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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

Actually enjoyed "Paradise Lost" a bit more than "Homefront" for a few reasons. It's good to get loose ends tied up like why Nog was talking about Red Squad, the changeling appearing as O'Brien, and getting a better idea of what was driving Leyton.

As for Brooks' acting, he does overact when it comes time to give a lecture on principles etc. His best acting are the dad moments with Jake. But overall, I'm not particularly impressed - comes across generally as pretty stiff.

The changeling appearing as O'Brien was the best part of both episodes for me. Just to convey the chaos they've caused with just 4 of them. That was well done -- nothing violent, just pushing Sisko's buttons in a condescending way.

As for Leyton getting carried away - I think it would have been good to see other StarFleet admirals around as well as other high-ranking politicians alongside the President. The episodes make it seem like its just 2 guys: Leyton and the President who are running the show for each organization.

Further on Leyton getting carried away, clearly he goes way over the edge to assert his power, putting Sisko in the brig is just the tip of the iceberg with the false blood test. He has lost it but really makes it seem like he hasn't. We've had a number of episodes with high-ranking StarFleet officers "losing it" (over the various Trek series) but with Leyton, I thought it was done quite well in that he gets very far and it seems reasonable...until he wants the Lakota to destroy the Defiant. Then it unravels for him. Not sure exactly what he was planning with the President (who is portrayed as purely an ineffective figurehead).

"Paradise Lost" gets 3.5 stars, nicely puts the finishing touches on a complicated but riveting story. Some good battle scene shots between the 2 StarFleet ships though if I recall the Lakota (being much larger and apparently more powerful) seemed to take worse damage. A good episode for Ben Sisko's character on the family side and professional side. The Dominion threat does get a more realistic feeling showing what is happening on Earth/StarFleet HQ.
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

"It's pretty well done here although a bit scattered at times like when Nog bugs Sisko to talk about this "Red Squad" (which gets fleshed out more in the 2nd part). "

I don't see how this makes the episode scattered. The writers clearly wanted you to watch both parts 1 and 2 so naturally there's setups in part 1 which leads to payoffs in part 2. I would think of it more like a 1.5 hour movie, with a clear moment where you can stop and take a break.
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

I think Jammer's rating is a little low - I'd go 3.5 stars. Normally, I would say 3.0 stars since they are so many changed premises between this episode and all the other episodes of Star Trek TOS. However, this is a pilot, so a certain amount of inconsistency is be expected and allowed.

I find it interesting that among the very 1st words spoken on Star Trek is Captain Kirk's statement "The impossible has happened". This is a recurring theme - the "impossible" keeps happening over and over again. I know this is dramatic, but it would make more sense to say "the seemingly impossible" of the "supposedly impossible has happened". The reason I don't give this episode 4 stars is because no effort is made to explain how the ship from 2 centuries ago got this far out.

One thing I found amusing is when Captain Kirk refers to "normal ESP". Isn't normal ESP a contradiction in terms?
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Some pretty powerful allegories in "Homefront" about what fear can do to a family, an organization, a city, a planet.

I thought the best scene was with Ben Sisko and his dad refusing to take the blood test. I can understand the old man's reluctance, but just to set Ben's mind at ease -- take the damn test! Anyhow, for Ben to actually think his dad could be a shapeshifter shows what the fear has come to -- but he very well could be a shapeshifter given what Sisko has seen before.

I guess I take issue with the President of the Federation -- seems like somebody totally inappropriate for the job. And I think he admitted it himself. The episode spent too much time (for me) with Sisko trying to convince the President to defend the planet better.

"Homefront" is a good 1st part to an episode about the prelude to a Dominion invasion of Earth. I'd rate it 3 stars -- its pretty good but not exceptional. Taking on the subject of disrupting Earth's peaceful society to prepare for invasion / martial law is a worthy subject for DS9 to explore both from an operational standpoint and from a personal one. It's pretty well done here although a bit scattered at times like when Nog bugs Sisko to talk about this "Red Squad" (which gets fleshed out more in the 2nd part).
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Our Man Bashir

Not a fan of "Our Man Bashir" -- last episode DS9 did a take on Indiana Jones, now it's James Bond. The technobabble of how the roundabout crew got in to Bashir's holosuite program is a bit much, that storing their brain patterns or whatever requires the whole station to be shut down etc. Give me a break.

