TNG Episode Guide for Season 3

NEW NONFICTION: MIRROR TV GUIDE LISTINGS, TNG, SEASON 3 (O3/07) AKA Through a Sunbeam Darkly Author: The Enigmatic Big Miss Sunbeam Code: TNG Rating: R for Language and Suggestive Situations.

48. Evolution. Thanks to Wesley, nanites run amok. See, it's his science project but it got out of hand! Oh, Wes, you asshole! The director of this episode, Winrich Kolbe, calls this the "kudzu" episode because science goes crazy and does evil instead of good. Not unlike kudzu. What? Yall don't know what kudzu is! Even as I type, I am looking out my office window at a big old mess of kudzu, the Japanese plant brought to the American South sometime in the 1940's to stop erosion. Turns out kudzu LOVED the American South, loved it so much it wants to cover every damn inch of us with its harmless but excitable vinery (most reminiscent of the Andrew Marvell line: "my vegetable love should grow vaster than empires"). Kudzu grows an inexorable six or seven inches a night, but it still has a baffling loveliness. Say, wouldn't that make a great Klingon name! Captain Kudz'U! (Here you go: a nice kudzu site:

49.The Ensigns of Command. Lots of plot, and, amidst it, a mild attempt to establish Data as a heterosexual. No one is really fooled. Oh, I forgot to say that last week's episode marked the . . . (wait for it) end of . . . PULASKI!!! [HUGECECILBDEMILLECROWDWRITHESINECSTACY!!!] See, the previous episode opened up with a slow pan of Ten Forward and then we see Jean-Luc sitting with . . . BEV!!! Bev's back! And she says, "Hi, Jean-Luc, yes, I'm back, replacing that horrible Pulaski." "Well, Bev," he intones, "that's a relief for me, but even more for our studio audience." "Sure enough, Jean-Luc. No more will their ears be assaulted by her fingernails-on-chalkboard voice." "Nor their eyes by her scary ropy face! Huzzah! Guinan, General Foods International Moment Coffees all around. And," Jean-Luc stands up, "I think I'll lead us all in a song of gratitude: [sings] *O come all ye tykes that ply the brine . . .* Join in everybody!" etc. etc.

50. The Survivors. Or Watch Out For Kevin! Kevin Uxbridge is a strange superpower who slaughters an entire planet of 56 hundred booboozillion souls. Kevin is not my idea of the right name for someone who would do that. Kevin is a pretty small hovering mouse-like name, really. I am KEVIN, destroyer of worlds. Kevin. What an odd choice. Kevin. No slash. Riker gets trapped in a thing and has to hang upside down is about it. Otherwise, no nothing. Kevin.

51. Who Watches the Watchers? Old-timey Vulcans have a toe- tapping hoe-down (much to Starfleet's amusement; see, Starfleet is observing this crowd much as you and I might play with our ant farms). Things turn ugly when . . . something happens. The old- timey Vulcans think Jean-Luc is God (a reasonable assumption) and Riker and Deanna have to disguise themselves as old-timey Vulcans, and then Jean-Luc gets shot in the arm. Thus proving there is no God. Sort of. Also,, killer dad Leland Palmer from *Twin Peaks* seems to be head ant of the old-timey Vulcans.

52. The Bonding. There's a kid and his parents are dead. Deanna says: well, I'll be up there terrectly to talk to you. So: is it any wonder that aliens use this poor abandoned little kid as a conduit to the Enterprise? Most unsexy. Worf seems to figure in it. Plot, plot, plot.

53. Booby Trap. Featuring Leila Brahams in the title role (raucous strip music and cheers!). This is a Geordi episode. He solves an engineering problem and doesn't get laid. Meanwhile, Data (who at times has a weird but unmistakable resemblance to the central figure in Botticelli's "Birth of Venus") just stands around waiting. Sad really.

