Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Hide and Q”

3 stars.

Air date: 11/23/1987
Teleplay by C.J. Holland and Gene Roddenberry
Story by C.J. Holland
Directed by Cliff Bole

Review Text

In the first episode of TNG I can finally actually endorse, Q returns while the Enterprise is on a mission of mercy to rescue the survivors of an explosion on a Federation colony. Q interrupts with a new series of games, and snatches most of the bridge crew (less Picard) from the ship and puts them on the surface of a planet where an approaching platoon of deadly nonhuman soldiers close in on their position. Q offers Riker the power of the Q in the hopes that Riker will join the Q Continuum. Riker at first refuses but then uses his new power in a moment of desperation to save his shipmates.

The show's early dialog is lively, thanks to Q's nonstop condescension and his amusing verbal barbs. "Hide and Q" benefits from being a follow-up to "Encounter at Farpoint" because this time Q is a recognizable nemesis who immediately comes across as an intellectual opponent rather than a physical threat. There's a method to his madness, as evidenced in the scene where he confesses to Riker that the reason the Q want Riker to join them is so they can learn about humanity's rare hunger to learn and grow.

The story's second half centers on Riker's new powers and his promise to Picard not to use them (not even to save a young girl who dies in the explosion). Interesting how Riker's new gifts, despite his every effort to remain a humble human, insidiously turn him toward an arrogance he doesn't even recognize. ("Have you noticed how you and I are on a first-name basis?" Picard asks him.) Riker attempts to give all his friends miracle gifts — granting them a literally magical wish — and I liked the way this backfired; apparently humanity has advanced far enough to recognize rewards do not come without an ethical cost.

Yes, the story reduces omnipotence to an almost absurd simplicity (would anyone really give up such a gift?). But what works here is the story's trust in its extended (and effective) dialog scenes that debate and wrestle with the matter at hand — scenes that would be practically unheard of on television today because no one would have the patience for them.

Previous episode: The Battle
Next episode: Haven

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Comment Section

88 comments on this post

    Having Wesley still have his "teen" voice as a grown man in "Hide and Q" was utterly ridiculous...why would he choose to stay that way in that case?...if he did presumably that would be his voice forever.

    Definitely the worse Q episode of all Trek, and that includes Q-pid and DS9's Q-less and VOY's Q2, which all also stunk.

    I know the use of first name was a device to show that power corrupts but it doesn't ring true as I see Riker as having more respect for Picard than that.

    Meh, I'd have rated it with only 2 stars.

    I love every bit of Q I could get, but still this time around he acted a bit more immature than in "Encounter...". Just look at his final scene, he was like a big old baby (That's more of a problem of the script than the marvelous John De Lancie, of course)

    And the Alf-like creatures were so bad to look at. I celebrated Wesley's temp-dead but I didn't celebrate his acting. Gosh.

    But my biggest gripe against the ep is how they solved Riker's superpowers. I've always found annoying that type of show that magically fullfil the lifelong wish of some characters, only to find out 5 secs later than it's actually a bad thing and you should left them unchanged. Because, face it, there'll always be some chars that'd really benefit from that kind of magic (Date would never find another way to be a real human, for example), but NO, you can't alter the status quo my boy. Just tease at the idea of change, but never change.

    @ Jay: LOL, you're right. I laughed my ass off when I heard that adult guy speaking with teen Wesley's voice. Wth were they thinking? It wasn't like we could he was someone else, as everyone else stayed the same :P

    Probably not as enthusiastic as Jammer about this one, although I agree it is watchable. Q returns to the Enterprise once again, this time to offer Riker the option of joining the Continuum.

    The episode is again somewhat faster paced than evident missteps like 'Code of Honour' or 'Lonely Among us', and the dialogue between De Lancie and Stewart is once more entertaining. However, the scenes involving the Aliens dressed in Napoleonic costume are at best tiresome, (although seeing Wesley killed off no doubt made many fans days, even if it wasn't real) - however, for me the episode feels rushed. There was no real tension in the scenes at the end and the outcome was fairly predictable. By no means a terrible episode but ultimately unsatisfying. 2.5 stars from me.

    I don't get. Why didnt Georgi accept Riker's gift? What would have been the ethical cost if he had accepted it?

    The scene where Tasha is crying and Picard tries to comfort her is just embarrassing. She acts so bad, nevertheless, I guess most TNG characters (besides Data and Picard) act wooden in season 1.

    Worf was killed way too easy by those "pigmen". Also, Wes death was cheesy and Picard shouting at that moment "Wes" was out of tense.

    Other than those, not a bad episode. 2 stars.

    It's not perfect ("penalty box", anyone?) but DeLancie, Frakes, and Stewart definitely up the ante in this. Which is not to disregard the other actors; everyone pulls in a good job, and for the Yar/Picard penalty box scene, the fact neither of them goes OTT or corpses is a testament to their abilities, even under the absolute worst of conditions.

    "Hide and Q" is a mix of what made TNG season 1 work and fail, all rolled into one. Which is odd to say, since it lacks the juvenile sexuality, Data's use of contractions, and cornball extremes that would pretty much hamper and/or ruin any number of other episodes... But half of season 1 is definitely better than the reputation it's been accorded, and the Blu-Ray restoration only makes it more compelling to re-watch.

    Riker being turned down by the crew was a tad forced, especially after Geordi's scene with vision (LeVar Burton has fantastic, expressive eyes, which nailed his scenes beautifully and perfectly), but I could still buy his reasoning (Q was always a horse's hind toward them from day 1, and what was going on was not out of sincerity by Q.)

    In the end, it was slightly cornball, and Q does make the story both more fun, yet more bland as we know the big rescue mission isn't going to be so drama-driven after all, and what time was allocated to that was pretty much a cliche driven at warp speed.

    3 out of 4 for me as well.

    Oh, the blu-ray has a problem:

    They had to recreate the whole scene from scratch, with the Q forcefield disappearing. The Enterprise's lights come on slowly, and then Picard and crew state how everything's acting as if they never stopped. So why the CGI that shows the ship in a powered-down state, with lights coming on in sections, and the ship being the wrong color as well? It's the only real nitpick I've got for what is otherwise a fantastic remastering process. And the nitpick is there mostly for plot logistics, but I've not seen the old DVD or VHS copies in years -- if the same issue is there then the remastering team stayed true to the original team's mistake. :)

    I really don't understand all the love for this episode. It basicly says, that if you are somehow special and can do things others can't, you need t give it up and don't anything, even if it means inocent people will die. And why? Well.. eh...

    Now that think about it... This episode makes a lot more sence, if you realise, that Enterprise crew was just following teachings of great Federation hero from the past.

    I have three words about this episode. "Vicious animal things." Please. Weakest Q episode of all, and not too high overall.

    It is at least miles better than "The Q and the Grey" and "Q2". This was frickin' James Joyce compared to those two duds.

    Another winner, this time providing some good character development for Riker, who since the pilot has been rather a bland cipher. As much as I thought Q was kind of hokey in the pilot, he worked wonders here. They should have made John de Lancie a regular, so far he just outshines everyone else! (Kind of like How I Met Your Mother where Barney Stinson naturally steals the show from Ted Mosby, supposedly the 'main character'.)

    Anyway. I liked the philosophical aspect of the ep even if didn't really reach the potential it had in my mind. Kind of like TOS's "Where No Man Has Gone Before" - the same theme of Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, oversimplified in parts but conveyed pretty effectively as a whole.

    "...scenes that would be practically unheard of on television today because no one would have the patience for them."

