When the Bough Breaks - 1.17
The whole idea of having kids on the Enterprise still baffles me a little bit. Are you the Navy? Or a Disney cruise? You know you could be attacked, right? And yet the crew brings their little ‘uns on like it ain’t no thing. And let them run around the ship, causing them to fall down:
I tripped on my own space boots
The thing about space is: everyone wears jumpsuits. EVERYONE, including the kids. Harry here is sporting a nice sapphire number with purple accents. But think about this for a second: do you know how long it takes to get out of a jumpsuit to pee? And do you know how many kids overestimate the abilities/capacity of their bladders? Guess what, it’s ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF KIDS. I guarantee there were more “accidents” per capita on the Enterprise than at any Red Caboose Daycare. Anyway, Harry seems to be happy in his plain jumpsuit with no apparent fasteners, except that he just ran into Riker and fell down.
Riker, meanwhile, was on his way to the bridge to learn that the ship has been led to a quadrant known for having an Atlantis-like mythological planet that OF COURSE is now revealed to be a real place:
But we will draw the curtains and let you see the picture
The planet was a legend, never confirmed as existing, because it has been HIDING behind an extremely powerful, extremely energy-consuming (that’s important) cloaking device for thousands of years. But they take off the cloak for the Enterprise! This is basically like finding El Dorado or something, and Riker’s face shows it:
He also submitted this pic to Tiger Beat
The people on the planet, Aldea, led the Enterprise to their sector for a specific reason that they won’t reveal yet. All they’ll reveal now is that they love scarves:
How many shades of beige can we synthesize? Three? Great
Can you even call that thing a scarf at this point? It’s almost a cape. I like to think she just wears that beige monstrosity every single day, but pairs it with a new scarf, emblazoned with a different fruit, each time. She looks in the mirror and says, “Today is Orange Day!”
And oh my god, her hair. Her hair is a work of art. The bangs are actually quite standard for 1988, really, with the side part and the high-ass swoop, but what takes this shit to 11 is that HIGH SIDE PONYTAIL BRAID. She took all the things you could do to your hair, and DID THEM. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife of hairstyles.
And yes, folks, that is Brenda Strong, the dead lady from Desperate Housewives.
So she and her colleague transport aboard the Enterprise (with no warning, I might add) so that we can see the rest of her outfit:
Stop: Cornucopia Time
What do you get for the captain who has everything? A floral cornucopia, of course:
Thanks, I guess
And with her many beiges and her orange scarf, she has paired what appear to be a very tightly-pegged pair of olive green slacks. The 5th grade me is kind of impressed. I could never peg my jeans that tight.
Her traveling companion, meanwhile, is enjoying many shades of orange:
It’s burnt sienna, get it straight, asshat
So autumnal. And are they both wearing jazz sneakers? I think I see a split sole. why you would wear black jazz shoes with those outfits that CLEARLY call for a brown shoe is beyond me, but we’ll soon learn that these outfits are the least of their problems.
So the Aldeans are like “we want your children, since we’re all infertile for some reason we can’t figure out” and the Enterprise crew are like “uh NO we kind of like our children.” Then the Aldeans give some sweet side-eye:
Is there a rule on this planet about earth tones? And are these guys embarrassed or proud that they are wearing the same color? At least Poor Man’s Shirley MacLaine up there tried to top everything off with a vest, but it’s a really bad vest. So boxy, girl.
I often wonder about the fact that in a lot of cases, all the individuals on a planet dress, if not identically, certainly from within the same collection. Then I got into a tvtropes.org spiral the other day (easy to do) and landed on the page for Planet of Hats, which applies to a LOT of planets in the TNG universe. On this planet, everyone is infertile and also an autumn.
So after the Enterprise crew is like “duh, you can’t have our kids,” the Aldeans use some sort of probe to find the children on board and kidnap them. Since Wesley is on the bridge, annoying everyone, Picard and the other important people see just what happens:
If only that probe could make his sweater less ugly
As a result, we see several areas of the Enterprise where the kids could be (again, WHY ARE YOU TAKING YOUR KIDS TO SPACE), which means: costumes for extras!
Kids, today’s lesson is how to get your hair REAL high
Okay, teacher. I REALLY wish I could confirm one way or another what you are wearing here, but I’m going to tell you what it looks like. It looks like a burgundy poncho that you have belted and paired with flowing mauve pants. I’m not saying that’s what it is, I’m just saying that’s what it looks like. And I don’t like it.
Also, this child in the front of the classroom is working some SERIOUS A.C. Slater curly mullet up in here. And do you know who that child is? None other than McKenzie Westmore, daughter of famed Star Trek makeup artist Michael Westmore, and currently the host of the bad-but-actually-great show Face Off on SyFy (guys ur spelling it rong). She also played Sheridan on the late great soap opera Passions. But here she is just a little thing! With a bad perm. It’s not your fault, sweetie, you’ll be pretty someday.
(p.s. I just noticed that Harry, of the jumpsuit from earlier, is straight LOUNGIN’ in that chair in the front row. I guess school on the Enterprise is just real chill.)
Drill team practice on holodeck two
This kid, who I think we later learn is named Mason, is wearing what appears to be a men’s cheerleading jumpsuit. I hope it says “Starfleet” across the front in block letters. Mom looks like she’s wearing not one, but TWO lavender dresses with bad hem lengths. I have no issues with dad.
Is that a zither? It’s a zither, right?
