Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In Defense of Awfulness: The New Turtles Movie Will Probably Suck, but Let’s Wait Until it’s Here to Assume As Much

So, in case you don’t spend all of your free time blogging about pop culture/reading other people’s blogs about pop culture, Michael Bay is producing the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Michael. Fucking. Bay.

Worse yet, he’s decided that there’s no reason to make the TMNT teenagers, or mutants, so now they’re aliens instead. Subsequent to this announcement, the internet basically exploded. I count myself among those in the “exploded” category. In fact, I’m quite sure that when I first heard it (and realized Bay wasn’t just trolling us all), I lifted my fists up to the sky and released a truly Shatnerian “BBAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!”, to let the gods of my ancestors know my rage.

Yep. Just like that.

My long-held grudge against everything Bay touches has been fairly public, I should think. I’ve never seen a movie he directed that I didn’t think was utter shit (though to be fair, I have not seen The Rock, and I’ve heard good things). He has a technical knowledge of special effects, but, I think, little understanding of character and story structure. He’s a poor man’s George Lucas, and that’s saying something. He tasks me, with every new movie he makes. He is also, somehow, stupid levels of successful.

The thing is, I never hear anything good from reviewers about his films, but they friggin’ always MAKE BANK. Audiences love them, for reasons I don’t really get. I guess it’s the “grand spectacle” or whatever, but who knows, I’m a notorious snob. “It looks soo kewl” isn’t enough for me to get over bad writing, wooden acting, and paint by numbers plot. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) was one of the most important films to my life as a child, and remains a rather impressive super hero movie, 22 years later. It is, in my mind, the perfect film that bridges the gap from the 80’s to the 90’s. Even if the sequels went from mediocre to absolute rubbish, I don’t want Michael fucking Bay remaking TMNT and making them fucking aliens!!!!! Just fucking kill me now and get it over with!

(When contacted for this article, Mister Bay’s response was: “I’ve done far worse than kill you, Palm. I’ve hoort you. And I wish to go on… hoorting you.”)*

All that being said, Bay is right about one thing. Recently, in response to blatant (and deserved) fanrage, Bay said “Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. And he’s right, we do need to collectively chill out. For now. And here’s why:

It’s Too Early to be Sure

Look, my gut feeling is that this movie will be worse than Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and the TMNT Christmas Special combined. But sometimes gut feelings can be totally wrong. For example, before it came out, I was totally convinced that Iron Man was going to be at best annoying and at worst terrible. Based on the trailers and the posters, I imagined Iron Man was going to be pretty much exactly like how Green Lantern turned out. Paint by numbers, shallow, and worst of all, BORING. And then I actually saw the film, and it blew me away. It was totally awesome, on all levels.

Now, while Bay’s dickish “They haven’t read the script” is just total assholery (Of course we haven’t read it! Have you, Mr. Bay? Does a full script even exist yet?), it’s a valid point. We don’t know anything about this movie yet, beyond “reboot” and “they’re aliens now”. On paper, it sounds awful. But I never thought a movie about an alcoholic in a mech-suit would become a stirring criticism on the business of modern warfare and moral grey areas inherent in weapon design- until I actually saw the movie.

Beyond that, the movie is scheduled for Christmas 2013. That’s 21 months from now, a long friggin’ time for changes to be made. I wasn’t joking when I asked if a script really existed yet, because this early in pre-production, I doubt it is.

Bay’s Producing, Not Directing

This isn’t the same as with Transformers, where Bay was in charge of the whole project. Bay is just the producer here, which means it’s more akin to all those horror film remakes he’s been producing for the last decade. Which, okay, isn’t exactly praise. I mean, the Nightmare on Elm Street remake wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, at least? Who knows, until we see who the director will be, and who’s writing it, we can’t just assume that it’ll be awful because of who’s producing. Again, his track record as a producer isn’t all that much better than as a director, but we need more information still.

