So, this isn’t explicitly queer in the slightest, but it is a look back at Pete and Pete’s awesome soundtrack and musical guest stars (including Iggy Pop, Michael Stipe, Debbie Harry, and Kate Pierson from the B-52′s)! There’s a lot of Youtube links and a lot of fun facts that I personally didn’t know, and I am fairly knowledgeable on Pete and Pete trivia.
But also, this is a really important look back at a show that made good music and music that wasn’t dumbed down for the show’s target age group a priority. Pete and Pete was a weird and wonderful show that sadly could never get made now.
Inspired by a fabulous discussion on lady-centric episodes with the ussfeministkilljoy crew, here are my Top 10 Feminist TNG Episodes.
In order to help narrow it down I limited myself to episodes that pass the Bechdel Test (for full TNG Bechdel results click here). Other than that, I was looking for episodes where we see strong, complex and/or non-conformist female characters with an important role in the plot; strong relationships between female characters; feminist messages; and general lack of sexism/gender stereotyping.
When episodes felt pretty close on these fronts, I ranked higher the episodes I would most want to rewatch.
“The Outcast,” an episode that was intended to allegorically represent the struggles of lesbian and gay people for equality, but nonetheless fails to really commit to the issue. The facts that Soren is played by a woman, the TNG characters who talk to her don’t get into anything deeper than the most conventional and basic descriptions of sex and gender identity, and that Soren is shown as “cured” - even if it is portrayed as tragic - all prevent this episode from making it any higher on the list. But I had to include it because of the overall theme and the excellent, moving scene where Soren challenges her people’s bigotry and stands up for who she truly is:
And it was written by Jeri Taylor!
9. “Legacy” (4X06)
In “Legacy,” Beth Toussaint plays Tasha Yar’s sister, Ishara, who grew up with and is still involved in the gangs on their home planet of Turkana IV. The Enterprise crew are challenged by not completely trusting Ishara, but also wanting to both trust and like her because of her relation to Tasha. This episode succeeds because Toussaint is compelling and Ishara is a super-tough, complicated character with an arc. By talking with Data, Riker and Picard, Ishara helps them gain insight into themselves, and also comes to appreciate Tasha’s strength and the value of friendship, even if (believably) she can’t give up the way of life she’s always known.
8. “The Emissary” (2X20)
Another awesome female guest-star ep, “The Emissary” is our introduction to K'Ehleyr, a badass, sassy, complicated half-human, half-Klingon diplomat who gets romantically involved with Worf. Suzie Plakson makes K'Ehleyr memorable and manages to convey her self-doubts without making her appear weak or less capable. K'Ehleyr also gets a decent scene with Troi where they talk about the difficulties that come with being mixed-race. Although K'Ehleyr is “Worf’s love interest,” it’s clear she’s much more than that and that’s why this makes the list!
“Who Watches the Watchers” is an underappreciated episode about what happens when the Mintakans, a group of primitive, proto-Vulcan aliens, encounter the Federation anthropologists who have been observing them. It makes the list because A) Troi gets halfway decent stuff to do and B) the Mintakan matriarchal society is portrayed without falling into the kinds of stereotypes and ridiculousness we get in episodes like “Angel One."
6. "Preemptive Strike” (7X24)
Ensign Ro is one of TNG’s greatest gifts to feminism. In this, her last episode, she faces conflicting loyalties when infiltrating a Maquis cell. Michelle Forbes owns the role of Ro and this episode gives us great insight into what drives her. We also get to meet Kalita, a human member of the Maquis, who makes a big impression in a short amount of screen time, being suspicious about Ro but eventually growing to trust her (she later returns in an episode of DS9). Bonus points for “Preemptive Strike” because it also includes Admiral Nechayev.