    I really wish more shows would tackle themes like this...unfortunately all we get on TV are "dark", "gritty", "down-to-earth" shows consisting of 99% mindless explosions and shootouts, while shows that at least try for larger themes are cancelled prematurely. BSG kind of falls into the former category, but the action always has real meaning and the series does try to pose some good questions so I won't complain about that. Still, I really think a lot of folks out there are hankering for some brighter, more optimistic sci-fi that actually tries to make one ponder.

    Anyhow, 3 stars, easy.

    And I hate the "power corrupts" bullshit. It was NOT using the power that got Riker to loose it. This episode says that when you have power to do something great, you shouldn't use it? That's horrible and disgusting message. This episode sucks.

    This is not the best of the Q episodes, but it's not the worst either. This episode was interested at the start of the show when Q gave Riker the powers of the Q and during the middle of the show when Picard and Riker gets into a interesting philosophical argument about using the Q powers. However, the final act of the episode where he grants the crew some special gift to prove Picard's point about power corrupts was handled very poorly. I'd give this episode at least 2 1/2 stars not three. However, I do agree with one of the poster about this episode being better than any of Q's appearances on Voyager (and the one episode on DS9).

    While much of the script and most of the acting was still wooden (except the superb DeLancie), I did like the nuanced theme of why the Q Continuum was interested in humans. Was it just curiosity as in Farpoint? Or was it a new concern of jealousy or feeling threatened by this human race that showed signs of evolving some day into a competitive species? Let's make Riker one of us so we can "know the enemy" or simply assimilate humans like the Borg will eventually try. The scene with Picard and Q quoting Shakespeare back and forth on these ideas was excellent.

    @Mad :

    The message is not "when you have power to do something great, you shouldn't use it", just that power has to be earned in order to be properly wielded. The implications from the first half of the episode (and the TNG Q arc in general) are that humanity's evolution is accelerating and that eventually, humans will rival the Q in power. Once this is achieved, the wisdom which comes with a shared evolution will be the means of negotiating when and how to use that power.

    The episode *does* emphasize that superior power must be earned. But, in this case, I'm not so hot on letting the little girl die. It makes our characters look dogmatic to that belief to a fault. I can live with Geordi giving back his eyesight and Data refusing to become literally human - a very nice thematic touch on the episode since his journey to becoming human is more important than the goal. But letting the girl die is senseless. It raises a lot of uncomfortable questions about characters who are willing to let someone die right in front of them because humanity hasn't filled out its evolutionary paperwork yet.

    The thing that bother's me most about this episode...Is that Q is dressed as a British general (mostly), yet everyone identifies him as a French Marshal? French Marshals dressed in blue, white and gold, with maybe a red sash. Q is dressed in red and white, the colors of the British, France's sworn enemy! That's be like Q dressing in a SS uniform, and everyone referring him to an American general. Just how lazy is their custom department? The French soldier uniforms look terrible, but at least they got the general color scheme right.

    I'm feeling a comic superhero message mixed up somewhere in this episode. That message still makes sense but it is lost in the myriad blender of equally good and bad exposition throughout. I generally enjoy the episodes of Star Trek concerning Q but this one just falls flat in one too many scenes to really recommend it.

    I would like to point out something based on a couple of above comments concerning the little girl. She was already dead when they got there. Riker didn't "let her" die. Either way, the point is moot. Is Riker eventually supposed to go willy-nilly throughout the galaxy and beyond to bring back to life every single loved life-form back to life because he can?

    This episode is, even with the good parts, too big for itself and tries too much while saying very little (or at least saying what's already been heard). I commend the writers with the attempt here; the execution is just not there.

    1.5 stars.

    A simple enough premise - how would you act if you had the powers of a god? And I suppose this had some potential - without John De Lancie chewing the scenery and 'vicious animal things' in Napoleonic dress. But ultimately it feels perfunctory because the high concepts of the limit of unearned power can't be explored in true depth, but through a series of convenient steps that lead Riker to enlightenment.

    We did, however, get to see Wesley impaled screaming on a bayonet, and what's not to like about that. 2 stars.

    Notably absent from this episode was the presence of Troi. If she was around, this could have been a more solid character study for Riker. I can imagine the scenes and dialogue between them. We could have avoided the conscious animal things and reached further into philosophy & ethics and developed both Riker and his relationship with Troi. Someone please rewrite this, if it hasn't been done already.

    Troi was lame and useless. I choose to believe Q was so annoyed with her that he erased her from this episode.

    Another of the early absurdities of TNG in dialogue here...this time that the Federation and Klingons are allies because Starfleet "defeated" the Klingons.

    I'm not a fan of the first season of TNG, but this has to be one of the worst episodes of the season.. when Yar starts crying on the bridge and picard consoles her I could only roll my eyes, and that wasn't the worst part in my opinion, just the most notable. Q was the only character which was passable in this episode.
    After watching the whole run of 7 seasons and then going back the first season is almost un-watchable in its cheesiness and the wooden script reading... feels like drama school acting.

    I was more forgiving of the episode when i first watched it in the nineties just because Q was in it, it is a bad episode but i did like the scene between Q and Picard when they quote from Shakespeare.

    Awful. Just awful. It screams TOS, and not in a good way. That planet they get transported to and those dog creatures are basically cut and pasted from a hodgpodge of terrible TOS cliches. Even Delancy's overacting can't save this wretched episode. Tasha Yar crying has to be one of the worst moments in all of Trek. Just embarrassing. Even Patrick Stewart was helpless to salvage that scene.

    I would give it 1.5 stars, with a full star awarded purely to account for Wesley being stabbed through the chest with a bayonet.

    Christ The scene where Picard commends Riker on not saving a little girls life with his Q powers because he might like helping people was just stunning. I knew first season Picard was a bit arrogant but damn!

    2 stars its a decent Q episode ignoring that part with Picard commending Riker I shutter to think what he would have said to him had Riker saved the little girl.

    Just rewatched this (the classic dvd version), and it left me a bit confused.
    central theme seems to ask the vieuwer "what would you do with such power"
    -> but fails to adress this issue properly.
    Story could have been written so much better here is how I would chance it :

    *for starters Q could just have said "to ease your mind I freeze time, so we can talk"
    -than picard would refuse because he won't be responsivle for meddeling..
    -where riker will talk sence into picard with data backing him up.
    this would have made so much more sence.

    *than Q would say he offers a game, with something to win and something to loose, picard refuses to risk any of the crews life, but riker bold as he is, accepts any game in exchance for the promise the resque mission will be a complete succes Q deviously agrees.
    => the way they are drawn into a game, and the way the power is given are to sudden.

    *the game will be a real game, not just fake looking monsters, and a real battle,
    a clear uphill battle, riker can select 10 comrades and will fight against an army of 100 (and during the game Q, sore looser he is upgrades that to 10 vs 1000)

    *the game will take long, with dangers in the terrain, hunger thirst, are an issue but their oponents (when killed) are well eastable. (they are pigs after all) a clear moral fight about this will occur, and plenty of building camp, fighting, setting traps and so on.

    *Q will toss in a few surprises in the game, like the army facing them being 1000 not 100, but also that their phasers have a limited number of shots (12 ammo rounds), ofcourse they don't discover this at fist. and Q will cheat now and than by just cause "random" events to happen when he is close to loosing.

    *the penalty box will not be used so early, but be in fact "anyone killed in the game will be placed in the box, third person in the box will cause one of them be permanent delited.
    -> this allows for some better death-scenes, and a better excuse for the box.