‘CGI Turtles’ Could Mean a Lot of Different Things

While making the turtles aliens is still, in my opinion, pretty stupid, the idea of CGing the turtles sounds way less stupid than it did five or ten years ago. What if the turtles are motion capture? Motion capture kung fu battles could have a lot of potential, and if there’s one thing Bay does well it’s cool effect shit. There’s no reason for the CG turtles to look like cartoons, like they would have until just a few years ago.

This is All Our Fault

Basically, I’m not suggesting that we all embrace this movie with love and affection or anything. But the whole reason this movie is being made is because it’s going to make a hell of a lot of money. The previous 4 TMNT movies have made nearly half a billion dollars, and that’s when half of them were total garbage. I know I always shock people when I point this out, but movies only exist to make money, and this is basically a sure thing.

As to why executives keep letting fucking Michael Bay have these film franchises, well, because that formula seems to work. People keep paying money to see Transformers movies, even though they know they will be awful, because it’s Transformers. It’s not a franchise’s fault if a movie is terrible, but when you keep paying money to go see it, you basically are telling the studio that it’s okay to be terrible, as long as I see robots in disguise!

Look, I love Spider-Man. And I’m going to go see the new Spider-Man movie. I’m worried about the whole “new direction” thing, but I’ll give it chance. But if it’s terrible, what I won’t do is go see the inevitable sequels with the same director, writers, and cast. You can only vote by your wallet, people. If you thought Transformers was terrible, but then went and saw Transformers 2 in spite of yourself, YOU are partially responsible for Transformers 3 and the upcoming 4th film. So even if you hate Michael Bay, and all the trailers end up looking like garbage, and then the reviews suck, and then you still pay money to see “Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: They’re Aliens Now”, well, shit dude. What is wrong with you?

I hope the new TMNT is good. But if it looks like it won’t be, then I’m not going to see it. But I’ll wait until it gets a little closer to its release date to decide that.

*=Possibly a lie made up for comedic purposes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Star Trek Reruns: Further Evidence That I Am a Monster

Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. A fabled holiday, celebrating an English saint, who somehow got famous for getting all the snakes out of a country that snakes have never, ever been indigenous to. But whatever, it’s a day to celebrate being Irish, even when you’re not. And so, when I decided what episodes of Star Trek to watch while celebrating my non-existent Irish heritage, did I think to watch episodes that heavily feature Transporter Chief Miles O’Brien, an Irishman who has a good family life, and is all around a pretty great guy? No. No, of course not. I watched “Up the Long Ladder.”

Up. The fucking. Long. Ladder.

There is no possible way for me to properly describe this episode to you. Some have argued that it’s the worst episode of Star Trek ever. It’s not. (Nothing could ever be worse than “Shades of Gray”.) But it’s close. If it’s not the worst, it might be the most ridiculous. That’s a strong possibly. I haven’t watched it in years, but I’ve long told people that the only way to properly understand this episode is to sit down and murder 47 minutes of your life by watching it. And here I am, murdering my life watching it yet again. Added bonus: my friend and resident Irish-type person Brent “Samuel Clemens” McDannald is in town, and once again I’m ruining his day by making him watch this episode with me. I’m pretty sure he was with me the last time I watched it, because the only reason (until now) I can think to watch this episode is to make someone else understand your pain. Okay, enough exposition. Time to watch this dreadful thing. Pass me some more scotch.

Episode 2-18: Up the Long Ladder

What the hell was that opening scene? Seriously? What the fuck? Everyone’s just standing around, and suddenly Worf has a seizure or something? I don’t remember that scene at all, and I’ve seen this episode at least 6 different times that I can remember. (To be fair, I’ve seen EVERY episode of The Next Generation at least that many times) I don’t know what’s happening, but I promise you it’s not important.

Picard and Riker discuss orders about some SOS or something. I don’t know how they can tell that whatever that stupid noise is is an SOS, but there you have it. Something needs to happen to get the plot of this abomination started. So the Enterprise is off to the Ficus Sector to rescue some colony or something. And yes, you read that right. The Ficus Sector. I even double checked Memory Alpha on that. Apparently it’s the star system they get house plants from. Brent just pointed out that “the fake computer looks like it’s made out of clay.”

