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Peter
Sat, May 27, 2017, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Terra Nova

I just finished watching this, and I don't think this episode is being given enough credit. Yes, it's really quite similar to many, many episodes that came before it. And yes, it does drag a bit towards the end. But unlike most of its Voyager predecessors, the 'primitive' people behave in a rational, if suspicious, manner. They aren't hostile for no reason, they aren't intractable in the face of reason, and they don't go crazy and attack our heroes at the end for the sake of an action scene.

And there's other good stuff. The dialect spoken by the Novans was distinct enough from normal English to set them apart, but also close enough to be easily understood at all times. That's a lot harder than it sounds, and it makes sense if the oldest survivors of the Novan colony were five years old. And the debate between Archer and T'Pol about what to do about the Novans if they wouldn't move willingly is metatextually interesting. In other Star Trek series, the principle of non-interference makes the 'right' thing to do clear to the characters, even if they disagree with it, but in Enterprise, as this episode makes clear, that has yet to be codified. The as-yet-unborn Federation is still feeling out the edges of its principles, defining itself, and that conversation reflects that.

There's interesting stuff happening here, even if it's wrapped up in a fairly stock plot.
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Gooz
Sat, May 27, 2017, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

So...if Nog had headphones (or super sensitive hearing) or Jake had earplugs, none of this episode would have happened? Lazy writing.

Also, in the 24th century, people are still so racist that they 1) haven't intermarried enough to get rid of distnct races, and 2) pick dates and mates based on skin color, (but not species, apparently). Cowardly writing meant to avoid pearl- clutching conservatives that would balk at seeing the natural evolution of humans into a mixed race mutt or seeing people of different races in intimate relationships.
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Eric
Sat, May 27, 2017, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

I didn't mind the episode but it left so much unanswered and was so implausible. So I agree mostly with the review.
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Jason R.
Sat, May 27, 2017, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Basics, Part I

"My problem with this episode is the conclusion that rape victims should be responsible for any resulting child. "

Rape victims are responsible for their children the same as any parents. You cannot legally abandon your child just because it is the product of rape, although I suppose you could give it up for adoption (as one could if the child was born of a consensual relationship).

The key point here is that the child is a fait accompli. We are not talk about person's right to abort a pregnancy not of their choosing. The father's example (of children borne of rape by whites being accepted by the tribe) is similar as the tribes were facing the choice of what to do with children that were already born - they could either accept them or reject them and they chose the former.
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Strejda
Sat, May 27, 2017, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

I know I must seem like a whiner who just hates Voyager because he was told to hate it and I see a lot of people really liking this one but I'm sorry, I think it's pretty mediocre.

1. The premise is very cliched. A member of the crew is accused of a crime by an alien society with extreme punishment and the crew has to investigate what really happened. This doesn't ruin anything but at this point, but you should do something really original with it.

2. The plot relies on Voyager crew to be morons. Did they not bother to look up basic laws of a culture they are trading with? If they are around long enough for Neelix to get a date (on personal level, thanks a lot for showing us his fetish, really needed that), they should know SOMETHING.

3. I'm... confused about the message here. If it's about literal thought crimes, then it's stupid, because we can't transmit those by accident. If it's about homosexuality as some suggested, I guess gayness makes you rape people? If it's about drugs... Actually, maybe? It's definitely pretty gutsy for a TV show at the time to suggest legalising drugs may be for the better or at least that war on drugs does more harm than good. And it doesn't portray dealers as some innocent victims either. Well, according to Memory Alpha, it's meant to be about censorship of violent media, which I guess works too.

I do like insight into Tuvok and his violent nature, but it's nothing all that new. I also like that the poliewoman was an actual character and not just strawman to preach at.

BTW, regarding the discussion above, I thing with Voyager's continuity that a lot of people defending it miss, is that it's a symptom of a larger problem: That the show fails to utilize its premise.

