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- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 8:27am (USA Central)
@Ben Franklin: " why is everyone going ape-s**t over Craig Wasson? Sure his performance was good, but what's with all the genuflecting?"
I counted: of the 40 comments before you, 5 mentioned Craig Wesson. Of those, only 1 was wholly dedicated to praising his performance. 3 praised his performance with a SINGLE adjective and 1 was dismissive of his performance.
So, the only person going "ape-shit" is you.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 8:23am (USA Central)
The storytelling, acting, pacing, and especially, the music here are absolutely incredible. This is the apex of science fiction television.
For those quibbling about time travel or Guinan's so-called "mysticism", well, respectfully, it's science fiction! Of course there are some logical flaws. Mysticism and the supernatural are inherent to the genre. This is a story with heart. One of the best ever for the series.
"Geordi, tell me about...Tasha Yar."
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 5:04am (USA Central)
Count me in as one of the haters.
Mirror Universe episodes - just like Holodeck episodes and Dream Sequence episodes and Travel To The 20th century episodes - are basically an admittance that the writers don't want to deal with the limitations set up by the actual established universe and just wanna have some fun. It's a cop out.
If I wanted a cartoonish Sci-Fi show, I'd watch one.
If I wanted to see everybody out of make-up working at a newspaper, I'd watch a show like this.
I'm watching DS9 precisely for everything they chose to cast aside and trample on here.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 1:49am (USA Central)
Jack: um what? Janeway specifically called him lieutenant as a clue in the teaser.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 1:35am (USA Central)
The episode is so, so. But Troi was a hypocrite, she uses her abilities to give the crew an edge and Ral flat out called her on it. Her only excuse is that Troi believes she's on the side of the good guys. When Troi lost her ability for a short time in one episode, she was useless and she knew it...
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 1:24am (USA Central)
Exodus, Part 1
I like turtles.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 11:02pm (USA Central)
Message in a Bottle
The Doctor's getting increasingly annoying this season and i'm already tired of Seven saving the day.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 8:43pm (USA Central)
3 stars. I like being reminded that not every evolved species is bi-pedal or air-breathing. I liked Voyager playing the two conspiring parties off against each other. I enjoyed the pyrotechnics of the Hazari pounding the think tank at the end. I liked the combination of civility and understated arrogance in Jason Alexander's performance.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 8:18pm (USA Central)
All Good Things...
I agree it would have been nice to have seen Guinan in the series one last time. As Jammer pointed out, they already had her planned for Generations. The movie has so much to do with her character's history. I think it would have been great product placement to set that up in some sly way
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 7:56pm (USA Central)
The silverblood-Paris got demoted to ensign too it seems. What a coincidence...maybe there was an ocean planet of silver blood floating somewhere...
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 6:46pm (USA Central)
Rules of Engagement
I agree with the general consensus of the comments: stupid episode. EVERYTHING is contrived.
1. The premise. The Klingons know that Worf is commanding the defiant. They engage in an elaborate hit and cloak game that goes on for minutes - that despite the Defiant having proven itself to be just about the deadliest ship outside of the Borg or Species 8472 - just to set up a pattern and finally draw Worf to fire on a decloaking fake ship. Oh p-uh-lease. Bond villains have less elaborate plans.
2. The trial. The Federation and the Klingons are at war. Nothing else. The Defiant escorted a couple of Cardassian ships. It was then attacked without warning. That is an ACT OF WAR. Nobody on the Federation's side would have agreed to a trial after that.
3. The Klingon argument. The Klingon lawyer makes the case that Worf must be handed over because only Klingons could judge an act of bloodlusty killing. What?! The Vulcan should have shot him down on the spot! It's like Nog cheating on a stock deal and Liquidator Brunt arguing only the Ferengi could judge him for that.
4. Fake dilemma. Everybody agrees that if you fight Klingons/Romulans, if you want to survive, you have to shoot at decloaking ships. If some civilians transport were to decloak in the heat of battle, that's just bad luck for them.
And O'Brien disagrees? O'Brien???
5. Worf predictably going nuts. Like calling George McFly "chicken".
6. Odo's timing. So he checked up all the passengers' backgrounds and couldn't find anything halfway through the episode. Five minutes before the end he found they all had "survived" a crash 3 months ago. What the hell was the good Constable checking beforehand?!?!
7. Brooks' acting. My god, he is seriously the worst actor in all of Trek when he has to act emotional/excited/angry. It's immersion shattering.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 4:32pm (USA Central)
This does a wonderful job of taking an aside from way back and building a story around it. The interaction between Picard and Q is a highlight. But overall, I find it less convincing than many. In fact, I find the most intriguing element of the story the possibility that it was a dream and not something concocted by Q at all.
