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Recap / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S01E07 "Q-Less"

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I wouldn't get too close, Q.
Also known as "The One Where Sisko Punches Out Q".

A visitor to the station is revealed to be Vash, returned at last from her journeyings with Q. However, their arrival on the station marks the beginning of a series of issues that almost destroys the station.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Among his lists of ancient Earth's character, Q lists The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisitionnote , and Watergate.
  • Artistic License – Biology: An example that would go on to have surprisingly far-ranging implications for the rest of the show's run. Near the start of the episode Bashir says that he missed out on top spot on his class because he confused a pre-ganglionic fiber with a post-ganglionic nerve. However, many people — including the wife of the episode's writer, no less — pointed out that this was such a huge error that even a first-year medical student wouldn't make it, let alone a final-year student in the running to finish top of his class. As a result of this, the Season 3 episode "Distant Voices" was written to solve this, and the Retcon would be taken to even further, much more significant proportions in Season 5's "Doctor Bashir I Presume?"
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  • Ascended Extra: Lampshaded - Q's reaction to Miles confronting him is a bored "Do I know you?" When Miles jogs his memory, Q notes he was "one of the little people." (Given that Q is supposed to be omniscient, he probably didn't need to have his memory jogged and was just being a troll.)
  • Asleep for Days: Bashir is absent for most of the episode because Q put him to sleep early on and apparently left him that way for the duration.
  • Auction: Quark hosts one for a group of the very rich to sell Vash's artifacts from the Gamma Quadrant.
  • Blatant Lies: Quark tells Vash that he's Not Distracted by the Sexy while completely under the influence of her oo-mox.
  • Brick Joke: Q puts Bashir to sleep early in the episode. At the very end after Q has left, Bashir emerges and declares "I feel as though I've been asleep for days".
  • Call-Back:
    • Miles briefly recaps the Next Gen episodes "Captain's Holiday" and "Q-Pid" for the others.
    • Bashir references the trouble with the replicators they had a few episodes ago.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The one glow-y artifact that Vash brings back from the Gamma Quadrant is revealed to be the cause of the power drain on DS9.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Q refuses to leave Vash alone and takes Bashir out of action so he can't make any moves on her.
  • Didn't See That Coming: "Picard never hit me!" It's not often that a human can surprise Q.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Q spends several minutes antagonizing Sisko and then places the two of them in a boxing match, i.e. a socially acceptable situation to punch somebody in the face. What did he think was going to happen?
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Yes he did.
    Q: You hit me! Picard never hit me!
    Sisko: I'm not Picard.
  • Exact Words: Sisko demands to talk to Q in private. Q obliges disappearing everyone else on the station except the two of them.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: A Starfleet technician with his back to the camera is examining some circuitry as Vash goes past. He turns to reveal himself as Q.
  • Foreshadowing:
    Q: Two years in the Gamma Quadrant hardly qualifies as a grand tour of the universe. There's still the Delta Quadrant to explore.
  • Funny Background Event: In the beginning of the episode, O'Brien is clearly nowhere near as impressed by Bashir's story as the woman Bashir's wooing, and nearly does a Spit Take when she describes his story as "Fascinating."
  • Hilarious Outtakes:
    • This is how one bit of dialogue goes in the episode:
      Sisko: Bring them back, Q! Now!
      Q: Or what? You'll thrash me?
    • This is how it goes in one outtake:
      Sisko: Bring them back, Q! Now!
      Q: Or what? You'll ravish me? (beat) Sorry...
      Sisko: I might. (laughs)
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: Q, and he's rather surprised when Sisko takes him up on the offer (though gleefully remarks about how Sisko is easier to provoke than Picard, who even at his most annoyed never rose above sternly-worded rebukes).
  • I Am Not Him: Q gets in a few digs about Sisko being inferior to Picard. Sisko has precisely zero interest in his mind-games, although Q does prove he's "easier to provoke".
  • Ideal Illness Immunity: Q shows Vash (quite graphically) that "a tiny little insect" bite would have eventually killed her, if he had not been there.
  • Insufferable Genius
    Vash: It's over, Q. I want you out of my life. You are arrogant, you are overbearing and you think you know everything.
    Q: But I do know everything.
    Vash: That makes it even worse.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Bashir starts the episode with an overly dramatic account of one of his exams at Starfleet Medical. The woman he's talking to seems genuinely impressed; behind her, O'Brien is really not impressed.
  • Never Trust a Title: This is the only episode with Q. Though you could say it's an entirely accurate title, as DS9 got less Q than TNG and Voyager.
  • Not Me This Time: Q insists that he's not the cause of the station's power drains. Still, he's staying around to watch a station get ripped apart by a wormhole.
  • Not So Above It All: When Odo expresses confusion with the Ferengi obsession with material wealth, Quark starts listing off creature comforts Odo may want. When he gets to "a latinum-plated bucket to sleep in", Odo raises his head and briefly considers it before shaking his head dismissively.
  • Not So Dire: The episode opens with Bashir relating a time when he was in deadly danger, facing panic and confusion with not a friendly face in sight! Turns out he's referring to a test.
  • Oh, Crap!: Miles' reaction when he sees Q on the station.
    O'Brien: Bloody hell.
  • One-Shot Character:
    • This is the only episode of Deep Space Nine to feature Q. Some fans like to think he was just too afraid of Sisko after this. Others think that Sisko showed Q all he needed in one scene (i.e. humans being warlike and aggressive).
    • This is the last time we see Vash as well, despite her teaming up with Quark at the end of the episode.
  • The Show Must Go On: Q takes the time to warn everyone at Quark's auction that the station is heading for the wormhole and they're going to die. Naturally, Quark keeps going with the auction.
  • Technobabble: Q refers to it by name - the writers, who liked it about as much as the audience, relished the chance.
    "Picard and his lackeys would have solved all this technobabble hours ago!"
  • They Should Have Sent A Poet
    Q: When I look at a gas nebula, all I see is a cloud of dust. Seeing the universe through your eyes, I was able to experience wonder. I'm going to miss that.
  • We Will Meet Again: Q implies that he might drop in and see Vash again (her reply: "Oh God, I hope not!"). As it turns out neither Q nor Vash return to Deep Space Nine, even though the ending implies that Vash might team up with Quark.
  • Whammy Bid: Q makes one at Quark's auction just to be a Troll. He does seem willing to pay it later, but Vash refuses.

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