Looking a Little Goofy

Hi there! Remember Two Beer Trek? Me neither – but I’d like to reacquaint myself.

The site recently moved from its own .com landscape to a free WordPress-hosted platform. Why? Because I didn’t find it necessary to pay $25 every quarter for hosting and $15/year for a domain name on a site that I’m too busy to pay attention to with any frequency. Makes sense, right?

The boob is that all the existing posts look a little wacko now. The transition wasn’t completely nice to them, and the new layout is making them appear a bit silly. I could go back and readjust and fix everything, but quite frankly, I don’t care to. I just wanted to tell you what’s up.

Posts moving forward should look normal, since they’ll be formatted specifically for this site and layout. As for the old ones – well, I’m sure you can deal.

Onward!

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The Next Generation: Imaginary Friend (S05E22)

The Beers:

20081226-dnoel-2
Delirium Noel – Brouwerij Huyghe – Melle, Belgium
10% ABV

 

 

 

winter welcome ale samuel smith
Winter Welcome Ale – Samuel Smith Brewery – North Yorkshire, UK
6% ABV

 

 

 

 

It’s import day on Two Beer Trek!

Delirium Noel is a really nice winter beverage. It’s not overly winter-y, but you can tell what qualifies it as such. It is incredibly smooth, delightful and drinkable, and doesn’t feel like a 10% ABV beer at all. There’s no booziness. It pours yellow in color with a decent head that dissipates. Fruit flavors, bready malts, light spice that gives it its winter classification, and that classic Belgian yeast. Historically I haven’t been that into Belgian beers, but the more I have – particularly of good-quality options – the more I am appreciating the style. At about $7 for an 11 oz. bottle (here in south Pittsburgh where beer is cheap), this stuff is still nearly $1 per fluid ounce. I don’t regret the purchase.

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome is a warmer that has been around for 25 years, according to this winter’s label. The label changes yearly, and apparently the best way to celebrate their 25th is with some toasting mugs. It’s a nice beverage, but nothing overly special. It’s good, but next year when the winter releases come out, I’m not going to shit my pants and scream about how excited I am to get a Winter Welcome. It’s very malty with caramel flavors, There’s some fruity sweetness that hits you after the first second, but there’s a thin and underwhelming mouthfeel. It leaves my mouth very dry. I don’t know – it’s fine, but I’ve had much better experiences with Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout and their Organic Chocolate Stout, which I very much enjoy. This is my least favorite I’ve had from them. After 25 years, I’d think it would be better.

The Episode:
The Next Generation: Imaginary Friend

imaginary friend

I mean… right? This already sucks. Let’s do it.

This is one of the absolute worst episodes of The Next Generation.

It starts with some girl (Clara) telling Troi what she likes for breakfast. Clara has an imaginary friend, Isabella, with whom Troi engages to satisfy Clara’s interest. Her dad watches. Troi shows how good she is at her job, which is always nice to see, and is one of the few redeeming qualities of this episode. Troi tells Clara’s dad not to worry about the fact his daughter has an imaginary friend.

Picard wants to examine a nebula because the Enterprise has to be doing something so the rest of this ridiculous episode has context for happening. Next, either someone is roaming the decks with a laser pointer or the world’s worst sniper is targeting Geordi and Data as they walk. It then goes to Crusher’s sickbay. Then it shows up in a botany lab where, holy shit, Clara is playing with her imaginary friend. Bam! The light becomes Isabella. Your friend is real now, you crazy, sad child.

Isabella talks like Keanu Reeves would if he were a small girl in the early 1990s.  The Enterprise shakes – shields say they hit something, sensors say they don’t, and the guy in the lookout tower was shouting about an iceberg but nobody paid any attention. Clara shows up in engineering because Isabella told her to go there. Her dad is mad. LaForge spanks her dad and says he’s a bad boy. Weird readings happen on the engineering devices, and it’s obviously because of Isabella. LaForge tells PIcard they don’t know what is going on.

Clara tells Isabella to smile. She does that, then the camera cuts back to the children walking down the hall and neither are smiling. Clara tells Isabella she’s a great friend and Isabella asks why and Jesus Christ I don’t care about any of this. They run into Worf and he smirks… like he understands children… because he has one. Because, like, he’s such a great dad and stuff. He totally gets kids. KIDS, AMIRITE?

LaForge is apparently talking to Clara’s dad about his childhood because the plot requires it. I don’t care what they said.

Guinan is here! The human can of Febreze!

febrezeguinan

 

 

 

 

 

Just try and un-see that. She must have had huge closets for those hats.

She’s talking about Data with some crap when Clara walks in. As we know, kids aren’t allowed in Ten Forward. Clara says she wanted to show Isabella, and Guinan says “Oh, I see. You’re batshit crazy. You can hang out with me, I have immeasurable patience.” Guinan gives her juice and they chat about how grownups suck and grownups can’t remember what it’s like to be a kid and they check the balances on their Toys R Us gift cards and trade stickers. Troi comes to bail Guinan out.

Troi scolds Isabella in the Turbolift. Isabella points an imaginary gun at Troi’s face and says “Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful!”

Clara and Isabella have a conversation about how adults are stupid and girls are cool and kids are great and….shit. Isabella wants to go back to engineering, Clara says no, Isabella gets mad… it’s all a bunch of poop. Troi takes Clara to a ceramics class and that pisses Isabella right off, causing her eyes to turn red, as seen above. 1992 EFFECTS, BITCH.

The bridge crew talks about that Nebula again. Another mysterious ship impact happens. Nobody knows why.

SOOOO we’ve got weird shit happening to the ship, unidentified problems mysteriously fixing themselves, and the ship keeps banging into nothing. Meanwhile a tiny girl is seeing an imaginary friend that is causing her to do bad stuff and break rules. Can’t be related, I’m sure. Nobody thinks with the objectivity they would exhibit in any other episode.

Oh, thanks Troi. You took Clara to see Alexander because THAT is for sure going to make her want to hang out with real kids. I’m so glad. Episodes with Alexander scenes are so great. That’s why he grew up to be this outstanding individual:

brian bonsall

This is the kid who won several Young Artist Awards for his role on Family Ties in the late 80s and early 90s. The competition must have been really stiff, for Christ’s sake…

Troi drinks some hot chocolate so you know things are serious. It mysteriously spills on her desk.  OH WELL! LET’S NOT THINK ABOUT WHY THAT WOULD HAPPEN! NO OBJECTIVITY, REMEMBER?

Back in stupid art class, Isabella knocks over Alexander’s art. He gets mad, I guess. Invisible Isabella throws clay at him and that’s hilarious because he sucks. Stupid Alexander. Clara runs away.

Isabella says Clara can die with everyone else when “the others come” because Clara “ran away from her.” Okay…

The Enterprise is navigating through something red that is hard to get through, or something. Troi is in Ten Forward staring at a piece of cake. She talks with Guinan about Clara. The point is that children have feelings and sometimes adults forget how differently children process things from adults. This is very true, but I took a short nap.

Clara tells Troi that “the others” are going to come and kill everyone. Again, Troi doesn’t think about it as a real thing. She just thinks this stupid girl is schizophrenic.  As they look under the bed together, all I’m wondering is why there’s no dust on the Enterprise. Does it just get filtered away? There’s no janitorial or housekeeping staff that we know of. This is something I genuinely don’t know. Dust accumulates so fast in my house, I can’t imagine.

Oh! Hey! There’s Isabella! She shows herself to Troi before zapping her in the chest with a light beam.

In sickbay, everyone finally realizes that the really obvious thing that has been happening all episode is, indeed, happening.

Something is draining shields, so Picard goes to talk to Isabella. He gets her to show up and she admits she’s draining the shields because her species requires energy. She says humans are cruel and uncaring because they treat Clara like a child. Picard gives a speech about how she is a goddamn child, but how adults sometimes forget their impact on children and all this mumbo jumbo. Picard’s history with children gives him a great pedestal from which to display an understanding of child psychology.

