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- Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 2:33pm (USA Central)
Call me crazy, I really enjoyed this episode. I liked the idea of a sentient fluid. Although I must say I am now officially sick of Paris. Cracking a joke everytime he's dying, ugh. Drama please!
- Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 1:47pm (USA Central)
Doctor Bashir, I Presume
@William B: I agree with your general reasoning. This Bashir situation is not the worst case of non-consequential misbehavior this season. In fact, it makes sense that the one to be punished is his father, as Bashir himself was too young when the genetic enhancing happened. Similarly, not letting Bashir entry into Starfleet would of course have been unfair (but who said the opposite?). Would be sort of a prejudice.
The issue is to not have any consequence, not even a small one (in fact not even a reprimand) for his life-time lies to the Starfleet. He chose to hide an important fact from Starfleet, not to mention to conceal a crime evidence to protect his father, obliterating justice. It is quite a lot for no consequence.
- Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 12:04pm (USA Central)
I suggest doing an addendum to each review, episode by episode of how the extras are handled in TNG. Call it 'Extra Lense'. I love this show but the general direction of their behaviour and responses is preposterous. In this episode Worf primal screams on the brudge and nobody even turns to look. Classic.
- Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 1:19am (USA Central)
Elementary, Dear Data
Actually, according to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion by Larry Nemecek, it was an element of the original ending.
- Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 12:38am (USA Central)
Elementary, Dear Data
The removing of the paper from the holodeck by Data proves that Moriarty could leave the environment. I assumed this was an inconsistency, not part of a deleted plot-line.
- Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 12:26am (USA Central)
Ro Laren had been in prison for years before she was assigned to the Enterprise D. It's wholly realistic for her to have a chip on her shoulder. Her character was in part for not being a model officer that led to the deaths of crew members. In fact the evolution of her character in this single episode is bloody brilliant from beginning to end. Even the part with Geordi expressing his misgivings towards her was a subtle jumping off point for Guinan to be worked into the narrative--since she was the one Geordi was expressing his misgivings to.
And I refer you to DS9's pilot episode, "Emissary" with Kira behaving like an "ANGRY WOMAN" on steroids chewing out everyone around her and shouting every other line. Thankfully, they made her more three dimensional as the series progressed.
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 10:04pm (USA Central)
Flesh and Blood
I just watched this one. Enjoyed this episode a lot. Good morality play, good action, nice to see some familiar Alpha Quadrant faces, the Jem 'Hadar, the Breen, the Bajorans, etc. The scenes between the Doctor and Iden, B'Elanna and the Cardassian Kejal, were great. I really liked the scene between the Doctor and Janeway at the end.
Voyager had its problems, but it seemed to do the two part epics quite well most of the time. I agree with Jammer's review of this.
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 7:58pm (USA Central)
Year of Hell, Part I
The Krenim have supposedly been at this for two centuries, but it only now occurred to them to aim their weapon at the Zahl homeworld, right when Voyager is coming into the situation?
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 6:45pm (USA Central)
Interesting about the music and applause. I was listening to this episode on Netflix the other day (something weird I do, listen to movies on Netflix at work). The applause and music threw me, I never remembered that.
I just put the DVD I have of voyager season two and the applause and music isn't there. Wonder if somebody at netflix with a sense of humor added that
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 6:32pm (USA Central)
While I don't agree with Nick on the DS9 characters (which were superb), I'm gonna back him up on the Ro issue from a feminist perspective. When a bunch of male writers try and spice up a show that's low on conflict by adding a two-dimensional "ANGRY WOMAN", it's insulting and outright anti-feminist. The difference between Kira and Ro couldn't be clearer; Kira experienced trauma but is not defined by it - she's a three-dimensional character, emotionally available, and interacts with others normally and without hangups. As critic Abigail Nussbaum writes, "What I like best about Kira's strength is that it doesn't undermine her femininity or her ability to relate to others. [...] Kira is damaged, but that damage doesn't render her incapable of functioning normally, nor is it used as a justification or apology for her toughness, though both originate in the same circumstances. Neither is Kira's rage--her default reaction when she's frustrated or confronted with injustice--treated as an illness or a symptom of dysfunction. [...] All of which is to say that I like Kira because she's an adult. It's all too often the case that female characters--even the strong, kickass ones--are portrayed as girlish or immature. Kira is a grown up--in her professional conduct, in her personal relationships, in her moral behavior." By contrast, Ro as written and performed in this episode is immature, childish, petulant, completely defined by her past, and far too clear an example of male writers thinking "let's add a bitch". Thankfully, she develops more over the course of the episode - the turning point being her second discussion with Guinan and her confessional scene in Picard's ready room - but all of her scenes up to this point are far too pantomime and one-note, with Forbes playing Ro as cartoonishly hostile without reason to all around her. Add to that the poor writing, which breaks the "show, don't tell" rule: in the first half of the episode, we mostly experience Ro's abrasiveness through other characters telling us about it. Witness Riker, Worf and Geordi - a bunch of male characters - all venting off about how Ro shouldn't be on the ship or wearing the uniform. Not only does it beggar belief that one ensign would be so notorious beyond her own ship, it also seems out of character, particularly in Geordi's case. It's characters transparently acting as narrators for the audience's benefit by repeatedly telling us "Ro is bad" instead of showing us evidence.
