Star Trek: The Next Generation


1 star

Air date: 4/22/1991
Teleplay by Ira Steven Behr
Story by Randee Russell and Ira Steven Behr
Directed by Cliff Bole

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The Enterprise plays host to an archeological conference, during which Vash (Jennifer Hetrick, in a particularly sub-par performance) boards the ship ostensibly to rekindle some heat with Picard (following up last year's "Captain's Holiday"), but maybe also because she has a scheme up her sleeve involving some illegal archeologizing (new word; I made it up), which drives Picard's stolid sense of duty up the wall even as he cannot fully squelch that voice in his head that says he's attracted to her.

Then Q shows up (in his most perfunctory appearance of all time) claiming that he simply wants to thank Picard for saving his life in "Deja Q." When Picard balks, Q decides to teach him a lesson about those pesky love feelings that Picard claims to eschew regarding Vash. So Q teleports the crew to a fantasy realm. But there clearly was never a story here. This is the sort of brain-dead production where someone said: "We need a Q story. What are we going to do?" And then someone else brilliantly offered up, "Robin Hood!"

"Qpid" is stupid (even dumber than that rhyme) — amazingly even worse than "Captain's Holiday," featuring an even more transparent sense of going through the clunky motions of laborious action/comedy. About a minute after Q snapped his fingers and sent the entire crew into Sherwood Forest, I was ready to check out. This is one of those TNG fantasies where anything can happen, and nothing does. The plot is nonexistent. The production and costume designers and stunt coordinators spend all their money on period details and swordplay while those of us wanting this to have any purpose are left scratching our heads. It's a snooze fest. As Q comedies go, this doesn't have an ounce of the charm of "Deja Q." Everything feels forced.

Okay, it has a couple of marginally funny moments, like when the crew is so interested in this Vash woman that Picard is so tight-lipped about. Or where Worf purposely smashes Geordi's mandolin and then says, "Sorry." (I'm lukewarm to Worf's "I am NOT a merry man!" line.) But mostly it's an aimless, disjoined mess of lame Picard/Vash bickering and hackneyed action that has no purpose and little entertainment value.

Previous episode: The Nth Degree
Next episode: The Drumhead

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85 comments on this post

Tue, Mar 25, 2008, 5:40pm (UTC -6)
'Qpid' - I must confess that despite its inherent cheesiness, the episode does have a special place in my heart. For unlike Picard, I am from Nottingham. I say 'special place' - of course I mean 'provides additional p-taking opportunities for me when viewing'.

It is an awful episode, though. The way it jumps from the archaeological council theme to Robin Hood is enough to break your neck - it really is like they had two seperate half-arsed ideas and stuck them together because they needed a filler and quick. All the characters just end up looking stupid.

Although "I am NOT a merry man!" always makes me smile. :)

However I do think that 'Qpid' really wouldn't have looked too out of place on post 'Death Wish' Voyager, sadly.
Fri, Mar 28, 2008, 10:36am (UTC -6)
Does anyone know if Tim Lynch's old reviews are posted online anywhere? This is not to impugn Jammer's abilities; I thoroughly enjoy his reviews as well. But while I've read (and still have) Lynch's DS9 reviews, I don't think I've seen his TNG reviews, and I'd like to.

TNG remains my favorite Trek series (with DS9 a close second), probably because I only discovered it around the end of the fifth season, which meant that for months, I had BRAND NEW episodes to watch practically every night. I've still got the tapes, although I haven't watched them in years, but I watched so obsessively in the beginning that I can still replay most of the episodes in my mind.

One of the things that annoyed me most about "Qpid", aside from its suckiness, was something I believe one of the actresses commented on at the time. While the men are running around, acting macho with swords, the women are reduced to cringing behind the scenery, occasionally whacking someone over the head with a pot. These are 24TH CENTURY women here; give them freakin' swords! Clearly the writers were still firmly grounded in the 20th century, and for all the fantastic concepts they came up with season after season, they still couldn't conceive of a future where women could fight with anything other than crockery.

The only bright spots for me in "Qpid": Worf breaking Geordi's mandolin, and Data getting hit with an arrow by a horrified Troi and not realizing it until he looked down.

I loved "The Mind's Eye": brilliant, taut piece of work. Although I was also screaming for Data to "Run, damnit!" at the end. For some reason I also found hilarious Geordi's reaction when he finally notices the de-cloaking warbird: "Whoa!" Delightfully understated.
Fri, Mar 28, 2008, 9:16pm (UTC -6)
Oh cool... more TNG Season 4 goodness. Thanks Jammer.

Pretty much agree with everything here. I have to say though that I actually enjoyed "Qpid". Yes, it's incredibly stupid, but al least to me it's never embarrassing. Whereas I had to turn off "Half a Life", "Clues" or "The Host" the second time. The acting in those eps just put me to sleep.

Overall though, I think this was the most solid year for TNG. Even if this is when Brannon Braga came on the show (cringe). It's also nice to remember when ST had "cool" Klingons, rather than the generic variety we get in latter installments (including much of DS9, unfortunately). Next to the bork cligghanger, I'd say Worf's story arc was the highlight of TNG.
Sat, Mar 29, 2008, 8:07am (UTC -6)
"Does anyone know if Tim Lynch's old reviews are posted online anywhere?"
If you go to Trek Nation's episode guide, each episode has a link to Lynch's review.

Thanks for the reviews here Jammer. I have to say I agree on nearly all your opinions, though I'm probably a bit harsher on some things! Watched Season 4 again quite recently, and I was struck by how strong it is; I particularly enjoy Remember Me, for example. I actually also quite enjoy Devil's Due!
Mon, Jul 7, 2008, 12:47am (UTC -6)
Oh, and while the second half of Qpid is lameness incarnate, the first half does contain one of my favourite Q lines ever:

"Leave me alone Q, I need to work on my speech."

"Yes, your speech, I read it. It's dull, plodding, pedantic: much like yourself."
Sat, May 5, 2012, 1:15am (UTC -6)
I enjoyed it. At least this one didn't have any lame singing.
Mon, May 21, 2012, 3:07am (UTC -6)
@DeadBessie: totally agree re: the gals-smashing pots-on-heads thing. Apparently, Sirtis and McFadden were the only actors who had any actual training in fencing/swordfighting. Go figure.

