Oddly, this episode, which is from three seasons after the episode I just covered, has the same basic plot as the earlier ep: the Enterprise is helping in a negotiation situation between two planets that have been at war for a long time and now seek peace. The leader of Planet 1 meets with Picard in this ensemble:
Luxury fabrics at wholesale prices
Well, SOMEone raided the brocade section at Joann Fabrics! What I think is really key to this outfit is the gloves that match the top, giving the illusion that your shirt has gloves attached to it, Chancellor of Planet 1. Very intimidating. “You can’t push me around – I’ve got WARMER HANDS THAN YOU.”
Later, we see it in full effect:
Pocket cape: like a Snuggie with more storage capacity
So voluminous! There are definitely some superhero elements happening here – the detail on the gloves, the boots with an angled cuff, a semblance of a cape. That hat is not super, though. It looks like a hat from a very fancy deli. “One pastrami AND DIAMONDS, please, hold the mustard.”
So Chancellor of Planet 1 has something in the cargo hold that is VERY IMPORTANT for the upcoming peace talks, and he asks that no one be allowed to go in the cargo hold until it’s ready to be retrieved. No biggie, except that some fucking Ferengi get on board:
Reach for that brass ring
Ferengis are dumb and annoying, much like the necklines on these jumpsuits they’re wearing. That said, these wouldn’t look terribly out of place in the Armani Fall 1990 RTW collection, which probably means we’ll see it again in stores this fall.
The Ferengis, being Ferengis, are up to something (racial profiling, sorry), and break into the cargo hold to discover:
You shoulda seen the goose
A golden egg! With a SECRET inside! It’s like Kinder Surprise! They knock it over, and Worf, Picard, and Riker come running (because this is the highest-priority thing happening on the ship at the moment). Inside is:
Way better than a Kinder Surprise
OMG JEAN GREY!!! Famke Janssen (who has apparently made a pact with the devil, because seriously, she looks almost exactly the same in this 20-year-old episode of TNG as she does in X-Men) is inside, being beautiful. The sale on shiny fabrics must have gone on for several days, because Famke here is rocking a blue/purple iridescent gown with unnecessary shoulder pads but overall a really nice line. It’s structured at the top, but flowy at the bottom, and makes her look about 8 feet tall:
Well, well, well, another pretty lady for me to bone
They have Riker escort her to her quarters, which is sort of like saying “Listen, Cookie Monster, we have a whole truck of E.L. Fudges here that need to be driven to the store. Think you can handle it?” But this time the tables have turned. Famke turns out to be both an empath AND a metamorph, which means she can not only sense what men want her to be, she can become that thing. Male metamorphs are common on her planet, but females are born only once every 7 generations. She is to be presented to the Chancellor of Planet 2 as a symbol of the new peace (which Crusher freaks out about, and with good reason).
But the reason the tables have turned is that she is the one doing the seducing this time, instead of Riker. As they are walking, this happens:
Kamala: My body is producing an elevated level of what you might call pheromones. Perhaps you can sense it…
Riker: Uh, I’m not an empath.
Kamala: I think you are more empathic than you care to admit, especially when it comes to women.
ZING! She has him nailed in like 30 seconds. So he shows her around and OF COURSE, this happens:
The kissingest mouth in Starfleet
Riker: I’m beginning to sense those elevated pheromones you were talking about.
Kamala: You were curious, weren’t you?
Riker: Curious isn’t exactly the way I’d describe it.
Translation: next stop, Bonersville, Population: Riker. The best part is immediately after this scene (you will be surprised to learn that he does not, in fact, hit it), Riker goes into the hallway, taps his communicator, and says “Riker to bridge – if you need me, I’ll be in Holodeck Four.” I think we can all guess what might be going on in Holodeck Four.
So to escort the pheromone-producing Kamala around the ship, Picard arranges for someone more appropriate:
Data: anatomically correct?
Look at the movement in that gown! Heidi and Nina would love it! (Michael would say it looks tacky, probably, because he is the one who is, in fact, tacky.)
Data takes Sexy Lady to what must be Ten-Forward, but there is no Guinan! Instead, there is this guy, the Lumberjack Candy Striper Santa’s Workshop Elf:
I wear the bib to protect me from the spilled Aldorian ale
Dude. That is a flannel shirt with a bib over it. Have some pride, man.
So of course all the dudes in Ten-Forward are like “oh DAMN who is this chick,” because of the pheromones and whatnot. Plus, the Enterprise just happens to have picked up a bunch of miners:
Miners always need a bit of glamour
That bit of silver is my favorite, but couldn’t they have gotten this fellow a better-fitting jumpsuit? He looks like 8 pounds of baloney in a 5-pound bag. Poor guy.
So Sexy Lady riles up all the men, and volunteers to stay in her quarters, but only if Picard comes to visit her. It seems she is developing something of a crush on him – since she is a metamorph, her behavior, etc., is determined by the man she is with, and she says she likes herself when she’s with him. Then she gives him this look:
If only Picard had some sort of mind powers that would make all of her clothes fall off. She’d try to put them back on, but it would be too late – he’d have seen everything.
She ain’t subtle:
The head has powers you can only dream of
Yo, that is Captain Picard’s head. You don’t just go around TOUCHING it. But clearly, he’s kind of into it.
But Picard is a dutiful man, and knows that any dalliance with her will negate the peace conference or summit or whatever it is, so he pushes her away. After all, she’s a present for this guy:
We represent the Lollipop Guild
And who wouldn’t choose a pasty, red-headed Q-Tip of a man over a regal starship captain with a voice that could melt butter? Oh wait, everyone. The chancellor of Planet 2, who has crafted a caftan from fabric that was tie-dyed by the children in Picard’s dream life, looks like the leader of a crew of space Brownies, but he hasn’t gotten any Try-Its yet! (Sidenote: I just looked at the Try-It options and there is one called Friends Are Fun. I think that, as an adult, I should be able to earn this one by going to $5 martini happy hour at Five Points with Charlie).
So Picard and Sexy Lady are both duty-bound, and they prepare for the wedding/gifting/bonding ceremony:
You’ll love David’s Bridal
They both put on their party dresses – Picard in a sassy mini, and Kamala in something I’m sure was really hot at Kleinfeld’s (of “Say Yes to the Dress” fame) in 1991. I don’t know if there is a technical term for the drop-waist/poofy skirt thing going on here, but it is one of the most unflattering things I’ve ever seen. If Famke Janssen can’t make you look good, dress, you are not a good dress.
The Brocade Parade continues
Really? You took this woman – who is genetically blessed in a way that makes me think Gattaca might be real – and put her in a lampshade made of gold fiberglass? This is an affront to my eyes.
So they go through with the ceremony, but right before it, she tells Picard that although she will go with the Chancellor of Planet 2, she has already “bonded” with him, and will stay the person she is now for the rest of her life. It’s not clear if Picard gets with her at this time, but I sure hope he did. Also, this happened earlier, and I just think it’s cute:
Alien xylophone lessons: the way to a man’s heart
Edited to add:
I just wrote this WHOLE post, including a Jean Grey reference, and said nothing about Professor Charles Xavier. I think it’s because Patrick Stewart SO EMBODIES the character of JLP that when he is in Starfleet uniform, I can see him no other way.