He may have a point.

But seriously, did Worf just pass out from indigestion or something? We find out in Sick Bay. “Klingon’s do not faint.” Hilarious. Worf is so awesome, you guys. Apparently Worf has “Klingon measles”. That is actually what Dr. Pulaski calls it. How Worf caught a Klingon version of a viral respiratory infection on a spaceship that regularly filters the air- especially when he’s the only Klingon onboard, so no one else could be carrying the infecti- you know what, I’m putting waaaaay too much thought into this one. Way more effort than the actual writers, clearly.

No one knows who’s in this colony or whatever, because no one has heard from the ship they were on in 200 years. Data points out that there’s probably a crew manifest from where they took off, because oh yeah, even though it’s been 200 years, that would still be the 22nd Century, and not, like, the dark ages or something. The irony of this is about to become apparent. Then Worf and Dr. Pulaski have tea.

I’m not making this up, you know.

Worf’s having tea with her as a thank-you-for-not-telling-everyone-I-had-the-Klingon-measles gift. This doesn’t actually make sense, especially since Klingon tea is apparently so strong it’s actually poisonous to humans. I think it’s just another way for Worf to remind everyone that he’s better than all of them. Mercifully, they cut to the next scene before Worf can start reciting Klingon poetry. Riker has beamed down to the colony to check out the situation. He tells Picard that there are 200 colonists (really more like 30), and they need to be rescued and shit.
Picard says that’s fine, beam them up, but when Riker starts trying to explain that there may be complications, Picard tells him to fuck off. He must be getting lonely because this is the season that Crusher wasn’t in. So, complications be damned, he says just beam them up anyway.

And then they beam up Irish peasants. In space.

He apparently beamed up the straw with them? I guess?

O’Brien, faced with the worst Irish stereotypes he’s ever seen and reasonably offended, calls the Captain and tells him to get his ass over here and fix it somehow. Picard and Worf head to the transporter room, and then… well, and then this happens.

……… Fuck.


Fuck. Fuck everything. That is a fucking chicken on the starship Enterprise. Complete with a bucktooth child that goes and gives it a hug. Oy.

The Space Irish are led by a drunken (of course) leader named Odell. Upon seeing Worf once, he decides not to fuck with him. Good choice. Picard- who I know is supposed to be French, but be honest, you never once believed that, did you?- is less than thrilled about these filthy Irish stereotypes on his (upper class) ship. Odell acts like he’s going to make a pass at Picard, but it turns out he’s really just trying to sell his daughter to the Captain or something. It’s a little weird. Speaking of her, we’re introduced to her, and I shall call her “Hot Irish Chick Who Is Angry And Says All Men Drink Too Much”, because I never bothered to learn her name. She yells and complains a lot in this episode.

The Irish start a fire in the cargo bay they (and their livestock) have taken up refuge in. Apparently, computers are like magic to these plain, simple peasant folk, who, once again, are living in the year 2365, and are the descendants of colonists from the year 2123. After solving the fire issue, Picard and Worf decide to get the hell away from these idiots, but Riker notices there’s a hot chick on board that he hasn’t yet boned, so he sets out to fix that. Then Odell shocks everyone by asking if the Enterprise found the other colony too.

“Allow me to introduce you to my penis.”

Riker gives Hot Irish Chick a tour of his quarters. Giggle. She keeps making allusions to “needing to wash her feet” as she starts to strip. Honestly? I find this kind of bizarre. Riker just says to hell with it, though, because it’s time to play Hide The Boner.

Oh look! The Space Irish have been on board for less than an hour, and they’ve already got a distillery up and running. Odell starts drinking some whiskey, because lord knows it’s been at least 20 minutes since his last one, and then waxes philosophically about wishing he could have something even stronger.

To be fair, is there really such a thing as booze that’s too strong?

Worf, amused, offers him some Klingon booze. Much like the Klingon tea from earlier, it is quite strong. Then, I guess Riker and Hot Irish Chick’s boning was just a quickie, because she shows up to bitch about her father drinking. This is pretty much what her character does.

