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Shawn Davis - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 8:19pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

I agree with Jammer's review. I also want to point out that it's a shame that the Defiant wasn't introduced until the beginning of season 3. Sisko and company looked ridiculous trying to battle the T'Lani ship, which is much more larger and powerful, with the small runabouts at the end of the episode (even though they were actually playing a trick on the T'Lani to escape them, but still......). With the Defiant they could had put the T'Lani in their place within minutes.
dlpb - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 5:47pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

This whole episode was designed to stoke up some sort of intrigue in the series. Like Speckies 8472 was... Lazy attempts at garnering interest. "My dad is bigger than your dad."
SkepticalMI - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 3:51pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

I like the way the episode built up the mystery of what's going on. It started out as just a day in the life of the Enterprise, just with Riker being a bit sleepy. And things seemed to go along well until some other weirdness. Really, it's not until Data has some missing time that we can be sure there's something technically wrong. I think Riker was a good choice for a main character here, he is essentially the everyman on the Enterprise. So if you're going to have someone abducted by aliens, it's best to make it the most relatable person available. It's kinda like how O'Brien ended up getting tortured so much on DS9.

Besides, for whatever other complaints one can make about Frakes' acting, he does a good job of being haggard and overwhelmed. Perhaps not quite as great a performance as in Frame of Mind, but I was impressed.

And yes, part of the greatness of the episode (well, goodness, I guess; it's not an instant classic or anything) is that we never really learn anything about the aliens. And in the end, the threat was great enough or at least disturbing enough that even these intrepid explorers and humanitarians wanted nothing to do with them. In Time's Arrow, I thought the ending of the Devidians was rather lame; that the Enterprise would just casually destroy the site without even trying to make contact with them was out of character. And yet here, it makes perfect sense.

This time it's personal. There was an abstract threat to Earth by the Devidians, but here there was a real, tangible threat to the Enterprise. And one that the crew seemed helpless against. It's interesting that the emotionless Data offered the suggestion that the aliens were simply explorers, and it was the guy who had his arm cut off and reattached who shot that down. Being so emotional about it may not be ideal, but it is perfectly understandable.

And even then, it's hard to argue with Riker. The Devidians were simply eating. It may not be fun for the prey, but at least they have a rational explanation for what they were doing. What about these aliens? Whatever the case, we know that doing such abductions and experimentations are immoral, so it would undoubtedly be harder to establish any meaningful relations with these creatures. And thus, making sure to cut them off entirely made perfect sense.

But even still, the ending made clear that not everything went back to normal. Riker was still greatly shaken up by events. There was still a rather unsettling feeling on board. They very nearly lost everything. And they still only managed to escape the aliens by the skin of their teeth. There was no time for introductions, no time to learn more. Instead, the aliens represented only fear of the unknown, and the Enterprise crew's survival instincts were all that was available. And that was to run away.

By the way, there does seem to be quite a bit of technobabble in this episode. Normally I don't mind it, but I did have to laugh when Crusher was giving Riker warm milk. "The heat activates the amino acids in the lactose". Psst, Bev, lactose is a sugar molecule, not a protein... that's elementary biochemistry. I don't mind rerouting power through the phase inducers to create an inverse tachyon pulse to negate the gravimetric waves... that's just magic words. Basic science is different and shouldn't be so wrong.
Sonya - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 1:52pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

proportion = promotion
Sonya - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 1:50pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks


grumpy_otter said, "Is it just me, because I hate Beverly, or was her relationship with Alyssa cloying? That's your BOSS acting like a silly schoolgirl over your romance! Just struck me as false." Yes! I found this inappropriate, especially woven into conversations that involved clearly professional issues such as proportion. Beverly could be accused of favoritism. I don't mind when Beverly and Troi talk about their social lives, but I do mind when scenes perpetuate an inaccurate stereotype that women cannot be professional.

I also appreciated Jammer's observation that Picard's harsh treatment of Sito just before recruiting her into a dangerous mission could be viewed as manipulative. (He even said, while referencing the mission, that he needed to 'test' her.) I thought this was just shy of unethical, but I may be giving Picard the benefit of the doubt because I like his character so much.

