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- Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 1:57am (USA Central)
When the Bough Breaks
Enjoyed this episode and also your take on it.
One line that stood out for me was Aldea leader and Riker in the negotiation
Riker says "We sympathize with your situation. But what you ask is not possible."
Aldean Leader says "And that your final answer" and Riker says "Its our only answer"
Picard of course knows that is not true and continues the negotiation stalling for time.
The computer has taken over the planet and what they think is their savior (computer tech) is killing them. Kinda similar to our planet? Hmmm...
- Mon, Jan 26, 2015, 2:47pm (USA Central)
Doctor Bashir, I Presume
Why play for the bullseye when playing for triple 20 would be better?
I always wondered this and especially now when apparently Julian "played" properley at end of episode.
If you're playing days properley you would be going for triple 20 not bullesye as bullseye is only 50.
- Mon, Jan 26, 2015, 11:38am (USA Central)
The Sword of Kahless
I enjoy Dax's storylines because I like how Farrell protrays her. She is not the stronger actor on the show, but her mannerisms as Dax are truly fascinating. There is always something slightly manly in her body language.
Other than that, I felt that the episode went too far with Worf too. If it had been another Klingon, I'd be ok, but Worf would never kill someone like that. I don't even object to his political ambition, I object to his coward attempt against Kor.
- Mon, Jan 26, 2015, 9:40am (USA Central)
Half a Life
There are 3 types of possible "telepathic powers".
1) Active Send - This would be when you can push your thoughts into the head of another person.
2) Active Connect - This would be when you can connect two minds together, similar to the Vulcan mind meld or Borg links.
3) Passive Receive - You always hear everything that is going on in a radius that your powers are capable of. You'd have to learn to tune into a specific voice and/or block them all out to not go insane. This was discussed in the "Tinman" episode and in Kes/Tuvok's lessons.
We pretty much know Betazoids have #3. Tam had issues tuning out the voices. Troi is sometimes overwhelmed by a powerful nearby emotional presence. So if someone is giving a speech they can "tune in" to the right voice (ie they guy on the podium). But assume for a minute that they DON'T have #1 also, you'd kind of need a voice box to say "Hey, Deanna" if you were behind her and wanted to start a conversation. Otherwise she'd be ignoring the background "static".
There is SOME evidence to support the other 2 kinds (primarily that Deanna talks to Riker telepathically). One would assume that since he cannot "receive" at all, that she must be able to "send" to him. And one primitive, pre-tech Betazoids can send and receive they honestly don't need to develop complex vocal cords at all.
Sure, once they develop the telephone they might be sad that they don't have vocal cords.... but presumably they'd just develop texting instead. Of course if Riker/Deanna talk via a link (as in #2), then they could still reasonably need vocal cords to indicate who you should "tune into". Although perhaps they don't need them to be so complex and would have just developed grunting.
- Mon, Jan 26, 2015, 5:57am (USA Central)
Half a Life
@CPUFP: A few possibilities that come to mind:
1) they developed telepathically after developing verbal communication, and it's semi-vestigial;
2) it's still useful to have verbal communication for recorded messages, long-distance communication, etc.;
3) telepathy doesn't work in all cases, even among Betazoids, and the exceptions are rare enough that they don't come up. It may be that even the average full-Betazoids are not at Lwaxana levels, and so verbal communication is useful as a result.
- Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 8:00pm (USA Central)
Change of Heart
Worf: "On the Enterprise I was considered to be quite amusing."
Dax: "That must have been one dull ship."
Worf: "That is a joke! I get it. It is not funny, but I get it."
That has to be somewhere in the top 5 Best Worf Exchanges ever.
- Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 6:30pm (USA Central)
Half a Life
One thing about this episode made me wonder: If the Betazoids communicate telepathically with one another, why did they even develop verbal communication during their evolution as a species?
- Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 3:59pm (USA Central)
Skin of Evil
I agree with Nic. The fact the death is "meaningless" is the point (as in the case of Course Oblivion - though I'm not a fan of that episode, I do appreciate what they were going for with the ending). I was 7 when I saw this episode and it had a profound impact on me. Like Conspiracy a few episodes later, it's marvellously un-Trekkian - irredeemable badness exists and good people die for no "meaningful" reason. There's a unsettling rawness and viscerality to both episodes that I find very effective and powerful.
- Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 2:35pm (USA Central)
Skin of Evil
Thanks for that, Nic, especially for sharing about your own harrowing experience. I agree that the concept (if not necessarily the execution) of Tasha dying randomly is not a bad idea at all, and true to life.
- Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 8:49am (USA Central)
Skin of Evil
P.S. Even in the remastered version, Tasha still has that fake-looking blood sploch on her cheek. This is an instance where I feel the Okuda's tenet of preserving the original artist's intent went a bit too far.
- Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 8:46am (USA Central)
@MsV But that is what makes Julian a good doctor. He has to put saving lives over war strategy. He is idealistic, of course, but that is what he is supposed to be when it comes to saving lives. I can understand both sides, but ultimately I would try to help to, as Julian did, because no matter how terrible the Jem'Hadar are, I am not cut to kill or let die. I admire O'Brien for his strength, though, because it is a hard decision.
However, I agree with @Quarky: O'Brien would never do this to Sisko or Picard, probably not even to Worf or Riker. Even if he believed they were making the wrong decision, he would have obeyed. He doesn't respect Julian as an officer because he is young and somehow naïve, and I think he even resents him a little for having a higher rank. Their friendship is always tainted by this slight paternal attitude from Miles.
- Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 7:06am (USA Central)
Skin of Evil
A year ago (almost to the day), my father was driving to work, lost control of his car and crashed into a truck. He was killed instantly. To quote Guinan, it was « an empty death. A death without purpose. » I am sharing this for it may help you understand my change of opinion regarding this episode.
Sure, Armus is still one of the most uninteresting and implausible villains in the entire Trek canon. I feel bad for Lt. Prieto who may as well be wallpaper. I also fell bad for Frakes having to be covered in printer’s ink and metamucil. Apparently LeVar Burton went over to him after they shot it and said « I would never have done that! »
But the sudden death of Tasha is arguably the bravest moment of the season, if not the series. Having her go out in a blaze of glory would have been a hoary cliche. Most deaths in real life don’t have a purpose, they’re just a result of circumstances. It’s a gut-punch that stays with you and makes you realize how precious life is. It even makes up for all the silly « redshirt » deaths in TOS, because you can imagine them being ‘real’ people too.
This episode is also an opportunity to gaze at Patrick Stewarts amazing acting chops. No matter how bad the dialogue is, he can make you believe it. His "Au revoir, Tasha" brought a tear to my eye.
So 3.5 stars for Tasha’s death, 1.5 stars for Armus. Overall grade: 2.5
- Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 5:38pm (USA Central)
All Good Things...
Just watched this for the first time since the first time... so let me get this straight, the plot of the series finale is about a spatial anomaly expanding in anti-time created by an inverse tachyon pulse in a possible future and that has to be collapsed by ships from three different times creating a static warp shell? WTF? Braga writing at its absolute nadir. The series deserved so much better. Unlike many I'm not a fan of Cause And Effect, Timescape etc., but this is considerably worse drama than previously similarly-themed Braga episodes. The Q scenes are great, and Patrick Stewart's ability to transcend bad material is really on show here - he's brilliant, especially in the future scenes - but the plot is dire, and the attempts at character work (the Riker-Worf conflict, Worf/Troi, Beverly "Picard", the poker scene) are ham-fisted and don't ring true. Not to mention Riker's laughable aging-makeup and Beverly's "old lady walk". The DS9 finale had its flaws for sure, but it's in another league to this. As bad as the Voyager finale, quite possibly worse.
- Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 1:14pm (USA Central)
My problem with the episode was only the ending. Why couldn't Archer just negotiate with the aliens and offer them to come in Enterprise and if they agree not to possess any crew member without a concrete agreement including length of time and alerting the crew of not commissioning the crew member to real work while the exchange was happening... Enterprise would then take the noncorporeal lifeforms to a planet where they could live in peace.
I think the way they destroyed 300+ lifeforms without trying to negotiate with them was inconsistent with their value system.
- Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 11:56am (USA Central)
How would war with the Andorians serve the reunification goal? Several reasons: war inevitably damages the Vulcans which makes them prepared to accept an offer of help from their long-lost Romulan cousins when they really need it against the very capable Andorians. Further, the Romulans are not looking for an equal partner in reunification; they'd prefer a weakened, dependent Vulcan that's just happy to be on the team.
