Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S04E20 (lol blaze it)
Air Date: April 22, 1991
Written by: Randy Russell and Ira Steven Behr
Directed by: Cliff Bole
Q teaches Picard all about his weakness and the dangers of love by turning him into that most classic of literary lovers, Cassan--... wait, no, Robin Hood?
The episode starts off by promising a most exciting premise: an archeology symposium! But, wait, before you start to drift off, what if I told you that Vash was part of this symposium? You know, the chick that Picard met on Risa who was just as good at stealing Picard's heart as she was at stealing ancient artifacts for a living. She smuggles herself on board the Enterprise ostensibly as part of the archeology council, but she's vague enough about her answers that one supposes she has ulterior motives while orbiting the long-forbidden archeological treasure trove of Tagus III. Meanwhile, as she introduces herself to the crew (including a mischievous Dr. Crusher), she begins to realize that Picard never told any of them about her. And that makes her a bit upset. After all, she thought they had something special!
Well, Picard has his work cut out for him, trying to explain to Vash that he's a private man and doesn't really discuss personal matters with the crew, all while preparing his speech for the archeology symposium. The episode starts looking really dull, so who else could we count on to shake things up, but Q! The immortal god of mischief appears in Picard's ready room and explains that he has a debt to repay. Picard helped him return to the Q Continuum, and for that favor he feels a nagging sense of obligatory reciprocity. He's determined to pay Picard back immediately. It can't wait until after the archeology symposium. Picard insists that Q leaving would be payment enough, but that won't satisfy Q, of course.
|This is a man who is difficult to please.|
Riker is Little John, Data is Friar Tuck, Worf is Will Scarlett, and Geordi is Alan A-Dale. It's unclear who Beverly and Troi are supposed to be, but they're similarly merrily dressed. Just as Worf refuses to play the fool in Q's game, Sir Guy of Gisborne arrives to capture Robin Hood, and Worf is the first to break his vow and start a sword fight with him. Picard orders everyone to run away and then they run into Q who explains the situation dressed as the famed Sheriff of Nottingham. Much like the Deistic God, Q set up this world and let it play out with his hands off. He has no idea what's going to happen, except that, without Picard's intervention, "Maid Marian" will be executed at sunrise. And guess who Marian is.
|Vash the Unfreed.|
Well, it turns out that there will be an execution later: Picard's. So Vash writes a letter to the Merry Men and tries to get her maid to deliver it to them. After she refuses, Q walks in and discovers Vash's plan. He admits that he had underestimated her. He finds her to be a lot more amusing than he originally anticipated. Nonetheless, a game is a game and a lesson is a lesson. Looks like there will be two executions later on! Q sends Vash to prison right along side Picard. This is not how I remember the original Robin Hood story going at all!
|I mean, Picard isn't even a fox.|
So there may have been a few problems with this episode. Q's choice of Robin Hood instead of any number of romantic leads is confusing to me, but I suppose it worked out in the end. After all is said and done, this was an episode to be taken lightly. A fun episode where you can laugh as Worf breaks Geordi's lute and Troi shoots Data in the torso with an arrow. And I, personally, am a big fan of Q, so there's that. Despite any problems that might exist in this episode, I enjoy it! A bit of a comic relief episode every now and then is classic Star Trek.