Dethroning Moment / Star Trek
Let's count the times that we wish that the creators of Star Trek hadn't made it so
during the many decades that the show has been around.
Keep in mind:
- Sign your entries
- One moment per show to a troper, if multiple entries are signed to the same troper the more recent one will be cut.
- Moments only, no "just everything he said, " "The entire show, " or "This entire season, " entries.
- No contesting entries. This is subjective, the entry is their opinion.
- No natter. As above, anything contesting an entry will be cut, and anything that's just contributing more can be made its own entry.
- Explain why it's a Dethroning Moment Of Suck.
- No Real Life examples, including Reality Television and Executive Meddling. That is just asking for trouble.
- No ALLCAPS, no bold, and no italics unless it's the title of a work. We are not yelling the DMoSs out loud.
- Jackass Of The Century: "The Big Goodbye". There were two plots, one involving an interesting test of Captain Picard's ability to establish good diplomatic relations with a race of sentient insects, another involving a rather boring 1940's drama (which is something Sci-Fi watchers clearly do not watch Sci-Fi to see). Guess which plot overshadowed the other? Worse still, they didn't even show a visual of the bugs, not once. Normally, the BottleEpisodes from the series were the better ones. This, clearly, was an exception.
- Grumpy Old Man: This was mine for TNG as well. In addition to the reasons above, it's made even worse by the fact that the 1940's characters were all cliche stereotypes. It comes off as a cookie cutter detective story that pretended to be something interesting.
- JunkManDan: This was basically the writers' way of saying "Here's an interesting plot to lure you in, now watch this low budget stock plot that we wanted to film instead." The dethroning moment is really the mere mention of the Jaradar, as, while not top notch, the no-so-subplottish holodeck thing would have been more tolerable if not the bait and switch.
- Ira Steven Behr Sucks: There's also the end of "Reunion". Worf kills a problematic Klingon politician who no one misses, and does so in accordance with Klingon law, creating no actual problems, and arguably solving a few. Picard still reprimands him for this.
- Falcon2484: This one gets my vote as well, especially seeing as how Picard gives no similar reprimand to Riker after he arguably violates the Prime Directive in " The Outcast".
- InTheGallbladder: "Up The Long Ladder" I've seen some pretty bad episodes, but none of them have gotten under my skin as seriously as this one. It starts with a plot that could have seen Pulaski actually demonstrating those positive traits they keep saying she has, then promptly ignores it, but that's not my biggest issue. The A-plot revolves around Star Fleet interacting with the Bringoldis, whose character amounts to no more than "blatant Irish stereotype + blatant Pilgrim sterotype", but that's not my biggest issue. My biggest issue is ...Riker. The writers turned him into human garbage, then pretty much wrote the script around either justifying or validating his godawful behavior. I could point to many examples, but the biggest one is this: When the Mariposans, who reproduce entirely by cloning, ask Riker for a DNA sample so they can save their colony from the impact of nearly 300 years of replicative fading, he turns them down because he feels that cloning him would make him less special. He is considered to be in the right for this, to the point where he faces no retribution for destroying a clone the Mariposans make of him, using a stolen DNA sample.
- Nebagram: "Rascals". Dear god, "Rascals". We start with an utterly idiotic plot: the transporter accidentally turns some of the crew into children. Whilst not a bad idea for a show in itself, the away it's executed is utter laziness (transport accident? Again!?) and the show seems happy to gloss over the fact that what they've accidentally stumbled across is nothing less than the secret to immortality itself. At no point during the show was it stated that there were any negative aspects to the transformation other than having to go through adolescence again- after which they'd presumably be healthy twentysomethings. Sure, Picard may have lost his commanding presence, but he's gained a full sixty years extra life. Guinan- one of the other kids transformed- have gained over half a millennium of extra life. This in itself would be forgivable, but then the show goes straight over a cliff by having the Enterprise attacked... By Ferengi. In clapped-out birds of prey, which capture the Enterprise in seconds and force the entire adult crew- all 900+ of them- into slavery. Never mind the fact that we never see more than a dozen Ferengi at any point, never mind the fact that Riker should have obliterated the enemy ships the second they decloaked, never mind the fact that even with Worf incapacitated (again) the Enterprise has dozens of highly-trained security officers who you'd have thought would be able to tear the Ferengi a new one, apparently two Ferengi holding Riker and Data at gunpoint causes the entire ship to fall down in a second and have to be saved by the children... The same way everyone hated Wesley doing in season 1 and 2. This episode is every negative aspect of TNG in one 44-minute long 'example'.
