A Night In Sickbay

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Pets And Petulance
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

This episode took all the complaints I've ever had about Quantum's pride, his ego, and his utter lack of respect for other cultural laws, and rolled it into an hour-long display of petulance the likes of which I have not seen since 90210: The Brenda Years. Do you want to know how many times I use the word "petulant" to describe Quantum's behavior in these fourteen pages? Seven times -- there really is no other word for the way he comes across in this episode. Unlike some out there, who thought this was a fun, laid-back episode about normal, non-combative life aboard the ship, I thought it was the worst episode of the season. It was a puerile romp through a night in the life of a particularly whiny captain, who blames his behavior on his so-called concern for his dog. However, as I point out multiple times in this recap, that concern is not believable in the least -- not in the writing, not in the acting, and certainly not in the Furrowing.

Quantum is a peevish ass throughout this entire episode, laying blame everywhere but where it is most warranted, and then gets himself off the guilt hook by "learning" how to say he's sorry. In my opinion, he doesn't learn a damn thing. His act of atonement to the Kreetassans is only brought about by a thinly veiled stab at his pride from T'Pol via Phlox, not because he actually believes he owes the Kreetassans recompense for the offensive actions for which he never fully acknowledges responsibility. I don't know if Bakula, the writers, or the director knows that they handed us an hour-long ode to Quantum at his most unlikable and failed to make up for it in the conclusion. The only redeeming aspect of "A Night In Sick Bay" was the Phlox exposure, but even that wasn't enough to temper Quantum acting as though he had just been weaned off a pickle.

If you couldn't already tell from my preamble, I am so not in the mood for this. My sinuses are so stuffed with snot that Mathra's beginning to think he's sleeping next to Mucus of Borg, and no amount of anything peddled over the counter in the English-speaking world is helping in the least. I've resorted to spending long hours in the bathroom with the shower running as a makeshift steam room and sounding off disgusting "hwargh!" noises to keep my throat from tickling. The only problem with that is that all the noise and the moisture is now causing the non-waterproof paint to peel. To top it all off, I think Hunca Munca has gone missing and might only be found if we decide to excavate the mountains of used snot rags that surround me on the recapping futon. Needless to say, my patience is fruit-roll-up thin, and it didn't take much for Quantum to tear it in half. To shred it completely took everything Quantum said, did, looked, and furrowed.

Decon chamber. Ah, Blue Lights Of Totally Gratuitous Nekkidity, how I have missed you and your inappropriate ways. NOT! Let's see, with Hoshi lubing up T'Pol, we've got your standard girl-on-girl action. Next, T'Pol's tending to Quantum's bare back, so there's the hetero and cross-species fetishists covered. Finally, Quantum's leaning over to take care of Porthos. Ew! What is with the whole sexual subtext there? Some pretty sick minds these writers have. The screen flashes up "8:47 pm." Uh, aren't they on military time? Or does Quantum just like to say "oh eight hundred" because he thinks it sounds cool? Quantum blathers about Starfleet not sending them out there to make fools of themselves -- a sentiment I take issue with, because I think that's exactly what Starfleet's intent was, and something that they've been very successful with thus far -- and asks how long they groveled in orbit: "Six days?" "Five, sir, and it wasn't exactly groveling," Hoshi tells him. "Apologizing, asking for forgiveness, just because we ate lunch in front of them on our own ship, months ago -- I call that groveling," Quantum snaps. Well, you've obviously never had to deal with hyper-sensitive siblings who are convinced you did something to mortally wound their feelings and refuse to allow family peace until you do something about it. "They were offended," Hoshi reminds him, while spreading Exposition Gel on T'Pol's shoulders. "The Kreetassans manufacture plasma injectors. We need one," T'Pol reminds her captain. "So we spend six days groveling --" Quantum whines. "Five days," Hoshi corrects him again. "And when they finally agree to talk to us, we go down and what do they do? They keep us waiting for twelve hours and then send us packing. No explanation, no plasma injector, just 'Leave, go back to your ship,'" Quantum bellows. "We obviously offended them again," T'Pol comments. "Maybe my hair's parted on the wrong side," Quantum snarks. Maybe they didn't like the tone of your furrows. Quantum moves Porthos so that he can sit on the bench and complain that he's had it with the Kreetassans. Phlox beeps in to tell them that all of them, except for Porthos, are free to go. Quantum asks what the deal is, and Phlox tells him that the pup picked up a pathogen on the planet and the gels of decon didn't clear him. God, the man is a colossal idiot to bring a dog down to an alien planet. How many times does he have to prove just how much he does not deserve to be Porthos's human? Quantum asks what Phlox is going to do. "I'm not sure yet, I'll let you know as soon as I run some tests." T'Pol and Hoshi walk out. Hoshi turns back to say, "Feel better Porthos." We love Hoshi. Quantum tells the bedraggled Porthos, "Doc'll have you good as new before you know it. Might even break the no-cheese rule tonight." Because making your dog dehydrated from diarrhea is the appropriate action when he's picked up a pathogen. As Quantum puts Porthos down and walks out, Porthos yips pathetically. Aw, baby! Because of this show, we've convinced our land-owning friends to add a beagle to their two-cat household. "Sorry fella, you gotta stay," his insensitive owner tells him, and walks out without another look back. The Blue Lights Of Totally Gratuitous Nekkidity come back on as Porthos sits down, alone and confused. Hello, MSPCA? Yeah, I need your help in abducting a dog from a space.

The one good thing about this cold is that it reduced the theme song to little more than a high fuzzy whine.

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