Enlightenment > Star Trek > DS9
DS9 1-07

DS9 1x07
"Q-Less"

Original airdate: 2/7/1993
Rewatch date: 6/1/2013


Vash arrives after spending two years in the Gamma Quadrant with Q.

Spoiler-free notes:

This episode stars out strong with Vash appearing on Deep Space Nine and being evasive about what has happened to her. However, once Q shows up, it falls apart pretty quickly. None of the main characters get any room to develop as the story devolves into Q and Vash antics that completely eliminate any sense of danger as the station hurtles towards the wormhole near the end.

The problem is that, while Vash melds well with DS9--I especially like the chemistry between her and Quark--Q feels totally out of place and out of character. The rapport he has with Picard from the very beginning of TNG is nowhere to be found, and his quasi-romantic obsession with Vash just doesn't make any sense from the standpoint of an omnipotent trixter. Granted, there is one scene where Q's malevolence comes out--when he reduces Vash to a crippled, plague-ridden wretch in order to convince her that she needs him around--but for the most part, he doesn't seem to serve any purpose within the narrative.

Especially annoying is the pugilism scene in which Sisko very obviously declares, "I'm not Picard." The writers are trying far too hard here. It's plausible that they might have found a way to recontextualize Q within DS9 and make him relevant for the show, but it seems unlikely, kind of like trying to shoe-horn Ricardo Mantalban's Khan into TNG, something that wouldn't have worked either. The writers are trying to use Q as a way to contrast TNG with DS9, but instead they just wind up retreading old ground and doing a disservice to DS9's quest for a unique voice. It's an early step backwards, right on the heels of a good step forward ("Captive Pursuit").





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