The Price - 3.8
This post started about six weeks ago with a missive from my darling Deborah:
So, the BBCA rerun of Star Trek this evening was called The Price. Things it involved that I think you could get behind: Troi and Crusher in Space Jazzercise Clothes (including a boob harness), Troi hooking up with a dude I’m embarrassed to say I recognized from Police Academy 5 (not the sound effects guy who was also in Space Balls, sadly), more Troi pjs, Troi’s date clothes, and many aliens that ranged from Space Lurch to pink headgear on her face.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This sounds amazing. So of course, I immediately ran to my computer, put on the episode, and took a bunch of screenshots.
Then I forgot about them until last night, when the episode aired again (on BBCA, weirdly, so I don’t know what their rotation is).
You guys. This episode is even better than I remember. Now, the diplomacy plot (because there’s always a diplomacy plot) is that some planet has control over what is apparently the only stable wormhole EVER and they are having a bidding war about who gets to control it, starting with a fancy reception:
Cristal poppin’ from the food replicator / Food everywhere as if the party was catered
But the episode starts with Deanna Troi ordering a “real chocolate sundae” from the replicator. I think this is to remind us of how sensual and passionate she is or something. In any event, Picard is like “get down to Ten-Forward to see this wormhole” and she is like “ughhhhh fiiiiiiiine” in the manner of a petulant teen.
At the reception, we meet the crucial guest stars:
Emmylou Harris really should not be crimping
We have the leader of the planet that controls the wormhole, who made a top out of crepe paper leftover from the Salmon Shindig 2365, accompanied by a necklace that looks kind of like the one I got at the Petrified Wood National Forest when I was 12. I think the headgear is some sort of atmospheric adjuster, but it really just looks like she’s wearing a bit in her mouth. FALL 2011: Equestrian…but you are the horse. I think this could work, guys. Call John Galliano, stat.
Can we get Cheech Marin? No? Okay, just his mustache, then
We have the Federation bidder in the bidding war, Mendoza, who is wearing a rather dapper uniform I’ve never seen before, and is clearly working on having as sexy a head as Picard. KEEP IT UP, MENDOZA.
Space Lurch, as Deborah called this guy, has only three fingers on each hand, but with an outfit this regal, that’s all he needs. Part toga, part hoodie, and part football uniform, it’s perfect for all the thinking he does.
And then there’s Devinoni Ral, a name which is VERY fun to say (Dev-in-AH-nee Rahl):
Can we get Don Draper? No? Just his hair, then
Oh, you guys, there is so much going on here. First of all, Ral is wearing a silky-looking shirt in one of my favorite colors, tealy kelly. But what is happening with his jacket? It’s…square? But there’s a collar? That only sort of meshes with the shirt? And no buttons? And then there’s his “traveling companion,” who is clearly an escort of some kind, who has repurposed some bendy straws and a quarter as earrings.
But we’re not concerned with the “traveling companion,” because this is the point when Ral and Troi see each other. It is DEEP GAZE CENTRAL up in this piece, guys:
Eyes: windows to the soul and/or boner
I found the script to this episode and the stage direction at this point is “And it’s already there between them in the moment, they both feel it.” Run-ons aside, they REALLY DO. I actually thought they knew each other, but it turns out they were just MAGNETICALLY ATTRACTED to one another.
Almost like I’m a compass needle and you’re…north. Or something
But they are not gathered to have romantic encounters! They are gathered to see a wormhole!
Musta been some worm, amirite
So everyone is like “sweet, this wormhole is stable, let’s broker some DEALS.” But then of course the Ferengi turn up:
The placement of your waistline is doing NOTHING for you
Is this a Ferengi military uniform? They are ALWAYS wearing this weird suit with the ring on the front. At least the Romulans (who are actually somewhat responsible for this blog’s genesis) mix it up a little bit in terms of color and print, even if they all have those weird square shoulders. The Ferengi never wear anything but this. Probably because better outfits wouldn’t be cost-effective, I suppose.
So the Ferengi are all “wah wah why weren’t we involved” and they get to stay and put in their bid for wormhole access. But let’s be real: I do not care who gets access to that wormhole. I care about this:
Guys, even the script for this is sexy:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Seriously, this is some Skinemax shit right here. So they meet for “dinner”:
Letting her hair down…literally
I’m pretty sure this is the same outfit we see Troi in in this episode, so I will ask again: why’d you put away the girls, Deanna? Yes, you have great shoulders, and yes, this blue is basically perfect on you, but like - have you seen your rack? It is great, and I do not give out that compliment willy-nilly. It’s weird that when you’re in uniform, you are basically giving people a free show, but when you’re on a date, you switch to a more modest look. Ral wears something even less sexy:
Two neutrals don’t make a right
Grey and brown, Ral? Really? This looks like a failed Project Runway challenge where the designer spent too much time on the ugly asymmetrical collar and forgot to make a shirt, so just, like, stapled a piece of gross brown fabric on so that the model would have something to wear. Someone did that, right? On the Tiki Barber challenge? I just remember that Tiki Barber is attractive and not much else from that episode.
But in this case, it doesn’t matter what they’re wearing, because of the MAGNETISM:
This photo sponsored by Lee Press-Ons
Even while I was watching this episode, all I could see were her nails. Looking at this photo, now, though, the print on Ral’s jacket is sort of interesting, like a very small, very faded Victorian wallpaper print.