- Brianify: Seconded, not least because the episode accidentally points out one of the dumber running themes in The Next Generation. Riker tries to guilt the Ferengi leader by saying that it was cruel to imprison the children on board the Enterprise. The Ferengi ripostes that it's cruel to bring children on an armed warship that regularly sees combat. The Ferengi is entirely right.
- Nine Tailed Cat: Tasha Yar's death in "Skin of Evil". As if killing off an awesome character wasn't bad enough, they had to do it in such a cheap and stupid way. She just gets slapped with an energy blast and then she's dead, without any warning or dignity. Sure, they had to write her out somehow with Denise Crosby leaving, but couldn't they have reassigned her instead, or at least killed her in a more dignified way? Heck, having her get sucked into Armus (like Riker, but without surviving it) would have been more satisfying. An otherwise promising episode was ruined by a good character dying senselessly. Such a waste.
- Wyattte: "Sub Rosa" might be rock bottom for the shaky season 7, and is worth watching only if you want to feel incredibly embarrassed for Gates McFadden. Putting aside the fact that Beverly Crusher's family is apparently from a planet that's modeled to look like someone's stereotypical idea of Scotland, what follows is barely even a TNG show as much as it is a bad episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Beverly Crusher is seduced by, and then falls for, a spirit being kept in her grandmother's lamp, who's been seducing women all throughout Crusher's lineage including her dead grandmother, adding a nice layer of Squick. This leads to cringeworthy scenes of Crusher awkwardly shouting into the void, culminating in Picard walking in on her being ravished by a ghost. The proceedings (and the pacing, and the dialogue) only get worse from there, and then you add the walking Scottish caricature that is Ned Quint and his horrible accent. What makes this already absurd ghost story worse is seeing all this happen to Beverly Crusher, a doctor, and one of the most well-adjusted women in the franchise.
- embala: While nothing beats out the clip show "Shades of Grey" for sheer power of boring, "Where Silence Has Lease" was the perfect brutal combination of boring, stupid, and Uncanny Valley special effects. You've done the "giant mysterious alien entity wants to learn more about humans by treating them like toys" plot a hundred thousand times, Star Trek, and every other time has been better.
- Ira Steven Behr Sucks: The part in "What You Leave Behind" where they cured the changelings. Sure, it's prefaced as a peace brokering deal, but the changelings had a history of violence and genocide; to trust that this would never happen again is, at best, extremely naive.
- COFFEENEBULA: The last Ferengi episode "Profit and Lace". It's meant to be both funny and serious, and it's neither. I just did not find Quark acting as a female at all, to the point of painfulness. To this day, it's one of the few Deep Space Nine episodes I haven't made it all the way through. Most of the fandom agrees that it's one of the worst episodes of DS9.
- Grumpy Old Man: "Valiant". Other than breaking Nog, there was little point to the story. Throughout the series, Ron D. Moore had found plenty of ways to torment and kill perfectly sympathetic characters, but this was by far the worst example of his writing atrocities. And Nog would later be broken anyway in "The Siege of AR-558", nullifying what little purpose this story even had to begin with.
- Dragon Quest Z: " Threshold". When you combine all the worst parts of the Star Trek franchise (Reset Button, Hollywood Science, Techno Babble, Special Effects Failure, and Character Derailment), can you blame the executives for all but declaring this Canon Discontinuity? Brannon Braga himself even admits to screwing the episode up.
- Tuomas: After all the bogus science and general stupidity in Threshold, the final straw, the thing that made this the worst Trek episode I've ever seen, is the last plot twist: the Voyager crew discovers Janeway and Paris, who have devolved into this weird salamander creatures, because that's what traveling at warp 10 does to you... And they also discover the two have mated and have produced offspring! So in the three days they were missing, they've turned into lizards, mated with each other, conceived children, and the kids clearly aren't newborn either, so that's one helluva fast reproduction process. Chakotay then inexplicably leaves the baby salamanders on the alien planet, and they are never ever mentioned again. So the whole twist of Janeway and Paris having kids was absolutely pointless: it doesn't have anything to do with the themes of this episode, and it's completely forgotten by the next one. They just added an utterly silly and unscientific plot twist on top of all the other ridiculous things in Threshold for no reason at all.