There was much to love about this episode. I particularly found Worf's mentorship of Sito enjoyable to watch, the look on his face when Sito showed up with the pseudo-bruised face, and the look on everyone's faces when the Cardassian observed, "I did not think she would be so young." How did I reconcile the seemingly out of character joining of the table at the end of the episode? Worf is big on honoring tradition and ritual, and perhaps he recognized that joining Sito's friends was a way of honoring her memory. (I don't think he did it with the thought that it would make him feel better, even if that might have been the end result.)
dlpb - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 10:08am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

An entertaining, but completely lazy ending. Like much of Voyager, it is devoid of logic and continuity. They did exactly as Beltran said... tried to wrap up 7 years in little more than an hour. Pathetic.
NCC-1701-Z - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 4:52am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

@Sean: My thoughts exactly- that was the only good line (I stopped watching after 15 minutes and rewatched In The Pale Moonlight twice in a row before I felt recovered)

Someone call the people who made that doomsday machine Kirk ran into back in TOS, or Species 8472 (they blew up a Borg planet once) ;)
Sean - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 3:10am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

You really did overrate this one. This is a zero star episode if ever there was one.
Sean - Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 12:55am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Imperfection

The music in this episode kind of felt like Lord of the Rings music at times. For some reason.

Also, it's true that Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok should have this sort of technology still in them. And that their being turned back into their normal selves shouldn't be so easy. But let's not forget that Voyager is, at its heart, a reset button episodic show. It's not a satisfying show, like DS9 or even TNG by any means, but you have to put aside expectations for continuity. You have to understand that the show is not going to acknowledge that those three were drones ever again. So you shouldn't expect this episode to acknowledge it or even mention it as a possibility. It would have made for a more interesting episode, sure, but you've just got to ignore it.

That said, if you do take the continuity into account, it actually does make sense that Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok wouldn't give up their own node since everyone needs it to live. They can't ever fully be their old selves again. Of course the show wouldn't say this, but that would be the reason.
Sean - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 11:44pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

No. Starfleet does not train its cadets to be brainwashed fascists, as what happened in the episode. The entire point was that we were seeing this group of kids as young as seventeen under major pressure to keep the ship running and maintain a mission. They were really feeling that pressure and it was getting to them. The "captain" cadet was popping pills and the engineer cadet was homesick.

We've already seen Red Squad as this very elite group that's extremely loyal to each other. The label of "Red Squad" was a big deal. It's like someone's loyalty to a sports team. Or the school they went to. Only much stronger. They feel like they belong to something and have a massive amount of respect for each other. Red Squad has that loyalty, but much much stronger since they all believed that they were the best of the best and having that label of "Red Squad" meant they were somebody.

When you combine those two aspects together: being out in the battlefield for so long, feeling the pressure and the massive in-group loyalty, you can see why this sort of system existed.
Sean - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 11:36pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

The only redeeming factor in this entire shitty episode is:

Sisko: "A Dominion invasion of Ferenginar?"

Rom: "Think of the repercussions for the Alpha Quadrant!"

Worf:"I can not think of any."

That made me laugh so hard. Oh, don't tease me DS9. That would be the best thing to happen to this show. Just lay waste to the entire planet, Death Star style.
NCC-1701-Z - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 10:43pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

One plausibility question: Wouldn't this sort of raid fall under the jurisdiction of the 24th century equivalent of a SWAT team or MACOs, instead of risking a starship captain and their top officers however much their expertise?

However, what we get once Picard has been captured makes it all worthwhile. The ends clearly justify the plot stretching necessary to set it up. Classic Trek, and very ahead of its time. "THERE! ARE! FOUR! LIGHTS!" Come on, you can't beat that.

I also loved the moment when Riker told Jellico just what he thought of him. A great release of tension.
Sean - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 10:10pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

It's particularly bad when you watch this episode after you've seen all of DS9. Seeing all the amazing dark episodes of the later show, seeing all the amazing morally dubious things these characters have done. And then you see Sisko skipping and saying a rhyme. Lol wut. It's like the show is trolling.
Elliott - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 8:40pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Q-Less

Teaser : **.5, 5%

Check out O'Brien's expression in the opening shot as Bashir prattles on like a twat; I've been accused of holding that same look myself, and I'm glad for it as it's the perfect combination of pity, nausea, disbelief and disappointment. Kind of like this episode. Forgive me, you straight folks, is this really how men get into women's pants?

The second scene : my god, yes Kira, shoot the door that leads into space! ...and Miles finds Vash. Why do I feel like the discovery of her in the Gamma Quadrant would be more interesting than this scene? Close us out with the reveal of Q. Well, it's a little desperate, but I'll bite. What great lesson are we going to learn this week? Let's find out.

