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)
When we last left off everyone was way too interested in the budding romance between Beard Power Bridger and Dr “I’m literally the daughter of your ex-girlfriend” Smith. Everyone, that is, except for Lucas, Piccolo, and Dagwood, who were way too busy hanging out at a high school dance with the guy from Candid Camera while Lucas popped a boner over Piccolo’s mother. Also Brody, Ford, and Ortiz were on a boat.
00:24:15: Bridger goes to his old house on an island. This is odd, since I’m guessing it’s where he lived in the before time, the long, long ago when he was called out of retirement. I thought that island was really far away, yet he seemed to get there in a little zodiac. Either way, he starts talking to his dead wife about his mixed feelings. This would be more touching if it weren’t for the fact that season 1 ended with an abortive tonsil hockey session between Beardless Bridger and Dr Westphalen.
Also, what’s with the whole captain and ship’s doctor ‘shipping thing that seemed to pop up in this stretch? seaQuest is now on its second round and of course there was the whole Picard/Crusher thing that never quite got above a smolder because in The Next Generation the only regular who ever explored actual human emotions was the damn android. Hell, there was even an episode where Data started dating someone on board.
There’s also a quick cut to Dr Smith holding a picture of someone and crying.
00:25:15: And we’re back to what we came in for: Piccolo, Lucas, and Dagwood searching for the box with Piccolo’s mother’s youth drugs.
The three of them have pulled up next to what looks like an abandoned playground and get out of the car trying to do the badasses in sunglasses thing. It is, again, important to note that Piccolo looks like a pro shop threw up on him, Lucas is wearing a shirt that’s about three sizes too big, and THEY’RE DRIVING AROUND IN A GOLF CART. No one has ever done anything badass in a golf cart and that includes the various missions in Grand Theft Auto that involve drive-bys in golf carts.
Also Piccolo is carrying a garden trowel. Shovels mean badass. Trowels mean we’re off to do a spot of gardening. And Lucas seems to be out of breath from walking twelve feet up a very slight hill. This is the greatest thing that ever happened to television.
Dagwood scolds Piccolo for being a jerk about his father because Dagwood doesn’t have a father. Lucas tries to explain how it’s possible to love someone without liking them. Piccolo has a hard time figuring out which direction is west before wandering over to a completely unremarkable part of the ground and kneeling down with his trowel. He stops after flailing weakly at the ground once or twice and demands help.
Then Dagwood starts digging in the ground like a mole on meth. The box is about two inches deep. Again, awesome. Also, between Lucas’s inability to walk up a slight incline and Piccolo’s inability to dig up a small box that’s practically visible from the surface I’m a little worried about the UEO’s fitness standards.
00:27:25: Back to the three dweebs on a boat. They’re still peepin’ honeys on the various beaches. Ortiz gets tired of waiting, accuses the other two of gold digging, and jumps off the boat.
Little does he know that Ford and Brody have just been trying to get him to leave so they can be alone together.
Ortiz also doesn’t care, as he swims up to two women hanging out on a jet ski. There’s no one else for miles. Just, hey, two women on a jet ski.
00:28:50: We cut back to the super awkward nerd date. Apparently movie theaters throw water at everyone in the future. That…that would piss me off. I’m still not entirely sure about 3-D, at least when Pacific Rim and IMAX aren’t involved. For that I’m willing to give all the money.
Also, Ted Raimi is trying his absolute best to ruin things.
00:31:10: Success! He gets a face full of ice cream!
00:31:15: And we’re back to the three stooges. They’re busting into Dr Smith’s lab to try to examine the pills.
Dr Smith gets a warning and heads in to chew them out. But, y’know, telepathy and guy who’s worried about his mother.
Then she forces him to apologize for spreading a rumor. Never lie to a woman who can read your mind. Seriously.
Smith also seems to think this means she doesn’t have a career on seaQuest anymore.
00:35:30: Piccolo has gone back to his parents’ house. He informs them that the pills are an insecticide. Then he begs her to be old because mothers are supposed to be old. Duh.
Apparently this is all it takes to reconcile between parents and son. Everyone is all better now and they’re going to have a puppies and ice cream party!
00:37:10: Darwin tries to get Bridger to give him ten bucks. Silly Darwin, money’s for people.
Then Dr Smith shows up. Emotional conversation in 5…4…3…
God, this is awkward. Pretty much any conversation that starts off with, “I know you dated my mother,” is bad to begin with. This, though…this is just wrong.
Also the telepathy thing. That doesn’t help.
Piccolo and Lucas show up. On jet skis. Then Dagwood flys by and falls off of his.
Ted Raimi and Midshipman Whatshername show up and still seem to be a thing. There’s zero explanation for this.
Then there’s, like, a barbeque montage. Everyone from the opening credits is invited.
Ortiz sails by on a big-ass yacht.
Piccolo tells Bridger he almost asked his mother out on a date. Piccolo and Bridger become buddies. They have a lot in common now.
Smith tells Lucas she’s not actually leaving.
All of this happens in, like, thirty disjointed seconds and then the episode ends. No more Dom DeLuise. I haz a sad. He was delightful.
So we end on a conflicted note. This was both the best and worst thing that’s happened so far in season 2. I’m genuinely excited for next week’s episode, though. So we’ve got that goin’ for us.
Yes, I know that Riker and Troi had a past. And I know that at the end Troi and Worf ended up together. Also there was that one episode where LaForge fell in love with a holographic representation of some woman, then had a super awkward meeting with the real version of said woman. That was a hoot. Overall, though, everyone was pretty robotic about the whole thing. Even when Riker was attempting to bed green-skinned women it was pretty much, “Well, Kirk did this all the time, so I probably should, too. Someone’s got to do it and Picard’s not on board.”
Well, okay, there was that one time on Risa with Vash. But through it all there was this whole morning tea with Beverly thing he had going on with Dr Crusher. They totally could have gotten together and he could have adopted Wesley and…oh, wait, there’s the catch.
Also, I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty sure that Gates McFadden was my first celebrity crush. I’ve always had a thing for redheads. I now realize that I was, like, 10 and she was, like 40. I think I knew that at the time, too, but didn’t care. Is this too much information? This might be too much information.
Since we’re already here, the other possibilities for that honor were Yasmine Bleeth and Tiffani Thiessen. I’m pretty sure it was Gates McFadden, though. I don’t know what that says about me.
Do you have any idea how many David Hasselhoff videos there are on YouTube? It appears to be an unlimited resource. I’m also entirely convinced that these videos are actual documentation of how he spends his day. Like, he wakes up in the morning, puts on his bedazzled biker jacket, rides off, gets into a limbo contest, and then ends up picking up hitchikers all the way home. The green screen effects on most of his videos are just there to throw us off the scent.