Then the Enterprise stumbles upon the other colony. All these space Irish were originally on a ship with non-Irish-stereotypes, who I guess abandoned them or something? Anyway, their ship crashed 200 years ago, and only 5 people survived. So the other colony? Well, they are all CLONES, of course. Clones with shoulder pads.

“And mullets,” Brent points out. “Clones with shoulder pads and mullets.” Not all of them have mullets, but yeah, true.

God damn, there are still 2 more acts to this abortion, but Brent’s fiancé Katie (who is failing at sleeping through this episode) just figured out the ending, so that’s a good sign? Maybe? Anyway, anyone who knows anything about Spider-Man comics in the 90’s (or the Star Wars prequels) can tell you that clones suck. And these clones suck especially, because all they do is clone themselves, they don’t even try to have sex, because it grosses them out. But they need new clone-stock, so they ask to clone Enterprise crew members. Riker says screw you, and Picard agrees. Despite that, they agree to fix the clones crap down on Clone World.

Well, OF COURSE the clones abduct Riker and Pulaski when they get down there. They go about stealing DNA in the worst way imaginable- by stabbing a giant needle into their stomachs and extracting the genetic material. It is TERRIFYING. Pulaski and Riker return to the Enterprise with no memory of being abducted, but Geordi figures it out, and Riker destroys the new clones.

The clones are pissed off about Riker destroying the new Riker and Pulaski clones. Riker’s pissed off about the abduction stuff. The clones are all “We need new clones or our culture will die!” (Culture? What culture?) Eventually, Pulaski points out the obvious solution, have the Space Irish move in with the clones and start making babies the traditional way. The clones don’t want them because they’re all “sex is gross”, but the Enterprise doesn’t really give them much choice. No way are they getting stuck with the Space Irish assholes. Nobody ever wants the Irish, you guys.

The Space Irish are brought in, and while the Clones and the Irish don’t get along at first, they reach an agreement. In order to encourage genetic diversity, everyone will be required to have three spouses to get it on with. When Hot Irish Chick hears about this, she is not particularly pleased (though she did nail Riker at the first opportunity, so you’d think she’d have fairly liberated views on sex). Yay polygamy, I guess, even if it is forced?

Hot Irish Chick says “Send in the clones.”, which was the original (and much better) title of this episode. Clones have never seen livestock, apparently, based on their reaction to a lamb. Whatever. This episode is finally over with.

This fever dream of an episode makes no sense, and I still don’t think you can properly understand the terribleness until you watch it yourself. Just don’t expect me to watch it with you. The randomness of the early Worf scene has nothing to do with the plot, unless the plot is really supposed to be about badass Klingon beverages. Which, frankly, would be a lot better than Space Irish Peasants and Clones needing to come together to, uh, have babies, I guess? And seriously, Irish peasants. In the 24th century. How does that even get past the initial plotting phase of writing? Ugh. I need another drink, and isn’t that really the moral of St. Patrick’s Day?

Yes. Clearly.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Valentine’s Day Star Trek Reruns: A Drunk Column Sequel

[NOTE: I realize that it’s now March, but my life has been a little insane of late. Just read it and pretend it’s still Valentine’s Day, and everything will work out fine. I’ll try to make the St. Patrick’s one I’m planning a little more timely, promise.]

I had so much fun last time I did a drunken Star Trek review, that I decided to do it again for the second Official Drunk Holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day. But that “random episode selection” stuff last time was bullshit, and I decided to choose a few episodes myself this time. One of them is objectively terrible but I love it anyway; one is mediocre at best, but involves nudity; and one of them makes no sense at all, but is all about love, thievery, and cosplay. And in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, they’re all about romance! Because, hey, sure, why not? Make it so!

Episode 1-3: The Naked Now

This is an episode that’s a sequel to a Star Trek: The Original Series episode where a space virus turns everyone drunk and horny. I don’t have the TOS episode on hand, so you’ll just have to trust me on that.

