My roommate Stephanie (for whose TNG obsession I am wholly responsible; it is one of my proudest accomplishments) managed to score us a new (to us) TV to replace our old one, which was so dark that there were literally scenes in some shows that we could not see at all.
So of course we immediately watched an episode of TNG that Stephanie had already seen, but said was “so crazy that [she] would watch it again.”
It starts out normally enough, with Beardless Riker and Picard on the bridge:
William “Babyface” Riker would go on to produce a Toni Braxton album
I just wanted to remind you guys how much better he looks with a beard. That is all.
As I’m sure you’re aware, this indicates that we are in a first season episode, which also means everyone’s look hasn’t really settled into a good groove just yet. Thus, we have updo Troi:
South Milwaukee represent
The eye makeup is a LITTLE dramatic here, Deanna, but at least you’ve balanced it with a neutral-ish lip. But that hair! She looks like a lady on a Grecian urn with a dreamcatcher on her head.
She also hasn’t really sunk into her groove in terms of jumpsuits, either. The top up there doesn’t appear to fit or flatter, and when she started to walk away, Steph yelled, “PANTS!!”
If the purpose of that trompe l’oeil belt is to get us to look at your (strangely flat) booty, Deanna, well, mission accomplished.
So the main gist here is that some dude is coming to do some upgrades to the warp drive on the ship to make it run more efficiently. Here he comes, with alien assistant in tow:
I want that jumpsuit and I am not even joking
The warp technician or whatever he is (we’re going to call him Warp Douche, because he proves to be a douche) wears a regular old uniform, but check the SHINY on his assistant back there! Another sale at Lame’ Emporium, I see.
Again, because this is a first season episode, there are some things we see happening that are not true of the entire rest of the series. One of these things: the mini-dresses:
Not even any stockings? You brave, girl
You may recall Charlie’s outrage/consternation at Troi’s minidress throughout the very first episode; now Deanna is more sensibly clad in that subpar jumpsuit, but we still have rando crew members sporting the mini. As cute as this dress is, and as much as I REALLY WANT ONE, they are not appropriate for going where no one has gone before (unless that is some sort of cheeky sexual innuendo, then it’s fine).
This episode also features a babyfaced Wil Wheaton as Wesley, who isn’t part of the crew yet, but just Dr. Crusher’s kid. He is down in Engineering doing some sort of project in what is technically a sweater, but is really more like a nightmare:
This sweater makes me feel hurl-ey
It’s really difficult to determine where to begin here. I mean, the color is almost okay, but sort of looks like a peach after it got punched in the face (if peaches had faces). But there are, like, 5 different kinds of fabrics happening, all in the same color, and you could fit a MINIMUM of 2.5 more Wil Wheatons in there with all that extra room. Also, the dreaded mock turtleneck. Oh, how I despise them.
Another angle, for shiggles:
Confirmed: that is definitely a ruffle
Wesley is not helping his image with this thing.
In any event, Wes and the alien sidekick with the sweet jumpsuit hang around while Warp Douche is conducting the experiments. The jumpsuit continues to be awesome:
“You come here often?”
I can’t tell if that guy has a really long torso, or if those are slightly harem-pantsy. Either way, I’m in.
Basically what happens in the next few scenes are that the alien sidekick guy does something CRAZY and this occurs:
This is called “phasing” and apparently the effect of it is that the warp drive goes BONKERS and Warp Douche is like “yahoo I discovered the FASTEST SPEED EVER” and Picard is like “where we at” and Data is like “we are 2.7 MILLION LIGHT YEARS away from where we just were.” And everyone is like “damn.”
At this point, Stephanie was like “you think this is the whole episode, but there’s so much more.”
So Warp Douche, alien sidekick, and Wesley sit down to figure out how to get back to where they were, since SURE, you want A CHILD working on the fate of your whole crew. Hope you’re having fun, Space Princess.
Moose knuckle warning: high
I just wanted to include this because it’s the best shot of my beloved jumpsuit.
So they are like “oh here is some fake science to get us home” and they plan to go home, but then:
I always fall off the Rainbow Road
Instead of going home, they go through a Mario Kart level to:
What the fuuuuuuuuuu
Where are they?! Ice magic cave? Sugarplum fairy world? Inside Martin Short in a tiny submarine? No, it turns out that they are at the END OF THE UNIVERSE. Which is a BILLION light years away from where they were. Well, fuck, Warp Douche! You fucked up.
It turns out that the end of the universe is like being on acid, because everybody starts seeing things. Worf, for example, sees this:
It’s a pig dressed as a bear unicorn! And also Worf’s childhood pet. Tasha Yar and I reacted like this:
But Worf reacted like this:
Why Klingons don’t smile: explained
It was creepy to see Worf smile, but nice to see him happy. Also I’m pretty sure that sash was made at crafts hour at a camp on Long Island somewhere. “I need 5,000 1/4” strips of leather, stat!”
