Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TNG Re-Watch: Commander Shelby

Over the weekend I re-watched Best of Both Worlds. I'd known it would be coming up and was sort of dreading in. Not just because I always dread it because of the whole Locutus thing but because I've written about this major episode twice already. And so has every other Trek blogger/reviewer/fan out there. So I just let this blog sit here.

I thought, "Maybe I'll write about Worf's perspective, or Data's. Or follow Beverly through the trauma of this whole mess."

But no. None of that really felt right. And I didn't really feel like writing at all, to be honest. Not because I don't want to. Because my hands are still a complete mess. An hour of typing renders them completely useless so I feel the need to save them for the comic I'm working on and the query letters I'm sending out for the most recent book and the editing I was doing (now finished!) for the second Awesome Jones book. I never mean to put this project on the back burner but there it is. It happens sometimes.

Anyway, re-watching this two-parter, what I mostly thought about was the role of the women herein.

Troi actually has something useful to do here. She can sense when Picard is and isn't Locutus. She can monitor the emotions of the crew. She can actively participate in the mission with something other than, "He's hiding something, Captain."

Crusher goes on the away mission to retrieve Picard and comes up with the idea of treating the Borg ship like a giant organism and acting as a virus within it.

Guinan realizes how bad is the state of the crew's emotional wellbeing and confronts Riker about how he needs to let Picard go. It's in this speech that we get a clue about the closeness between Guinan and Picard. She's assertive and involved here in a way that she, in her mysterious Guinan way, doesn't usually get to be.

And finally, SHELBY. Everyone hates Shelby. When I was a kid, I didn't like Shelby. She shook up the crew, my crew, and she challenged Riker in ways I found uncomfortable. As an adult female though, I see Shelby differently. Under that floofy hair and flamingo lipstick, Shelby is 1000% baller. This woman has made it her business to know everything there is to know about The Borg. THE BORG. That's a dangerous damn job. She's also gunning for first mate of the Federation's flag ship, something she lets practically everyone know as soon as she steps foot on board. She's assertive and smart and she has bucket loads of gumption--which she gets chastised for. I get that she shouldn't be running off to inspect suspicious business with Data without letting anyone know but this is how bitches get shit done. They beat every dude at poker and don't get to sleep until 1AM. They roll out of bed in full (probably yesterday's) makeup. They beam down to some dangerous planet with their new robot friend in tow. And they do risky science at the crack of dawn. And... they still get talked about in terms of being, "just an old man's fantasy..." which is a shame. Because Shelby has fantasies of her own. And those fantasies include commanding a damn starship. I have no doubt that she does just that.

Ok. As predicted, my fingers are on fire. So this BAMF lady is going to go soak her hands in some hot water and say a thousand curse words while I wonder, "What would Shelby do?"

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Generic Ensign's Log: Year Three

(In case you're new here, Generic Ensign's Log is a series of posts wherein I write from the point of view of a no-name Ensign and record the crew's misadventures.)

Generic Ensign's Log
Stardate: 43917.4

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks. And, I should say first off that my hands were damaged while I was uncoupling a node in Jeffries Tube 19 so this entry will have to be short.

A few weeks ago things were going pretty smoothly after Riker's insane holodeck murder trial. Nothing happened at all except one day I saw Guinan giving Commander Worf some prune juice and then right after that she called into the bridge. It sort of felt like something was happening. Sort of like... all of time and space were briefly in flux and things weren't as they were supposed to be and it would take two entire starships to right some cosmic wrong and possibly one of our own crew would have volunteer to die in a timeline which we will never know anything about.
But, I mean, I didn't hear about anything weird so I guess it was fine. In any case, things were quiet on my deck.

Then, I swear to Sha Ka Ree, not two days later Data up and had a kid. She was adorable and I mean, legit adorable. And he seemed like he was going to be a great dad. Her name was Lal. I talked to her a few times in Ten Forward. Just like Data but... different. But it didn't last. I wanted to make note. I want to not forget her. We aren't all capable of just permanently storing her memory in our cybernetic brains.

About a week after that we got an officer named Kurn through the Klingon Officer Exchange Program. Man, this guy was a real piece of work. Total hard ass. And he brought all this drama with him. He was here for like twenty-four hours and then suddenly Worf and Picard are all up in arms and everything is Cha'DIch this and Mogh that and then they took off for a while and when they got back Worf was a sad sack. But that probably won't last long, right? How long can Worf really go around being depressed?

Alright, about a week after they got back the cap was replaced with an imposter who was just really amazing at flirting and ordering us to go places and singing Starfleet drinking songs.

Not gonna lie. There was a mutiny.

After our real captain got back he went out on a holiday and things on the ship were back to normal. I went down to Risa for a few days but I got a sunburn so I spent the rest of the R&R days in my quarters reading an ancient JK Rowling tome.

Right after that we took on a Betazoid guy who was sorta kinda crazy and I know that because Counsellor Troi has apparently NEVER heard of doctor-patient confidentiality and she was basically going around the entire ship yammering about how this guy used to be her patient. Anyway, he and Data got good and chummy but then he flounced off with a giant, space dwelling alien.

The next few days were a major headache for me and pretty much everyone else. Some biological samples apparently leaked everywhere during transport and the ship's systems went on the fritz. We were all working around the clock to fix it. Everyone seemed really centered on Barclay and I'm glad about that. He's a really smart guy, just awkward, probably logs too many hours in the holodeck. He gets in his own way a lot of the time, bless his heart. Eventually they fixed the issue and I hear Barclay was instrumental in that.
After all that, I think everyone needed some rest. We were scheduled to pick up Sarek. THE Sarek. So he could talk trade relations with the Legarans. We organized a banquet and a concert and we were all gonna take it easy breezy until we got to Legara IV. Things were quiet at first but then people just started getting super intense. I was walking into Ten Forward and saw a huge brawl going on:
And later I heard Riker say that he saw LaForge and that Crusher kid almost come to blows. Come to blows? What would that even look like? The greatest slap fight ever? Ugh. I wish I'd been there. Anyway, I don't know what they did but this whole thing only lasted about a day and then we made it to Legara IV and things were pretty chill during the whole conference. Though, I didn't see Captain Picard for a few days. Not until after Sarek left.

Next up we're headed to Betazed for a trade conference. Hopefully things'll be more relaxed for a while. I know I need the rest.
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