I read somewhere that this episode was pretty much about capitalising on the Robin Hood mania that was happening at the time (such as Kevin Costner's crappy attempt)... On reflection, it probably makes sense then that this is one of the weaker, if not weakest, Q eps! (In the TNG universe at least - I'm not even touching Voyager!)

Having said that, the bit where Worf smashes Geordi's mandolin (or whatever it is) always makes me laugh, so I can't completely discount this episode.
Sat, Feb 16, 2013, 7:34am (UTC -6)
Watched the episode with my three kids (ages 9, 11, 13)and it is easily their favorite to date! I consider Qpid in the same vein as "Trouble With Tribbles" of the original series...quirkey, not taking itself seriously, and actually many pretty funny moments (as mentioned in other comments).

I give it 2.5/4 stars for the humor.
Sat, Mar 9, 2013, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
- I am NOT a merry man!
- (smashes mandolin) Sorry.
Sat, Jun 22, 2013, 7:37pm (UTC -6)
Loved it!! I hated Q in Farpoint, but most of his subsequent appearances were highly enjoyable. Let's face it, Q became a character that was brought in for light hearted hilarity. Mind you, there was nothing funny about the Borg; the most significant and enjoyable of the Q episodes.
Nothing significant here except maybe introducing Vash to the crew, but anything goes in a Q episode. This one had me in stitches and is in my top ten all time favorite STTNG episodes. 5 stars.
William B
Tue, Jul 9, 2013, 1:01am (UTC -6)
Silly? Certainly. Ridiculous? Yes. Plodding? Sure. Pointless? Well...okay, I'm going to say "not quite."

While this is the weakest of the TNG Q episodes ("Farpoint" is not a good episode, but the Q bits mostly work for me), I think it still matters in the grand scheme of things, in developing the Q/Picard relationship, such as it is. As others have mentioned on these comment threads in other Q episodes, Q has an arc over the series, moving from pure antagonist in "Farpoint" to something like a personal adviser trickster figure to Picard in "Tapestry" and "All Good Things." This episode cements that gradual change, but what this episode does, more so than any of the previous ones, is establish exactly how...*personal* it is. In "Farpoint" through "Q Who," Picard mostly happened to be the representative of humanity chosen by Q; in this (following his own brief experience as a human in "Deja Q") and "Tapestry," Q zeroes in on Picard, before in "All Good Things" his relationship with Picard and humanity as a whole are both on the table.

Part of what I find interesting about this episode is that it suggests that maybe Picard does need something of Q in his life. "Captain's Holiday" was a bore and the Picard/Vash chemistry is not all that powerful. But he is attracted to Vash, and we are reminded several times that Vash is not that far from a human, female, less-powerful version of Q, fascinated by and mocking of Picard's virtue and solidity all at once. I don't mean, despite the flirtatious tone Q takes, that Picard should be romantically attracted to Q, but that his carefully organized life actually does seek a little bit of a chaotic figure, and this episode helps tie into other (mostly weak) episodes to suggest that Q might actually provide something for Picard, much as Picard is loath to admit it. What Vash can do for Picard a tiny bit -- let him get outside his captain's persona, have a connection with another person which does not have any of the hierarchical demands that keep him isolated from his crew, at least until that magical moment at the end of "AGT" where he comes to join them at the poker game -- Q can do even more, because not only is Q not bounded by Picard's narrow conception of morality or by Starfleet like Vash, but by humanity at all. Q, as an amoral trickster figure, puts Picard and his crew in situations which have real danger but which allow them, and Picard in particular, to learn something about himself that he couldn't learn simply by...being. That Vash slightly upends Picard's life and he likes it suggests that Q's total upending of Picard's life might not be as bad as it immediately seems. Picard's willingness to enter the poker game with the crew in "All Good Things" is *because* Q put him through what he put him through in AGT, early on, for example, and I think his willingness, in AGT, to see Q as something of a benefactor, albeit a dangerous one, acting on orders to test humanity but wanting him and deep down expecting him to pass, is set up a tiny bit here, where Vash and Q draw the comparison between the two of them explicitly and Vash, whose presence in his life Picard ultimately does like, ends up going off with him. Q's surprisingly provocative lines (stating that Vash has found a weakness Q had been searching for, that had he known he would have come as a woman -- which oddly reminds me of Ardra's attempted seduction of Picard) reinforce the sense that Picard/Vash is the sideshow and the real interest here is in the Picard-Q dynamic which spans the whole series. By tying Picard/Vash into the series-spanning Picard-Q arc, it makes "Captain's Holiday" more integrated into the overall series, and even perhaps does the same for the Ardra stuff in "Devil's Due." None of these are good episodes, but this episode makes me feel vaguely glad that they exist in this show, now.

Given, again, that Q's influence on Picard ultimately erases some of the distance between Picard and his crew in the finale (and I think his influence in other episodes has a bit of a similar effect, see e.g. Picard bonding with Riker at the end of "Tapestry," by being more willing to accept his past), it's neat that Vash's effect is similar. She embarrasses him because he doesn't like to admit his humanity to his crew in ways that go against the way he wants to present himself, but as Vash points out there are no Starfleet regulations that say he has to keep his distance. I like the early scenes where Vash gives Picard away in various ways -- Beverly finding that he's (presumably) spent the night with a woman, Riker finding out that Picard does a great impression of him -- end up tying in with the later scenes in the episode, where Picard orders the crew to stay behind and they, of course, defy orders and come to rescue him. It's not thrilling, but it is neat that Q and Vash, together and separately, end up conspiring to forcing Picard to be exposed in his human emotions, both to himself and to his crew, in a way that ends up bringing him closer to other people.