But that’s not the only pet who shows up:
Ow ow ow ow you’re crushing me
Tasha’s kitty, the one she had on the colony of RAPE GANGS she grew up on, magically appears. This causes her to have a flashback to said rape colony:
I don’t want to spend too much time on Tasha’s flashback, because, eee, rape gangs. But that top is kind of cool? Maybe? Before it got torn up by evildoers. Let’s just move on to Picard’s hallucination:
Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozy
Whoaaaaaaa whaaaaaat!! So everything is bananas, and people are imagining all sorts of things:
Cute outfit, ensign! I particularly enjoy that deep V in the front that goes along with the contrast boning. I also want to point out that while not being a ballerina, this ensign is really working her uniform:
Betazoid face with a Klingon booty
Her waist is so tiny! And someone actually fit this costume on her! How nice. I’m not super-sure about the leftover Dreamgirls wig, but it’s a good start.
Even JLP is not immune to the strange visions (actually, they are thoughts being manifested, like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man) everyone is having. Look, it’s maman!
From the desert to the sea, to wherever there’s tea
It’s actually really interesting what the costume designer has done here. So JLP is, what, 55 or so? So he was born sometime in the 2310s, we’ll say. That would mean moms here was maybe born in, like, 2280? Life spans are longer in the future, so maybe she was even born in the 2260s? My point is: maman still comes from a time OVER TWO HUNDRED YEARS from now. Yet she is wearing a dress that would not look out of place in an Anne of Green Gables adaptation, except for that weird printed fabric, which definitely has a “future” feel to it. So we get the sense that this is someone from JLP’s past via the line/silhouette of the fabric, but from the future from our perspective. It’s just really well done.
Of course, shortly thereafter we see a dude in a dress:
So…you can’t win ‘em all, I guess.
So everyone is freaking out re: the weird end-of-the-universe and finally the alien guy comes clean: he is actually a traveler from another plane of existence, and was using Warp Douche as his cover to get on board Starfleet ships. All the phasing has made him sick, so Dr. Bev checks him out:
Physician, heal thyself
Ohhh, Beverly. My feelings about your hair color in this season can be aptly summed up by Riker’s unfortunate face in this screenshot. It is too dark, too red, and your poor face looks like all the color’s been sapped out of it. WE KNOW YOU CAN DO BETTER, BEV.
Remember that sweater? He’s still wearing it
So Bev checks out the alien sidekick guy, who gets better and meets with Picard, telling him that Wesley has the ability to manipulate time and space. For those of you familiar with the mythos of the show, it’s interesting to note that Wesley’s fate was decided this early on in the series. For those of you who are here to read about fashion: too bad Wesley doesn’t have the ability to manipulate pants and sweaters HEYOOOOOO
So Picard is like “everyone think good thoughts of home” so the alien sidekick can get them all away from the edge of the universe. Here are some random crew members walking around thinking good thoughts:
Forest green? Not in MY Starfleet
This dude appears to be wearing the cazh version of the Starfleet uniform: the colorblock sweater. Also a favorite of my high school employer, Lands’ End, the colorblock sweater looks good on approximately no one. Meanwhile, Dr. Pulaski Hair back there (it’s not Pulaski, thank god) is rocking a hunter green possible-jumpsuit with a crystal (???) belt. And that belt is SO MUCH WIDER than you think it is:
Crystal Cummerbund is my country singer alter ego
And it doesn’t really read here, but her jumpsuit is made of viscose. Viscose.
Also she’s wearing some surprisingly pedestrian earrings:
I guess when the person who we usually see wearing earrings is Lwaxana Troi, everyone else is at a disadvantage, because she is the greatest ever.
So of course everything works out fine; the Enterprise gets home and the alien sidekick guy goes back to his other plane of existence or whatever. Wesley helps him along, though:
There is SUCH a weird connection between these two, I suppose to set up Wesley’s later involvement with the Travelers, as they are called, but it’s sort of creepy:
Whoaaaa we’re halfway there
I like when humanoid aliens have some other CRAZY number of fingers that kind of don’t make sense from an evolutionary standpoint, but make total sense from the perspective of the makeup artist.
So Wesley and his boyfriend save the ship and get home, and alien sidekick disappears into interdimensional space or something. Then Picard makes Wesley an acting ensign because he did such a good job, and invites him to hang out on the bridge for a bit:
Tee hee, I’m on the bridge
I like how they asked him to hang, but there’s no chair for him, so he just sits on, like, a ledge.
I’m also convinced that Picard made him an ensign to reward his efforts in saving the ship, yes, but also to get him out of that FUCKING SWEATER and into a Starfleet uniform.