Plenty of the jabs at James Bond with a ridiculous plan for lasers causing most of the world to flood -- was this supposed to be a comedy? I didn't really laugh. I rolled my eyes several times.

Yes it's good to see DS9 doesn't take itself too seriously - guess it was sort of fun briefly to see the various characters in James Bond roles. Pretty contrived stuff. I really didn't buy Sisko playing the main antagonist. The thing is I'm a huge James Bond fan and while the sets/decor were well done, I didn't think the DS9 cast did a particularly great job acting Bond parts.

Can't give this episode more than 1.5 stars. Just nothing noteworthy comes out of it. The technobabble solution is a major stretch. I don't buy Garak's solution of just quitting when the odds are against you. Was pretty hard to stay interested in "Our Man Bashir".

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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

An enjoyable tale of a quest for an ancient weapon that is revered by the Klingons; plays out fairly predictably -- like something from Indiana Jones. Bad guys are after the sword, both Worf and Kor fall under its spell and then are at each others' throats.

It was good to see Colicos again -- he was the first Klingon 60s Trek focused on in "Errand of Mercy" -- and glad that this episode briefly referenced that. He was a harsh dictatorial type in that episode but old age has softened him. Really liked him in that TOS episode.

I'm not sure why Dax came on the trip -- but it was hilarious when she finally had enough and phasered Kor.

I think Jammer's rating is a tad high on this episode. I actually think it dragged on too long with Kor's tales, talking about glory. Also find it unlikely that the 3 on the quest could overpower a greater number of Klingons adversaries twice. I thought it was slow paced at times and had a whole lot of wandering around in the caves in darkness.

But there is the example of the lesson of what each man's quest for glory/honor (those Klingon buzzwords) that the sword can bring them and what it does to them -- some familiar lessons we've seen before in Indiana Jones.

The ending is nicely done and just barely gets "The Sword of Kahless" to a rating of 3 stars for me. Nice change of pass in DS9 to thrown in an episode that has nothing to do with the greater story arc. Sometimes those episodes can be silly but this one's a reasonable take on Indiana Jones for me.
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals


Not really, considering they can replicate clothing and do so in the holodeck all the time.
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 9:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

Did anyone else find it wired that all their clothing was shrunk to fit them when they transported back to the ship?
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 7:44am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

Jammer must have been in a bad mood when he watched this one. This episode was hilarious and Janeway turned in a particularly solid performance. Sure, you could nitpick this one to death, but at the end of the day it was very entertaining. Solid 3 stars.
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Real Ric
Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

Coming from DS9 I enjoyed this episode more than "The Phage" and a couple of others.

Sure it asks you to suspend disbelief a bit (such as Chihuahuas in the Delta Quadrant *but* they have spikey fur!) but overall I would happily watch this again.
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Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

I liked the Quark/Garak conversation. Both Quark's "Noone ever went broke selling weapons" and the bit about root beer (pasted from imdb to save time):

Quark: I want you to try something for me. Take a sip of this.

Garak: What is it?

Quark: A human drink. It's called root beer.

Garak: [unwilling] Uh, I don't know...

Quark: Come on, aren't you just a little bit curious?

[Garak sighs, takes a sip and gags]

Quark: What do you think?

Garak: It's *vile*!

Quark: I know. It's so bubbly, and cloying, and *happy*.

Garak: Just like the Federation.

Quark: But you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to *like* it.

Garak: It's insidious!

Quark: *Just* like the Federation.
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Real Ric
Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 2:27am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

Comparing all Trek to DS9 as the pinnacle (other than TOS), I loved this episode - solid 4 stars.

That said, I've skipped the last quarter of the last 2 Voyager episodes despite being initially impressed.

I really hope I'm not going to find out why everyone said Voyager sucks but I kind of have the feeling that this 'lost in space' trope is going to be hard to stretch out over 7 seasons (like childbirth stretching - that hard).