Isabella disappears back into the sniper rifle dot and the ship is fine. Picard requests an energy beam be shot into the nebula for his alien friends to suck on.

Brannon Braga goes to the bank to cash his check, while audiences go “What the hell just happened here?”

Deep Space Nine: Equilibrium (S03E04)

The Beers:

Ol-Red-Cease-&-Desist
Ol’ Red Cease & Desist – Erie Brewing Co. – Erie, PA
10.1% ABV, 35 IBU

 

 

lagunitas-little-sumpin
A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale – Lagunitas Brewing Co. – Petaluma, CA
7.5% ABV, 64 IBU

 

 

I’m sort of conflicted on how I feel about Ol’ Red. It’s a wee heavy/Scotch ale that fits the definition of a Scotch ale, but only just. It’s got the high alcohol level, the caramel color, heavy malts and toffee, mild sweetness – and not much else. It’s not a very complicated beer. It pours with zero head, doesn’t have a lot of heft to the body. Bitter, no hops, and not completely balanced with what it does have. It’s not a bad beer by any means, but I’m not going to remember it in a month.

A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ is a fantastic beer. It’s a wheat beer that drinks like an IPA, and would be a great choice for fans of either style. It pours a clear, dark gold with a decent head that dissolves quickly. It smells of pine and tastes of hops, bitter at first, pine at the end. It’s thin and I like the carbonation level. The wheat lets the other flavors shine. I haven’t had a lot of hoppy wheat to compare it to, but if this is what can be achieved from that type of brewing, I’m down. Good shit.

The Episode:
Deep Space Nine: Equilibrium

dax

Dax in a milky-white tub, wearing a white shirt, holding hands with a Trill version of Mario Lopez? Sign me up.

Jake is wearing womens’ tunics again. Sisko is making a “souffle” by whisking a bowl of green stuff. Sisko reveals his father had a restaurant in New Orleans, which isn’t a stereotypical “black guy  cooking something” thing at all.  There’s a short discussion about beets. Odo is there because Rene needed a paycheck. We won’t see him again this episode.

Dax starts playing Jake’s piano boomerang thing. She talks about having no musical ability, then immediately refutes this by playing a song she claims she’s never heard before, but knows. The camera zooms in. Trumpets sound.

I used to hum the DS9 theme song to my daughter right after she was born, to calm her while she was crying.

Dax won’t stop humming and Sisko wants to pop her one in the jaw – Especially when she accuses him of cheating during their chess game. She smashes it and leaves. ╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

She wanders the corridors and comes across the poster girl from American Horror Story: Asylum, and I crapped my pants a little.

ahs asylumds9 equilibrium

 

 

 

 

 

See? It’s her. She just hadn’t started eye-bleeding yet.

In medical, Dax apologizes to Sisko for being a douchey chess player. There’s a medical conversation about isoboramine levels, which is basically the juice that keeps a symbiont in check with its host. If they drop too low, the host can die. Dax worries about the pretty body she’s in, and we do too. The crew has to go back to the Trill homeworld to get her checked out.

Dax shows up in Bashir’s quarters for a really long conversation about how doctors are scary. Bashir used to be scared of doctors, which is why he became one. Cute. He then tells Dax she can stay the night, but in a really chivalrous manner, not the standard sexual deviant way he normally says things.

The Trill tests look good. Dax has a lunch date with her doctor, and Bashir orders her to take a nap. On the way to her quarters, some weird music plays just before American Horror Story shows up again and Dax is attacked by some dudes. OR IS SHE? The dudes aren’t random dudes, it’s Bashir! Dis girl cray cray.

The dudes she thought she saw were wearing 100 year-old uniforms of the people who initiate Trills. Dax finds this odd. The Trill woman doesn’t. Julian says “HEY, MAYBE YOU NEED THERAPY.” lol.

Dax decides to lead her boy toys on a trip to some murky pools of water – the symbiont breeding grounds. She wants to talk to the guardians. One shows up, and go figure, he’s a weirdo. He’s wearing a grey man tunic and, upon realizing Dax is in the room, decides to feel her belly the awkward  way a random stranger feels a pregnant woman’s stomach in public. He says Dax’s hallucinations aren’t hallucinations – they’re memories from a previous host. Interesting.

Sisko and Bashir figured out what the music she hears is, and who composed it. Dax immediately hallucinates seeing the music’s composer getting stabbed in the neck by her favorite masked figure. In the hallucination, she pushes the figure against the wall and, in a total Scooby Doo moment, pulls off his mask, revealing…. some guy! Then she has a seizure or something.

The Trill doctor and the guy from One Republic are doing tests on Dax again. If they can’t figure crap out, they have to remove the symbiont from Jadzia, which will kill her. Nobody wants that.

Back in the murky milk pools, Bashir and Sisko are talking to the weird cave guy again. He’s clearly acting under the influence of someone else, saying he can’t help them. Sisko and Bashir can smell the poop in his pants as they talk to him, and Sisko flares his nostrils at the stench of cover-up. The two leave to investigate this music composer whose memory caused their buddy lady to have a seizure.

The composer died on the same day Dax’s host (two hosts ago – the one before Curzon) died. Weird, yeah? Yeah.

They find a fella with the same last name as the composer, who isn’t dead. Sisko calls him up and has a chat. The fellow’s brother was the composer, and apparently a candidate for joining with a Trill symbiont, but a candidate who didn’t get chosen. The composer killed the doctor who recommended he not be joined. Hmmmmm. The camera zooms in on this old cook talking. Then, he claims his brother got successfully joined, even though it wasn’t supposed to happen. As we know, in Trill world, that doesn’t happen. CRAZY. In Drama City, this guy is the mayor.

Spelling it out for our slower viewers, Sisko speculates Dax was put into another person before Curzon. Someone who shouldn’t have had a host. Someone like this composer.

Bum bum badummmmm. Jadzia isn’t the seventh Dax host – She’s the eighth.

Sisko and Bashir tell the Trill doctor that they know about the secret Dax host. She’s like “pffft, go take a dump!” The whole thing has been a Trill coverup to disguise the fact the symbiosis ever happened. It must be serious.

There’s a big speech, but the point is this – Six months. That’s how long Dax was joined with that nutter butter composer. He was an unstable whackjob of a person, and Dax still lasted in him for six months. The Trills claim that an unsuitable pairing causes death within 3-4 days, but this pairing proved that isn’t true. That’s why they hid it – To cover up proof that an “unsuitable” pairing can still survive for quite a while. Sisko sweats and everything while saying it, so you know it’s true.

He says he doesn’t give a shit about the coverup, he just doesn’t want Jadzia to die. He’ll tell everyone the truth if she dies. If she lives, he’ll keep his mouth shut.

Dax goes swimming in one of the milk pools, as seen in the photo at the top of the post. The guy – he’s the composer. Not Mario Lopez. Sorry. The guy is there for like 2 seconds then electro-disappears into Dax’s chest. His two times on camera in this episode were to get killed, and hug Dax. I’d take that job, too.

Everyone checks on Dax. She’s fine. To Sisko, she says, “If you want to know who you are, it’s important to know who you’ve been.”

Cool line, Star Trek.

She sits down to play the song on Jake’s piano thing. I guess she stole it from him.

Deep Space Nine: Second Skin (S03E05)

The Beers:

 

 

 

Hoppy Feet – Clown Shoes Beer – Ipswitch, MA – 7% ABV

 

 

 

Dark Seas – Mission Brewery – San Diego, CA – 9.8% ABV, 75 IBU

This is my first Clown Shoes beverage. I’ve heard great things about them from people but couldn’t find their products near me. My go-to shop finally got one of their offerings, and here we are. Hoppy Feet is a really solid black IPA. It smells of malts and coffee with hops punching through. You definitely taste the malts first, then the hops swing around and kick the tongue. It’s not overly carbonated and the bitterness lingers long after you swallow. That said, it’s not a super bitter beer, and is excellently balanced. The roast and hops don’t clash and make for a really nice beer.

