Tread Perilously — Star Trek TNG: Masks

Tread Perilously returns to the 24th Century for “Masks,” a late-series episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

When the Enterprise encounters an 85 million-year-old comet, Data begins having visions of an ancient, vaguely meso-American culture. Soon the data center inside the comet begins sending its payload into the memory banks of the ship and Data. As more and more artifacts replicate aboard the Enterprise, Data’s personality is overtaken by a number of warring personalities. In order to save the ship, Picard battles with a long dead culture’s sun god.

Justin returns from family leave as he and Erik attempt to make sense of the episode’s ancient ceremonial culture. They also ponder on the staff Counselor Troi must have to deal with the emotional needs of the 1000+ people aboard the ship. Will Riker’s insatiable sexual appetite is discussed once again. Justin proposes a Cylon test for all machines to prevent their uprising. Erik believes mandatory drama courses are part of the core curriculum at Starfleet Academy. The pair also take a long look at the disappearance of 20th Century media in the Star Trek universe.

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Tread Perilously: Special Review Unit — Born Psychopath

Tread Perilously opens the case files of the Special Review Unit for the Law & Order: SVU episode “Born Psychopath.”

When the detectives of the Special Victims Unit are called out to a case of possible child abuse, Detective Nick Amaro encounters a boy beyond the help of his affluent parents. Soon, it becomes clear that if the boy isn’t a genuine psychopath, he is a letter-perfect example of the profile. Bane is his favorite superhero. While the parents are reluctant to accept the truth, the SVU team gets ready for an unfortunate outcome. Also, Amaro resolves to tell his recently-discovered son the truth about their relationship.

Executive Assistant District Attorney Louis Allred joins the Review Unit as Erik freaks Justin out by showing him a crazy kid episode shortly before the birth of his child. The trio obsess over a Russian nanny that the episode quickly forgets about. Justin and Erik begin pitching a horror movie called “Peek-a-Boo.” Justin quickly recognizes Amaro as Armadillo from The Shield. The group also imagines the DuckTales version of Tiny Fey. Louis and Erik attempt to recreate train-song. Louis questions the wisdom of telling your children the combination to the gun safe and Justin learns that protection rackets are cyclical.

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Tread Perilously — Ancient Aliens: Aliens and Bigfoot

Tread Perilously gets lost in the weeds with its first ever foray into the docu-series wilderness with an episode of Ancient Aliens known as “Aliens and Bigfoot.”

Bigfoot. The Yeti. Skunk Ape. Enkidu. The Legend of Boggy Creek. Every culture has a legend of wooly half-men emitting a foul odor and possessing a grumpy disposition. Did extraterrestrials cause their evolution? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes. Further, they contend the aliens built a secret system of caves for the creatures in the Pacific Northwest. They also suggest Merlin, Goliath and the Nephilim may be artifacts of Bigfoot’s presence in our distant past. Somehow, it also ties to Soviet mad science.

Erik and Justin have a field day with the wild claims of people like Giorgio Tsoukalos and Linda Moulton Howe. They lose themselves to discussions of how myths emerge, anthropology, and the Battlestar Galactica finale. Crom and Shai Hulud become the official patron gods of Tread Perilously while Erik suggests monotheism lacks certain nuances. Erik notices that Western Europe is the only thing that matters in history. Justin reveals that murder chickens never stop appearing in the fossil record. Erik offers his hypothesis that Judaism did not crystallize until the Babylonian Captivity. Also, Justin suggests Londo Mollari would be a terrible contractor and Erik blames Nick Nolte for most Bigfoot sightings.

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Tread Perilously — 30 Rock: Greenzo/Hiatus

Tread Perilously sets down at Rockefeller Center for two episodes of 30 Rock: “Greenzo” and “Hiatus.”

In “Greenzo,” David Schwimmer appears as a focus-group and NBC/Universal approved non-judgmental conservation mascot. But as will happen, the power goes to Schwimmer’s head. Meanwhile, Liz finds herself accepting another invitation to another of Kenneth’s lame parties. This time, though, Tracy spreads a rumor that T.I. is going to the party. Hilarity ensues and Liz vomits on a demon.

