Recap: Star Trek The Next Generation S 3 E 13 Deja Q
Series:Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode: Season 3, Episode 13
Title: Deja Q
Previous: The High Ground
Next: A Matter of Perspective
The Enterprise is preparing to help the planet of Bre'el IV; a moon is slipping out of orbit, and if they don't do something, it will strike the planet and cause immense devastation. Suddenly Q appears, suspended high in midair and completely naked. He falls lightly to the floor and says cheekily, "Red alert."
After being given clothes to put on, Q tells them that the Q Continuum has banished him to a mortal form. Given a fraction of a second to decide what to be turned into and where to be sent, he chose human form and requested to be sent to the Enterprise. Since Q has toyed with the crew of the Enterprise on numerous occasions already, Picard is not convinced that this isn't some attempt by Q at a 'puerile joke' and insists that Q fix the moon. Q insists he cannot, because he has no powers. Picard is still skeptical. When Q further insists, Worf quips that he should "die" if he is indeed mortal.
Picard has Worf escort Q to the brig after Q insists on being treated like just any other human. After spending some time there, Q begs Picard to let him out, telling him that he can assist him with the whole moon problem. Picard finally agrees to let him out, and puts Data in charge of him. While working with Data and Geordi, Q comes up with the idea of changing the gravitational constant of the Universe, which Geordi quickly points out is not within their power.
Q eventually gets hungry, and goes to Ten-Forward with Data. Here he runs into Guinan, who decides to test Q's lack of powers by stabbing his hand with a fork. "Seems human enough to me."
Afterwards, Q orders 10 chocolate sundaes after Data remarks that Counselor Troi often eats them when she's depressed. But when the sundaes arrive, Q says he's lost his appetite.
While Q is in Ten-Forward, aliens called the Calamarain find and attack him. Guinan remarks that some of Q's old enemies found out he was now mortal and have come to 'look him up'
. Raising the shields succeeds in discouraging the Calamarain. Q remarks that they have no sense of humor.
The presence of the Calamarain going after Q is starting to interfere with the Enterprise's mission, resulting in Data getting damaged after they attack Q again. The Enterprise is knocked into the planet's atmosphere and Picard gives Q a dressing down on how selfish he's been. After visiting Data in the medbay, Q realizes that he should probably leave. He takes a shuttle craft out to distract them so that the Enterprise can try another tractor beam on the Moon.
Another Q joins him on the shuttle and explains that, due to the selfless act he just committed, the Continuum decided he could have his powers back. (Besides, if Q actually died, there would be questions and investigations for millennia.) Q snaps his fingers and gets his Starfleet uniform back. The other Q disappears. The Calamarain reappear, and Q gathers them into a tiny little ball that he can hold in the palm of his hand, and begins to say that if they thought he tormented them before
... but then Other Q's head appears in the wall. "Just checking to see if you were still watching," Q says, then blows on the Calamarain as if blowing out a candle, sending them away.
On the Enterprise, they find no further reading from the shuttle, but then it's back in its bay and Q appears, with a Mariachi band accompanying him. Since he has his powers back, he's restored the moon to its natural orbit, and everybody gets cigars! Two women appear on each side of Commander Riker, fawning over him. Riker says, "I don't need your Fantasy Women, Q." to which Q replies, taken aback, "Oh, you're so stolid! You weren't like that before the beard!" Riker gives him a rather cryptic look, and in a flash, the same women appear next to a bewildered Worf. Picard gets angry and tells Q to get rid of everything, the band, the women. "ALL of it, Q!" and the cigars.
Q reluctantly complies, but then says he wants to give a special gift to Data, his tutor in the humanities. Data says, "If your intent is to make me human, sir-" and Q quickly says, "No, no, I would never curse you by making you human. Think of it as a going-away present." Q disappears, and seconds later, Data makes a snerking sound, like he's trying to suppress a laugh. He does it again, and then breaks out into full-blown hysterical laughter. Geordi asks why he's laughing; Data says he doesn't know, but it's a wonderful...feeling.
Soon afterwards, the inhabitants of Bre'el IV contact the ship and say, "Picard, you've done it!" Their moon is back in a stable orbit. Picard is naturally confused, but humbly accepts the credit for saving their world. Picard prepares to get the ship underway, and muses, "Perhaps there's a ...residue of humanity in Q after all." He raises his hand to say Engage, getting as far as "En-" when a cigar flashes into his hand and Q's face appears in the smoke, saying, "Don't bet on it, Picard."
- Big Damn Heroes: Lampshaded by Q; Defied by the other Q.