Dark Seas is the stout of stouts. It pours jet black, creamy and smells strongly of chocolate.  The head is mocha colored and lingers for a bit. The taste is unexpectedly sweet, but not in a gross way. I don’t really like sweets and this suits me fine because it’s backed by  thick, creamy stoutness. The alcohol isn’t overwhelming (you can feel its burn slightly when you swallow, but that’s it) and I find it very easy to drink.  There’s a decent bit of hops, but not enough to outweigh the sweetness and stoutiness. I made up a word. Stoutiness. You know exactly what it means.  I’ve had a couple other Mission beers, and they’ve all been pretty good.

The Episode:
Deep Space Nine: Second Skin

Practicing her best Macaulay Culkin aftershave scream from Home Alone. Not nailing it.

Dax stirs a beverage in a goofy cup. Kira is late for a trip to the Holosuite. Quark tells Kira she needs to visit the “right” Holosuites. Who cleans up these Holosuites after people use Quark’s “special” programs? We all know what they are. They’re for jiggerwhacking your ninnywho. I don’t think they’ve done an episode about DS9’s janitorial programs, or the Starfleet ensign assigned to those duties.

Anywho… some broad comes on a comm screen and says there’s record that Kira served time in a Cardassian prison camp… but she never did! Double you tee eff!

Trumpets.

Kira’s memories say she was hiding out in what she basically describes as Valley Forge with George Washington when records claim she was in a prison camp. She decides to look up and contact one of her “fellow prisoners” for information, and he recognizes her from the camp. Double you tee eff! Was she there, and somehow forgot? Prison time is generally a memorable experience for people. Kira is going to Bajor to find out. She’s tailed by some creepy girl with a blue hairpiece she purchased at Claire’s.

Bashir talks with his boyfriend Garak, who is wearing what looks like a Kevlar vest made out of cotton.

Suddenly, Kira is a Cardassian. “We’ve brought you back home!” says some Cardassian guy.  Ummm….

He claims Kira is actually a Cardassian operative who has been posing as a Bajoran using super cool Cardassian spy memory-altering  stuff. He says she’s an undercover operative of the Obsidian order named Iliana, and has been for ten years. She doesn’t buy it and just wants her forehead vagina removed.

To further the weirdness, her “Dad” shows up. He talks about how he missed her and stuff. Kira tells him to stfu and quit being a douche. Every time a Cardassian tells her that her “memory” will recover, I translate it as “whatever we put in you to change your memory and make you believe you’re a Cardassian will take effect.”

Garak wants another date with Bashir, saying he has news about Kira to share over a bottle of wine and some Norah Jones.

Kira’s Cardassian “Dad” has Cardassian forehead bumps that look like he’s wearing a pair of Blu Blockers sunglasses from the 1990s.

latestblublocker_12

Well ok, maybe not exactly.

Kira tells her “dad” he’s a great liar and gets mad every time he tries to tell her she’s his daughter.

After a brief conversation, it looks like Garak, Sisko and Odo are taking a trip to Cardassia. Garak resists until Sisko extorts him into going.

The Cardassian guys have a conversation about how “odd” it is that Kira’s memories haven’t returned. They do this right in front of her so she hears it. It’s almost convincing. (NOPE! Chuck Testa.)

Kira is asked a bunch of questions about Starfleet’s presence on DS9, which is a super red flag that this shit ain’t kosher. Just then, this fellow shows Kira a cryogenic corpse of a Bajoran Kira. That’s weird. And sort of convincing. As is the following conversation, where the Cardassian guy (I still haven’t remembered his name) asks Kira if there’s any legitimate reason for her to not believe them. She can’t come up with one, but still doesn’t buy what they’re selling.

Kira watches a recording she was given. It’s a recording of herself, as a Cardassian, which seemingly confirms everything she’s been told is true.

Back on the ship with Sisko, Odo, Garak and Dax (apparently she came, too), Sisko is hailed by a Cardassian asking why they are there. Sisko falsifies his viewer image to pretend he’s someone else. I think that’s the first time that has ever been done on Star Trek – Correct me if I’m wrong. It’s an interesting exploit to introduce. The Cardassian doesn’t completely buy it, and Garak gets on the screen to yell some crap about Cardassian Central Authority which makes the joker back off. Garak pretends it’s just something he “overheard,” keeping with his hilariously inadequate facade as a tailor.

The Cardassian fellow is asking Kira more questions about Starfleet. Her “dad” shows up and scares him off. Kira looks in a mirror and touches her reflection. She’s starting to think she’s actually a Cardassian… but then!

In the next scene, Kira finds out her “dad” is a dissident willing to help get her off the planet. Kira suddenly adds things up and thinks this whole thing with kidnapping her and pretending she’s a Cardassian is a ploy to catch this fellow in the act of trying to smuggle her out. Before her speech finishes – hot shit – she was right. Bucko shows up and confirms everything she said. The Obsidian Order means to take over the Central Command and control Cardassia.

Bazinga! Sisko, Garak and Odo burst in to save the day! Star Trek just happened! The guy from the Order says something about how they’ve “permitted” Garak to live in exile “until this point.” Garak then shoots him in the chest. Tee hee.

The guy who Kira spoke to at the beginning of the episode, her “fellow prisoner” from the camp, was bogus. It was a tale woven to start the story. Her Cardassian “dad” has taken refuge on DS9 but is leaving soon. There’s a chat between him and Kira about whether or not the real Ilyana, his real daughter, is alive.

Before Daddy leaves, he tells Kira to never trust Garak… but, of course, doesn’t say why. Garak lives on as DS9’s biggest mystery.

Kira calls him an honorable man. She looks sad to see him go. It’s a pretty big moment in her character’s life – she’s a hardcore Cardassian hater. For her to call one of them an honorable man is a really important  thing.

Fin.

The Next Generation: Inheritance (S07E10)

The Beers:


Blizzard of Hops – Tröegs Brewing Co. – Hershey, PA
6.4% ABV, 80 IBU

 

 


Mad Elf Ale – Tröegs Brewing Co. – Hershey, PA
11% ABV, 15 IBU

 

 

 

Tonight I decided to go with two of Tröegs’ winter offerings. That marks the first time I’ve had two beers from the same brewery in the same post. ISN’T THAT NEAT? No, it’s not that neat.

Blizzard of Hops is their winter IPA. It pours incredibly light, almost clear, and the taste matches the look. I had not had it before tonight, but it immediately qualified as one of my least favorite Tröegs beers. That still makes it better than some other winter IPAs, but it’s definitely not a super exciting drink. It’s light and slightly citrus, light scented, barely any malts. The low 6.4% ABV makes it a borderline session beer with very little impact. Like the adjectives for everything else, the hops are light, the carbonation is light. It’s light, get it? I’m not a huge fan.

Mad Elf, on the other hand, is Tröegs “big boy” winter beer. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t enjoy this one. It’s an ale with honey and cherries. I hate cherries, but this guy still tickles my fancy. Plus the 11% ABV is a refreshing change from the diaper-wearing Blizzard of Hops, and should even things out.  Mad Elf pours a reddish brown with no head. It’s sweet, fruity, spicy and blended perfectly for a very smooth, drinkable, mellowed taste.  The primary smell is cherry and it finishes dry despite its sweetness. Overall, it’s pretty sex.

The Episode:

The Next Generation: Inheritance

Throwing up devil horns while playing the violin. GWAAAARRRR!