And if it was Q all along, and it was real, what does the story actually mean? That Picard's regrets of his youth were unfounded? That there's no going back? Be careful what you wish for? What was Q hoping to achieve out of all this?
I can see why people like it as a "what if" type episode, showing a Picard that is out of step with the character as we know him today. But at some visceral level it just feels wrong to me. 2.5 stars.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 4:12pm (USA Central)
Men are from Mars etc
It seems this episode is pulling out some of the commonly held views in the eternal battle of the sexes.
The comments are very interesting and much thought has bee given to them but the genesis of such an intriguing discussion is ,sadly, a really mediocre episode.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 4:12pm (USA Central)
Descent, Part I
Lower Decks and Parallels also deserve high marks and those 5 should be enough to counterattack the clunkers.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 4:09pm (USA Central)
Descent, Part I
I'll take that bet. S7 doesn't have to be good, it has to be average.... which is what S7 does best...
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 3:21pm (USA Central)
Face of the Enemy
By far the best Troi vehicle so far. Although we need to suspend belief just a little bit that she could successfully blend in with no cover whatsoever - the fear of the Tal Shiar just about covers it - watching her step up into the role, taking on not just Toreth but then N'Vek as well, is a revelation. A sterling performance and a job well done.
This also successfully expands on Unification and gives a fuller sense of the Romulans as a race - showing the tensions between the Tal Shiar and the military, and the cracks that allow the dissident movement to emerge. The nuances that emerge add richness to the Romulans.
A tension filled, multi layered episode. 3.5 stars.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 2:04pm (USA Central)
Well, if there was one thing that we didn't need too much more of it was creepy stalker La Forge. But he's back - at least I suppose it shows character consistency.
I guess this was mildly diverting for a while - it was something of a surprise for the Klingons to bring Uhnari back. The introduction of the alien entity was also something of a surprise - at least no-one is thinking changelings at this point! - and the recreation of Crusher's hand from the ooze was novel. And I didn't see the dog twist coming, although by the end I wasn't really concentrating very hard...
Another one of those episodes that for me hearken back to series 1 - and the CGI blob at the end just goes to show that crap FX are crap FX however they're made. 1.5 stars.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 12:53pm (USA Central)
Descent, Part I
" It looks, however, like it's all up to Season Seven to pull TNG ahead of TOS in the final overall score department. "
I think Q said it best:
"I wouldn't bet on it, Picard"
You have the awesome finale, Preemptive Strike, and The Pegasus. And that's all I can think of for wicked standouts off the top of my head.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 11:54am (USA Central)
Descent, Part I
"Descent, Part I" is another TNG Season Six episode that never raises to its full potential.
So, they're bringing the Borg back as the Big Bad. Good, that's what they're supposed to be. But, instead of actually making them intimidating again, they decide to spend most of the episode (the non-padded portions especially) on Data's quest to be Human and for emotions. Um, okay. I thought this was supposed to be about the Borg being uber-badasses again. But, whatever, I'm game. Then, they decide to make Data's emotional/humanity quest nothing but a plot point by having the imprisoned Borg openly and deliberately stimulate his emotions (because this is about the Borg, after all). Good grief people, pick one! As a result, what we end up with are two story ideas that each have merit in their own right but never receive anywhere near an adequate level of development.
Then, at almost exactly the two-thirds mark in the episode, everything literally grinds to a screeching halt as the padding kicks in. A full one-third of "Descent, Part I" is (Jammer nails it) nothing but padding until the inevitable "to be continued..." card appears. It's just another episode that's stretched almost beyond the breaking point to make it a two-parter (just like "Time's Arrow" and "Birthright").
Even "Time's Arrow, Part I" was more ambitious than this. For that episode I said - "For an episode that deals with Data's possible death, time travel, soul-consuming aliens from the future, a look into Picard and Guinan's backstory and Mark Twain in a season ending cliffhanger, there's a rather surprising lack of energy and excitement." Almost exact same thing can be said here. For a story involving the return of the Borg as major adversaries, new and much more aggressive Borg, Data experiencing emotions and the return of Lore (who has been gone for almost three seasons), there isn't a surprising lack of energy and excitement - there's a decidedly shocking lack of it! These TNG season finale cliffhangers have gone nowhere but down, down, down since "The Best of Both Worlds." The saddest thing about it, however, is that it didn't have to be that way. VOY proved that with "Scorpion." Of course, "Scorpion" also proved that the Borg could be used as major curbstomp style villains again.
