The Nth Degree – 4.19

It’s not terribly often that Charlie and I (this is Anna writing) get to enjoy an episode together in the same room, so when our dear friend Deborah, fellow fan, invited us over to partake in the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race with a pre-game of an episode of TNG, we jumped at the chance.

It led to us watching this fourth-season episode featuring Mr. Barclay (who also appeared in one of Deborah’s favorite episodes, the one with the boob harnesses). We start out seeing this:

History comes alive

Bev is off on one of her “theatrical” bents again, this time staging a performance of Cyrano de Bergerac, featuring Barclay as the title character. Why anyone would cast Barclay is a bit confusing, because he sucks (at acting and at life), but it becomes apparent that Bev is running some kind of workshop? While she is balancing her duties as Chief Medical Officer? I work with doctors, okay, and they are, like, busy. How Bev can be running some sort of Starfleet Meisner School is confusing, but so are a lot of things in Starfleet, like where Guinan gets all her hats. It just happens. So Barclay takes the Steve Martin role:

Both how I’m livin’ and my nose is large

The clothes replicator couldn’t figure out the formula for collars, so it just used the formula for my grandma’s Good Napkins, The Ones You Only Use at Christmas. Barclay’s hair looks pretty sweet, though. Very 80s surf god. So appropriate for a French play from the turn of the 19th century about a dude who lived in the 17th century. Filling in for Daryl Hannah is Bev herself:

You don’t have to put on that red light

I. Love. This. Wig. It is wholly impractical for everyday medical work like “curing someone by pointing a tricorder at them” and “diagnosing someone by pointing a tricorder at them,” but it is glorious. And Bev is really showcasing the girls there, hey? I think she just puts on these shows so she has an excuse to haul out her tits like she’s Troi, or Helen Mirren or something. But how does the crew like the show?

Troi: supportive of Barclay, but aware that he’s bad

Riker: wonders why he wasn’t cast instead because he is taller and more handsome

Data: confused by humans, again

So they do the play, and it’s fine, but Barclay goes up on his lines and everyone coddles him like a little child, most of all Troi, whose earrings could be used to murder someone:

She’s cocking her head like that because they’re so heavy

In this scene, Troi is wearing the dress that led to this conversation. Here it is again, as proof that she fucking loves that dress:

I just really like blue, okay, god

The main plot of this episode involves the Enterprise trying to fix some telescope array? Or something? It doesn’t really matter, it just matters that there’s this probe that looks like a gelcap:

Extra Strength Tylenol, Now in Planet Size

And Geordi and Barclay go to investigate and it shines all bright:

You can no longer fly twice as high

And it fucks up Barclay in some manner. But then actually it made Barclay really smart like in Flowers for Algernon, and he saves the ship and that makes him have this face:

Either “I just saved everyone” or “I farted”

So Barclay is feeling PRETTY GOOD about himself, strutting around the hallways of the Enterprise like “Stayin’ Alive” is playing all day long:

You can tell by the way I use my walk / I’m an engineer, no time to talk

We don’t address shoes very often on this blog, primarily because television isn’t a medium that gets a lot of random shoe shots, but this shot was used in the classic “oh damn, I’m struttin’” kind of way, so we see very clearly that Barclay’s shoes are of the Plain Black Loafer variety. Do you think shoes from the replicator are super-comfy? Like, you could stick your foot into the replicator and then the computer would make you a shoe that PERFECTLY FITS your foot and it’s like walking on clouds? I hope this is the case, because these shoes are ugly, so I really hope they’re comfy.

At this point I should mention that I was watching this episode on a popular video-watching website that features a closed captioning option, which I turned on for no real reason. The closed captioning is done not by real people, but by voice-recognition software, which leads to many lols:

Pretty sure that’s not what he said

I could literally make a blog just of screenshots of wrong captions, so I’ll just move on. Suffice it to say that I recommend it.

Well? She is

Here’s Barclay, who is now suddenly also good at acting, in addition to being smart and good at strutting. That probe flash really did good things for Barclay! And the ladies, they are loving it:

Acting harder, acting faster, acting stronger

Bev’s facial expression in this whole scene was a variation on this “my god, you’re incredible” look she’s wearing now. In addition, she’s also pulled out the infamous Oprah’s Book Club Sweater she wore to confront Vash, except sassily one-shouldered this time. Better, Bev, better.

So Barclay is basically just swinging his dick everywhere on the Enterprise, including into the holodeck to chill with Einstein?

Is it just me, or do they look like they’re about to kiss

We learned in one of my favorite eps of all time, The Inner Light, that TNG is not so great at the old-age makeup. Fine. But guess what, guys? You can cast WHOEVER YOU WANT as Albert Einstein!! Maybe someone who is ACTUALLY OLD and has ACTUAL WRINKLES so my eyes do not have to be affronted with this travesty to old-age makeup artists everywhere. Oh man, it was bad.

Meanwhile, in the captain’s ready room, everyone is discussing how Barclay has changed. The best part of this is when Troi mentions that he made a pass at her – a good one – and how unusual this is for him. This prompts Bev to give her “ooooohhhh, damn” face at Riker:

She’s still incredibly, incredibly white

However, all their discussion cannot stop Barclay from taking over the ship’s computer:

Turn up the Floyd, man

Barclay basically gets SO SMART that his brain is the only thing fast enough to run the ship? Or something? The crew is like “whaaaaat” and Barclay is like “shut up, I know what I’m doing”:

One of my all-time favorite faces of anyone

So everyone is like “aaaa what do we do, Barclay is running everything” and Geordi is like “don’t worry, I’ll put on my Jeffries tubes outfit and fix it”:

This makes me think of Kid ‘n Play for no specific reason

I am fairly sure this is a uniform Geordi ONLY WEARS for going in Jeffries tubes. It’s almost the same mustard as the regular Engineering uniforms, except maybe slightly more Dijon. It’s also much roomier in some places:


Going camping, LaForge?

So Geordi and his pants tent try to get Barclay out of the computer, but it’s too late – Barclay has taken them thirty thousand light years away from where they were. Or, according to these captions, where they work, which is actually a pretty good transcription:

Sensible hair

I wanted to include this because this ensign actually has a name! Ensign Anaya, who wears her hair like an actual military officer might, as opposed to the luxurious locks normally sported by these two:

Girl you know it’s a weave

Anyway, it turns out that they are at the center of the galaxy, and the reason Barclay got all smart is so that he could lead them there so they could meet THIS GUY:

Put THAT in your Pink Floyd Laser Lightstravaganza

Whaaaaaat?! I accidentally took this screenshot of Worf’s reaction to this dude which I think sums it up pretty well:

Is there a direct translation in Klingon for LOLWUT

This hologram head guy is the leader of a species who, instead of going out into the universe to explore, just bring the universe to them by the means they just did with Barclay. Old Whitey Dreadlocks here and his crew just want to learn! Hooray!

Just like in the 2008 presidential election #supertopical

Do you think that purple thing on his head is part of his head? Or an accessory? I think it’s an accessory, like pierced earrings or vajazzling, except on your forehead.

So everything is cool, Barclay isn’t in the computer anymore, the weird hologram head dude sends the Enterprise back to normal space, and they go about their business. Barclay is, of course, kinda sad:

If only I could remember power washing

But he does get a date with Troi out of it, so that’s pretty cool. And we get this screenshot out of it, which is also pretty cool:

Seriously, guys, these captions are useless

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