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$G - Thu, Jan 29, 2015, 1:25am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Future Imperfect

Hang on, I take back what I said about Barush being the silliest, most moment-killing reveal in Trek.

That award goes to Enterprise's season 3 finale.

Second place ain't bad.
$G - Thu, Jan 29, 2015, 1:21am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Future Imperfect

I was enjoying this one for a bit. Riker's freakout is really well done, and I like watching characters feel out a scenario (Crusher did it just a few eps ago, too). The Minuet continuity was a really neat call back too. But I found that my interest really wavered during the Romulan prison section. It just felt so punch-less.

Then the ending, which - well... This might be the only Trek episode that guts itself entirely in the last 30 seconds. I *like* the idea of Barush, but that costume...

Just... WHAT IN THE WORLD.

Absolutely the silliest, most moment-killing reveal in any Trek I can remember. I was laughing well into the credits and my girlfriend just facepalmed until the music stopped. I honestly don't even know how I'd rate this episode - it's not even *bad*. It's pretty okay, actually, but I'll never be able to think of this episode without laughing at it no matter what other merits it might have.
NCC-1701-Z - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 11:29pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Attached

I think my favorite aspect of this ep was watching Riker give both sides a talking to, jabbing them both in the places where it hurt the most (especially threatening to pester the xenophobic, isolationist Prytt with all of Starfleet's resources as invasively as possible). Very Kirk-like of him, I felt.
Mark - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 8:14pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

What I don't get is what exactly is your issue? Why do you and other Americans hate soccer so much that you act like such childish rude assholes about it? You've missed my point entirely here and have completely supported my point about arguing with a brick wall regardless. Get over yourself and take your pompous attitude somewhere else. You just sound like some nerd who likes to boast about how much contact a sport has or how more "manly" a sport is over another despite the fact that you don't compete in any of these sports yourself. Yes of course football has injuries just as bad as soccer, my point was that soccer has lots of contact despite what you may believe. But again I don't expect that you'll see reason because you just seem very stubborn and narrow minded.

In all reality its a ridiculous thing to talk about rather or not a fictional race on a TV show from 20 years ago would compete in a "non contact" sport. It hardly even matters. However you've made yourself look foolish by acting like soccer isn't a sport because it doesn't allow you to use hands, is a socialist flop sport and involves "heavy" touching. I don't think you could go anymore with the stereotypical ignorant American who knows nothing about soccer more if you tried.
Grumpy - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 7:09pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

@Adam
In the 24th century, everyone in France speaks with a British accent, so naturally their billiards culture will have changed, too.
Yanks - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 6:16pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Mark, your rant is laughable.

Soccer is "hard" and folks break and tear things.

That really supports your argument.

You could look up injuries in American football (because you brought it up) and compare it to soccer, but then you wouldn't have an argument. I'm sure folks tear things in badminton too.

As to what started this, I guess you're right. I can picture little Klingon kids running around and not scoring the entire game... making sure they didn't plow someone over or hurt someone. I'm sure millions of Klingon warriors would have loved to attend those games. Especially when their kids can get a yellow card for tripping someone or using their hands...or get a red card and removed from the game for being too rough.

That sounds Klingon to me. Song material there.

You win.
Mark - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 5:01pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

I think at this point its obvious you're just another ignorant stubborn jackass who only sees what you want. No I haven't played football. I've had friends who have though and soccer as well who have told me that soccer is so much harder. A muslim friend of mine who was on both his semi pro soccer team in his country and football team in college at different times said that during conversation at one time. I also have a friend from Cameroon who has done the same thing more or less. Said pretty much the same thing as well. Soccer is a contact sport rather you want to see that or not. If you've ever been to an in live world class professional game you would see this. It also takes more skill to be really good at it. Maybe you should look up online at all the bad leg breaks, acl tears, and deep leg cuts(look up wayne rooney leg cut, or leg breaks soccer on google) to see just how much of a "non-contact" sport soccer is.

I don't expect any change in opinion however. It's like arguing with a brick wall when it comes to debating with people like you. Have a nice day.
Jeff - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 4:46pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River

Just a quick note. It's merely an observation from recently watching this episode, but Sisko comes across as a bit of a jerk. O'Brien isn't lying or exaggerating when he says it'll take weeks to get a new part, but Sisko just says "3 days" as if it will all just magically happen. And then at the end of the episode Sisko only gives O'Brien 2 hours to complete an 8 hour job.