Overall for the trilogy - yes rushed, yes unnecessary martial arts, but I really appreciated the smart efforts to show that this planet Vulcan grew into the Vulcan of Spock's time. This looks much more like the same universe at different times, unlike JJ Abrams' alternate universe. Liked seeing a fiery (for a Vulcan) T'Pau who could age into the only person to turn down a seat on the Federation Council. Loved seeing Vulcans using the lirpa. Liked them fixing the stigma of the mind meld, and curing T'Pol's syndrome while still leaving her obviously suffering from being emotionally unmoored from her addiction.
Good storytelling (not great but very good) and good to see this level of respect for the ST universe.
- Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 8:00am (USA Central)
Pretty late to this debate (which I'm surprised has gone on so long, in fact), but here's my two cents:
First off, emotive value aside, what Archer and Phlox agreed to do (or not do) does not amount to genocide. The long-established definition from Raphael Lamkin of genocide is "a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves". Whatever else it amounts to, the decision in this episode cannot rationally be described as "a coordinated plan of different actions" or having "the aim of annihilating" the species. They left them medicine to try and help, after all, which contradicts that. What it does amount to is omitting to act, and that invokes a different parallel.
The closest parallel, and perhaps the root for some justified criticism, is that it is akin to the international community response to Rwanda or other such atrocities. Even so, this is not strictly comparable. There isn't a direct campaign of violence against the Valakians; the source of their illness (and eventual presumed demise) is faulty genetics. There is no third party involvement. As such, the question becomes whether Enterprise could (and should) intervene - and I suspect the key point of the episode, which has gotten lost in all the bandying about of claims of "genocide", is that this became a much more complicated question once the crew realised what was actually at play. It wasn't a case of giving a vaccine or stopping an epidemic - it was potentially a case of deciding the outcome of two species, of which they had limited knowledge yet for whom they were proposing to make a judgement call without any idea as to the consequences. In short, they were in over their heads.
The obvious answer, for a number commenting on here, is to provide the cure regardless - but there are a number of what ifs. What if the peaceful state of coexistence between the Valakians and the Menk was purely a reflection of how the Valakians were being subdued by the illness, and their reliance upon the Menk in certain situations (the orderlies working in the hospital, for example)? What if, once back to full strength, the Valakians decided that co-existence wasn't so fun after all (particularly if the Menk begin to develop as suggested by Phlox) and moved to subjugate - or even destroy - the Menk? Would Enterprise then bear moral responsibility for triggering a potential genocide? What if, on being provided with warp technology (which they also asked for), the Valakians became a threat to other species in the galaxy? How plausible or not these are is a matter for conjecture - the Valakians did not appear particularly antagonistic or belligerent, but at the same time they're subjugating an entire species already - but ultimately they're questions which the crew cannot answer. So what is seemingly the obvious answer isn't necessarily so much. Ultimately, there's a knowledge gap which makes any decision by the crew a punt in the dark - and that, I believe, is why Archer eventually decides not to intervene. The status quo is not a particularly palatable option for him, but at least it's reasonably forseeable.
Where I think this episode did fall down, however, is (i) cures for genetic defects don't tend to come in easy-to-use, portable vials and (ii) this was crying for a kind of follow-up. Like, "We'll send help in a decade" or something along those lines. As a standalone incident, it does jar very strongly against the principles the Federation is due to adopt in the future. Phlox's cure, meanwhile, came across as a bit of a deus ex machina - it would have been more compelling, for my part, if he had maitained the difficulty contention and suggested instead that he had found some promising leads from the Menk DNA, but couldn't justify carrying on his research for the reasons he gave. That would perhaps be more justifiable than deliberately withholding a cure. Not necessarily justifiable full stop, but a less-worse option perhaps. Overall though, I think it's a fair reflection of the fact that there are no easy answers to a lot of situations, and that's something Trek was very strong on. Look at "Space Seed" in TOS followed by The Wrath of Khan for a (probably far better) illustration of this. So as difficult an episode as it may be to stomach, calling it a betrayal of Trek is a bit too strong for me.
- Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 4:26am (USA Central)
So we're told that both Kara and Baltar will lead humanity to its end?.. and of course nothing comes of either of these foreshadowings. Typical of season 3 and 4 to drop plot threads or give them the last minute resolution of "something, something god's plan".
- Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 1:46am (USA Central)
This episode was by far my favorite of TOS. There is such nuance and layering to make this a gem of all three seasons. The in depth exploration of Spock's psyche, as well as the graceful development of the Alexander character make this worthwhile on their own. Add to that, the performance of Shatner and Nimoy. Many have found this episode to be controversial, but it is not simply because of an interracial kiss. The circumstances that lead up to that forced affection and the whipping scene after are meant to be grotesque displays of power and feigned superiority. If fans of the show felt uncomfortable or awkward while watching Shatner and Nimoy flopping around in humiliating fashion, the objective was met. That was exactly the point. I applaud the actors for "going there" for the sake of the story. 4 stars!
- Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 12:33am (USA Central)
Reading through these comments I can see that people really hated this episode. But I thought it had some good moments! I've always thought that Jake as a writer was kind of a joke since he's never actually written anything. But here he actually comes out of his shell and nearly finishes a book! Who cares if the plot device was a little droll? The point was to get Jake writing and I think it worked.
The B plot was the weak point in the episode. I like Lwaxana Troi. She's always seemed like a fun and kooky aunt who comes over some times and spices things up. But I have to agree with the guy who said that her actions here were wrong. She's the non-custodial parent taking to the space lanes with her infant in contravention of the law. In our society, that would be grounds for an amber alert. But I guess alls well that ends well. I give it 2.5 stars.
- Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 9:04pm (USA Central)
This episode takes place sometime after First Contact. I thought when Admiral Hayes' ship was destroyed in First Contact, he would have gone down with the ship. Seemingly not because he's still around! Maybe the admiral is a hologram! Or like Weyoun...Weyoun-5! Maybe he faked his own demise Section 31-style. Or he was the first one to the escape pod.
- Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 7:28pm (USA Central)
Definitely one of those episodes best watched as an 8 year old.
- Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 6:58pm (USA Central)
On the issue of homosexuality, while it probably would be better to see actual homosexual characters, I do at least like the fact that Star Trek seems to at least make supportive references to characters of a bisexual or asexual nature. I forget the episode, but Sisko had a bried conversation with someone where he expressed his genuine congratulations and warm wishes for a fellow male officer who had given birth.
It may involve only passing references to off-screen characters we never see, but I do like the implication that the Federation is a place of tolerance and acceptance of all sexualities, and that the differences of those sexualities (be they in aliens or human-like beings) are generally tolerated and accepted as normal by most people.
Maybe "Star Trek" the TV show wasn't willing to show an actual lesbian couple (rather than two women portraying the reincarnation of a straight couple), but there is enough shown to infer that Starfleet doesn't discriminate or denigrate based on sexual orientation.
I also find it interesting looking back now after Britney, and Katy Perry, and all the other things that have happened in pop culture over the past two decades, and remembering how this benign scene used to be such a big deal. Same with the Kirk/Uhura kiss. It's interesting to note how far we've come (and depressing to think about far behind we used to be).
As for the story itself, I go back and forth for the reasons many of you have already stated.
At first I thought the Trill taboo was an odd contrivance. If past associations are so taboo, why does Dax spend so much time around all of Curzon's old buddies? And if you actually live on the Trill planet, surely you'd come into contact with a LOT of your former spouses and children. Especially in a field like politics where you constantly negotiate with other ambitious Trills and tend to interact with many of your constituents.
On the other hand, I can kind of see the point of the taboo. If I died and was reincarnated, I'd want to go back and rejoin with my spouse, see how the lives of my children and grandchildren turned out. I'd just seek them out and try to resume my old life right where I left off. Which could be a problem for the new initiated host.
They didn't really go into this too much, but what becomes of the initiate host's family? Remember hosts are grown adults before they are joined, with their own lives and experiences and worlds to live. Lenara had a brother. Under different circumstances, does Lenara turn her back on her parents, her brother, and possibly even her own spouse or children in order to go back and re-live past lives with former spouses and siblings and children? Personally, I have a wife and 2 daughters. Once joined, do I abandon them to re-immerse myself with my former wife and children? And what if a host marries someone who used to be one of their past symbiant's former children? Taboo? Awkward? I can see the societal ramifications of such intimate and familial relationships in a way that merely re-associating with old buddies or colleagues might not present.
Now that I am a grown adult with kids of my own, this episode became a lot more powerful for me, even beyond any plot holes. I envisioned the emotional torture I might go through seeing a reincarnated version of my wife. Or even just knowing she was out there, somewhere. Especially if she were taken from me suddenly through something sudden like a plane crash, where so much was left unsaid. I really don't know what I would do. How might I react if my wife's soul was hosted in a man's body? Or my children? If I die and am reincarnated, how do I just let go of them? Never see them or contact them again? How do I just willingly leave that life behind?
Could have been better explored, and the pain and probably could have been better acted, but the story itself is very intriguing.
- Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 6:01pm (USA Central)
The sand spine moment didn't really strike me as comic relief. In other words, it wasn't really intended to be funny for the sake of audience laughter the way a well-timed Rules of Acquisition quote might be. It was a humorous moment for the characters to share. Except that the "laughter" went a lot deeper than that and actually helped illustrate the relationship between the two.
Up to that point, the two characters had been strategically adversarial. Going along and tolerating each other for the sake of the mission and the larger spirit of the peace treaty, but the tension and contempt for each other was palpable. Nearly every comment was a pointed jab at the other, even the compliments (or as Garak might say, "*Especially* the compliments"). Their entire conversation was a constant power struggle. Dukat's condescension towards Kira trying to maintain his superiority and justify his actions during the Occupation; Kira wanting to lash back at the former oppressor of her people and looking for any avenue to attack him.
When Dukat sits on the thorn, Kira laughs loudly at him. But Kira's initial laughter wasn't jovial. It was bitter. It was basically schadenfreude. She was enjoying seeing him in a little pain. Here was the man who was the taskmaster, this powerful man who inflicted so much pain and misery on her and her people, who ordered death squads to kill dozens of freedom fighters.....and he's hopping around like mad, howling and begging one of his former enemies to help him, because of a simple thorn. It gave Kira the satisfaction of seeing Dukat knocked him down a peg....and Dukat knew it. And had no defense for it.
At first Dukat was just simply dealing with the momentary reaction of the pain. He quickly turns to anger and frustration over losing control of the situation and seeing his air of superiority and authority stripped away. He invested so much time and energy trying to maintain his power in front of Kira, and now she's just sitting back laughing as he makes a spectacle of himself. It infuriates him and he shouts at her. But then he calms down a bit and has no other choice but to acknowledge the humor of the situation. And for a moment, the bravado and the power struggles and the manipulative game-playing are all set aside and they share a brief but genuine chuckle that helps bring down some of the walls between, even if only slightly.
They still don't like each other much (Kira less so), but for one brief moment, they stopped being bitter rivals or cold allies. I thought it was well-done.
As for Sisko-Yates, the part I didn't like is how it's acceptable for her to fly off the handle the way she did. I get that he could have been a little more communicative with her, but Sisko was right....her moving to the station *IS* a big step. Surely she would (or should) have recognized that and understood it.
This is his first real serious relationship since his wife's death. The possibility of her moving to the station was pretty sudden (not something they had talked about at length for months before). It's understandable that he might still have some reservations or hesitation before such a major change in their relationship status. A more compassionate partner would have been more understanding of how big a step this was and how Sisko might need a few days to process this new development and figure out if he was ready for it. Storming out and stonewalling him because he displayed a reserved response is detrimental to a healthy relationship where the feelings of BOTH partners are valued.
If my wife had basically asked to move in with me after only 6 months, I would have hesitated, too. And I probably would have rejected it as being too much too soon, even though I loved her.
- Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 10:37am (USA Central)
ARCHER: Maybe inviting her to movie night wasn't such a great idea.
T'POL: On the contrary. I'm looking forward to Bride of Frankenstein.
This is, in my opinion, the funniest exchange on the entire series. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to be sick. There are a great many subtleties in the post-movie meal scene and this is a sterling example.
For some reason I couldn't help but imagine T'Pol as Elsa Lanchester, with the inhuman facial expression, bird-like movements, and insane haircut.
There is also, perhaps, an implied threat in T'Pol's line: if you liked my analysis of Frankenstein, you're going to love where I go with Bride. Maybe you'll think twice before dragging me to another movie night, eh?
On the subject of Frankenstein, I got a good laugh out of T'Pol's line about a reading of the book being more true to the author's intent than a film adaptation. There aren't a lot of films that deviate from their source novels more than Frankenstein!
Lastly, I had a problem with this line of Trip's:
TUCKER: Mary Shelley wrote it, the wife of a famous poet.
That strikes me as a bit sexist. Percy Shelley was a great writer and certainly more famous in his day, but in terms of cultural impact, the poor sod has been so thoroughly eclipsed by his wife that I can't imagine him being the first Shelley that pops to mind any time after the mid twentieth century or so.
Then again, maybe Percy's works have enjoyed a new cultural relevance in the Trek universe?
- Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 9:11am (USA Central)
This episode did what Inception tried to do. Throw in some Back to the Future 3 and James Bond From Russia with Love and you get this, not so bad.
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