Star Trek: Voyager

Season 3 Episode 11

The Q And The Grey

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Nov 27, 1996 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
167 votes

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Episode Summary


Stardate: 50384.2
encounters several supernova in a small region of space. Q soon appears and reveals that they are the after-effects of a civil war within the Q-Continuum. He believes that the solution is for him to produce a child, and he has chosen Captain Janeway as his mate.


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  • Half good, half bad

    This version of The Blue and the Grey, a sequel to "Death Wish" set within a Q Continuum civil war, is another John De Lancie vehicle inspired by Shawn Piller that features Q and Janeway.

    Again needing a metaphor for the Q Continuum, the writers here choose the American Civil War, putting Q and Janeway on its playing field and using a siege as a way to develop rich character interplay. It's a unique setting for De Lancie and Mulgrew to do their thing, and their scenes amidst the gunfire are the highlight of the episode. Unfortunately, the A story ties into a technobabble-laden B story with a female Q trapped on Voyager that needs the crew's help to return. Needing a combination of sarcasm and superiority for the guest part, the Star Trek brings back Susie Plakson (last seen as Worf's girl on TNG), filling the need but adding little originality. (She's basically TNG's K'Ehleyr refashioned into a Q and even gets off an inside joke about liking Klingon women). Using a female Q (called Suzie Q by the fans) to form a love triangle is a fine idea, but here it's just a throwaway notion to give Janeway's crew something to do before the predictable resolution.

    The "Q and the Grey" does have its moments. In a way, it's an upgraded version of TNG's "Hide and Q" (also directed by Bole), with a more interesting plot and far superior production values (including location shooting at Los Angeles's Griffith Park) for the battle. In another way, however, it's plodding and unfocused, with the shipbased B story getting in the way of the important matters and adding nothing.

    For Plakson, it's her final Star Trek appearance. But De Lancie reprises his Q again for a followup to this episode in the seventh season's "Q2".

  • The Q and the Grey

    The Q and the Grey was a superb episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I enjoyed watching the episode. The Voyager crew witness multiple supernovas only to discover they are being caused by a less than divine source. I thought it was funny how Q first appeared to Captain Janeway in her chambers. I think Q was played perfectly well in this episode and found his interactions with Janeway amusing. The woman Q was pretty fun to watch too. I thought there was a good story, cool spacephenomenascenes and a few good laughs. Paris and Kim continue to enjoy their holodeck program which is pretty cool. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!!!moreless
  • Follow up to the 2nd season's "Deathwish."

    I still don't care for any episode with the Q. They are fantasy not science fiction.

    In this one, the writer's did some of their homework recapturing the Q character's famous wit from SNG. That means the first fifteen minutes are at least entertaining. And, the introduction of the "Mrs. Q." was also witty and entertaining. Here, the Q is having a civil war because one of them committed suicide. This was the ultimate experience for an "all-powerful-immortal" individual. See the "Deathwish" episode. It's never explained why a civil war is taking place but our hero Q has a plan to stop it. He wants to have a baby. Oh, why not. Whenever Samantha (another fantasy-immortal) had a baby on "Bewitched," the ratings went up. To further the plot, he wants Janeway (of all people) to be the mother! Maybe he liked her salamander babies from the 2nd Season's "Threshold." Now, here's where the writer's failed in their SNG research. A Q baby wasn't a new idea. As many have pointed out, an SNG episode talked about such a child.

    The Q civil war is causing "supernovas" in our own galaxy. That somewhat raises the stakes for Janeway to want to help resolve the conflict (beyond having Q's baby). She wants to bring Q's idea to his opposition. Q whisks her away to an environment she (and therefore we) can understand. It's the American Civil War. Yeah, we get it. Civil war within the Q - - American Civil War. Like we don't understand the concept of civil war without that sort of visualization. Do you think the writers are talking down to us?

    Just as Janeway and Q are both about to be killed, the crew of Voyager, armed with Q weapons, which look like American Civil War muskets, arrive to save the day. Very, very anti-climatic. Maybe Lincoln walking through the set would have helped.

    Q and Mrs. Q "unite" in their baby-creating endeavor that even Janeway finds boring. Ho-hum all around. Not many writers can make sex boring. This is an episode that does nothing to advance anything. Relegate it to the back of the DVD pile.moreless
  • i guess the writers are banking on viewers not watching 'true Q' from TNG, but its Q on Voyager again ...lets roll! Is it the tattoo?....cos mines bigger!!

    although the Q have raised children before (TNG 6:6 True Q) the writers are pretending they haven't for this episode

    it has all the usual Q-ness, comedy, stupidty, damn right crazyness! but its all fun and games

    the episode gets a bit silly when go into the actual continuem, i just can't shake that imaage of the voyager crew running around in the forest looking ridiculous in those confederate uniforms! it did go a bit stupid but you can't beat the Q episodes! Q wanting to mate with Janeway, Chakotay getting jealous, its good light hearted fun to cheer us up (which is what we needed after watching 'warlord'moreless
  • Probably the weakest "Q" episode of any Star Trek series to date, but a triumph compared to what's ahead in Season 3.