A government needs to divert a natural disaster. Two of their peeps beamed on board – a man and a woman, and the discussion starts immediately. The planet is cooling, and in 13 months will become too cold for habitation. Data and Geordi intend to shoot the planet with the Enterprise’s phasers and reignite its magma layer near the core, re-heating the planet. Then, the female from the planet, Juliana Tainer, calls Data over to ask if he knows who she is.  Literally nobody cares about the male character for the remainder of the episode.

Here they are.

Here they are.

So who is she? She’s Dr. Noonien Soong’s wife.
Data’s “MOM.”
Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut!

As the credits roll, this reminds me that a few years ago I recorded a “rap” song about Data, Dr. Soong, and Juliana. It’s very bad. You can listen to it here.

Data tells mommy he doesn’t remember anything before being found by Starfleet, and she starts to bombard him with memories. Juliana tells Data he had trouble getting the hang of his motor skills when he was a “baby.” She had eloped with Noonien and got married with a Klingon witnessing the ceremony. Data responds to this by telling Juliana that he met Noonien shortly before his death. She didn’t know he was dead. Smooth, Data.

Fun fact: The woman who plays Juliana is also in an episode of DS9 and an episode of Enterprise, as a different character each time.

The conversation continues for a while. Juliana and Noonien got divorced. She touches her neck a lot and never drinks her gold-colored liquid. She tries to get all mommy-ish with Data and he’s like “You’re cute, but I need to make sure you’re not lying about all this and being a douche.” Because robots are immune to nurture and stuff. Data wants facts.

That’s what you get for having a robot baby, lady.

Geordi says “Why would she lie? Why would anyone want to pretend to be your mother?”

I found that pretty funny and don’t know what else they said. It’s not supposed to be funny in the scene, but it’s a humorous line.

Data goes back to Juliana, unable to find any evidence she’s a liar, and says “I would like to get to know you better… mother.” Oh, I see where this episode is going now…

“We’ve spent 6.5 years watching Data find his humanity. What’s next?”
“Let’s give him a mother!” – Writer’s Room conversation.

Data and Juliana walk past Troi’s office and Juliana thinks Data is going in there to fuck her. LOL. This isn’t The Naked Now, lady. Data’s sex life ended in episode two. And then she died.

Juliana tells Geordi that Data used to run around naked on Omichron Theta because he doesn’t have pride or shame or modesty. Good to know.

Back to the B-plot, the crew is getting ready to blast into the planet below for that whole magma thing we talked about in the opening scene. It works. Go figure. Data calculated it. 30 seconds later, we’re done talking about that again.

Data plays violin for his mom. I wish I could play violin. My neck is really prone to cramping, but it’s a really cool instrument. Maybe I’ll be one of those weirdos who takes violin lessons when he’s like 40.

Yep, Mad Elf is 11% ABV.

Juliana says Data’s creative abilities were her idea, and Noonien didn’t think they were necessary. Data indirectly thanks her, saying those abilities bring him closest to humanity. Juliana finds Data’s paintings, and stalls on the one of Lal, asking who she is. Data answers, then says she’s dead – in his emotionless, android way. Your granddaughter existed, and is dead, Juliana. Smooth, Data. He’s 2/2 for gracefully informing others about deceased “family” members in this episode.

Data doesn’t get it.

Hubba hubba.

Hubba hubba.

Juliana and Data play string instruments together. She asks if he’ll ever try to make another child. They have a conversation that references the difficulties humans struggling with infertility and miscarriage have – something I understand very well.

Then, a bombshell is dropped: When Noonien and Juliana fled Omichron, Juliana made Noonien leave Data behind on the planet. She cries while saying it as Data stares at her with no emotional response. It’s a pretty awesome scene as far as Data’s character goes – this woman is coming to terms with something that has always eaten away at her, can barely get the words out of her mouth, and he has no real reaction. I love Star Trek.

The magma thing is happening again to satisfy the B-plot. There’s a problem and Juliana fixes it in like 1 second.  Curious.

Data and Juliana have a conversation about biological vs. artificial children, and what they mean to her. It’s a nice scene.

The bridge crew and some random extras gather for a Data & Juliana violin and viola concert in Ten Forward.  That’s it. That’s an entire scene. But it has a point later on, I promise.

halvorsen-inheritance

Data asks Crusher to check Juliana’s medical history for something.  He thinks she’s not who she says she is. Dramatic music plays.

The male character who is on the Enterprise with Juliana complains about something. I had forgotten he was there because he’s completely irrelevant. J-Town beams down to the planet with Data. They do some work in a cave-like place that is crumbling. Dirt and stuff falls from the ceiling. They have to jump back to the transport point, which has collapsed. Data does it with no problem because he’s awesome. Juliana doesn’t turn out so well.

Back in sickbay, they’ve ripped open Juliana’s head. She…is…an ANDROID! Except, she’s an awesome one that is almost entirely human. She ages, she has tear ducts, all that crap. Data apparently knew she was unusual when she fixed the aforementioned B-plot problem in 1 second, and because she played her viola exactly the same every time. (See, the concert came back!)

She’s like the T-1000 model Android. Her husband doesn’t even know she’s not a real person.

(Apparently the other guy on the Enterprise who I don’t care about is her current husband.)

Data finds a hologram from Noonien in Juliana’s head, and finds Noonien created her. Brent gets to play his dear father in another Parent Trap-like situation. Turns out the Juliana we see in this episode was created after Data, but she was modeled on a real lady who was Noonien’s real wife. She died, and Noonien made an android version of her so he could keep his wife by his side. That’s pretty cute, actually. Creepy as shit, but cute. Juliana the android never knew she wasn’t the real person. She was also free to leave Noonien for being a work-obsessed bum stain, and that’s exactly what happened.

Soong’s hologram encourages Data to let Juliana remain thinking she’s human, and allow her to live out her days. Data deliberates with the crew. The crew provides input. Troi and Picard become relevant for the first time in this episode, minutes before its conclusion. Data says he likes the idea of there being another android, but Troi points out she thinks she is human, which is Data’s goal in life, and telling her would ruin that. Data quotes Ron Burgundy and says “I AM IN A PICKLE!”

In her final moments, Juliana’s hair looks more blonde than grey – blonder than the rest of the episode. Data doesn’t tell her she’s an android. Picard’s log entry tells us the magma core thing worked. Nobody cares because it’s completely pointless and was just a plot device to get Juliana on the ship.

Data closes the episode by telling Juliana that Noonien loved her. Cute and shit. Good job.

This is actually a pretty nice Data episode that sort of encapsulates his quest for humanity over 6+ seasons. It hasn’t been all in vain, and though he’s never going to be a real human, he has learned things about human nature.

Deep Space Nine: The House of Quark (S03E03)

The Beers:

goose island festivity brown ale
Festivity Ale – Goose Island Beer Co. – Chicago, IL
7.7% ABV, 50 IBU

 

 

fireside
Fireside Chat – 21st Amendment Brewery – San Francisco, CA
7.9% ABV, 45 IBU

 

Goose Island’s Festivity Ale is a solid seasonal Christmas ale, and the first winter holiday brew to be utilized for Two Beer Trek. Goose Island is a reliable brewery, and this beer is a good entry in the Christmas seasonal category. It’s a smooth and creamy brown ale with caramel and dark fruit malt flavors, toasty winter seasonings with a good bit of cinnamon spice. The cinnamon can be tasted for a while after swallowing as it gently burns the back of the tongue. That’s my favorite part about this beer. That, and the fact it finishes really dry even though it’s quite sweet. I bought 21 different seasonal beers this afternoon at my local bottle shop, and this was the first one I opened. A good start.