Still, I really like the ship and the crew, shame about the quadrant.
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

On further reflection, I think my previous comment was in error.

After all, they are trying to get off the ship as quickly as possible. So Nog doesn't have time to give Jake a detailed explanation about what happened.

"We failed" is concise and to the point.
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

No! Don't marry him! If he really wanted to marry you he would have asked you BEFORE he bought the house. He would have 1. Proposed 2. If you said yes, said, "I'd like to buy some retirement property on Bajor. What do you think of that?" 3. Had a discussion about whether you both want to live on Bajor, and, if so, where, and once that's figured out, what if anything you want to grow on that property.

Also, if your reaction to a proposal is an incredibly surprised "Really? You're sure about this?" don't marry him.

Also, Kassidy, this is not you. You are not a soft lit feminine supporting character. You are a tough freighter captain. As a man once said, Don't go on changing just to try to please him.

The prophet is right -- that marriage can bring only pain.

Sisko's desire to live on Bajor continues to be stupid. It would be like John Lennon at the height of Beatlemania buying a sweet single family house in some midwestern suburb. Yeah, it's nice for the first couple of days but not so great when people find out you live there and are constantly walking into your house because you're a celebrity and the public owns your xxx.

Worf is going to eat a wolf? Will he at least skin it first?

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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

This episode was so boring. Thank goodness I was watching it on my computer so I could fast forward through the booring plodding predictable dialogue between Odo and that stupid woman that was so bland and unimaginative. It was just awful. It wasn't Odo revealing another side of his character. It was Odo acting completely out of character in order to accommodate this stupid derivative plot. Two thumbs down!
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

Outstanding episode - never a dull moment, terrific dialogue between 7 of 9 and Janeway, Tony Todd as one of the Hirogen makes the race really come alive, and of course the return of 8472.

Great review Jammer -- "Prey" for sure is one of the best VOY episodes as it touches on a lot of what makes Trek great: the moral/ethical dilemmas, difficult questions/decisions, decent action scenes, and trying to exemplify some human values (compassion).

OK, so after "Hunters" the Hirogen were also to me, as Jammer said "utter cardboard and terribly acted." But here, focusing on 1 Hirogen we have a character and we get to understand it a bit more. I didn't realize at first it was Tony Todd from "The Visitor" - but now it makes a bit of sense with the deep voice.

As many have said, great to see the shot of the 8472 on the outside of the ship. The 8472 as being more powerful than the Borg was a real winner for me in "Scorpion" so it was a thrill to see it again given its capabilities and how different it is as an alien race. It also brought out something from 7 of 9 who is a far better addition to the cast than Kes.

Now the real meat of "Prey" is between Janeway and 7. OK, so I understand Janeway's trying to teach 7 to be more human, learning compassion. Fine. But the captain has no logical plan for dealing with the Hirogen ships and protecting the 8472. I think it's fine for her to lecture 7 on following orders, but I also don't blame 7 for her actions to save the ship (though how could she transport the 8472 and the Hirogen with shields up -- small loophole). Both Janeway and 7 were really well acted here on both occasions when the captain gives the order and 7 refuses and in the end when 7 questions Janeway on shaping her individuality.

Personally I think Janeway needs to be more pragmatic here. She should sacrifice one life (the 8472) to save her own crew. It's fine to have strong ideals etc. and to take 7 of 9 under her wing, but if she had it her way, VOY would end midway through S4.

"Prey" gets 4 stars for me. Really enjoyed everything about it -- great action scenes, great lines/acting and good use of all the Voyager important crew members (very little Neelix). Only minor nitpicks (Janeway's hard-headedness, the transporting of the 8472/Hirogen) but this episode ticks all the boxes of what makes Star Trek so good.
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

Maybe it's in part because I saw this first but this felt like a much better version of Seven getting interested in and exploring the idea of romance than was "Someone to Watch Over Me".

Maybe this episode didn't go as far as it could or should have this late in the show but it still felt pretty intense and with a lot more real growth, and associated, believable fear of growth, than Seven had had in a long time.
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

Why would Riker want Picard dead, he's got to have the best job on the ship! He gets to go on all the cool away missions, let Picard make the hard decisions, and basically command everyone else.