    *when given the powers, riker should just fully use them (including bringing crushers husbant back, reviving all dead people of the colony, as wll as the "gifts" shown. - though he might have given data just an emotion chip and some skin inplants
    -> the catch would be that using the power should come at a price, because picard was stupid enough to bet with Q..
    First there is just the argument between picard and riker, where picard would lose his command should riker use his power. *in fact picard encourages riker to save the girl (some things are more important than my command* but riker always the loyal "one" refuses to spare his captain who is not amused about this.
    -later the price is increased, as more signs of rikers character chancing over time show.
    -but more importantly space events are more often shown, and a direct corrolation between riker using the q power and bad stuff influencing millions happen in the universe (q calls this preservation of enermy... but than for q)
    -this is the reason rikers friends refuse the gifts, as the price would be multiple space events, and millions suffering as a result.

    eventually riker will use the power but will not join the q, and q angry about that removes the power again.

    Riker is torn between using his power (but removing his friend picard from command... and forcing 1 spaceship to be zapped back to earn and not able to leave.

    Oh damn! I'm watching this ep for maybe the first time in 15 years, and just got to the scene where Picard and Q are quoting Shakespeare to each other. In this amazing exchange, Picard says, of a Hamlet speech "[w]hat he might say with irony I say with conviction: 'What a piece of work is man..." which ends with "in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god." Q asks, in seriousness, "Surely you don't see your species like that, do you?", and Picard replies "I see us one day becoming that, Q. Is it that which concerns you?" And Q angrily leaves.

    I've had the theory for a long time that others have, that Trek has hinted through Q at the possibility that Man would one day advance to the point of being like the Q; or maybe they literally are the origin of the Q. This is later paralleled in DS9 where one may theorize that the prophets are future Bajorans. But I had entirely forgotten, or at least neglected to note, that the source of this theory is surely "Hide and Q", and that it isn't really even a theory. The episode practically states it as a premise. There is little doubt at this point in the series that Q's interest in humanity is quite serious and has little to do with merely amusing himself. That's a thread that got introduced more by the time of "Q Who" and later "Deja Q." The series finale does get back to the roots of the interactions with Q, and rightfully so, because the Q that Voyager later painted, of being little more than a rebellious prankster, does not jive with the character we're presented with in the pilot and here.

    "There is little doubt at this point in the series that Q's interest in humanity is quite serious and has little to do with merely amusing himself."

    That is ultimately the case in light of subsequent Q episodes.

    Yet in the context of this episode, I prefer to see Q's dialogue with Riker in particular as being little more than a ploy to stroke Riker's ego in order to corrupt him.

    Unfortunately, I have the sinking feeling that even back at the time this episode was made, we were intended to take Q's stroking of humanity's ego at face value. It's part of Gene Roddenberry's corny Utopian vision that just rubs me the wrong way. It's one thing take an optimistic vision of mankind's future among the stars. It's another thing to turn human beings into the universe's Mary Sue, more special than all the multitudes of the universe for no particular or well established reason, for whom even flaws are strengths, and before which even godlike entities tremble. Reeetch.

    One additional point that bugged me immensely about this episode when I saw it again today was just how absurdly quickly Riker was corrupted by power. Even back then it would have been a cliche that Riker would eventually end up turning into a jerk when given unlimited power. But in this episode, Riker's entire personality changes in under 90 seconds of screen time. He doesn't even get an opportunity to use his power more than once (that we see, and that we must assume is all there is in light of his promise to Picard) and suddenly he's treating Picard like a subordinate. What?? It's like this episode is a parody, something you'd expect to see on South Park (it reminds me of the episode where the townsfolk resort to cannibalism after being trapped without food for 2 hours)

    Well, Q's operative dialogue as quoted by Peter G. was with Picard, not Riker -- though it's to Riker that Q specifically makes his "future of humanity" pitch. "Hide an Q" is a very unpolished episode, but it's got quite a bit going for it and has some of the brazenness that makes TNG s1 interesting even amongst the failures, and this is not really one of those failures.

    Re: the point about Riker's corruption by Jason R.: well, I think it's partly a distraction. Riker doesn't get corrupted; that's the point of the episode. Riker doesn't even do anything that bad. He has some mild jerkiness and arrogance, but in fact it's pretty consistent with his s1 characterization (such as it is) -- he is more disrespectful to Picard than he would otherwise be, but I was looking at the transcript for Encounter at Farpoint earlier today for unrelated, nerdy reasons, and he's such a jerk to Geordi in their first scene. Riker does not abuse his power in this episode, but seems to take the opportunity to jump outside the chain of command, which can really be an early hint that he's not as wild about the Starfleet command structure as he's letting on, and he's also not yet at a point of Picard having really earned his respect (which this episode is a step forward in developing). In retrospect we can also maybe conclude that Riker really is longing for a chance to break out of his stiff Gary Cooper-type persona and hasn't figured out he can relax and hang with this crew (which, out of universe, is because the character was somewhat modified to be more fun and interesting and more in tune with who Frakes is, starting with things like 11001001).

    I think it's notable too where this episode exists in Trek history; this is something of the TNG update of "Where No Man Has Gone Before." And yes, Gary Mitchell took a longer time to develop his full-blown God complex than Riker took to start being a bit of a jerk, but that "bit of a jerk" is still incredibly mild considering the amount of power he has. Mitchell downplays what he is thinking about for a while until suspicion has built up between him and Kirk and Mitchell has stopped seeing Kirk as, not only a peer, but as any being of worth at all. Riker doesn't let things stew for long but confronts the new truths head-on and as a result keeps his head in the long run. I think that Riker recognizes, correctly, that if he is going to seriously deal with the power that he's just been given, he should drop some of the pretenses of politeness and try to confront the situation head-on, which means acknowledging that his relationship to Picard and perhaps all of humanity has just fundamentally changed and that he has to decide how to deal with it. It'd be pretty dishonest, really, to pretend that nothing has changed, and to start deploying Jean-Luc's makes sense to me as a bit of boundary-testing to see how Picard deals with the situation, and as he figures out how he's going to deal with this power, after all. In fact, some of it really does seem to be that Riker wants to see how Picard deals because he wants to know if Picard really *is* wiser than him or just a pompous, albeit competent captain. Riker isn't planning to go evil like Gary Mitchell did, but he is debating whether or not he should restrict himself to The Starfleet Way or whether to break off and improve humanity's lot. Picard still acts as his conscience, but the episode wouldn't work if Riker gave up his powers because he still felt obligated to follow the chain of command; Riker accedes because he believes Picard is wiser as a person. The jerkiness is this episode's rather blunt instrument of showing that Riker is willing to test boundaries and is not going to tow the line *just because* he is supposed to, but without much malice.

    "the episode wouldn't work if Riker gave up his powers because he still felt obligated to follow the chain of command; Riker accedes because he believes Picard is wiser as a person. The jerkiness is this episode's rather blunt instrument of showing that Riker is willing to test boundaries and is not going to tow the line *just because* he is supposed to, but without much malice."

    I would suggest that this moment - the one when he asks Picard "How did you know?" is the moment Riker made a subconscious decision that he'd rather be Picard's #1 than be in charge himself. He had a chance right here to "be in charge", and he recognized that serving under a great man is better than pretending you are one because you've been granted powers. Whether those powers are those of the Q or those of a captain doesn't change the basic equation.

    "I would suggest that this moment - the one when he asks Picard "How did you know?" is the moment Riker made a subconscious decision that he'd rather be Picard's #1 than be in charge himself. He had a chance right here to "be in charge", and he recognized that serving under a great man is better than pretending you are one because you've been granted powers. Whether those powers are those of the Q or those of a captain doesn't change the basic equation."

    Agreed. It reminds me of that line Riker says to Wesley in season two about asking oneself "What would Captain Picard do?" I think he comes on board the ship expecting that maybe he can learn a little from Picard but it's still basically another step in his big career rise, but as of here he realizes Picard is not just a great captain but a great man, and that learning from him isn't going to be some speedy process. It will take more than a couple months to grow to be one (or even grow to have the potential to be one) himself.

