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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old November 4 2013, 08:26 PM   #1
Jeyl
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Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"





Captain's Holiday. The true, bona fide episode where the #1 priority of everyone who was making it was to satisfy Patrick Stewart's desire for Picard to be given more action oriented stories with a little bit of romance and hopefully sex. The more successful Patrick Stewart was, the weaker Picard actually gets. And the results we get out of this episode feels so out of place and so convoluted I would sooner rank this episode near the bottom of the list as episodes you can skip outright, but the episode does present us with the character of Vash. A woman who, starting with this episode, has an entire trilogy of episodes devoted to her character that will start with TNG and go all the way to DS9. And if you've read Brannon Braga's Borg comic, Vash is the gal Picard ends up with at the end of all things TNG era wise.

Our episode opens with the crew of the Enterprise trying to get Picard to have some R&R on the planet Riza. It's a pretty long, drawn out open in where the only thing to come out of it is "Picard is annoyed" that gets old really fast. Unfortunately for us, this schtick represents a sizable bulk of Picard's attitude throughout this episode.

This is the problem with the episode in a nutshell. In order to indulge Patrick Stewart in a more action oriented episode where he gets lucky with the ladies, they would have to write Picard being out of character. The resulting performance and execution does not do this episode any favors, and it certainly doesn't make Picard out to be a good action hero. When I watch the constant smug attitude that Picard gives off in this episode, I sometimes wonder why the writers just didn't try giving Picard something to enjoy. Maybe when he's really off duty he'd be the kind of person to enjoy the customs of Riza. This episode had the advantage of showing us a different side of Picard in an environment that would allow such things to develop naturally without feeling out of place.

Than we get into the action which consists of a puny Ferengi with a gun. This would constitute the first time that TNG acknowledged the Ferengi less as a possible threat to the galaxy and more as a race who are pretty much a joke. Max Grodénchik plays the Ferengi Sovak and despite acting a bit like Rom, he does have some moments where he looks genuinely intimidating than Rom ever looked (even his mirror counterpart).

So in the end, the aliens from the future witness events transpire as they have foreseen, Picard and Vash share their goodbyes, and we get the iconic "Riker is happy and proud!" look that just captures everything I love when he's not being a total a-hole. It's funny how the more I think about the time traveling aliens, the more I think about the original series backdoor pilot episode "Assignment: Earth". It'd be hilarious that in a different reality, these two aliens had their own show, and the creator wanted to make a show about the Enterprise and made this the episode to launch the series. Ha.

Still, if there's one thing that I would implore to the writers, producers and directors of Star Trek to take from this episode is to not let indulging your actors be the number one priority in telling your story. Thankfully this kind of indulgence was done to keep Patrick Stewart interested in the show since there was some serious talk about him leaving the show by the season's end, and not because he was a huge star thanks to a bunch of comic book action movies.

CONCLUSION:
"Captain's Holiday" is a tough one. It's execution is lacking, the characters are boring and the action just feels out of place. The only reason I would recommend this episode is because of Vash, a character who will later become relevant in the next Q episode and later in Deep Space Nine. And despite Vash being a predictable rogue character, Jennifer Hetrick never the less turns in a pretty solid performance. Out of all the ladies that Picard would get to know over the course of the series, she's my favorite. Even if you don't like her, at least she doesn't come with baggage in the form of Wesley Crusher.

STINGER:
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Old November 4 2013, 09:40 PM   #2
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

I would disagree with your assessment of this episode. I think it's fun and I don't characterize Picard's behavior as 'Smug' so much as out of his element on Risa. Riker tried to send Picard on a Riker-vacation and he just wasn't having a good time until he found an adventure to get caught up in. An exciting high stakes adventure is Picard's idea of a vacation. It establishes Picard as somebody who craves constant challenge and intrigue rather than the philosopher he's usually portrayed as, which I think was great for his character and not inconsistent with anything previously established about him. It would have been far more inconsistent if he had ended up indulging in Risan hedonism the way Riker wanted him to.

I agree the episode needed more threatening villains.

The original concept for this episode was that Picard entered a simulation in which he faced his greatest fear, which turned out to be being promoted to Admiral. This would have made a completely different, and also a very good episode, also confirming that Picard secretly craves the adrenaline of being head of the Federation's flagship.
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Old November 4 2013, 10:36 PM   #3
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

Oddly, this episode makes me think back to when I watched it, wondering if Michael Westmore was experimenting with some different type of makeup approaches. There were a number of episodes around this time (this one included) that seemed to feature aliens with rectangular-ish heads!
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Old November 5 2013, 12:46 AM   #4
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

This episode is.... painful. It's not terrible or anything there's just a lot you have to deal with (TNG's use of the Ferengi) to get to the "good" stuff.
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Old November 5 2013, 02:16 AM   #5
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

I absolutely adore this episode. It was marvelous to get to see the relaxed, off-duty Jean-Luc Picard suavely romance the beautiful, lady archaeologist. Wonderfully written by Ira Steven Behr, this episode is an homage to the great romantic films of the 40's. Vash is Bacall to Picard's Bogart. Watch Bogart and Bacall in the classic movie "To Have and Have Not" and then watch "Captain's Holiday." Vash's brazenness complements Picard's more sedate personality perfectly. She is the ideal foil for Picard's straight man. She's the only woman shown in the series as a romantic interest for Picard who would be able to go toe-to-toe with him. Picard and Vash have a very compelling 'battle of wills' dynamic to their relationship. The characterizations and relationship dynamics between Picard and Vash makes this episode a pure joy to watch.