Act 1 : *.5, 17%

Gosh, Vash sure sounds interested in those million-year-old civilisations. Okay, so Sisko and Dax don't know how Vash got to the Gamma Quadrant. Makes sense, but was Sisko asleep when O'Brien recognised her on the Ganges? Why not just ask him?

I think the Assay Office is really just this officer shoving every item up his ass. Can't be more secure than that. So Vash locks up her valuable store, including a mysterious glowing beehive. So here's the first problem : we all know who Vash is and what her history is like. But, we have to wait while the DS9 characters slowly figure it out. Again, O'Brien is right there. Sure, he may not know all of Vash's sordid details like one of Picard's close friends would, but he would at least know whom to ask.

"Given the choice between science and profit, I'll choose profit every time." Back in "Captain's Holiday" I could overlook this blatant inconsistency with Federation economics since it was not made clear that Vash was human. In fact, Sovak always refers to Picard as the humaaaaan even when he and Vash are together. I figured she was just one of the bargain-basement look-just-like-us aliens. Thus, her need for profit could be easily explained as being a member of a non-Federation world. Of course, by "Qpid", Roddenberry had stepped further away and Ira Behr was free to make it clear she was human (Worf: "Nice legs. For a human.") . And here we are again, with a Federation citizen having no justifiable need for money, and yet pursuing it voraciously. What is she going to buy? Where? What is it she lacks as a Federation citizen whose every need is met. She has a genuine interest in archeology and would be free to pursue it. Hell, she could have been Dr Galen's right-hand man.

So, Sisko FINALLY asks O'Brien about Vash's history and comments "doesn't seem like [Picard's] type." How the hell would you know? Your only interaction with him would tell you exactly nothing about his "type." Ass.

Okay, so the Ganges picked up a mysterious woman in the Gamma Quadrant and experienced a mysterious power-loss. Then they bring the mysterious woman aboard the station and the station begins to suffer a mysterious power-loss. I'm stumped, guys. It's a real head-scratcher.

Act 2 : .5 stars, 17%

So, we get about 45 seconds of Vash putting her pants away before Q finally shows up. Note de Lancie's suggestive pronunciation of "Vash". Heh. And since when does Q consider Picard a "self-righteous do-gooder?"

Have Q and Vash been fucking? For 2 years? "Joined at the hip"? Anyone who cites "The Q and the Grey" as sexualising Q obviously forgot this episode (not that I blame them). Bless, de Lancie tries his best with this crap, but it's a loss.

Does it say something that Quark and Bashir seem to have the same taste in women? So, Vash starts giving Quark a handjob in exchange for his arranging the auction of her trinkets. Nice... Not hard to see why Picard was into her. He really dug the sluts.

So Q continues spending his time playing games with Bashir out of JEALOUSY. Yeah, that's Q alright.

O'Brien : "Sherwood Forest. It was one of the little tricks Q played on the Enterprise crew." And that, folks, is the second (eightieth?) problem here. Q's appearances on the Enterprise were always to teach Picard a lesson about the Universe and/or teach Q a lesson about humanity, the only exception being the awful "Qpid", where Q tries to teach Picard a lesson about *love* and ends up being usurped by Vash anyway. That's the lamest use of Q this side of "Q2" and exactly the problem of using him this way. Do we use Q as a bridge between humanity and the Wormhole Aliens? To teach a main character something about the complexities of the occupation (à la "Things Past" or "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night")? Or how about a simple morality tale (à la "Past Tense"?). Nah, leave those to technobabble.

Okay, back to the episode. GAH! Kira just about bites my head off "You know if we had one of these power outages during a docking procedure...!" in that shrill, accusatory tone of hers. Geez.

Not to beat a dead horse, but how is Vash, a human, able to out-swindle the Ferengi?

So, we finally get the confrontation between Sisko and Q. Q is appropriately condescending and we get a fade on Sisko's irritated reaction.

Act 3 : 0 stars, 17%

You know those guys at the gym who insist upon grunting as loudly as possible so you know they're just "maxing out hardcore."? You know, because they're so big and strong and definitely don't have small penises? Meet, Ben Sisko, the man who tries to physically threaten an omnipotent being. Is anyone impressed by this stupidity? But, instead of letting Q properly demonstrate how fucking futile this gesture is, Q PLAYS ALONG and runs some goofy fisticuffs routine. And Sisko knocks him on his ass... this is cheap, self-aggrandising lunacy, writers.