54. The Enemy. The ep that proves there are no heterosexuals in foxholes.

55. The Price. Deanna downgrades her choice in men from Riker to Deivoni Ral, who gives her a foot massage on screen! To quote George C. Scott in "Hard Core": *Turn it off, turn it off!* Matt McCoy (who has a real gift for slimy creations) plays Deivoni. He's done some curious things in his career: he was in the 90's greatest movie "L.A. Confidential" as the slimy TV cop based on Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey's character). (Say, wouldn't Kevin Spacey make a great Mizarian! I love Kevin Spacey! And, apropos de rien, wouldn't Christopher Walken make the GREATEST KLINGON in Federation history!) Since "L.A. Confidential" also featured the faboo James Cromwell (I love James Cromwell too!!!), I think Curtis Hanson, the director of "LAC", has a little hard-on for Star Trek; he was the director for "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" which had Matt McCoy (again) as Annabelle Sciorra's husband and John deLancie as the gynecologist who molested her. Yes. JdL was the gynecologist who molested her: swooooooooooooooooonnn! What a sexy sentence. Of course, the stupid whore turned him in to the obgyn cops and poor Q had to shoot himself. HORRIBLE, MOST HORRIBLE! Who here hates that bitch Annabelle Sciorra! Aha, I thought so! I have always fantasized about an AU version of "The Hand that Rocks The Cradle" where *she* dies and JdL is set free to molest everybody and we get to watch every bit of it! (And furthermore, wouldn't Tommy Lee Jones make the SECOND GREATEST KLINGON IN FEDERATION HISTORY! And because he's Tommy Lee Jones of Harvard, he could play a psychotic Klingon who recites Wallace Stevens and T.S. Eliot as he psychoes around!!!! "Death is the mother of beauty! Grrrr! We who were living are now dying with a little patience!" Wow! "You have not read *The Wasteland* until you have read it in the original Klingon!!" SWOOOOnoovius!)

56. The Vengeance Factor. Featuring the Hunters, a race of Richard-Geres-thinking-about-that-first-gerbil, and their enemies, the fat-Princess-Leia-like Gatherers. Riker gets some from a blond Gatherer, but then he finds out she's really old and so he shoots her. Dead. Ah. My. Well. But she's OLD; what's his HURRY?

57. The Defector. Okay, a Romulan defects to the Enterprise. He's kind of a interesting type, slickly handsome with a gravelly voice. I imagine that, back on Romulus, he's like a . . . game show host or something, maybe the Romulan Gene Rayburn, hunkered down over his hand-held mike as he taunts the rube Romulan contestants. The Romulan Bret Somers says, "A chandelier," the Romulan Charles Nelson Reilly drawls, "American cheese," and the Romulan audience goes wild. Seems like our guy commits suicide. Being a game show host is hard on Romulans. (Before that, however, he and Bev swap phone numbers. Doesn't she have the worst luck in men! Goodness!)

58. The Hunted. Crazed Viet Nam vet ep: Military killing machine is returned to Peacetime Planet and he doesn't fit in. Unlike 90 per cent of all deranged televison vets, he isn't played by Martin Sheen, but it doesn't really matter. We do get to see James "Babe" Cromwell in yet another ST role, and Jean-Luc is quite impudent to him. (No one plays impudent in quite the Heroic/Sophoclean way Sir Big-He P.S. does.)

59. The High Ground. Here revolutionaries kidnap Bev. And then somehow kidnap JLP too. And then some others. Great Moment: it looks like curtains for Our Gang so Bev crawls on over to Jean-Luc and says, Jean-Luc, I want to talk to you about something. And brilliant Satrick Ptewart had been lying down but he does this ballet-type leaping-jacknife sit-up, clearly indicating the terror he feels over Bev confessing her messy inconvenient love. One of the revolutionaries, BTW, falls in love with Bev and does Police IdentiKit drawings of her. Just like a woman: she doesn't care if Che Guevara will take her to the moon and back; it's Jean-Luc and Jean-Luc only.

60. Deja Q. Q has loved his Johnny for some time, but Jean-Luc doesn't fall in love with Q til this ep. Oodles of hot stuff: Q naked and "these aren't my colors" and Q spitting out the phrase "little trained minions" at Data as they both march down the halls of the Enterprise! (John deLancie's erotic fury is beautiful to behold.) Then Q decides to commit suicide in a shuttlecraft, and Riker, (oh beware the green-eyed monster, Will!) wants to let Q die, but Jean-Luc stays his hand: saying "I'd hate to waste a perfectly good shuttlecraft." (Which is Startrek for "hitch me to your buggy, Q, lemme ride you like a mule".) A scene that didn't make it to the television screen: Jean-Luc retires to his ready room and there's a beep. "Come" he says. The door whooshes open, and Riker is standing there. The door closes. "Daddy, no," Riker says in a low rough whisper. Jean-Luc lifts his elegant head: "Boy doesn't tell Daddy no." SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNN.