Just seems like the writers make Sisko out to be a bit unfair in this episode.
Adam - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 4:32pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

That pub/bar is supposed to be in France right? So why on earth would they have an American pool table as their main table? That just does not happen in UK and France, if there is only one table it will be an English table first and foremost unless it was an American based bar which this clearly isnt.
Yanks - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 4:10pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Mark,

I can only assume you haven't played American football or rugby if you are comparing the "contact" in the respective sports.

"Contact" at the pro level soccer is constantly followed by flops and is more like heavy touching.

But hey, I only played high school level.

Josh - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 1:59pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Changing gears from religion, I saw some of this episode while eating lunch today, specifically the portion from when Picard brings Nuria on board the Enterprise. The dramatic license during the scene in sickbay bothered me. I realize the point was to illustrate to Nuria that even "the Picard" cannot save everyone from dying (like the poor researcher in the scene), but you have to wonder about the lack of action from Crusher for someone who was, apparently, critically ill.

The woman is in fairly obvious distress (why?), so Crusher orders some sort of drug, which she oddly administers through her sternum. Now it's hard to assess given the black box of 24th century medicine, but no arrest code? No CPR? Intubation? It all looked very 19th century ("I think we're going to lose her"), as the staff hovered over the no-hope patient without actually, well, doing anything.

It's a fairly enormous contrast from how things work now, but then that's typical for TV and Star Trek in particular. Sick/dying people are always awake, distressed, or else able to carry on a conversation in a halting voice. Are there no ICUs in the 24th century?
Capitalist - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 11:49am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

Archer: If it's there, how far is it?
T'Pol: About 75,000 kilometers
Reed: Pfft! Might as well be 75,000 light years!

A subtle hat tip to Voyager there? That's how far from home they were at the beginning of the series.

I'm a Hoshi fan, so 3.5* from me on this one! But I kept thinking "Phantom of the Opera" all the way through it, not "Beauty and the Beast."

Impaler - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 11:48am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part I

Filip - The bell riots created public awareness to the situation at hand. If there was no uprising and people just went on without it, there never would have been the one world government that laid the foundation to starfleet. Butterfly effect.
Mark - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 10:53am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Another point is that Americans need to get over this whole "its got more contact so its more of a MANS sport" mentality. I would like to see any of those people go out and play against professional European players and see how long they last.

Mark - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 10:50am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

I've known lots of people who have "played" soccer just to make a point that they know what they're talking about. Usually the ones who actually did play soccer and hated it weren't very good at it and/or they felt like they weren't good enough for a sport that is "non-contact". The problem is is that soccer IS a contact sport. It may not be quite as much contact as football but there still is a lot of contact going on, more than what you see on a high school level(which is a joke if you breathe on the guy you get sent off, there is literally little to no contact allowed probably mainly due to the fact that high school players in this country don't know how to initiate contact without seriously hurting someone) or on the television.
Latex Zebra - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 10:28am (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

Assuming that when they return to the future, any descendants of the people killed in Montana during the Borg opening attack just vanish from existence.

Lets hope none of them did anything important like cure Talamarian Flu, campaign for equal rights for tribbles or invent the replicator or some shit like that.

That would be bad.

Jayson Vaugh - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 3:55am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

Just, no.

This episode was vile to me. I remember loving it as a teen. However, re-watched I found Cretak's fate too hideous to find acceptable. An innocent woman to be put to death - for nothing. No thank you.
Brian S. - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 2:21am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

"To continue the Catholic analogy, if Christ himself returned to earth and told people they needed to give thier lives to do something else, don't you think a lot of Catholics (and Protestants too for that matter) would consider doing it?

I think that analogy is more accurate. Oh, and love the reviews!"

That's probably true. Hell, I'm Jewish, and if JC was resurrected and came back to life (and that was somehow verifiable)--or if like Akorem a literary icon from 200 years ago like Mark Twain came back to life-- I'd probably listen, too.

My religious "faith" would probably be a lot stronger if there were physical orbs spread across the planet that led to direct communication with actual aliens.

++++++++++

As for the B-story, I would have much preferred a script that focused more on Molly's refusal to interact with her father.