    I thought this was a rather dull and derivative episode.
    Frake's portrayal of partially corrupted Riker evokes Gary Mitchell from the second TOS pilot but his subservience to patriarch Picard stops him and ,yes, this may indicate a submissive nature.
    I agree with the above comments that Riker's gifts would not have necessarily been refused and Worf prob ably just needed a bit of privacy-seriously was he expected to just do it with the Klingon lady in front of his Captain?
    Having said that Geordi's compliment to Tasha was genuinely touching as was Picard's consoling her when she was in the 'penalty box' but I say that partly as we know what is coming up in Skin of Evil.
    John de Lancie can pretty much do no wrong of course but there are much better Q outings.
    I think 2 stars

    What a stinker.

    The worst aspect is the hideousness of the first half hour: ugly green sky, ugly tricolor costumes, ugly Vicious Animal Things, ugly Q get-ups, and may I add that Worf looks stupid running in that sash. The visual impact made me physically nauseous.

    The brief Riker-Picard conversations after R gets his power are desperately underdeveloped: "You must not use your power!" "Okay, I promise!"

    Typical for early TNG, the three females embarrass themselves. Crusher reprises her shrill, unprofessional panicked-mother act (perfected in "Justice"); Yar first sobs and then drunkenly gasps, "If you weren't the captain" (reprising "Naked Now"). And the leather-clad Klingon female is some kind of Vicious Animal Thing herself, lacking the power of speech and crawling on hands and knees toward her master. (I'm glad Klingon courtship was later retconned in the Wesley's-crush episode.)

    The rejection of gifts leading to a "Riker Learns His Lesson" ending would suit an after-school special.

    One star - and that's only because it was great to see Geordi's pretty eyes and his moment of wonder. Keep the gift, Geordi, for the love of God. I'm sick of that dumb visor.

    In mayn film, in many series, in many toons... There is somebody giving receiving DAT gift: citing Jim Carrey (or Snap): "I've got the power!"
    And, as usual:
    #1 - he/she is so idiot to do ANYTHING useful
    #2 - her/his buddies are dumb as Geordie... (not really . Geordie is a Bajoran Prophet, he knows: "Thanks, Comdr, I'll have my eyes back in Ba'ku, that planet in Azer'baijan sector)
    #3 - both

    Anyway, this is just a little list on "snapt!" for William:
    *Federal-Cardassian war: snapt! over
    *Borg invasion: snapt! their earliest seasons borgsuits in the city dump
    *Dominion War: snapt! over
    *Every trekkie on RISA for a lifelong-holiday! snapt! FUCK YEEEAAAH!

    Btw, I partly appriceated this episode, its message and... btw... uhm... WHY THE FUCKING HELL THAT GIRL MUST DIE IN THE MINE?!?!?! WHY?!?!?! BLOODY THE RIKERISH HELL WHY??!?!?

    2.5 stars

    It’s an okay hour nothing particularly gripping or involving. I like the whimsy of the alien soldiers, the penalty box and ‘Qs idea of a game. Worf skulking about was a highlight

    I liked the idea of giving a human unlimited powers but I didn’t buy a lot of the way the episode ended. Maybe Wes or Data would turn down Riker but Geordi doing so strikes me as unbelievable. And I think the episode skimped on really debating whether Riker possessing power is really a bad thing or if more good can come from it like saving the child on the colony. And I’m not buying power would lead to such a noticeable change in a person like Riker

    There were several aspects to this episode I liked, making it one of the best of season 1 up to this point:

    One: Q's return gives us our first solid evidence this version of "Trek" is going to follow up on previous developments and characters.

    Two: Good interplay between Picard and Riker. I think we learned more about what Jean-Luc is made of in the way he handled Qriker.

    Three: The scene when they find the dead girl is good and helps us sympathize with Qriker. I'd be PO'd, too, about not saving her when I could.

    This episode and "The Battle" before it gave me hope that the writers and producers had some structure and more sophisticated storytelling in mind for their new show.

    On the downside, "vicious animal things." REALLY?

    Nice episode. Not much to say, except that I have noticed that while it may have been groundbreaking back in its day, TOS is borderline unwatchable compared to TNG.

    On a highly personal note, there probably is some sort of reasoning I missed to justify it but imho Geordi is insane for refusing to have his blindness treated. I've lived with poor vision in one eye since birth and while I can get along fine I would probably happily jump at the opportunity if some one offered me full and proper eyesight. Unless of course there were some VERY WELL FOUNDED reasons to refuse instead of some vague ethical mumbo jumbo. How do others here feel about this issue in general?

    I'm not very impressed by this episode, but I've been grinding my way through season one for the first time in ages, expecting it to be awful. Consequently my expectations are so low that I found this entertaining in an 'of academic interest' kind of way.

    Rodenberry was involved with this, so no surprises some of it reeks of bad TOS (thank God he only co-wrote the screenplay, and wasn't responsible for the overall story, or we might have ended up with Q dressed up as Robert E Lee, or Richard Nixon or Tiny Tim) .

    People have covered most iof what I would have said, but I do want to mention Picard's tirade at Q on the bridge, early on. I've always thought Avery Brooks was given to fits of bizarre overacting when Cisco gets angry - especially when he giggles at the same time, he comes across as sort of deranged - but I must say I was taken aback by the ferocity of Patrick Stewart's delivery here. It was so intense it makes Cisco's tirades seem genial. I'd forgotten just what a hardass he could be early in the series.

    The other thing that struck me, having recently re-watched TOS, is that (with a couple of exceptions perhaps) even in the hokiest TOS eps, you could sit through it, because Spock, Kirk and McCoy were just so charismatic and magnetic right from the get go. By comparison, all the major characters in TNG, at this early stage anyway, seem insipid. Picard and Data are getting there gradually, but I'm afraid even Picard's Shakespearian meltdown here isn't as powrful as Spock raising one eyebrow.

    The scenes on the 'planet' with the

    Sorry about that orphaned line at the bottom: I evidently started writing the review from another tangent and didn't notice it was leftover when I posted it.

    I tried completing in a variety of silly ways, involving, for instance, Van Morrison, but lost interest.

    This episode requires that you know the "absolute power corrupts" trope and that that is what they are trying to do here, because the ep didn't pull it off.

    Though, in Riker's case, it's more "absolute power turns you into a prick."

    The main problem is it happens way too fast... Riker's smug look when he saves everybody to the ship. Seems to me, he would likely be demoted for insubordination.

    Essentially, the morale of the episode is actually "don't become possessed by powerful evil forces", exactly the same as with Gary Mitchell. The one difference being Kirk seemed to actually figure that out without a Q like character telling him precisely what was going on. (And for any younger fans, that's from "Where No Man Has Gone Before", a strong early original series episode.)

    This is when Q started to become interesting to me. He was much more likable as a pesky imp with godlike power than as a Supreme judge. He came across as a toned down Myxyzptlk

    Interesting episode but one that drags at times and is predictable in that Riker will ultimately refuse Q's gift through some experience -- shipmates refusing his gifts and him feeling like an idiot. But what is most interesting is Q being akin to the devil tempting Riker to join him because of the interest the Q Continuum has in humans potentially someday being more powerful than them. That's all very abstract but it's intriguing to think about...

    Thought it was rather sudden when Riker started the first name basis with Picard and the insubordination -- seemingly because he was upset that he didn't use his powers to save the little girl.

    The glaring flaw in Q is that despite all his powers, he has no morals and no higher principles (at least as we humans might think of them). Q would have no issue with having a human get killed given that they're so insignificant -- he has no demonstrable compassion.