Fireside Chat, admittedly, I purchased because of the name and the can. It has an awesome drawing of FDR speaking to an elf, and I couldn’t pass that up. Fortunately for me, it’s also a pretty nice beer. It’s not as complex or good as the Goose Island, but still enjoyable. It poured with a thick head that quickly disappeared, leaving behind a dark caramel-colored liquid. Cinnamon leads the flavor brigade but you definitely get some clove, allspice and nutmeg in there as well.

The Episode:
Deep Space Nine: The House of Quark

I actually haven’t seen this episode prior to this writing. Given we’ve just spent 3 episodes doing serious business with the Dominion and the Jem’Hadar, I’m expecting something light. We’ll see if that plays out.

Business is bad at Quark’s bar. The only customer is a drunk Klingon. He comes at Quark with a blade. Not only does Quark not die, the Klingon falls on his own knife and dies. Good fighter, that one. Credits.

A crowd gathers outside the bar, staring at the Klingon corpse. Good to know that in the civilized future, people still aren’t above staring at misery, like the way we stare at car wrecks now. Quark decides to lie and say he killed the Klingon in self defense, hoping it will bring traffic to the bar. Bashir and Odo stare at him in disbelief as he tells his fabricated version of what happened.

O’Brien walks in on Keiko using a sonic toothbrush to groom a little green bush. She says she closed the school because it was down to two students. Everyone is afraid of the Dominion so nobody is on the station anymore. Miles tries to comfort her and she pushes him away, running to a second little green bush. She pulls out the sonic toothbrush and starts scrubbing.

The Klingon who Quark “killed” is the head of a powerful family. Quark’s like “Boo hoo, I don’t care. I’m a fake tough guy.”

Oh hey, a minute later the dead dude’s brother grabs Quark in a hallway. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. (I did see that coming.) The Klingon talks about honor and death and blah blah blah –we’ve heard it a million times. Quark’s lie is better for Klingon honor than admitting the dead fellow tripped and fell on his own knife, so Quark keeps up the charade.

O’Brien makes up a holiday to seduce his wife and make her feel good like Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball. He wears a blue shirt with the collar open. It works. The next morning, despite the hearty Irish penis fest she enjoyed, she looks sad and stares at her little green bush.

Dead Klingon’s wife shows up and confronts Quark. She pulls a knife and Quark shits himself, blowing the cover on his story. She sedates him and beams him away. He later wakes up on the Klingon homeworld. A Klingon who looks like a combination of the cowardly lion, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Billy Connelly in Boondock Saints says a lot of stuff to him.

See?

He makes Quark say some crap, and NOW HE’S MARRIED TO THE DEAD KLINGON’S WIFE?! The hell just happened?

Sisko and crew show up for the first time in the episode. O’Brien consults Sisko regarding his spousal issues, because a widowed man is the perfect person to ask. O’Brien is going to turn an empty cargo bay into a place for Keiko to keep her little green bushes a-plenty. Sisko thinks that’s a great idea because keeping your lady happy is important and shit. He’s right. It’s pretty much the most important thing.

Back in Klingonville, Quark is presented to everyone as husband to whatever her name is. Dead Klingon guy’s brother’s head ridges are so super rough and exaggerated, I can’t stop looking at them. It looks like leather strewn over a small child’s ribcage. Dead Klingon guy’s house is now the House of Quark, and his Ferengi skull with tiny breasts on it officially run a Klingon house. Weird.

Quark’s new wife tells us that her recently deceased husband squandered the family money on drinks and bitches and she can’t lose everything, so she married Quark to keep control of it all. Or something.

Quark is all “Hey, I’m a shady bastard, maybe I can help figure out how to fudge this stuff for you. It’s sort of my thing.”
She’s all “No! I’m Klingon! Honor and pride and ribcage heads and Gagh and Bat’Leths and stuff!”
Quark’s all “Shut up and show me the ledgers.”

Bashir crushes O’Brien’s dreams of solving his marital problems with an arboretum for Keiko by telling him that’s only a bandage on the problem, not a way of fixing the source of her sadness. His fancy Irish penis only buys her so much happiness.

Quark figures out the Klingon brother has been stealing from his new wife’s family or something. I was typing the last sentence and not paying attention. Quark feels up his wife’s thigh and she threatens to murder him. Sounds like a typical Tuesday night in my house. BAZINGA!

Kozak is the name of Dead Klingon Guy. I finally paid attention to it and can stop typing “Dead Klingon Guy” now. In a shocking twist, Kozak’s brother brings Rom into the room and says he knows Kozak didn’t die in honorable combat. Quark is now required to fight Kozak’s brother. The Cowardly Lion/Dog/Billy Connelly guy growls at Quark.

Quark accepts the challenge after Rom says some stuff. He throws down his Bat’Leth and makes a speech about honor. The Klingon will have to kill an unarmed man if that’s what he wants. No honor in that. It’s a pretty good speech that equates to “SUCK ON THIS, BITCH.”

The Klingon was going to murder him until he’s stopped. He’s an honorless poop sack for attempting to do that. In the words of Voldemort, “You’re a fool, Harry Potter. And you will lose everything.”

That sort of relates. I think.

Quark asks for a divorce from his Klingon wife. She slaps him and spits on him. Apparently that’s how Klingons get divorced. I laughed heartily. Then she kisses him.

“Fucking Klingons…” says Quark.

Oh, no, wait. That was me. Quark didn’t say anything.

O’Brien tells Keiko there’s an expedition on Bajor she could do that would fill her reservoir of botany desires with a warm, hot liquid of satisfaction that his Irish penis juice just can’t suffuse.

That was gross.

Business is bad at Quark’s again. Back where we started.

Yep, I was right. That was a pretty light and goofy episode.

The Original Series: Dagger of the Mind (S01E10)

The Beers:


Burning River Pale Ale – Great Lakes Brewing Company – Cleveland, OH
6% ABV

 

 

victory-brewing-storm-king-imperial-stoutStorm King Stout – Victory Brewing Co. – Downingtown, PA
9.1% ABV

Burning River is a delightful pale ale with citrusey and piney Cascade hops. It’s not overly complex or creative; it’s just a tasty, solid pale ale.  It pours golden with almost no head, offers sweet malts with the balanced hops, tastes dry with light bitterness. The carbonation is a little sharp but there’s nothing wrong with that. Me likey.

Storm King is an imperial stout that punches you in the face with the first sip.  It’s really good, and totally not messing around. Lots of roasted malt with a potent coffee-like finish, it’s genuine quality.  Victory’s website says it pairs well with ribs, and damn them for saying that because I absolutely want to eat the hell out of some ribs now. There’s some hops involved behind all the malt and chocolate and caramel flavors, and it all balances together great. Nice work.

The Episode:
Star Trek: The Original Series: Dagger of the Mind

When you quote Macbeth for your episode title, you better be able to back it up.

Holy crap, that pill bottle is the size of a guy! Hey 1966, way to start an episode!

The crewmen beam several of these human-sized pill bottles down to a penal colony, then receive a mysterious blue/grey box in return. Oh snap, it’s got a fellow stashed inside! He karate chops the transporter operator on the neck and makes menacing faces. Neat.

The penal colony comms the ship to say one of their inmates is missing. I know where he is, because I’m the viewer. Every time the camera cuts to Kirk and Bones, away from them, and back, Bones is standing/leaning in a different place relative to Kirk. God bless this television show and it’s IDGAF attitude towards continuity.

Security searches for the prisoner, who’s now wearing a security jumpsuit. Bones goes over to talk with Spock about how cool Spock’s ear dildo is, and then it disappears in the next shot. God bless this television show and it’s IDGAF attitude towards continuity.

Prisoner man (who reveals his name to be Van Gelder, or Boss Godfrey from Cool Hand Luke) shows up on the bridge and requests asylum. Spock puts him down with a neck pinch, and he’s taken to Bones.  Van Gelder talks to Kirk and Bones while working through some seriously difficult constipation issues, or maybe passing a kidney stone. He sweats and screams and bears down, pushing and yelling as his blood pressure rises. It’s tough to view, like watching a man try to give birth.