Two times have I finished most of this comment and two times I lost it. This has nothing to do with anything, but it pisses me off and I neeed to share it.
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Levi
Sat, May 27, 2017, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Basics, Part I

My problem with this episode is the conclusion that rape victims should be responsible for any resulting child. Chakotay's vision-dad basically told him that since it's his DNA, it's his son and he should take care of it. And Chakotay was basically scifi-raped by Seska.
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RandomThoughts
Sat, May 27, 2017, 12:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Fair Trade

Hello Everyone!

Ensign Vorik. Right off the bat, I knew I recognized him but could not remember exactly from where. Ah, the Enterprise, yes, that was it. Thanks Jammer. And, since he was playing a Vulcan the exact same way here, with the same rank, I'd say it's the same character as well. And I kind of like him. *I just did some minor searching and it has been suggested Taurik and Vorik were twins. But, they didn't put that in the show, so your mileage may vary.*

But... as I've slowly moved along during my re-watch, I don't recall seeing any Vulcans apart from Tuvok. There might have been some, somewhere, but I don't recall them. It seems to me if there was more than one Vulcan on board, they would hang out together sometimes, just as the Earthlings do. Like in the mess hall, sipping Vulcan tea and quietly reading at the same table, or playing Vulcan brain games together. Perhaps when Tuvok was losing his marbles after melding with the serial killer, Ensign Vorik could have helped him with his mental discipline (seems logical to me).

We've seen the engine room plenty of times, but this is the first time we see him? We give a pass to new Earthers we see, because many in the background are faceless uniforms, and if they bring one of them to the fore, well, we just didn't really notice them before. But with a specific race where there are only a few on board, it seems we'd remember them and they would interact. But maybe Ensign Vorik wasn't ever seen because he was on the Lower Decks. :D

I don't know, if they were home, I'd figure he was just a new crew member. But he's been on the ship at least two years, and probably longer, and they give him lines to speak that could have been given to anyone. He doesn't do anything particularly Vulcan-ish, he just seems to suddenly appear. That... seemed off to me...

Enjoy the Day Everyone... RT
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Strejda
Sat, May 27, 2017, 12:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

@Luke See, I really wanted to like that Jadzia is for once treated as in the wrong and gets called out on her arrogant behavior. Problem is, well, is she really all that wrong in this case? Sirella is being difficult to her for admitted racist reasons and and acts like the injured party after pulling out a knife (even by klingon standarts, she coulda just punch her). I was genuinely enjoying Jadzia calling her out on her "my grandma was a princess" bullcrap. I guess given how she acts during the wedding, it could have been just a test but I think it should have been made more clear. Kinda reminds of how in Lower Decks, they had a test like that, except the point was one should stand up for themselves. I agree Jadzia was just being passive agressive confrontational with the party, but is it really that much worse than Sirella being straight up agressive?

And Worf... Like, she tells him she doesn't want a klingon wedding like Worf wants, so he storms off. But Martok then convices him to stop being stubborn and be willing to compromise. So he goes to Jadzia... an tells her to do what he wanted. How generous of him. Yes, Jadzia was doing pretty much the same thing in Let He Who is Without Sin, but I didn't like her there either.
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NCC-1701-Z
Fri, May 26, 2017, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

@DLPB: I agree. Granted they had to get the exposition out of the way quickly for newcomers, but it still seemed more of a ripoff than anything else.

Myself, I'm not sure what I would have done in the writers' place. Maybe just cut it altogether and leave the rest of the ep alone?
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Peter G.
Fri, May 26, 2017, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace

