4 February 2013

The Outrageous Okona

Episode: s2, ep4
The episode starts out with a promise of space piracy and mischief, but it turns out to be about bad jokes and how overbearing fathers will make young people do crazy things. The fact that Okona is supposed to be really hot means I'm not attracted to him. Or maybe it's the overconfidence, I don't go for that.

What Happens
The Enterprise finds a small, malfunctioning vessel and offers help. The ship's captain, Okona, initially presents his arse to the screen and is generally cocky. The bridge crew discuss how roguish he is, because why just show things through characterisation when you can have other characters state it outright and hammer the point home? Okona arrives full of personality and charm, he tries to talk to Data about sex appeal, which Data says has no relevance to him (poor Tasha). There is a lot of stating the bleeding obvious, they want us to be really, really sure that Okona's a charming, zesty, roguish space pirate. As if the audience had failed to notice the actor's performance (or his baggy sleeves).
A tiny, mostly harmless vessel approaches and tries to be intimidating. The pompous bearded Captain claims Okona is a criminal and insists he's handed over. Another small ship with an angry (but non-bearded) Captain turns up, he also demands Okona. It turns out Beardy Captain is chasing him because Okona seduced and impregnated his daughter. Non-Beardy Captain says Okona stole a national treasure, using his son as his unwitting accomplice, the son tries to disagree (did Okona seduce him too?). Each Captain insists it'll be war if Okona is handed over to the other. Picard doesn't want to be involved with this nonsense. Okona offers to leave the Enterprise, though he'll certainly be caught.
After Data failed to get Okona's joke, Guinan agrees that he lacks hunour. Data goes to the holodeck to learn about humour from a holo-comic. This is a painful exercise because the comedian isn't that funny and Data analyses and explains everything. I assume the lack of humour in these sections is intentional.
After a talk with Wesley, Okona decides to make a stand and asks Picard to host his surrender. Okona explains that he didn't do what he's accused of, but he'll marry the girl anyway. This turns out to be a gambit to force the two young people together. Non-Beardy Captain's son is the father of the baby and Okona was the go-between for them and now convinces them they belong together. There's clearly still issues here, but the most important thing is that they aren't Picard's problem anymore.
Data and Guinan go back to the holodeck to try and crack this humour thing. A holo audience is created, but they'll laugh at anything. Data realises this. Guinan explains that humour doesn't equal humanity, Data is still disheartened.


Guest Star
Teri Hatcher plays the Transporter Engineer who Okona flirts with, presumably because she's the first female he sees. Her apparent disinterest proves to be ineffective as Okona visits her quarters and she's out of uniform. Since the show is so desperate for Okona to be a Space Pirate (despite giving him nothing piratey to do), does this make Terri Hatcher's character a Transporter Wench?

Oh Captain My Captain
Picard doesn't want to deal with the irritating Captains and their problems. He has Worf more or less drag Okona from a crewwoman's quarters to find out what's going on. Picard is clearly fed up of other people's nonsense getting in the way when he has things to do (probably). He agrees to host Okona's surrender and then things sort themselves out enough that he can get everyone off his ship.

Counsellor Pointless
Apparently Troi's empathic ability allows her to sneak a peek at people's character sheet.
She immediately identifies Okona's class as Rogue, but didn't get any other useful stats. Though if she's anything like me those numbers are pretty meaningless (which is why I rarely roleplay).

Jokes from the 1980s are always topical. ALWAYS
Does Not Compute
Okona tries to joke with Data at the beginning of the episode. Data realises he has no appreciation of a sense of humour and decides to rectify this. He tries to get advice from Guinan, but only makes her laugh inadvertently. He goes to the holodeck and tries to find out what's funny by talking to a simulated 1980s cheesy comedian. It gets kinda painful.
Guinan comes to see Data's act, but the holo-audience are programmed to laugh at anything. Data realises he's not understood humour at all and is still just mimicking humanity.


The Boy
Okona charmingly asks Wesley his name, after which Wesley is smitten. In their few scenes together Wesley gazes at Okona with an intensity that suggests a serious man-crush. He asks Okona how he copes being a wanderer, leaving people all the time, Wesley doesn't think he could live like that. Though he said goodbye to his mother readily enough. (I'm told that Wesley will later become the companion of the inter-dimensional Traveller, so I guess he gets over these concerns.)


Guinan's Hat: rose coloured
Guinan tries to help Data with his queries about humour. After trying to provoke a reaction with a witty period-appropriate play on words, Guinan suggests Data needs to consult a smarter computer.
Later she comes to see him perform in the holo-comedy club. As you can see it's not a success. Data is disappointed that he hasn't figured out humour, but Guinan tells him it isn't the be all and end all of humanity.




Random Crewmembers
These woman only seem to have beds in their quarters, which is odd. Shouldn't they have chairs and tables and replicators and weird future sculptures?



Security Breach
After the rogue discussion Worf suggests restricting Okona's access to the ship. Finally! People accessing whatever they feel like with the computer caused so many problems several times last series. Riker actually agrees, though probably out of some alpha-male instinct rather than because it's basically a sensible idea.

Future is Better
It's made very clear that Beardy Captain's outrage at the impregnation and abandonment of his daughter is archaic. Picard seems perplexed and irritated by the whole thing. Troi advises him that these ancient and meaningless codes about procreation are of great importance to Beardy Captain. I'm now a bit curious about what the utopian answer to this issue is.



The End
Data tries to tell a joke on the bridge. Everyone else ignores him and interrupts him until he stops.
Is that a boom box? What's next... a rubik's cube?

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