“Justice” – TNG 1X8

Good news: Anne Thériault agreed to watch more Star Trek with me! After a night of watching a heavy DS9 episode, we decided to lighten it up with a Wesley Crusher fest, starting with the infamous “Justice.” Again, her comments are in bold.

The entire episode is so bad it’s amazing, starting with the first scene, where everyone’s excited about taking shore leave on this amazing new planet, Rubicun III, home of the Edo.

Let’s see what everyone thinks and how many of them will be proved wrong:

Crusher: It sounds wonderful for the children. 

Uh, not so much.

Yar on the bridge

Yar: I’ve listed my report on their customs and laws, sir. Fairly simple, common sense things. 

What’s the opposite of common sense? 

La Forge: They’re wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others. Neat as pins, ultra-lawful, and make love at the drop of a hat. 

Technically true.

Yar adds: “Any hat,” knowingly.

What does that even mean? Are there people who will only have sex at the drop of certain types of hats? Berets, perhaps? Or fedoras?

Regardless, Wesley’s all like: “Yipee! Where’s my hat?”

Wesley and Dr. Crusher on the bridge

The away team arrives on the planet and meet their hosts, Liator and Rivan, or as I will refer to them, Nipples and Curlz.

Nipples and Curlz greet the away team

Curlz gives Riker a sloooow hug. Troi gives him the side-eye.

Troi side-eyes Riker

Troi wants Riker to keep it in his pants. 

But then she’s cool when Nipples comes over and hugs her. And then it’s okay because Nipples and Curlz are hugging everyone.

Only it’s the grossest hugs ever.

Rivan hugs Worf

“I welcome this huge one!” exclaims Curlz, as she gives Worf a hug.

Wesley awkwardly responds

And then she goes up to Wesley, and she’s confused about how to treat him because he’s young:

Curlz: But you are a young one. I do not know your custom regarding love. 

Wesley: Er….I guess, whatever you usually do.

Wesley’s Brain: It’s sex, right? Please let it be sex.

Nipples also reassures them: “Our rules are simple. Nobody ever does anything uncomfortable to them.”

They’re really into consent, which is good. I mean…sort of into consent… because they also keep hugging everyone.

Nipples and Curlz invite them to jog back to the Council Chambers with everyone to find young people for Wesley to hang with, and party time for the adults.

Edo jogging

Stop running without support, everyone! I mean, are they even wearing underwear?

liator's camel toe

Oh no. No underwear. Dude has an actual CAMEL TOE.

The Council Chambers seems to be where the adults recreate, with interpretive dance, alcohol and oil massages. 

An Edo woman massages a man with oil

Worst. Massage. Ever. It’s like she’s just petting his oily hamstrings. 

Edo kids

Wesley goes off with these Edo kids, who, like the rest of their planet, like to show off the junk in their trunks. But meanwhile, on the Enterprise, stuff that is really boring in comparison is taking place. So there’s this mysterious. ship that spits out a light ball towards the Enterprise.

light ball approaching the Enterpise

And oh my god, watch out! It’s the thing that rapes Troi in “The Child!” Oh wait, no. It is actually Glinda the Good! Oh wait, no. It is actually just a bubble thing that threatens Picard because it is mad about the Enterprise helping Federation citizens colonize another nearby planet.

Picard: We found that world uninhabited. The life forms we left there had, had sought the challenge. At least, that is the basic reason. Had sought the challenge of creating a new lifestyle, a new society there. Life on our world is driven to protect itself by seeding itself as widely as possible. 

Is white British dude arguing for colonialism? Shut up, white British dude!

Picard looks at the orb on the bridge

So bubble thing forms a mental link with Data that knocks him unconscious.

Anywho, back to the planet where people cheerfully jog everywhere with no underwear or bras.

So Wesley is off with his new friends and they’re all showing off. One guy walks around on his hands, so then Wesley has to show him up by doing a bunch of cartwheels.

Wesley does cartwheels

The sad part is that is obviously not even Wil Wheaton.

Edo girl puts her hands on Wesley's shoulders.

Then, Wesley’s dream?

Girl: I want to do something too. With you. 
Wesley: Er. What? 
Girl: It’s something you can teach me. Will you? 

Wesley cringes replying to the girl

Wesley: Er…Well, actually…there are some games I don’t quite know yet

But what she meant was teaching her how to play ball. Baseball – get your mind out of the gutter. So they go off looking for a stick to use as a bat.

Meanwhile, Worf and Riker talk about whether or not Worf’s going to get down while they’re on shore leave.

Worf and Riker talk about boning

Worf: For what we consider love, sir, I would need a Klingon woman.

Riker: What about plain old basic sex? You must have some need for that.

Worf:: Of course, but with the females available to me, sir, Earth females, I must restrain myself too much. They are quite fragile, sir. 

Riker: Worf, if anyone else had said that, I’d suspect he was bragging. 

Worf’s like, “Look how manly I am: I hurt women!” 

And Riker’s like, “Stop showing off.” 


Tasha sits in between Liator and Rivan

Meanwhile, Yar’s chatting up the hosts and realizes she didn’t actually do enough research into the Edo’s customs and laws.

See, the planet is policed by Mediators, who are only needed to supervise a region called the “Punishment Zone,” which is selected at random each day. 

