May 29, 2018
Star Trek: The Next Generation “The Outrageous Okona” (part 5 of 6)
Then we waste what feels like ten minutes watching Worf head to the turbolift, walk out of the turbolift, and cruise through corridors. And right now, millions of Trekkies are salivating over this extended view of the ship’s interior. To the rest of us, however, it’s twenty seconds of walking. And I wish I were exaggerating here.
Eventually, Okona is found in a woman’s quarters, and the two are wrapped in a loving embrace. Worf totally barges in on them. Okona blows off Worf’s order to report to the bridge, and goes back to making out with his latest blonde conquest. I mean, the guy is totally getting his mack on right in front of Worf, which is just not right. Worf yells, “Now!” So Okona swaggers on up to Worf and stands in front of him with his hands on his hips.
Worf growls, “I’d like that! [?] But I have my orders!” Okona replies, “Some other time.” Hopefully, they’re talking about potentially having a fight, and not oiling each other up. Okona turns to Blondie, points to Worf, and says, “Remember what it took to drag me from your arms!” Yeah, I think a Klingon standing in the room would kill my mood pretty quickly, too.
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They head out, but not before Worf takes a moment to give the woman a contemptuous glance. Geez, someone shouldn’t be quite so judgmental. Don’t you have an illegitimate son somewhere, Worfie? More time is wasted showing the two men cruising through the same damn corridors back to the turbolift.
On the way up, the two men have some moments to convince us that Worf would love nothing better than to kick Okona’s ass. Hey now, wait your turn, Worf.
Anyway, Captain Picard finally meets Okona in person, with Worf introducing him as “Thadiun Okona”. Thadiun? Something tells me his odds of getting laid on this ship have just dropped significantly. Okona offers his hand, but Picard coldly stares him down.
Picard mildly chews him out for coming aboard his ship under false pretenses. Somehow, Okona thinks Picard’s just uptight about him “socializing” with members of the crew. “Socializing”? Is that the euphemism these days? On this line, Okona and Troi smile at each other ever so slightly. Oh… my… God. He… he… he banged Troi! What happened to Riker, Deanna? Imzadi, my ass! (Sorry. I’ve decided to work the line “Imzadi, my ass” into every TNG recap I do, just because it amuses me personally.)
Picard says Okona is free to socialize with the crew, but he should have casually mentioned that two different planets were willing to go to war just to apprehend him. Picard wants to know why Capulet and Montague are after him, but Okona can’t answer that. He insists he’s not a criminal, but Picard is apparently not buying into the fad, the movement, the myth, the idea that is Okona. Still, Okona maintains he’s done nothing wrong
Picard tells Worf, “On viewer.” Worf asks which ship, and Picard absentmindedly says the first one, Capulet. Yeah, I feel you, Jean-Luc. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Picard asks Capulet what Okona’s crimes are. Capulet yells, “Alright! Here! This is his crime!” and he walks off the viewscreen. So, Okona’s crime is walking off a viewscreen? Oh, be quiet. It’s funnier than the “digital timing” joke.
Soon, Capulet returns with his daughter, a brunette with a boy cut who’s very, very pregnant. Capulet says Okona knocked her up with a “bastard child” (hey, nice way to refer to your grandkid, dude) and now he needs to do “the right thing”.
When we return from commercial, a supplemental captain’s log catches us up on what Picard refers to as an “ancient morality play”. See? Even he realizes this plot is old as dirt.
We return to the bridge, where Troi advises that since they’re dealing with “ancient codes involving procreation”, and since Capulet is concerned about his “honor”, he’s willing to fight and endanger his entire crew, including his daughter and her unborn child. Whaaaa? That’s one jacked up sense of morality he’s got there. Anyone who subscribes to the “You knocked up my daughter, so I’m willing to let her die” philosophy should really look into maybe getting in with the Taliban.
It’s Montague’s turn to hail the Enterprise. Before taking the call, Picard wants to know why Montague wants him, but Okona still keeps mum. Picard, finally sick of dealing with the two men one on one, tells Worf to put them both on screen at the same time. I think Picard just wants any excuse to use that three-way calling feature he got when he installed the viewscreen, even though he’s only used it like twice since he set up the line.
Sure enough, both parties appear on the viewscreen, and the screen is split with an appropriately futuristic border. The two sides talk trash to each other, then Picard asks Montague what “Okon-er” did to him. Apparently, he stole “the Jewel of Thesia, a national heritage!”
Capulet yells that this ain’t nothing compared to his daughter getting knocked up. He wants Okona, but Montague insists Okona should be his. Then we learn that Montague’s son was befriended by Okona, and Okona supposedly “used” Montague Jr. to get the jewel. Hmm, the daughter is pregnant, and the son stole a jewel. Can anybody see where this is going?
Picard once again puts them on mute, and we see their silent faces yelling. After he’s had all the fun he can get out of this, Picard abruptly ends the conference call and has Okona come with him.
