Season 2, Episode 5, “Vapors”
Plot synopsis (blatantly stolen from Wikipedia): While on shore leave, Captain Bridger and Dr. Smith struggle with a possible romance after rumors about their love life sweep through the seaQuest.. Meanwhile, Henderson and O’Neill go out on a date, while Ford, Brody and Ortiz try to find dates. On their shore leave, Piccolo, Lucas and Dagwood respond to Piccolo’s father’s plea for help. (Special guest star: Dom DeLuise)
Dom DeLuise? How delightful. Also, it appears that the actor who plays Dagwood is named Peter DeLuise and the actor who plays Piccolo is named Michael DeLuise. Coincidence? No, actually.
00:00:00: We open with Lucas and Darwin having a heart-to-heart about money. It then becomes the most simplistic math lesson of all time. Apparently Darwin understands basic addition. Good times. Then we learn that Piccolo is teaching Darwin bad words.
00:01:30: Dom DeLuise calls! He leaves a message with Lucas that sounds like, “You tell him that [n-word]’s got trouble.” I really hope Dom DeLuise’s first thing in his guest appearance isn’t actually a racial slur.
Also, we’re now four episodes in plus the opening double. seaQuest has been in dock for pretty much the entire time. Something tells me that there was a bit of a budgeting problem with season 2…
00:03:00: Ortiz, Ford, and Brody are discussing their shore leave plans. They seem to involve tanning. This is odd, since I’m pretty sure that most sailors would be using the words “drunk” and “whores” right about now. Of course there’s the bit where I’m pretty sure that Ford and Brody are totally a thing and the opportunities to write about that were few and far between the last couple episodes.
00:04:00: Beard Power Bridger and Dr Smith enter the hydroponics bay. Goddamn it. It’s an obvious setup for the getting on of it. Why do we need a Bridger/Smith romance?
00:06:15: There’s some nonsense about mental walls from Dr Telepath. Then Bridger starts talking about his dead wife and her dreams. Total panty dropping conversation there.
00:07:15: Piccolo pops up out of the growing pools in the hydroponics bay! Hooray for Piccolo!
00:08:15: Piccolo walks into the room he shares with Lucas.
Lucas: Who’s Nick?
Piccolo: What’s the difference?
Lucas: Nothing, he’s in trouble.
Oh, thank Jeebus. Dom DeLuise said “Nick,” not, y’know, that other word.
Lucas and Piccolo start to bond over dysfunctional father-son relationships. Now they’re gonna play the buddy cop routine. Hooray! Lucas warns Piccolo that the call came from a “bad neighborhood.” Piccolo laughs at him.
00:09:50: Beard Power Bridger goes looking for…psychological help? From his old holographic system. He discloses that he’s “infatuated” with Dr Smith and also he dated her mother 20 years ago. Dun dun dun!
00:11:30: Dr Smith walks in on Piccolo telling Ortiz, Ford, Lucas, Brody, and some other dude about her and Bridger. Because this is seaQuest, a giant floating high school. Once again we get to a real problem with season 2. This plotline fits better with Saved by the Bell than a sci-fi show. But there’s only so much they can do, since “omnicapable submarine” is an inherently less flexible vessel than, say, “star cruiser.”
Also, I think I’m going to start calling the show seaQuest High from now on.
00:11:55: Apparently seaQuest has its own berth with signs and stuff. It looks more like the entrance to a museum than the berth of a military ship.
00:12:30: We get to Buddy’s Smoke House in the “Smoking Quarantine Area.” This is where Nick told Piccolo to meet him. I am officially enthused, since it’s some sort of bad place wherein the riff-raff hangs out. Close your eyes and imagine what that sort of place might be. Do you see, say, a ratty old casino? Maybe you see a run-down bar with a bunch of Harleys parked outside. I can guarantee you that whatever you’re thinking it ain’t “Buddy’s Smoke House.”
The establishing shot looks like a middle school gym on dance night. Eight people are in the middle of a dance floor that’s big enough for about a hundred. There’s an obvious disco ball. A fourth-rate Mighty Mighty Bosstones knock-off plays ska music on a stage backed by a bunch of shimmering silvery stuff and “Buddy’s” in bright, yellow neon lights. You know who would be right at home on stage at Buddy’s?
00:12:50: Lucas see pretty lady. Pretty lady see Lucas. Pretty lady smiles. Don’t, pretty lady! He’s 16! And kind of a twerp. His best friend is a dolphin, for the love of Pete.
Uh oh. Pretty lady and Piccolo see each other. They know each other. They don’t like each other. Poor Lucas, cock-blocked in five seconds flat.