That is all pretty abstract, and not really the main experience of watching the episode. In its second half, the Robin Hood scenario is pretty uninteresting, and also gets downright sexist. On Memory Alpha I learn that McFadden and Sirtis were ironically the only people actually trained to swordfight, and they have to smash concrete blocks over people's heads. Cliff Bole justifies this by saying that there weren't women swordfighters in the 12th century, which, yeah, I must have forgotten that 12th century people also had microchips implanted below the skin of their wrist which could cause large distracting explosions, or that when Q created the scenario he scaled Troi and Crusher's skills according to the timeframe. Meanwhile, the Picard/Vash chemistry is still lukewarm at best, and Vash has better pop with pretty much every other character than she does with Picard, which is sort of a shame, even though I think the episode is more about Picard & Q (and Picard & his crew) than about Picard/Vash. To emphasize the episode's theme Picard is written too conservatively, too, though I think that makes some sense -- that Vash (and Q) bring that side out of him, as partly a rebellion. I don't disagree with Jammer's criticisms of the episode and it's certainly not a great one by any means, but I think there's enough here that interests me for it to earn a middling rather than a bad grade, say 2 stars.
Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: about Sirtis and McFadden not using swords

One of the commenters said the Alpha Memory said the female cast members weren't using swords due to the 12th century women didn't engage in sword play - that's all fine and dandy, but the Enterprise crew is not from the 12th century and they would have no problem giving the female cast members swords if it would help.

However, there are a number of issues with this, that no one yet has mentioned. Q provided the crew with their costumes AND WEAPONS - perhaps he just didn't give any to the women. I doubt the crew had the time or resources to forge a sword for Troi and Crusher.

Also, a REAL sword is a large hunk of metal (e.g. heavy) - it really does require strength to wield effectively - so unless the women were unusually strong for a women (which they don't look it), they would need the right size swords to match their arm strength, perhaps none were available.

Having said all that, it was an oversight of Captain Picard (or perhaps Riker, who was leading the assault), to not equip the women with weapons they COULD use. Examples of such weapons are wooden quarterstaffs or bows and arrow, both weapons that could have been created using resources in the forest. Troi sending an arrow in Q's forehead might have been nice payback - though she would probably have to restrain herself, she does want to get back to the Enterprise...
Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: Qpid

I would think a 1 star show is unwatchable or worse, but I just don't see that for Qpid. In fact, I do find it entertaining and I never skip it when re-watching TNG seasons. Thus, I would just say it's mediocre and give it 2./4.0 stars.
Sun, Jul 14, 2013, 3:37am (UTC -6)
I have to say I live Q episodes. It's supposed to be a stupid rhomp. Q is trying to place them in a humiliating scenario for his very much viewing pleasure. The delight he experiences when he discovers Vash is every bit the trixter as himself is my favorite moment.

To the suggestion of sexism because the Dr and Troi have no swords I must remind you they are healthcare personale. They are not typically armed in any episode and would most likely seek non-lethal means of subduing the opposition, even in a Q created world.
Paul C
Sun, Sep 1, 2013, 8:11am (UTC -6)
The best line is in fact

"If it wasn't for you, I'd be dead."
"We all make mistakes."
Sat, Nov 23, 2013, 6:40am (UTC -6)
I didn't think it was that bad. I found it quite entertaining. And I liked Vash - a character with human weaknesses, not saint-like like the members of our beloved main crew :-).

A few good Picard moments - how often do we get to see him stammering like that? Two priceless Worf moments. I can overlook the stupid Robin Hood scenario for that.

I don't know why, but I found the scenario in another Q episode where they were attacked by, what, 4, Napoleonic soldiers(??) - a lot worse.
Wed, Jun 18, 2014, 10:09am (UTC -6)
I just rewatched this and realized it was one of the stronger moments to coalesce my dislike of Beverly. She claims to be Jean-Luc's friend, and has apparently known his for decades, but when a woman shows up who knows him, she acts like an absolute rat.

Instead of politely greeting Vash and being cordial, she gets catty and pushy and tries to embarrass her "friend" at every turn.

I guess making Jean-Luc uncomfortable was supposed to be funny, but I just found the behavior of the crew, and Beverly in particular, to be cringe-worthy.

She's a bitch, through and through.
Mon, Jun 23, 2014, 5:47am (UTC -6)
Well, after reading all of the above, and also the review and comments on "Captain's Holiday", I'm going to dare to stick my neck out and admit I am one of the obviously defective small minority that really likes both these episodes. There, I've said it. Thank God and or non God for the privacy of the Internet screen name, else I might be worried the Star Trek police would be coming to get me. :-)

I don't know why I like both these episodes so much. I really like the Vash character, perhaps because she is something of a con artist, but still pretty much a "good" person. Well likable to me and Picard anyways. For the record I'm a big fan of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books where the "hero", so to speak, is kind of Vash like.

I'll further dare to say I've read a lot of the reviews on this website and have noticed that Troi and Crusher seem to be not very well regarded. Haven't counted the votes but that's the impression I've got. For me, they both work fine though I've had some moments watching both of them that made be squirm. So for sure not perfect, but I still like both characters.

I have my own list of what what I call "Bowser Trek" episodes and moments that I'll try to comment on at some point. I say this so those who experience fear and loathing at the Vash and Troi and Crusher characters can be assured that I do have curmudgeonly feelings that are vividly stirred to life on occasion by Star Trek. To paraphrase Worf's (human) mother "I am with you!" (in a vaguely general Trekkian kind of way).

Live long and prosper!
Mon, Jul 28, 2014, 8:44pm (UTC -6)
This episode was alone worth it for seeing data in friar tucks hairdoo...and watching troi shoot him with an arrow. Priceless.
Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 8:41am (UTC -6)
I disagree, I thought that Vash and her relationship with Picard were much better portrayed then in "Captain's Holiday," Q was a very well-done mix of malevolence, reluctant debt-settling and eventually attraction to Vash and that Vash and Q ended up together was surprising but worked. The Robin Hood sequences were pretty perfunctory, aside from the climax, but the cast still had and somewhat were fun.
Sat, Aug 30, 2014, 9:01am (UTC -6)
I also thought it was fun how Crusher, Troi and Riker had some fun with Picard about his omissions early on, not thinking of how it would make Vash feel, without going too far, not intending to make Vash feel bad and still respecting that Picard had a right if not some benefits from being more reserved.
Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 1:56pm (UTC -6)
The episode showcases Picard and Vash's relationship dynamics, which are incredibly powerful and lovely. The Robin Hood story only enhances their differences, as they play the story according to their personalities - Picard the noble, and Vash the rogue. I love how neither Picard nor Vash will change themselves for the other, yet their natural rhythms lead them to appreciate the other. They don't need to be together for long; their relationship seem perfect for the two of them.
Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 2:45pm (UTC -6)
I only really find this episode tolerable when Q shows up. The preamble with Vash and the dig speech stuff is awkward and boring. It goes to the "dumb but enjoyable" part only when the Robin Hood situation shows up.
Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 10:21pm (UTC -6)
I really like this episode. Lighthearted but fun.
Mon, Jun 8, 2015, 10:58am (UTC -6)
I actually like this more than the typical Q episode. I like the Vash-Picard chemistry, especially in contrast to Kirk teaching every alien babe about love, Picard is a much more restrained, loyal, and romantic. I also like how Vash is sexy, but wouldn't be mistaken for a typical Risa bimbo.
When Vash seems willing to take on Sir Guy because she is going to be executed it is a great moment.
I also think it is funny how Q will pay back a favor with something perilous or at least a nuisance.
Even so I'd be hard pressed to give it more than 2 stars.
Sun, Jul 19, 2015, 7:12am (UTC -6)
"Qpid" is a tale of two episodes.

