This isn’t a super-fashion-heavy episode, but there is one fashion element that you will notice again and again (mostly because I will bring it up again and again), and it appears in the opening shot:
Love to watch you walk away
That element is dude butts in jumpsuits. The people on this planet, who I guess are all dudes, wear exclusively jumpsuits with exclusively a lot of butt shots. Why they chose to show this guy, who sort of looks like a stuffed animal rather than a man, first, is beyond me.
Anyway, we are on a planet that is applying for membership in the Federation, so Picard and Riker are checking it out and meeting with the prime minister of the planet. (Once again, the idea of a PLANETARY leader is baffling to me. Imagine the elections!! I think the closest we’ve gotten on Earth was Michael Jackson.)
Think of this screenshot like an oil painting
Sorry that one’s so blurry, guys, but I really needed you to see HOW TALL the prime minister of this planet is. Riker, as you might recall, is 6’4”, so this guy definitely played basketball. But who is this treetop daddy?
That’ll do, stache
Hey! James Cromwell! I love James Cromwell for no specific reason. He seems reliable, as an actor, and can play a prime minister AND a crazy scientist in the SAME FRANCHISE. I saw him once in person like 10 years ago in London when we were both seeing plays at the same theater complex, and he is indeed an extremely tall man.
I love this lapel. It smacks a bit of Armani Men’s RTW 1991, yes, but there is some cool detailing and a nice texture to the jumpsuit. And then that turtleneck! Is it a dickie? I hope it’s a dickie, for ease of access and versatility. It does happen to be the EXACT SHADE of delicious electric blue that The Lonely Island are sporting on their new album, Turtleneck and Chain. I’m going to pretend they were inspired by this episode. Here’s another shot of the full-on jumpsuit:
Tall drink of…grey water
I think when the PM goes out to the club, he just takes of the dickie entirely, possibly replacing it with a mesh tank top, but possibly just leaving it open. DEEP V. And let’s check out the rear view:
You want fries with that shake
Cromwell looks okay here, but check out his assistant! He’s been using Buns of Steel for sure.
So JLP and #1 are like “we will go review your application, brb” but before they can leave, the PM gets word that a dangerous criminal has escaped from a penal colony, and they need the Enterprise’s help to capture him. He is trying to hide behind an asteroid, but it’s not working too well:
My pinata really didn’t turn out so good
The prisoner keeps trying to escape in a succession of smaller and smaller vessels (and he has no life signs, for some reason, so they don’t even really know where he is) until they finally just transport anything “large enough to be a humanoid” into the transporter room, where he is held in stasis:
First of all: you can do that? Hold people in stasis? Isn’t that SUPER DANGEROUS, considering the shit the transporter has done? (Double Rikers comes to mind, but I’m sure there are others.) Second: what do you think it feels like to be in stasis? I think it feels like a boba tea bath.
So finally the whole security complement (which is four dudes) is there and they let him materialize fully:
Pre-Hugh Grant Hugh Grant Hair
Handsome! And also rocking a jumpsuit, though this one is more from the “street gang” line than the “American Gigolo 2361” line. Following this, there is one of the longest fight sequences I’ve ever seen on this show:
Just imagine the Wilhelm Scream occurring while you look at this photo
Tyra’s modeling challenges get weirder every cycle
LOL, your face
He is barely breaking a sweat
I love those boots. They are my favorite color of grey, gunmetal, and they have some awesome-looking detailing on them. They are almost too delicate and nice for such a violent individual. Hinting at hidden depths, perhaps?!
So finally Worf and Riker subdue the prisoner and put him in the maximum hold lockup, where he just straight chills:
Mommmmmm I’m borrrrrrrrrred
He has no life signs (for reasons that will be explained shortly), but Troi can still sense his feelings from the hallway:
She actually copyrighted this Concerned Face
Sensing that another jumpsuit-wearer is in pain comes especially easy to her.
That’s a sink
Have we ever seen a sink on the Enterprise? A sink that is hidden below the counter? Well, if not: here is one.
Couldn’t they give this poor guy some new clothes? I know he’s a prisoner and he’s just been in a fist/phaser fight, but like – you have replicators, guys. It’s not that hard to whip up a new outfit. His khaki jumpsuit version of Marty McFly’s vest was nice, but it’s got holes and burns in it now.
As you know, the holding cells on the Enterprise don’t have bars; they have a force field that for some reason, when you touch it, looks like magical sparkles:
Purple sparkles? Kinda gay, Enterprise holding cell
But what is that fancy temple decoration he’s rocking?
This is not my friend Jesse Teeters, as much as I think it is
Looks like some sort of identifying tattoo/marker from the penal colony, I’m guessing, but I am seriously into the color scheme – that bluey-purple with the neon yellow? Good choice, penal colony.
Troi is suspicious that he’s been imprisoned for no reason (due to her sensing abilities), so she looks up his record on the ship’s computer:
Wait, say again what the results of my search were
I just love anything computery in movies and TV. It doesn’t even have to be OLD movies/TV. The UIs are all amazing and very easy to read. If you like those, too, check out Access Main Computer File; it’s dope.
