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- Sun, Oct 4, 2015, 12:46am (USA Central)
Here's another plot hole: The Kazon that were beamed into space. How is it that their bodies didn't lose molecular cohesion and explode? There is no gravity in space to hold your insides together. You would literally fall apart, your blood vessels would pop, etc... Anyone see the original Total Recall when Arnold was exposed to the Martian atmosphere? That's what I'm talking about. But the Kazons' eyes didn't even pop out.
- Sun, Oct 4, 2015, 12:18am (USA Central)
Home, Part 2
It's certainly puzzling to hear our names for our own zodiac referred to as "ancient" when the series finale strongly implies that the Colonials are our ancestors. One might suggest that that those names became a deep cultural memory that was recapitulated during the development of our own society; however, the relatively recent origin of the modern zodiac in relation to recorded human history, as well as its particularity to a certain social and linguistic context in our world, seems at odds with the universality the creators are trying to project. Rather, I see the answer to this mystery in the snippet of scripture quoted as the Colonials' "Beresihit": " all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again... "
Powerful stuff indeed.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 8:15pm (USA Central)
Shannon, your comment is akin to saying that the only person allowed to sue a doctor for malpractice is someone who could have preformed the surgery themselves...
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 8:08pm (USA Central)
Message in a Bottle
It didn't make sense to me that the Romulans would outright steal a Starfleet vessel...it isn't really their style as we've seen it. Other than separating into three pieces, what's so great about this ship? The Enterprise-D could separate into two pieces and the Romulans never tried to steal it. The Romulan warbird they already have is pretty kickass.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 8:04pm (USA Central)
I liked this episode till Seven came along to save the day!
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 4:35pm (USA Central)
Got trolled last time I commented here, but this episode is powerful and I want to share my positive perspectives and personal lessons. I'm on the 4-stars side for sure and probably my personal favourite VOY ep.
Sidebar: Yes, Mr. Wilhelm doesn't really work as Adm Paris. Maybe Mr. Pitt from Seinfeld.
So today, as an Engineering Manager, I can relate to Harkin in this episode. What do you do with someone who has loads of ideas and is always running off on a tangent to the team? Well, I certainly don't have my employees stunned with phasers, but I also don't send them home for speaking out. Ideas are what the future is built on. Good on Harkin to hire on Reg and take that risk. But I just don't think they are paying per kilowatt-hour for the holodeck, so I would have cultivated the ideas while helping Reg with his social skills much earlier on. Other Engineering Managers, like Harkin, don't always get the human side.
Intentional or not, I think Star Trek writers consistently tell us that our centuries old bureaucracies will still be around centuries from now. This is one of those commentaries. Fascinating.
But when I first saw Reg Barclay episodes decades ago, I identified with Reg's social awkwardness and technical obsessions. I learned to grow away from that but sadly, even today, trolls still find more comfort in this archaic holodeck we call "the internet" than in the real world.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 4:23pm (USA Central)
Chain of Command, Part II
OK, up front the acting during the Picard/Madred scenes are a veritable tour de force. As the scenes play out, Madred doesn't seem to be too impressive an interrogator. Given what seems to be a realistic presentation of torture as a technique you have to wonder whether that was a writing choice, and what that means in terms of Picard's resistance and ultimate capitulation.
You also have to wonder what that last scene is trying to say. That breaking under torture is inevitable? Having been assimilated by the Borg, you have to question what that would do to Picard's psyche. Or is it simply to remove the triumph from the final "there are four lights!"? Picard didn't win his confrontation, quite the opposite - which would raise a question if the intent was to show that ultimately both the victims and the perpetrators are the losers.
On the Enterprise, Jellico proves to have a winning strategy, which would seem to mitigate the asshat argument from Part 1. But I find the confrontation between Jellico and Riker problematic - anecdotal evidence would suggest both are competent officers, yet they just can't stand each other. In such circumstances you'd hope professionalism would win out. Riker's shit-eating grin as he gets the last word suggests not...
If nothing else, this episode succeeds in making the Cardassians more complicated than comic book Nazis. They love their kids, and want to improve the status of their society - they're not fundamentally and inherently evil. Their methods, however...
It's not perfect, this one, but it's not a million miles away. 3.5 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 3:00pm (USA Central)
Chain of Command, Part I
Indeed this is a game of two halves.
From Necheyev relieving Picard of command in a 30-second 'boom' of an opener, the tensions on the Enterprise are a real change of pace. Jellico may or may not be an asshat, but it's clear he does have a valid motivation in turning a science vessel into a warship. That said, he's been made CO because of his negotiating experience with the Cardassians, so when Troi says he's not as confident as he appears that would appear to undermine his authority. The back and forth with Gul Lemec is also interesting, as the balance of power shifts between the two.
However, the revelation that Picard is on a blown mission also highlights the contrivance required to put him on the mission in the first place. The spec-ops plot really doesn't stand up to much scrutiny - we get a wildly unnecessary Ferengi interlude, and lot of running around caves, and a brief phaser shoot-out all to set up part 2. It's all a bit forgettable.
