Starfleet use of a cloaking device, but he didn't know it UNTIL HE READ THIS WEEK'S SCRIPT!!) and there's more butch seething and Jean-Luc and Riker hang around the brig again in a slashy manner. This ep takes its slash-worthy Mary-Renault-y title from the name of the starship the Other Bald Guy drove.

164. Homeward. This ep is pretty cool for several reasons: for one thing, Dorn has to wear much less makeup than usual and we can see the beeyoutiful Dornface: man, it's worth the wait! Also, there's a little guy who's kinda cute: he plays a villager, see, in the village that Worf's human adopted brother (played by Paul Sorvino) has colonized only the human adopted brother is feigning not being human. Whew. Little guy accidentally gets aboard the Enterprise (long story) and sees (against Prime Directive) that he's . . . oh shit who cares. Too Much Plot! Give us sex! Anyway, after a while, Bev waltzes on: "Oh, little cute guy, well, he, uh, committed suicide, that's right, he committed suicide! It was really sad. Just suicided right over." Ben Sisko's sweetie turns up, only here she's married to he adopted human brother. A listless ep, maybe because it was filmed during the time that Paul Sorvino's daughter Mira was dating Quentin Tarantino. A fact which would make me rather listlessly question the meaning of life.

165. Sub Rosa. Wherein Bev puts on her nightie and writhes around. A fairly hot ep, all things considered. See, there's a sex candle that her whole family is addicted to (it's a long story) and now she's addicted and she quits Starfleet and there's a scene in graveyard and (a nice moment) Ptewrt Satrick rolls his eyes and is lightly ironic about her family (a very true moment, he's sarky in the way we're all sarky to the people we work with). That sex, is, by and large, pretty unbelievably graphic. (I HEART GATES! Notice how she handles her sexual frustration towards JLP versus how Majel handles it. Majel and Gates are the Goofus and Gallant, respectively, of JLP-related sexual frustration).

166. Lower Decks. Featuring characters who aren't on the senior staff. Including a very scary Bajoran Mary Sue. As a matter of fact, the whole ep focuses on these losers. Damn! Who cares! Where's the only character that matters: I want my JLP!!! Still, look at this way: four brand new pieces of sexflesh on the Enterprise. Notice the looks everybody gives everybody else. It's like a John Rechy story! Bev and nurse. Geordi and the slick little Vulcan. Flabby white guy and Riker. And the scary Bajoran Mary Sue with Picard and Worf! "I could eat you alive," the scary curve of her mouth seems to say.

167. Thine Own Self. Wherein Data wears tights. And, while wearing tights, he also gets buried alive! TPTB don't show him getting dug up! They don't show Jean-Luc and them opening up the coffin! They just kind of beam Data up off camera. What a rip off!!! And not only do they blow that teeny inexpensive moment, but they blow the whole ep basically: see, there's about forty seconds where Data is beamed down to a medievally kind of planet, but he has android-related amnesia and he doesn't know who he is and he staggers around and a little girl befriends him and then the other people on the planet think he's a mechanical man and its about five seconds away from turning in FRANKENSTEIN! Which would just be the coolest Star Trek episode ever but then they screw up horribly and the episode itself gets buried alive. *sigh*

168. Masks. A much criticized ep that I, ole Sunbeam, like a lot: No sex, alas, or if there is . . . (Data changes genders, but not much follows from that). Still there's this whole mythic sun and moon thing, and everybody wears ugly little masques and Data has split personalities, and it's all just the most wonderful Orson-Welles-Presents-The-Spirit-of-Man-Awards-With-Ugly-Little-Giacommeti-Sculptures-of-A-Man-Striding-As-The-Award thing imaginable. *Very* 1961.

169. Eye of the Beholder. Turns out EVEN THE ACTORS didn't know what was real and what was fantasy in this episode. Damn! I like the glassy-eyed murderer though; good casting. We ALL (including Dorn and Marina) shoulda figured out that something was wrong when Deanna wakes up after a night spent in passionate love with Worf and nothing's mussed, I mean NOTHING. She just stretches out on the perfectly groomed sheets like a gal in a fabric softener commercial and croons, "It's Klingon Fresh! [TM]"

