5.25 – The Inner Light

Guys, can we get serious for a second? This is a really good episode, in terms of, like, fucking with your mind. This is some Matrix-meets-this one episode of Radiolab I heard about multiverses shit right here. Basically, what happens is that the Enterprise sees this probe outside:

You better believe the model designer made a bong out of this when the episode was done

Everyone is like “what is that?” and Data is like “it’s got a beam that’s breaking past our shields,” and before you can say “Computer, Earl Grey, hot,” Picard is DOWN FOR THE COUNT, knocked out cold. When he awakens, he is on a planet he doesn’t recognize, with a woman he doesn’t recognize, in an outfit he doesn’t recognize:

Even though I have no idea where I am, my collarbones look incredible

The woman with him is all, “you’re my husband and you had a fever,” and Picard is all, “nuh uh” and gets up to investigate where he is, revealing JODHPURS:

The classic 24th-century “drumstick leg” pant, a natural progression from harem pants

These pants (and, frankly, harem pants) baffle me. No one needs those Chun Li thighs. No one! And Picard here, who is not a tall man, is made to look even more wee with the way those things are cutting him in pieces.

The whole planet – which we later learn is called Kataan – is really into two things: tie dye that looks like it was done by 8-year-olds, and notched collars. Check out Picard’s – ahem, Kamin’s – wife here:

She’s a part-time model for Lady Cop Hairstyles Magazine

She’s cute, right? (Okay, maybe not in this screenshot, but that’s my fault, not hers. She is, you’ll see.) And she is rocking the amateur tie-dye/notched collar look here. But GIRL. That hair looks good on two people, both named Mary: Mary Lou Retton and my aunt Mary, who wears Christmas sweaters unironically.

Fortunately, we’ll get to see Helene (for that’s her name) in a few different hairstyles. But we’ll get to that in a second. For now, I do want to mention the silhouettes on this planet. While the dudes have a strange pant thing happening, the ladies get LOTS OF VOLUME:

If she was on the cover of Us Weekly, the words “baby bump” would definitely be involved

Look, I have nothing against an eatin’ dress. Lord knows I will walk around my house in a muumuu until the cows come home (and I make them into burgers and eat them). But note I said around my house. The Kataanians seem to think their planet is one big slumber party:

Guy on the left: “what do you mean, my undies are in the freezer?”

At least Batai, Picard Kamin’s BFF, has spruced up his jammies with a jaunty vest:

The children are not much better at weaving vests than they are at tie-dye

Once again: notched, tie-dyed, sort of ill-fitting, but soft-looking, at least. The thing I want to mention here is that when I first saw this guy, I was like “Brian Doyle-Murray? Is that you?” but upon further viewing, I knew it was not. But I figured it out! It’s the jump-to-conclusions mat guy from Office Space! I love that guy. He is also in a movie called Gay Baby, which I will be Netflixing tout de suite.

Okay, so Picard Kamin determines that this is not a Federation planet and decides to take some time off from his job as an IRON WEAVER (exsqueeze me? baking powder?) to go check it out a little bit. We get a really nice view of his outfit as he stands atop a rocky ridge:

Any episode that involves a sleeveless shirt for Picard is ok with me

But what is that my eyes espy? Are those pants not only futuristic harem pants, but also doinger pants? ENHANCE:

If that isn’t the Captain’s Log, I don’t know what is

I guess along with the pajama party theme is the fact that everyone goes commando.

Picard Kamin goes home to his wife, whom he has just met, and she makes him some soup in a pot that appears to be constructed of a wooden crab leg:

On this planet, wood is actually a superconductor

And he sees something familiar-looking:

The Ace Hardware jewelry collection is really fierce this season

Look familiar? No? Check out the first photo in this post. YEAH. IT’S THE PROBE. Whaaaaaaat?

Okay, so this is all really weird. While Picard Kamin is on the planet, everyone on the Enterprise is trying to revive him, because remember: HE IN A COMA. But then it gets even weirder. Although it’s been only a few minutes on the Enterprise, when we come back from commercial, it’s been FIVE YEARS on Kataan. And thank goodness, because Helene has changed her hair:

My tie dye colors are blush and bashful

It’s slightly reminiscent of the famed brown football helmet Sally Field rocked in Steel Magnolias, but the color is better and I think the volume is good on her. And look! She’s upgraded to DOUBLE NOTCHES. Double notches all the way across her collar! So intense!