@ Chrome,

I kind of think that part of the point of the prophecy isn't exactly what it translates to in terms of the future, but in terms of who is doing the interpreting. The fact that the Jedi, who already had an effective fiefdom in the Republic, read the prophecy as meaning they would have even more power over the Sith (and therefore in the galaxy) only confirms (SPOILER) what Palpatine tells Anakin in Ep III. They didn't think about the balance of the force, only about how much they'd get out of it as an organization, and that type of thinking was their downfall. The prophecy set them up for demise precisely because of how they read it, being who they were. So in terms of RT's point of it balancing the scales down the 2 Jedi and 2 Sith, yeah, it did that, precisely as a pendulum swing away from what the Jedi actually wanted, which was no Sith and all Jedi. Of course the reading of it as pointing towards RotJ is also valid, which means the prophecy didn't have to just mean one thing. This is especially so in light of Qui-Gon's repeated caution to Obi-Wan to listen to the *living force*. Any prophecy, if somehow true, is surely a message from the force itself, which in turn has to be understood as being either alive itself, or at least being *of* life and partaking of the minds of living beings. It isn't some rule written in a tablet somewhere, it's written across all living beings. And so, being a living prophecy, it can certainly take shape to fit the living beings that hear it; it's the rubber band effect, where however hard they pull on it is how much force it will have. The more they pushed Anakin to be some special Chosen One (they they definitely wanted under their control) the more he became the wildcard who would turn against them. Their own gripping onto the prophecy gave it its power to destroy them.

But RT is definitely right that "no Sith, all Jedi" doesn't sound like balance to me. That universe seems to be described as a ying-yang effect, so neither side can be (or should be) truly vanquished. Balance is harmony, not triumph. Yoda said "wars not make one great", and this is the deepest message in the entire saga, one that I've been pondering carefully for years. Even when Vader and the Emperor die, when we might be tempted to say that "the Jedi have won after all" I'm not so sure, because it's not clear to me, exactly, that Luke is the kind of Jedi they were. He may be something else, more like what in the off-canon is sometimes called a Grey Jedi. RotJ ends with the theme of "celebrate the love", which is not the Jedi way as we know it, but maybe the start of a new Jedi way. So again I would suggest that the force truly did balance again, with both sides effectively wiped out and a new strain beginning.
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Chrome
Fri, May 26, 2017, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace

@RandomThoughts

Anakin (as Vader) also destroys the emperor, so the prophecy was read correctly. It was just an incredibly rough journey. I agree it's funny, though, that this movie never explains what the Jedi expected to gain through Anakin that they didn't already have.
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RandomThoughts
Fri, May 26, 2017, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace

Hello Everyone

It has been years since I watched this, but that is mostly because I cannot see it on Netflix or Hulu. :)

My thought was this: They said something about bringing 'balance' to the force, as if it would tilt the odds in their favor. But they seemed to be tilted that way already. There were dozens of Jedi, but seemingly only one Sith (maybe, since they didn't believe he existed originally), with an apprentice. So wouldn't bringing balance to the two sides 'balance' the force? Perhaps they somewhat mis-interpreted the prophecy, because when *spoiler alert* Anakin helps to wipe out the good guys, what was left was more balanced. One Sith (with apprentice) and a couple of Jedi.

That was just my take on it anyway. Your mileage may vary...

Have a Great Day... RT
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Rahul
Fri, May 26, 2017, 10:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Immunity Syndrome

I think this is a terrific epsiode - very similar to "The Doomsday Machine" but not quite as great - but I consider the DM to be the best TOS episode (and possibly the best in all of Trek - but there's plenty of TNG, DS9, VOY for me to still see - doubt ENT gets anywhere near this level of excellence).
Terrific dynamic betweek Kirk/Spock/McCoy - reminds me a bit of something like Masterchef when Kirk breaks the news to Spock that he's going - when first watching it you think the captain has selected McCoy.
To me the big difference between the IS and DM is that IS doesn't benefit from a supporting actor like Bill Windom - who elevated DM with his performance. Also, the pacing of IS isn't as good - it's quite slow to get going.
I've even wondered who would win between the DM and the space amoeba. (I think the amoeba takes it).
The ending seems a bit fortunate - the tractor beam on the shuttle with Spock holds after the anti-matter explosion (but of course it would).
But the suspension of disbelief is par for the course in Trek and it doesn't take away from the interaction of the Big 3, which is top-notch.
For me, "The Immunity Syndrome" gets 3.5 stars out of 4.
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Rahul
Fri, May 26, 2017, 10:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Very interesting episode - I think the viewer is in the same boat as the Enterprise crew trying to figure out what the Tamarians are saying. Finally Picard gets it and is able to diffuse the situation.
I don't think Riker and the Enterprise trying to figure out a way to save Picard is wasteful or padding - they have to do what they have to do. Sure there's a bunch of technobabble but the episode can't just totally forget about what they're up to while Picard and the other captain are on the planet.
I think Jammer's review sums up well my feelings on this episode. It is clever, definitely an above average episode but not one of TNG's very best.
It's impactful in that the Tamarian captain really wants to forge relations with Picard and even when he was getting killed by the creature and Picard was unable to help because O'Brien was trying to beam up to his ship, the Tamarian captain didn't get upset with Picard or the Enterprise crew. He was accepting of his fate and never seemed to show frustration at not being able to communicate with Picard or that Picard didn't get him sooner.
Of course, it's a bizarre way to forge relations -- to beam down to a planet and fight a creature.
Still, this is a somewhat unique TNG episode - not the standard fare for sure and I'd rate it 3 stars out of 4. I liked it.
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Trudy Kockenlocker
Fri, May 26, 2017, 9:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