A few of the gems from this episode:

"Is that an order?" Vash
"Absolutely." Picard
"This isn't a starship, Jean-Luc. I don't follow orders." Vash

"From the moment I met you I knew you were going to be trouble." Picard
"You look like a man who could handle trouble." Vash

"Well, any woman who can beat a Ferengi at his own game bears watching." Picard to Vash about Vash

"I'll never forget that look on your face when you thought I was offering you Jamaharon." Vash
"That was a simple misunderstanding." Picard
"You did seem a little disappointed when I turned you down." Vash

"Still think I'm trouble?" Vash to Picard after he kisses her.
"I'm sure of it." Picard to Vash kissing her again.

"Promise me you will try and stay out of trouble" Picard
"I always try." Vash

". . . about that Horga'hn you requested." Picard
"Yes, sir..." Riker (feigning innocence)
"We need to have a little chat about that." Picard


Warmest Wishes,
Whoa Nellie
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Old November 5 2013, 04:47 AM   #6
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

I remember seeing Jennifer Hetrick in an aspirin commercial a year or two back. Still a very attractive woman, but noticeably older. I have to keep reminding myself it's been like twenty years!

How come I still look the same, though?
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Old November 5 2013, 11:27 AM   #7
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

I'm sorry but Picard decking out Rom's twin brother with half the brains doesn't exactly seem.... action heroic to me.
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Old November 5 2013, 01:31 PM   #8
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

I always found this to be a lightweight but fun episode. It was nice to see Picard out of his starship command bubble. I'm of the camp that thinks Vash was a good love interest for him. And I consider Picard's reaction when he finds out what the horga'hn is for to be one of the most priceless moments in TNG.

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Thankfully this kind of indulgence was done to keep Patrick Stewart interested in the show since there was some serious talk about him leaving the show by the season's end, and not because he was a huge star thanks to a bunch of comic book action movies.
Not sure what you're getting at here...the X-Men films wouldn't come along for another decade, so they're not relevant to anything in this period.
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Old November 5 2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Not sure what you're getting at here...the X-Men films wouldn't come along for another decade, so they're not relevant to anything in this period.
Indulging the actors is something I don't look on with fondness. It takes the interest away from the show, the characters and the audience just so they can appease an actor. Now if an actor says they're having trouble with the role and/or doesn't understand why their characters are doing the things they're doing, that's understandable because the actors want to make the show work. When an actor says "There's not enough action or sex in this script!" that's probably because it's not that kind of a story, just as a Picard who is an action/romance hero isn't that kind of a character.

I'm not saying that having an episode where Picard gets an episode with action, adventure and romance cannot be done right, just that this episode isn't it. And the reason why I emphasize the indulgence factor is because this is what would later kill the classic franchise for good.
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Old November 5 2013, 03:12 PM   #10
MikeS
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

The Tox'utat is a 29th century weapon that does what an El-Aurian manages to achieve only four years after this episode aired. Not so much a superweapon as a firework (from the viewpoint of the future aliens)?
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Old November 5 2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

Mediocre outing with some fun moments mixed in.
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Old November 5 2013, 07:17 PM   #12
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Indulging the actors is something I don't look on with fondness. It takes the interest away from the show, the characters and the audience just so they can appease an actor.
That's why I'm not too fond of the TNG movies, even First Contact. Patrick Stewart was given way too much "fun" stuff to do (dune buggy, anyone?), and most of it is an antithesis of TV show Picard. Then of course Data is the featured co-star, and everyone else pretty much just has a walk-on role.
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Old November 6 2013, 01:42 PM   #13
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

Haven't seen this episode for years, but have fond memories of it all the same. Light-hearted and fun... wish there were more episodes of a similar ilk.
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Old November 6 2013, 03:36 PM   #14
The Old Building & Loan
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

Jeyl wrote: View Post
The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Not sure what you're getting at here...the X-Men films wouldn't come along for another decade, so they're not relevant to anything in this period.
Indulging the actors is something I don't look on with fondness. It takes the interest away from the show, the characters and the audience just so they can appease an actor. Now if an actor says they're having trouble with the role and/or doesn't understand why their characters are doing the things they're doing, that's understandable because the actors want to make the show work. When an actor says "There's not enough action or sex in this script!" that's probably because it's not that kind of a story, just as a Picard who is an action/romance hero isn't that kind of a character.

I'm not saying that having an episode where Picard gets an episode with action, adventure and romance cannot be done right, just that this episode isn't it. And the reason why I emphasize the indulgence factor is because this is what would later kill the classic franchise for good.
I got all of that, but the line "not because he was a huge star thanks to a bunch of comic book action movies" doesn't seem to have anything to do with the subject.
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Old November 6 2013, 04:45 PM   #15
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the Week: 3x19 "Captain's Holiday"

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Jeyl wrote: View Post
The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Not sure what you're getting at here...the X-Men films wouldn't come along for another decade, so they're not relevant to anything in this period.
Indulging the actors is something I don't look on with fondness. It takes the interest away from the show, the characters and the audience just so they can appease an actor. Now if an actor says they're having trouble with the role and/or doesn't understand why their characters are doing the things they're doing, that's understandable because the actors want to make the show work. When an actor says "There's not enough action or sex in this script!" that's probably because it's not that kind of a story, just as a Picard who is an action/romance hero isn't that kind of a character.

I'm not saying that having an episode where Picard gets an episode with action, adventure and romance cannot be done right, just that this episode isn't it. And the reason why I emphasize the indulgence factor is because this is what would later kill the classic franchise for good.
I got all of that, but the line "not because he was a huge star thanks to a bunch of comic book action movies" doesn't seem to have anything to do with the subject.
Because both cases of indulging the actor have wound up with crappy stories? I bring up both points because despite the kind of lukewarm reception this episode got, they did the same thing again later on in the franchise that would cost them dearly. Just because it was for different reasons doesn't change the fact that the story suffered as a result of making it a priority for ensuring the main actor was "happy".
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