First, we have a by-the-book character story revolving around Picard and Vash on the Enterprise. It's enjoyable enough for what it is (or at least what it's attempting to do, which is humanize Picard). In fact, I'll say that it does a much better job of humanizing Picard than "Captain's Holiday" ever did. The scene of Picard being clearly uncomfortable when Crusher interrupts him and Vash at breakfast especially stands out. His stuttering and discomfort combined with both Crusher and Vash realizing exactly what's going on is probably the most "human" moment Picard has had in the series to date. Add to that Picard's further discomfort with having to deal with Q's new shenanigans and you have some legitimately good stuff here.

Then Q transports them to Sherwood Forest at almost the midway point of the show and the second episode starts up. What was the point of this? Q wants to teach Picard a lesson about how love makes him weak - okay, I get that. But, the idea of "love makes you weak" doesn't exactly scream "Robin Hood" to me. This could have been done with literally any action-adventure story, why make it Robin Hood of all things?! But the biggest problem with this second half of the episode is the complete and utter misuse of the Robin Hood mythos. Why use the Robin Hood setting if you're not going to have the characters actually do any Robin Hood type things? Once Q transports them all to the forest they just stand around milling about until Picard goes off to rescue Vash alone and then there's an action scene. Why go to the trouble of identifying all the Robin Hood characters (Picard as Robin, Riker as Little John, Data as Friar Tuck, Worf as Will Scarlett, LaForge as Alan A-Dale, Q as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Vash as Maid Marian) if you're not going to have any of them do any of those other characters' actions? And, since we're name dropping all the Robin Hood characters, including Guy of Gisbourne, where the hell is Prince John?! And just who are Crusher and Troi supposed to be?!

A Robin Hood story could have been done well. Just look at how DS9 managed something similar with "Our Man Bashir." They took the whole James Bond setting and actually ran with it. Here, the Robin Hood setting seems more like an excuse to have the production team make fancy outfits, nothing more.

I'm going to be kinder to "Qpid" than Jammer was because there are good things in the first half. Still, overall, it's a really lackluster offering.

Sat, Sep 5, 2015, 7:54am (UTC -6)
Ugh. I will never understand why Star Trek keeps insisting on finding ways to have episodes in old-timey settings. In order to justify the setting, they always have to fall back on settings and tropes which have all been done to death. Plus the sets always look cheap as hell -- probably because they're usually generic Universal Studios sets.

What exactly do they think we watch the show for?
Diamond Dave
Fri, Sep 18, 2015, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
This one comes right out of the WTF file. I've never been a Q fan, and for me the character works when he is a cipher for something else, as in Q Who. Here, the decision was clearly made that we needed a Q episode and this was the one we were going to bolt it to. As well as doing some Errol Flynn style swashbuckling too.

And yet... it's good to shake things up with Vash, and the nightmarish meeting between her and Crusher for Picard is a nice change up. Once we get into the Robin Hood story, are there any funnier moments that "Sir, I must protest. I am NOT a Merry Man", "Sorry", and the whip pan to Data impaled with Troi's arrow? The conclusion, where Picard realises Q is "devious, amoral, unreliable, irresponsible, and untrustworthy" and as such is very much like Vash herself is an effective one.

Of course the reason why we are in a Robin Hood show makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and the whole thing doesn't bear too much examination, but overall it's a fun romp. 2.5 stars.
Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 12:06pm (UTC -6)
Another commenter brought this up in "Attached", but now that watch this episode much older than when I first saw it, it's heavily implied that Picard and Crusher hook up on a regular basis. At least that's the only way I can understand the awkwardness and gossip between Crusher and Vash at the beginning of this episode.

As for the episode itself? Oh come on, it's Patrick Stewart in a classic English folk tale. With all the other "theatrical" homages this show throws around, I don't think we could've gone without a Robin Hood episode. I suppose it's a shame that a Q episode is also wasted for the sake of the bit, but that's a minor complaint that hardly dooms the episode.

I'll just point out two things I like about this episode. When Vash appears early on, she says she "came through Picard's window" into his quarters. This pays off later when Picard goes through *her* window in the Robin Hood fantasy. Secondly, I like how this episode is set up as a Q episode by the title, but Q doesn't show up until halfway. Vash's appearance also makes Q's entrance a bit more surprising.

There are other minor things to like about this one, like Q being clueless as always about human relationships, and not understanding why his own human fantasy story would work against him.

2.5 stars. Not special, but definitely worth the watch.
Thu, Aug 18, 2016, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
I'd give it 1 1/2 stars for the two good Worf moments and Data getting shot by Troi's arrow.

Perhaps it's because I sped the playback up to get through it, but the pacing seems off. Plus, that's a pretty weak-assed archeological conference if you ask me. For a being who's supposedly all powerful you'd think he'd know already of Vash's self serving and duplicitous nature. I'd like to think he was really testing her and the whole Robin Hood cosplay was simply a ruse.
Sun, Dec 4, 2016, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
Now I'm officially stopping reading your ridiculous reviews.. this episode is one of my favorites, absolutely hilarious.. Q is always the best. I don't understand how anyone cannot like this episode. Now to erase this site from my bookmarks...
Sun, Jan 15, 2017, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
Haha. I wouldn't go that far. I liked this episode, but it's a real wasted opportunity as far as what the Q is about. Q isn't about silly love stories with the odd moral message. It's about much bigger things, and this episode trivializes them.