    Thought of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" as being a better example of absolute power corrupts absolutely and what it means to be human, although this episode is a different in that it attempts to project where humanity may go. I liked the theory posited here that change is at the heart of what humans are and that humans are growing, and thus Q is interested in them. Problem is Q is hard to take seriously given his wit and all the nonsense around his motives.

    2.5 stars for "Hide and Q" -- one of the better TNG S1 episodes and Q episodes. Some existential stuff here which is good stuff for Trek to deal with although there was enough padding with some of the battle scenes and the Riker gift giving dragged a tad for me. Also showed that even so early in the series, the Enterprise bridge crew can help Riker do what's best for humanity by refusing the Q-like gifts -- i.e. doing the right thing.

    @ Rahul,

    "The glaring flaw in Q is that despite all his powers, he has no morals and no higher principles (at least as we humans might think of them). Q would have no issue with having a human get killed given that they're so insignificant -- he has no demonstrable compassion. "

    We don't know this at all. We don't really know much of anything about the Q at this point, and I'm not sure how much we ever know. I pretty much don't even count VOY episodes about Q as canon, which leaves us with a mysterious higher race that is judging humanity. Or are they? We don't even know that! All we know is that they're deliberately interacting with humanity. It could all be a test, a game, an important bit of help, a lesson, a causality loop (they're doing it because they've always done it), etc. The make takeaway for me is that humanity may have an important destiny to fulfill. Beyond that I can't really say anything specific about what the Q are 'like'.

    @ Peter G.,

    In my statement you quoted, I guess what might be misleading is I was refering to this particular Q (de Lancie) and not the entire Continuum, which, I agree we don't know anything about at this stage.

    The de Lancie Q at this point in Trek canon, while having an interest in humans (maybe just him or as a representative of the Continuum), is certainly testing humans but hasn't shown some kind of wisdom or maturity or some higher morals that humans can/should aspire to. So I think at this stage Q hasn't yet "taught" humans anything (which he would in "Q Who"). So I just think TNG writers should have made us viewers have a bit more respect for Q early on, other than basically regarding him as omnipotent and enjoying toying with humans for his own somewhat mysterious purposes.


    The interesting thing about the Q is they were about to summarily judge humanity based on its past, but they offered Picard a last chance to prove the judgement was wrong. That in itself can be considered an act of mercy considering how powerful the Q are. In “True Q”, Q indicates that the Continuum acts on a *superior morality* which perhaps does give them the right to judge other species. In any event, one can almost read the Farpoint Mission as a template for TNG’s premise of showing that humanity had evolved to solve problems beyond its violent past.

    I’ve read comments in other sections disparaging the TNG crew and Picard specifically for being too hopelessly peaceful but I do wonder if all their missions aren’t taking place with the knowledge a higher power is watching them and judging them. Without Q’s encounter would Picard have made more aggressive decisions like Sisko or Janeway? It’s food for thought that we owe to Q’s initial test.

    That's an interesting point, Chrome. I doubt the writers had it much in mind but we can overlay that thought onto the series as a sort of thought experiement.

    @ Rahul,

    "The de Lancie Q at this point in Trek canon, while having an interest in humans (maybe just him or as a representative of the Continuum),"

    This does seem clear: if they interact with humans it's pretty much a given that they have interest in humans.

    "is certainly testing humans"

    We absolutely do not know that for certain. All we know is that Q had told them they're being judged. That's a big difference.

    "but hasn't shown some kind of wisdom or maturity or some higher morals that humans can/should aspire to."

    What does what he chooses to show have to do with what he really is? Everyone Q does is for the benefit of the crew. He isn't a humanoid, doesn't have emotions as we know them, and doesn't have the mental limitations we have in assessing situations. He shows them what they need to see in order to accomplish his goal. What is that? We don't know. Picard more or less says at various points in the series that he wishes Q would stop playing games with them and tell them what he wants already. He never does that, and probably because they wouldn't understand it anyhow. It's hard to imagine a being so advanced that he/it is to us what we are to an amoeba. What would be the purpose of trying to explain something to an amoeba? We do interact with them, and can provide stimulae that they'll 'understand' (meaning, will react in ways that are proportional to the input we give them), but communication of our motives to them would be useless.

    The great thing about de-Lancie-Q is that while his behavior is seemingly infantile we don't actually know what he's like. So we get the double whammy of both having an entertaining performance that's a foil to Picard's seriousness and also a character whose motivations are unknown and is very powerful. I think the primary takeaway is that his behavior is almost certainly designed to (a) entertain the audience, and (b) to act as a sort of test for Picard, being his equal and opposite in terms of narrative: in charge, but totally silly (but occasionally threatening). I'm more inclined to believe that this behavior was meant to elicit a reaction from Picard than to demonstrate that an omnipotent being could actually be emotionally purile.

    “That's an interesting point, Chrome. I doubt the writers had it much in mind but we can overlay that thought onto the series as a sort of thought experiement.”

    I don’t think the writers had this thought specifically, however, Q was purely a creation of Roddenberry to make JC Fontana’s original Farpoint script add up to two hours as required by the syndication deal. Since Gene was the main proponent of the “no conflict” enlightened future of TNG, we at least know the writers had Gene’s wishes and his veto power in mind.

    @ Chrome,

    Regarding TNG being too peaceful (or maybe sterile - that might be harsh) relative to VOY, DS9, to me this is just the evolution of pop culture/TV. Look at what DSC has turned into (even filtering out the Mirror Universe nonsense, this series' moral compass is much worse).

    So I don't think the writers meant for Picard & co. to have Q's judging or testing in the back of their minds. But it would make sense for a meeting with an omnipotent being like Q to change one's perspective on things fundamentally. But that aspect didn't seem to be played up.

    @ Peter G.,

    Q, as an omnipotent being, can project whatever mannerisms he wishes and a lot of it is for the benefit of TV (being Picard's foil is fine) so at this stage of Trek's canon, we don't know what he's really like and it is difficult to judge him. But is he evoking a positive impression? I'd say it's more negative than positive. (Something maybe like Trelane).

    As for being tested vs. being judged, at this stage I don't think it's as big a difference as you make it out to be -- the two go together. Q is certainly not a silent, distant observer. He meddles.

    One might also compare Q with other omnipotents as far as what humans can aspire to be -- the peaceful Organians or the Douwd (aside from his 1 slip of the mind) etc. Just that upon the first couple of impressions, Q remains mysterious but isn't regarded with any kind of admiration or reverence.

    @ Rahul,

    "Q remains mysterious but isn't regarded with any kind of admiration or reverence."

    Right! And maybe that's the point. Humans are supposed to develop because they believe in self-improvement, not because they're copying some template or being forced. The prime directive is exactly about allowing other species to develop naturally, especially in light of the fact that a technologically advanced society might become gods to them. We can look at Sigma Iotia in A Piece of the Action to see how imitation can lead to a totally BS society developing. The episode itself is portrayed comically but it's no joke how much even one advanced relic could shape a civlization.

    So maybe Q is doing something similar here? By acting like an ass he avoids being admired or emulated, and maybe that's a responsible decision. Your comparison to Trelane is apt, as he comes across more or less as a 'baby Q', and de-Lancie-Q doesn't give off a good impression, no. But why should he? We humans want to give off a good impression for many reasons, most often which is to get a good result for ourselves (admiration, friends, respect, etc). If Q doesn't want those things then what good is giving a good impression? He has some goal in mind, and presumably going about things this way is the best way for him to achieve that. Our respect or admiration is obviously not on the agenda, which still doesn't tell us whether he *actually* operates on a higher morality or not.

