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$G - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 11:23pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

DLPB:

Mafia-type...? You've got to give some examples. I have no idea what you mean here.

Anyway,

Another strong episode. In fact, 4 out of these first 5 episodes (Sons and Daughters is the weak link) are stronger than about 80% of S4 and 5's episodes. Considering how strong both those seasons are, that's really saying something about how well this storyline is handled. I haven't gotten to S7 yet in my re-watch, but up to this point the only sci-fi story arc that matches up with this one is that 9-part stretch of BSG's first season finale into season 2.0 (before the Babylon 5 jump down my throat - I haven't seen it, but I intend to one day).

I think Jammer covered pretty much everything that's good about this one.

One thing that really stuck out to me is Weyoun. Genetically engineered to worship the Changelings, but he still has a great line about wanting to carry a tune. Kira needles him about the Founders making a mistake in his design and it sets him off a bit. Yet he wishes. A really great moment that reveals the Dominion for the poison that it is while making Weyoun sympathetic. Really, there's no reason to hate him. He is what he is.

3-1/2 stars again. Great stuff. It's awesome seeing the Alpha Quadrant in solidarity like this. Sure it's cool to see Feds, Klingons, Romulans and the like teaming up like we've already seen, but who'd have thought an obnoxious *Ferengi* would be so pivotal to the Alpha Quadrant way back when they were introduced in "The Last Outpost"?
$G - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 10:51pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

Another very strong episode. On par with "A Time to Stand" as a very effective stepping-stone episode.

Good things:

-The fight between Damar and the Jem'Hadar. There's something very satisfying about watching the bad guys at each other's throats like this.

-Rom. I normally have a hard time enjoying his scenes, but he's used really well in this arc. If he hadn't come into his own in "Bar Association" he certainly does here. The sabotage plan is genuinely tense.

-Odo. He's got a desire for order and "justice", but he's also very emotionally vulnerable. Episodes like "The Search," "Crossfire," and "Children of Time" have set this up particularly well. He IS part of the team, but he's also an outsider and his tendency toward obsessions can cause a lot of trouble for a lot of people. I'm glad the writers didn't forget about this.

-Kira. When she's mad, it makes every scene better. I think she's best character on the show, which is I think is pretty high praise considering the show also stars Odo, Sisko, Dukat, Garak, and Morn.

-Sisko working as Ross's assistant. Jammer's right that it just ups the ante. It makes sense, too, since Sisko's been shown to be something of a tactical whiz (think back to S3's "Defiant" when The Sisko unintentionally shows up Dukat with his tactical prowess, and right in front of the Obsidian Order too). I also have no problem with Dax being in command, and she's done it before. Worf would obviously be more desirable but I think he's put to better use with Martok on the Rotarran. See how big it all feels? Awesome.

A solid 3-1/2 star episode for me. This is the best stretch of Trek since the II-III-IV movie trilogy.
navamske - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 9:10pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: One Small Step

@Damien
"I too thought it was rather pointless retrieving the body only to shoot it into space again."

I wonder if after the later events of "Ashes to Ashes," Janeway thought, "Geez, I hope Kelley doesn't get turned into a Kobali."

Yes, this is a snarky comment. The Kobali probably couldn't get much use out of Kelley's dessicated body, though presumably he was very well preserved.
Mario - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 8:09pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

I get where people are coming from in saying that Voyager should have been like this all the time but I don't agree. The Delta Quadrant is just a part of the same Milky Way galaxy as the Alpha Quadrant. They have to be good times as well as bad and I think Voyager had a realistic balance. I don't need to see the Year of Hell for entire series or an entire season. The DQ can't be all hell, all void, all desolate. No other quadrant is. So we got a good balance in my opinion. Yes, they could have spend more time looking at the resource shortage but I don't need to see you searching deuterium 12 out of 26 episodes per season. We've seen the resource issue depicted a few times and that's enough. There are too many things to tell stories about to keep rehashing like that.
Eric - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 8:08pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

