A Suicidal Q

Story: Death Wish
Written By: Michael Piller
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 1996

Voyager finds an asteroid, and inside they beam aboard a being that refers to himself as Q. It isn’t the Q we all know and love. So this Q is awkward and accidentally makes all the men disappear, but this is changed when the original Q shows up and restores them. For like 5 seconds they have a battle of powers, and then the writers got bored. So did the audience, who are now just sticking around because they knew Riker was supposed to show up.
The new Q wants to die, and he asks for asylum. A deal is struck, and if Janeway doesn’t grant asylum he will be sent back into his asteroid prison, if he is granted asylum he will be given mortality and kill himself. Imprisonment or Death. Janeway is in a hard spot. She continues to give a look to the camera for the rest of the episode that reads, “This is tough for me, can you tell?”

I really hated Mulgrew’s acting in this one, forced throughout. Her rapport with John De Lancie also leaves something to be desired. The episode plays around with some old Q games that are supposed to be new and exciting because there is a different guy doing them, but it is tiresome.

The whole Riker thing makes no sense. Q Classic brings him in as one of three historical important figures affected by New Q. The first is Isaac Newton. Apparently this new Q dropped the apple on his head. Nonsense. That story is an acknowledged myth in real life AND BY DATA IN OTHER TREK. So this story is already completely idiotic to me. Another is some random hippie who apparently (and this is just too much) noticed that some extension cord was hooked up wrong, and WOODSTOCK NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED HAD HE NOT FOUND IT! Bullshit. One – I doubt the whole festival was hooked up with one extension cord, Two – I have trouble buying that had this guy not gotten a ride by New Q that no one else would have caught such a dumb mistake, Three – I have trouble understanding what the ramifications would have been had Woodstock not taken place…I doubt the Federation never would have happened if a music festival was delayed or fell through.

Then the third is Riker. While he never met this new Q because he was jailed in the asteroid, his existence is owed to him, since he allegedly saved his ancestor’s life once, as proven by a clearly photoshopped image. This leads me to only one conclusion: Frakes had nothing better to do, and the thought of having a cast member from a far more popular Trek series appealed to the producers.

In the end Janeway grants him asylum and tries to convince him not to kill himself. He joins the crew and calls himself Quinn for 15 seconds before giving up and killing himself.

This episode is bad, because it not only has some of the worst acting from Mulgrew to date, but also misuses De Lancie, who really got a strong out in “All Good Things…” and really didn’t need to return again. Q is a dried up well at this point, but the writers couldn’t let him go.

NEXT TIME: The Doctor Falls for a Phage Victim