Spock finds out Van Gelder is actually a doctor assigned to the penal colony as their main doctor’s (Adams) associate. Now he’s crazy and stuff. Weird, right? Kirk calls Adams for more info, and Adams gives a well-rehearsed explanation about Van Gelder’s condition. Bones says it’s poppycock. Adams requests Kirk and a team come down to the penal colony. Everything about him is jovial and welcoming, which is often the sign of a liar pretending nothing is wrong.

Bones sends Helen Noel, a member of his medical, team to join Kirk on the surface. She’s gorgeous. Go figure. She was also Deanna Corleone in the Godfather II. (Fun fact: The role of Helen was originally written for Yeoman Rand, but they decided to avoid relationship stuff between her and Kirk.)

Dr. Adams, who looks like 1968’s version of John Noble, greets Kirk & Helen in his bathrobe and pours some wine that absolutely nobody touches or drinks. His bathrobe has a hand on the chest that looks like it’s pinching his nipple.  Adams introduces everyone to a weird woman who used to be a criminal and is now a good person. She stares blankly at everything and is creepy as sin.

Yep, that’s her in the back, behind the nipple pinching robe.

Adams leads the crew through Fraggle Rock where they stumble upon what Adams describes as an “experiment that went wrong.” Back on the ship, Bones and Spock are staring at Van Gelder as he works on another troublesome bowel/stone.

The “experiment that went wrong” deals with beam neutralizing and brains and… something. It’s like a brainwashing thingie, more or less, where a guy can say stuff into a microphone and it’s beamed into someone’s brain as thought. It’s also where Van Gelder went wrong. He locked himself in the room with this thing at full blast for a long time and it wrecked his shit. “Short circuiting his brain” is how they put it, but wrecking his shit is more accurate.

Van Gelder tells Bones that the jovial, cordial Dr. Adams is being a faker faker candlemaker. He says Adams did this to him, and Kirk & Co. are in trouble if they stay down there.  He passes another kidney stone.  This guy really should have been eating fewer oxalate-rich foods.

With that, it’s time for Trek’s first mind meld! Spock claims he’s using an ancient Vulcan technique to look into VG’s mind. He says it’s a special and private thing Vulcans do. He over-dramatizes the procedure and talks about how dangerous and personal it is, like it’s something that only happens in the rarest of occasions. It’s all pretty funny since we see mind melds frequently all over the future of the series.

Spock leans close to Van Gelder, grabs his face, and tells him he’s about to feel a strange euphoria. That’s also how my wife and I start a great Friday night. The two share an erotic conversation. Van Gelder tells Spock that Adams can empty and re-fill any mind with whatever he wants. The implications of this episode are essentially the foundation of Joss Whedon’s entire Dollhouse series.

Man, I loved Dollhouse.

Kirk & Helen go back into the room with the crazy beam gizmo and fool with it. Kirk sits in the chair and asks her to beam stuff into his mind. Helen tells Kirk he’s hungry, and he says he’s hungry. Hmmm, Adams said this thing didn’t work.

Helen tells Kirk about the first time they met, then tells him a different story of how it happened (which ends with them making out in a very red room). He smiles and believes it just before Adams and Carlos Mencia show up, grab Helen, and reveal what we’ve thought all along – Adams is a fuggin’ psycho! Adams proceeds to tell Kirk a bunch of crap that makes him crazy.

Back in quarters, Helen tells Kirk to remember what’s real and what isn’t. Kirk sends her through an air duct to sabotage the joint. Kirk is put back in the machine and now he’s passing kidney stones left and right. This episode is so full of sweat and agony.

Helen tries to sabotage the power and gets slapped, but follows it by nut-kicking the slapper into an electric fence, shorting the power.  Spock beams down and Adams ends up underneath the beam of his own machine, on full blast, with nobody attending. Hot damn, just like that, it’s poetic justice!

Adams’ mind was emptied by the machine and he’s dead now. Bummer.

Everyone leaves.

The Next Generation: The Last Outpost (S01E04)

The Beers:

ommegang hop house
Hop House – Brewery Ommegang – Cooperstown, NY
6% ABV

 

 

gonzo imperial porter flying dog
Gonzo Imperial Porter – Flying Dog Brewery – Frederick, MD
9.2% ABV, 85 IBU

 

 

Hop House is a pretty, unfiltered Belgian pale ale. It pours a light gold color with a thick head that sticks to the glass. It’s full of citrus-y hops, hits you with some yeast and spice, and is quite dry. It’s a very drinkable beverage and very refreshing. It’s definitely not the most complex thing Ommegang produces, but it is a precision example of the style that they have done beautifully.

Gonzo, with its awesome Ralph Steadman label, is another super rad beer from Flying Dog. It smells incredible as soon as the cap comes off, pours dark as oil and tastes excellent. Chocolate, dark malts, nuts, a little hops, it’s all there. There is an ample ABV on this brew but it doesn’t taste overly boozy. This was the first time I’d had Gonzo and it immediately became one of my favorite porters.

The Episode:
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Last Outpost

The Enterprise is in pursuit of a Ferengi ship, attempting to recover a stolen T9 energy device that does blah blah because blah needs it for blah blah. The crew is excited to meet the “ruthless” and “scary” Ferengi, whom Starfleet knows very little about. Upon reaching them, Picard reveres their ship as a “very impressive design.” Okay… I guess so. The Ferengi return the compliment by firing a few blasts at the Enterprise and immediately her power systems start to fail, immobilizing the vessel. Dun dun da dunnnnn. Data uses a contraction, saying “this shouldn’t be” to Picard, because bad writing.

The credits roll. I’d like to point out that in all my years of watching Star Trek, I’ve never once fast-forwarded a credit sequence. It’s just not right, man. It’s just not right. Even though it means I’ve probably spent damn near a full calendar day of my life watching Star Trek credits because they’re so boobaliciously long. I’ll do the math sometime when I’m not having a 9.2% beer.

Data explains the Ferengi are like pirates, searching space for stuff they can steal and sell. Caveat emptor! “I doubt they wear red, white and blue or look anything like Uncle Sam,” he adds. Thanks for the good joke, Data. Picard follows this joke with a history lesson about Earth’s former countries and their respective colors. Solid season 1 nonsense exposition.

Geordi gives a random engineering man a shoulder rub as he and Riker try to pop the clutch on the Enterprise and break free of whatever is holding them in place. It doesn’t work and Picard says “shit” in French. Because he’s French. Right? Yeah, he’s French. He and Riker quote some Sun Tzu out of nowhere, because it’s totally not going to come back later in the episode…

Troi pops up and goes “Umm, guys? Remember how there’s a planet below us? Maybe it has something to do with something.” Oh. Hmm. Yeah, maybe Deanna. Let’s have a meeting! They show a few close shots of Marina’s eyes and blahhhsafekjsfswoooonfsdlkjfekang. Picard and Riker nearly share a kiss in front of the window as Picard tells him one of these ships might have to be destroyed, which seems completely premature to say. But TENSION. Picard hails the Ferengis and offers surrender, asking for their terms.

A Ferengi voice comes over the system. It speaks like no Ferengi ever will again, and the Enterprise learns the Ferengi aren’t the ones holding them in place. They’re in the same crap boat.

A Ferengi shows up on screen and 1987 people everywhere go “Uhhhhhh. Alright…”

Data gives everyone some info on the planet while playing with a Chinese finger trap, which he has for some reason. Despite the fact he’s got the strength of 10 men, he apparently can’t just bust his way out of the trap.  Picard says they should team up with the Ferengi to learn about the planet below. He says the Ferengi should be shirts, and the Federation will be skins. They go to the ship’s gymnasium to get some kickballs and head back to the bridge.

