Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Outcast

The days are beginning to run together here now that I’m off from work and between the start of the school year. Today I lazed around and worked out yes and then watched a few Bond movies today, Octopussy and A View To A Kill. I am thrilled because tomorrow I get to start watching the Timothy Dalton Bond films which are a few of my favorites in the series. Other than that I finally bought a new battery for my car and bought a few clothes for the school year. Nothing to exciting today,, sorry folks.

Elliptical Machine- Calories: 590, Miles: 3.52

The Outcast
The Enterprise is assisting a race of androgynous beings known as the J’naii who have lost a shuttlecraft in their system but cannot locate it. The J’naii are humanoid but have evolved past the concept of gender and do not present or identify as either male or female in any way. The crews of the Enterprise is a little taken aback by these people and are not entirely sure how to deal with them, Worf seems to be the most “racist” towards these people. Making such comments as “They Bother Me… Because they Just Do!”. Riker and one of the J’naii named Soren work together to discover the missing shuttle in an area of black matter in their system. The shuttle incident is really a very minor point to the story so I won’t mention it any further. As Riker and Soren work together she begins to feel more and more comfortable to with Riker and asks him questions about gender and how males and females differ. She also has questions about the specifics of different body parts and mating rituals. Riker shares information and the two build a solid friendship over the course of the few days they are together. Towards the end of their mission Soren shares with Riker that feelings have developed for him and kisses him. Soren then reveals that this is forbidden in her society and that people who express gender are treated, rehabilitated and programmed to be like everyone through psychiatric means. Soren reveals that she wishes to be a female and loves Riker. The two share a few brief encounters on the ship and on the planet but are caught by the authorities. Soren is put on trial and asked to confess her crime, Riker attempts to interrupt the trial and explains that it is all his fault but Soren refuses to live with the lies. Soren makes and extremely impassioned plea but is hauled off to be “fixed” by her people. Riker wants to rescue her and intends to do so when Worf shows up to assist him, this is a quick turnaround for him and shows that he is truly friends with Riker. When he reaches the planet Riker finds Soren but it is apparently too late she informs him that she has been cured and that she doesn’t wish to see him again. The episode ends on a very somber note for Riker who has fallen in love with Soren despite her differences.

The episode really tries to push the boundaries of gender issues in the 24th century and really gives us a good start. Was this episode what Gay fans had always wanted of the show, No but it was a good start. The show deals with gender discrimination and how “sexual deviants” are dealt with in general society. The show mirrors the lives of gay and lesbians in our world today but the show really didn’t push the button far enough. It has been said in interviews that Jonathan Frakes, who plays Riker, thought the episode could have done more and in fact he wanted the character of Soren to be played by a man to push the idea even further. Good on you Jonathan Frakes! It is sad when you think of it though, that a show claiming to be in a near perfect utopian society has never had an out and officially gay character or even fully broached the topic. I am hopeful that it will happen in the upcoming sequel due out next year or in a future series. Hopeful but I’m not holding my breath.

Here is a video link to the speech that Soren gives it is quite moving!

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