In Picard’s ready room, Picard again asserts that the two ships could “fire until their lasers ran dry, they wouldn’t hurt the Enterprise!” No, his big dilemma is what to do with Okona, because no matter which side he hands him over to, the other side will start a war.
Okona proclaims his innocence, saying he didn’t steal the jewel, and as for the other business, well, that’s between him and his baby’s momma. Okona suggests they just repair his ship and let him carry on his merry way, but Picard notes that both the Capulet and Montague ships are faster than his. Okona insists, however, that he can take care of himself.
Down in Engineering, Okona asks La Forge about the repairs to his Dome Light. Geordi wonders why he’s in such a hurry to get going. “I thought you liked it here!”
Okona says, “It stopped liking me. Time to disappear!” On this line, he pulls a suspicious, jewel-ly looking object from his vest. I’m not sure how something “Thesian” looks, but I imagine it’s that, too. Wesley, still totally crushing on Okona, asks where he’ll go now.
Okona is vague, and Wesley asks if he ever sticks around anywhere. Okona says no. Suddenly, poor Wesley becomes disillusioned with the object of his first crush. “I couldn’t be like that,” he says. “I mean, always being alone! Commander Riker says you choose to live the way you do, and like it!” Wesley says he couldn’t be “leaving all the time. I’d miss my friends! The people I love!” Wait, hold the phone. Wesley has friends?
For more Informed Attributes, Wesley tells Okona that “leaving’s gotten easy for you”, as if he would have any idea, and Okona says he has “a way of using up a place”. And of stinking up a place, too, if his dialogue in this episode is any indication. At last, this utterly pointless conversation is interrupted by Geordi handing Okona the repaired Dome Light.
Okona, however, has been inspired by Wesley’s speech into sticking around a while. So, I guess there’s one more thing we can blame on Wesley. Okona heads to the bridge to tell Picard he’s surrendering. Riker asks which side he’s surrendering to, and Okona says “there’s really only one option!”
I’m not sure what that option is, but Picard gets back on the split-screen conference call. He says this mode of communication is “distracting”, and invites both parties up to the ship for a little face time. Both men agree, and Picard and Troi take off for a conference room, while Worf goes to the transporter room to see to the guests.
Down in the transporter room, Teri Hatcher beams aboard both parent-child pairs of guests at the same time. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it, since they were both on totally different ships. Wouldn’t it be easier to beam over one pair, and then the other? Regardless, Teri pronounces they have no weapons, and Worf leads them off. As they exit, Lady Capulet and Montague Jr. shoot each other looks. Nope, no idea where this is going.
They all head to a conference room, and both dads immediately start yelling at Okona. It’s pretty much a verbatim repeat of everything they’ve been yelling up until now. Yep, this sure was worth beaming them up here. I’m sorry to say it, but this plot is getting really boring, so I hope none of you mind if I just sort of blow through the rest of this.
Picard chills everybody out and gives the floor to Okona. Okona says, “Everyone’s talking about me and no one’s talking to me!” Aw, are your feelings hurt, Mr. Space Rogue? He says that given the option between being tried as a jewel thief, and marrying Lady Capulet, he’ll marry Capulet, who’s a nice package if I do say so myself.
Suddenly, Montague Jr. yells that Okona can’t do that. Lady Capulet looks right at him and says that if everyone thinks Okona is the father, she may as well marry him. Timberlake gets pissed, and finally reveals that Okona didn’t steal anything. He says he was the one who took the Jewel of Thesia into “custody” to give to Lady Capulet as “our pledge of marriage”.
Yes, Lady Capulet is carrying Montague Jr.’s kid. Capulet says she lied because she thought the dads would go to war if they knew the truth. And Montague Jr. lied about the jewel because he thought he would be disowned. And now, I think, you finally understand why I gave them those nicknames in the first place.
Helpfully, Troi leans over to Picard and goes, “Now we’re hearing some truth!” Wow, those Betazoids sure are perceptive, aren’t they? Also during this, Okona leans over to Picard and says, “See how a man gets a reputation?” Oh yeah, you just keep telling yourself that, Thadiun. I’m sure it’s got absolutely nothing to do with you dropping your pants faster than the entire cast of The Full Monty.
Okona pulls out the Jewel of Thesia, saying he never got a chance to deliver it. And there’s a nice glare from Picard here when he realizes Okona’s been bullshitting him this entire time. It’s too late, however, because Lady Capulet angrily says she’s decided not to marry anyone.
Thankfully, we cut away from this miasma of boredom to… well, more boredom, actually. But at least it features better actors. Outside the Holodeck, Data is telling Guinan that he’s reinstated the comedy program. They enter Club Piscopo, and Data explains to Joe about how he told a joke and bombed harder than a B-2 in front of Guinan. Then Joe Piscopo meets Whoopi Goldberg, and together they create a vortex of Unfunny that devours the entire galaxy. Okay, not really. But tell me that wouldn’t have been a way better story.
Piscopo and Guinan suggest that what Data needs is a full audience. Yes, the more people staring stone-faced at him, the better. Data tells the computer to program in an audience and they magically appear.