But despite all of that, the episode is just average/commonplace. It isn't exactly bad; it just never raises above itself. That is until the stuff that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever takes place. So, in the middle of a crisis, with this new and highly aggressive Borg threat to contend with, Picard decides to literally empty the ship down to a skeleton crew so that everyone and his brother can search for Data on the planet's surface. WTF!? Um, no! That makes no god-damn sense. The priority is the Borg threat, not the search for Data! Oh, and he decides to join in the search as well - apparently just for shits and giggles - because the Captain has no place on the bridge in an emergency. The only reason for it is so that he can be taken prisoner in the final seconds and have THE DRAMA that much more increased for the summer break. And, to top it all off, he leaves Crusher in command of the Enterprise. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm a big Beverly Crusher fan. But this makes no fucking sense, period! At this point it hasn't even been established that she's a Bridge Officer or that she likes to pick up a night shift command from time to time. It would make more sense to give command over to Ensign Ricky from Turbolift Control! But, of course, just like everything else in the episode, it's just set-up for Part II. Finally, there's Crosis' "seduction" of Data (where Data flat out admits that he'd kill LaForge) right in front of a security guard. Jesus, that's straight out of TOS: Mudd's Women, where Harry Mudd and the women plot their plans right in front of some other security guards. When a scene reminds me of the second worst episode of TOS, that's really not a good thing.
Still, all of that is redeemed (somewhat) by the wonderful scene between Picard and Nechayev. It was really nice to see the other side given a full hearing (something I've highly criticized TNG for not doing fairly in the past), even if it's still clear that the writers want us to take Picard's side (why else would Nechayev be written as such an insufferable bitch?). And, I think I agree with Nechayev. Back in my comments on "I, Borg," I said that I would probably have used Hugh to deliver the virus to the Collective and I think I'm still going to hold to that. I'm reminded of this little exchange from "Captain America: The Winter Solider"....
FURY: The Greatest Generation? You guys did some nasty stuff.
CAP: Yeah, we compromised. Sometimes in ways that made us not sleep so well. But we did it so that people could be free.
Destroying the Borg may be a really nasty thing to do. Using Hugh as a carrier for that destruction might be as well. Using him with his individuality intact would be more so. But maybe it should have been done so that the Federation (hell, the entire galaxy!) could be free from the threat of the Borg Collective. Picard's hand-wringing of "the moral thing might not have been the right thing" was very apt (and wonderfully acted by Stewart).
(I suppose I should comment on the opening scene with Stephen Hawking. Meh, it didn't do anything for me one way or the other. The thing I that struck me the most about it was that I was wondering if they got the same guy to play Einstein that they got back in "The Nth Degree," because he looked very similar.)
More post-season number crunching. :)
"THE NEXT GENERATION" SEASON SIX
5 - Time's Arrow, Part II
4 - Realm of Fear
1 - Man of the People
7 - Relics
6 - Schisms
8 - True Q
8 - Rascals
6 - A Fistful of Datas
6 - The Quality of Life
7 - Chain of Command, Part I
9 - Chain of Command, Part II
8 - Ship in a Bottle
1 - Aquiel
8 - Face of the Enemy
7 - Tapestry
3 - Birthright, Part I
2 - Birthright, Part II
7 - Starship Mine
5 - Lessons
2 - The Chase
5 - Frame of Mind
3 - Suspicions
9 - Rightful Heir
6 - Second Chances
7 - Timescape
5 - Descent, Part I
Average Season Score: 5.577
Average Series Score: 5.046
Final TOS Average Score: 5.150
Best Episode: Rightful Heir
Worst Episode: Man of the People
Season Six could legitimately be given the title "The Tale of Two Seasons". The first half managed an average score of 6.250 - impressive to say the least - and gave us the longest stretch of above-average episodes in all of Trek up to this point (9 - from "Relics" to "Ship in a Bottle"). But, once we were subjected to the abysmal "Aquiel", the season took a nosedive in quality. The second half managed an average score of 5.000. Talk about a step down! If it wasn't for the fact that the single best episode of the season was in that second half, it would be finished below average.
TNG also continued its shallow slope from the heights of Season Four, but again not by much. Season Six, even with it finishing lower than Season Five, is still damn good entertainment. And, it managed to finally pull TNG out of the depths it dug for itself in Season One and brought the average score up above average for the first time.
It looks, however, like it's all up to Season Seven to pull TNG ahead of TOS in the final overall score department. But, given how lambasted Season Seven is in many fan circles, that might be a tall order despite the scores being so close here after six years. Can it be done? We'll just have to wait and see.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 9:59am (USA Central)
I think Generations wasn't as bad as people say it was. It was missing a plot and a villain worthy of the movie but there were a collection of a lot of great scenes, the Kirk/Picard team up was fun enough, Data got emotions, the Enterprise crashed and Worf got promoted. There were misteps, but it was nowhere near as bad as the bad TOS movies.