So... anyone else noticed that this episode showed the federation anthem? Kind of odd that they even have an anthem. How do you decide what its going to sound like? All these different species would have different musical styles. I'm over-thinking this.
Andy's Friend - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 6:52pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

The difference must be clearly only a matter of naming convention. The term suite automatically reminds us of the suites of a hotel, that is, a room or rooms -- literally en suite -- for rent. Presidential Suite, Royal Suite, Holosuite...
Hlau - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 5:58pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

After the previous episode, we see that Sisko has kept Garak as his own personal Section 31. My main gripe with Sisko is less with his moral compass, but with him essentially putting the fate of the galaxy into his own hands and not mitigating the risk of failure. Once he has decided there are no 'half measures' as they say, but he relied entirely on Garak doing his own thing. If Sisko didn't anticipate Garak doing what he did, then he was irresponsible. He had no idea if the forgery would work and he would have put The Federation into a hopeless situation.
VictoryIsLife - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 5:58pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

I've been watching a lot of ds9 lately so today I just decided to watch the two parter Redemption episodes of TNG. At the end of the first ep Worf and Gowron are trying to convince Picard and the federation in general to help them in what is a civil war. Picard gives a lecture on non interference. I immediately thought of how different Sisko is. Sisko doesn't care about these principles. He wants to win at any cost. If that means assassinating a leader to install someone who will go along with the federation then so be it. I have to admit ds9 is awesome and I like how dark and gritty it is BUT I have to say I wish he was like Picard. Picard would have stood by federation policy and found a way around Gowron. I also wish Worf had learned some of these lessons from Picard instead of just agreeing with Sisko. As interesting as Sisko is it's just upsetting that the other captains are principled starfleet officers throughout their lives. Then you have Sisko who is forever floating around in the wormhole with these aliens. The writers should never had made him a wormhole alien. They should have ended the series with Bajor entering the federation and Sisko remaining in starfleet.
$G - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 5:06pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Sons and Daughters

Coming back to this show for the first time in a decade, it's interesting how the Dukat-Kira dynamic is so similar to what happens with Starbuck and Leoben on New Caprica in BSG. What I mean is - creepy villain trying to "domesticate" a female lead he has become enamored with. BSG's is way more extreme, which is why I like DS9's take better. It's more insidious the way and very... well, Dukat.

Like Jammer I like the B-plot in this more than the A-plot. The stuff with Alexander wasn't bad, though. It's decent, not great, but it made for some good scenes (everyone's already mentioned how great Martok is, and I agree). It also really shows Worf in a bad light, who is essentially berating his own abandoned child for not living up to the standards that he himself is obsessed with to the point of parody. How could Alexander even have a chance? FWIW, I enjoyed the actor who did Alexander - very believable as a frustrated and awkward teenage boy.

To make an unfair criticism, I kind of wish the "Sons" aspect of this episode involved more Jake! I enjoy seeing him do his thing on Terok Nor, which is some nice development from his experience in "Nor the Battle to the Strong".

3 stars for me. A fair episode that probably gets more flak than it deserves because of it's (admittedly odd) placement in the middle of a major narrative arc like this.
$G - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 4:44pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

Fantastic episode. Wonderfully shot and fantastically written and paced. This episode feels a lot like some of the wonderful early-season episodes of Battlestar Galactica (combat drama cross cut with political drama).

Without stealing Jammer's thunder by writing a novel-sized comment, here are some great things about this episode:

-The Jem'Hadar plot is an amazing Star Trek episode. Sisko did everything he could to reach a solution that did not involve more bloodshed. It wasn't just internal stewing - he DID reach out and I think most viewers were even hoping that Remata'Klan would accept (even though it's more dramatic for him to refuse).

-I say that it's more dramatic for the Jem'Hadar to refuse Sisko's offer, but I mean that in the best possible way. They're bred to do what they do and no way would they abandon the Founders. The soldiers who have done that in previous episodes are the exception, and it makes for a fantastic installment that Moore didn't do the same thing here.

