Episode of the Week: 2x04 The Outrageous Okona

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Jeyl, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    "The Outrageous Okona"

    In short,


    And it took four different writers to come up with this early TNG icon. Three of the four having imdb.com profiles so barren you could probably surpass them in not only the number of projects they've worked on, but probably good material to.

    For all the comedy that wasn't funny, for all the drama that wasn't dramatic and for the lovable character who wasn't even likable, my biggest gripe against this episode can be put into two simple words.


    For those unfamiliar with the name, it's actually a term used to describe a character that a writer creates for no other purpose other than to self-emulate him/herself into the story. This character is usually portrayed to be smart, brave, clever and awe-inspiring to just about every other character in the story regardless of their actions. Sound familiar? A few examples of Star Trek Mary Sues are Wesley Crusher (Gene Roddenberry) and Captain Janeway (Jeri Taylor). When the experienced television writers are susceptible to throwing in their selfish fantasies where they don't belong, they're usually going to be bad, and The Outrageous Okana is a perfect example of that.

    And that's the only way I can describe how this episode was written, because not only do they not give Okona any redeeming qualities, the writers have to resort to telling you that he is awesome. You'll have Troi smiling at his antics, you'll have Riker commenting on his character in a positive light and you'll have Okona telling everyone that his jokes are indeed funny. And this happens all the time in this episode, including the b-plot with Data trying to be funny.

    I'm sorry, but having your characters say that a joke is funny or think that a character is charming DOESN'T MAKE IT SO.

    The only thing this episode does that I can give it credit for was showing two Mary Sues coming together and, just as their roles dictate, inspiring one another with their awesomeness. It's so forceful and out of place I thought by BluRay disc was going to pop out

    Ok, I'm going to stop here for now but I want to end this bit on the original joke that was meant to be in place of the "You're a droid and I'm a noid (annoyed, whatever)" one. Special thanks to SFDebris for this one.

    "My job places me under some obligations, like a vow of secrecy. I can't repeat anything I hear or see. Now the obligation of the patron is to tell the truth. Otherwise I'm being placed under a commitment to keep a secret about nothing. That's not fair, it's called 'wasted honor'! You understand?"

    Anyone get it?

    Okona: Did I say something funny?
    SFDebris: If you did, it was only by accident.
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    And Joe Piscopo is the epitamy of modern humor!

    That's why he's so popular now! Wait...

    Yeah, terrible episode. They even had his terrible pickup lines get him sex with Terri Hatcher.
  3. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 27, 2012
    Bay Area, CA
    SFDebris' review of this episode was indeed quite good. The episode has zero redeeming qualities. It's so painful.

    At least in The Dauphin, another one I can hardly stand, it has that funny Riker/Guinan scene. Guinan's line of "Shut up, kid. Tell me more about.....my eyes" brought the episode out of the scrap heap.

    How many episodes have A-plots and B-plots both competing to make you hate your life more? Samaritan Snare's A-plot was awful, but at least the B-plot was good.
  4. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 6, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    During this rewatch I have often commented on how I have remembered an episode too harshly or too fondly. No such problem here.

    What a steaming pile of shit.

    Were they trying for Romeo & Juliet with this story? And the character of Okona, was he supposed to be Han Solo or Harry Mudd? Even the HD upgrade seems half arsed and unsure of itself - Did anyone else notice the tractor beam shot after the opening credits - blurry and seemingly of a lower quality than even SD.

    One question - during the prolonged scene where Worf is sent to get Okona from the red-head's quarters (let us ignore the fact that "red" ignores her bridge officers order by continuing to kiss Okona), he growls at Okona and says "I like that, but I have my orders", and Okona replies "some other time?". WTF was going on there?! Did Okona grab his dick or something?

    With regards the "comedy" b-story, I always wondered how they managed to make a fine comedic actor like Whoopi, unfunny. I think I realise now, this was never meant to be amusing. It is sad. And I felt sad for Data at the end.

    <clutches at straws> Teri Hatcher was attractive.
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Sounds like a standard Worf scene: Okona makes the usual gestures of male aggression, crowding the Klingon and staring him in the eye and whatnot, and Worf once again refrains from his favorite hobby of smashing some bones ("I'd like that", conditional) but only because he has been told not to.

    Somehow, even this scene was deprived of its logical "guest star is loathsome so we cheer for the superior hero who puts him in his place" value: it's played out as if Worf actually found Okona a worthy opponent...