But if you can ignore that and take this as a standalone episode - it's a lot of fun. It's definitely not one star.
Mon, Jan 16, 2017, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Have to say, I completely disagree with Jammer and a lot of the moaners on here. This is one of my favourite episodes! Sometimes you want to get away from the technobabble and over-earnestness of TNG and just have some fun. This is a romp, packed with fantastic one-liners. I also disagree with Jammer as I thought Jennifer Hetrick did a great job. 1 star is a ridiculous score for something this entertaining. OK, so it's a bit of fluff and it may not be the most grandiose or vital episode in the TNG pantheon, but it's damned entertaining fluff. I find Jammer does tend to score the more comedic episodes lower, maybe he doesn't enjoy comedy. But for me one of the highlights of season 4 - which I have found quite plodding compared to season 3 which for me is the strongest season so far. Final score - 3.5 stars.

P.S. I also enjoyed Captain's Holiday
Wed, Apr 19, 2017, 5:19am (UTC -6)
Why the hell every relationship in startrek had sad ending they last for two episodes then they are gone be it crusher,jordy,picard,will and many more.
This sucks are the writer wants to convey humans will turned into cold hearted creature in future.
Mon, May 29, 2017, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
I just rewatched this yesterday. I did so because of seeing Q's intro in it on YouTube, which I found funny.

I admit fast forwarding the first third of it, at which point I started to wonder if it was going to improve, but then Q showed up and things got underway. Yes, it's feather light and has virtually zero real stakes or tension in any way, but I also found the wordplay and the brief action scene mildly enjoyable. I've never really liked Vash as a character, and have ignored her for the most part; but I'm also aware that her episodes are throwaways, so she doesn't bother me that much.

This is pure, but inoffensive fluff; and given how much horror is going on in the proverbial real world these days, anything that can bring a smile to my face is as rare as it is welcome.
Tue, Jun 13, 2017, 3:50pm (UTC -6)
Ah, a bit of harmless fun. No need to be so pedantic! I enjoyed it for what it was: pure fluff (as Petrus calls it). What can I say? I'm a sucker for Q.
Tue, Aug 8, 2017, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
This is a mess of an episode, basically a dumb plot for the 1st half and a worse one for the 2nd half with Picard/Vash relationship the common link. The episode loses any sense of reality with Q manipulating everything, although I do appreciate the humor he brings.

Vash is an interesting character but the dynamic with Picard felt artificial. You'll see "couples" bickering better in other shows. "Qpid" is one of the weaker comedies in the Trek cannon for me. "Deja Q" was much better. Not enough good comedy in this one other than Troi shooting Data with an arrow and Worf smashing Geordi's mandolin.

It just gets ridiculous with the 2nd half of the episode. So Q is trying to prove that Picard has feelings for Vash -- big deal. He was put in an uncomfortable position in the 1st half realizing Vash's less than honest archeological interests, not to mention Crusher's behavior at breakfast. I thought that was out of character for Beverley.

1 star is the right rating for this episode. It was downright silly and even before the Sherwood Forest part, it was uninteresting and insipid. The other members of the crew show no anger at being in the situation, just going along with Q's game. It's a throwaway episode meant to generate some cheap laughs without any real meaning.
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 10:08pm (UTC -6)
This is definitely THE low point of Q in TNG, only surpassed by the awfulness of his DS9/VOY appearances. Best to forget it ever happened.
Derek D
Mon, Dec 18, 2017, 9:08pm (UTC -6)
I'm all for a little light-hearted fun and for changing it up now and then. But this was just plain stupid.
Cesar Gonzalez
Thu, Apr 12, 2018, 11:09pm (UTC -6)
Dumb episode. Comolete waste of episode. I have never seen an episode of Q that I enjoyed (I seen TNG and my favorite : Voyager).
Wed, May 9, 2018, 3:55pm (UTC -6)
This is “Spock’s Brain” type bad. Meaning it’s fun and you can laugh at it. The episodes that are truly bad are the ones you can’t remember and you just find yourself waiting for them to be over.
Thu, May 10, 2018, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Agree with the comments on the sexism with the females breaking pots on heads-I guess they were trying to swash a buckle.
Patrick Stewart looked ridiculous in that daft Errol Flynn outfit although poor Michael Dorn took the award for idiotic costume.

I loved the mandolin smashing and inadvertent shooting of Data moments but these were nowhere near enough to save this abysmal mess.
Unlike one of the commentators above I generally love the Q episodes but John de Lancie looks like he knows this is a huge mistake throughout.

3 wormholes from me and a never do that again.
Sarjenka's Little Brother
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
This episode proves how much harder it is to pull off "Trek" drama than "Trek" comedy.

I often think of ways to salvage bad episodes. And I often come up with what I think is way that could have made something a lot better.

Not this one. It was bad from conception. And I'll never understand why they chose to bring back Vash. I can see giving her a go, in theory, the first time around. But she fell flat. Why bring her back?
Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
“The plot is nonexistent.” Indeed. But are you really so immune to the charms of Q, Vash, and Picard in this episode?

Do you find “The Subway” and “The Chinese Restaurant” boring as well?

(Perhaps this is the wrong site to reference Seinfeld episodes . . . )
Mon, Jul 23, 2018, 11:12am (UTC -6)
Qpid? Stupid.

Beverly taking Vash away, she tells Picard "I'll behave myself"--Picard is probably thinking there'll be some lesbian action going on that he won't be able to watch.

Riker spotting Vash in 10-Forward..."Mmm-mmm, there's a nice piece of ass I haven't seen around here before."
Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 2:28pm (UTC -6)
I'm starting to worry that I have no taste in Star Trek episodes, because I really enjoyed this and was a bit surprised to see it with such a low score.
Peter G,
Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 3:07pm (UTC -6)
Don't worry, Daltone, this one seems to swing wild on scores. If you have no taste, neither do I :)
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:48am (UTC -6)
was going to give this a 5/10 but bumped it up to 6/10 for the humour.