Also, and to further answer JonnTY's question, none of those three mentioned are Bridge Officers, they're just senior staff. Troi eventually does take the Bridge Officers' test though. (See "Thine Own Self")
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

"Hunters" is a weird episode - I liked the letters from home part and the different sides we see from the crew but the Hirogen hunters part was cartoonish. They kind of remind me of the Pakleds from TNG -- without morals, very simplistic, although they didn't say like "make us go fast" or whatever. But they are certainly singularly focused.

The ending had some technobabble to get Voyager out of the black hole -- not sure what exactly Janeway & Co. did with some kind of pulse to destroy the station and suck the Hirogen ships in -- not to mention Harry transporting 7 of 9 and Tuvok out in the nick of time. He made it seem like it was highly unlikely that he'd be able to transport them back given the gravitational pull of the black hole but it was done anyway. Oh well.

Must say the Hirogen ship was pretty cool - from the inside and outside.

I guess my big issue with this episode is the juxtaposition of 2 completely different "sub plots". Wish it had done away with the Hirogen hunting part and just focused on the letters and playing out the crew's reactions more. Instead it wasted time with Neelix and Harry Kim's crappy acting/lines.

"Hunters" barely gets to 2.5 stars for me. The balance was off in this episode -- the Hirogen/hunting part didn't start until quite late and wrapped up very quickly with some dubious technobabble solution. The part about the letters allowed some good character moments about the crew's home -- probably something long overdue to hear about, but it left some loose ends (Paris' dad, the killing of the Maquis, and even what Harry Kim's folks had to say).
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Fictional TV is supposed to be entertaining. The worst crime of any such show is to be boring. On that basis I just can't see how this can be considered amongst the very worst of Trek nor can a I see how it deserves a zero rating.

To be clear, this episode is utterly risible, nonsensical and the second half is relentlessly shite. But it isn't boring.
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William B
Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

There's no question that Data would be in command under normal circumstances if Picard and Riker were incapacitated. But I think the idea is that Riker's field promotion in this episode was more official, since the idea is that they are going to fight a major battle and also that Picard has been treated as entirely lost. So there's more expectation that Riker will have to appoint an official XO, rather than having the chain of command basically kept as was. You would think that would be true in Gambit as well (where Picard was apparently dead), but I think the idea in Gambit is that it's treated as Riker leading the ship on a (low stakes compared with the Borg threat) mission before the command structure is finalized; Riker doesn't get a field promotion, for instance. Presumably eventually either Riker would be officially promoted to captain, and he'd choose Data or whoever to be his XO, or a new captain would be assigned, but maybe the urgency of investigating Picard's death allowed them some leave before a full restructuring would take place.
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Bonding

Ron Moore got much better ,so say we all.
This was ruined by the Trek cliches of powerful energy force being thingies invading the ship, the usual 'it is getting into the computers Captain' and illusions.
It was a riff on Charley X from TOS,surely?
I agree that the Worf scenes are best but ,for once, I did not mind Troi's involvement.

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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

Also, am I correct in thinking that Data was in fact recognized as the ship's "second officer" who would automatically be in command if anything ever happened to both Picard and Riker? There didn't seem to be any question about it in the Gambit 2-parter - while Worf grumbled about Data's decisions, it seemed like he was just disagreeing rather than implying that he should have been chosen instead.
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

IMO, Voyager does not really have a "jump the shark" moment. It was consistently inconsistent - fantastic one week, awful the next, and usually somewhere in between. If anything, I'd say it was a little better on average in the later seasons.
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Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Next Phase

A real shame that Ro wasn't brought in as regular character; afterall there was definitely room in the cast after Wil Wheaton left and it would have been nice to have a regular helmsman.

I always found it ironic that the stronger female characters in TNG weren't part of the main cast - Ro, Guinan, Pulaski - even Shelby! Yar could have been great but Crusher was woefully underused and Troi was just a waste of space until they gave her a uniform.
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