Aside from that, pretty good episode.
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 6:07pm (USA Central)
I concur pretty much totally with your review. Colm Meaney is OK, Marc Alaimo steals the whole episode (no wonder they brought him back as Dukat), but Maxwell didn't really work for me, certainly not as the character was performed in this episode. His motivation for going rogue seemed insufficient and the performance was underwhelming, passionless and phoned-in. It also strained belief that Maxwell would be able to do what he did without his crew rebelling, and it thus harmed the episode that we never saw any of them. And it was awfully convenient that O'Brien was able beam over like that, plus ridiculous that Picard would allow Maxwell to retain command of his ship for the return journey after he'd just murdered 650 people. Maxwell is given far too much benefit of the doubt by O'Brien and Picard throughout the episode.
Often when TNG tried to do conflict, it came over as forced and inauthentic, and we this problem again here. A couple of O'Brien's scenes are too unsubtle and stagy, and I also didn't like how absurdly offhand Picard is with Macet at the end, even going as far as to turn his back on Macet by demonstratively rotating his chair. After everything that had just happened - a rogue Federation ship violating Cardassian space and causing massive casualties, then Picard almost letting the situation escalate even more through basic negligence and lack of discipline - it seemed totally out of character and incredibly crass for Picard to behave this way. Basically, this episode makes the Federation look like the dicks, not the Cardassians.
Also, yeah, O'Brien going from being tactical officer under Maxwell to transporter dude under Picard? What's with that? And why were they only chasing Maxwell at warp 4 for most of the way?
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 5:36pm (USA Central)
A Matter of Perspective
One plot hole that has always annoyed me about this episode is why nobody ever checked Riker's phaser to see if it had been fired.
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 2:53pm (USA Central)
Business as Usual
A nice character development for Quark, as he got one of the few serious episodes so far. Also, nice acting from the guest actors. Overall, good episode.
The only serious flaws, for me, are those that have become quite constant this season: the lack of consequence for misconduct of characters and the Federation/Starfleet looking not the Federation/Starfleet that exists in the standard Trek reality.
Not only is irritating to see, as someone recalled here, Dex playing with Quark just so fast as if he didn`t have helped killing thousands of people with the already sold weapons. It strikes me as dramatically stupid to the point of infuriating that is just that easy to Bajor (and the Federation next) to accept a guy smuggling illegal weapons in the DS9 just because he was the one who sold most of weapons for the Bajorian resistance during the occupation.
But let me put this right. Of course it is understandable that Bajor feel in debt with such smuggler and asks him not to be arrested after Odo finds out the illegal weapons dealing. It is credible. But really giving a free pass for the guy to keep negotiating the illegal weapons indefinitely in DS9? Common! So with they had kept with small business, not finding a 28million-death deal, would DS9 have become a well-known spot for illegal weapons?
This is ridiculous. And Federation accepting in easily and pacificly as with Bajor had just asked to paint the station wall with a different color, is preposterous.
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 12:08pm (USA Central)
I'd really like all these "he's just a computer program!" people to define what they think sentience is.
The dictionary defines is as such: "responsive to or conscious of sense impressions". Then the doctor is definitely sentient. And if it's "to be aware of one's self", then the doctor is also perfectly sentient.
The fact is, most humans don't like to be reminded they're just animals, and like animals they're "programmed" by their genes. A human will never do something that their genes don't allow them to do. Never. Just like the doctor cannot do something his programming doesn't allow him to do. What is the difference, except that we know how to modulate technology better than we know how to modulate our genes?
