A “Q”! I am so excited! How could an opener be any better? He walks around and tells them that he wants to die. His last words, “I die not for myself, but for you”…then he tries to kill himself but ends up making all of the men disappear. Then my favorite Q appeared! The young Q (John Delance) returns all of the men! Then old Q asks Jane for asylum, and jumps them back into time at the point of the big bang (My husband says he appreciates that they didn’t say the Big Bang, so they won’t be embarrassed by conflicting theories of special expansion… whatever.). Next, we see the young Q looking into the ships camera’s showing the ship as a Christmas ornament on a tree. Oh, and I love that the young Q keeps making cracks about Janeway as a woman Captain!
Janeway decides that she will hold a trial to determine if the old Q should be given asylum, and the young Q agrees on behalf of the continuum. Either Janeway is going to help him kill himself or lock him into prison. Old Q asks Tuvok to represent him at the hearing because Vulcans approve of elderly-assisted suicide. (This is all very Jack Kevorkian-ish…my husband pointed out that euthanasia was the hot topic for mid-1990s, especially in our home state of Michigan).
The trial is awesome! I love how logical Tuvok is and how he keeps out-witting young Q. Young Q asks if he could bring men from Earth to show the most important aspects of life. I looked at my husband and started chanting “Picard”!!! I got Riker…good enough! I love the look he gave Janeway! Awesome, no Woodstock, no Riker, no electricity, and Sir Isaac Newton avoided a “murdering-prostitutes-trial” of his own if there was not a Q! I laughed so hard at this part. True, it is a little silly and absurd, but sometimes that just works!
I truly appreciate how Janeway verbally abuses Young Q with a sardonic smile on her face! Oh, and Young Q tries to tempt Janeway with a little bribe; give us our ruling to lock up Old Q, and we will send you back to Earth. Tuvok insists that Old Q get to show Janeway (his judge) the Continuum. The Continuum looks like the middle of rural Nevada. Old Q makes the point that everyone is sitting around a house, silently because they have already said everything that ever needed to be said. (I feel that young Q probably created a few conversations when he was voted out himself…) Old Q explains that they are forcing mortality on him even though he already accomplished everything that there is or was to accomplish; there is no meaning to life. (Very interesting speech given that this was during a high media time for Kevorkian).
Young Q goes to Janeway who is sleeping in a very sexy nightgown (I imagine this was a heart-stopping scene for Janeway lovers)! He offers to bring them back to Earth and to not send Old Q back into his prison…how could she refuse this? She would not be killing Q, he would not be isolated in his prison, and her mission (to get her people home) would have been accomplished. Furthermore, there’s no damage to the prime directive by destabilizing a foreign culture. Do you really think this was wise? What are your opinions? (Again, my husband warns me that discussions may give away spoilers about the fallout.) As a captain where would you draw the line with your mission and responsibilities to your people, and helping a single individual with whom you have no ties (keeping in mind that the proposed bribe would at least be more beneficial to Old Q than what he was previously imprisoned under).
After the verdict is given, Old Q joins the crew. As Janeway and Chakotay are discussing what to do with him, the doctor calls regarding a medical emergency. Young Q helps aid Old Q in his suicide; he gives him a deadly hemlock plant to ingest. As he leaves, Young Q indicates that he is going to cause a little trouble for the Continuum again! Woo-hoo!
Favorite part: This was a great episode that tackled a sticky subject at the time (and really even now). It was nice to see a real-life-application episode. We had further character development for Janeway, who sticks to her morals, despite the impact it makes on her own people. Also, Tuvok, our wonderfully logical Vulcan, makes an amazing attorney! My absolute favorite part was when Janeway told Young Q off with a perfect smile on her face
Least favorite part: The old west-Nevada scene. I feel like they could have done a better job here. Yeah, the point is to show how boring the Continuum was, but they could have done a better job with it. The old guy reading the old book vs. the young woman reading the new magazine… I kind of felt that this was badly represented… both wore old clothing and had the appearance of an age gone by…shouldn’t the “new” portray new? I know that they were trying to represent how droll the Continuum was to the mere mortals, but I think they could have done the symbolism in a different way.