You know that when Picard himself calls the episode a “morality play” in his own Captain’s Log narration, that pretty much everything in the episode if going to be extra heavy-handed. The £1 summary: the Enterprise picks up a vessel in need of repair; the vessel has a crew of one, Captain Okona. He’s declared early on to be a Rogue, and thusly bangs a few chick crewmembers, and also gets the Enterprise mixed up in some shenanigans.
First, our Rogue, Captain Okona:
Okay, so he’s pretty cute. A little bit of internet research reveals him to be…THE ROCKETEER? Yes, not soon after “William O. Campbell” guest starred in this 1988 episode of STTNG, “Billy Campbell” went on to capture the minds and hearts of children across the country as Cliff, a.k.a. the Rocketeer. Since then, he’s made many appearances in the O.C., the new Melrose Place, the 4400, and a Ricky Gervais movie where Ricky plays a dentist.
So let’s talk about this outfit.
So there’s a whole charming swashbuckler thing going on, we get that. But there’s a bit of a kitchen sink effect going on here. You may not be able to tell here, but he’s wearing two vests, which just reminds me of those CSI Miami 4pane comics, where Horatio puts a pair of sunglasses on over the pair of sunglasses he’s already wearing:
(image courtesy of knowyourmeme.com)
Anyway… there seem to be a lot of doubles on this outfit… double vests, double sleeves (and to emphasize his swashbuckliness, one set of sleeves are puffy), double belt, double weird knee pads… wtf? Let’s take another look at those:
What is happening on those pants? It’s like they went out to Structure to buy a pair of gray stone-washed jeans and then slapped whatever stray pieces of Vulcan hardware was at the bottom of the prop closets on the front. AND WHY ARE THOSE SLEEVES SO PUFFY?
But so much of what makes Capt. Okona so perplexing isn’t style directly related to his clothes. The most problematic of these is this:
If you direct your attention to the back of his head, you’ll see what is supposed to be some sort of ponytail coming out of the end of some sort of overzealous napkin holder. This, to me, is where the whole thing falls apart, and really, he just becomes kind of a dandy.
The observant reader may notice, however, that the woman he’s unleashing his manly manliness upon is none other than a young(er?) Teri Hatcher. Is it weird to say I recognized her by her boobs? I’m gay, so let’s say yes. Here she is in her problematic starfleet tunic:
THE 24TH CENTURY CANNOT CONTAIN THOSE BREASTISES. Fortunately, Capt. Okona wastes no time in getting her out of uniform and into her bed:
There it is, ladies, the future of lingerie: a long tank top with detached sleeves. Rowr, amirite or amirite? Also available to us is 24th century courtship in three easy steps, taught to us by our teacher, Capt. Okona. Step 1, seen above: let the automatic door sweep open to reveal your ready and waiting lady.
Step 2: Look away as she comes towards you, wearing a look on your face that says, “yep, i’m definitely going to get boned.” Or maybe it says, “well, someone is going to have to bang this totally hot chick.” Or maybe it’s just, “I’m pretty awesome, aren’t I?” Any way you cut it, it’s a weird look.
Step 3: Kiss her on the hand, because, hello, romantic!!!
Step 4: Put your arm behind your back as you walk in to the room? I don’t get this one at all. You’re going into a woman’s bedroom and she’s already in her pajamas. DON’T BE COY. NOBODY LIKES THAT. Okay, now go have sex.
I’ll get back to the plot in a second, but there’s a great moment where Worf has to fetch Okona from another boudoir, and in some weird fit of writing, someone decided that they didn’t need dialog for the confrontation. Okona just stands up to Worf, and looks him deep in the eyes:
And, without Okana saying anything, Worf looks right back at him and says, “I’d like that!”
I don’t know about you guys, but I think Okona is not above getting freaky with a Klingon. And maybe if Worf is so concerned about the fragile human females, he should be more open to experimentation, ifyaknaaamean.
Anyway, so Okona is being rakish and rattling things up all over the ship, including making Data feel less human. When Data, Wes Crusher and Okona are outside of the transporter room after Okona has met Teri Hatcher, he comes right out and says “Now THAT is sex appeal.” As if this is something that you say in the normal course of ANYTHING.Data doesn’t get it, but take a look at Wesley’s face… HE GETS IT. Good thing he’s holding that Navigation Component in front of him, cuz those starfleet uniforms hide NOTHING.
So, pretty soon, people come looking for Okona. The first guy is this dude:
He comes from a planet only of straight white people because HE IS WEARING THE BORINGEST THING IN THE ALPHA QUADRANT. Then this guy shows up:
Also pretty boring. Anyway, they both charge that Okona wronged them—he impregnated dude # 1’s daughter and stole a valuable jewel from dude # 2. They’re both demanding custody of Okona, and so Picard uses his futuristic spaceship to engage everyone in what is essentially a group iChat:
Again, not a fashion thing, but what is going on down the center of that screen? Is it all of the massive data that is crashing together in this overzealous 3-way video call? Somewhere in 1988, Steve Jobs saw this episode and said to himself, “I can do that.”
On a fashion note, that maternity dress isn’t the absolute worst. I feel like pregnant women basically get to dress however they want since their bodies are basically turning against them, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they just sent a PA out to the local maternity place to pick that up.
I won’t ruin the thrilling conclusion for you. Instead, I want to speak briefly about the b-plot, which is data trying to be funny. [Bizarrely, this seems to be an underlying theme that runs through the entire episode—at least four people tell jokes, including Picard, who jokes about surrendering to Dude # 1 when they train lasers on the Enterprise. Lasers?! That shit wouldn’t even get past our navigational shields. Cue laughter.]
There’s really only two things to say about this subplot. 1) Data goes to the holodeck where the computer generates a comedy club program for him. And due to some aberration in the computer’s programming, the place is decorated with zebra print chairs:
Those lamps also look like those car-battery powered lamps they used to make in the 60s ad 70s spraypainted silver. Just saying.
The computer-generated comic that is supposed to teach Data is Joe Piscopo. And the only thing to say about him is MULLET.
Okay that’s all I have to say. This post is way too long anyway. Until next time.