Devil’s Due – 4.13

When Charlie and I started this blog, we decided we would not adhere to any particular order in which we wrote up shows, though in retrospect, we could easily have begun at the beginning and gone chronologically. This means that we select which episode will be next in a few different ways:

– recommendations from friends/roommates on completely bonkers episodes

– happening to see an episode on G4 at 3am and then later writing a post about it (Anna only)

– reading the surfthechannel description and being like “what”

This is the surfthechannel description for today’s ep, Devil’s Due:

The Federation science team on Ventax II has been taken hostage. Alerted by the science station’s distress call, the Enterprise arrives to investigates (sic). There it finds the Ventaxians in a state of panic. According to their mythology, their ancestors made a deal with Ardra, a figure reminiscent of the Devil (emphasis mine), one thousand years ago. Having seemingly fulfilled her part of the bargain, Ardra returns to lay claim to the planet.

HELL YES. I knew this was going to be dope, and it was. I did get a little confused when one of the first things we see in the episode is Data dressed like this:

My head circuitry gets very cold, and also I like to look ridiculous

If you’re thinking Data looks like Scrooge, it’s because he and Picard were just in the Holodeck doing a program of A Christmas Carol so Data could learn about fear, as well as acting. (He references Stanislavsky and Strasberg, which to us would be like acting using literal Shakespearean techniques, which would be weird.) What I want to know is: where do the costumes for Holodeck programs come from? They can’t be part of the Holodeck program, because you can see people in the rest of the ship wearing them. Is there a clothing replicator like there are food replicators? (If so, why haven’t we harnessed this technology yet IRL, because I need some new boots.) What I’m getting at, ultimately, is: why, with all their technology, can’t the crew of the Enterprise get Data a bathrobe with long-enough sleeves?

But enough about Data. He is not even the main point of this episode.

The Enterprise gets the aforementioned distress call from the head scientist at some lab. You can tell he’s a scientist by his hair:

I don’t have time for combs, I’m sciencing

I’m not sure that a full-on snowsuit, complete with reflective strips, is totally necessary for working in a lab, but whatever works for you, dude.

It takes 2 hours to take off, but fortunately, it also takes that long for my Viagra to kick in

I’m pretty sure the costume designer just went down to Fleet Farm, went to wherever they sell snowmobiling outfits, and called it a day. But you know what? That’s okay. Because wait till you see the rest of this shit.

Somewhere, a New Wave band is totally jealous

I kind of don’t know where to begin here. The guy in blue is the leader of the planet that made the deal with the devil. First off: great color choice. It could have skewed a little too Grimace from McDonald’s, but it didn’t, and I think he looks nice. Second: I’m FAIRLY SURE that his over-wrap-scarfshirt-whatever that is is BLUE LEOPARD PRINT. Apparently drag queens are the arbiters of fashion on this planet? A-ok with me. Dude on the right’s gold mesh tank seems to support that theory. But then they don’t let the one woman on their planetary council or whatever be fabulous? She’s stuck with a frumpy turtleneck dress with a weird, unflattering tapestry corset and arm bands that seem strategically designed to make her look like she’s hunching, even though I’m sure she’s not.

Also, they all have capes:

No, we can’t fly, we just look fly

That tapestry corset is even worse from the side.

I would be angry on Frumpy Lady Council Member’s behalf, but soon I was completely distracted by the entrance of ARDRA:

Speak of the devil, and she shall be FABULOUS

OF COURSE bitch looks amazing. She’s the devil! So she rolls up in a fucking LEATHER JUMPSUIT with some goddamn CHIFFON attached to just the back of her pant legs, like she couldn’t decide if she was racing dirtbikes or going to the ballet. Oh, you need a back view to believe me??

Later, Liza Minnelli wore this to a casual lunch

Let’s see this glam bitch up close:

She ain’t even need a Bumpit

The towering hair, so to better intimidate your enemies! Earrings (yes, those are earrings) that touch your shoulders and are probably secretly covered in, like, poison! A bottle opener attached to her chest?! She is like a 24th century Melrose Place guest star who drunkenly (because of all the beers she opened with her chest piece) tried to fight Amanda. That would be a tough fight to call.

