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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Q-Less

Q, in pursuit of lost love, dresses like
a Bajoran waiter to reclaim Vash.
Q: Actually, what I was hoping for was a little witty repartee.

Q comes to Deep Space Nine, chasing Vash, the former flame of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. It's great to see old friends – and the episode is fast-paced and convincing – but it feels more like an attempt to sucker in TNG fans than add to the DS9 storyline. Did it work? Largely, yes, but I think it could have been more.

Bashir's attempt at dating behavior appropriately starts off this episode. Will we see his medicine groupie again? His feeble but adorable efforts at chauvinism are quickly forgotten when we see Vash! I admit I'd forgotten about Picard's on again, off again girlfriend; will we see Lwaxana Troi next?

And whoo – it's Q! It's great to see John de Lancie again. As I remember, Vash choose Q over Picard. Or at least, she choose Q's car over Picard's car; he promised to take her all over the Universe, and she's apparently profited by the association. Whatever Vash has, the presentation box and its crystal look somewhat like the orbs that the Bajorans associated with the Prophets. At least that was my initial gander. So maybe her appearance has more significance than an attempt to continue pulling in fans from The Next Generation. Either way, it's a nice bit of continuity finding her Way Out There – but I do wonder what she's going to make off all those artifacts.

Revealations begin in the most humorous possible way as Vash and Q engage in a lover's quarrel in Vash's room. They seem like the perfect match, powers aside–self-interested mischievous folk with hearts, eventually, of gold, as long as you don't ask where they got the gold from. Possibly too perfect: it's usually tough to have two people with such strong egoes in a relationship. Hey, it can be tough to have one, says my husband. This culminates in the appearance of a wine-bearing Quark, who immediately disappears in a flash of Q-light.

Q, annoyed at someone interrupting his argument with Vash, makes Quark disappear.

I am now, however, knowing Q, and knowing how he reacts to being balked, concerned about DS9. In the past few episodes the station has been threatened by known aliens, bombs, disease, unknown aliens, aliens that we don't know we don't know and survived, and it's not even halfway through the first season. How will it do with a self-styled god?

The scene where Q is finally revealed to the DS9 crew (through O'Brien) is hilarious from the moment Q appears in Bajoran drag, hypnotizes Bashir and walks off throughout the confrontation between Sisko and Q. It strikes me: Q or Vash might have some information for Odo about who he is and where he's come from.

It's as well to have a reminder that Q is ruthless as well as cruel. I was relieved that he returned Vash back to normal, although generally that's Q's style: for all his capriciousness it's like he has a Prime Directive of his own. His attacks on Sisko make me realize how much Sisko is mentally comparing himself to Picard. It's not just the show which has set up that comparison: the characters themselves have something to offer the competition.

I thought the birth of the space creature was beautiful and reminiscent of the creatures that once appeared in The Next Generation in "Tin Man" and "Galaxy's Child." Did those creatures originate in the Gamma Quadrant? Are those orbs from the wormhole also some sort of creature?

The mysterious alien leaves DS9 for the wormhole.

The relationship between Vash and Quark is also left somewhat open, so this episode might not be as one-offish as it feels.

Three out of four rare! mysterious! beautiful! artifacts from the Gamma Quadrant.

Bits and Pieces

O'Brien's face as he listens to Bashir date.

Vash displaying a talent for oomax, and manipulating Ferengi.

Q in a moustache and what looks like late 1800s/early 1900s boxing gear.

This is the second time the station has been moved closer to the wormhole.


Vash: You're sure this place is safe?
Snooty clerk: The Assay office is the most secure area on the station. The chambers are surrounded on all sides by individual force fields.
Vash: And how are the locks controlled?
Snooty clerk: Once you secure a chamber, it can't be opened except with your personal authorization code combined with a verified retinal print.
Vash: A Cardassian MK-seven scanner?
Snooty clerk: MK-twelve, with an L-ninety enhanced resolution filter.
Vash: Well, I suppose that'll have to do.

Q: All right, fine, what is it you really want?
Vash: I want the life I had before I met you.
Q: And a stellar life indeed. The eminent Vash. Barred from the Royal Museum of Epsilon Hydra Seven, persona non grata on Betazed. Wanted dead on Myrmidon for stealing the Crown of the First Mother.
Vash: Dead or alive.
Q: Preferably dead. It's a wonder you haven't offended every sentient race in the galaxy.
Vash: You're the one who almost got me killed on Errikang Seven. And they weren't exactly thrilled to see you on Brax either. What did they call you? The God of Lies?
Q: They meant it affectionately.

Bashir: Just a cup of mint tea.
Q: (dressed as a Bajoran waiter) You're making a terrible mistake.
Bashir: Why? The replicators haven't malfunctioned again?
Q: I'm talking about Vash. Stay away from her.
Bashir: My god, you're an impertinent waiter.

Q: You hit me. Picard never hit me.
Sisko: I'm. Not. Picard.

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen Next Gen, and this episode just left me cold. It was just very obvious not meant for me as a viewer. Q was entertaining for about half the episode before he just became obnoxious. I loved the fifteen minute long scene in Vash's room (yeah, it was fifteen minutes. I checked. DS9 has done a couple of SUPER long, uncut scenes), but beyond that he was simply an overgrown man baby who couldn't take no for an answer. I guess that's kinda the point, but I don't particularly like those kinds of characters. They make me uncomfortable, especially when they start threatening violence in order to get what they want.

    I adored Vash, though. Smart, strong willed, sexy, sassy, morally ambiguous... what more could I ask for?

    It amazes me just how sexual this series is, at least compared to TOS. Yeah, Kirk and the others on the Enterprise got it on on multiple occasions, but this feels more blatant and frequent. A sign of a darker show like Torchwood compared to Doctor Who? Or does it simply show that sex and sexuality was more acceptable to show on screen in the 90s than in the 60s?


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