Friday, May 15, 2015

The Next Generation 2x4 "The Outrageous Okona"

rating: **

Memory Alpha summary

via The Movie Blog;
the scary part of this image is that it makes Okona look
like adult Wil Wheaton
Okona could have become Next Generation's Harry Mudd.  (He could also have been the show's Han Solo.)  But then the series became known for things from the second season such as introducing the Borg ("Q Who?") and "The Measure of a Man," and then the third season convinced everyone that the series was good after all, and so the collective memory of the first two seasons became very hazy at best, and that's all you need to know about Okona.

Because in execution, Okona, a charming rogue, is about as brilliantly executed as the rest of Next Generation's attempts to be "edgy."  (Best execution: Ro Laren.  But then, she was once de-aged.  And then Kira became the better Bajoran.  Which is all kinds of ironic.)  That is to say, Okona is kind of the symbol of what Next Generation is when you take away every other possible definition: kind of soft shoe.  Kind of...soft in general.  (Come see Worf!  The easiest-to-defeat tough guy ever!)

None of which is to say you shouldn't watch "The Outrageous Okona."  It's an episode that could have had far greater significance if the series had developed any other way than it did.  But in the end, Okona has about as much impact out of the episode as he does in it: Data steals the show trying to be funny.

So yeah.  What ends up being memorable in an episode that tries to do something very, very different for the series is a competing element, one that explores part of what was Data's original premise: an android that wishes to be more human.  Because really, as much as this is said about Data, the most that was ever really done with this gimmick was in the later movies.  That's kind of weird, right?

Sounds like an episode to rediscover, right?  

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Billy Campbell
Joe Piscopo
Whoopi Goldberg
Teri Hatcher


  1. I can't believe Okonas pick up lines actually worked! Hilarious stuff really, Teri Hatcher is so young and sweet in this episode.


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