Picard Kamin also has a new look:

I was shooting for “aging hippie” but I just got “gramps forgot to go to the barber”

This longish “oh shit, I need a haircut” hair is just the first step in an elaborate aging process that happens in this episode. Note that the notched collar here is attached for modesty. Batai has changed his look, too:

One time this girl told me I looked good in vests so now I always wear vests

I’m not sure if that vest is made out of a tarpaulin or treated poplin or what, but I’m pretty sure it’s waterproof, which is hilarious, because the planet is experiencing a HUGE DROUGHT that is threatening their very existence. Maybe they realized they didn’t need tarps anymore and repurposed them into unflattering vests.

Here is another thing,though: it’s been five years on this planet and they all basically still look like they’re wearing the same collection. Not a whole lot of evolution, here. Do you know what was trendy on earth five years ago? TRUCKER HATS. Gross, guys.

So apparently the government on this planet is a collection of “councillors” who visit every month or so to make sure each town isn’t using too much water (because of the HUGE DROUGHT). This is the guy for Picard Kamin’s town:

We may be having a drought, but we are not running low on hair gel

I wonder if he has no notches in his collar because he is a government official? Whatever, his outfit is boring. I mostly wanted to include this because of that goldenrod-clad baby of Ryan Seacrest and Hugh Jackman back there, gazing upon the councillor.

So Picard Kamin has lived on this planet for LOTS of years the next time we see him, because now he has some kids with Helene. (Mind you, it’s still only been like 10 minutes on the Enterprise.) Here’s his daughter, Mirabor:

Pink: the universally girly color

First of all, I’m pretty sure this is a picture of me when I was 4. That was my exact hair, and I would have rocked that dress OUT. Second, this is adorable. If I had a little girl, she would totally wear this. I am normally opposed to dress-with-pants, but have you seen a 4-year-old girl lately? Those bitches love to flash their undies. Also, I think the name Mirabor is kind of cute? But it’s too close to “you’re a bore,” which rhymes with “you’re a whore,” and I don’t want my baby girl getting teased for being a whore (until she actually is one, like mother like daughter what whaaaaat).

Picard Kamin has really come in to his own as a member of the community now, and all his friends are around to celebrate the naming of his baby boy, after his now-late friend Batai. There is fluting!

Hairstyles: the best way to show time passing

Picard Kamin’s hair is, like, half an inch longer, so clearly it’s later (also there are children around that weren’t before, so I guess that’s a tipoff). And both Picard Kamin and Helene have upgraded from shirts to shirts WITH THINGS OVER THEM. I particularly like the closure on Picard Kamin’s here – it is ONLY in the middle, leaving a nice big hole for his doinger pants to be illuminated:

I’ll play your flute ANYTIME

Note the harem pants. Still rockin’ it. I’m also really into Helene’s luxurious chiffon robe:

It’s a Chico’s kind of day

She looks like she’s going to be either playing shuffleboard on the Lido Deck or singing standards in an airport hotel. Either way, I’m totally joining her. And her hair is now greying, but still heavily-banged. Can we talk about the life cycle on this planet, also? I realize that they might have a different system than us here on earth, but they have GREY HAIR and a BABY. AND there’s a planet-wide drought. It just seems like a really poorly-planned system, is all.

You probably thought we were nearing the end, right? Well, NOT EVEN CLOSE. We have to see how Mirabor and Batai Jr. turn out! So, when we come back again, we have Mirabor, all growed up:

If we don’t have any water, how is my hair so shiny and beautiful?

A cute kid becomes a cute teen! Mirabor here is very studious, a scientist like her dad, always taking soil samples. You can tell because of her unfussy hair. I think this hair is an exact replica of what my cousin Becky was working in the mid-90s: a heavy, heavy bang and a half-pony. I could never get my bangs right, so I just permed that shit and called it a day.

But what about Picard Kamin? How’s he doing?

I’M OLD!!!!!!!!!!!