- Halfstep: The 2nd season episode "Alliances". To sum up: Voyager has been getting hit pretty hard by repeated Kazon attacks over the previous few weeks, so Chakotay convinces Janeway to go against her normal Starfleet training and beliefs, and to try to make alliances with some of the Kazon sects that are attacking them. Janeway eventually goes along with this, making contact with several of the factions that have been giving them a hard time. Eventually it is brought up jokingly that they should try to form an alliance with Seska and the Kazon Nistrim. Janeway takes it seriously, much to Chakotay's dismay. Now, there's a bit more to this episode, but the previous is all you really need to know to understand where this DMoS is coming from. Alliances is just one long Idiot Plot, filled with people being stupider than normal, making decisions that are questionable even by Voyager standards. A brief list of the questionable stupidity:
- When Chakotay states that they may need to reinterpret Starfleet principles in their situation, Janeway retorts that she hasn't seen any evidence that they've failed the crew yet. Apparently getting stranded in the Delta Quadrant, getting half of two crews killed on what was supposed to be a routine snatch and grab, and having the Kazon smear the Federation's good name all over the quadrant (seen in Dreadnought) while routinely attacking Voyager doesn't count.
- Janeway decides to make the alliance work, then calls in the Kazon Nistrim, the sect least likely to cooperate with Voyager, on the justification that Seska and the Nistrim are as equally bad as every other Kazon sect, when in reality, there is nothing supporting that belief. Furthermore, the other Kazon sects don't have Seska there constantly goading them to take technology from Voyager.
- As part of the alliance, Culluh makes the demand that they do a crew swap. Voyager is leaving the quadrant forever; why would Janeway agree to that, and why would Culluh, mysoginist or no, even think that Janeway would agree to that?
- Janeway meets the Trabe, the species that the Kazon stole their technology from. When the Trabe fleet runs into Voyager, they even talk with her, instead of immediately shooting, even though their fleet has more than enough ships to destroy Voyager (just 2 or 3 Kazon ships have been shown to be enough to seriously cripple Voyager, the Trabe have dozens in their fleet). The Trabe are thankful, polite, and eager to make an alliance with Voyager. So when the Trabe want to execute every single Kazon maj, Janeway has a problem with this because? At worst the Trabe are about as crooked as the Kazon, but they don't have a problem with Voyager. They also didn't seem to have a problem with the rest of the quadrant, as according to Neelix, the Trabe seemed to have a very good reputation. The Kazon are at war with everyone, attack and enslave random races, and won't even deal with Voyager, even though Janeway has bent over backwards to try and deal with them. How is dealing with the Trabe a worse deal than dealing with the Kazon again?
- Troper/Hyrin: Unimatrix Zero. The episode where Janeway gets assimilated on purpose and the Borg Queen completely loses her shit and starts self-destructing her fleet on a whim. SF Debris' synopsis about this episode is the stuff of legends.
- Doodler: "Tattoo". Chakotay's status as the resident Magical Native American varied in levels of offensiveness, but this episode was what proved that the writers had no idea what they were doing. To quote, the reason that the Native Americans are magical? They were touched by aliens, who were played by white actors. White actors. Oh, and until they were touched by these white aliens, they were backwards, language-less cavemen. First time I felt the need to take a shower after watching Star Trek.
- Grumpy Old Man: "Course: Oblivion": The episode combines Shoot the Shaggy Dog with plot holes and contradictions. Not only were a bunch of innocent beings killed off for no purpose other than to satisfy the writers' sick desires, but there was no reason that the silver blood aliens should have come to believe they were the original voyager crew to begin with. Silver blood Tom and Kim, at the least, would have had memories, recent memories at that, to contradict this. And why would silver blood Janeway give orders to keep heading for the Alpha Quadrant, repeatedly, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it meant certain death, for her entire crew? Granted, real Janeway didn't always make the most rational of decisions, but it was never on this level of blatant and flagrant stupidity. And since the silver blood beings are clearly at least as sentient as the Voyager crew they copied themselves from, it can't be explained by biology. While Word of God says that this was an attempt at Darker and Edgier, that's no excuse, even if it's true, because darker and edgier isn't always better. If it were, all non-horror genres would be passe by now.
- JunkManDan: Indeed, while I am not of the opinion that Shoot the Shaggy Dog is never okay to use myself, it certainly has to be used right before I will tolerate it. Word of God pretty much confirms that this was done for the sake of it, and any Shoot the Shaggy Dog done as such, is an automatic dethroning moment.
- Bronnt: What makes this a DMOS for me is it's relation to the series. Too often Voyager ends with a literal reset button so the characters stay bland without real character development. The characters on the fake!Voyager experience a lot more character development than their real counterparts ever do. Fake!Harry was more interesting in this episode than the real Harry Kim 99% of the time. The lack of consequence was a frustrating theme of the show, and this episode got to tease character development while once again being consequence-free for the real Voyager.