I like this next bit of dialogue, because while it’s nothing groundbreaking, it’s kind of…truthful? Like, the cliched simplicity of it is really effective, actually. ALSO IT IS SEXY.
DEVINONI: Am I moving too fast for you?
TROI: No, I’m moving too fast for me.
DEVINONI: Mmm, I like that better…
TROI: (and now she looks at him) I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you all day…
(Upon which she kisses him… passionately. Afterwards…)
DEVINONI: You must’ve had a nice day.
TROI: Anticipation is fun.
(They kiss again.)
TROI: We’ll be late for dinner.
DEVINONI: Very late.
So it turns out that both Troi and Ral were right to not care what they were wearing on this “dinner” date, because it’s all gonna come off anyway, hey heyyyyyyy:
Lust lifts us up where we belong
That guy does not look like he could lift a full-grown lady, but he can, I guess! With sexy results.
So the diplomacy plot (borrrrrrrrringgggggggg) is still happening, with the Ferengi somehow poisoning Mendoza, the Federation negotiator, so that Riker has to take over the bidding on behalf of the Federation and use his poker skills to “read” the other participants. Also, Geordi and Data and some Ferengis go to investigate the wormhole to see if it really works the way it is supposed to. Snore.
But we’ve seen all those outfits already, and no one in that storyline is getting a fucking FOOT MASSAGE:
New from the makers of disco balls: bedsheets
Seriously, those sheets do not even look comfortable; they look scratchy. But this is no problem for Troi and Ral:
I will massage all your extremities
I punched up the brightness on these screenshots, which is why they look all crazy. But it does allow you to see:
- Troi’s pirate nightgown
- What might be hookahs but are probably Space Massage Oil containers
- Ral’s perfectly coiffed hair
There is a lot more gazing here:
And some straddling:
My best work is done while straddling
It is at this point that Ral tells Troi that he is also part Betazed, like her, and that he uses his skills to assist him in negotiations. But he’s still very much the smooth operator:
"I’ve learned to live with [empathic skill], use it… as you have… but still, it isolates us, doesn’t it… ? (she acknowledges) I thought it would always be that way for me. Now, all of a sudden the rules I live by don’t mean anything any more. I had tucked my heart away… didn’t need it, didn’t want it. At the negotiating table it can be fatal to have a heart… but I never realized how much I missed it until I looked at you."
That sound you hear? Oh, that’s the sound of Troi’s pirate nightgown hitting the floor.
So, presumably, they get it on for, like, hours and it is super hot, because the next time we see Troi is in one of the greatest scenes ever:
Jane Fonda meets Robin Hood
First of all, WHAT!? I have seen the crew doing Tai Chi, but JAZZERCISE? In a GOLDEN LEOTARD? Yes, it’s a golden leotard:
"Beverly’s Cameltoe is my new band name" - Charlie
I don’t know about you guys, but when I do a 400-year-old form of exercise, I like to wear a boob harness. How is that even comfortable?!
I didn’t think it could get better, but it did
…I guess Troi enjoys a more strappy boob harness. For the record, this activity is referred to in the script as “dance stretching,” which is not a term anyone has used anywhere else, ever.
The dialogue in this scene is also basically amazing:
Beverly: You’re unusually limber this morning.
Troi: I’ll say!
Beverly: Uh huh…
Troi: Devinoni Ral.
Then Bev gives her this look like “ohhhh girrrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllll” as best she can, being as white as she is.
Troi:It’s ridiculous. And wonderful. I feel… completely out of control. Happy. Terrified. There’s nothing rational about this.
Beverly: Who needs rational when your toes curl up?
WHOA. This is maybe the most direct yet indirect reference to sex on this show since “I’ll be in Holodeck Four.” So clearly it’s going well with Ral, but maybe a little fast. Bev and Deanna discuss this in the best position for girl talk, a little move I like to call Slammin’ Baskets:*
I present these images without comment
All I have to say here is: their shoes match their tights exactly, and it’s creeping me out. I DO NOT WANT TO ADDRESS ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS PICTURE.
So Troi is all googly-eyed for sexy negotiator, but then she notices how he is sort of using his Betazed powers for evil instead of good. She brings it up to him over dinner:
The more glass objects on your table, the classier it is
This is definitely the nightgown she wore in this episode, which is kind of crazy, because that episode is three seasons later. But that nightgown definitely looks like something I’d want to hold on to, even if I did have unlimited permutations of clothing from the replicator. She even had a sort-of matching one made for Ral:
Soft AND easy access
Couples who wear matching outfits are, like, barf, but pajamas I can allow because it’s all happening behind closed doors. Like when the dude wears just the pants and the girl wears just the top of a set of PJs? Kind of cute, but keep it in the bedroom (or in a log cabin on a bear skin rug).
So they basically have a fight about whether his motives are pure or something, and then he uses his Betazoid skills in a way Troi disagrees with, and they end up going their separate ways. Womp womp. But before that happens, Ral taunts Riker a little bit because he’s hitting it with Deanna, but Riker gets the better of him (obviously) and we get to see Riker do a shot of synthequila:
Devinoni Ral, you’ll never be this cool
*also should really be the name of a Queen Latifah movie
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