The Enterprise rendezvous with a science vessel near an exploding star, only to discover that the science crew is having a wild and crazy party. Just as they show up, someone on the other ship does something extra stupid, and opens an emergency hatch that exposes the entire crew to the open vacuum of space, killing them all. Why not?

Naturally, the Enterprise sends over an Away Team to investigate, consisting entirely of main characters. While investigating onboard, Geordi finds a room where a crazy frozen orgy has happened. While looking at the nudity and reflecting on his lack of tail-getting, a body nearly falls on him. Geordi catches it, but uh-oh, guess who just got infected by a space virus!

There’s nothing as sad as walking into an orgy and getting a cold shoulder from everyone…

When the team is brought back, Geordi starts acting like a drunken asshole because (spoilers from 1987) the space virus turns you into a drunken asshole. Also, horny. Before anyone’s figured that out, though, Geordi sneaks out of sickbay and starts spreading his disease with everyone. Starting with Wesley (eww). Then he freaks out on Tasha Yar about him being blind, managing to infect her too.

Meanwhile, Riker vaguely remembers seeing that old episode of TOS, and tracks it down on the computer and emails a copy of it to Dr. Crusher, so that she can save the day. Troi finds Tasha has broken into her quarters to steal her clothes. Tasha proves that she’s crazy by telling Troi that her clothes are always beautiful. Anyone who’s ever seen ST:TNG can tell you that Troi’s fashion sense is objectively horrible. But whatever, Tasha infects Troi, then goes for a stroll to make out with random drunken crew members.

Wesley forms a drunken coup d’état and manages to seal himself up in Engineering and take over total control of the Enterprise. If that sounds implausible, it is. While Picard is trying to deal with that, Tasha calls up to the bridge and acts all frisky and stuff. Picard has had it up to here with this nonsense, and orders Data to escort her to Sickbay. Big Mistake.

D. T. F. Also, Superman spit-curl?

She reveals to some of her backstory to Data, and then tells him she wants his robot boner. This, uh, works somehow, even though he’s an android and should be immune to getting space drunk. But he’s not, so, it’s time to play robot slap and tickle.

*Giggle* ‘Fully functional.’

Riker is trying to get Wesley out of Engineering when space drunk Troi gets all clingy (and infectious) with Riker. He takes her to Sickbay, and in the process infects Crusher. Oh, and just for laughs, the cure they used on the TOS episode this one is ripped off from isn’t going to work this time, because PLOT DEVICE.

Wesley still won’t give up control of the Enterprise, and the ship is mostly doomed because of course it is. Drunk Data returns to the bridge, and Picard’s all like “Data, you’re a robot, you can’t get drunk!” And Data’s all “I’m drunk and laid, bitches!” Drunk Crusher shows up in Picard’s Ready Room, and tells him she wants to bone. Picard tries to resist, if only vaguely successfully, but duty comes before boning, damn it. Oh, and now he’s infected too.

No, really, how does a robot get drunk? What is this, Futurama?

Riker and Worf hold their space drunk better than anyone, and try to keep the Enterprise from blowing up. Wesley gets baited out of Engineering, and drunk though he is, Data saves the Enterprise with Wesley’s help (Ugh.). Despite being drunk and horny, Dr. Crusher manages to cure everyone, and the day is saved. With everything back to normal, Tasha tells Data that “it never happened.” Lol’s are had by all.

Even though this is only the third episode, and a shameless rip off at that, I kind of love this episode. It’s totally insane, but in an awesome way. Wesley gets drunk once and the first thing he does is take over the Enterprise? Crusher and Picard hilarious drunk antics? Drunk robot sex? Yes. Yes, please, with a bowl of awesomesauce on the side.

Episode 3-24: Ménage à Troi

The Enterprise is visiting Betazed to attend a trade conference. Troi’s mother Lwaxana is there, just to make things interesting. Also, Ferengi are there, to make things even more interesting. Betazoids don’t like species like the Ferengi who they can’t mind tread, and when one of them, Daimon Tog, makes a pass at Lwaxana, it doesn’t end well. Anyway, Lwaxana want to make sure Troi is happy, because mothers are like that. There’s some B-Story involving Wesley heading to Starfleet Academy and stuff, but whatever. Picard makes Riker go on shore-leave with Troi because he’s in a matchmaking mood. The 2 of them beam down to Betazed.

