Apr 17, 2018
Star Trek: The Next Generation “The Outrageous Okona” (part 2 of 6)
After the credits, we see the Roger Corman rip-off ship maneuvering under the Enterprise. Riker guides Wesley through the process of locking the tractor beam, and the cheesy military march-like music on the soundtrack makes it seem like a really tense, difficult procedure. Of course, in every other episode, Picard just yells “tractor beam on” and that’s all there is to it. But, since this is the Land of Padding Footage, it takes forever to get locked on. And, I suppose, they do need to spend some time showing Wesley growing into the role of “the kid who instantly gets to do the stuff adults gave up years of their lives to do”.
Riker contacts Okona to tell him to shut down his engines and prepare to be beamed aboard. For reasons of the Plot Device variety, Riker has Wesley and Data accompany him to the transporter room. I presume this is so they can both experience the hype that is Okona. Okona—oh, what a feeling!
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In the transporter room, we find the Transporter Chief is played by a pre-Lois and Clark, pre-Radio Shack ad Teri Hatcher [!]. She energizes and Okona beams aboard. Worf demands his weapons and Okona is amused to see a Klingon security officer. “No wars available, huh?” Available? What? Can I just walk into a Rite-Aid and pick up a war? That was odd wording.
Anyway, Okona hands over his belt. Worf takes the belt, but then grimaces and sticks out his hand. What, is this the coat check? Does Worf want a tip?
Nope, it turns out that Okona has a dagger which, I swear, he literally pulls out of his ass. But Okona says he thinks of it as “more a piece of jewelry than a weapon. A remembrance!” Yeah! A remembrance of the time I totally shanked that guy in prison!
Okona is carrying a big Whatever Device on his shoulder, which turns out to be the faulty part on his ship that needs repairing. It looks a lot like a Nut-O-Fun, because it’s a hexagonal donut with two clear half-bubbles on either side. So, I guess Okona’s dome light is broken. Hey, don’t laugh! A dome light is crucial to navigation systems. Especially when your “navigation system” consists of the Yahoo Maps printout you’re holding in one hand while you try to steer with the other.
Riker asks Okona to hand his dome light to Data for repairs. Okona says he’d like to do it himself, calling himself the “hands-on type”. Wink, wink.
Riker, however, claims that they have “unusual” tools on the Enterprise that pretty-boy Okona obviously could never figure out. Okona says he can believe that. “May I at least watch?” Riker says that can be arranged. Okona puts the faulty part in Wesley’s arms and calls him “Commander”. Wesley laughs and insists that the yellow freak next to him is actually the Commander, and he himself is “just an acting ensign!”
Okona, showing perhaps a little too much interest in a young boy, says that “acting ensigns have names, don’t they?” Crusher says, “Wesley! Wesley Crusher!” So Okona replies, “Nice to meet you, Acting Ensign Wesley Wesley Crusher!” Ugh. It wasn’t funny fifty years ago, it’s not funny now.
With all the subtlety of a tack hammer, we get some cheesy “seductive” synth music as Okona introduces himself to Teri Hatcher. He says, “Thank you for beaming me here and enabling me to see a truly beautiful woman!” Well, that line is dumb and painful enough, but it just gets worse. As we’re about to see, awkward come-ons are his bag, baby.
He says, “You have the majestic carriage and loveliness that could surely be traced back to the noblest families!” Gawd, who wrote that line? And has that writer ever actually, you know, talked to a woman before? I’m guessing no. At this, Riker and Data just give each other a look. I mean, you know your line of BS is bad when even an android can smell it a mile away.
Teri, however, is not won over, implying that he’s given the same load of crap to many women before her. But Okona insists, proving that by the 24th Century, sexual harassment lawsuits will be a thing of the past. He says, “But it’s how I say it that’s really important! The warmth, the attraction that I have for you, the attraction that we… share?” Okay, what? That wasn’t even a complete thought, let alone a complete sentence. And in accordance with that half-thought, Teri gives him a half-smile.
Riker chuckles to the boys that Okona “appears to have excellent vision, as well as a healthy libido!” Okay, um… Will? This is a transporter room. Not a locker room. Call me a prude if you want, but I don’t think officers need to be discussing this sort of thing when they’re on duty. Especially with a 15 year old kid in the room.
Well, it looks like Okona has finally won over Ms. Hatcher, because the two continue to speak in hushed whispers. We can’t actually hear what they’re saying, probably because the writer’s imagination was very, very limited when it came to genuine male-female interactions. Finally, Riker comes over to break up the party, and he tells Okona to go along with Mr. Data. Once outside, Okona sighs and says, “Now, that’s sex appeal!” Yeah, but unfortunately for you, he’s still underage. Buh doom boom!