Overall, half an exceptional episode. "Get that fish out of my ready room" indeed. 3 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 2:50pm (USA Central)
Who Mourns for Adonais?
Since William B has already pointed out the most important things about this episode, I'd just like to say that I was amazed by Apollo's lack of nipples. I know that cartoon figures of the era were not allowed to have them (well, not just only this era - even 20 years later, He-Man did not have any), but it was still pretty amazing to me to see that there were no visible nipples at all on the actor. A big thumbs up to the make-up crew!
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 1:54pm (USA Central)
The Quality of Life
Well, we've just done a kids episode so how about one with cute robots?! Silent Running indeed springs to mind.
OK, so we've got a contrived set up where Data has to make a choice between the exocomps and his friends. His choice in favour of the exocomps is described as his most 'human' but Picard. But I would have thought that most humans would have rationalised the decision to save their friends and to hell with the robots. I don't actually have a problem with the choice Data made, if indeed his perspective gives him unique insight into the robotic world. But to suggest it's a 'human' response? One step too far for me.
Farallon also struck me as well characterised as an obsessive scientists who's work is going to get canned in 2 days without a breakthrough and you're telling me are these hovering screwdrivers I've made are alive, say what now?
Yet another episode where the concept was perhaps better than the execution. The beard thing was fun though. 2.5 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 12:10pm (USA Central)
A Fistful of Datas
A fairly serious misfire. Desperately slow and leaden, this is entirely based around a fairly flawed premise - let's do a TNG Western.
To me, probably the weakest aspect of the show are the multiplying Data's - playing Data as a walking cliche might work once, but multiple times? By the time we get to the Data in drag at the end we're really dragging the broad end of the script-writing pool.
Again, that's not to say there aren't some nice bits. Worf's increasing engagement with Alexander is nice to see, particularly as he spends the start of the episode desperately trying to get Picard to approve additional work on his down-time to get out of it. Dad of the year territory, this! And I actually quite enjoy Troi's role.
Perhaps the best part (for more than one reason) is the end, with a gorgeous shot of the Enterprise riding off into the sunset. But overall, this is pretty ripe stuff. 1.5 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 9:57am (USA Central)
Fortunately I'm not someone who fusses too much about the plausibility of watching a programme set in the 24th century, but you do have suspend disbelief a little bit more for this one than usual. And when they materialised as kids I'm sure I wasn't alone in getting a seriously sinking feeling.
That said, I really enjoyed this one. There is a sense of fun and playfulness, never less than in Riker's made up technobabble.
For me the child actors hit it out the park in terms of picking up the mannerisms. The Picard tantrum is a treat. Young Guinan quickly embracing her inner child, and then helping out Ro as she did as an adult, is a strong theme. And the episode actually gives Alexander something useful to do.
For heaven's sake, the Ferengi are pirates - what's not to like?!
Well, the scene with Keiko and Miles is a bit queasy... 3 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 8:03am (USA Central)
A conceit that struggles to be fully examined within the hour format. Guess that's television for you.
Amanda's reaction to her new powers are cycled through much too quickly to carry much weight - at the end she resolves to not use her powers and 2 minutes later decides to. Let's face it, sex and smiting is all most people would initially be interested in, so at least we got a rather chaste examination of the first one I suppose.
For Q, at least this brings back some of his more sinister elements instead of the mugging and gurning we've gotten recently. Which is not to say there isn't some of that too, but it serves the story rather than driving it.
Solid rather than spectacular. 2.5 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 6:40am (USA Central)
A very well constructed slow burner of an episode that just drops the ball at the end. It's a nice twist on the alien abduction theme that it's happening to the TNG crew. The fact that it is not given away to the audience leads to a nicely escalating sense of dread - the holodeck scene builds a tension and the revelation Riker's arm has been amputated and re-attached adds a genuinely creepy spin.
Unfortunately, the ending with the hooded shuffling aliens doesn't really fulfill the premise. It's just a standard countdown/escape conclusion. And while it's set up for the aliens to return, you can't help feeling that it's the last time we'll hear mention of them...
'Ode to Spot' is something of a classic as well - indeed the whole poetry scene - although you do wonder quite why it is in this episode. 3 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 6:17am (USA Central)
If you would have refrained from that absurd "misogyny" remark, I'd take your comment seriously and respond to it with due care and attention because you do actually pose an interesting and pertinent question.
As it is, you need to grow out of your juvenile S.J.W. right-on permanently-outraged paranoia, which you project on others. Criticizing someone does not make the speaker a "misogynist" just because the object of the criticism is a woman.
Come back when you grow up and we can talk.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 5:40am (USA Central)
Yes, this lays on the nostalgia with a trowel, but hey, if you can't do that when Scotty's back when can you?
Scotty has always been something of a cartoonish character, and we do get something of that portrayal here. But we also get moments of genuine pathos - the scene with Picard on the holodeck is a triumph and a series highlight. The man out of time element is nicely played.
The relationship between Geordi and Scotty is key to the episode, prickly at first but then traveling to respect and friendship - with a healthy does of technobabble. It's a nice passing of the torch.