The writers played up the bit about Miles missing Keiko while she was away, but they gave virtually no credence to the relationship between Miles and his daughter (a relationship that was arguably far more subject to damage by the long time apart).

In this episode, Molly is supposed to be about 4 years old. She hasn't seen her dad in 6 months, and has barely seen him at all over the course of the year. This could have had a crippling effect on Miles as a father. And when Molly refused to play darts with him, even though the writers clearly didn't do anything with it, it hit a nerve with me.

As a father to two small girls, it hurts deeply when work forces me into scarce appearances at home. My baby still lights up at my presence, but my toddler will turn to Mommy for everything. If I try to pick her up, she screams, "No! Want Mommy!" I understand why....it's because my wife is able to be at home more. But it still stings a bit. And that's just after a few late shifts. Molly was gone 6 months. Most kids that age in that position would be standoffish towards the previously absent parent.

Devoting more exploration to that dynamic wouldn't have merely been realistic, it could have made for a very powerful arc all on its own....whether for soldiers who have been deployed, or simply parents who have to work long hours at the cost of their time with their young children.

Miles has essentially missed 1/4 of Molly's entire life, his own daughter regards him as virtually a stranger....and all he can think about is getting back into the holosuites with Julian? That rings extremely hollow for a character who is a supposed family man.
Dylan - Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 1:14am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Home Soil

Reading between the lines-- fascinating to see Enterprise crew respect the alien life form so much they shut down the entire Terraforming operation--once they realize it is life--just a different from themselves-- ugly "bags of mostly water"

What about the "alien" life on earth? Different than us? Would we treat it differently if we arrived from another planet to terraform ancient Earth? hmmmm

Lately because of the influence of my buddhist wife I have myself had a chance to study another form of life (ants) that crawl all over our house. In the past with a brush of my hand I could wipe out a few of them with ease. Yet now I find it very hard since when you look closely they are intelligent life beings (small, they don't make much noise) yet they are alive. So a few days before this episode I made a vow no more conscious killing of these lifeforms. I still squash mosquitos as they are attacking me.

When I saw this episode it reminded me even though life often cannot communicate with us...imagine what it would tell us if it could? For me this is the beauty of Star Trek--the human culture must make way for other life forms to live along us especially the smaller less fragile ones. If someday we encounter giant evolved ants on other planets...we will be forgiven.. will we?

PS. Reminds me of Spock's mind meld of Horta and the miners eventually ending up living side by side with the Horta and benefiting from the partnership.
Alex - Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 11:36pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

I'm glad to see people like this episode! I almost skipped it because I remembered it as "that episode where we need to watch kids instead of the real actors", but tried it anyway. I was happily surprised! I thought the child actors did a great job actually, especially young Picard. That would be a very tough role to play I imagine, and he played it convincingly for me.

Why would it be so difficult for the crew to respond to young Picard, though? I'd imagine they'd be able to simply see his physical body as the result of a transformation, and knowing his mental faculties were unchanged, still be able to trust his judgment. Picard's wisdom and intelligence in a child's body could actually be an advantage - the child's body would give him more energy and probably spontaneity just due to his younger cells. Probably the most ridiculous thing in this episode would be how their mentation hasn't changed at all - their brains are obviously smaller, their bodies are completely changed and are pumping different fluids, which affect their mental processing. How could their mental reasoning stay the same, given their adult minds required the input of their adult bodies? Unless we start imagining their mental process is not a result of or correlated to their physical body systems.

And yeah, a little too easy for the Ferengi to take over, agreed.
Jadine - Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 9:08pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part I

What I would like to have explained is how, after last season Kes explained the Krenim, the kronoton torpedoes and the time-shift factor of 1.47 seconds, how did they not have pre-knowledge of this and how were they not prepared in advance with counter measures?

I was very confused by this, and I guess I'll have to re-watch "Before and After" again to get the answers. Did anybody else figure this out?
Yanks - Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 7:50pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Mark, I played soccer... and I hate it. I don't begrudge anyone for what they like or dislike. My point was one would think the Klingon Worf would have played some kind of contact sport.
Skeptical - Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 7:11pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

I admit to having two biases against this episode that may color my opinion:

1) How long has it been since Voyager met up with an actual friendly reasonable species, rather than a hostile or xenophobic or some other ways irrational group? Honestly, I think it's the first season. The alien of the week is almost inevitably the bad guy, and even the ones that seem somewhat ok at first end up proving to be rude and untrustworthy anyway. So when the episode started, I thought we had FINALLY made an episode where the aliens are friendly and engaging and all around pleasant. Nope, guess not. So that bugged me when it became clear that they were hiding a dirty secret.