Also, Piccolo made a big deal about Lucas dressing to fit in. Lucas seems to have changed from a light blue button down shirt to…a darker blue button down shirt. Piccolo is dressed like he’s the baddest-ass motherfucker at the pro shop: polo shirt, backwards cap, and sunglasses. Also Dagwood is here in a work coverall. Fitting in is probably not on the menu.
So they head over to the smokers area. It’s a glassed in room where people have to talk to each other over microphones. At first I thought Nick was in prison. Weirdly, this does seem to be a pretty accurate rendition of how smokers are treated in 2014. Well, except for the bit where we don’t allow our smokers to be inside smokers. They have to go outside to do their dirty, sinful business here in reality.
Also, we find out that Nick is a liar who cheated on his wife with the barmaid from their wedding. I like Nick. Piccolo does not.
Then Dagwood stares awkwardly at Nick for a bit, then finally says he imagines his dad was like Nick, but with a brain. No, I don’t know what that means, either.
Lucas then lectures Piccolo on the proper care and feeding of deadbeat dads. So he goes back in and offers to help. Nick says he can’t talk, he’s being watched.
Camera turns to pretty lady. Hello, pretty lady.
Nick tells Piccolo to find and destroy the contents of a box.
Pretty lady storms in and starts yelling. She asks Piccolo if Nick told him where he put her RU 268, which sounds like the morning after pill, but are “Swiss oral cosmetics.” Whatever that means.
Piccolo asks, “Who are you?” which is odd, since they seemed to know each other earlier.
She then introduces herself as Marie. Marie Piccolo. It’s Piccolo’s mother! Dun dun dun!
I never want this to end. It’s easily the best thing that’s happened in all of season 2 and I just know we’re about to get a jump cut to Beard Power Bridger and Dr Smith angsting over their theoretical relationship and the rumors getting passed around. No one cares about that. We want to know how Piccolo’s mother connects to “Swiss oral cosmetics” and looks like she’s in her twenties. Also the bit where she and Lucas get it on, which is now insanely creepy.
Also, Lucas’s boner just died. Because Lucas wanted to get it on with Piccolo’s mother.
00:17:50: Jump cut. It’s Ted Raimi staring at a random painting that appears to be the Virgin Mary whilst noisily slurping a soda. Cute midshipman lady from the opener who liked him is there, too. Hooray! It’s awkward people being cute together. Well, as cute as Ted Raimi with one of those awful early ‘90s bowl cut/center part/almost shaved sides looks can be. Seriously, what the hell was with hair in the ‘90s?
More importantly, there’s nary a Bridger or Smith to be seen!
The painting turns out to be about the taboo of shipboard romance. This means we’re having an awkward relationship conversation.
Then we bring up the damn rumors of the damn captain and the damn doctor.
00:19:15: Jump cut to Dr Smith in some sort of spa place. She keeps hearing other people’s thoughts. So she has a breakdown and goes to hide behind a waterfall.
00:20:35: Jump cut to Bridger greeting Ford, Brody, and Ortiz. More speculation.
00:21:30: We’re back to Buddy’s. Thank Jeebus. Piccolo’s mom and dad are arguing through a glass wall over a microphone. Eventually a bouncer kicks them out.
Basically, she’s got these pills. Nick wants them destroyed because they’re apparently what made her young. This ain’t sitting too well with Old Lady Piccolo, who totally wants Lucas’s wilted teenie boner.
Either way, Marie chases them outside yelling, “Tony, please, I wanna be young!” as they speed away.
I would also like to point out that their mode of transportation is a golf cart. It’s one of those utility jobs with a truck bed and a canvas cover. There’s really nothing better than an indignant speed-off in a golf cart.
00:23:05: We go to Ford and Brody. They’re on a boat, peeping at bikini ladies on the shore through binoculars. Way to overcompensate, guys. Oh, wait, Ortiz is there, too. I get it now.
However, we’re halfway through the episode, Bridger appears to be on the verge of an emotional moment with his dead wife, and I’m four pages in. I imagine the inevitable end-of-episode scene wherein Marie Piccolo goes back to looking her age is worth dropping a marker and doing right. So we’ll just have to come back to the second half of this episode of seaQuest High.
I tend to enjoy when parents and children who are actors show up in the same thing together. My favorite team is Morgan Sheppard and Mark Sheppard. They’re both just so very awesome.
This actually brings up an interesting question. Would, “Hi, my best friend’s a talking dolphin,” work as an opener? Inquiring minds want to know.