This is an excellent episode. This is not an anti-capitalist episode. The point is that the bar is run like a racket, or a sweatshop. In this case, a union is justified. But that's not the point. The writing is really good, the acting is terrific. And Levar Burton did a great job directing it.
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DLPB
Fri, May 26, 2017, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

@The Sisko

This might be hard for you to accept, but most of us can despise political bias and moralizing in fiction... if it is entertaining. The sad fact is that the media/TV these days is clearly leftist, and so it's all one way traffic. It can indeed get irritating for someone like me, who finds much of it not only a deluded ideology - but a sick and dangerous one, too.

No-one who purports to understand the "values" of Star Trek should be happy about the one-sided nature of today's films and television shows. Since the whole point of Trek is, supposedly, to understand other people and their opinions, which you clearly do not. Judging by what you have just said, I have to conclude that you wouldn't watch any show that disagreed with your politics. And that's very sad indeed.

Not all episodes of Trek have political bias. Not all Trek episodes beat you over the head with the leftist moralizing. In fact, I have noted many episodes that are not just entertaining (as most are), but brilliantly written. And Trek usually asks important questions and has interesting themes. If I were a bigot, I would take your advice. But I am not.

Saying that, I have no intention of watching Abrams' Trek, because, not only is he a gone in the head leftist, the latest films are brainless and without a soul - designed only around action and not around asking important questions. I'm at a loss to explain why so many "Trek fans" don't see the problem there.

Hope that explain why someone who does not share Trek philosophy can nonetheless still enjoy watching Trek. Mostly. I would also note that even a large number of Trek fans consider Gene's Utopian view of the future to be rather ridiculous and naive.

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DLPB
Fri, May 26, 2017, 7:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

Why don't you stick to the topic, Ravenna without getting your obvious 2 cents in at me while chastising someone else for doing it? Still, nice to see you understand the concept of free speech. I guess I gotta be thankful for that.

@Robert

I am surprised to hear you say that. Would have had you down as an "Evil USA for dropping bomb" type, like so many Dems are. But fair play. Also, I think we can all agree that Bush is - and was - a bad president, who had absolutely no idea what he was getting himself into with his misguided foreign interventions (which I contend were illegal). He and Blair should be up for war crimes. Anyway, this is all off topic.
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DLPB
Fri, May 26, 2017, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

The writers say they can do it, so that's that.
---------

No, that really isn't that. When a show is set in the same universe as ours, writers (good writers) are expected to obey the laws of physics and biology as much as possible, and give good reasons for anything that is, without massive medical intervention, scientifically impossible (even then, likely still totally impossible). In this case, it was probably better not to even go down this ridiculous route.

When writers don't give good reasons, or don't spend time making believable stories, we are not supposed to sit here nodding our heads and saying "So what?" We're supposed to be angry that either they were too lazy to care, too stupid to know, or think we are too stupid to know. And when they aren't held to account, they never improve and we get an increasingly inferior product.
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DLPB
Fri, May 26, 2017, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

It's been ages since I watched this episode, but I have paused it 5 seconds in to have my first moan about it. What on earth were the writers thinking using that corny Star-Wars lite opening as exposition? it comes across as utterly laughable hahaha.
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Peter
Fri, May 26, 2017, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

Interesting and fairly nicely written episode. And what's with that artificial wormhole's fiery color (Contrary to the Bajoran's blue)? On a more personal note: I find that to me, it feels that as I get older the more "past" I'm dragging around with me. Sometimes I get lost in thought about the pleasant and less such things I remember. Which be can be draining and distracting.