What!? Last time we saw him, he looked fine, maybe a little shaggy on top, but now he looks like he got punched in the face, then sprayed with acid, then punched with an acid fist. The old-age makeup artist really did not do Patrick Stewart’s ability to age gracefully any justice. That’s not even the worst of it, though. But more on that later. First, Helene as an old lady:

Either we play canasta or no dinner

I’m kind of into this jacket/dress thing. You can’t tell here, but it ends right about where the shot cuts off, so it’s an above-the-knee full skirt thing happening, which I am really into. Also, it’s shiny and pink, two of my favorite things. I’m like a magpie, if there was a drag queen magpie.

Also, we get to meet Batai Jr., who is played by Patrick Stewart’s real-life son, Daniel, who unfortunately inherited his father’s baldness, as evidenced by his bad wig:

It’s a small collar notch, but it’s MY collar notch

I hate to repeat myself, but tie-dye pajama party blah blah blah.

The tie-dyeing children have all grown up now

Back comes the councillor to see what’s going on, drought-wise, and Picard Kamin is like, “my daughter and I have been doing some science! The planet is dying!” and the councillor is like “no duh dude, check out my old-ass FACE”:

Terrifying nightmares await you

Am I just so used to the Benjamin Buttons and Meet the Klumps of the world that I expect the highest of quality in my face-changing makeup? I’m not expecting CGI, here, TNG, but a semblance of looking like a human person and not a nightmarish mask would be nice in your old-age makeup. Even Helene looks gross:

Deeper age lines! DEEPER!!!

That hair is fierce for real, though. Gena Rowlands is jealous right now.

Okay, so FINALLY we are nearing the end, and we can tell because Helene dies (SPOILER ALERT SORRY), and the planet is basically about to kick the bucket too. It’s actually really shitty and sad. But we have one more scene where everything gets explained. Mirabor and Batai Jr. are for-real grown-ups now, and Mirabor has a little boy of her own, which means she has to transition into Mom Style:

Sorry I killed our planet with all the hairspray I used

I think she’s honoring her late mother’s memory through helmet hair and chiffon. The grieving process is different for everyone.

Batai Jr. has given in to nature and now resembles his father a bit more:

I match him in baldness, but never in sexiness

Everyone has to wear big floppy hats because of the sun, which is something that was NEVER MENTIONED to this point in the episode. It was just the drought they were worried about; now, there’s suddenly an ozone problem. It was like the writers were like “the planet’s dying, think of a thing they can wear to show that…HATS!!”

I want you guys to sit down, in case you’re reading this standing up. And if you have the ability to lie down, it might be worth it. Because this is the old-age makeup to end all old-age makeups:

You can never un-see it

You can get a little sense of this in the still picture, but those lips? When they move? It is like seeing a raccoon walk on two legs: you know it’s possible in theory, but it just looks unnatural.

At least the tie-dyeing children still have jobs:

Hypercolor is a trademark of Generra®

The good news – as far as there can be for the dying planet – is that GUESS WHAT? They have already been dead for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. The probe thing basically gave Picard a super-realistic dream sequence that, to him, lasted 40 years or so, but to the rest of the crew, was only about 25 minutes. Basically, it would be like you waking up tomorrow to learn that your entire life was a dream. Mind = blown. So Picard goes through some emotional rollercoasters upon resuming consciousness:

I call this one, “What the fuck?”

And this one, “No, seriously. What. The. FUCK.”

The “This is so fucked up I can’t even walk”

But guys, this is Captain Jean-Fucking-Luc Fucking PICARD we are talking about. Dude got assimilated by the fucking BORG and lived to tell. Some pansy-ass lucid dream CANNOT CONTAIN HIM. So by the time he gets up from the bridge and walks to the turbolift, a total travel time of 15 seconds, max, he looks like this:

Space Pimp, forever

All the Kataanians (his dream family) want is to be remembered, so they sent the probe to find someone in the future to tell others about their society. And then Picard goes and plays the flute, because he’s totally good at it now because of how he learned it IN HIS DREAM. Once again, MIND FUCKERY. I think I have to go lie down now. Preferably, in some soft, tie-dyed pajamas. Commando.

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