Picard says a lot of Picard shit, Ferengi fellow says a lot of not scary Ferengi stuff. They agree to collaborate. Nuff said.

Basically the entire bridge crew beams down to the planet. There’s a bunch of lightning and craggy rocks and fog machines hidden behind styrofoam things with lights in them. The group beamed down in different places due to some technobabble Data says. Geordi is hanging on an inversion table trying to stretch his back muscles when the Ferengi show up and zap everyone with some energy whips that we’ll never see again in the duration of The Next Generation series. Cheapskates.

The Enterprise’s power drain is tapping life support from the ship. People are cuddling up under blankets and stuff. It’s apparently “so cold” they can barely tolerate it, but Troi is still walking around in her hot lady shirt and you can’t see anyone’s breath. I’m convinced.

We see Armin Shimerman for the first time. Shame he had to play such a lunatic. As the Ferengi sit around and talk, they look completely ridiculous and silly, totally destroying all the terrifying images we’ve been given of the Ferengi up to this point. They will forever have to adopt a different characterization due to this episode’s completely idiotic presentation of the race.

The Ferengi jump around like idiots during a fight with the Federation folks, and don’t win. But we do get to hear some Ferengi comments about how Yar is there, and she’s a female, wearing clothes. It’s “sickening.” LOL. Kay. Thanks Star Trek.

It’s getting colder on the ship but you still can’t see anyone’s breath and Picard hasn’t put on a jacket. Picard and Beverly talk about Wesley and how he has the right to “meet death awake” when everyone freezes. What? What the hell kind of dialogue is this? This episode is getting dumber by the minute.

Geordi says the planet is a power accumulator, sucking energy from everyone. The Wizard of Oz then shows up to speak to everyone in a cloud of blue 1980s special effects spouting some shit about a challenge. He then materializes as a guy who looks like Death. This guy has been asleep so long, he has no idea the world he protects disappeared centuries ago. Data uses another contraction as he provides this information, because bad writing.  Death Guy asks Riker if the humans and Ferengi want to petition for admission to his nonexistent empire.

The Gonzo beer gave me really intense hiccups at this point, which I ABSOLUTELY HATE. So that was annoying. Death Guy takes off his hood. He looks like Christopher Walken will look approximately 8 months post-mortem.

The Ferengi spout some crap about the Federation being thieves and terrible, and Riker’s like “okay, go ahead and believe this tomfoolery if you want.” Death Guy chooses to not believe them, because the Ferengi are stupid looking and move like they are doing some Twyla Tharp modern dance shit while trying to intimidate others.

Speaking of talking, a lot of it happens here. Again, season 1 exposition about mostly nothing.

Riker ends up winning Death Guy’s challenge by quoting Sun Tzu, referencing the earlier conversation with Picard (told you it would come back). Death Guy releases the power drain on the Enterprise as he sits Riker down and tells him about an uncomfortable watch he once carried in his ass for 3 months. The Ferengi jump around like idiots.

Back aboard the hunky-dory Enterprise, Riker suggests beaming a box of Chinese finger traps aboard the Ferengi ship. Picard goes “tee hee” and agrees. The two jump in the air and high-five as a still frame captures the shot, ending the episode.

Deep Space Nine: The Search: Part 1 (S03E01)

The Beers:


Midas Touch – Dogfish Head Brewery – Milton, DE
9% ABV, 12 IBU

 

 


Merry Monks – Weyerbacher Brewing Co. – Easton, PA
9.3% ABV, 15 IBU

 

 

Midas Touch is a really unique beer. It has grapes and saffron and other unusual flavors, and tastes like a beer combined with a champagne. Its carbonation is perfect and it is supremely drinkable with a flavor set you won’t find anywhere else. Dogfish Head is mostly flawless, though, so that’s not really a surprise.

Weyerbacher’s Merry Monks is also a pleasantly tasty beverage. You may know from other entries that I’m not a huge fan of Belgian-style beers by nature, but the tripel that is Merry Monks was rather delightful. It has spice, banana, and is balanced and smooth.

The Episode:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Search: Part 1

Season 3 opens with the follow-up to Season 2’s finale cliffhanger. Majel tells us what happened last time in case we forgot, becuz we r dumb humans. (Spoiler alert: This two-parter, as a whole, is one of the better DS9 episode arcs up to this point in the series, if you ask me. You didn’t ask me, but if you did, that would be my answer.)

It begins with the group sitting in ops talking about how DS9 would turn into a massive suckfactory of poo sucky poo poo suckage if the Jem’Hadar were to attack, because DS9’s defenses against such an onslaught would be junk. They debate how to handle this, since the attack is without a doubt coming. The solution presents itself…

A Federation Starship with a cloaking device randomly appears within DS9’s shield range. Sisko is on it. It’s the Defiant! HELL YEAH, Sisko is actually a goddamn Captain now and not just an intergalactic hotel administrator. Also, new comm badges for everyone!

Sisko tells the group that the Defiant is a prototype warship designed to defend against the Borg. It’s the first of its kind. Oh, and it might rip itself apart if you actually use it because its got some crazytown weapons. Tee hee! It’s a badass piece of space junk, and it proves Starfleet engineering isn’t 100% flawless as most evidence has led us to believe at this point. The crew turns in unison and gives Sisko a group thumbs-up.

A Romulan lady and a Starfleet guy named Eddington show up. Eddington flirts with Kira because why wouldn’t he. Odo is nervous about him because why wouldn’t he be. Eddington takes over Starfleet-related security matters on DS9 and Odo throws a hissyfit because why wouldn’t he. Odo whines about it for a while and you can really see how clay-like his ears look. They’re so fat. I want to pinch them between my fingers. Anyway, this is the first bit of his duty as the security man whittling away to Starfleet’s control, as he always assumed would happen. Despite that, we never see Eddington again this episode.

Jake is eating some pudding and is dressed like a geisha. He’s wearing a red checkered dickey on the outside of his man kimono.  He talks with his father about how DS9 is finally feeling like home to them now because daddy unpacked his African art collection. After all, that’s how the old saying goes – Home is where the African art collection is.

Kyra strokes Odo’s ego. Her eyes are so pretty.

Sisko wants Quark to travel with him to Dominion zone. Quark tries to pussy out. I really want the dapper suit jacket he’s wearing.

That. Is. Professional.

Quark agrees to go with Sisko after Sisko threatens the Grand Nagus will dry up business in the area if he doesn’t. Quark kisses Sisko’s golden Ferengi head. I might have missed something.

Dax and Sisko talk about how their odds of success are slim. (Spoiler: Television shows don’t kill all their characters in the first episode of a show’s season, so they’re probably going to succeed.) I wonder how long Dax’s hair took to do. It’s so… stuck in place. The 90s. So great.

The Defiant leaves the station. Sisko quickly delivers his first “Engage,” and the team takes off for troubleville.

Quark and Odo are roommates. Odo’s about to pop all the veins he doesn’t have in his head because it’s time for him to Capri Sun himself into his bucket and he doesn’t want Quark to watch.  He yells angrily then does his Alex Mack maneuver.

The Defiant reaches its destination and Quark tries to negotiate with a Karemma delegate for access to the Founders of the Dominion. This Karemma fellow, Ornithar, is massively ugly. He looks like The Cowardly Lion had sex with Rhea Perlman and birthed him.

Ornithar

Right?

Quark disembarks with Karemma. They have lots of mutated body things to talk about.

After Sisko gets a cup of disgusting replicated beverage, Dax & O’Brien get stranded on an outpost after transporting over to get some data. The Jem’Hadar are nearby, and the only way to get them back is to decloak and reveal the Defiant. Tough call, Captain. What will it be?

Sisko says they’re leaving them there. Hmph. Didn’t see that coming.

I want the lights in my office to make that declining “wooooo” noise when I turn them off. How can I arrange this?