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 2:58am (USA Central)
What You Leave Behind
*Ric I meant to write
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 2:57am (USA Central)
What You Leave Behind
Thinking a little about what @Rif said in the "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" thread:
I do think that Starfleet's never really punishing Sisko is a bigger problem than, say, not punishing Bashir over DBIP. Sisko is un-Roddenberryan in two major ways: the religious, nationalistic side with respect to Bajor, and the unethical, "getting his hands dirty" side with respect to things like "For the Uniform," "In the Pale Moonlight," or the "whatever it takes" to Worf in "Tacking Into the Wind." Now, Starfleet at least, or some representative of Roddenberryan philosophy like Bashir maybe, should go after Sisko on both counts, and Starfleet almost never does. Ross sometimes pushes back against Sisko on the Bajor thing, but inconsistently (and he pins a medal to him in "Tears of the Prophets," undermining the whole episode's argument as Confused Matthew pointed out), and no one ever really pushes back against Sisko on the moral stuff. The irony of course is that even if you take Starfleet out of the picture, those two should contradict each other. Sisko ending the show as a self-sacrificing messiah paints him as a saint, rather than the Complex Shades Of Grey guy. That there is no attempt to resolve the contradiction between Sisko as Space Jesus for Bajor and Sisko as poisoner of planets, perpetrator of a massive deception to trick the Romulans into a war, encourager of Worf to assassinate a Klingon head of state who is inconvenient, presents the scary possibility that the show is putting forth the argument that these types of things are the things messiah figures *should* do.
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 2:29am (USA Central)
Doctor Bashir, I Presume
Somehow, I don't actually mind that Julian "got away with" this in this episode; his father paid the price because his father was the one who was actually responsible for Julian being genetically engineered. I get that Julian lied, and that should be a big mark against him, but it's also clear that one cannot choose one's heritage and Julian being barred for entry into Starfleet because of his parents' decision is something that was manifestly unfair to begin with. It is noteworthy though how this compares to Simon Tarses in TNG's "The Drumhead," who similarly had a genetic secret and whose primary sin was lying about it, and whose career Picard speculated might well be over.
I think Sisko is a bigger problem, but I might write about that in the What You Leave Behind comments.
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 12:29am (USA Central)
The Way to Eden
I respectfully disagree, Jammer. I thought this episode was hilarious. I put it right up there with Sharknado as one of the campiest, most unintentionally hysterical things I have ever seen. Now I just need to watch it high! XD
- Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 12:13am (USA Central)
Doctor Bashir, I Presume
I totally agree with Jammer when he points the dramatic problem of Julian not having to face any consequences of his whole-life official lies. This is a bit too much for me. One day, Sisko bombards and poisons an entire planet to arrest a traitor. The other day, Wolfe illegally harms the controlled weather of Risa just because he is jealous of Dex. Then later, Sisko prevents Bajor to enter the Federation based on magicbabble visions of the future. Today, Bashir assumes that he has lied to the federation during his own life, even during his medicine tests, for sure.
The consequences imputed by Starfleet for all those cases? None. Zero. Nada. This just cannot be credible, sorry. I get that DS9 tries to give grey tones to the ideal Roddenberrian future. For one, showing that judgements and moral choices in the frontier are not as simple as in the voyaging starships such as Enterprise, as Wolfe recognizes in the beginning of last season. Actually that is what makes DS9 so incredible for may of us (myself included). I do love the even somewhat anti-Roddenberrian tone used sometimes.
But one good thing is to give us a show where things are not as morally clear and simple as within Federation own ships. Pretty good. Another totally different thing is to show the same Federation and same Starfleet in the same reality making such heterogeneous decisions about Starfleer officers' misconduct just depending on which show we are watching.
In this point, the is just incoherent bad linking with the Trek universe, not shading Trek with tones of grey.
- Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 11:31pm (USA Central)
Btw, do not get my whole thing wrong. I really like DS9 in general and its provocative sort of anti-Roddenberrian ideal world. But starting to rely on such things as magical-because-nonlinear-things, as an excuse to do any plot change they desire without the limits of credibility, is just something that cannot be praised as a gold medal episode. Instead of as an at least flawed one, even if having its qualities.
- Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 11:25pm (USA Central)
@Grumpy I see your point and I am glad you came with this. But what amuses me is that not even the babble-babble wormhole, babble-babble non-linear card was effectively used in this episode. In fact, they sort of took it as granted that we would just recall and rely on those babbles.
Or in other words, in this episode authors seem convinced that, as @Elliott has just said, anything written for the show that does not immediately fit into the fictional reality of Trek by default, will be automatically accounted for by a magictechnobabble that is not even present neither in this episode, nor in any recent episodes. This is just too lazy and too easy an approach to, saying the least, be praised as an outstanding episode.
In the same tone, regarding the magical godlike entities, I agree with you that at this point it is an explanation. But it is not certainly an elaborate one. It is not only a matter of taste. I dislike other things in this and other Star Trek shows, as it is normal regarding any show. But here we are talking about something that is very contradictory to the Trek reality so far: magic-like technobabble. It does fit, into the reality proposed by Star Wars, to have such a thing as the Force. It does not fit in the reality we've been presented in Trek to have magic god-like creatures without careful explanation. Take, for instance, Q in the TNG show. Of course he had godlike powers as we think of gods, but in every Q episode we were exposed clearly and coherently to how he has been messing things around and how humans reacted coherently to that. In the current DS9 episode, this is not the same. We are exposed to Sisko having an electric shock when playing with ancient religious pieces, then Sisko just starts seeing the future and making decisions solely based on that, without the natural consequences.
If the idea was to do with Sisko similar something similar to what happens to Pickard in “All the good things…”, it clearly didn't work the same. And why? We just have to compare how both episodes were built and explained. In the TNG one, the causes for Pickard seeing the future were made very clear and had rationale; the reaction of Starfleet and even the Enterprise officers to Pickard traveling his mind through time was very credible: distrust and consternation; and the decision to alter events based on a knowledge of the future was made by Picard after a good deal of philosophical dilemma. Nothing like those things came even close to happening in this DS9 episode.
- Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 7:15pm (USA Central)
@Grumpy: Um, so because they happened to have mentioned "non-linear" prophets, that makes any action they take defensible? So if in the 1st season of Voyager, Harry Kim invented a self-powering shuttle replicator, no one would criticise the incredible supply they seemed to have? Just having an explanation, no matter how stupid, is sufficient?
- Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 3:57pm (USA Central)
Ric: "There is not even sufficient technobabble thrown on the table to try explain how Sisko is supposed to have those spiritual visions of the future."
(babble babble) wormhole aliens (babble babble) non-linear (babble babble).
You don't have to like the show's reliance on magical, godlike entities, but you must admit they explain a lot. So anytime you see something like that, a Prophet did it.
- Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 3:49pm (USA Central)
That Kim was able to reroute tactical to ops (without an authorization code or anything) when the tactical officer is right there is beyond absurd. The episode loses all 4 potential stars right there.
- Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 3:45pm (USA Central)
How an episode like that can be rated fours starts out of four, is beyond me. Of course I read the entire Jammer's review, as I always do. In fact I've been reading the site for a while, but this is the first time I felt compelled to comment. And why? It is simple.
In this episode, we see Sisko having visions about the future. There is not even sufficient technobabble thrown on the table to try explain how Sisko is supposed to have those spiritual visions of the future. In this episode, Star Trek starts getting a Star Wars flavor that it shouldn't have ever get.
Not that I despise religions, or even think that humans are all necessarily atheistic or even agnostic in the Roddenberrian future (although most humans certainly are, considering the tips given in past Trek). This is not the point. The points are: 1) how can someone have such visions of the future without a good rationale explanation in the Trek world; 2) how can a Starfleet Officer make judgements and huge calls as Sisko made here, based on those visions, without being released of duty either before that (by Bashir, as Elliot mentioned above) or after (as deserved punishment) those decisions.
This is not a merely odd episode. Those were not merely awkward decisions in a Trek universe. Those wer huge plot changing decisions in a hugely plot chaging episode, once it delayed the entrance of Bajor in the Federation of Planets.
I can see many good things in the episode regarding the writing, the character development, even some acting moments, etc. But how can those things surpass the atrocity that the plot injures Trek with, is just beyond any coherent reasoning I can find. Sorry guys, I liked the structure of the episode, but a huge plot change caused my unexplained religious visions of the future in a Star Wars way? No, sorry.
2.5 or 3 stars to the episode structure and writting. 1 star to the plot. On average, 1.5 to episode as a whole.
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