Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: November 23, 1987
Written by: C.J. Holland and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Q decides to play a game involving Riker having Q powers while the Enterprise races off to save an exploded mining colony.
After conveniently dropping Troi off at a starbase, the Enterprise is called on to assist a nearby mining colony that has just suffered an accidental explosion. While on their way there at warp 9.1, they're stopped by the same Q-Ball that they encountered at Farpoint. (Excuse me while I randomly point out my correct usage of "their", "there", and "they're".) The Q-Ball once again turns into a force field that brings the Enterprise to a complete halt, and then Q arrives on the bridge in the form of a sphere with three snakes popping out of it. No one approves of his new style, so it doesn't take long until he flashes back to human form wearing a Starfleet Admiral's uniform.
Q explains that the Q Continuum has taken an interest in humanity, and wants to run more tests by giving them a gift beyond their greatest dreams. Picard says that's all well and good, but they're kind of in the middle of something. Not like that stopped Q before. Q promptly ignores Picard and turns to Riker. "Whadda ya think, Riker? Awesome gift? Eh?" Riker says he doesn't have time for Q's games, so what does Q do? Stops time and starts a game. He flashes a few members of the crew excluding Picard to a random planet and shows up in a Napoleonic French Marshal's uniform because it was the last thing on Picard's mind. (He obviously has a thing for Picard... but the Continuum has a thing for Riker, so...)
|Tell me, Will, do you like long walks on the beach?|
Back on the Enterprise everyone looks around and is relieved to be back home. Except Riker... Riker is still back on the planet to have a little chat with Q. He asks Q what he wants, and Q explains that the Continuum is fascinated by humans because they keep on evolving. They want to turn Riker into a Q so that they can have a bit of that humanity. But Riker says "No, screw that. Take your powers." So, Q teleports everyone back down to the planet including Wesley. Worf gets shot by a French Pig and Wesley tries to save him, but gets stabbed by a bayonet.
|Just gonna leave this here. You may marvel if you wish.|
This upsets Riker and he gathers everyone on the bridge to tell them "I'M HERE, I'M Q, GET OVER IT." Q shows up and says "YES, GOOD." But Picard is having none of this. Riker asks how his powers could be a bad thing if all he wants is to help people. Picard says "ok, fine, give us all everything we want." So Riker gives Geordi his eyesight, makes Wesley a grownup, gives Worf a Klingon mate... and they each turn him down because it just doesn't feel right. Riker says "omg I feel so stupid" and Picard says "AS WELL YOU SHOULD." And Q just rolls his eyes.
|I've got some theses to nail on YOU!|
I like this episode because Q. The planet that he takes people to leaves a little to be desired, but the story is solid. It gives Star Trek newcomers an introduction to why the Prime Directive exists: because it's detrimental to make any species evolve unnaturally. We also learn a little bit more about the Q Continuum and how they're pretty stagnant when it comes to evolution. This episode is the beginning of what we will eventually find is a great divide in the Q Continuum concerning humans. A divide that isn't settled until Voyager. Thumbs up all around for this episode!