Also: I'm slowly getting over my inclination to feel as though people (e.g. episode writers) would consider me dense. Or to think that other's might be such, for that matter. At least I hope, :-)
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ShamDel
Fri, May 26, 2017, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

Im not going to argue with any opinions here, i myself like certain
episodes wich are hated by a majority.

But i thought the discovery of Dr. Bashirs Enhancement was really great
handled. The hologram Bashir acting so cold while Julian himself was also
pretty dismissive of his parents in the scenes before.

I liked it.
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Rahul
Fri, May 26, 2017, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Piece of the Action

In the vein of "The Trouble With Tribbles" this is another episode that shows how TOS could pull off humor. It's an interesting plot - obviously with some good twists and turns - unpredictable.
Great how Kirk/Spock start talking like the gangsters and Spock tries adapting. Some convincing supporting roles from Oxmyx/Krakow etc. Good script / good acting.
Ultimately, I'm not sure what Kirk and the crew accomplish with the Iotians but it's one of those episodes with some suspension of belief and flexibility with the PD that is a success.
This one is full value for 3 stars out of 4. Not quite on the level of Tribbles but plenty of comedy gold that shows what TOS could do.
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Rahul
Fri, May 26, 2017, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Gamesters of Triskelion

Definitely not one of the memorable TOS episodes although it might be thought of as one for trying to do what TOS is supposed to stand for.
It's well-intentioned - trying to talk about human freedoms, abolishing slavery, men and women etc. but those messages won't really resonate here.
The superior beings, despite tremendous powers, don't have the wisdom to go beyond amusing themselves by gambling. I find it hard to believe that they will live up to their promise to Kirk to train the thralls etc. but whatever.
Regarding one of Spock and McCoy's interactions - this is one of them where McCoy comes across as unreasonable and overly emotional to me - Spock's logic is fine as usual and he does ask for McCoy's suggestions at times. I always enjoy these and they're a part of what makes TOS so great.
I think the viewer does have to feel for Shahna at the end who is left on the planet and had developed feelings for Kirk.
I think this one just barely makes it to 2 stars out of 4. The episode has good intentions and some of Kirk's discussions with Shahna are well done as he means to help but also get him and his crew out of trouble, but the episode is also a bit cheesy and has full of cliches overall.
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Benny
Fri, May 26, 2017, 11:57am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Life Line

In pathfinder, Janeway said they wer sending through their log entries. Yet here we have the admiral asking about casualties, the Borg and the maquis. Are we to believe that either a) not a single crew member made a passing reference to any of those things or b) no one at starfleet bothered to read the logs?
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Aaron
Fri, May 26, 2017, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

Even as a fan of the Star Trek universe, I unfortunately have not had time to always catch every episode out there. So recently via the Heroes and Icons Network running all of the series, I just saw this episode. It was fantastic and timely. I had just been to a symposium led by a historian whose research spans revisionism and censorship to paint a different story of ancestoral piety. So what was interesting was the faceoff between truth and present-day body-politic. So for many like myself, truth is extremely important and I want to engage that path. For others, it is ironically not always about truth, it's about a quasi-Orwellian world for which they want to live in to manage their notions of truth not subject to scrutiny. What was interesting was that the doctor's desire not to be responsible for the fight, ie. be decompiled, in order that some cold-war would persist. And perhaps his sincerity at the end is what maybe convinced the curator that he wasn't lying for even a split-second. He was of an open mind but maybe not convinced.

I think a show like this is good for people to see to understand what it means to have an open-mind because in today's political climate everyone thinks they have the corner on the truth. Truth is it's somewhere in the middle. And we need to be able to have some flexibility or openness that new evidence will shed light or even turn things 180degrees.
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