So here's the deal, I had this whole idea about this episode. I mean, I already wrote about Skin of Evil back in my actual Year of Star Trek so it's not like I have to write about it again.
When I was a kid, living with my dad, we watched a lot of movies and TV together and a lot of them had really evil bad guys. My dad and I both loved really evil bad guys. I personally love evil bad guys who are also imperious and physically imposing (here I can cite my ongoing infatuations with Khan, Bane, King Thrandy, even Hannibal Lector) and it doesn't hurt if they're vaguely British or old-timey. Anyway, my dad and I would watch movies like 5th Element, Die Hard, Tank Girl, and Heroic Trio and paused the VHS to debate whether Zorg, Gruber, Kesslee or The Evil Master (this one sort of answers itself) had any redeeming qualities. Villains that didn't have any were sometimes more fun but harder to take seriously and sometimes that was the point.
While I was watching Skin of Evil (like two weeks ago) my ears perked up because Data, after beaming down to crap town after Tasha dies, tells Armus (the blobby baddie) that he has "no redeeming qualities." It's something Picard repeats later in the episode. And it's something my dad and I would repeat in countless conversations for years after.
Normally, in the following space, I would go on to pontificate about the very idea of redeeming qualities or write about other Star Trek villains, or I could just write about how the last time I saw this one I'd liked Tasha but after watching Voyager all the women in TNG seem so obviously and purposelessly flat to me which makes me sort of sad--but I don't really have it in me. I've been really worried about my dad lately. I'm going back to Kentucky in a few weeks and I'll see him and I'm really glad because I miss him and anything that makes me think about him just makes me want to be near him and then my mind, instead of spending time on the idea of morally bankrupt bad guys, goes back to my dad and all those afternoons and evenings and weekends and summers that we sat on the sofa and, maybe because of this one line in this one episode of Star Trek that we watched together, years before, when I was little, we talked.