2) As others have mentioned, there is a massive plot hole here. We have the common theme of one person stuck between two people she cares about, both of whom are saying that the other one is actually evil. Like I said, a reasonably common theme. Except Kirina is a telepath. Now, they don't seem to be like Bajorans in that they can read each other's minds, but they do have the ability to project their memories and experiences to another person. So instead of trying to convince Kirina with words, either Boyfriend or Dad should have mindmelded or whatever with her. Well, maybe only Boyfriend, since it's implied Dad was lying. And maybe he planned to but then heard Dad coming and had to hide. But then, why didn't Kirina demand it from either Boyfriend or Dad? Seems like that would be the only way to convince someone of it. After all, that's the whole point of the episode!

So maybe those two annoyances color my opinion of the episode as a whole. I think it's good, but don't hold it in the same high regard as other commenters here apparently do. The story did seem to take a bit too long to develop. I was rolling my eyes a bit at Torres dreamy love affair before realizing that there was something more going on, and I think they could have cut down a bit on the slow rollout and expanded more the aftermath of Torres' outburst. I also thought things escalated way too quickly in the dreamworld, with Kirina being conflicted about a resettlement in one moment and jumping to support for public executions the next. That was way too much of a leap for me.

But other than that, good job! I want to give particular props to the writers and Mulgrew, as Janeway's diplomacy worked quite well here (far cry from The Swarm, that's for sure). She stood by her engineer's convictions while simultaneously obeying the letter of the Prime Directive and not creating a new enemy out of these people. And, of course, props to Dawson for her acting in this episode as well.

And as a random aside, I found it humorous that the evil government in this episode was so clearly a Leftist one (even calling themselves progressive at some point), given the typical political bent of Hollywood. Nice to see that it wasn't yet another caricature of what Hollywood thinks Republicans are...
Dimpy - Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 6:45pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

The real problem is the old man WASTING an hour of my life watching his nonsensical struggle.

He only gets a kick out of being the center of attention, and having a hot woman talk to him.

Geesh.
William B - Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 3:00pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

I think the thing that distinguishes this episode from most of the 1960's-TV sexism of the original series is that it really does make broader implications about the world. Gene Roddenberry wanted to have a female first officer in "The Cage"; a few years later, he wrote the story to an episode which hinges on the *impossibility* of women becoming starship captains. It is true that we *can* believe that it's just a statement of the current state of starship captaincy that there are no women, and Janice Lester takes this as an unwritten policy but there are no rules on the books that actually prohibit female starship captains. Still, no one who isn't Lester ever makes a definitive statement, or replies to her angry tirades. Surely *someone* should say, "Women can be captains; it just has not happened yet," or some such, if that were the case. The thing is, the episode didn't *need* to be about misplaced feminist rage. A body swap, implausible or not, doesn't require a gender-flip as well. The idea of someone getting revenge on Kirk personally because Kirk succeeded in becoming a captain and the person having failed is actually the subject of "Court Martial," in which Finney's envy and anger over Starfleet's decision that he was unfit for command drives the plot. Someone like him, male or female, would be a great candidate to try to steal Kirk's life. But everything Lester says is specifically about her womanhood, and in particular a regular insistence that her womanhood is the cause of all her problems. She doesn't even hate *Starfleet* or *Kirk* the way she hates her own sex; but of course, she's undone because her Freudian starship envy still manifests in screaming fits and, as Scotty says, being "red-faced with hysteria," irrational, overly emotional, having poor impulse control, etc. even once she's got a man's body and all the perquisites that she thinks go with that. The episode's depiction of Lester relies so heavily on her femaleness, hatred of her own femaleness, and the impossibility of a woman ever doing a man's job, and has that last "if only" speech about how Lester could have had a much better life if she'd just gotten used to being a chick. It's funny that Shatner's acting as "crazy bitch pretending to be Kirk" is recognizably "Shatner playing Kirk," just ramped up to twelve (not even just to eleven), highlighting the overly emotional aspects of Kirk's usual comportment.