- 13thman: My pick for ST Voyager has to be "Flesh and Blood". This is actually a retroactive DMOS, starting with "The Killing Game", but it culminates here. Plot summary: the Hirogen are being killed by holodeck technology that Janeway gave them at the end of "The Killing Game". Janeway decides to save the Hirogen from the homicidal holograms against the Hirogen's will. Now that that is out of the way, here's the DMOS: why? Just why? I don't need to go into any particular details about the morals, motivations, actions, or logic of anyone in particular in this episode. All you need to know, in order to understand why Janeway taking the Hirogen's side against ANYBODY (even arguably the Borg) is just wrong, is this: the Hirogen are the serial killers of the galaxy. The Hirogen's hat is using superior strength and firepower to hunt down any sentient creature, whether or not it is armed, whether or not it is a physical match for them, whether or not said creatures are surrendering, fleeing, trying to make peace with them, whatever. They strip their kills down to the bone and display various body parts around their ships as trophies. These aren't the Cardassians, or the Klingons, or the Romulans, or the Kazon or Jem Hadar, who kill for country, or honor, or for their master or state. Unlike the races just mentioned, there's no such thing as a target being unworthy for any reason (sick, old, not involved in a conflict, etc). The Hirogen kill because it gives them wood. Nowhere is this made more evident than in "The Killing Game", where the Hirogen turn all of Voyager into a holodeck, so they can repeatedly kill and resuscitate the members of the crew in various fantasies. Their evil is so ridiculous: the Hirogen get pissed at the doctor because the holodeck weapons are killing the crew members faster than the doctor can resuscitate then, however they refuse to turn on the holodeck safeties, because holodeck safeties make the killing less interesting. Wait - if Holodeck weapons and soldiers are good enough to kill the crew, why waste time with the crew? Why not just turn all the safeties off on the holodeck and shoot at 100 foot lava monsters that bleed fire all day? Well, because like I said before, the Hirogen are the serial killers of the galaxy - their goal isn't to satiate violent urges like a Klingon or Jem Hadar, their goal is to kill people. But, enough about TKG: when "Flesh and Blood" rolls around, the Hirogen have managed to program holograms smart enough to cruelly kill every Hirogen they come across. Given what was just described in TKG, the question we have to ask here is, once again, why? These serial killers made a weapon so powerful it kills them, and the first time Janeway offers to help, they threaten to turn her into prey, again? Why is there a plot about Janeway detailing the moral and philosophical reasons why Voyager has a duty to help the sadistic homicidal aliens that want nothing more than to kill them all and wear their bones for necklaces? Picard wouldn't have put up with that shit, and he is infamous for being slower on the phaser button than Kirk or Sisko. That Janeway did ANYTHING other than leave these animals to die the Karmic Death they deserved turns this into a DMOS for this troper.
- Why Not Now: For me, it's Neelix's actions in the two-parter "Basics." We all know Neelix was a Creator's Pet, and that all his claims to grandeur and his posturing were something we just had to live with, no matter how stupid it was, but those were the episodes which literally killed his character and Voyager as a whole for me. Why? Because Neelix gets two people killed. Neelix... gets two people killed! First, the entire reason he decided to join Voyager in the first place was because he claimed to be a survival expert, he knew the region, etc, but the thing you need to know about Neelix is that he has a massive ego, and he boasts about abilities he does not possess, so when the time actually comes that the Captain puts him in charge of one of the teams sent out to help gather supplies during one of the most basic survival situations of all, the ship stolen, stripped of their technology, he winds up not only getting two members of the Voyager crew killed due to his incompetence, but poor Hogan, the first victim, Swallowed Whole by the vicious land eel hiding in a nearby cave, the most gruesome and horrible end for any sentient being, but only after ordering Hogan to gather a bunch of bones, picking one up, and then dropping it right in front of Hogan and leaving him alone to pick it up again. It's amazing Neelix or Voyager ever had any fans after that.
- Bryce Bryans: "Dear Doctor" in which Archer decides not to help a race of dying people because he is led by Hollywood Evolution and believes helping them would violate a directive that hasn't come into existence yet. "Until I have that... directive..."