Personally, I’ve been to worse vacation spots.

While the 2 of them reminisce about their old love (and while Troi wears a truly hideous dress), Lwaxana shows up to interfere with their lives. Mothers, am I right? She wants Troi to marry someone, preferably Riker, and she makes that very obvious. But then Daimon Tog show up and tells Lwaxana he wants her passionately. And then he promptly abducts the three of them.

No, really. That dress is just the worst. And clearly being a fashion disaster is a Troi family disease.

On the Ferengi ship, Riker realizes that his communicator can’t reach the Enterprise. Then Daimon Tog teleports the clothes off of Troi and her mother, because in Ferengi tradition, women aren’t allowed to wear clothes (It’s called titillation, I guess). Tog tells Lwaxana that if she uses her telepathy to help him in financial gain, Troi and Riker’s lives will be spared. She decides to talk with him alone.

Wesley is having second thoughts about the whole Academy thing. Whatever. Moving on. From his prison cell, Riker manages to school the other Ferengi dudes in 3-Dimensional Chess. Lwaxana manipulates the bad guys with pathetic ease. Seduction is so easy when the victim is willing, I guess. Riker uses the chess thing to con his way into a prison break (obviously). Lwaxana has almost seduced Daimon Tog into giving her the command controls of the ship, when other Ferengi show up to call him out for being an idiot.

“The Ferengi Chess Players” would be a good name for a band.

As the Ferengi doctor is experimenting on Lwaxana to learn more about her mind reading abilities, Riker tries to send a message to the Enterprise using Star Trek logic. Wesley figures this out just before he’s about to leave, and decides to abandon his shuttle to school in order to tell the bridge crew about it. This, of course, means he’s safe from Star Fleet Academy for yet another season. Troi and Riker rescue Lwaxana, and then manage to be captured again cuz they’re dumb. Lwaxana has a plan, though, and promises to stay with the Ferengi if Troi and Riker are sent back to the Enterprise. The two of them protest, but Tog agrees. The Enterprise arrives, and they’re beamed over. When the Ferengi and the Enterprise open communications, Lwaxana reveals her plan ‘discretely’.

She insinuates that she and Picard are former lovers, and that him bringing the Enterprise this far out to rescue her was an act of passion. Picard understands, and plays along by throwing quote after quote of Shakespeare at her (Picard often solves his problems with Shakespeare). He threatens to destroy the Ferengi ship if he can’t have her, and Daimon Tog falls for the bluff. He beams Lwaxana back to the Enterprise bridge. Thanking him for the rescue, she leaves Picard all flustered and stuff.

Then Picard gives Wesley a field promotion and a real uniform because Wesley has once again screwed up going to the Academy (third time, you guys), and Picard is sick of seeing his bastard son not in a uniform. The Enterprise is a weird ship, you guys.

So, if there’s a moral to this episode, I guess that it’s… That it’s okay to use sex and sensuality to manipulate people who kidnap you if that helps you escape, and if THAT fails, you can always threaten murder. Also, if you fail to go to school repeatedly, you can totally have a career in the space military. I guess?

“Good job failing school, son. Here’s your complementary pilot’s license and phaser.”

Episode 4-20: Qpid

Okay, quick backstory is needed here. This episode involves Q, who is Picard’s nemesis/possibly God? He’s from a godlike race, that’s for certain. He can basically do anything, is beyond the notion of space and time, and like to toy with Picard like a cat with a spider. Also, in this episode: Vash, Picard’s ex-girlfriend. If Picard is Indiana Jones, Vash is that hot Nazi chick in Last Crusade. She’s a thief, adventure, and she and Picard are totally hot for each other. Crusher gets the shaft in this episode, but not literally. Onward!