- Big Eater: Q orders 10 chocolate sundaes. Guinan spoils his appetite before he can eat them, however.
- Break the Haughty: Guinan, who has a unique history herself with Q, gets plenty of satisfaction from Q's mortality. She stabs him in the hand to make sure he is indeed mortal.
- Brought Down to Normal: Q. He does not deal with it well.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Q on previously tormenting the Calamarain.
- Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes Q after being told he's been thrown out of the continuum and stripped of his powers. Of course, the last time Q showed up in "Q Who", he'd used the same explanation before introducing everyone to the Borg.
- Contemplating Your Hands: The other Q does this a lot.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment
- Deadpan Snarker: Worf gets his jollies with a single word.
: I have no powers! Q, the ordinary! Picard
: Q, the liar! Q, the misanthrope! Q
: Q, the miserable! Q, the desperate! What must I do to convince you people?! Worf
as Riker tries desperately not to explode with laughter
: Oh, very
clever, Worf. Eat any good books lately?
- And at the end of the scene:
Picard: Mr. Worf, throw him in the brig.
Worf: Delighted, Captain.
- After Q's powers are restored:
I'm forgiven. My brothers and sisters of the Continuum have taken me back. I'm immortal again! Omnipotent again! Riker: Swell.
- Entitled Bastard: Q asked his peers to drop him off on the Enterprise after depowering him because he figured that, despite all the trouble he's caused Picard & crew, they'd protect him when his other enemies come looking for revenge.
- Facepalm: Source of the iconic "Picard Single Hand Facepalm Maneuver".
- Which should tell you a lot about this episode.
- First Time Feeling: Q finds sleep and pain to be terrifying experiences.
- Funny Background Event: When Q starts playing with the Mariachi band in the end, there is a wide shot of the bridge crew. Notice Worf just dropping his head down and shaking it in resigned frustration.
- Gratuitous French: Despite the Mexican costume and the Mariachi band Q brought with him.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Surprisingly, the other Q manages to out-ham our Q.
- Heel Realization: Q's confession to Picard in the ready room.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. Q almost made one of these, but his selfless actions impress the Continuum so much that they give him his powers back.
- He's Back: The ending.
- Humanity Ensues
- Humans Are Special: Why Q chooses to be sent to the Enterprise. Or possibly "Humans are nice enough that they'll look after me and protect me when they realize I'm actually in trouble despite the fact that I've been a jerkass to them in the past". Either way, he's right.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: The Calamarain. Riker predicts that a bunch more of Q's old victims would line up to do the same, to the point that protecting him would be a full-time job.
Guinan: How the mighty have fallen...
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
Q: You're so stolid! You weren't like that before the beard.
- Naked on Arrival: "Red Alert."
- Naked People Are Funny: The Q Continuum clearly has a twisted sense of humor.
- Noodle Incident: How did the other Q misplace an entire asteroid belt?
- Not Me This Time: The crew thinks Q is behind the moon's collapse.
- Passive Rescue: Attempted. As Q attempts his Heroic Sacrifice, Picard, noting this "goes against his better judgement," decides to save Q...by focusing on saving the shuttle. As he notes to Riker, "It's a perfectly good shuttlecraft."
- Pet the Dog: Q tries to do this to the Enterprise crew after becoming omnipotent again. First, giving Riker some beautiful women fawning for him, then giving them to Worf when Riker turns them down. He finally succeeds, giving Data one brief laugh.
- He does also fix the moon for them and let them take the credit for it.
- Reality Warper: Q's solution for solving the falling moon problem is to change the gravitational constant of the universe, which he obviously can't do anymore (and would mess everywhere else up!) Geordi realizes, however, that he can use the Enterprise`s warp drive to do the same thing on a smaller scale.
- Retroactive Recognition: The second Q is played by a very young Corbin Bernsen.
- It should be noted that, due to his role as Arnold Becker on L.A. Law, Corbin was a major star at the time; his appearance was pretty much a Celebrity Cameo.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Guinan gives Q a blistering one in Ten Forward, ruining his appetite.
- Recycled Script: An almost identical story with Q being Brought Down to Normal, then having his powers restored when he made a Heroic Sacrifice, had previously been published in the TNG tie-in comic series.
- Standard Female Grab Area: Worf grabs Q this way when hauling him off to the brig.
"You will walk or I will carry you!"
- This Is Gonna Suck: Q's reaction when Guinan shows up in Ten Forward and sees him as a mortal:
"This is not a moment I've been looking forward to."
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Picard's reaction to Q's request for compassion.