- Lancel: The last sixty seconds of the third season finale "Zero Hour". What very nearly redeemed the entire show with easily the best episode of the series to date was instantly destroyed when Enterprise is, without explanation, suddenly and randomly thrown into 1945 Earth. Archer is randomly found by Nazis, and one of those Nazis is an alien. I am not alone in this, but this moment tends to be overshadowed by "These Are The Voyages..." (see below). DITL couldn't give the episode 5-stars because of just how much that ending sucked, and Graham admitted it easily had five stars up until that moment.
- Romanator X: "A Night In Sickbay" is all around complete crap, with rampant Jerk Ass behavior on Archer's part for no reason, completely messed up morals (why bring a dog on a foreign planet, just to start), and a Romantic Plot Tumor between Archer and T'Pol. Here, you can actually pinpoint the moment where the show crashed into the iceberg (and almost took the franchise with it). It's as T'Pol is delivering some food to Archer during his night in sickbay. After acting nasty to her, he says this immortal line. "Sorry, I'm a little on edge. I haven't slept very much, but I'm doing the breast I... the best I can." They made a joke about breasts. On the same franchise that's supposed to explain the meeting of humans with other species and explore the human condition... and they made a statement about breasts for a cheap bit of comedy.
- Crazyrabbits: "These Are the Voyages..." is almost universally reviled by fans (and the cast!), and for good reason: the series (and franchise finale) is a Next Generation episode in disguise, mixing Retcons, out-of-character moments and a genuinely pathetic premise. However, in spite of all that, it might have been possible to excuse it as just being another lame episode... until the speech scene. Captain Archer is asked to give a speech during a ceremony making the founding of the United Federation of Planets, considered to be one of the defining moments in the history of that universe (and something the audience has never seen before). Captain Archer steps up to the podium, opens his mouth to say his first words... and it cuts to Riker and Troi watching the ceremony for a few seconds before terminating the holodeck program and leaving. It could have been one of (if not the) best moments in a series that was ridiculed during its entire existence, but it ends up being a woeful end to the original franchise (as Enterprise was the last Star Trek series aired in the original universe). Why, Braga, why?
- Tropers/SorPepita: Trip Tucker blows himself up during a hostage situation. Not once does he think to wait for a security team to arrive (T'Pol alerts everyone to intruders on the ship), nor does he try to stall for time. Instead, he has the aliens knock the captain unconscious and then leads them to a room where he intentionally blows himself up... and for what? (There is an officially licensed Fix Fic out there.) This one is so bad that one of the writers apologized to the Enterprise cast on a commentary.
- Tropers/Thatsnumberwang: The whole idea behind the episode Unexpected is a classic case of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male. Because date rape is exactly what the Xyrillian woman did to Trip by passing off that bowl of ice that they both stuck their fingers into as a harmless game instead of the sex toy that could get him pregnant that it really was. No mention on her part as to what it was or what it could do, no form of contraception offered, not even a "hey, maybe you should get checked out" warning when it was all done or even a "sucks to be you, I've had my fun, better do something about that" which would have at least been something. All she does is let him wander back to the ship with a child growing inside him that - and let's be clear about the best case scenario here - was going to rip his insides apart even before he gave birth to it as he was not biologically equipped to carry it to full term. And yeah, when pressed later she admits that she didn't know that they were compatible but so what? How does that justify her not informing him as to the nature of that sex toy she handed him? But the cherry on the cake, the bit that calls that very hateful double standard comfortably to the foreground, is that this whole thing is played for laughs by the Enterprise crew from start to finish in a way that it never would have been if Trip was a woman who had ended up pregnant thanks to a man who had invited her to "play an innocent little game with me".
- Model Omega: The scene in "Despite Yourself" where Doctor Culber is killed out of nowhere by Tyler. This is the episode right after the one confirming the series first canonical, explicitly same-sex couple in six television series (and 12 movies) and right away the writers went for the tired Bury Your Gays trope. And the producers even knew this was a bad look, having to immediately explain that "no this isn't over" and "we avoided the worst parts of it" but I'm done, this scene left me so disgusted I'm done with the entire project. It just feels like the only reason Culber and Stamets were made a romantic couple was for this scene to have extra emotional impact, and if that was the case it worked, it left me a raging, furious mess.
Star Trek films:
- Olfin Bedwere: Data's death in Star Trek: Nemesis somehow manages to make Kirk getting a bridge dropped on him seem like a masterpiece of good film-making. Even leaving aside the stupidity of how the situation came around to begin with, the way it's filmed makes it feel like it's just some random redshirt who's dying, not a character we've known and loved for fifteen years. And then just to really ruin any emotion that might still be in the scene, about thirty seconds later they add in a gag about Picard forgetting that the bridge viewscreen has been destroyed.