The Game – 5.6

Sexy chasing: approved

We begin our episode on Risa, the holiday sexytime planet Picard visited once. This time, though, it’s Riker, of course, and he is hitting it with a sexy alien lady, of course. They are literally chasing each other around the room, something that real adults do:

Higher slits for instant access

I couldn’t get a whole lot of clear shots of alien lady’s nightie here, but from what I can tell, it’s actually super-cute. It does have slits that might, in a public setting, prove bothersome, but if it’s intended for private use, I say the higher the better. Also her boobs look good.

Riker is back in his blue PJs, leading me to believe these are the only pajamas he owns:

They bring out my eyes…and my hottness

I would have imagined Riker as the kind of dude who has a whole closet full of silky pajamas in every color, so he never has to re-wear a set in front of a new lady. This blue looks nice on him, though, so I won’t complain.

The main thrust (hurr hurr hurr) of this episode is that this alien lady here gives Riker a game that attaches to your head and is played by…thinking about it? I guess? It looks like this:

Sexy alien lady not included

The goal is to get the disc in the funnel, and you can still see the world (in Riker’s case, the sexy alien lady) beyond the game. The thing about this game is that when you level up, the game sends a neurological reward directly to your brain’s pleasure center. Essentially what this means for the episode is a lot of shots like this:

Ohhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhh

So just be prepared for that.

Back on the Enterprise, we meet a new member of the Engineering team:

She was just Wynnona’s sister at this point

OMG BABY ASHLEY JUDD!! This is her very first listed credit on IMDb, right before she played her breakout role of “Wife of Paint Store Owner” in Kuffs. And she had a sweet ‘do:

I was going for Space Heidi

This is a fifth-season episode, so by this point, Wesley Crusher has gone to Starfleet Academy, but conveniently on this episode, he comes “home” for a visit:

Look at you, all growed up

I actually prefer this Starfleet Academy cadet uniform to the regular Starfleet uniform in a way. The majority-black look is a little more streamlined than the asymmetric colorblocking of the normal uniforms. In any event, this is a much better look for Wesley than the jumpsuits he wore in his earlier episode. Much more mature. Even his hair is —

Error 438: Hair is terrible

— oh nooooooooooooo! Butt cut attack!! Again!! (Although the other butt cut episode is in Season Six, so maybe Wesley actually inspired those other butt cuts.)

But apparently the butt cut is not enough to dissuade Ashley:


They run into each other down in Engineering, and it is less-than-three at first sight. Check the look he gives her as she walks away:

I’d like to show her my photon torpedo

Rejected captions include:

  • She just took my warp drive to 9
  • Security to the bridge? More like security to my pants
  • Even without his VISOR, Geordi could see how fine she is
  • I’d like to check out her plasma conduit
  • Make it so, and by “it” I mean “boning that hot chick”

She does give him a little over-the-shoulder action as she leaves, too, though:

He’s no Morgan Freeman, but he’ll have to do

So we have our adorable budding romance in the works. How does this relate to the crazy game Riker picked up? Well, it seems that the game, while fun to play, is some sort of mind-control device, because Riker gets Troi and Crusher to start playing it:

Crusher fans: YOU’RE WELCOME

And soon thereafter, this happens:

Ya burnt

While this is going on, Wesley and Ashley are on a date in Ten-Forward:

Ten-Forward: The Only Bar You Need

Looks like young Wes has dug up one of his old jumpsuits:

Paula Poundstone is missing some shoulder pads

Now, I’m sure that, for a girl in Starfleet, the sight of a man in uniform doesn’t have the effect that, say, sailors have on your average lady, or a dude in a corduroy blazer with elbow patches has on me. But I would have gone with the uniform, Wes. You look like you stole your mom’s “Blockbuster Night” sweatshirt and tried to bulk it up with football pads, and let’s be real, buddy, you ain’t no football player.

Ashley looks pretty cute, though:

Just because I’m in Starfleet doesn’t mean I can’t be demure

Yes, it’s got sleeves made of latex balloons. Yes, it has a sweetheart neckline with attached choker. Yes, it is the color of thousand island dressing. Yes, there is a definite Donna Martin vibe happening with it. But I don’t know, I just like it.

The two of them start to talk about the game that’s been sweeping the ship, and see some other crew member in Ten-Forward playing it:


Then they have this exchange:

WESLEY: I wonder how it works.
ASHLEY: Why don’t you try it and find out?
WESLEY: I’d want to know more about it first…we could hook it up to a computer. The medical programs can simulate human brain responses…
ASHLEY: The game uses a visual interface…we could connect it through an optical sensor!

I know when I hear about a new video game, my instinct is not just to try it, but rather to run it through a battery of tests. This is a GOOD DATE, you guys. Dinner, followed by experimenting on a highly-addictive, psychotropic game, followed by makeouts.

So what the nerds discover on the experiment section of their date is that the game is basically a mind-control device, and that Data has been deactivated, and that they need to get everyone to stop playing it right away. Wes tells Picard, who says he will look into it, but right before the commercial break:

Imagine this with the most dramatic music you can think of

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Not Picard too!! Now it’s Wes and Ash against the world!

They try to figure out how to fix Data:


And then they realize that because everyone on the ship is under the game’s control, they should just pretend to be playing it so they don’t get bothered anymore:

I don’t think he’s faking it

So, just to review: first date? Dinner and neurological experiments. Second date? Attempting to fix an android. Third date? Acting like your pleasure center is being stimulated while your MOM stands there (yeah, Beverly was in the room at the time). This sounds really promising, guys.

So finally we see who is behind all this:

Less sexy now that she’s captured your ship

You may not be able to tell, but this is the sexy alien lady from before, now looking like a fierce bitch in a cracked-up wetsuit. If you’re going to go for the opposite of a nightie with high slits, this is probably it. She looks like she’s made of asphalt.

So there are a bunch of shenanigans that end with the officers capturing Wes and forcing him to put on the game:

Abre los ojos

And you are like “how can they possibly fix everything in the two minutes left in the episode??” and then they DO, because unbeknownst to the audience, Wesley and his lady have fixed Data up and figured out how to reverse the game’s neurological effects. (Spoiler alert: it’s a fucking STROBE LIGHT. Never make your deus ex machina something associated with a rave.)

And so the episode ends, with Wesley finally getting to first base:

Hands above the Equator, Crusher

This is historic, guys! It’s Ashley Judd’s first onscreen kiss! You go, Wesley. You rock her dilithium crystals right out of her warp drive.*

*I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean

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