The Enterprise is about to host an archeology conference, and Picard is way into that, because that Indiana Jones analogy wasn’t bullshit. Picard’s readying a speech he’s giving at the conference, when Vash shows up in his quarters. Rather than question this, he decides that sexy times are ahoy, and just goes with it.

His decision might not be as rash as it seems.

The next morning over breakfast, Picard realizes that Vash is totally just there to use him, but he’s mostly cool with that. Until, that is, Dr. Crusher arrives for their weekly breakfast, which makes things awkward, since Picard told Vash about Crusher, but he hasn’t told anyone onboard about Vash.

Vash and Crusher go to Ten Forward together, and Riker (of course) makes a pass at her. But she sees right through his cheesy one-liners. Vash is starting to get annoyed as she realizes that Picard hasn’t told ANYONE about her. Things get worse once the conference has started, when Vash speaks to Troi, and she realizes even his own councilor doesn’t know about her. She confronts Picard about all this and doesn’t buy the whole “I’m a private loner kind of dude” thing (even though he totally is), and that’s about when Q shows up. Picard is not having a very good day.

Q owes Picard a favor for something that happened the last time he visited (long story), and he’s here to pay up. Picard just wants Q to leave, and they bicker for a bit before Q pretends to go. Picard then tries to explain things to Vash, and re-realizes that she’s probably up to something (Because I guess he forgot he already realized that after their game of hide the pickle?). Q spies on their fighting, and comes up with his master plan. As previously stated, it involves cosplay. To teach Picard a lesson, Q uses his “whatever the writers feel like” powers to transport all the main characters on the Enterprise (and Vash) into Robin Hood characters in Sherwood Forest. Because why the hell not?

Picard is Robin Hood. Vash is Maid Marian. Q is the Sheriff of Nottingham. Riker, Little John; Worf, Will Scarlet; Data, Friar Tuck; Geordi, some guy; Troi and Crusher, also some guys, because Marian is the only girl in the Robin Hood story. Worf is less than amused, and Worf is a man who solves his problems with violence. Yes, Star Trek just went Ren Fair. Deal with it, kids.

No, seriously, that is the actual line of dialogue Worf says.

Q shows up to tell Picard that if in the next 24 hours he doesn’t rescue Vash, she’ll die. But, he warns, if Picard does try to rescue her, blood will be spilled (Spoiler: Not really….). Understandably, Vash is just incredibly pissed off about having to wear that dress, but then she learns she’s about to be executed. She decides her best course of action is to change the rules, so she starts openly flirting with some jerkwad named Sir Guy of Gisbourne, who just so happens to be the man in charge of her soon-to-be execution. Q is annoyed by this, but he doesn’t have time to be annoyed for very long, because Picard is already here to rescue her. Vash calls Picard out for being dumb, and when the Nottingham fuzz show up, she hands Picard over to them to save her own cover
Real love will always betray you in the end, I guess?

Q respects her ruthlessness, and admits to her that she intrigues him. But then he betrays her to the guards- for the sake of saving the game between himself and Picard, you see. As the execution of both Picard and Vash approaches, they continue to bicker, until the Enterprise crew show up and save the day, Merry Men style. Fighting ensues.

Q passively observes Picard’s final swordfight with Sir Guy, but (obviously) the heroes win the day. He then tells Picard that their debt is paid (Q is kind of shitty at repaying debts, if you ask me), and if Picard has learned his lesson (about emotions making you stupid) at all, huzzah. Vash disagrees, and is all “you are so sexy for trying to save me even if it was dumb”, but Q sees past her stand-by-her-man sentiments.

Back on the Enterprise, Picar goes to his quarters, where Vash appears. So does Q. Turns out, Q likes her enough to offer to give her a universal tour, mostly just because it will piss Picard off. There’s some moral here about the one who got away, or always going for the wrong person, or whatever, but…. Meh. Too obvious.

Q was right, emotions make you stupid, and they aren’t to be trusted. And if that’s not a Valentine’s Day lesson worth learning, I don’t know what is!