And the Dyson sphere is an intriguing concept, and I'd agree one that could perhaps have been explored subsequently. But if nothing else it gave us a very nice FX shot of the Enterprise escaping the sphere. "It is green" indeed. 3.5 stars.
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 3:45am (USA Central)
- Sat, Oct 3, 2015, 1:52am (USA Central)
Michael, aside from the distasteful stench of misogyny that drips from your comments, I also detect an unpleasant note of support for fascism. George W. Bush got our country mired in a pointless war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives, or millions, depending on how you count. He was known to attribute his actions to divine inspiration. Does that mean you would have supported a military coup against his presidency?
- Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 11:26pm (USA Central)
I respect your review, but I don't agree with it.
- Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 7:32pm (USA Central)
Worst Case Scenario
Did Seska make these changes before she left the ship in State Of Flux, or during the events of Basics, when she was briefly back on the ship? In neither scenario does Seska doing something like this make sense. In the first half of Season 1, when she was a crewmember, she was certainly devious and duplicitious, but I doubt she'd have been programming violent sentiments like "when I shoot you - and I will shoot you - you'll die!" against her fellow crewmates, at least before the events of State Of Flux. And of course she left the ship immediately after those events. The other possibility, that she wrote the program during Basics, seems unlikely, since she had taken over the ship, so writing a scenario then would require believing that the Voyager crew would eventually have the ship back. Dialogue also strongly implies that her tampering happened when she was still a crewmember.
- Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 5:20pm (USA Central)
Voyager is in mid-battle when Neelix and company reach the top, and Janeway tells them to stand by to transport, and then suddenly Tuvok is on the bridge at tactical. Did they drop the shields in the middle of a battle (bad)? Or did they beam through the shields somehow (worse)?
- Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 3:11pm (USA Central)
Man of the People
Second in a row to have a feel of a first series episode. We have the meaningless peace negotiations, the character acting out of character... you get the point.
There's a couple of nice scenes - Troi's destruction of Ensign Janeway, and Riker and Troi in the bedroom (the delivery of the "what the hell" line is something of a minor classic) - but overall this is a shocker. Dull, unengaging, and with a tension free ending. 1.5 stars.
- Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 2:31pm (USA Central)
@Easter, don't worry, I didn't think you were "arguing" with me out of dislike or anything :)
And I guess I should modify this to say that the rebellion itself makes "sense," insofar as I believe that Shakaar would do this and would get people on his side. What you write about Winn's failure to read the political climate also strikes me as correct; and it does help a fair bit to recognize that despite Shakaar's styling himself a guy who wants to farm, he is also a major public figure, which the episode does remind us of (Rawls mentions his freeing of Gallitep). The episode is pretty clear throughout that the Shakaar cell are using the same tactics they used in the Occupation to hide away.
That the Bajoran political situation is this kind of powder keg I do find believable, and that Winn has no respect for the situation she's walking into even more so. And if I thought the episode were taking a more...neutral stance on the Winn-Shakaar conflict, particularly as it escalates over weeks, most of my problems with the episode would be resolved. However, the episode does paint Kira and Shakaar as justified (or, at the very least, as the level-headed ones reacting to Winn's madness), and therein is the problem. Even if I actually felt that the episode *did* show Shakaar actually "folding" first, things might be different, but Shakaar certainly did *not* consent to be arrested, but merely, uh, consented to run for public office. Now, I can see how this Hail Mary could actually play out in a way that would make me see Shakaar showing leadership qualities: basically, if they did a Li Nalas type story with him, where Shakaar really, *REALLY* did not want to be placed in any position of power, but essentially had no choice but to take on a quasi-martyr role he did not want, I might be more comfortable saying that Shakaar comes out the better man. And it may be that is the underlying idea; I certainly can imagine a Shakaar who has no interest in politics reluctantly agreeing to put himself in a position of authority and responsibility because he is the only person people can trust to outmaneuver Winn. However, I found no indication of that in the episode.
I am a bit hypocritical, in that I do tend to follow gut-instinct feelings about what deeper motivations exist in the characters when I happen to like an episode, and I try to admit and own up to that rather than counter it, if nothing else because I like liking the things I like. So I can see one's mileage varying on this point.
Anyway, the difference between a first-time viewing and a full-series perspective is another good point. The thing is, I did not particularly think this episode was an instance in which the two would be so far apart, but I guess I forgot that later episodes really did succeed in at least partially softening Winn, which did change my perspective. And that is pretty interesting.
- Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 2:24pm (USA Central)
Behind the Lines
I think it would make more sense for the female changeling to impersonate Odo in the final scene when Kira talked to him, so that when Odo regain his sense it would look forced. The female changeling had a hold on him, but if even just one sentence was enough for Odo to see past her, then this conversation with Kira would make no sense.
- Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 2:02pm (USA Central)
Realm of Fear
This reminded me almost of a time capsule opening of a first season episode. We have an interesting concept that is not really explored, and a character lead who doesn't really have enough character development to carry a full episode. We have a very dodgy special effect (was that Slimer in the matter stream?!), and a technobabble conclusion that not only seems to make no sense it resolves a plot point that everyone else in the episode seemed to forget anyway.
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