Worf "Sir I must protest. I am NOT a merry man!" was hilarious as was Troi shooting Data and Worf breaking the lute.

When it comes to swordsplay, I am partial to Captain Blood.

I usually don't care for Q. Vash I liked in the Risa story. She is a good match for Picard.
Sun, Jun 23, 2019, 2:43pm (UTC -6)
I loved this episode when it premiered. I was 13 at the time. Some of he one-liners are (and remain) funny, and the verbal jousting between Picard and Q was then, and is now, pretty amusing.

My 41-year-old-self notes, though, is hat the episode is an empty suit. Not in an entertaining way, though. The stakes are zero, and one can search in vain for what exactly it is that Q is giving as a favor to Picard. A lesson that Picard must not dismiss feelings of love, or that he must not deny that he has those feelings about Vash? Who knows?

Since these lessons are not those in which Q has expertise delivering, basically.... nothing is going on in this episode, except for generic Sherwood Forest “action” where the ladies dispatch of the bad guys with flower pots and Q occasionally pops up to Interact with some dreadful performances delivered by actors supposedly playing the standard figures in the Robin Hood legend.

The episode is a little tonal mishmash. Early on, we’re primed to see something interesting play out - that of how do you repay a debt to someone who wants nothing more than to never see you again? This idea is never developed. It is as he p producers stumbled upon a marginal reason for the yearly Q appearance (he owes Picard a debt!) and then goes straight for lowest-common-denominator.... “adventure.” There’s no credible segue that bridges the opening scenes with the Sherwood ones.

The lack of urgency and focus seemed to show itself in Q’s lines - maybe one of high was quotable and the rest of which were forgettable. DeLancie as Q seems vaguely disinterested in the proceedings-not that one can blame him- resulting in the most forgettable use of Q in the entire series’ run. I would rathe r have listened to the speech that Picard was to give, than have watched what was produced.
Thu, Aug 29, 2019, 4:25pm (UTC -6)
I think the best line is - 'theres somthing you should know.....I'm not from Nottingham'

Pointless, daft, silly. But watchable, and a load of fun.

Not the best use of Q but what the hell. And Vash is pretty hot. 'Nice legs...for a human'

I'd give it 3 easy.
Peter G.
Mon, Sep 30, 2019, 4:30pm (UTC -6)
Just watched this one, and I wonder if there isn't something in Q's lesson to Picard that goes beyond "admit it! your weakness is women!" Although to be fair I hadn't noticed before how right Q probably is, if we're taking Picard's comments from The Samaritan Snare seriously. Maybe that's true and part of why he creates distance now. But I can see more in Q's message now also because of that repeated motif of "The Captain's a very private person." He doesn't just keep himself away from women, but away from everyone other than professionally. This would eventually be revisited in full in All Good Things, but for now there may be a message to be found in terms of Picard's whole life even here.

I hadn't considered before the possible connection between the dry archaeology hobby and Picard's keeping everyone at a distance. Perhaps he treats humanity as something to be studied, but as if it was an interesting relic from the past rather than a living breathing entity. Or at least I might think so if it wasn't for his Shakespeare addiction; but even then I think love of Shakespeare could just as easily be a taste for incredible old stuff rather than living, breathing material. I can tell you that it very often is treated that way. So let's say there's intended irony in Picard starting a dry archaeology speech with talk of mystery and adventure. Certainly the Indiana Jones films are a perpetual wink and nod at how archaeology sound like it might be an adventure whereas in real life it's academic work and no adventure in the James Bond sense at all. So is the episode poking pun at Picard admiring "adventure" while cautiously avoiding the biggest adventure for him on the ship, Vash? I think so. And I think this is saying something about his regard for humanity as a whole: that his love of human values, culture, and integrity, is pursued in a studied and yet abstract manner, distanced from actual humanity and rather treating it as a sort of fantasy story that he admires. Actual humanity is all around him, and yet he keeps it at a distance to protect himself from it. So I think Q's lesson (or his lesson plus Vash's interjections) goes far deeper than "watch out for ladies!" and begins to feel more like "your love of humanity cannot be fulfilled without humanity."
William B
Mon, Sep 30, 2019, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
@Peter, I really agree. I also think that Picard insisting on going alone only for Riker et al. to back him up is not just an adventure movie cliché (though it is that) but another version of the same lesson. Picard tries to keep these people at bay, but not only does he need them, it's not even really possible to, because they (like Vash, like Q) have minds of their own. SPOILER And I think there's a direct line from Riker and the others rushing in to save the day and the importance of bringing the gang back together in the future, and eventually joining the poker game, in All Good Things. The abstract, intellectual puzzle is extremely important, but Picard needs his personal relationships as well as his wits to solve it.
Fri, Feb 28, 2020, 9:44pm (UTC -6)
Regarding Worf smashing the lute:

Someone should have told that hack writer to come up with his own jokes rather than blatantly stealing a classic bit from "Animal House".
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 1:41pm (UTC -6)
Trivia Time:

Clive Revill (Sir Guy of Gisbourne) staRred as Fagin in the origininal Broadway cast of the musical OLIVER! opposite Georgia Brown (Worf's mum.) Also in the cast was a pre-Monkees Davy Jones as the Artful Dodger.

And to add another layer of coincidence, Jack Wild, who played the Artful Dodger in the movie version, was also in the Kevin Costner ROBIN HOOD.
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 9:21pm (UTC -6)
South ofNorth: the bit was not "stolen", it was an homage. Anyone who knows Animal House was waiting for the "Sorry".
Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, May 12, 2020, 8:27pm (UTC -6)
I gotta admit Vash really rubbed me the wrong way in this one. First she's all whiny about Picard not telling anyone about her. I thought she was supposed to be this mysterious sneaky rogue character, not the type of person who'd want to be the topic of gossip. Then the way she interrogates Picard over his rescue plan in the heat of the moment and screws it up. What the hell?

I still don't get what Q was trying to prove, since apparently he was all wrong anyway. Love is a weakness? Just a mess. The castle's great hall set was pretty hokey too.
Mr Peepers
Wed, Jun 17, 2020, 10:54am (UTC -6)
Worf: Nice legs.