61. A Matter of Perspective. Good evening and welcome to Libra Theatre! Where all points of view are valid! Hey, there's a scene in the movie *Giant* where Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, and Earl Holliman are all sitting around discussing women. Prettttttttttty ironic if you ask me. Something of the same thing happens here when snippy Mister Apgar (love that name), snippy court martialist Craig Richard Nelson (he was the gay bridegroom in Robert Altman's "The Wedding") and the always ambivalent Will seem to accept Missus Apgar as the epitome of hot-momma-ness. Since the plot turns on the point that there's some truth to everything, does this mean that when Missus Apgar says "first Riker touched my quivering bazooms and then he moved his fierce paw to his own love stem and the next thing I know I was saying yes and yes and . . ." she's telling it true? Hot dog!

62. Yesterday's Enterprise. Champion bestest episode of all time! See, Jean-Luc and them are all messing about as they always do, and they go through a temporal rift where they're twenty years in the past and the Klingons are mopping the floor with the Federation and it's kind of an AU and everybody's nerves are on edge, and it's really sexy, and Jean-Luc has to snarl at Riker for being such a big freelance pussy, and barkeep Guinan is acting battle strategist (Whoopi is so wonderful; you can see how Guinan persuades Jean-Luc that she's right.) The greatest moment is one which repudiates all you TOS'ers who say that Jean- Luc is a social worker and a big femme and a girlycow that goes moomoo. At an analogous climactic moment when Shatner just kind of weaves around and says "Those Klingon bastards killed my son", My Man leaps like Nijinsky off the bridge, says to the Klingons who want him to surrender "That will be the day, cocksuckers!" and proceeds to machine-gun his way back to "real" time. Words can do no justice to this ep.

63. The Offspring. Trying to slash this episode is hard because it's DATA'S DAUGHTER! She is so cool! She looks like Snow White! (The casting is perfect: Hallie Todd plays Lal and is totally brilliant: did you all know in RL Hallie Todd is the daughter of the actress who played Millie on "The Dick Van Dyke"? She comes by her cunningness naturally.) Meanwhile, she's a misfit! She works in Ten Forward! She kisses Riker! (Rather nicely done scene.) She dies! Or blows a fuse! Or whatever! This is one of those great eps like "Yesterday's Enterprise" where so many emotions are present that one is left rather happily drained. But no real sex.

64. Sins of the Father. Once in a while, I get a spell of KRF Klingon-Related Fatigue. And this is one of those times. Still, I rather like B'Etor and Lursa. (If only for their hot names.) Besides, I must say if I were a young, ambitious, attractive actress and I offered my choice of roles: Deanna, Vash, or a Duras Sister, I'd pick Klingon in a second. That whole Deanna/Vash thing is somebody else's strange fantasy, not mine, but Klingons are winners and that's IT for the Klings. (See, just when you think you're through with the Klingons, they give you a big open-mouthed kiss and everything starts all over again.)

65. Allegiance. Only the anti-Christ doesn't love evil-twin stories! Here we double our pleasure and double our fun with Jean-Luc's alien-synthesized evil twin. This is the only ep of TNG Mr. Sunbeam ever saw, so he thinks ALL episodes of TNG are like this, i.e. that TNG is a musical variety show hosted by Jean-Luc in Ten Forward. "Tonight, the Next Generation Boys and I want to sing *Minnie the Moocher* for all our friends at home!" All that aside, JLP has never looked foxier. And when the synthetic twin puts his limited moves on Bev, I stopped breathing. Oh, yeah, Deanna's alleged "powers" are useless in this episode too.