And when they followed it up with First Contact I really thought we were going to end up with a really amazing TNG movie franchise. I will say nothing more on the subject.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 7:27am (USA Central)
Pretty sure that available evidence debunks the "Total Recall" portrayal of what happens in a vacuum. In fact, I remember reading that the "lung exploding" theory was also nonsense.
- Mon, Oct 5, 2015, 6:23am (USA Central)
This is a brilliant concept which is let down somewhat by the limitations of a one-hour TV episode. I absolutely agree with HolographicAndrew that this should have been a movie. It's just a really great science fiction concept, and it could have been one of the best science fiction movies of all time if executed properly. Alas, we got Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis instead!
- Sun, Oct 4, 2015, 10:56pm (USA Central)
Good episode, good review, good comments section. :)
Like Yanks, I was sad to see Kaplan go. She seemed to have more personality than the average redshirt, and she did a nice job of protecting her commander from harm when it started to get violent.
Nice to see Chakotay getting him some a la Kirk. :)
There were some nitpicks both from Jammer and the peanut gallery that were on point. A couple I'd add:
@ 9:50 I love how Harry said there was no response to his hails (the second one especially) IMMEDIATELY after sending them, allowing absolutely no time for them to respond. I know, the show's got to move along; but couldn't they have some other dialogue from Tuvok or something and then come back to him saying there was no response?
@ 37:03, Chakotay's hand is huge or that lady's head is tiny!
- Sun, Oct 4, 2015, 6:38pm (USA Central)
-This is 3 stories: a personal story about Sisko finally accepting his status as Emissary (as he's confronted with an alternate Emissary); the story of Bajor dealing with changes brought by a possible new Emissary; and the "B story", Keiko returning to the station. The first works quite well and the last works fine; the middle story is much too simplified. How highly you rank this episode depends on how much you forgive that simplification. As others have pointed out, it's pretty much a given that you can't fit that story into a 45 minute episode while giving it the complexity it deserves.
-Sisko's personal story I think is well done. I would consider the story of Kira in this episode a part of Sisko's story. These 2, as well as Odo, seem to be behaving consistently with how their characters have been defined, and Sisko undergoes a transformation as he decides to accept his role as Emissary, a major change for the series (which is why I wouldn't say this story was a 'reset button' story).
-That middle story is the weak link. As others have pointed out, not every Bajoran would accept this change, and surely some Vedeks would publicly say so. And some of these opponents would justify their position by saying Sisko is the one true Emissary and he can't resign the position. Bajor is a planet with millions of people (I forget the exact number), so there will always be some necessary simplification in these stories. This one simplifies to much, but I'm not really sure how much more in depth they could have added without going to a 2-parter. The story of the TV series is always primarily going to be about our regular and recurring characters; it's a given that Sisko's personal story will get more attention than that of Bajor's populace.
-Others have pointed out Jane Espenson's work on Battlestar Gallactica; I remember her more for her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she wrote several humorous episodes. This subplot definitely seems to have her humor. The fact that she is a woman is probably a reason why Keiko comes off better than normal (there weren't many DS9 episodes written by women).
-Overall, I supposed I'd give it 3 stars. Sisko's personal story by itself would probably get 3.5 stars. I'm being forgiving about the problems on the large scale depiction of Bajor; I certainly understand why others will think differently.
-[Spoilers for the very, very end of DS9 follow.] For the discussion about the prophets: Since Sisko joined the prophets at the end of the series and since the prophets are non-linear, he has always been inside the wormhole. I always imagine him being the 'prophet' who has the most opinions on the outside world & is the driving force when they interact (except in the pilot). Sisko-in-the-wormhole is doing what is necessary to get present-Sisko to man up and embrace being the Emissary. That implies some circular logic (Sisko is doing what Sisko did before) which is always present in certain time-travel stories, but it also fits mythic stories of fate.
- Sun, Oct 4, 2015, 1:47pm (USA Central)
Ship in a Bottle
Just goes to show that there is something you can do with a holodeck gone awry episode - build a complex story with powerful performances and tell it with verve.
Moriarty's motivations are subtle and increasingly unclear as we progress - from reformed character, back to arch villain, and then, in the end, reformed character again. It leaves us questioning what is real and what is not real - Barclay's final nervous "Computer, end program" beautifully caps the episode.
A fun and thoroughly involving hour with a twist that I never saw coming (even if it then sells a second twist far too easily!). "There's something wrong with the holodeck" indeed. 3.5 stars.
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