I didn't realize how tiny and petite Vash was until I saw her curl up in the Captains chair. Smaller than Deanna.

Never understood why Picard never figures out not to annoy Q. It always ends up being his downfall. If a magical deity wants to hook you up, accept it. I got so tired of the two Darren's not being appreciative in having a witch as a wife, who can give them whatever he wants. Or Tony not liking a beautiful genie who is in love with him and willing to give him anything he wants.

I liked Captain's Holiday much better than this episode. An hour in listening to Picard get in deeper with Q, by arguing with him knowing he is going to do what he wants to do. All the episodes with Q are exactly the same. He wants to do something nice, gets rebuffed, then he exacts revenge. Maybe that's why I don't care for him.
James G
Tue, Jul 7, 2020, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
I was surprised to find a Q episode that I hadn't seen before, but it's an awful one. The Star Trek franchise is littered with these excuses to perform period dramas. I'm not really a fan of them. The whole appeal for me is to have an escapist glimpse into the future, albeit an imaginary one.

But the premise of this Robin Hood drama is witless in the extreme, the crowning stupidity being Picard's plan to rescue Vash just by breaking in on his own with a sword and getting her. I didn't find the jokes, like Troi shooting Data with an arrow and Worf breaking the lute, particularly funny. The whole thing is literally a farce.

I've been to Nottingham many times and the castle a few times; I lived about an hour from there. Would have been nice to hear the local accent, but the lady who is ordered by "Marian" to take a message to the forest sounds like she's from London.

But my pet hate with all Q episodes is the way he's treated by Picard. Granted he's irritating but he also has a wealth of knowledge and power that could benefit humankind and the Federation immeasurably. In this one he literally arrives offering a favour, but he's just asked to leave immediately.

Anyway. I've seen most of the TNG episodes but this one is a new low for me.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 2:43am (UTC -6)
I laughed often as was charmed and entertained. 2 and a half stars.
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 12:30pm (UTC -6)
One of my Top 10 TNG episodes. Plays off the personality quirks of the main characters that have been established throughout the previous episodes. And any episode with Q is great given the comedic interplay and his constant challenging of the stoic Picard.
Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 6:47am (UTC -6)
I'll be honest - I've seen nearly every other episode of Star Trek: TNG multiples upon multiples of times, but not this one. I've never been able to make it through once. I'm usually not a fan of Q. For an omnipotent being who has lived for jillions of years, he gets confounded by humans far too often and easily. I just can't make the leap.

Then again, I was never a fan of all-powerful enemies in Star Trek: TOS or TNG either, even when they weren't Q. More-powerful, is fine. All-powerful, or nearly so, is just obnoxious IMO.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 5:48am (UTC -6)
My 20-something daughter has been pressing me to watch TNG, the only iteration of ST I couldn't stomach when first screened. Thanx to Covid and the holiday season I've binged it from the beginning in sequence, more out of duty and morbid curiosity than any serious viewing pleasure. Over the first 4 seasons possibly half a dozen outstanding EPs altogether. Not saying much for such enormous workload involved in churning out so many EPs. My initial distaste for TNG is now amply confirmed. I'll keep watching but EPs such as Qpid are so inane and childish I wonder what they were all thinking. Not a jot of originality or creative energy. Pitiful, really. And as for ST's penchant to use any excuse to do historical stuff (Q games, holodeck programs, time travel) it's a device that almost always falls flat. It's not effective enough to be a "trope". I generally loathe and resent the drudge involved in watching out of duty. Majorly stupid and unrateable EP in a series that only achieves ST greatness so sporadically it's a blot on the entire franchise.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 5:57am (UTC -6)
Starship captains delivering expert papers on space archaeology at a conference of specialists. Yeah, could we have seen that instead of the Robin Hood BS? Gimme a break, ok?
And all this trouble over one of the most annoying females in the ST universe, Vash, even more annoying than Keiko O' Brien. (PS, I'm a woman, so go easy on calling me sexist!) Picard surrounded by high achieving women, doctors, engineers, commanders, admirals, even gorgeous Klingon, Vulcan and Romulan babes, and he falls for a grifter. On Risa even! Gimme anothet break, PLEASE!
Jason R.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 7:19am (UTC -6)
" Picard surrounded by high achieving women, doctors, engineers, commanders, admirals, even gorgeous Klingon, Vulcan and Romulan babes, and he falls for a grifter. On Risa even! Gimme anothet break, PLEASE!"

Well to be fair she's established as an archeology expert who studied under a prominent archeologist - that isn't what I think of as a grifter. She is basically a female Indiana Jones. You can definitely see the appeal. She even wanted to donate the Tox Utat to the Daestrom museum. Well... maybe not *donate*...
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 8:13am (UTC -6)
This is not exactly a representative episode. I’d be hard pressed to think of another so self consciously dumb. The title even rhymes with “stupid.”
Mon, Mar 29, 2021, 2:04am (UTC -6)
I very much find the Q episodes uneccessary. They are vasted in an SF environment.

Still, it was silly, sexistic and quite funny. Female l stereotypin, the jelous Beverly, the manipulating Vash.

The statement that only Sirtis and McFadden had fencing knowlegede surprises me. I would have assumed that Stewart, as he attended an acting school, also had some.

It gets credit for the theatrical acting. Both guest actors do challange Stewarts skills.
Tue, May 11, 2021, 3:55am (UTC -6)
Vash is an annoying Irene Adler ripoff.

I can handle goofy Robinhood stuff just fine, but I don't buy her as a character let alone a Picard love interest.
Sat, Jun 5, 2021, 11:51am (UTC -6)
What kind of cantankerous old coot do you need to be to rate this episode one star?
Tue, Jun 15, 2021, 5:11pm (UTC -6)
Not an awful episode, IE Sub Rosa, but not great either. Everything seemed too forced and predictable. Couple of funny one-liners but that's about it. I guess I'm the only one curious to know if Q bangs Vash. I mean he has to, right?
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 12:29am (UTC -6)
Anything that happened between Q and Vash would probably be pretty tame by human standards. The Q and the Grey has an amusing twist, Braaten. Spoiler alert...

