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Steve - Sun, Aug 2, 2015, 9:12am (USA Central)
Re: Trek's Musical Problems

I don't ENT music is much better. Louder and more noticeable yes, but it still wasn't good. Especially not the action music. Completely and utterly predictable and repetitive. At some point it just got annoying. Especially since the show overused action resolutions and often had unnecessary space battles.

Individiually, TNG, DS9 and VOY still managed to break out of the mediocrity now and then though. DS9 has for example "The Visitor", "The Ascent", "The Siege of AR-558" which really excellent scores. And there are some nice small pieces here and there that are great like in "Children of Time", "Field of Fire", "One Little Ship", "In the Cards" or "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang". Another thing I love is the use of 'The Minstrel Boy" in the finale when O'Brien picks up the soldier figurine, harkening back to the TNG episode.

Or as mention VOY's "Night". Or the use of classical music in "Counterpoint". "Scorpion" also has a great score overall.

It's just all too little and too rare in the grand scheme of things. Maybe that's why those even stand out so much.
Steve - Sun, Aug 2, 2015, 8:08am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

There is another glaring idiocy in this episode: deuterium mining. In the desert!

The writers obviously had no clue that deuterium is heavy hydrogen. They thought of it as starship fuel, so they treated it like oil. *headdesk*

On Earth, heavy water (deuterium oxide) is produced by the distillation (or a similar process) of sea water, which can then by separated into deuterium and oxygen.
Deuterium is also a gas then. In space, another source might be a gas giant.

I suppose you can handwave it away by saying that they found some underground deposit of heavy water or gaseous deuterium. But that's not how it was portrayed as. Instead the liquid (!) deuterium somehow came out of the ground. Like oil.
Yanks - Sun, Aug 2, 2015, 6:59am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

John G,

I was fuming when our heros didn't get home and less than enthusiastic when they ended up in an alien infested WWII as well.

But don't cheat yourself, Season 4 is certainly worth your time and even the WWII episodes are pretty good. (the best WWII eps in trek)
Taylor - Sun, Aug 2, 2015, 3:07am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Symbiosis

Ahh, TNG's Just Say No episode. So in the 24th century, Romulan Ale is in but any other drug is still out. Suspiciously like the USA of our time, although that is changing as I write this.

Something tells me this hypocrisy will be long buried by the 24th century, however drugs - including alcohol - are viewed by then.
Taylor - Sun, Aug 2, 2015, 2:33am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: The Arsenal of Freedom

I like the episode, although both of thackerzod's points are spot-on.

Also, Troi accosts Geordi with her typically useless sh-t at the worst possible moment. Yes, it's a minor footnote in this particular episode - but it just reminds me that when the series was in its first run, Trekkers loved bitching about Wesley. But watching the re-runs, I'm far more irritated by Troi. Her character is just useless.
Matias - Sun, Aug 2, 2015, 12:40am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

What a garbage episode.
Ryan - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 11:28pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

The layed an egg and told you it was hardboiled. You smelt it and discovered they have really laid out a turd. Kudos. But me thinks you were too hard on the turd. There's a cow in it. And I think Michael wears suspenders. It's a lot better than "Threshold" too. I wouldn't eat a turd either, but I might at least offer it to someone else. If they were really hungry I mean.
Pat - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 11:01pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

DS9's biggest weakness was always Avery Brooks. Scenes between him and Kassidy or Jake, when he lets out that little giggle of his, are near unwatchable. So the fact that his arc is the least satisfying isn't at all surprising. But this episode is still able to be great because the other actors do such terrific jobs. As usual, Andrew Robinson is a cut above the rest as Garak. He way always able to convey so much while saying so little, which is difficult for any actor, let alone one in pounds of makeup and prosthetics on his face. 4 outta 4 stars
Pat - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 10:31pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Frame of Mind

I always felt that when Riker is in the fantasy, the scenes on the ship feel different in someway from normal scenes. I always wondered if they used different lighting for those scenes but I've never been able to see anything specific. Maybe the music is enough to produce that eerie feeling. In any case, it all came together with a great performance by Frakes. 4 outta 4 stars for sure.
John G - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 10:28pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

Good episode ruined by the idiotic ending. The Xindi story arc has already been way too long. Finally the war is won and Earth is safe and then suddenly the crew is in the middle of WWII?