    Having just watched Q Who I see in the comments that others have picked up on the vibe of Q being a mischievous imp. I think Q and Guinan were works in progress. In that episode it appears that the writers were toying with the idea of giving Guinan godlike powers. Hence, her hand gesture face off with Q. Wisely they did not pursue that idea.
    Once the Q character was fleshed out, he became a 'nuisance' to Picard similar to what Mr Myxyzptlk was to Superman. Like Superman, Picard had to find ways to get rid of him. The difference was motives. Myxyzptlk was just being malicious to get under Superman's skin.
    Before he met Picard, Q was just as bored and malicious as Myxyzptlk. He came from a race that was boring and stodgy so he looked for targets that he could 'play' with for his amusement. After torturing races like Guinan's for centuries humans got his attention because they were evolving so fast. When they developed warp technology, the whole universe started paying attention. The Enterprise became Q's new toy. Then Q became intrigued with Picard. He was trying to test Picard to learn the extents of his character. The more he learned, the more he came to admire him. Meeting Picard had a positive affect on Q's character.

    If you start this episode after Tasha's meltdown on the bridge, this is actually a pretty great 30 minutes of Trek. The music is tense and moody, Riker at times feel threatening, Riker and Picard share a number of excellent conversations (you really get a sense of Picard as a skilled gamesman, as he manipulates both Riker and Q) and there's mercifully no Troi.

    The standout scene, though, is this one between Picard and Q...

    Q: Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    PICARD: I see. So how we respond to a game tells you more about us than our real life, this tale told by an idiot? Interesting, Q.

    Q: Oh, thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps maybe a little Hamlet?

    PICARD: Oh, no. I know Hamlet. And what he might said with irony, I say with conviction: What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason. How infinite in faculty. In form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god.

    Q: Surely you don't really see your species like that, do you?

    PICARD: I see us one day becoming that, Q. Is it that what concerns you?

    ...which as Peter G explains above, creepily hints that humanity is potentially destined for some kind of Godhood (a byproduct of Roddenberry's Utopianism and SF's techno-transcendent fetishes, tropes which fell out of fashion in science fiction come the birth of cyberpunk, several years before TNG aired).

    BTW this episode has the saddest Trek quote ever:

    LAFORGE: Worf, is this your idea of sex?

    WORF: This is sex. But I have no place for it in my life now.

    And Q just makes the moment even sadder ("No place, micro-brain? What possesses you?")

    Ah Worf jumping over the console. I have fond memories of that.

    Again, the low tech planet a la TOS. The animal creatures were very Dr Who or perhaps its Dr Who that copied TNG?

    I don't like Q episodes as a rule. But this one was better than the last. It really showed me how the Q treats humans as pets or circus animals to be toyed with. An animal rights lesson for us all.

    Tasha`s tears and behaviour.....oh my god. I hate to say it but a low point of acting, of script, of direction. Why do they portray her so unprofessionally? And I don't remember cringing when I watched it 30 years ago.

    This episode really highlighted Picard and Riker`s goodie two shoes behaviour and perhaps this is the Roddenbery way everyone talks about. I don't mean that Riker should have become the Q but there was something about their pontificating that was grating and simplistic.


    I’ve never liked this one. Q episodes overall have never really done it for me. 1.5 stars.

    What’s with Tasha Yar hitting on Picard? Somehow in all the times I’ve seen this episode, this was the first time I noticed it.

    I always get confused about what the Enterprise’s mission is. Supposedly they’re exploring, yet at the same time supposedly they’re always firmly in Federation space, and never too far from anywhere - e.g. dropping Troi off for a visit to Betazed in this episode, or flying past Risa for shore leave.

    Didn't like this one. Started out OK, but went off the rails as it began to focus more and more on Riker.

    Q and Picard are always fun together. Q and Riker just feels forced, and Frakes just isn't very good here in Season 1.

    What was with the creepy Yar and Picard stuff? "If you weren't a captain?" I guess it was meant to fit into the theme of boxes and limits, but wow. Awkward.

    The "Riker becoming arrogant" business ("Jean Luc") was hokey and unconvincing.

    Episode had a lot of imagery and talk about being trapped and growth - the Q-net that traps the Enterprise, the penalty box, the little girl trapped and killed (all growth arrested) under rocks, and more. Wesley growing up without "earning it" is the most obvious metaphor for what seems to be an ep theme about the need to struggle and learn and grow - to grow into your "powers" not have them thrust upon you.

    Burton does a nice job as the suddenly sighted Geordi who doesn't like "who he'd have to thank" for his new found sight. A great line, well delivered.

    Not a favorite, but onward.


    The penalty box scene is so cringey. I get why Crosby wasn't happy with her role on the show.

    It's probably not intended, but I like that Troi is absent for this episode "about" Riker's runaway ambition.

    I think I mentioned it above, but one thing I like is how this episode shows the "way out" of the dilemma in Where No Man Has Gone Before (where Mitchell got Godlike powers and had to be killed): Riker can choose to put them aside and doesn't have to be killed. There are a few TNG eps that imagine more peaceful resolutions to TOS plots. In some cases (eg this one) it makes for worse drama.

    I didn't like this one when I was much younger and saw it for the first time (sort of a lesser Encounter at Farpoint). The penalty box scene is indeed bad. I think what they were trying to say is that Lt. Yar really wanted to cry because being held captive like that gave her memories of her trauma on her homeworld (this was just referenced previously in "Where No One Has Gone Before" where she really did relive the trauma). Anyway, Picard's comforting line *was* sweet and sympathetic so I could see how Tasha might want to hug him, but, I don't know - the whole conversation takes place in too silly of circumstances to be taken seriously.

    Although it's true this is sort of a Riker vs. Q episode, I always kind of think of it more as Q testing Picard episode - still. First, Q gets upset that Picard won't indulge him in his fantasy. He then dresses up in old French regalia and an Admiral's uniform to taunt Picard. Then the whole test for Riker is part of a larger wager between Q and Picard over the power of humanity control its base desires. Q says he became interested in Riker at Farpoint - but he never explains why. The likely explanation to me is that he's just using Riker because he thinks Picard's resolve can be broken by insubordination and Riker's an easier target.


    I agree that this episode works pretty well if we assume Q's real target is still Picard, and it's not a stretch at all. OTOH,


    The case can be made that it's very important for the human race (!!!) for Riker to get a taste of real power and to give it up, and for him to recognize that he cannot just become Picard to replace him. Arguably both are necessary for Riker to save the day in BOBW, by recognizing how to see the value in recovering Picard and how to improvise around a more powerful opponent rather than simply being him. If we view Q as at least partly enacting a plan to help humanity then he maybe is intervening to get the very result this episode gives. Death Wish also suggests that the Q recognize Riker's importance. This is hardly the episode's intent but it makes some sense anyhow.

    Thia episode has what I believe is one of the best scenes in the whole series. The scene I'm talking about is the one where Q quotes Hamlet and then Picard gives one of his trademark Shakespearean speeches.
    Even here in Season 1 there are sprinklings ofgreatness that hint at how good TNG would eventually become.

    @DataMat I've seen other people praise that scene before... Can I in good faith ask why do you like it? Stewart of course delivers it like no one else, but to me it's hard not to see it as more of season 1 TNG smugness.

    In this episode we learn that female security chiefs cry at the slightest provocation and require manly consoling. We also learn that female Klingons are doglike sex toys who dress in leather bikinis, cannot speak, and crawl with slavish need to Klingon males.

    Well! Gene Roddenberry sure did give you boys an enlightened utopian future to dream of.

    Q returns in another lackluster outing that actually breaks from the usual problems of previous episodes but still has new ones. Unlike most season one episodes, “Hide and Q” actually has pretty decent pacing and features some strong dialogue between Picard and Q and Riker and Q. The premise is sound and for the first three acts the episode is heading towards success.