170. Genesis. Oh my god oh my god oh my god. Hey, this is a great episode: see, loser Barclay does something and this virus gets loose that causes you to de-evolve. Worf de-evolves into a great horned beast and Riker (in an extremely amusing turn) becomes an ape and Deanna is a fish; oh, yeah, Barclay turns into a spider. So many great scenes! And, see, Jean-Luc and Data have been at the drive-in movies in a shuttlecraft (passionately necking, I like to think, although canon does not support this) but, when they get back, the Enterprise is all dark and full of jungle squeaks (fabulous moment!) As they walk around, Data, of course, doesn't get the virus, but Jean-Luc does and starts (brilliantly) to de-evolve into a LEMUR!!! Data is SO unsympathetic, but he does discover a cure (snoresnore). The only way to get the cure to everybody (this is slightly baffling) is to sidetrack Great Horned Beast Worf who's wandering around killing things, and so Data has to boil up some of Deanna's pheronomes and then he tells Jean-Luc to waft them about, thus sidetracking Worf who will hence want to mate with Deanna. Umm, wait a minute! If Jean-Luc the Lemur-to-be has the pheronomes, won't Great Horned Beast want to get busy with the one with the pheronomes, i.e., Jean-Luc himself? Since canon does not indicate otherwise, apparently so. And there is a most exciting scene where Hot-to-Trot GHB Worf chases Lemur JLP through the Jeffries tube. (Alas, TPTB fail to show where the Beast catches the Lemur and ... it happens: love at first lunge! It's obvious both PatrickHimStewartShip the Great and Michael Dorn are in on the joke. His PS-ness – Yes, He Who was Shylock, He Who Portrayed Leontes – has to mime throwing invisible pheronomes into the air from an invisible basket. Pretty cute!) But still: Suppose you were watching this with your kiddies? "Mommy, Mommy, what's Worf want to do with ole Jean-Luc?" What COULD you say?

171. Journey's End. Injuns and Cardassians, and Wesley runs off with Traveler yet again. For Bev it's grief, but to us it's really a big relief. Not one word of the script seems to have any connection to the next. Even Sir Pee Ess seems a little daunted by the rainbow phantasmagoria of syllables. Most suggestive moment: Wes looks eerily USED.

172. First Born. Wow! I didn't know Klingons had Renaissance Fairs! And yet they do. Worf even takes Alexander to one where a creepy older man picks Alex up! Then B'Etor, Lursa, and Quark put in an appearance! Curiouser and curiouser! This is one of those Character-From-the-Future stories, and Alexander's pick-up is not The Man From NAMBLA but actually the older Alexander himself. Then it gets more confusing. Might be a happy ending. Might not.

173. Bloodlines. AKA Jean-Luc's Partial Son. A Ferengi for Ferengi reasons conjures up a plausible youth to play Jean-Luc's son. His name is Jason Vigo and he isn't really (although quite cute with beautiful darkset eyes) but you have to sift through a great deal of plot before you get to that point. Most Interesting Fact: listen carefully – the actor playing Jason Vigo has a SOUTHERN accent. Weird! Also: another glimpse in Jean-Luc's past as Starfleet Manwhore, something Beverly, Q, and I are most uncomfortable with.

174. Emergence: The Train One. Lotta people don't like this one, primarily because *nothing* happens. David Huddleston, the bad guy from The Big Lebowski (well, ONE of the bad guys from The Big Lebowski) is in it. A very abstract ep is all. Dadaesque, as if they'd cut up thirty two freelance scripts and then drawn random lines out of a hat and hoped for a plot. Nothing happens. Or I'm pretty sure nothing happens.

175. Preemptive Strike The beeyoutiful Michelle Forbes comes back one last time. Oh, listen, Riker has to disguise himself as a Bajoran. I want everybody to think about all of Riker's disguises: on the Angel One planet, as a Mintaken, as a Malcorian. Notice that these are the most inept "disguises" in Federation history. He'd do better just putting a sheet over his head and saying ‘boo!' Well, anyway, Michelle's fed up with Starfleet and is going to join the Maquis; she goes underground and Jean-Luc follows her. V. sexy scene where she pretends she's a prostitute and he pretends he's her customer: "Listen here, Ro, don't do me wrong; gimme that thing you're sitting on," he says, quoting Leon Redbone. ONE HOT SCENE. (Hey, wait a minute, what's JLP doing with his left hand all through that scene?)

176. All Good Things. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Bring ‘em back! Bring ‘em all back! Bring back the Pakleds and Kivas Fajo and Dr. Farralon and the Jaradan flea folk and Nick Dirgo and Admiral Chestcold and, and, and, the Romulan who looked like Soupy Sales! Everybody!! Don't leave us, TNG!!!!!! SOBBBBBB!!! Well, it was a great run and this was a great goodbye. Jean-Luc loses his mind in the future and starts wearing women's hats and then he slips into the present and runs barefoot around the Enterprise wearing nothing but a teeny weeny fuzzy bathrobe (thank you, Hafital, for pointing out his provocative garb) and then he goes back to the past with Q where everybody is tiny ugly amoebas and then it's back to the future and he's divorced from a mean-looking Bev and Deanna's dead and Worf (is this not so Worf? Is this not the Worfest?) is the only one who's grown in character and he misses Deanna and Riker has gray hair and he's turned into one of the innumerable horde of men who look like Kenny Rogers. Whew! Hey, Miles is there! So's Tasha! And . . .[breakdowncrycry] a life without TNG is NOT WORTH LIVING!!!


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