In “Hiatus,” Tracy’s attempt to evade the Black Crusaders leads him to Needmore, PA. There, he stays with Kenneth’s cousin Jesse, who has his own designs for Tracy. Meanwhile, Jack’s mother takes an immediate dislike to his fiancee. The situation leads to Jack having a heart attack. Also: Jason Sudeikis appears.

Sitcom Correspondent Paula Dixon joins Erik and Justin as Erik once again indulges in his disdain for David Schwimmer. Justin revels in his disinterest toward The Black Eyed Peas. Paula professes her admiration for Dot-Com, she also defends all Paulas working in the industry. Erik completely forgets about Josh. Paula discovers how hard it is to say “chlorofluorocarbon.” Erik proclaims that his sarcasm is sincere. And in a throwback Thursday to good and simple times, Erik and Justin tell Paula about covfefe.

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Tread Perilously — Deep Space Nine Special

Tread Perilously dispenses with its normal format and discusses Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in its entirety!

In honor of the conclusion of Justin’s Fanbase Press column, The Future Will Be Carpeted, Fanbase Press’ Barbra Dillon joins Erik and Justin to talk about the series. They cover its successes and pitfalls. They also reveal their relative Star Trek devotion statuses. Justin talks about his DS9 viewer’s guide while Barbra reveals she watched every episode. Erik chomps at the bit to make fun of Rick Berman. Favorite episodes and characters are named. One episode gets the wrong name.

The secret history of The Future Will Be Carpeted is revealed as Justin looks back on three-and-a-half years of rewatching Deep Space Nine. Barbra introduces a new appreciation for Ezri Dax. Justin preaches the truth of the Sisko. Erik discusses the layers of Gul Dukat. Garak gets his due. The group looks at how Avery Brooks becomes more comfortable the more he starts to look like himself. Erik also points out how Star Trek: The Next Generation was openly racist toward Bajorans.

Also: O’Brien Must Suffer.

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Tread Perilously — Gilmore Girls: The Long Morrow

Tread Perilously returns to Stars Hollow for the seventh season episode of Gilmore Girls, “The Long Morrow.”

Lorelai and Rory’s relationships head for the skids as the former sleeps with Christopher and Rory attempts to understand a present left for her by Logan. Meanwhile, Luke realizes it was probably a mistake to walk out on Lorelai and tries to repair their relationship. Babette’s panties end up in the laundry. Paris tries to remind Rory that clarification shall be the whole of the law. Lorelai attempts to compare her life with Luke to dangling from a bumper and listening to Green Day. Taylor’s attempt to bring a red light camera to town leads to disaster.

Gilmore Girls superfan Kat Carpenter joins Erik and Justin to explain away the seventh season of the show, her love of Lorelai and Rory and why she tolerates Luke. Kat’s origins in another timeline are discussed. Laundry room etiquette also gets defined. Kat also explains Luke’s logoless cap. Erik admits his love for Paris, but cannot remember Taylor’s name. Kat highlights the girls’ poor attitude toward exercise. She also resents the belaboring of unfunny jokes — both on Gilmore Girls and on Tread Perilously.

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Tread Perilously — The Flash: Duet

Tread Perilously finally meets the Fastest Man Alive with the musical episode of The Flash, “Duet.”

When the Music Meister mesmerizes Kara and Barry, they awake in a movie musical about crime, forbidden love and their own romantic misunderstandings. Back on Earth-1, Wally must work with Cisco and J’onn to bring an end to the Music Meister’s crime spree. As the musical unfolds, Kara and Barry learn a song and attempt to negotiate a truce between warring gang factions. The fact the gang leaders have incredible voices is neither here nor there. But will Iris and Mon-El find a way to awaken their estranged paramours before time runs out?

After digressing into conversation about The Flash in other episodes, Erik and Justin’s chance to talk about the show properly leads to digressions about Chuck Lorre, Man of Steel and The Transformers. They also discuss the Iris Problem and better ways to write Savitar. Justin remembers Captain Cold while Erik suggests Grodd as a season villain. Erik reveals why he loves Mon-El and discusses how it put him at odds with the Rotten Tomatoes readership. The overall problem with the romantic leads on The CW superhero shows gets highlighted and the pair examine the way musical episodes tend to be used in action shows.

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