    But then the wheels come off as Riker breaks character and allows power to corrupt him. Even with as little characterization to this point as there is, I’m not buying it. Yes, the death of a little girl is tragic but should it really be enough to send Riker off onto a power hungry show? Again, I don’t buy it. Sadly the premise is squandered. Q doesn’t lose because Riker proves he has the will to overcome temptation but instead because the crew has to reign Riker back in. Had Riker not done his show for the bridge crew and instead just left the ship, Q would’ve won. Altogether not handle the way it could have been.


    The episode is a strange amalgam, and is therefore difficult to comment about. Do I think it's good? Not sure. Do I think it's awful. Uncertain. So here goes (foley artist: insert sound of person diving into really cold swimming pool water).

    Q (the very worthwhile deLancie) decides to drop in and gives Picard and his crew a war that they're not interested in fighting. It's frustrating to them and to the viewer because lives are at stake and what was to have been an "errand of mercy" is interrupted.

    This is a variant of Organians stopping the Federation from having a showdown with the Klingons in TOS.

    What can be worse than not being allowed to fight for a just cause? Answer: having a sham Napoleonic skirmish thrown into your face, one replete with bad uniforms.

    @Edax (Dec. 18, 2015). You are correct that no matter how you slice it, Q's gettup cannot be interpreted as French Grand Armee staff. Even if you bend over backwards and try to see Q as an image of Bonaparte as First Consul (which I think the costumers were going for since they slicked Q's hair down with pommade), He's wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece for pity's sake, which puts him on the other side ! Think Austrian Habsburgs, Spain, Netherlands... sheesh (foley artist: insert sound of frothing at the mouth) .

    Also the campaign tent belonged in the French camp at Agincourt; not at Marengo. A simple beige tent would have sufficed!!! (Foley artist: insert sound of a Nerd speaking in tongues) . Comment within comment: we are supposed to be nerds when it comes to the space-time continuum, so please get the uniforms right ...I guess history nerds never mattered...only tech and science nerds.

    The review could go about the Riker bit, but my starboard nacelle just fell off.


    Art design on fledgling science fiction show is wacky! This is not a drill, all personnel secure your art history textbooks, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

    The mixing of the imagery is the genius of the episode. Q an eternal being cannot keep it all straight. Tents at Agincourt, tents at Marengo. For Q just a blink of an eye. For the ants hundreds of years. It shows us how Q sees reality.

    I always hated the title of this episode. It establishes the semi-tradition of having Q episodes with his name in the title, but it's a pun or anything remotely clever. Why not just call it "Q and Games"?

    I'm working my way through TNG and this episode always makes me think of this.

    Hide and Q

    TNG season 1 episode 10

    “This is sex.”

    - Worf, not exactly thrilled Riker remembers their conversation in “Justice"

    3 stars (out of 4)

    This Riker episode is, in a word, fun. The set up is fun ("A marshal of France? Ridiculous!”). The extensive Shakespearean quotes are fun ("All the galaxy's a stage.”). Wesley getting impaled by a vicious alien thing is fun. And Q, by god, Q is fun! This is no Charlie X. This is no Squire of Gothos. This is no “Where No Man has Gone Before”. This is no Who Mourns for Adonias. All those TOS episodes explored the corrupting effect of god-like powers. But none of them had as much fun doing it as “Hide and Q”.

    The interesting thing is, Riker is just about the only first officer I can imagine who would have turned down the chance to become a god. Certainly if Kira was offered the chance to become a Prophet, she would jump at it ("The Reckoning”). If Chakotay was called by the gods of his fathers, wouldn’t he join them?

    SEVEN: If you had the chance to see your God, your Great Spirit, what would you do?

    CHAKOTAY: I'd pursue it, with all my heart.

    I imagine both T’Pol and Spock would accept the powers if only because it is logical to have all the tools possible at your disposal to do the most good for the greatest numbers of people.

    To answer @Jammer’s question ("would anyone really give up such a gift?"), Riker may be the one and only first officer we’ve ever seen who would turn down the offer to become a god. No wonder he never rises above the rank of First Officer at any time in the TNG series (h/t @Peter G.). He’s just not ready to take on any more power than the little he currently has.

    Fun fact: when Riker comes into the ready room to discuss Q’s offer with Picard, he sits down very normally. There is a video on youtube that claims that Riker always sits down by swinging his leg over the top of the chair. Not here!

    I particularly enjoyed the beat between Picard and Tasha when Tasha is in the the penalty box,

    TASHA: It is so frustrating to be controlled like this!

    PICARD: Lieutenant. Tasha, it's all right.

    TASHA: What the hell am I doing? Crying?

    PICARD: Don't worry. There's a new ship's standing order on the Bridge. When one is in the penalty box, tears are permitted.

    There is so much going on in that scene. Picard puts his hand on Tasha’s shoulder when she is turned with her back towards him, and she shrugs it off in quite an exaggerated motion. I was reminded of a famous incident some years ago,

    But then Picard again puts his hands on Tasha and turns her around, and she says,

    TASHA: Captain. Oh, if you weren't a captain...

    To which Q playfully interjects,

    Q: Consorting with lower rank females, Captain? Especially ones in penalty boxes? Destructive to discipline, they say. But then again, you're what? You're only human.

    There are so many great lines in this episode. It’s one of those episodes I have seen so many times, I can recite the lines by heart as the hour moves along. That in part should answer your question @Strejda, as to what makes the Shakespeare quoting scene is so much fun. Like Start Trek or Monty Python or Gilbert & Sullivan or Star Wars or The Princess Bride, there are these giants in our culture, and people who are fans love quoting lines back and forth to each other. Also, I like to think that Picard got the Shakespeare book back from the Stargazer in the previous episode (The Battle), and so he’s only now getting back into Shakespeare after a 9 year gap.

    Yes, there are stretches of the episode that drag (the entire scene with Riker giving gifts is way too long), but this is an iconic and unforgettable hour of Star Trek.

    Wesley's jumper - reprise of last episode; blue grey sweatshirt with the red, gold blue stripes.
    Quelle surprise - give Riker some power and he's a prick.
    Were there any episode's with both Q and the Holodeck - AAARGH!

    I always get cracked up for some reason the way the Klingon lady's butt shakes when Worf throws her to the floor.

    It's annoying that Data says RikerQ turning him into a real person would be an illusion. What the Q do is, in fact, real.

    This episode just ended and I was reminded why I do not like Picard as a captain. He is the arrogant one. The thing about Q that irked me (but necessary for storylines) was how Q with all his powers, did more harm than good for the universe. His son would later be even worse. Riker wanted to do good for his ship mates but they all said thanks but no thanks. Seriously? Especially Geordie. He would later get his eyesight repaired, but wouldn't let Riker do so now? The entire Worf bit was cringe-worthy. Not saving the little girl just because Picard said not to use the newly gifted powers? Yuck, the whole episode was terrible, not only in execution, but the storyline itself.

    Give me Q powers, and I will use it wisely.

    Meh. Nothing here good or bad enough to inspire me to have much of anything to say. Two stars.

    *SO* many observations!

    First, I’m conflicted about Q. In many respects he is The Squire of Gothos reborn, and with better storylines, but still the immature representative of a “superior” species. John de Lancie plays him with glorious over-the-top acting, suitable for a Q, always good to watch. However, I do wonder if the whole Q thing jars somewhat with ‘the continuing mission’ and the sci-fi aspects of Trek, or is that just my own personal reaction?

