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Recap / Star Trek: Voyager S3 E10: "The Q and the Grey"

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"What are you doing with that dog?"
(Q and Janeway look at the puppy the Captain's holding)
"I'm not talking about the puppy."
Female Q
"Out of all the females of all the species in all the galaxies, I have chosen you to be the mother of my child."

Q wants Janeway to have his baby, so Hilarity Ensues. Oh yes, and there's a civil war tearing apart the Q Continuum.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: It's not that Q is bad-looking. He's just incredibly arrogant, irresponsible, crass, and well... Q.
  • Actor Allusion: Female Q tells B'Elanna she always liked Klingon females. Suzie Plakson played K'Ehleyr, Worf's Klingon-human hybrid Love Interest in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • After Action Patch Up: Janeway binds up Q's shoulder with her dress while the bullets are still flying.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Or so Q believes. He thinks parenthood will make him settled, not to mention settling the entire conflict.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The crew of Voyager arrive just in time to save Q and their captain from being Shot at Dawn.
  • Bigger Is Better: Q isn't happy observing the UST between Chakotay and Janeway.
    Q: I was wondering, Kathy. What could anyone possibly see in this big oaf, anyway? Is it the tattoo? Because mine's bigger!
    (Face-Revealing Turn to show half his face is covered by a tattoo)
    Janeway: Not big enough.
  • Celibate Heroine
    Q: Oh, Kathy, don't be such a prude. Admit it. It has been a while.
    Janeway: And it's going to be a while longer.note 
  • Civil War: The Q are having their own, which is causing a cascade of supernovae in the real universe.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Q as a Running Gag. He just can't understand that Janeway is not interested in him.
  • Costumer: Janeway in a Pimped-Out Dress and everyone else as American Civil War soldiers.
  • Covert Pervert: Janeway can't resist tiptoeing up for a look at two Q's mating. For Science!, of course.
  • Creator Provincialism: Q talks about the American Civil War without clarifying which civil war from Earth's history he's referring to, apparently assuming that the 24th century woman from an interplanetary government would understand which he means. A Form You Are Comfortable With also happens to be this American historical event no matter what planet or area of Earth the crew is from.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Janeway with the puppy and the Q baby.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As per established Starfleet protocol in dealing with a Q.
    Q: I know that you're probably asking yourself, why would a brilliant, handsome, dashingly omnipotent being like Q want to mate with a scrawny little bipedal specimen like me?
    Janeway: Let me guess. No one else in the universe will have you.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In-Universe with the American Civil War metaphor, and loads of references to the joys of wedded life only to be tossed aside for a younger woman.
  • Face Death with Dignity: About to be executed, Q gives an impassioned speech about his beliefs, but his only demand is that Janeway be spared.
  • Face Palm: Janeway's reaction when Q first appears. In a dressing gown.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Q hams up his death until Janeway informs him the bullets are being fired elsewhere.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Rather, "A Period Of American History You Are Comfortable With". The Continuum now appears as the American Civil War, though the ability of humans to interact with it by the end of the episode stretches the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Oddly the old guard are the Rebels and Q's rebels are the Union forces, though this may be intended to represent how the Union were basically fighting to end slavery just as Q's forces are fighting for greater freedom. When Q tells the Q (CSA General) that the humans are using their weapons, he quickly ends the fighting.
  • From Dress to Dressing: Janeway tears strips off her petticoat as bandages and later a White Flag.
  • Guilt by Association: Janeway is condemned to death alongside Q.
  • G-Rated Sex: Played for Laughs, as the two Qs mate by... touching fingertips together.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: John de Lancie can't say "omnipotent". Even in the take they ended up using!
  • Humans Are Superior: Now they're trying to give the Q advice instead of the other way round. Q believes that human compassion and vigour will have an enlightening effect on the Continuum.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Q: Well, I'll admit, I look at the universe in an entirely different way now. I mean, I can't go around causing temporal anomalies or subspace inversions without considering the impact it'll have on my son.
    Janeway: I'm glad to hear you intend to set a good example.
    Q: By the way, did I tell you how smart he is? I've already taught him how to knock small planets out of orbit.
  • Insufferable Genius
    Torres: You know, I have really had it with this superiority complex of yours.
    Female Q: It's not a complex, dear. It's a fact.