66. Captain's Holiday. I don't want to talk about it. My therapy sessions are continuing nicely: I am allowed two thirty-minute walks a day and one hot bath a week, and, although I still have to use plastic utensils when I eat, the doctor says I'm doing much better. (Arrrrggggh; fifty of television's most traumatic minutes. Haggard Jennifer Hetrick creates a clone of Captain Picard who then swanks about Risa in the most amazing swimtrunks in American history while things happen. Meanwhile, the unfilmed truth is that the real Jean-Luc keeps his real holiday aboard the Enterprise reading the Peter Pauper edition of Marcus Aurelius. Hey, Jennifer turned up about 1998 in an Oil of Old Age commercial playing the MOTHER! Hahahaha! Sunbeam is avenged!) (You can see an unbelievable picture of Jean-Luc's swimtrunks on page 43 of the December 1999 issue of "Star Trek: The Extremely Expensive Magazine"; that's the ish with Odo on the cover. You will go *thud* when you see this photo. "Star Trek: The Extremely Expensive Magazine" knows its audience. In the December 2000 ish - Sulu's on the cover - there's a fascinating article on "Jim Kirk: A Man and His Ripped Shirt!" They even include a pie chart in page 18 showing Jim Kirk: 15 percent eps bare chested, 7.5 percent eps ripped shirt, and 77.5 percent eps fully clothed. You can see Kirk's chest in 22.5 per cent of eps! Not bad odds. Could be better. But not bad.)

67. Tin Man. Nice title, and the name of the top guest character is Tam Elbrun, which is a pretty cool name too. This is a staple ST plot: we meet an alien sentient intelligence and, uh, in order to . . . uh, deal with it, we leave this week's guest star with it as we zoom into next week, yeah, that's the ticket! (i.e. "Corbomite Maneuver," "Metamorphoses", etc.)

68. Hollow Pursuits. TPTB fearlessly attack . . . fan fiction! And mighty tepid fanfic it is. Poor old Reg Barclay gets on the holodeck and pretends he's The best part is Data, Cap, and Geordi as the Three Musketeers. Brent, Lavar, and King PS really throw themselves into it, and they look FAB YOU LUSSSS!

69. The Most Toys. I once saw a fan letter bitching about this ep: a gay man, it grumbled, the only time we have an episode about a gay man, he's evil and he kidnaps Data and wants him to run around without clothes on. It took me a while to realize that this was a "bad" thing. I thought it sounded great!!! Face it, Internet: which interests you more! Data saves a kitten, or Data's kidnaped by an evil sodomite who wants him naked? Oh, yeah, which one would you pay GOOD MONEY to see? I don't think that being Evil is bad. (I possibly need help.) Besides, it's not clear that Kivas Fajo is gay; if anything, he seems quite omnisexual. (I am very sure Fajo's doing henchwoman Varria offscreen; she's Alice Kramden to his Ralph.)

70. Sarek. If you don't love Mark Lenard, you are invited to step outside now. (Really, the nerve of some people.) Mark Lenard IS Sarek. He is so handsome and stately and lovely and sexy, and just think of all the hot babes he's had, THREE wives!!!!, man, he just can't keep it in his pants, can he!!!! Here (this is a cool plot) he's got Vulcan Alzheimers and he's weeping and boohooing and then the whole ship gets infected and Wes and Geordi square off making surly tiny sexual accusations at each other, etc. etc., and Bev SOCKS Wes! Yay! Anyway, Cap has to mindmeld with Sarek, which calms Sarek down long enough to complete his diplomatic mission and everyone lives happily ever after!!! (A classically brilliant scene where Picard has to let it all hang out with Sarek's memories: not necessarily hot but pretty cool all the way around.)

71. Menage a Troi - "Lwaxana Troi, you WILL be mine." A darling little Ferengi gives that line a wonderful reading, and then there's naked Betazoids just standing there, as if their nakedness communicates something (odd, really), and Mr. Homm is confused and Riker tries to kiss Deanna and then he beats out those rhythms on a drum-like deal, and the whole thing is mildly shameful, both to watch and to have appeared in, is my guess.

72. Transfigurations. Is the tale of a strange alien with a wobbly face who gets named John Doe. Well, I'm okay with that; remember *Se7en* where Kevin Spacey played John Doe? Seems a sound enough role. Hey, rumor has it that both Bev and Jean-Luc look on John Doe with lust in their eyes (I myself notice that neither one can keep their hands off him). I hate John's tight- white jumpsuit, though; it's the prototype for Julian's terribly disturbing DS9 racquetball suit.

73. The Best of Both Worlds I. Another seed of smut for me: see, Riker and them find JLP's clothes in a drawer. You know what that means? It means he's naked somewhere. Naked. Or even if not currently naked, he WAS naked. The suit is neatly laid out. So he was carefully rendered naked. The drawer is in a public corridor, not off in a closet. So he was naked in public. What a great idea! There's also a whore named Shelby and she makes everybody's life a living hell. Then Riker decides to kill JLP, who had turned into a Borg after getting naked.

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