    Timo Saloniemi
  6. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 24, 2009

    This is without a doubt the worst episode in the series. Perhaps it's one of the worst in the history of broadcast television. I cannot watch it when anyone else is around. It makes me embarrassed to be a fan of the series.

    This episode presumes to tell us something about charisma, confidence, and comedy, and shows incredible ineptitude in all of them.

    Okona is the very embodiment of charm. Everybody likes him from the moment they meet. We know that by the silly grins everybody wears when he's around (Robert Becker owes Wil Wheaton an apology for making him do that) and by all the pretty young Starfleet officers who immediately jump into bed with him (and a bigger apology for making him do that, but at least the scene was cut). Just in case we miss it, the empath is, as always, on hand to narrate.

    To say the Okona on screen isn't really so charming would be gross understatement. He's a desperate and pathetic imitation of a man of confidence and charm. He's the most irritating character in the Trek universe. Even Andy Dick can't be this irritating. When he "seduces" Teri Hatcher in the transporter room, Hatcher should have gotten an Emmy for not throwing up on him. I wonder how many takes she needed.

    The episode tries to teach us about comedy, yet is painfully unfunny.

    Even Whoopi Goldberg can't save this unfunny material. This scene is a microcosm of the episode:
    Guinan : Data :: This episode : viewer

    Data's right. The joke is not funny.

    The only joy this episode offers is ranting about it on TrekBBS.

    What's with the ADR on Yanar?
  7. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 6, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    The apostrophe and extra letter there makes all the difference! Thanks for clearing that one up. Perhaps it is because Okona is such a non-threat to Worf that I mis-heard.
  8. Mott the barber

    Mott the barber Commodore Commodore

    Jun 26, 2001
    You're original explanation was hilarious though. :guffaw:
  9. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 7, 2011
    A comedy episode that isn't funny. A guest character the regulars spend the entire episode wanking over without any real sign he's a brilliant as he thinks. Even the reliables amongst the main cast look bored. Poor model work. Worst Guinan scene of the series.

    Wait... Terri Hatcher? In a skin tight Starfleet uniform?

  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    The way the episode should have ended:

    Okana: "By the way. They're real, and they're spectacular!"
  11. Paul Weaver

    Paul Weaver Commodore Premium Member

    Apr 12, 1999
    Cheshire, UK
    Just watched this episode, and I thought it was remarkably good -- certainly better than "The Child".

    One big bonus is the lack of everyone's least-favourite racist, Pulaski isn't in it.

    Troi looks annoyed that Okana's been bedding women all over the ship but hasn't even hit on her. Riker is annoyed he's being outdone, Geordi gets to tinker for the entire episode, and there's the famous

    "reduce speed... drop main shields, as well."
    "May I ask why, sir?"
    "In case we decide to surrender to them, Number One... "
  12. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 9, 2015
    I thought it was less funny but better than the edge-of-your-seat LaForge-Pakled hostage crisis. It's better than the empty vessel that was Shades of Gray. Be prepared, though, to acquire wrinkles wincing with embarrassment as Okona gives life lessons to the simpering Wesley.

    It gets better when the Romeo and Juliet storyline. Not that isn't anything other than standard fare that will see our lovable rogue escape from yet another tight spot with flying colours and give him still more devil-may-care anecdotes to recount to the thousands upon thousands of grandchildren he'll inevitably wind up with in his old age.
  13. Needle and Spoonhead

    Needle and Spoonhead Ensign Newbie

    Jan 18, 2016
    It is one of the few episodes I won't re-watch. First time I saw it, I thought Okona was Billy Ray Cyrus.
  14. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Dec 13, 1999
    NJ, USA
    The first 20 minutes seems like it might be a nice advenutre, light like Mudd's Women, but it goes downhill from there.

    The real intended message of the episode: 20th century human morals about sex and marriage are antiquated. It's too badly executed to really make it though.
  15. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 13, 2013
    California, USA
    I don't really have a problem with this episode. The only thing outrageous about Okona is his hair and costume. It seems they were going for the swashbuckler look, but the outfit really looks bad. I'm not sure I bought his making it with only the hottest young women, though. He seemed more like he'd be a hit with cougars onboard; getting them hand-over-fist, throwing themselves at him. I don't know that I found his interactions with the crew to be "realistic," but they were different. Usually guest characters just have business with the regulars on the show. I like how he's associating with the background extras and nobodies on the show.