-Don't forget that Remata'Klan is the Third - NOT the First. That makes him less experienced and probably younger than his COs who died. Him suddenly being in charge is a great dramatic beat because (as mentioned in the intro) he really regrets disobeying the Vorta once already. But being so young he's also not disillusioned enough to do it again. The Jem'Hadar are tragic, and each appearance becomes more and more fascinating. For my money they're one of the highlight races in all of Trek.

-Kira's storyline is fantastic too. It reminds me a lot of her story in "Progress" from the first season. The stakes here are much higher, though. I loved seeing her two-day routine. The first time it's mundane - her alarm wakes her up - and we can see how bizarre it is that an occupation should be this comfortable and routine. The second time, she realizes it for herself - already awake before the alarm - and it sinks in.

-The suicide on the promenade is one of the most haunting scenes in the series. Sometimes DS9 has handled gestures like this too hamfistedly (the Vedek pushing another Vedek off the second level in "Accession" because of the new caste laws), but the hanging here feels earned and believable. It's pretty horrifying.

-The Weyoun-Dukat-Damar-Kira dynamic is great, but I'll wait for it to come to a head before I write more.

Well I wrote more than I wanted, but that's only because there's so much to talk about.

Easy 4 stars. One of the best of the series.
Robert - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 4:43pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

I'll add to what Peremensoe said about the carpet line as well. Bashir and Martok were locked up together for over a month in the Dominion camp.

I'd imagine after going through something like that together that they are closer than the scripts explicitly say, and little things like Bashir's concern for him is a subtle nod to an unseen history between them.
$G - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 3:54pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: A Time to Stand

Great review for a great hour of DS9. I don't have much to add on this one except that it's a very strong way to kick off season 6 and a solid chapter in this arc. Everything about it works for me. I particularly love the cross-cutting between the Federation and Dominion fronts. I also appreciate how the episode ends WITHOUT flashing a "To be continued..." title card. It makes it all feel a lot more real without being told "hey, we're going to resolve this."

A solid 3-1/2 stars for me for being a great stepping stone chapter and a strong 45 minutes in its own right. (4 stars seems a bit high for me, just because it's hard to call this an absolute favourite of mine as it's more of a discrete chapter in an ongoing story.)
William B - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 3:50pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

I always assumed that the difference between -deck and -suite in general was mostly a matter of naming convention -- ships have decks, and stations in general don't. I think that the levels on the station might still be called decks sometimes, but I think it's a different naming convention. Obviously also, the difference between the Enterprises' (D & E) or Voyager's holodeck and Quark's Bar's holosuite is a matter of brand, with one being pretty clearly Starfleet issue and the other being private enterprise and for-profit. There is more of a market for long-term use of the holosuite by a single individual or group because it's more designed to go to whoever can pay; the holodecks are designed for crews and their families, and so the expectation that people will limit themselves and not develop addictions to their fantasy life is more in play.
Zuriel Seven - Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 11:19am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

@Jay, CaptainTripps, Scott:

I've always wondered at the differences between a holodeck and a holosuite (besides size) but its completely possible that holosuites are meant to be more indulgent/luxury/lavish and so contain real working facilities/replicators for longer-term and/or biologically-oriented scenarios.

I believe such a supposition would be supported by the difference in reaction between when someone is said to be on a holodeck long-term (Barclay) vs when holosuites are mentioned (e.g. Kira's reaction to the concept)
Aaron - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 11:03pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

I always get very frustrated at Cmdr Riker when I watch this one. He knows that the [Aliens of the week whose name I have forgotten] are very picky about language and protocol, yet he keeps talking to them!! At one point, he opens a channel and starts with "We demand..." before being cut off. Not smart.
They should have just stayed silent until Captain Picard and co. were freed.

You can tell it's an early holodeck episode as Geordi is concerned that if they simply shut off the holodeck then all the real people inside will disappear along with the characters. Scary new tech!
Eli - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:40pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

Above it should read: [the ending] reveals that the Vulcans have a more complex relationship with spirituality and technology than initially indicated. (with not between)

Also it should say "Vulcans in the second paragraph not Vulcnas."