Odo starts acting fishy, saying he wants to leave the ship for the Orion Nebula. He’s not sure why, he just says he has to. His loins are burning, and the Orion Nebula is the lusty broad for which his desires are throwing his emotions into a whirling force of wanting. The scene is broken when the Jem’Hadar starts attacking. The crew wobbles and shakes. The cameramen do the same. Lights flash. Boom, smoke machines, spark blasts, special effects! We’ve lost main power! Get us out of here! Help defend the ship! Shields collapse and the Jem’Hadar beam on board as Sisko calls for an abandon ship. Fistfights happen all over the place amidst smoke machines and lighting effects.  The screen goes black.

Odo got Kira to a shuttlecraft and doesn’t know what happened to the rest of the gang. Odo is kidnapping her to the Orion Nebula. They land on a class M planet. They come across a lake that looks suspiciously like Odo when he goes all liquidy. Ohhhhh shit! Who’s house? Odo’s house. We finally find out where the big guy came from. It’s full of people with thick ears – I guess none of them can master the shape, just as Odo has said he’s failed to do.

To be continued…

The Next Generation: Code of Honor (S01E03)

The Beers:


LaGrave – Troegs Craft Brewery – Hershey, PA
8% ABV

 

 

ruination
Ruination IPA – Stone Brewing – San Diego, CA
8.3% ABV

 

 

 

Troegs LaGrave was surprisingly good. I’m not generally a fan of Belgian style beer. This trippel was smooth, drinkable and overly enjoyable in a genre I usually don’t even tolerate. It seems that Troegs can do no wrong – I’ve yet to have a beer of theirs that I didn’t enjoy at least moderately.

Speaking of doing no wrong – Stone’s Ruination IPA sort of goes without discussion. It’s one of the top-rated and best-received IPAs in the nation for a reason. It’s damn-near perfection in the style, and any IPA fan would be hard-pressed to find fault in its deliciousness.

The Episode:
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Code of Honor

This is a classic TNG episode – when Prince of Persia meets Star Trek.

The Enterprise crew visits Ligon II to obtain a vaccine some Federation planet needs to survive, and which can only be found on Ligon II. The Ligonians have a strict code of honor by which they live. They transport aboard the Enterprise using their own transporter, kick out a red carpet, and let a hilariously rigid man (Lutan) approach Picard. His pectorals look like he’s wearing Schumacher’s nipple Batman suit from 1995.

The Ligonians express surprise that the Enterprise’s chief of security is a woman. The series continues its hilariously poor progression from the 1960s representation of women.

Picard gifts the man with the pecs a relic from 13th-Century China, and he’s totally not impressed. He says he only requires respect from the Federation in return for his peoples’ vaccine. He requests a combat demonstration in the Holodeck from Yar, furthering his sexist fascination. She eyes him up like he’s a pile of baby back ribs she wants to feast upon. Obscure Walking Dead reference, yo.

Yar fights a Holodeck simulated person and shows off her massively awesome Starfleet combat skills. It’s hilariously lazy. The holoperson then beats up Lutan’s guard and Lutan eyes up Yar like she’s a pile of baby back ribs he wants to feast upon. Not a Walking Dead reference – just a creepy kidnapping rapist-y kind of reference. Oh yeah, then he kidnaps her. Go figure.

Picard talks with the crew about how to best approach the situation. They discuss how ritualistic Lutan and his people are. Riker still doesn’t have a beard. Beverly reminds Picard how important Lutan’s vaccine is because they can’t replicate it, for some reason. She then tells him Wesley is on the Turbolift. I typed Turbolift wrong like seven times. Strong beers. Picard tells Wesley to sit at ops and everyone is all “WTF” and Picard’s all “Hey kid, sit down with your stupid sweater.”

Data calls French an obscure language, and Picard goes “Hey, eat shit, robot!” because he’s supposed to be French even though he’s English.

Picard asks Lutan – politely – to return his security chief. He says she’s been “boldly taken,” which is cute. Lutan tells Picard to come visit so they can have pillow fights and lick Cool Whip off his pecs. The crew says Picard needs to go alone to the planet because of tradition and glory and Riker doesn’t like Cool Whip and other standard season 1 boring exposition shit.

Lutan and Picard have a conversation about honor and customs and saying please and stuff. Lutan tells Picard he needs to say please, and ask nicely for Yar’s return in public at a banquet. Lutan has a wife who’s standing around, too. She has curly hair and sort of looks like Lionel Ritchie during his jheri curl era. Lutan is wearing something around his neck that looks like a big red gem you’d find entangled with ribbon on a falsely-wrapped Christmas present at the foot of a Macy’s mannequin in early December. Great metaphor.

The aforementioned banquet happens. Picard asks politely for the return of Yar as custom decrees. Lutan says no. Whaaaat!? Picard’s like, “Code of honor, my tits! You’re a pecker!” Lutan says he loves Yar and can’t let her go. Lutan’s wife is like “Code of honor, my tits! You’re a pecker!”

Lutan’s wife challenges Yar to a duel for Lutan. Picard says no for her when Lutan proudly stands up, sticks out his Batman nipples and proclaims “Then you shall have no treaty, no vaccine, and no Lieutennant Yar!” in a hilariously silly and equally famous line from TNG. I poop my pants for the 15th time.

The crew discusses how the Prime Directive is getting in their way right now. You know, like it does 100% of the time.

Stone Ruination and Troegs LaGrave is a pretty strong combination. I just want to make that known.  I’m moving in slow-mo.

Slooooooow mooooooooo. Hahhahahahhhhahahahahashit. Where were we…

Troi says Yar would almost definitely beat Lutan’s wife in the fight because Yar is a trained security officer and Lutan’s wife is just some lady who looks like Lionel Ritchie. I just typed “sexurity” officer. Is that a Freudian slip? GUILTY.

Data takes this time to start his investigation into human humor. I don’t really have the energy to get into him studying telling jokes. It lasts for years. But this is the start. Mark your calendars – it began here.

Picard talks to Data about how much these people’s code of honor sucks. He rambles on about something everyone knows.

Lutan’s wife meets with Yar so Yar can tell her she’s almost definitely going to lose. Yar says she doesn’t care about Lutan, but fights for the vaccine. Yar’s wife says “How could you not love him? Everyone loves him!?”

LOL. I… I don’t… nope. So goofy. This episode is so weird.

LaForge lets Picard know some of the weapons in the combat room have previously been poisoned. Some guys in sparkly silver slacks bring in weapons and tell Yar to choose. LaForge tells her they are poisoned, because he can see it with his VISOR, I guess.  The crew watches Lutan’s wife practicing for the fight. They stare at her like she’s intimidating or something as she jumps around the combat area in the same manner literally any human being with average agility would be capable of doing.

These beers are really kicking in. I’m having a hard time right now. FYI.

Yar choose some sort of spike hand weapon that looks like she got amputated at the wrist and had it replaced with a gold sphere with spines. The fight against Lutan’s wife, aka The Most Boring and Nudity-Free Pole Dancing Event of the Late 1980s, begins. Lutan’s pecs throb with excitement.

Yar wins (no shit), jumps on Lutan’s wife’s poisoned body and the two transport to the Enterprise. She’s been kidnapped back! Wahoo retribution! The vaccine is beamed aboard.

Lutan beams aboard the Enterprise and finds his wife is still alive. Crusher brought her back to life and Lutan is piiiiiiiiissed. He loses everything. Nobody cares. He’s a dick.

Lutan pretends he doesn’t care, because “he has his honor.” Sure.

Oh, hey Wesley. You’re still at ops. How about that. Picard let you sit there earlier and nobody mentioned it again. I guess you did a good job, so, um, good job. And stuff.

That’s it. That’s the end. Aside from “No treaty, no vaccine, and no Lieutennant Yar!” this episode has few good qualities.