The only reason I didn’t put this higher on the list is that a big part of this episode is Ro’s need for paternal approval. She initially signs up for the mission to justify Picard’s faith in her, and later changes sides after seeing her Maquis father-figure, Maclas, die. At the end of “Rascals,” Ro draws her mother. It would’ve been cool to see that developed further, maybe by having Maclas’ character be female and a maternal figure.
Doctor Crusher shows off her scientific chops, stares down a Klingon, and solves a murder mystery. ‘Nuff said.
4. “Dark Page” (7X07)
I love Lwaxana Troi, but her earlier “Auntie Mame” persona is problematic because it plays into stereotypes about irritating mothers and necessitates that the audience not see or appreciate her as a whole person. “Dark Page,” written by Hilary Bader, brings them closer together than they ever have been, as Deanna has to help Lwaxana recover repressed memories of another daughter who died by drowning. It puts Deanna in an important position where she has to use her empathic and counselling abilities, and shows us an incredibly deep mother-daughter relationship.
3. “Ensign Ro” (5X03)
All the things I said about Ensign Ro above but in this, her first episode, we get less need for male approval and more Guinan awesomeness.
Also Ro gets to wear her earring, even though Riker has some nonsense objection to it. And in the last scene:
Picard: I think you’ve got a great deal to learn from Starfleet. Ro: I always thought Starfleet had a lot to learn from me, Captain.
Hands-down the best Troi episode, as Deanna finds herself unwittingly undercover as a Tal Shiar agent on a Romulan warbird. Though put in a situation with limited options, she manages to take control, do things her way, and succeed. The ship’s Commander, Toreth, was originally written without any idea of what the character’s gender would be and maybe that’s why she ends up being as great as she is. Toreth is powerful but deeply principled and unafraid to verbally challenge the Tal Shiar for the injustices they have committed.
1. “Yesterday’s Enterprise” (3X15)
Last but not least, often ranked one of the top TNG episodes PERIOD, “Yesterday’s Enterprise” brings us the only female captain of the Enterprise, Rachel Garrett. Garrett is obviously heroic; her first concern being the welfare of her crew, but she ultimately is willing to sacrifice herself and her crew for the greater good.
Just as importantly, this episode gives Tasha Yar’s character a second-chance at an honourable ending after the ridiculousness that was “Skin of Evil.” And she gets there with Guinan’s help.
What do you think? Are there other episodes that would go on your list?
Oh my god but if the whole Jody Mills’ House for Wayward Girls spin-off isn’t already a fantastic enough idea IMAGINE THIS:
Dean/Cas in the final episode. It’s all good and big and dramatic, but then the show ends so we really don’t get to see anything of them as a couple of whatever. Which makes sense, Supernatural isn’t really meant to be about romance, or at least not functional romance.
But then!!! We get the spin-off focusing on Jody and Donna and the girls there! With Claire as a major character or even the protagonist! And because of that, every now and then they’d have to bring up her dad(s), right?? Not as major characters, just like guest stars a couple of times a season or something! And we’d get to see Dean and Cas taking care of her and occasionally Sam as well and get little glimpses into their lives together and because they’re not the focus they could just be cute and domestic and we’d hear about little squabbles or everyday things and ohhh my goddddddd I need this in my life.
I want more Chris Colfer movies. I do realize that he is busy with his obligations to TV and the upcoming deadline for his next book and may not have sufficient time for more projects right now. I just really miss having new opportunities to discover and enjoy all the facets of his acting talent which are so sadly underused by Glee these days.
Here it is…Spooked! It’s a half-hour paranormal comedy on my geekandsundry network! It stars Neil Grayston from Eureka, Ashley Johnson from Last of Us, and many more awesome peeps! Also, guest stars Alison Haislip and Dichen Lachman are in this ep!
Please spread word if you enjoy, scripted content is hard to get out there without a huge marketing budget, it would mean a lot if you like it to support! <3
So… are we back to square one? No closer to hints of Felicity Smoak’s origins now that the writers have renamed her character centric ep from Oracle to “The Secret Origins Of Felicity Smoak”?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the title change, actually. I think it’s intriguing and one glance at it tells (potential) viewers all they need to know: Hey, buddy. Psssst! Come ‘ere. I’m gonna tell you about the secrets of Felicity Smoak.