Oh, what now. Random hull breeches and power outages, blah blah.

"Playing with the lights and punching holes in the hull doesn't strike me as [Q's] style." Thanks, Ben. I suppose allowing himself to lose boxing matches and chasing tail is?

So, Q is willing to display that deadly coldness in the pursuit of Vash's, erm, vash [can I say that?], but not when dealing with Sisko's obstinacy. When Picard was arrogant towards Q, he was hurled thousands of lightyears away and introduced to the Borg. What a joke.

Act 4 : **, 17%

Only good lines in the episode are the famous dig at Sisko's crew's ineptitude with technobabble [and Sisko again gets in Q's face like he's going to hurt him], and the line about Federation ethics.

I reach my wits' end during the following conversation between Vash and Quark; it's the same "we are loveable scoundrels" drivel from before. Harrison Ford could pull this off in one, tiny scene in a feature film; this tedium is self-congratulatory, simplistic and pandering.

Cue : technobabble. I did appreciate that they're reusing the thruster trick from "Emissary." It's good they haven't forgotten they can do that. However, it kind of takes the novel idea of a space station in Star Trek and reduces it to irrelevant as the station is now *moving* due to sci-fi anomaly. If you're going to borrow a character from TNG, best not to make the jeopardy premise exactly the kind of threat a starship would face.

Act 5 : *, 17%

Wait a minute, didn't we just have the crisis commercial break? How can Vash's and Quark's auction still be taking place. Aren't they hurling through space--on a station which does not, presumably, have inertial dampers? Eh, the lights are dim. I guess that's ominous.

Babble, babble, babble...I hate it when the best they can come up with is "it's just not clear enough." It's the tech equivalent of Troi's "...something...vague...it's just bad, okay!" It's always cheating when they do the babble routine, but I would like to point out that minutes and minutes of the last act is them slowly getting through this totally tension-less, passionless, rote exercise. So it's technobabble, padding and the resolution all in one.

I got to laugh again! Kira, Sisko and Dax step off the turbolift onto the promenade looking for the tridium gas leak or whatever, tricorders beeping, their brows furrowed, "desperate" to save the station, while the extras casually stroll about the corridors. Was there no red alert? No announcement? Did the senior officers panicking and racing around not tip them off? And this from the director of "11001001" and "The First Duty". What a disaster.

And they're STILL holding the auction! Is this funny? I'll take your word for it guys!

Oohhhh, it was a Space Manta Ray, eh "embryonic lifeform." That makes sense. It can go back to the Space Aquarium with the Jellyfishes from "Encounter at Farpoint."

Q : "Seeing the Universe through your eyes, I was able to experience...wonder..." Right, Q never experienced wonder before, not when Riker refused his offer of becoming Q, not when Picard begged for his help, not when Data saved his life. Nope, it was staring at dust with Vash. This is up there with that line from ST IX when Picard reveals that the one time in his life when he experienced a perfect moment, where time seemed to stand still...and it's "seeing my home planet for the first time from space," an incident which had never been documented or even discussed and is blatantly paltry next to at least a dozen experiences we have seen Picard endure. It's just flipping writers' arrogance; this is great because we SAY SO!

And our final shot is....Dax. Was she in this episode? What happened? Oh thank god it's over.

Episode as Functionary : .5 stars, 10%

What's to say? Q is a mess, Sisko's a mess, Vash is a mess. The humour is mostly unfunny. The presumption from the writers is on full display, the danger is perfunctory and shallow, the "mystery" is given half a sentence in Sisko's log for a resolution. Absolutely dreadful. Worst of the season so far.

Final Score : *
NCC-1701-Z - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 6:57pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

This is probably my favorite Voyager two-parter, even though it was ultimately reset by the next ep and we never saw the Equinox survivors again (too bad, I would have liked to see Marla Gilmore and/or Noah Lessing redeem herself a la TNG's "Lower Decks"). To me, what happened to the Equinox symbolizes what Voyager's first season could have been.

I loved watching Janeway become obsessed and watching conditions on Voyager gradually deteriorate to match those of the Equinox, kind of symbolizing Janeway's descent into darker territories.

The technobabble got too much for me after a while - I agree with Jammer, it could have been simplified immensely without affecting the plot.