  • Jaw Drop: When Q first drops the big news to Janeway that out of all the woman in all the galaxies, she gets to be the mother of his child! (it's even funnier as Q has her bent over in a tango position at the time). Then by both Janeway and Q when Female Q turns up.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Or Just Screw Q, who dangles a Deus ex Machina again, suggesting Voyager might get home a lot quicker if Janeway took up his offer. Janeway doesn't trust him to keep his word, and as a feminist icon rightly refuses to use her body as a bargaining chip. But in later episodes, so much emphasis was placed on how much she's willing to sacrifice to get her crew home that fans couldn't help but wonder why she didn't just boff the jerk. In fairness it wasn't just sex but a child he wanted with Janeway, so her reluctance is still understandable.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Harry and Tom are having their shoulders massaged by holobabes; Q materialises with the babes vanishing and reappearing in his lap.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Janeway brushes Q's offer to transport the ship back to the Alpha Quadrant in return for her services by saying that the crew is committed to getting home through hard work, not a "quick fix." This is basically an acknowledgment by the writers that the show's whole premise will not be resolved without proper fanfare and drama.
  • Licked by the Dog: Q previously questioned how anyone could find "squirming, little infants" appealing. Even in this episode in which he's trying to have a child, he figures his job is done after said child is conceived and has no idea what else he would or could bring to the table. And yet, in the last scene, he is happily playing with his newborn son. Janeway remarks that fatherhood agrees with him.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Q says that "My cosmic clock is ticking!" Given that Q is immortal, Janeway is justifiably skeptical as to this explanation. He points out that Janeway also isn't getting any younger, and is stranded on the far side of the galaxy from her fiance.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The promos played up Janeway apparently sighing in ecstasy (actually exasperation) over Q.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Quinn's suicide started a Civil War. Q wasn't exaggerating the disruption that would be caused by his death.
  • The Nicknamer: The two Q's have several derogatory nicknames for Voyager crew: "Chuckles" (Chakotay), and "Helm Boy" (Paris), though "Bar Rodent" tends not to get used even by those fans who don't like Neelix.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Janeway says Voyager will get back to Earth through hard work and determination, not a Q Ex Machina (not that it stops her asking in the next Q episode, whereupon Q enjoys knocking her back for this reason).
  • Not Hyperbole: When Colonel Q says "I've been waiting for this moment for an eternity" before throwing Q in chains, you just know he means it literally.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Q tells Neelix his attempts to bribe Janeway's affection aren't any different from his. Neelix is furious at the comparison, saying the captain likes him because he's loyal, respectful and sincere. Cue Humble Q putting on his best sincerity act.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted; there's Q, then the missus (called Female Q in the script) or "Suzie Q" after Suzie Plakson), then Colonel Q, and all the Continuum soldiers whose names are not mentioned but probably begin and end with the letter Q.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Unseen methods Q used to woo Janeway included writing love sonnets, filling the bridge with roses and serenading her in the bath.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted. Q is hit in the shoulder with a bullet which produces blood (like most bullet wounds do, except Q is an omnipotent being and supposed to be immune to all manner of injury), and then knocked senseless by an explosion. This is a part of the A Form You Are Comfortable With routine the Continuum employs when interacting with humanoids. Q points out that what gives a Q a flesh wound would obliterate Janeway.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Janeway and Q are about to be executed by Firing Squad and are asked if they have Any Last Words? Janeway tries her best, and no doubt inspired by the Trope Namer Q actually gives it a good shot too, but his fellow members of the Continuum are not impressed.
    Janeway: I won't plead for my own life. From your perspective I know it seems insignificant. But what is not insignificant is the fact that the Q, as an omnipotent race, have an opportunity to be a positive force and to set a higher standard for other beings in the galaxy. I implore you all, don't go through with this. Don't allow yourselves to continue using violence to resolve your differences.
    Colonel Q: Q, do you have anything to add?
    Q: Today I sacrifice my existence for the principles of freedom and individuality that I have fought for so long. But this woman is innocent. What's more, she saved my life, and she tried to save us from each other. Kill me if you must, but let her go.
  • Pet the Dog: The normally self-centered Q asks the Continuum to spare Janeway's life as his Last Request.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Worn by Janeway and Female Q in the Civil War simulation, as per the standards of the time.
  • Planar Shockwave: Caused by the supernovae.
  • Power Incontinence: The damage from the war is affecting the normal universe, creating supernovas and seriously damaging subspace.