I've said this before, but it would be great if we were allowed to edit our posts.
Eli - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:36pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

The surprise ending is interesting in that it reveals that the Vulcans have a more complex relationship between spirituality and technology than initially indicated.

However, I think it's reckless for Archer to antagonize the Vulcans. It is not his business whether or not the Vulcans are telling the truth to the Andorians. He should mind his own affairs. Further, the Vulcans are their allies. If they're not perfect, so be it. Even with these deceptions revealed, it's not as though the Vulcnas have committed some horrible atrocity. If it weren't for the treaty that is vaguely referred to in this episode, it wouldn't necessarily be immoral in any way to have a secret facility.

Anyway, the Andorians we see here are thugs with no obvious sense of ethics. The Vulcans not only support the humans, but appear to have a more developed moral code in their society. They don't beat and torture their prisoners and threaten other alien woman sexually (as the Andorians do in this episode). They appear to desire peace and rational thinking.

If nothing else, you shouldn't cut off your nose despite your face.
NCC-1701-Z - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:29pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

Bashir must have been really tired that day to have fallen asleep in his uniform ;)

One of Trek's best cliffhangers of all time.

And honestly, is there any character on this series Garak does *not* interact well with? Worf and Garak in the runabout = classic.
NCC-1701-Z - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:22pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

Speaking of good Trek cliffhangers, I can't believe I forgot to mention DS9's "In Purgatory's Shadow". Now THAT was one which really sent chills down my spine at the end.
NCC-1701-Z - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:19pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

Riker: "Based on our latest communication, we can assume that the Borg survived the fleet's attack."
Me: "Understatement of the year, dude."

I think this is one of the few Trek second parts that ever came close to surpassing the potential set by the first part; the closest competitors immediately coming to mind are VOY's "Scorpion Part II" and DS9's "Time to Stand". Trek cliffhangers usually nail part 1 and falter on part 2, to varying degrees. In general, though, setting up a good cliffhanger is relatively easy compared to actually resolving it in a satisfying manner.

Classic episode, and boy does Ron Jones' soundtrack make this two parter. BoBW would not have been nearly as thrilling without his soundtrack to match.
Aytri - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 5:00pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

I like this episode a lot and thought Rasmussen was hilarious in an annoying-kind-of-way. I think Robin Williams would have overacted it too much, though it'd be cool to see him on TNG. Lines like "La Forge remained below..." and "Buck up, crewman. You'll be telling your grandchildren you were at Penthara IV", and the way he says he's from New Jersey, always get a laugh out of me. That he's making this fairly routine Star Trek mission out to be some universe-changing epic cracks me up too.

It's not one of my favorite episodes, but it's one I bring up a lot if me and friends are watching random Trek episodes on a drinking night and want something light and funny.
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 1:16pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Fifth Season Recap

I'm totally with Jammer that Season 5 is a pretty strong collection of episodes for DS9. But I don't think it's the pinnacle of the series.

Here's what's awesome: S5 includes the best two-parter (Purgatory/Inferno) and the best sci-fi episode not titled "The Visitor" (Children of Time). It also does a very nice job intertwining the Klingon/Dominion/Cardassian/Bajoran/Maquis threads together through the various episodes. More than anything, S5 shows off how good the writers are at plotting this series. The cause-and-effect is really, really impressive.

More awesome: Odo, Sisko, and Kira. They probably get the best focus this year among the main cast. The writers have added a lot of nuance to these three which has made for some series-defining moments (Odo in "Things Past" and "Children of Time", Sisko in "Rapture" and "Call to Arms", Kira in "Ties of..." and "Darkness and Light").

Worf gets some nice moments as well - particularly in the Purgatory/Inferno two-parter, which is probably the best Worf moment in either TNG or DS9 up to this point. Quark gets his best episode with "Business as Usual" too. Maybe the best Quark episode?

