Whoopee! A Q episode is always one full of some kind of entertainment! At least for Q.
Q interrupts an important rescue mission to play games with the Enterprise crew. Over their protests that he go the frick away, Q pits the bridge crew, minus Picard, against furry humanoids with phaser-shooting rifles. Q threaten's Tasha's life briefly, but gives up on that after seeing a heart-warming moment between her and the Captain. Finally, he gives Riker the power of Q and offers to make him full Q. Picard wagers with Q privately that if Riker refuses, Q has to leave them alone forever. Riker eventually saves everyone by Q-ing them back to the Enterprise. Picard makes Riker promise not to use his Q power again if he intends to refuse Q-dom, which then prevents Riker from saving a little girl on their rescue mission. Q returns to the bridge; Riker offers to give everyone on the bridge a gift. Trouble is, no one wants his gifts: Data doesn't want to be a real boy, Worf refuses to have sex with the random Klingon Riker procures, and Wesley doesn't want to skip 10 years of his life just to be older. Riker decides not to be Q afterall, and Q's contemporaries make Q vanish from the bridge.
First off, kudos to the Enterprise crew for treating Q like the uninvited party-crasher he is. The problem with that is that this party crasher has god-like powers, and he pouts. I don't know if I could look Q in the face and tell him that I'd *maybe* give him the time of day *after* my rescue mission. There'd probably be more pleases in my refusal - at least the first time, before he told me that people burning to death doesn't matter because there are always humans dying and suffering somewhere. Sheesh, with that kind of philosophy we'd be like - well, like Q, I guess.
I do like how, after all his bullying, we're shown that "Q" isn't top dog of "the Q," and that some of those top dogs are a bit more honor-bound. But don't let me get ahead of myself like that.
Riker does two dumb things in this episode. The first is that he doesn't Q them all to the ship once he learns that he really does have Q powers. Instead he sits back and watches as Wesley and others die (sorry, but I only remember Wesley, teehee). The second is when he makes his promise to Picard without fully realizing the implications. Um, duh? The first thing I thought of when Picard laid out the promise was that they were about to be on a rescue mission where Riker could theoretically Q everyone to safety/life/whatever. But Riker holds that dead little girl like he just realised that fact. Also, he tells the other colonist that he could bring her back to life, but won't. That seems pretty cruel, but we'll chalk that up to it being an emotional moment.
One other weird thing about that rescue. Picard says at the beginning of the episode that there are hundreds of colonists to rescue, yet they only show us one scene with a handful of people. K? I guess the rest either died or weren't worth showing, or both.
Anyway, the end of the episode is cool. You know that Riker will refuse because he's too important of a character to become god in episode 10 of 178, but you don't know what's going to convince him. Having him offer Q-gifts is awesome because that's exactly what I would do with that kind of power. It's also an interesting take on "be careful what you ask for" which has always been a favorite theme of mine in any story. Riker doesn't go crazy with his gifts, either. He doesn't offer to make anyone super rich/powerful/famous, but rather his gifts are the sort that people truly would desire in that secret place in their heart, at least until it's actually offered to them. I also liked what the characters said when they explained their separate refusals. My favorite was Worf saying that the random Klingon woman was from a world he'd chosen to leave behind, and who has time for sex, anyway? Haha, but seriously, sometimes you take that fork in the road and wonder about or desire part of what you could have had down the other path, but not enough to actually go back and change it.
And, of course, Wesley's was the best because it's a parallel to Riker's own predicament. "I'd rather get there on my own," thank you very much. When the Q said humans would develop god-like powers, they DID mean in my lifetime... Right?