Q spends the whole episode trying to seduce Janeway as he wants to reproduce. In the end he mates in front of her with someone else and all he ever wanted sexually was briefly touching one another's index fingers (admittedly with Janeway then holding the baby). Janeway is baffled: "That was it?!".
Fri, Jul 16, 2021, 10:48pm (UTC -6)

"The statement that only Sirtis and McFadden had fencing knowlegede surprises me."

I wasn't aware Sirtis had trained in fencing/swordfighting, but Gates McFadden, I recently found out, is also known as "Cheryl McFadden." Gates is her middle name. She uses it when she is credited for Acting. When she is credited as a _Choreographer,_ however, she uses her first name, Cheryl.

She did the choreography for Labyrinth. Yes, the David Bowie one. There's video up of it on YouTube somewhere, and you can see her instructing a squad of Goblin Soldiers about how to raise and swing their halberds in time with each other.
Frake's Nightmare
Sat, Jul 24, 2021, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
Wesley's Jumper - nice to see the Picard short shorts PJs back again.
Mon, Sep 6, 2021, 3:18am (UTC -6)
I just can’t agree with Jammer. Yes, the episode is awful from the moment they are transported to Sherwood Forest - 1 star. But before that there are some delightful scenes: the opening sexual ballet dance between Vash and Crusher is fantastic, as is the moment where Vash correctly identifies the leering Riker. Even in the awful second half there’s a moment of high comedy where Worf snarls “I am NOT a Merry Man!”

Ok, not one of TNG’s finest perhaps, but even in spite of the dreadful second half, it deserves 2 stars.
Rex Block
Fri, Oct 1, 2021, 8:42am (UTC -6)
Can't believe how seriously some view these episodes of this series.
It's just entertainment, folks!
Fri, Nov 12, 2021, 4:00am (UTC -6)
I can forgive this episode for everything that is wrong with it just for the fact that Worf confirms what we all knew all along. He isn't a merry man.

But the one thing I guess I can't forgive it for is they wasted a Q appearance on something this silly. They could have simply had them stuck in the holodeck. Q's presence was not necessary. Once you've seen Tapestry and All Good Things, it's hard to forgive them for wasting Q on even one unworthy episode.
Joseph S.
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 2:26am (UTC -6)
Just a terrible episode from premise to execution, save for a few funny bits (Q and Worf had a couple of good lines). Is it just me or are there a few moments where some of the actors are struggling not to laugh? What were the writers THINKING?

Side note: The sword fighting was some of the worst I've ever seen in any show or movie, it all amounted to wild swinging and clumsy parries. Also, the villain guy is "the best swordsman in Nottingham" but gets taken out by a guy who has until the day before never held a sword? Yuh huh. Maybe it was just Q taking it easy on Picard by making the villain (and all the guards) terrible at swordfighting.

Side side note: Troi and Crusher hiding in the bushes smashing pots on guards' heads was truly cringeworthy, suitable for a bad sexist sitcom from the 70's maybe. What a braindead finale for a laughable episode
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
I agree with the positive reviews. Especially after Night Terrors and Identity Crisis, both of which were good but very dark, this was a delightful and charming comedy. Picard’s predicament with his crew finding out about his romp with Vash at Risa was really funny. Patrick Stewart played this perfectly. Vash was a fun and appealing character - I don’t understand Jammer’s calling her performance subpar. All of the crew’s interactions with Vash were amusing. I laughed out loud when the hats first appeared at the conference speech, and then the additional implements including a huge turkey leg in Data’s hand. The jump to Sherwood Forest was just right, and Picard’s smiling as he played out the game showed this was not to be taken seriously. Vash turned the game on its head by doing a 180 toward Sir Guy, which was surprising and really funny. And the finale with Vash partnering with Q was absolutely perfect, and also a surprise. I went away smiling, and give this 3.5 stars.
Mon, May 2, 2022, 8:37am (UTC -6)
I lasted 25 minutes before tapping out. This is not sci-fi nor is it Star Trek. It's garbage.

I have to say though: Riker spotting Vash entering the bar... - you could almost HEAR the "schwingggggggggg!" from under the table. Seriously, does this guy have to chase EVERY tail in the frikken' galaxy?!?!
Mon, Jun 20, 2022, 3:29am (UTC -6)
2 words: Jennifer Hetrick.

She is an absolute sweetheart and every moment with her onscreen is a joy for me.

I don't mind this episode, it's light hearted and not taken too seriously. I couldn't help but feel bad for John Luke at the end when Vash decides to go off with Q. If he stole my girl from me I'd be dripping with jealousy!
Sun, Mar 5, 2023, 1:03pm (UTC -6)
It's fine, good for a few episodes to be really light and even silly and this episode made that work pretty well with the series generally and even some of the elements of this episode being pretty serious.

This season did have *a lot* of sequel/follow-up episodes and even though most of them, probably all of them aside from big exception "Legacy" and to a lesser degree "Brothers" worked well, it does feel a bit excessive to have so many so close together (especially "Galaxy's Child", "The Nth Degree" and this episode being really close and remembering there were a lot soon before too), I guess understandable that there were fewer later on though maybe to the other extreme of too few.
Projekt Kobra
Tue, Jul 4, 2023, 11:55pm (UTC -6)
The Mandolin smashing is classic.

Troi looked really cute in that sylvan garb.

Q is basically Gazoo, or I Dream
Of Jeanie.
How many people have screamed at the TV something like, “Turn the sofa solid gold!!” , or, “Make him cure cancer!!!”


“No, no! Don’t help me. Go away!”
Fri, Jul 21, 2023, 8:14am (UTC -6)
I can't believe how many on here actually like this episode. It looks like the producers ran out of science fiction material and slapped this together at the last minute.
John B
Fri, Sep 15, 2023, 10:18pm (UTC -6)
To the naysayers, what is wrong with you?

The episode is pure fun. Worf alone made me laugh out loud at least 3 times (I AM NOT A MERRY MAN.)

Q has grown on me and Vash is delightful.

Light episodes are needed to break up the serious ones. This far better than most.
Top Hat
Sun, Sep 17, 2023, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
I like both of the idea of a rompish Robin Hood episode and a sitcomish episode where the crew react to the captain's girlfriend. But the episode is a little overburdened by trying to be both.

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