Data, however, is clueless. “Sexual attraction in this context is not a part of my programming!” That’s probably because sexual attraction in this context isn’t appropriate or warranted. As they walk off together, Data reveals he’s an android, so Okona asks if he’s “seen any good-looking computers today?” No, but I did dry hump a G5 once. Buh doom boom! Thank you and good night!
Wesley, currently following close behind with the busted dome light, gets a big smile on his face. Data looks confused, so Okona tells him, “That’s a joke! It’s funny!” Yea on the first part, nay on the second. Data takes a moment, then says, “Of course it is!” and lets out a forced laugh. And he’s not the only one. Thank you, Data, for crystallizing my entire opinion of Okona’s “humor” and his “roguish ways” better than I ever could.
Down in Engineering, Geordi is working on the Dome Light as Okona and Wesley watch over him. Wesley, don’t you have anything else to do? Geordi points out the Dome Light has worn “zelebium contacts” and tells Okona he’s replaced them with “tricellite”. What, no solarnite was available? How about piezoelectric crystals? Any of those around?
Okona stresses a little because there’s no “tricellite” in the Funky Cold Medina system, but Geordi says no worries. The Dome Light will now outlast his ship. Okona quips, “Because of the part, or the way I fly my ship?” Now, I’ve got to give props to LeVar Burton here. He was great in Roots and in this scene he proves he’s still a fantastic actor, because he seems like he’s actually genuinely enjoying Okona’s tired Han Solo act. Of course, if LeVar could act so hopped up about stupid books all those years on Reading Rainbow, I guess he’s capable of anything.
Geordi says he can tell Okona does tend to push his ship “beyond its design capabilities”. Wesley, still caught up in the hype, just smiles some more. Okona tells Geordi to “blame the pattern of my life”, which, of course, was patterned after Han Solo.
Okona says that because his life is in cargo carrying, and not exploring like the gang on the Enterprise, “I am forced to add a measure of flamboyancy and zest to the doldrums of my existence!” Yeah. Just trying saying that line aloud if you don’t believe it’s one of the most awkward lines ever written. Look… dude, Okona, you don’t have to keep promoting yourself. Wesley is sold!
Some unspecified time later, we cut to Okona and Data wandering the corridors together. Okona asks the android if he’s ever been cold, or warm, or drunk. “From alcohol?” Data asks. “That is not possible for me, sir!” Of course, he was intoxicated from a disease at least once (in “The Naked Now”) but he neglects to mention that.
Okona asks, “What about love?” And Data replies, “The act or the emotion?” Okona says they’re one and the same, but Data thinks that statement is “inaccurate”. Okona replies, “Maybe.” Well, glad we got all that cleared up then.
Then Okona takes Data by the arm [?] and delivers his own personal philosophy, and it’s as stupid as you’d expect. “Life is like loading twice your cargo weight onto your spacecraft! If it’s canaries, and you can keep half of them flying all the time, you’re alright!” Data, of course, doubts the accuracy of this statement as well. Okona says it was just a joke, and if that’s true, it’s gotta be one of the worst I’ve heard.
Data is just confused. Okona asks if he knows what a “joke” is. Oh, here it comes. Data accesses the ol’ Head DB and says, “It is a witticism, a gag, a bon mot, a fluctuation of words concluding with a trick ending!” But Okona insists he’s talking about “humor, fun! Do you know what ‘funny’ is?” Yeah, I do. Funny is someone getting paid to write this dialogue.
More cheesy synths hang in the air like limburger as Data just stares blankly. Okona asks where cabin 806 is. Data asks Okona why he wants to know, and Okona says he wouldn’t understand that, either.
Okona steps up to 806—hey, it’s right there!—and the doors swoosh open, and inside is Teri Hatcher in a big baggy red dress with the shoulders cut out. Data steps up and his eyes spring open in surprise when he sees Okona kiss her hand. Guess Okona doesn’t mind the big late 80’s wardrobe.
Yuck. When I see an outfit like this, all I can think about is how the girls on The Facts of Life used to wear the same kind of clothes to cover up how big they were all getting. Remember when that show started, and Natalie was “the fat one”, but by the time it ended, all four of them were the fat one?
Anyway, Data just stands there and stares like a pervert. Meanwhile, Teri leads Okona over to the bed and thankfully, the doors quickly swoosh closed behind him. Now, I think Data would understand this. Again, “The Naked Now”? Hello? Doesn’t anyone remember his “fully functional” romp with Tasha Yar?