Q Continuum Civil War

Story: The Q and the Grey
Written By: Kenneth Biller
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 1996

I must stress that “All Good Things…” really wrapped Q as best as you possibly could. All of his subsequent appearances are pretty unnecessary. It’s like reading a book in which the last chapter wraps up all the storylines and characters arcs perfectly…and then reading an epilogue that just says “and then they all died”. It is disappointing. So where should I start with this one? So many goddamned problems.
Q visiting Enterprise kind of made sense. After that first encounter they had a kind of history. When you get to “All Good Things…” it makes even more sense, as if Q was occasionally popping in to check on the progress of Picard, Enterprise, and humanity. Q being Q he would play games with them as well, but all the while he was really watching. Makes sense right? Even though I agree that his appearance on DS9 didn’t really gel with that shows atmosphere or characters, I think that Q stopping by made sense in context. It was part of that first season when the producers sort of thought DS9 could be an easy place for familiar faces to show up, since it was a station full of people coming and going. Luckily the writers and producers dropped that idea and started to carve out its own niche without just playing the “look which friend from TNG stopped by this week” game. I can even forgive Q’s arrival on Voyager in “Death Wish” which, while a terrible episode, worked to a degree with that episode’s premise. But now Q is just gonna drop by Voyager like he used to drop by Enterprise? Why?

Why the hell would he want to impregnate Janeway after having met her once? Really? What is the nature of their relationship at this point that he would think this would work? Their rapport is AWFUL. I don’t care how much fun Mulgrew and DeLancie had making it, it is HARD TO WATCH them together. The rapport between Q and Picard was what always made Q work, even in some of the bad Q episodes. Part of the reason Q on DS9 never really worked was because the rapport between Q and that crew just wasn’t as much fun as watching Q and Picard go at it. But at least DS9 TRIED something a little different. Janeway vs. Q is essentially the same as Picard vs. Q, only she isn’t as good an actor, and they shoehorn in a so-called “sexual tension” which never really works or makes sense. So why would Q want to impregnate Janeway? Because she is a girl captain, and the writers have no clue what to do with women.

The Q Continuum should never be visited. It was best left as a mystery. But because everything we needed to know about Q has already been done, the writers of Voyager felt it necessary to go there (twice now after “Death Wish”). Visiting there just makes it seem stupid and odd and pointless. Especially because the writers have no imagination on this show, and the decide that it will always just be what our “puny human minds” can fathom. Which is like a gas station or the American civil war. All the Q do in this episode go from very intelligent to moron in every other moment. The female Q is ridiculously annoying. I couldn’t stand a single line of hers, the delivery so irritatingly smug that I didn’t even want to continue watching her on screen. It seems as if she is only there for two solutions in the end: to get Voyager to the Continuum, and to mate with DeLancie’s Q for the final solution.

There is a line in this episode that irked me to no end. At one point Q offers Janeway the chance to send Voyager home if she mates with him. Now this is no way to get a lady in the mood, and I respect Janeway’s denial of said proposal. She rightly points out that he has dangled this carrot before….but then she says the dumbest thing said in Voyager to date: “we aren’t looking for quick fixes, we will get home, but with hard work”. WHAT!? It isn’t as if Starfleet blindfolded the crew, shot them off into the Delta Quadrant and said “now find your way home. Work hard. No cheating”. They were sent there by a highly powerful cosmic being, what is the difference if they are sent back by a different highly powerful cosmic being? Beyond that I can’t even buy the idea that the crew sat down and unanimously voted to only get home with hard work since they probably couldn’t unanimously vote on anything. On top of which it seems as if HALF OF WHAT THIS CREW DOES IS LOOK FOR QUICK FIXES HOME! We are only in the third season and we’ve already had half a dozen chances for quick fixes and ways to speed up their trip. Almost all have failed do to it; either by being a faulty plan from the get go, or that whatever alien culture they were bartering with for speedy technology had some minor difference with the constantly intolerant Voyager crew and Janeway put an end to negotiations due to her stubborn unwilling to compromise nature. So yeah…they look for quick fixes all the time.

The whole episode from beginning to end is just bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, and bad. Q should’ve been put to rest following the TNG finale, but the Voyager production team had now clue as how to do anything new. As a result “The Q and the Grey” has replaced “Qpid” as the worst Q episode ever. That is until I see “Q2” I’m sure.

NEXT TIME: Viruses Take on the Crew