This is legit one of my absolute favorite episodes of the whole dang series -- enough that it gives "The Measure of a Man" a run for its money. And I don't think it's necessarily an overall thing...it may just be on the strength of a few key scenes. But one thing for sure...I consider the dialogue in this episode among the sharpest, funniest, and most engaging (heh) of any TNG
writing. Phil said that Q is in rare form, which is totally true and
saying something, too, considering Q's common form.
But there is for sure a whole other level, or at least a different flavor, to his sass that I just enjoy the hell out of every time I see this episode. Not only that, but Worf...Worf!...has one of his best lines ever, and it's just a single word: "Die." The delivery is just...chef kiss. In fact, all the Q/Worf interactions were gold. "I would be eternally grateful. Which...doesn't mean as much as it used to, I admit..." "BE QUIET."
Anyway, let me just get to it. Let's talk about the Ten Forward scene. I could just watch that one scene over and over. It starts with Q and Data both trying to explore the human experience of food, and the whole "ten chocolate sundaes" bit floors me every fucking time. When Q explains his logic for ordering ten sundaes, both he and Data share this fraction of a second of agreement. "Hm," like..."yes, that logic is sound" and they are both just SO SATISFIED. God I love it. They are my good, good boys.
And from that beautiful shining moment, we transition IMMEDIATELY into Guinan rolling into the scene, and now we are off to the races
. Guinan's smugness, Q's shattered bravado...there's this one moment where she is talking to him and just takes a step toward him to get in his space and he RECOILS. The dynamic there is just subtle and delicious. And stark contrast to just MOMENTS before when she just straight-up STABBED the guy. To me, this scene gives is SO much more emotional insight into their past than their first scene together in "Q Who."
I am also struck by the cinematography of that scene. EVERY TIME. So before when I mentioned the transition from the Data/Q conversation into the Guinan/Q confrontation. The camera work is ridiculous
for that transition. We see the camera spin all the way around Q's head to change the perspective from his conversation with Data to Guinan entering the scene. It is SO RARE for TNG camera shots to be that dynamic, and it's just the perfect move from one conversation to the next and totally changes the texture of the scene. Then, much later, after the attack on Q is thwarted and he falls to the ground, helpless, with Guinan looking over him...
I mean just look at this shot.
COME ON. What show is this?! We never see composition like that. Fucking amazing.
So, yeah. I love that scene. I love this whole episode.
There's also something Watch Club brought me a new perspective on. I've always thought in the past, like...I felt like everybody treated Q kind of extra-harshly. Well, except Data. And I expect it from Worf. But everyone else, was just so...snarky about it? I dunno, I mean it wasn't anything so bad that I was bumped, but it was just sort of always there in the back of my mind..."wow, everyone's being a real jerk about this." But for Watch Club, seeing this episode on the heels of "Q Who," I'm reminded OH YEAH! I guess this was
the guy responsible for killing 18 crewmembers and also catapulting the Enterprise into contact with the Borg, thereby jumpstarting the obliteration of every Federation civilization, and for no reason at all except to shame Picard, so, yeah I GUESS THERE'S THAT. So, yeah...now I better understand them being kinda bitter at him.