Okay, so far, I think it's a guy thing, this liking Colin despite his lecherous ways. Because speaking as a woman, he makes my skin crawl. Yuck. I have known guys like this and they are just not nice people deep down, regardless of how idealistic or polite or competent they might otherwise be. I think it's the fact that he's trying to be subtle about it that's bothering me -- he's a manipulator, which very much goes along with the territory of the job he's got. It's one thing to be a womanizer, but be up front about it, please. Colin is just reminding me of a horrible guy I once dated (who was, unsurprisingly, in the same exact line of work). He's well written, but he's icky.
And Williams is connected to the augment? Oh, boy. I feel like I need a diagram to plot all the connections here. It's a very tangled web, Joel! And wonderfully entertaining, as always!
Kes7, you might very well be entirely correct about the prevailing appeal of Colin Groves amongst male readers--not that I've conducted a gender survey or anything. To get somewhat personal about this, I am gay; and I have to say that aside from Colin's obvious sexual predilection for women, he reminds me as much of many gay men as straight men. In fact, he might remind me even more of gay men, those of whom are fully out of the closet who often evince an unalloyed libidinousness when in range of an attractive man. This has led to several conversations with straight friends about how gay and straight men often have very much more in common than either group is inculcated to believe. To be utterly reductive about it: Sometimes---oft times!---men are dogs.
Now far be it from me to conflate explanation with justification. It's not my intention to minimize your reaction. In fact, it recalls to mind an afternoon my partner and I took his teenage god-daughter, 'Cesca, to the movies. Though 'Cesca was a just 14 at the time, a mere slip of a girl, really, she was maturing fast, as it were. As we walked down the street, I noticed how many men, of all sorts, were ogling her with an obvious appetitive carnality. I felt an intense defensiveness of her. I did a lot of thinking that day about what it must feel like to be a woman subject to the uninvited leering, lecherous attentions of men.
Kes7, I think that in the context of the world of "Restoration," it's interesting that your understandable umbrage at Colin stems partly from his ham fisted attempt at subtlety. In fact, if Colin is, indeed, a lothario, he kinda puts the "b" back in "subtle." But (and I grant that this might be wishful thinking; and who knows where Joel is planning on taking this character), I have a feeling that Colin's attempts at subtlety stem not necessarily entirely from sexual insidiousness on his part, but a robust cognizance that just about ANY of the objects of his ardor could kick his ass. I mean really!---he seems to have had an affair with an augment, and now he's cruising the Cardassian first officer. What's next, giving Karala the eye? I would NOT advise that, Mr. Groves.
Aside from the consequences of sexual harassment in the 17th century post-Federation, I would NOT want to get on the bad side of any of these female characters, no more than I would dare refer to Ba'el Sarine as a "veruul" in his earshot.
Interesting that the Redemption has a Dax onboard, because Colin Groves quite reminds me of Curzon Dax. I wonder what Jasto Dax will think of Mr. Groves.
Thanks for giving me some food for thought, Kes7. And Thanks to Joel, once again for providing the grist for the mill ---so very much the job of a good writer.
Happy New Year, fellow Trek-Geeks!