The Q are omnipotent (according to them saying so many times in the course of Deja Q). But I don't recall ever seeing a Q transport without making that 'flash'. Do we ever see a Q transport without making a flash and, if not, does this mean that they're actually NOT omnipotent. (Note: I'm ignoring what Quinn says in VOY).
3Logically, I don't think omnipotence is possible (i.e. God can't create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it). But, even ignoring that, given that Q can be punished/robbed of their powers/killed/etc., and worry so much about the Continuum being disrupted (if they were omnipotent, they could just will things back to the way they were), it's clear that there are definite limits to their powers/existence.– Lèse majestéApr 28, 2014 at 8:39
2Why are you ignoring Quinn? He gave us the best insight into the culture of the Q.– bitmaskApr 28, 2014 at 9:12
@bitmask because what Quinn says is in direct contradiction with much of the contents of 'Deja Q', where Q tells Q that he is omnipotent– Often RightApr 29, 2014 at 0:53
Yes, there are several occasions in which Q simply appears, notably when appearing in Janeway's bed in VOY : Death Wish and Picard's bed in TNG : Tapestry.
The 'flash' and the transitional noise appears to be the default position (we see various Q and Q-like beings creating it) whereas a transition without a flash would seem to take some conscious effort of will.
Q also makes the Calamarain disappear (in TNG : "Deja Q") without any flash.
He blows on the palm of his hand. The glow is blown away. Q2 reacts, nods okay.
i think q-who should read deja-q for calamarain. last line is nicely poetic Apr 28, 2014 at 9:30
4I love this scene, but maybe Picard just slept through the flash? I agree though that he doesn't need the flash. As a matter of fact, I think it's a show-off affectation. :) Apr 28, 2014 at 11:24
@Jolenealaska - It's possible but there's no notation in the script, nor do we see a flash before his hand appears (where it wasn't in shot before). I disagree that the flash is an affectation. I think it's there unless the Q decides not to have it.– ValorumApr 28, 2014 at 13:54
No, we never see him doing that. What makes me so certain is the fact, that the special effect we are looking for is, that the camera points at an empty spot, then, one frame later there is Q standing there. This "special effect" just looks silly - I know, because I used it as transporter-effect when I got my first camcorder. I don't remember seeing something that stupid at Star Trek.
We sometimes see Q suddenly entering the screen where he isn't supposed to be - without a flash, suddenly being in a room we, did not see him entering by conventional means (i.e. the door). But we don't know how he got there since it happened off-screen. It could be with- or without the flash.
But even if he needed the flash: Theologists had always had a hard time with omnipotence: Can Q make a Hasperat so strong that he could not eat it? So they came up with the solution, that omnipotence does not extend to doing logically impossible things. It might be, that for reasons we don't know yet, it is logically impossible for a Q to appear somewhere without the flash. In that case he could still be omnipotent while being unable to appear without a flash.
[Pure speculation: Quinn might refer to the fact that omnipotence is vastly overrated, because the boundaries of logical possibility are annoyingly tight for a beeing that is otherwise capable of doing everything]