So she is like “I own this planet now because of the deal your ancestors made with me 1,000 years ago” and Picard is like “wtf, who are you” and she is like “I am known by many names, including [some Klingon word]” and then THIS HAPPENS:

Drool is a crucial accessory for fall

She turns into the Klingon Devil, which is apparently a cross between a gremlin, a bulldog, Voldemort, and Tina Turner when she has a particularly intense wig on. She does a couple more tricks to prove her power that Picard is very suspicious of, and then everyone goes back to the Enterprise to sort things out.

But Ardra claims that the Enterprise is now her ship, since she owns the planet and anything orbiting around it. Obviously, this makes no sense, but space law is weird, like Louisiana’s.

She really believes it’s hers:

I don’t care who you are, you don’t sit in Picard’s chair, ever

This is pretty much the same outfit as before, but check the shoes: they may, in fact, be mules, a style I hate as much for the way it looks as I do for the fact that I cannot, for the life of me, keep them on my feet when I walk. Either that, or they are boots made to look like mules, which is worse in my book, because boots are one of God’s finest creations, along with tacos, and chocolate, and Choco Tacos. To align them with the mule is a travesty.

Ardra then just starts fucking with everyone on the ship, especially Picard, with more of her trickery. She turns one of the ensigns at the helm into herself:

Not a Federation smirk

How does she get her hair that high?? I assume it is devil trickery as well.

So Picard is like “okay, you guys, this lady is obviously not the devil, she is a con artist, we just need to figure out how she’s doing it.” So he starts doing some research:

That can’t be good for his back, sitting like that

It’s stressful, dealing with a con artist claiming to be the devil! Picard just wants to relax with a nice cup of Earl Grey T—WAIT A MINUTE. THAT IS NOT TEA.


Devil’s brew

That is COFFEE, son. You know Picard is stressin’ when he’s sipping on something other than his usual. So he goes to get some rest in his quarters. Sleeping soundly, Picard is awoken by THIS:

TNG or Bonnie Tyler video? YOU DECIDE

Okay, Ardra. We get it. You ain’t subtle. But that is not clothes. You are basically wearing a mosquito tent. The Space Invaders pendant is not fooling anyone. It’s even better in full view:

I feel constricted even by the highest-cut of leotard leg openings

In a way, this is revolutionary. I should probably say something here about Cher or Madonna or Lady Gaga or something, but I just keep wondering about how the back of this thing works, because seriously? That just looks like she tucked a scarf into her vagina.

So Picard, because he is CLASSY, unlike SOME people in this episode, is like “get out of my quarters,” and Ardra then tries to tempt him further by being “prim and proper”:

Looks like the clothing replicator just has problems with cuffs in general

Why “prim and proper” appears to be the 1880s is beyond me. Everyone knows that was the height of the opium trade.*

But Picard is having none of it (duh). So Ardra sends him to the lab back on Ventax II:

Shorty what yo name is

Oh. Hell. No. She sits in his chair. She tries to claim his ship. She comes into his quarters. And then she transports him against his will while he’s still wearing his PJs? Last straw, bitch.

Ardra, of course, shows back up, in a DIFFERENT JUMPSUIT from before:

The Kathie Lee Space Collection

Who needs TWO black jumpsuits with partial chiffon skirts attached? (Answer: everyone.)

So what happens next is that Ardra is like “I’m the devil, fool” and Picard is like “the hell you are” and they decide to have a binding arbitration. If Picard proves his side, Ardra relinquishes her claim on Ventax II and the Enterprise. If Ardra proves her side, she gets Picard. All of Picard, if you know what I’m saying. (I’m saying they’re gonna bone.) And you know she’s into some weird shit.

Data agrees to be the arbitrator, and they have this little mock trial thing where each of them try to prove their side. You should probably just watch this part, since it’s pretty funny. I think we all know how this turns out – Picard wins, hello – but in the meantime, Ardra “transforms” herself into this:

I think Britney wore this in the “Oops, I Did It Again” video

I have seen a better devil costume in my 9-year-old cousin’s school play, and that kid had horns made of paper plates and macaroni.

Ardra is found to be a con artist, not the devil, and it turns out the planet improved themselves by working hard, not via deals with the devil (LIFE LESSONS, FOLKS). So she gets taken away by the police:

This episode of TNG brought to you by Reynolds Wrap

I was wrong before – it’s not just any old drag queens that dress this planet. It’s drag queens who love the Golden Girls. If that’s not a cast-off costume of Blanche duBois in a production of Fosse, I don’t know what is.

*historical facts may be invented for sensationalism

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