I have a billion theories on Felicity (and if her family is a bunch of criminals like pickpockets, art thieves, cons, and carny folk [#5 on that poll list] I will die of bliss, plus I think it presents a great way to fold awesome guest stars in to future seasons & eps as well as give Felicity a wealth of skillsets and knowledge bases to build off of).
Does all this time, somehow, into what they’re doing with the Green Arrow comic? Did something there, perhaps, spark something new for the show? I need to know these things!
Chris only have one more bitter season before Blee ends!
G(B)lee most likely will bee cancelled ;)
Many tweets have gone around with famous Producers saying Chris would be great choices for their projects, but he is tied with Blee -.- But STILL they are NOTICING and WANTING Chris so future projects with Chris sounds like it WOULD be happening ;D
Chris has not tweeted about shit Glee in so0o long, and he NEVER tweets about Klaine or Blarren <3<3 <3 :D
The fact that Looking thinks Chris woulkd be an awesome guest star :D
Chris grows more sexy each year from his intelligence, sharp wit, sense of humor, sexy body, beautiful face and his everything :D
Chris will be having two more books for his series :D
Glee hiatus is soon and that leaves more room for MORE Chris projects :D
One more year and we can finally say Glee who?!
Chris will no longer be associated with Blee or Blarren <3333 ^_^
Like: blunt sarcasm, deep-dish pizza, watching movies that make me
feel emotions, singing karaoke with my fraternity brothers, and trying to save
the world from super villains.
Here: TWLOHA was there at a time that I really needed it, and it
helped me as well as several friends through difficult times in our
lives. I want to return the favor and help TWLOHA reach as many people in
need as possible.
most likely stuff the office fridge with: Buffalo Wild Wings, Sour Patch
candy, hummus and pita bread, leftover pizza, Chipotle, and Faygo Rockin Rye
music is on, I’m most likely listening to: All Time Low, Rise
Against, Blink 182, Green Day, Paramore, and Senses Fail.
the office, I’m most likely: Learning how to cook, watching a movie,
having discussions about life with friends, laying on the beach in this Florida
winter, watching Netflix, and trying to take over the world.
could guest star on any TV show, what would it be and why? I think “Criminal
Minds” would be an awesome show to guest star on. It’s one of my favorite shows,
and I have seen way too many episodes since I graduated. I think it would be
interesting to play a character that is both dangerous and smart. Maybe a
darker version of Dr. Reed…
you out of your comfort zone? Trying new things can bring me
out of my comfort zone. Although I am actively trying to expand my horizons, I
like things to be familiar to me. I tend to eat the same kind of foods and
rarely venture towards the unknown. I tend to stick with the same people and do
activities that I know that I enjoy. I think moving 18 hours to Florida was a
pretty big step outside my comfort zone.
We’ve been listed under New & Noteworthy iTunes TV & Film podcasts! We’ve also cracked the top 100 TV & Film podcasts on iTunes.
There’s no question this is thanks to the amazingly supportive Jaime x Brienne fandom–your subscriptions, ratings, and reviews have somehow made a niche podcast that should only appeal to like 12 people become something at least….20 people are listening to? Teehee!
You guys are all awesome, we love you all! Thanks for the notes of encouragement and for so willingly participating!
And last, but not least, a thousand thanks to our over-worked, under-praised moderator ladyoftarth-posts, whose hard work behind the scenes has made the podcast possible and whose on-air presence makes the whole thing gel. (Shoutout to Mr. LoT too–if you like our intro, it’s because he’s so awesome!)
Edit: Hello!! chickren your name should be in this list of ‘regular crew’! Thank the gods for your brains and book knowledge. - LoT