On Free Cloud, crime queens dress like pop queens
Seven of Nine is back in a bomber jacket! We are here to chat Borg, crazy costumes, queering villains, and more space socialism. What happens in Free Cloud stays in Free Cloud, but spoilers lie ahead. Also, more wine.
Welcome back, Ryan!
Becca is curious if Ryan ate guinea pig while away on adventures in Argentina, but apparently this is more of a Peruvian dish. There is a Short Trek where H Jon Benjamin eats a tribble, which is basically space guinea pig.
Do these look delicious?
We speculate that Star Trek's version of socialism is predicated on machines taking the shitty jobs. What is Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Annie Lowrey via The Atlantic provides a good analysis. One element of this Utopian vision is likely predicated on having a Universal Basic Income - check out friend-of-the-pod Owen Poindexter's TEDx talk on the subject. Outside of the Star Trek universe, The Expanse presents another example of what this future may look like.
Data's Family and Friends
Ryan gives us a mini-synopsis of the extended universe novel Cold Equations, in which Dr. Noonian Soong is resurrected in B4's body and also incorporates Data's consciousness. From this, we know that Data and Dr. Bruce Maddox became pen pals after the events of The Measure of a Man (but still, fuck that guy). In Inheritance, we meet Data's mother Juliana Tainer, who is probably the earliest in-universe example of an android who passes for human.
Hi there, Robo-Mom!
Shoutout to Director Hanelle Culpepper
Hanelle Culpepper directed a number of Discovery episodes, making history as the first black woman to direct a Star Trek property. She continued on to work on Picard, and we commend her directorial acumen!
Still Stuck on the Queer-coded Villains
We meet a new villain in this episode, Bjazl. While being a badass who has the best costumes, she's also another entry in the too-long list of villains who are queer-coded. She is also a representation of another problematic trope - Bury Your Gays - which sees queer characters die disproportionately to their hetero counterparts. Finally, consider Evil is Sexy; she's ticking all the boxes, and not in a good way.