I’m pretty sure my favorite thing about almost any holiday is the potential for a marathon of something. Yeah, my family is cool, but look! FIFTEEN HOURS OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE IS ON. So I was very excited when a TNG marathon appeared over Christmas, including this episode.
I then received this wall post from my girl Kate, one of the coolest people in Indiana:
I mean, I was already on board, but that sealed the deal.
We open on a planet called Caldos II, which is apparently a planet made to look just like Scotland? Sure. Dr. Beverly is burying her grandmother and Picard and Troi are there for moral support:
Not putting the “fun” in “funeral”
I mainly included this to point out that while Troi’s hair is significantly smoother than what we see in the very first episode, its volume has not decreased much.
So of course because we are on a Scottish planet, everyone is wearing Very Traditional Scottish Clothing, because CLEARLY that is ALWAYS how Scottish people dress, just like how everyone in Japan always wears kimonos and Icelanders literally only wear big-ass sweaters:
The ol’ Scottish side-eye
a) her scarf is available for literally $5 on a street corner. Also I’m pretty sure she stole that hat from Zorro (McZorro?)
b) no one has angled their fedora that way, ever, in Scotland or anywhere else
c) is his scarf brooch thing made of STONE? It looks like an artifact from the British Museum*
Pro tip: do not put your hat in the dryer
I know how it is to have a too-small hat, girl, because my head is in the 95th percentile (I looked it up), but you just look silly. She’s got a British Museum scarf brooch too!
But we are not here for these random “Scottish” people; we are here for Bev’s grandma’s funeral:
Grief: the best conditioner
Bev is sad, of course, but that does not stop her from getting a full blowout and doing a really nice autumn eye/lip palette.
The leader or whoever this guy is has not had quite as much luck with his hair:
I was going for “Ian McKellen” but I got “Ronald McDonald”
It’s just so high.
So the funeral happens, and Bev notices a handsome gentleman toss a single rose onto the coffin and slink out through the crowd:
Sure, he’s wearing an ascot, which is weird, but clearly this planet has some confusion about what is and is not anachronistic.
Beverly is, obviously, intrigued, because hell-oooooo he is foxayyyyy! But first she has to go to her grandma’s house and sort out some shit. Troi tags along and finds this candle:
They say I have the best ass below Deck Fourteen, is it true
Troi is like “ooh, a thing!” and of course has to paw at it, while Bev explains that the candle symbolizes the “enduring Howard spirit.” Also, and this will be important, her female ancestors all had crazy green eyes, except her mother and her. Bev then curls up with a nice book:
Lucida Calligraphy? Fuckkkk, the future sucks
The best part of this shot is that right before it happened, my brother was like “what’s that book? Oh. It’s a journal, it says so right there.” Bev decides to give it some more attention, so she curls up in a blankie:
The Snuggie was outlawed in 2107 when they started to become sentient
I’m very surprised that with the whole Scottish thing they were trying to do here that this blankie is not tartan. Bev retires upstairs to read through the journal, wrapped in paisley goodness.
Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I can definitely get into reading someone else’s journal, so I do not think this is a weird thing for Bev to do. However: she learns VERY scandalous things about her grandma, some of which I will address in a second. But first, this guy:
Just because I’m Scottish doesn’t mean I NEED plaid
I’m pretty sure this guy is wearing two jackets. And a beret. End result: beatnik at a job interview.
So this guy rolls in, claims to be Bev’s grandma’s caretaker/janitor/guy Friday or something, and is like “THIS CANDLE IS CURSED!! YA CANNA KEEP THE CAAAANDLE!!” in this very Scottish accent. Bev, of course, is like “fuck you man, it’s my candle” and kicks him out, returning to the Enterprise with the Journal and the candle.
Meanwhile, in Engineering:
Our color palette is: barf
The leader guy with the high hair is learning about the Enterprise, while wearing an awful color combination of a baby poop green vest, a too much red wine vomit pants and a dingy brown shirt. Each piece is like a life lesson: don’t get pregnant, don’t get drunk, and…always do your laundry.
The subplot is something about a weather station on the planet and the Enterprise beaming power to it, but let’s be real: I don’t care about that planet or its weather. I care about what Bev is wearing to bed:
Anachronism? We specialize in that
You can’t see a whole lot of it, but that is definitely an old-timey Pride and Prejudice looking nightgown. If she runs off with Wickham, I will not be surprised at all.
During this scene, Bev is sleep-raped by a ghost that lives in the candle and was her grandmother’s lover.
I just needed to get that out there and I didn’t know how else to say it.
But it’s what happens! The next morning, she is like “ooh, Troi, girl, I had some DREAMS last night…it felt like someone touching me” and Troi’s ACTUAL RESPONSE is, “like a caress??” No one has ever used the word “caress” in real life, unless they are referring to the reasonably-priced line of soaps and body washes of the same name.
Anyway, Bev is actually kind of into it, so she goes back down to the planet to see if the ghost rapist is down there? Maybe?