That's a shame, because the aspects of the episode which are *not* centrally about Lester and why women need to accept their inescapable womanhood to be happy have some merit and are even particularly appropriate for a series finale. The domino-effect of Kirk getting through to Spock, then consequently to McCoy and Scotty, and then to Sulu and Chekov and finally as a result to the whole of the ship is a pleasing demonstration of the bonds that have cropped up over the series. In his talk with Spock, Kirk-in-Lester's-body explicitly mentions "The Tholian Web" in one of the series' relatively rare direct nods to past episodes; that the two then share a mindmeld (for the first time? I forget) reinforces their closeness. I like that, during the recess, it's Scotty and not McCoy who suggests mutiny, because of course Scotty is the line officer there and the one who has to worry more directly about the ship. I love Sulu and Chekov's passive resistance. There's no Uhura (or Chapel), but maybe there's a good reason for the female cast members to miss out on this episode. That they have a greater loyalty to each other than the letter of the rules, and as such rally around their real captain rather than the impostor, is a good way to demonstrate how their time in space has brought this crew together.

Rating this episode is very hard. I guess I will say 1 star for the Lester material, 3 stars for the crew-mutiny material, for an average of 2 stars.

This leads to ratings for the season, overall. Ratings included where my rating disagrees with Jammer's (parenthetical is the difference between my rating and Jammer's):

The Paradise Syndrome: 1.5 (-1)
Is There in Truth No Beauty?: 3 (+1)
For the World is Hollow...: 2 (-.5)
Plato's Stepchildren: 2.5 (-.5)
Wink of an Eye: 1.5 (-1) (down from the 2 I suggested in the review, after more consideration)
Elaan of Troyius: 1 (-1)
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield: 2.5 (+1)
The Mark of Gideon: 1 (-1)
The Lights of Zetar: 1 (-1)
Requiem for Methuselah: 2.5 (-.5)
The Way to Eden: .5 (+.5)
The Cloud Minders: 2.5 (-.5)
The Savage Curtain: 1 (-.5)
Turnabout Intruder: 2 (-1)

The episodes I'd recommend this season are: The Enterprise Incident (****), The Empath and All You Yesterdays (***1/2), and Is There In Truth No Beauty?, Day of the Dove, and The Tholian Web (***), with a fair number of 2.5 star episodes (Spectre of the Gun, Plato's Stepchildren, Whom Gods Destroy, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, Requiem for Methuselah, The Cloud Minders) that sort of work for me. Overall, the season is one of the weakest in Trekdom, a rambling affair with few highlights and a great chunk of boring stories with maybe one or two decent ideas with wan execution, or sometimes terrible ideas with a few moments executed well. This sense that the show had run out of ideas and was running on fumes is sometimes present in TNG's last season, of course, but TNG's seventh season had many more memorable episodes and highlights, IMO. The thing that's frustrating about TOS season three isn't so much the worst-of-the-worst episodes, because "Spock's Brain" and "The Way to Eden" are fascinating, not just bad but endlessly *weird*. Episodes like "The Mark of Gideon" or "Wink of an Eye" or, at worst, "The Lights of Zetar" just sit there doing very little, having the appearance of a Trek episode with almost none of the passion that makes this series work.

While "The Lights of Zetar" is arguably Scotty-centric, Chekov gets big roles in "Spectre of the Gun" and "The Way to Eden," and there's a lot of Scotty and Sulu screentime in "That Which Survives," I mostly feel that the season boils down, even more than previous seasons, to the Big Three, to the point where in some episodes like "The Empath" or "All Our Yesterdays" the crew besides them are completely irrelevant to the story. Still, what the season does do well, in some of its better episodes, is depict the slow shift in Spock and McCoy's affection for each other, and the way Kirk fits into their new dynamic as a result. Spock and McCoy were "friends" before this season, but "The Tholian Web" and "All Our Yesterdays" place special emphasis on the relationship between those two with Kirk absent, and the strengthening of that bond makes episodes like "The Empath," about all three of them sacrificing for each other, with all three bonds (Kirk-Spock, Spock-McCoy, McCoy-Kirk) well developed, work. This puts the characters in good position for the movies, especially the way STII and STIII play with the Spock/McCoy bond.
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