Fun fact: Max Burke was played by Titus Welliver, who played the Man in Black on Lost. I knew he looked and sounded familiar but didn't realize why until I re-watched this episode and saw his name in the credits - he looked completely different without the beard. And Rick Worthy, of course, played the Cylon Simon on BSG.
MP - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 6:43pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Blood Fever

Addendum: I meant
"To Leaf AND kapages"
MP - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 6:42pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Blood Fever

To "Leaf" above:

The questions/thoughts you mentioned are the result of Voyager (and most of Trek) bringing up questions and situations with little explanation or resolution. With decades of hindsight, this seems to have been more lazy writing than anything else.

For example, all the Trek's which included holographic characters highlight their seemingly-sentience. Yet only Voyager even began to tackle the issue; and only with the Doctor. Yet we see evidence that many random holographic characters are fully aware yet blatantly killed at the simplest command. And that doesn't even begin to talk about the ethical issues of creating sentient, aware "people" with memories and lives for entertainment.

Something that no-one has mentioned yet about the Tom/Belanna issue are the extreme conditions Voyager faces of being far from home with limited supplies and resources. This was played up in the first two seasons, then completely dropped as the show became more episodic and "monster-of-the-week."

Specifically, with what Voyager faces, is it right to hurt the ship's chances of survival by depriving it of all the experience and expertise of its Chief Engineer in order to respect sexual morality in a highly alien situation? At what point does the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one?

To be fair, Trek has never been one to delve deeply into such dark issues. It is no BSG. And true, its ridiculous that Belanna is so critical and has no second who could take her place easily.

But that's the problem with Trek, especially in the later shows. It raises, intentionally or not, deep and often disturbing questions that are barely if even explored. We're given contrived or techno babble conclusions and told to shut up and forget about what happened.

I don't want to see Star Trek: Supreme Court; but I would have loved to have at least frank discussions about this stuff. Sexual morality, holographic rights for ALL holograms, the limits of human morality in contrast to survival, and more.
Grumpy - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 3:57pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

Ah, a Doylist among Watsonians.

As Harry Plinkett said at the end of his ST Nemesis review, "Wait, none of this really happened!" And he should know, being fictitious himself.
dlpb - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 2:30pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

To Daniel.... did it not occur to you that Janeway realized

=========

Janeway didn't realize anything, because she isn't real. She is a mouthpiece for whatever the writers want her to say. Are you that stupid?
Dave in NC - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 1:26pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

@dlpb

Are you sure you're a Star Trek fan? It sounds like you've learned very little from the shows.
Dave in NC - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 1:20pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

And that wasn't directed completely at you, by the way. This is more a general observation than anything directly said by anyone.

I've noticed a undercurrent of misogyny in some of the reviews, both by Jammer and others. Yes, some female characters are written badly, but that's because the writers didn't understand women well and they were being forced by higher-ups to ramp up the sexual titillation.

There are some reviewers here that seem to revert to a "Ain't that just like a woman" kind of thinking rather than placing the blame where it belongs: at the feet of the writers/producers (and in the cases of Troi and Ezri, the ability of each actress to emote believably).

Then again, the flip side of this is that writers DO understand the male mind pretty well, which may be the reason why some reviewers react the way they do.

Of course Keiko is portrayed as bitchy, of course the female characters cry or scream at least three times a season, of course the women are either strangely prudish or super-promiscuous. This is how a lot of men see women, so of course this is going to resonate with many male viewers.

Well, that and the lingering shots of Deanna's ample boobage.
Dave in NC - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 12:54pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

I'm going to save my review for another day (this is one of those squandered potential episodes), but to reply to "Karaokejoe"...

I guess only the female crewmembers are capable of "nagging"? Not to be Mr. Thought-Police, I'm just pointing out that it is kind of sexist to only use this word in relation to the women on the crew. (Unless we are discussing Keiko, hehe).
Elliott - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 9:59am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

Okay, dlpb, you've just turned in your sanity card. Please show up on time for your straight-jacket fitting.
dlpb - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 9:17am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

More loading of the dice here, I'm afraid (despite being a good episode). The kid who is being refused care just happens to be a promising talent. Come on. The vast majority of people in the US that can't afford care are useless, lazy bums.
larmih - Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 4:52am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

Opinions differ. But I found two episodes of DS9 season six I got intrested in Statistical Probabilities and Sound of Her Voice wore done on stories by Pam Pietroforte, which brought me to this site. No other information. Perhaps it was a brief participation of the writer in the franchise, but psychologically they were the most effective, so the author had great potential.
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