So Troi figures out that the prisoner is actually a soldier that’s been sent to this “penal” colony not for any crime, but because the planet brainwashed him and all his colleagues into such perfect soldiers that they were dangerous to the normal people. She tells them this in the captain’s ready room, a place that has a table and chairs enough to seat all of them, and yet:
Sitting: not dramatic enough
And is it me, or is our Will looking more burnished than usual here?
I just got back from Risa; total fuckfest
Picard doesn’t really want to send the prisoner back to his planet, but there’s not a whole lot he can do to stop it. Data does try to understand the prisoner, since they have both been “programmed”:
Is his jumpsuit accented with…dirt? I kind of like it, actually. AUTHENTIC. I also like this guy’s attitude:
You’re not my dad
So insouciant! And man, do I want those boots! Look at that cool folding thing on the boot. Try not to be distracted by his junk.
So Picard has to turn dude over to the authorities of the planet he came from, who are driving around in their shuttlecraft:
Color forecast: grey, grey, grey, forever and ever
This guy has a good lapel too! Good thing this planet can do lapels, because they sure love them some grey. SNORE.
The way the prisoner transfer is supposed to work is that they will release the force field, then transport him to the prison shuttle, I guess because the transporter won’t work with the force field on? In any event, this guy is some kind of fucking superman because he ESCAPES FROM THE TRANSPORTER:
Seriously, guy? First you kill a bunch of dudes on a penal colony to escape, then almost elude the goddamn Enterprise, then beat up some guys, then ESCAPE THE TRANSPORTER? You are going for the Statham Award for Ass-Kickingness, aren’t you?
So he’s literally just like STROLLING around the ship, since his life signs are unreadable (due to the biochemical programming his own government did), so they have no idea where he is. Finally, we get a good look at his jumpsuit:
Just the half-Michelin, please
He looks slightly padded, don’t you think? Just a touch, though, not like that one Arrested Development where George Michael wears the muscle suit thing. And of course, we need to see:
What what in the etc.
Oh wow. Those dirt lines really enhance some things. Lookin’ good, prisoner.
Prisoner sees this security guard in the hallway:
Over here, dummy
Hey security guy? When you’re guarding a hallway to make sure an extremely dangerous, armed criminal isn’t coming your way, LOOK BOTH DIRECTIONS. Or else this will happen:
You deserved it
This leads to a rampage wherein he punches out everyone at every turn:
Sleeping Ensign #1
Nooooooooo not the VISOR
There is a long chase sequence that ends with him wrestling Worf in the cargo bay amongst some inexplicably-shaped containers that are clearly empty by the way they fall:
I hope that cylinder is filled with jellybeans
Pentagonal cake pans for more even baking
Eventually, even Worf cannot subdue him and he manages to transport on to the shuttle and take the shuttle pilot hostage, and proceed to return to the penal colony and start a riot. James Cromwell is like “ohhhhh shiiiiiit you guys need to help us, please come help us,” so the Enterprise sends an away team:
James Cromwell, understandably, is like “um you guys, there are a bunch of violent trained killing machines coming our way, and you bring one Klingon, an android, a dapper bald gentleman and a stacked chick? Not helpful.” But Picard is not planning to help them fight the prisoners, a fact that Cromwell and his buds are none too happy about. But this does allow us to see the wealth of jumpsuit fashions available on this planet:
The butts just keep appearing, it’s not me, I promise
Every other Thursday, Cranberry trades dickies with Grass Green, just to mix it up
The guy in the middle is playing Nicely Nicely in their production of Guys and Dolls
Everyone has a different color dickie! And a slightly different, slightly more terrible than the last, jumpsuit color. But the lapels are always slammin’, and that guy with the checkers must be gay or something. So flamboyant.
Then the escaped, rioting prisoners show up to show them how fashion is done:
Oh man those boots
Picard here is telling all of the government guys to keep their weapons down – the thing about these programmed soldiers is that they won’t attack unless provoked, like a hornet, or Snooki. (Ed. note: Snooki considers not being a guido “provocation.”) So if they’re not attacked, they won’t attack back, except with hotness:
Get your tickets
It was at this point that I realized that padding was actually A Thing on this planet. The guy on the left, or Pumps Iron to Counteract Nerdface (I love Nerdface, personally, but I can see it being a liability for a TV actor in the early 90s. In 2011, it’s an asset) definitely looks like you could throw him in a pool and he would float due to the foam in his chest, much like this baby. The guy on the right, or Lars Forehead, would fit right in at the agriculture school where I went to college, which was filled with white people of Scandinavian descent who had too much cheese and beer and puffed up a bit.
It’s not bulletproof? Then why is it so ugly?
This vest is quilted, and this guy reminds me of Anthony Clark, who for some reason I will always remember as “the guy from Boston Common,” a show which surprisingly had more than one season.
Picard, in typical Picard fashion, interprets the Prime Directive however the hell he pleases, and tells Cromwell that they’re going to have to sort this out on their own, and good luck. The prisoner gives Troi this look of thanks, or possibly relief:
My hair still looks really great actually
And Troi, sensing his feelings, looks back with…um…
Satisfaction? Dead eyes? I’m not sure
Slightly less satisfaction/even deader eyes
At least her lips look great, though. Could use more brow.