Really, the worst-quality .jpg ever
Sorry guys. This scene was super-dark. I just needed you to know that she was wearing a cape and capri pants at the same time. Just forget this screenshot ever existed, okay?
She goes to visit her grandma’s grave and finds the janitor/caretaker guy there in another great ensemble:
I have two outfits: funeral, and clown
Okay, this jacket is a little much, but I kind of like it. Brocade is a bold choice, but it seems to be working out, and those double buttons are a nice little dash of interest up front.
He and Bev make nice, and Bev is like “it’s cool if you take care of my grandma’s house,” but he is like “YA HAVE A GHOST IN YER HOUSE! IT LIVES IN THAT CAAAAAANDLE!! YA CANNA LIGHT THE CAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNDLLLLLLEEEEE!!”
Bev, of course, does not listen, and returns to her grandma’s house, where she finds:
I lied before, this is the worst of all .jpgs
Okay, once again, this is a REALLY DARK EPISODE. This is a screenshot of her grandma’s house, covered in flowers everywhere! From the ghost rapist, obvs. Who then pulls one of my favorite horror movie tropes:
I thought you were every serial killer ever! But you’re just ghost rapist, so it’s ok
Here is the thing about ghost rapist, though: he has been ghost-raping Bev’s ancestors for like 800 years and they are all totally into it. This is why they all had the green eyes: because of the ghost rapist having taken them over.
“Into it” is actually kind of an understatement
The ghost rapist who lives in the candle (think about your life up to this point and whether you thought you would ever hear that phrase) is apparently VERY good at sexing up ladies without being a corporeal presence, so what we get in this episode is a lot of writhing Crusher:
The green light here is because of the strange weather occurrences, which, as I’ve already stated, I don’t care about.
Bev then returns to the Enterprise with the ghost rapist still inside her? Maybe? It’s really creepy, whatever is happening. Troi stops by in her tai chi outfit:
Exercise: time to show off some cleave
We’ve seen this before, of course, but I feel it bears mentioning that the tai chi outfits are consistent. And consistently slightly too short in the sleeve!! Gah. Bev, however, isn’t interested, because she is too busy loungin’ it up:
Bathrobe or trench coat? YOU DECIDE
Apparently being in love with the ghost rapist turned her bathrobe pink.
Meanwhile, in the weather-related subplot, shenanigans are occurring and the leader guy is wearing this coat:
Bring me your thickest corduroy
Seriously, I have never seen corduroy with wales like that. Quick lesson in corduroy: the number of “wales” in corduroy are the number of ridges per inch, so the larger the number, the finer the corduroy. We had a 6-wale corduroy at a store I used to work at and I thought that was pretty thick; I just looked and found that J. Peterman (of course) carries a 4-wale corduroy, which I cannot imagine. This coat looks like 2-wale corduroy. It’s barely even corduroy anymore.
This is the result of some of the wackiness with the weather machine. Fog on the bridge is almost as good as a chicken in the hallway.
But back to Bev and the ghost rapist. At this point, she is pretty much being ruled by this guy, so we get a lot of shots like this:
or like this:
wherein Bev is clearly under his influence. She even sits, STARING at the candle, waiting for him to appear, like a 1960s teen girl sitting by the phone:
Why do you build me up
Of course, the reason all of this is so creepy is that Beverly is a doctor and a very smart woman (supposedly), yet even she is taken over by this weird romantic obsession with her grandmother’s ex-ghost lover. It gets so bad that the ghost convinces her to leave Starfleet and move to Fake Scotland Planet:
You are the weakest link, goodbye
So she dons her least flattering outfit, since the ghost rapist obviously doesn’t care about how she looks, and goes to live in her grandma’s house so she can be alone with her new beau:
They tried to get Slimer, but he was booked
Like – really? This is REALLY occurring? Green mist? What? At least she has a cute nightgown on again:
Picard is, of course, suspicious of Crusher’s reasons for leaving Starfleet, so he goes down to the Fake Scotland Planet to investigate and stumbles in while Beverly is having some “quality time” with the ghost rapist, which doesn’t go over super-well:
How Green Lanterns are made
It turns out that the weather occurrences and the ghost rapist were connected al along, because he’s not a ghost rapist after all, he’s a plasma being that lives in the candle. DUH. Geordi and Data discover some weird energy readings in Grandma’s coffin and decide to check it out:
Bad idea, guys:
Plasma beings are kind of assholes
So the plasma being has taken over grandma’s body now (sure), zapped a few people, and is wearing a delightful blue dress that I think is a really nice shade.
But Beverly has had enough. It’s time to end this shit:
Who lives in a candle anyway? Stupid
She sets her phaser to the “destroy candle” setting and zaps that, and then zaps the ghost rapist too:
I don’t care how many ascots you have, no means no
She really works the sleepwear for this whole end part, though:
So many robe/gown combos
And her hair? STILL FLAWLESS.
*unrelated, but as a child I was literally obsessed with this hippo at the British Museum. It’s a fucking cute-ass hippo, okay?!