    This episode has some great dialogue - Q with Picard, Q with Riker, Riker with Picard - the Shakespearean joustings between Q and Picard are alone worth the price of admission. There are quite deep philosophical, ethical , and moral issues explored. And yet I feel somehow shortchanged a bit; these things were somewhat ‘thrown away’ by Q’s belligerent and confrontational attitude towards humanity. Perhaps a gentler approach would have given better closure, but this is Trek! However, the final act with Riker’s temptation to use his new power only for good, and the rejection of the gifts by each recipient in turn (Worf’s “woman” - “This IS sex”!!), was a very good development of the morality play this episode turned out to be.

    I had to laugh at the “William T Riker” moment. I have read all the reviews that claim Riker is Kirk rebooted and have never quite seen it until then. Jeez, how could I miss that - Riker and Kirk are practically anagrams!

    Denise Crosby once again proves she can’t act, Beverly Crusher once again demonstrates how poor a substitute for McCoy she is, and once again Data is fed some absurdly non-android lines. However, I agree with Jammer - this is a 3-star episode.

    "I do wonder if the whole Q thing jars somewhat with ‘the continuing mission’ and the sci-fi aspects of Trek, or is that just my own personal reaction?"

    In the VOY episode Death Wish, one of the Q explicitly says that they are just another technologically advanced species, and anything that looks like omnipotence to humans is just being much further ahead technologically.


    Thanks for that. Having just endured the first “Mrs Troi” episode, give me Q every time!


    Before the beard, Riker/Frakes actually looks quite a lot like Kirk/Shatner and has Kirk's easy going nature, occasionally punctuated by deadly serious "by the book" mode.

    Back in 1987, I initially liked Riker better than Picard and wished they would get rid of the old geezer. It didn't help that, like in "The Naked Now", they had Picard stuck on the bridge, feebly unable to do anything. Glad they improved Picard a lot because Riker pretty much evolved into a damp sock.

    It's worth noting that Riker actually evolved from Willard Deckard in "The Motion Picture" (as did Deanna Troi from Ilia).

    For season one, I would give this 3 to 3.5 stars, but only 2 stars over the entire series.

    Picard and Q reciting Shakespeare to each other is probably the most unintentionally surreal moment in the series.

    Some total clunkiness here, like Tasha saying "Q's penalty box. It sounds strange but it definitely isn't." Um, what? It's definitely strange. How did this line get through?

    And Worf growling at Q at the beginning. Bleh.

    The whole thing about with Data unwilling to describe the "vicious animal things" to a Picard was rather odd. How about "bipedal animals dressed in uniforms" or whatever.

    Q acted much like Trelane in this one, which made me wonder for a long time about the connection (if any) after I watched it Thanksgiving weekend 1987.

    An episode that tries desperately to give a "Power corrupts" message but the delivery comes across more like "Don't use your special gift because it MIGHT turn you evil."

    Picard congratulating Riker for not saving a girl's life is easily one of the Top 5 lowest moments in all of Trek.

    By Jove, if I'd have been offered the power of the Q, I'd jolly well take it! Can you imagine, the alarm clock going off in the morning and it's fallen down the back of the bed, you can just wave your hand and make it stop! And when your shoelace gets untied, a snap of the fingers and it jolly well tied again! And when your tea cup is empty, snip-snap and up comes lovely fresh hot tea.

    The boy Riker doesn't know what he's missing!

    In hindsight this is probably my favorite S1 episode in terms of pure quality. Secretly my favorite is Conspiracy but I won't mention that in case people judge me. The dialogue in Hide and Q is so peppy, and finally we get character scenes that have something to do with more than just moving the story along. Or rather I should say that the character scenes *are* the story, which is what makes it so nice.

    Up until now I had always considered this as the first Riker episode of the series, which in terms of starring capacity it is. But now I realize that it's actually a Picard episode and that Q was just using Riker as a vehicle to engage with Picard. What makes this clearer to me are the two Picard/Q scenes, both of which involve dueling and trying to best each other. The famous Shakespeare scene of course involves Picard guessing that Q is concerned about humanity's potential greatness, and the second is where Q comes to the bridge while Tasha is in the penalty box, and starts taking bets with Picard. What's interesting about this scene is how excited Picard is to bet with him, not just as an opportunity to get rid of Q, but seemingly at the actual thrill of watching Riker win Q's game. Picard seems to almost derive an equal glee from the game as Q does, which is pretty cool because it means they both have something very important at stake in regard to what it means about humanity. Q seems to be betting that humans would tend to prefer quick and easy rewards at the expense of true growth, where Picard believes otherwise. This is a tough issue, because in the case of average humans Q would probably be correct. Only a scant few people would abhor unearned rewards. Maybe in the future that number is increased (I hope). But what Q saw in Riker at Farpoint may have been personal ambition and thrill at success, which would be strikes against him if the ambition itself drives him more than the aims that ambition is supposed to serve - bettering himself.

    One other thing I'd like to mention is that the much-derided scene where Tasha cries in the penalty box is really much better acted than she's given credit for. It's worth noting that it's such a short scene for her, with few lines and little ramp-up, and I think her level of upset is quite credible. What makes it cringeworthy - that the female chief of security has to cry on the show - seems to have designed as a feature rather than a bug. In a way it's complimentary, that we should be so much expected to take for granted that she's a tough cookie that we actually need to see her vulnerable to learn that she has a weaker side. That being said her line to Picard about if only he wasn't the captain...that one really is cringeworthy, but it's not Crosby's fault.

    What makes this episode bear the most fruit going forward is that up until now the Riker character has been so much of a cipher that the writers didn't know what to do with him other than write him vaguely heroic lines and actions. His scene on the bridge where he asks Picard how he knew the crew would refuse the gifts is the first portent of the Riker to come, with his less self-assured and yet more human parts coming out. My wife pointed out that thus far she hasn't been impressed with Riker or Frakes, and as a big Riker fan even I have to agree. There's been no character there for the most part. To an extent the same is true of Dr. Crusher, but it's actually worse for Riker just at this moment. The issue isn't where they are now, but that he starts going places in a big way as an actor while she doesn't.

    You know, it's been a long running theme among fans that TNG's first season was rough. And I used to think that way too. But I gotta say, after rewatching it recently, I think it's very good!

    It certainly stands out as being unique from the other seasons: it has a unique flavor, and a kind of innocence and 80s stylistic charm to it, and I appreciate it aesthetically. And the stories are solid too.

    So, I want to say, on behalf of all the fans like me--and there are lots of them--and especially given the lackluster vision of "new" Star Trek---in retrospect the first season of TNG stands shoulder to shoulder with the other seasons. It's different, but it's not lesser. Sure there are duds, but overall it's very solid indeed.


    A banger episode, really fun.

    Q is played as the trickster/imp he is.

    -There’s lots of Picard & Shakespeare.
    -Wes is horribly impaled by “soldier-things”
    -Picard awkwardly comforts Yar.
    -Geordi awkwardly compliments Yar.
    -Worf’s sexy time is interrupted by Yar’s presence.

    I could go on.

    So much nattering on about "unearned power" - Who cares if it's "unearned" as long as the person wielding it has the right moral compass? If you have the power to help and don't because "you didn't earn that"(man that sounds like a familiar quote from a former US President, doesn't it?) then A. You're an idiot and a moron and B. Everyone protesting is just entitled and jealous.


    I said it before but it bears repeating; the obvious intended message is "power corrupts good people" but its delivery is so sloppy it comes across more like "If you use your gift to help people, you MIGHT become a bad person, therefore you shouldn't help at all." Using this logic, nobody should save anyone in danger because for all we know the person you rescue could become a mass shooter several years later.

    Some might say that's an overly negative interpretation, but again I'm going by delivery not the writer's intentions.

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