  • Playing Hard to Get: Why else would Janeway be resisting the awesome Q?
    Q: Oh I see! This is one of those silly human rituals. You're playing hard to get!
    Janeway: As far as you're concerned, I'm impossible to get.
  • Precious Puppy:
    • Janeway, who left her own dog back on Earth, is surprised and delighted to suddenly find an Irish Setter puppy in her quarters. She goes all gooey for a second before toughening up.
      Janeway: This isn't going to work, Q.
      Q: (materialising) How can you ignore that face? (Q gives Janeway his best Puppy-Dog Eyes)
    • Played for Laughs shortly after when a female Q appears.
      Female Q: What are you doing with that dog? (Q and Janeway look at the puppy) I'm not talking about the puppy!
  • Pun-Based Title: The episode is about a civil war among the Q, and the title is a reference to "the Blue and the Grey," the two sides of the American Civil War.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Captain Janeway enters her quarters to find an enormous double bed with red satin sheets and heart-shaped pillows. Enter Q in a red dressing gown, holding a champagne glass.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Voyager is in the epicenter of three approaching supernova shockwaves. Janeway tells Q to do something. So he teleports himself and Janeway out of there, leaving Voyager's crew and his ex in the lurch.
  • Sequel Episode: To Season Two's "Death Wish". This episode also serves as the middle installment of VOY's Q Trilogy, which will conclude with Season Seven's "Q2".
  • Series Continuity Error: The TNG episode "True Q" had already established that Q can procreate and have offspring, despite Q saying it had never been done before. This is addressed in The Q Continuum trilogy when Doctor Crusher explicitly asks the female Q about Amanda, with the Q noting that Amanda was conceived in a purely human manner whereas her son was conceived and born in the Continuum itself.
  • Ship Tease: Chakotay admits he's a bit upset over Q proposing to his captain.
  • Silent Whisper: After Q spends most of the episode unsuccessfully trying to convince Captain Janeway to have a child with him, Janeway suggests he instead do it with a female member of his species. At first they're outraged, but then Miss Q comes up with a suggestion that she whispers in Q's ear, causing him to chortle over how dirty it is.
  • Skewed Priorities: Instead of leading his faction in the civil war, Q bunks off to knock up a scrawny biped from an Insignificant Blue Planet, convinced that this will somehow solve all his problems.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Q is in Janeway's quarters trying to seduce her. After saying "Why don't you slip into something more comfortable" her Starfleet uniform does an Instant Costume Change into a pink satin nightie. Janeway is not impressed.
  • Speed Sex: So much for "foreplay with a Q can last for decades!" The act itself doesn't last long at all.
    (The two Qs touch right forefingers, which glow briefly.)
    Q: Oh! I was good, wasn't I?
    Female Q: Very good.
    Janeway: That was it?!!
    Q: You had your chance. Don't go crying about it now.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Justified — when you can change the gravitational constant of the universe with a Badass Finger Snap, it's difficult to get your head around physical violence after you've been Brought Down to Normal.
    Female Q: Let me go before I hurl this ship and everyone on it into the Therinian Ice Age.
    Chakotay: I don't think you can.
    Female Q: Don't be ridiculous. (Badass Finger Snap = No-Sell)
    Chakotay: I don't know how or why, but something's affected your powers. Otherwise, you wouldn't still be here and you wouldn't have a bruise on your forehead. Now start talking before I hurl you into the brig.
  • Star Killing: Q weapons are so powerful that stars go nova simply as a consequence of using them.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Bamboo Technology: The weapons used by the Q look like Civil War-era firearms but are in fact so powerful that the kickback alone can destroy entire stars in neighboring dimensions. They remain so user-friendly that humans can use them.
  • Techno Babble
    Female Q: Take warp drive offline. Then remodulate the shields to emit a beta-tachyon pulse and prepare to emit a series of focused antiproton beams to the shield bubble.
    Chakotay: Does this make any sense to you at all, B'Elanna?
    Torres: I'd be lying if I said I understood it completely, but if she's thinking what I think she's thinking, we should increase power to the shields by a factor of ten!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Janeway gives a disgusted sigh of "Oh, Q" and Face Palm when she realizes he's popped back up.
  • The Triple: Q says that instead of Janeway he could have chosen a Klingon targ, the Romulan empress, or a Cyrillian microbe.
    Janeway: Really? I beat out a single-celled organism? How flattering.
  • Umbrella Drink: Served by Neelix on the holodeck.
    Q: You, bar rodent! Another one of these fruity concoctions.
  • Walk-In Chime-In / Inadvertent Entrance Q
    Janeway: I'm just not the right kind of woman for you, Q.
    Female Q: (offscreen) Truer words were never spoken!
  • With All Due Respect: Played straight when Captain Janeway addresses Colonel Q, who has more gravitas than other Q's we've encountered.


Q and the dog

Female Q doesn't mince words.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / BaitAndSwitchComparison

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