When Dax brings back Picard’s former girlfriend Vash from the Gamma Quadrant, it raises many questions. What was she doing there? How did she even get there when she hasn’t heard of the wormhole? Although Vash is keeping tight-lipped about the specifics, her former travelling companion Q is also aboard the station, and he doesn’t seem keen to let her go.
This was DS9’s one and only attempt at a Q story, before realising that the omnipotent prankster didn’t really fit in with the darker aesthetic of the show, and certainly wasn’t going to have the same repartee with Sisko as he did with Picard. Unfortunately, whilst this episode has its entertaining moments, there’s a dark undercurrent of “who can be creepiest towards Vash” that leaves me worried that women are never going to get a good deal on this show.
- Q is obviously the main one here, as he’s unhappy that Vash has left him and wants them to continue their travels together. Whilst we can at least understand that Q is used to getting what he wants and not taking no for the answer, it’s still disquieting to see him physically turn Vash into a scarred old woman because she won’t go with him. Ladies, without your men you are helpless.
- Bashir continues to be creepy, as he pervs on Vash during her physical examination, and then insists on taking her out to dinner. Give it a rest, Bashir.
- Quark is at least seduced by Vash – she gives him oo-mox to make him more receptive to her demands. At least Vash is in control here.
- Bashir flirts with women by talking about his Starfleet medical exams. He came second in his class because he mistook a pre-ganglionic fibre for a post-ganglionic nerve in his finals, and this will haunt him forever. I actually understand, as I still regret not doing better in my finals, even though it didn’t make a difference to my overall degree class.
- O’Brien was not present for the events of Qpid or Captain’s Holiday, but still recognises Vash. Of course, he could have heard about her afterwards from his crewmates, but why would he recognise Vash on sight? Also, as he obviously knew about Vash’s past and her relationship with Q, why didn’t he mention these things to Sisko right away? Sisko was obviously keen to learn about Vash’s history, but preferred searching the archives instead of talking to the one person who knew her. Yes, he does chat with O’Brien eventually, but this is after his initial information-gathering – and O’Brien doesn’t think to mention Q at first.
- How did Vash spend two years in the Gamma Quadrant without encountering the Dominion? Or maybe she did and just chose not to talk about it.
Summary – Q-Less: “You hit me! Picard never hit me.”