Hollow Pursuits – 3.21

Our friend Deborah, fellow TNG fan, sent us this email a while back:

So, there was an episode on last night called Hollow Pursuits. Mostly, it’s just federation uniforms but Barclay (who I remember from later episodes turning into a spider and then getting the disease that made him do so named after him. It was about evolution? But Barclay is human? Meh, Spot also turned into a lizard.) has all these holodeck programs about the crew, which involve a few ridiculous musketeer outfits, Riker being made shorter, and a toga for Troi. It’s kind of amazing.

I don’t know about you guys, but I saw “toga” and I was like “YUP.”

First of all, the episode starts with this shot:

Clavicle: the sexiest bone

She looks like Troi, sure, but she’s not showing a ridiculous amount of cleavage. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE REAL TROI, INTERLOPER?? The lack of seeing her entire decolletage is off-putting and a little confusing, actually. The bare shoulders look nice on her, though, and that deep tealy kelly color is perfect with her coloring. She might have pants on under that maxi skirt, though, and like – what? Can’t they keep the temperature on the Enterprise such that pants aren’t necessary? God, I hate pants. Which is why I never wear them.

So the aforementioned Barclay is this guy:

Not the other dad from Honey I Shrunk the Kids

He’s an engineer, as you can see by the delightful mustard top, and reports to Geordi LaForge. But in the first scene, he SASSES Geordi. Now, that is a bad idea regardless of who you are, but I see how many pips are on your collar, Barclay! And it is not as many as are on Geordi’s! That is insubordination! Riker tells him not to be insubordinate, and this happens:

The Jealousy Headlock is one of the most effective Sniveling Underling Fighting moves

Whaaaaaaaa? Now, some crazy shit happens on the Enterprise, but people ASSAULTING RIKER is not one of them. But then, before I could recover from THAT shock, THIS happens:

Lustful Gazing with Marina Sirtis – $395 for 5 sessions

SERIOUSLY? Her line at this moment is: “I feel your confidence, and your arrogant resolve. It excites me.” This is wrong for so many reasons. First of all, Troi ain’t talk like that. “It excites me”? Really? And then we have the fact that she has tapped Riker’s fine ass. For reference:

Beard rides, one space dollar

Roguishly handsome? Check. Lustrous mane of hair? Check. Neatly trimmed, sexy beard? Check. And this ponce Barclay with barely any eyebrows (yeah, scroll back up and check) thinks he can get with Troi? Obviously, it turns out that this is all a Holodeck program that Barclay has created to “blow off steam” when he gets frustrated with his job, which is often, because he kind of sucks at it.

So the main thing that’s going on in this episode is that shit all over the Enterprise is breaking, like an anti-gravity cart thing that looks like a big hoverboard from Back to the Future II. It topples over some sort of space substance that (spoiler alert) infects the whole ship and starts fucking things up. But in the interim, we get to see Barclay – whom Wesley Crusher calls Broccoli, and you know if Wesley Goddamn Crusher is mocking you, you’re PRETTY LAME – deal with his issues. Which is where the musketeers Deborah mentioned come in.

Barclay spends a lot of time in the Holodeck, which he has decked out like this:

Looks like he modeled it after Evony

Barclay, instead of populating his Holodeck program (which he says “progrum”) with random hotties, populates it with his fellow crew members:

Swinging for the cure

We have both Crushers given the old-timey treatment, with Beverly looking fetching in a gown, and Wesley looking like Little Lord Fauntleroy:

Mo-oooom it’s my turn to swiiiiiiiing

He’s eating pie, directly from the pie tin. This is never explained, or even mentioned. Also, I think his shoulder details are made from seatbelts.

Barclay is sword-fighting with Data, Picard, and Geordi, all gussied up in musketeer garb:

Somewhere, Mandy Patinkin is wishing for this hair

The man can make a lace doily look sexy…he’s that good

Originally, d’Artagnan also wore a VISOR

I don’t have a whole lot to say about these costumes, except that they are extremely amusing, and appear to have sleeves that are the correct length, which seems to be something the Holodeck cannot always get right.

Touch of fancy

Barclay is having a grand old time fighting the fake crew members, until the real Geordi busts him:


So he has to go have a counseling session with (the real) Troi, instead of the fake counseling sessions he’s been having in the Holodeck that just end in makeouts. This doesn’t go too well for Barclay, as he is extremely nervous, and possibly hiding a boner:

Oh shit, do I have a boner?

Yup, definitely a boner

He better head over to Holodeck Four and take care of that, if you catch my drift. In his defense, though, Troi IS wearing that asymmetrical number that basically shows her entire right breast. (Note to self: find a top just like that.)

So some more shit starts to fail on the Enterprise, and Barclay is supposed to come help fix it, but dude is BACK in the damn Holodeck. This time, it’s not just Geordi looking for him, it’s Geordi, Riker AND Troi. They find him, and Geordi is like “bitch, you best get out the Holodeck and fix this ship”:

Geordi don’t play

They discover that Barclay has also created a Holodeck version of Riker, but hilariously, Holodeck Riker is itty-bitty:

Shit, I’d still hit it

Check out that doublet! The seamwork on it is delightful! And also this hat:

Tiny Riker

I really enjoy the amount of detail that went into the musketeer costumes for these guys. This lace collar is so intricate! They all have sashes in luxurious fabrics, and some of them even have capes:


No cape for the black dude, figures

Mmmmm, delicious upholstery fabric capes.

So of course, Riker is pissed about his mini-me in the Holodeck, and Troi is like “settle down, you’re very tall, so he’s probably intimidated by you, it’s just a fantasy,” etc. etc. etc. Her Holodeck apologist viewpoint vanishes, however, when she sees her OWN doppelganger:

There was a curtain sale at IKEA

Honestly? Barclay could have gone a lot farther than this. Troi as Slave Leia, anyone? Troi should be happy her Holodeck twin is wearing this mossy swath of fabric that actually covers her up more than her normal outfits. You have to remember that this is a woman who walks around in a skintight, low-cut jumpsuit EVERY DAY. Wearing something like this is practically a turtleneck for her. It also obscures her bangin’ body, which is totally counterintuitive to Barclay’s purposes (which I assume are lascivious). That arm…scarf…thing on her right arm could be very dangerous in a makeout situation. Or very sexy, I don’t know what you’re into.

But Troi is pissed, and Riker is smug:

“I would never wear a toga that drapey”

In the end, though, it is of course Barclay who figures out the problems the ship’s been having, and he kicks his Holodeck addiction, telling the computer to erase all the programs he’s made…except Program Nine, which isn’t identified, but I assume is a threeway with Troi and Crusher that we (sadly) never got to see.

And just because we love her hats, let’s end this post with Guinan, who gave Geordi some advice earlier on:

So wise, so nubby

This was from a short-lived period in TNG history when they had a deal with the Nerf Corporation.

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