    The "Q" episodes in Star Trek have generally been well-written and amusing. This one lowers the bar a bit.

    A certain amount of wackiness is expected when the Qs are involved, but The Q and the Grey takes it too far and completely disregards continuity (see the episode notes and trivia for more detail). De Lancie's advances towards Janeway are funny, but the episode's context gets strange from there. It's an attempted mix of humor and dire situations, and it doesn't work very well. The "civil war" seemed contrived, and for a species that lives for billions of years, they sure resolve major conflicts quickly. Entertaining but nothing spectacular.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Nitpick: Harry Kim states that they are the closest ship to witness a supernova, at a distance of less than ten billion kilometers. However, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Tin Man", the Enterprise was about 3.8 billion kilometers from a supernova.

    • Trivia: The episode's title, "The Q and the Grey", is a historical reference to the colors of the Union and Confederate's uniforms during the American Civil War (1861-1865).

    • Nitpick: While in the Continuum, Q (de Lancie) is depicted as a Union soldier, while his status quo opponents are Confederates. Because the Confederates are often seen as the "rebels", the uniforms should have been reversed. However, as Q was likely the one providing the interface setting for Janeway's mind to understand what was occurring in the Continuum, it's likely Q put himself in blue in order to associate himself in her mind as being one of the "good guys", and the one who ought to be the eventual winner of the fray.

    • Nitpick: Q makes such a big deal about the lack of precedent for Qs mating, for Qs having a child, etc. However, the offspring of a Q couple is the subject of the Star Trek: The Next Generation season six episode, "True Q", in which Q describes how two Qs left the Continuum to live as humans and had a child, and Q had to help her learn how to use her powers.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • (Janeway has been shown the civil war between the Q)
      Janeway: Start explaining.
      Q: Do you remember our friend Quinn?
      Janeway: The Q who committed suicide aboard Voyager?
      Q: Do you recall what I said might happen if he were allowed to take his own life?
      Janeway: You said it would represent an interruption to the Continuum. That it could have dire consequences.
      Q: I'd say a civil war is pretty dire, wouldn't you?
      Janeway: His death caused this conflict?
      Q: It caused chaos, and upheaval. Because even though he was gone, his calls for freedom and individualism continued to echo in the ears of those who believed in his teachings, myself among them. I sounded the trumpet, and carried the banner, naturally others followed. The forces of the status quo tried to crush us once and for all, but we fought back, and now there is a cosmic struggle for supremacy, and the battle is spreading, causing hazardous repercussions throughout the galaxy.
      Janeway: The supernovas.
      Q: You might call them "galactic crossfire".

    • Q: This has gone way beyond your ship. It's even gone beyond you and me. This is about the future about the Continuum itself.
      Janeway: Stop speaking in riddles and tell me what's going on.
      Q: I'll do better than that. I'll show you.
      (Q opens a window to reveal explosions)
      Q: The Continuum is burning. The Q are in the middle of a civil war.

    • Janeway: (to both Qs): I'll just give you two some privacy.
      Q: Oh, Kathy...don't you like to watch?
      (The two Qs touch fingertips for a second, then gasp)
      Q: I was good, wasn't I?
      Female Q: Mmmm...very good.
      Janeway: (expecting more) That was it?!
      Q: You had your chance. Don't go crying about it now.

    • Q: (to Female Q) Q! How did you find me?
      Female Q: Never mind that, what are you doing with that dog? (to Janeway) And I'm not talking about the puppy.

    • Q: To us.
      Janeway: There is no us, Q.
      Q: The night is young and the sheets are satin.

    • Janeway: The only thing that interests me right now is the welfare of my ship and crew.
      Q: Well, I'm sure your first officer... Chuckles is it? I'm sure he's got everything under control for the moment.

    • Janeway: Sorry, but I'm busy for the next 60 or 70 years.
      Q: Oh, I see! This is one of those silly human rituals! You're playing hard to get!
      Janeway: It's more like impossible to get!
      Q: Oh goody, a challenge! This is gonna be fun!

    • Q: I could have chosen a Klingon targ, the Romulan empress, a Cyrillian microbe.
      Janeway: Really? I beat out a single-celled organism? How flattering.

    • Q: I can't get you out of my mind. You are confident, passionate, beautiful...
      Janeway: And totally uninterested.
      Q: Kathy, you can't leave! My cosmic clock is ticking!

    • Q: (To Neelix) You, bar rodent! Another one of these... fruity concoctions!

  • NOTES (1)