(Is it just me or does the Punishment Zone sounds like the Edo’s designated area for S&M?)

Liator: No one but our Mediators know what place or for how long. We’re very proud of the wisdom of our ancestors. No person ever knows where or when a zone will be. 
Rivan: And so no one risks death. 
Worf: Death? 
Rivan: by breaking any law. 
Tasha: Wait. Explain this. 
LIator: Only one punishment for any crime. 
Worf: Anyone who commits any crime in the punishment zone dies? 
Liator: The law is the law. Our peace is built on that. 
Tasha: Even a small thing? Such as ignoring the rule, keep off the grass? 
Rivan: Then no one breaks that rule. Who wants to risk execution? And there’s always a white wall or fence to remind anyone of a forbidden area like that.

You had one job, Tasha! How did you miss that?

Yar and Worf exchange glances and they’re like, “Oh shit. Wesley. Kid is always stepping on the grass.”

Wesley steps out of the greenhouse

But they are too late. Wesley has not only stepped on grass inside the Punishment Zone, he has also fallen into a greenhouse. Then the Mediators show up to execute him.

Two Mediators

I just can’t take these guys seriously with their nipples hanging out…Hey, I think I finally understand misandry.

Worf, Riker, and Tasha arrive just in time to tackle the Mediator as he’s about to stick Wesley with a cute, gold-plated syringe.

With stuff still comparatively boring on the Enterprise, Picard agrees to go down to the surface to help resolve the situation. Nipples says Wesley is safe until sundown, but then Dr. Crusher hails Picard and says Data’s awake

Multitasking, he decides to ask Curlz to come back with him to the ship to help with the strange bubble situation while he mulls over whether to let Wesley die to preserve the Prime Directive. However, he doesn’t tell Dr. Crusher over the comm what’s going on, saying to Troi he wants to discuss it in person.

But then when they get back to the ship, Picard is a total jerk to Crusher and leaves her to find out from the away team report. 

Picard, stop for a minute and talk to your dead best friend’s wife whose son might be executed. Don’t make her have to follow you around eavesdropping.

He’s more concerned with Curlz, who thinks the ship outside that sent the bubble thing is God.

Picard and Curlz talk to Crusher

I can literally see the outline of her labia.

Curlz sees “God” and drops to her knees in worship. But then “God” freaks out and demands Picard return his “child” to the planet. 

Now, Picard has time to talk to Dr. Crusher.

Picard and Crusher argue in the corridor

Well, to talk over her, at any rate.

Crusher: What do you intend to do about my son? 
Picard: He’s being held safely until sundown. 
Crusher: When he faces execution! Although he’s committed no crime, certainly none that any sane and reasonable person would… 
Picard (interrupting): You saw what that thing was about to do. 
Crusher: I apologize, Sir, but this is very difficult for me. If he were your son, you’d be as frightened 
Picard: But I am.

Picard, it’s not always about you!

Picard, Crusher and Data in Sickbay

In Sickbay, Picard decides to be rude to Data, too:

Picard: Data, don’t babble. 
Data: Babble, Sir? I’m not aware that I ever babble, Sir. It may be that from time to time I have considerable information to communicate, and you may question the way I organize it. 
Picard: Please, organize it into brief answers to my questions.

Data cuts it shorter and says that if they rescue Wesley, not only will it violate the Prime Directive, but the “God” beings who communicated with him might destroy the Enterprise. Finally and very reasonably, Bev can’t take it anymore.

Crusher: The Edo want to execute my son. I will not allow that to happen, Jean-Luc. 
Data Most interesting, Sir. The emotion of motherhood, compared to all others felt by…
Crusher: Shut up! (she storms out)

The emotion of motherhood? I’m not sure that’s a thing.

Picard apologizes to Data

Shortly thereafter, Picard goes to apologize.

To Crusher? Finally.

No he apologizes to the guy with no feelings instead of his friend whose son might die.

Oh. Right. Anyway, Data speculates that the “God” beings might just be more evolved versions of the Edo, who would be a “child race” in comparison. They’re protective of their “children.”

Sorta like if a bunch of humans put some baboons on an island and then got really mad when some chimpanzees showed up.

Somehow learning all this helps Picard decide to save Wesley and hope like hell the higher power forgives them. He returns to the planet along with Bev.

Liator and Yar

Liator: Our laws have been violated. What of justice? 
Yar: What of justice to Wesley? Does he deserve to die? 
Picard: I’m truly sorry, Liator, but I must have justice for my people too. Transporter room, energise. 

Wait, is his name Leotard? I cannot take these people seriously.

But uh-oh, the God being isn’t going to let them beam up with Wesley. So Picard works more of his rhetorical magic:

Picard: I don’t know how to communicate this, or even if it is possible, but the question of justice has concerned me greatly of lately. And I say to any creature who may be listening, there can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions. 
Riker: When has justice ever been as simple as a rulebook?

Yup. Three sentences and the deity caves. 

Picard and co on the bridge

The ship disappears and Picard just kind of shrugs and moves on.

What We Learned:

  • Showing a less-evolved species your ship and transporter technology does not violate the Prime Directive, but rescuing a teenager from execution totally does.
  • If you are fit enough, you don’t need underwear.
  • Injuring women during sex? Dang, that’s manly!

Bechdel Test: Pass. Yar and Rivan talk about the planet’s justice system.

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