I am only including this one because I really thought this was a girl I went to middle school with, Christina Perez. She was really good at rocking that “my hair is sort of curly but I just brushed it a whole lot to make it straight” look.
So Wesley and these kids and a few others get nabbed off the Enterprise because they’re “special” or something, and Wesley tries to calm them down:
Color scheme? Let’s use ALL OF THEM
Oh, you guys, this is so good. First of all, confirmed: they are all wearing jumpsuits, except poor McKenzie, who is wearing some sort of baby muumuu with a scarf accent. Just because she’s chubby doesn’t mean you should block her from the joy of a jumpsuit, costume designer!! She reminds me of me in my sweatpants years (1987-1991)
So we have the blondie in the blue spatter paint thing - great, and very 1987. We’ll talk more about that down the line. There’s Mason in his drill team uniform, Christina Perez in what is revealed to be an INSANE printed jumpsuit, and this itty-bitty ginger in the best shoulders I’ve ever seen on a 6-year-old:
Error 323: Too adorable
Are redheads not supposed to wear pink? Is that the thing? I’m not a redhead, so I don’t really keep track of that sort of thing, but if that’s a rule, it is dumb, because this little girl is the cutest ever. And ready to take off with those shoulder wings if necessary.
Up on the ship, her mom is worried about her:
This photo sponsored by Ogilvie
And I am worried about how much hairspray was needed to keep that bouffant bouffed. So many curls!!
Unfortunately for the Enterprise parents, the people on Aldea are pants-shittingly excited to get some kids up in there, and some of the kids are excited too:
Don’t worry, we’ll get those bangs higher in NO TIME
Harry, the kid from the first scene, is assigned to a nice family who also fucking loves beige:
I’m scared they’ll make me take off my jumpsuit
From the looks of this lady’s outfit, the “largest scarf ever over beige” thing is not just Brenda Strong:
Seriously, if they make me take off my jumpsuit, I will freak out
It’s actually sort of an interesting way to wear a large swath of fabric: over your shoulder and belted. It reminded me a little bit of this Lanvin dress that Julianne Moore wore to the premiere of The Kids Are All Right: as though you KNOW there is just not enough going on, so you throw in a disparate element and hope it looks chic. Although with this beige planet, they will never succeed in looking chic. Tunics over turtlenecks can never, ever be chic.
So the kids (who are not, in fact, all right) are all stuck on this planet, while their parents worry about how to rescue them. They come up with a plan that involves Dr. Crusher secretly passing Wesley a tricorder so he can check out one of the Aldeans’ health status. It’s actually pretty funny to see the Crushers acting “stealthy” because they’re kind of obvious about it:
What? Haha, no, I’m not doing anything back here
I did not realize that was a FULL-LENGTH vest until just now. It’s hurting my feelings.
Some of the kids seem to like their new “parents”:
SHAPES ARE AMAZING
I don’t know what that is, or what it’s supposed to be, but I want it.
Grandpa, how many shades of beige are there
Christina Perez and her jumpsuit - now revealed to include COLOR BLOCKING up top and some sort of tie dye, perhaps, on the lower half - are learning a musical instrument and also being visually assaulted by grandpa’s many stripes in the beige family.
Eventually, Wesley gets the kids to go on a hunger strike, and Picard ends up coming down to the planet to deal with this shit himself:
How can you tell if Wesley is whining? His mouth is open OHHH BURNNNN
I primarily included this shot to reiterate the AMAZINGNESS of the color blocking on Christina Perez’s jumpsuit top - I mean, melon and lavender? That is bold. Also, check out the girl on the left and her sailor collar COMBINED WITH that crazy paint splash fabric. It’s like Selena had a baby with Donald Duck. Unfortunately, Picard isn’t so great with kids:
This would be my face, too, Picard, if I was confronted by a short person holding what appears to be a tribble scrunchie. But look how cute!!!
Cuter than Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a basket of puppies
Even Picard cannot resist the cuteness!
Oh, all right
Her shoulder wings appear to be made of crepe paper, possibly the same as the alien lady in this episode two seasons later.
Just bask in the jumpsuits for a second
Picard tells the Aldeans they are going to take the kids back to the ship and the Aldeans are like “haha, you can’t, because our computer has a shield up” and Picard is like “nope, Riker and Geordi disabled it, SORRY.”
Poor little McKenzie in that baby muumuu on the left there. She looks like a painting in a Residence Inn.
Anyway, the Enterprise crew is victorious (duh) and the Aldeans get real sad:
At some point during all of this, Dr. Crusher has determined that their infertility is not, in fact, genetic, but environmental, mirroring the ozone layer crisis of “21st century Earth” (aka RIGHT NOW GUYS). I love when TNG tackles current events through the lens of “history,” because we always look like assholes. Anyway, it turns out that they’re depleting their ozone layer by running the big computer controlling their cloaking device (remember that?). So they have to go to the computer room and turn it all off:
You don’t control me anymore, DAD…I mean, COMPUTER
Clearly they did not actually build this huge-ass computer core just for a 15-second (admittedly very cool) shot. I learned from my new book that the core is a two-foot-high model, which they shot, and then added the shot of the doorway afterward. Good job, guys!
So the Aldeans are cured, the kids are back where they belong, and the little ginger is so grateful she gives Picard a flower and a hug:
So this is what emotions are
In her glee, however, she left her tribble scrunchie on his back, just for lols:
He is still cooler than 96% of humans
Deanna is trying SO HARD not to laugh. Oh, space! You so silly!