It's also interesting to watch Bashir (who gets an "okay" episode to himself in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"), who really has been becoming a lot more sombre. He still has his charm, but the actor's performances really show that it's been sobered by a lot of what's happened on the series (war, "The Quickening", Dominion imprisonment, and his secret coming out). There's just something about Siddig's scenes now that drives home the stress and weight hanging over our favourite frontier doctor.

I also love all the secondary characters coming into the mix - Ziyal, Martok, and Weyoun - while more layers get added to a lot of ones who have been around since the beginning - Garak, Dukat, Nog, Jake, and Winn. Even Rom and Leeta have their moments! The scope of the show is expanding and the station is becoming that much more bustling and interesting because of it.

But while S5 is clearly the most ambitious set of episodes so far in the series, the execution doesn't always match up. I think S4 is stronger overall in that a lot of its episodes hold together more tightly than S5's, even if they aren't as ambitious. Episodes like S5's "Rapture" and "Things Past" are contenders for top entries of the series, but have elements about them that hold them back JUST a tad. "The Ship" is a great idea too, but also isn't as harrowing as it wants to be.

I also find the two Eddington episodes to be a little bit anticlimactic to the Maquis story. I like plot-wise what happens, but I was less enthusiastic about Eddington becoming the face of the Maquis. I never really enjoyed his rivalry with Sisko, who routinely has better verbal sparring with Dukat. Don't get be wrong - neither of the Eddington episodes came anywhere close to being BAD, but they didn't really satisfy me as conclusions to a storyline that's been building since S2.

A couple more criticisms:

-I wish Odo had more time as a solid. I don't see any reason why he needed to be changed back as quick as he did (although it needed to happen at the latest for "Children of Time"). "A Simple Investigation" would have felt more meaningful in the long run too.

-Too much comedy bunched up. Out of the first seven episodes, three are "Par'mach," "Tribbles," and "Let He Who Is Without Sin...". Two out of those three are good episodes, at least (guess which one isn't). "The Begotten" and "Doctor Bashir" are also both stapled to weak-ish comic B-plots.

-Forgettable episodes. S4 had two or three weak episodes, but I'd say everything else is recommended (to varying degrees, obviously). In S5, "The Assignment," "The Ascent," and "Empok Nor" are all pointless. "A Simple Investigation" and "Soldiers of the Empire" both feel like S5 stories trapped in S1-calibre episodes. Both Odo and Martok deserve better approaching the final third of the series' run like this.

Like I said, S5 is pretty sweet. It has a LOT going for it and aims pretty high at a lot of points. A lot of its better episodes are great, series-defining moments, but not all of them are as rock-solid as 45-minute stories. Just a few tweaks would make it amazing. I'm looking forward to Season 6!
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

This is a very strong episode and a great setup for the first chunk of the next season. The episode itself sets up a bit slow, but I think that becomes a much smaller issue with the knowledge that it's part 1 of a 7-part arc (or part 2 of an 8-part arc if you include "In the Cards" (which you should!)).

3-1/2 stars for me. A great way to start the best 6 hours of consecutive Trek since Wrath of Khan/Search for Spock/Voyage Home. Who needs the TNG movies?
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:22am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

Oh, and one question for those who might know:

Where was Dax? You'd think she'd have a role in an episode about staying positive and getting Sisko an awesome gift! Farrell is most fun to watch when she's having a good time with the rest of the crew.
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:17am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

I like this one. It's fun to see the NoJay Consortium in action again (my favourite moment still being the stembolts from, I think?, season 1). It probably shouldn't work this well, but it's well paced and satisfying. I think it's neat how this episode reversed the A- and B-plot setup. Usually the comedy gets stapled to a heavier A-plot and sometimes comes off too transparently as comic relief. Not here, though, because it's a nice tour of the station from the point of view of two guys who aren't necessarily keeping tabs on the political moves going on around them.

I also like that the Bajor-Dominion negotiations stayed civil. No assassinations, no protests - not everything has to be as dramatic as that. It keeps things light enough that the focus of whether or not Bajor should sign the pact leaves the impression it should and sets up the next episode nicely. A genuinely creative move by the writers with this one. A strong 3 stars.
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