I don't know if I will bother watching season 4 after this garbage.
Pat - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 10:26pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

You all are being too tough on Wesley. I'm not a fan of him saving the day (who is?) but in this particular case, it actually works pretty well. The things he does when he's running from the entire crew are all very Wesley Crusher type things, like the site to site transporters and the phaser pulse into force field. Ashley Judd being cute as hell definitely helped too. To me the episode is pretty fun. I give this episode 2.5 outta 4 stars.
jason - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 10:09pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

is it just me or does this have a lot in common with the naked and the naked now, especially with the crew losing their minds and trying to have sex with each other?
Damian - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 9:47pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

I miss DS9. Thank the Prophets for Netflix. I would have LOVED to have seen an eighth season - the Federation rebuilding from the war; Bajor adjusting to all the changes it's been through in the last few years; the aftermath of the Pagh-Wraith cult; the reconstruction of Cardassia; what happened with the Fed/Romulan alliance post-war; etc. etc... Sigh!
William B - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 7:59pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: The Alternate

Re: Sisko's father:

This reminds me of a joke on "Frasier." On "Cheers," Frasier had told Sam that his father was dead, long before the idea of Frasier starring in his own spin-off had come up. When his spin-off did happen, Frasier's father was introduced as a living cast member. So when Sam visited Frasier on his own series and was introduced to his father, he immediately said that he thought Frasier had said that his father was dead. Martin (Frasier's father): "You said I was dead?" Frasier: "I was mad at you!" A good way to turn a continuity error into a joke by confronting it directly. (Somewhat similar to the famous "we do not discuss it with outsiders" joke from "Trials and Tribble-ations.")
William B - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 7:57pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: The Alternate

Enter Dr. Mora Pol. The Mora/Odo relationship is the focus of this episode, including what initially appears to be an unrelated monster movie B-plot but turns out to be explicitly about Odo's feelings about Dr. Mora. The plot itself is nothing much to speak of, and it is indeed pretty weak. However, while both this and, say, "Armageddon Game" have weak plotting elements and good character development, I ultimately prefer this because the plot really is integrated into the character work, making the stakes high in ways specific to the characters rather than as a purely external device. "Alien gas has weird effects" is a dumb idea, but fundamentally the problem is created because of deeply buried feelings Odo has, and the problem is resolved through Mora's familiarity with Odo and his opening his mind to what he does *not* know.

James Sloyan -- excellent in all his various Trek roles -- is wonderful in his interactions with Auberjonois, and creates a portrait of a man who has just the right set of contradictions. He sees Odo as a son and a science project; he knows Odo better than anyone in some respects and is blind to some of the most obvious signals Odo gives off; his words of encouragement have the natural effect of pushing Odo back into his shell. I love how Mora correctly recognizes more clearly than Odo does that Odo sets himself apart from others because he feels he has to and only retroactively justifies it as "what he wants", and yet at the same time is totally unable to see how his needling Odo about this just makes Odo grind his heels more. I think that one of the most telling moments in the episode for where Odo's distrust of others (and himself?) comes from is toward the end, when Mora secretly informs Odo that Mora knows that Odo is his sample, and then makes the argument that Odo's friends on the station would *never* accept him knowing this. In many ways this is an exaggeration of a particularly anxious parent's response -- "I want to protect you by poisoning your ability to trust others, because I know that none of them can love you as I do" -- which has the secondary effect of ensuring that the child comes back with them. Mora, who was a scientist during the Occupation and very likely had to work hard to keep Odo out of the Cardassians' hands (I wonder if part of the reason he insisted on Odo doing the Cardassian Neck Trick was a recognition that being a lovable clown is the best way to reassure the Cardassians that Odo was neither a threat, nor a creature they can [ab]use for their own purposes), distrusts everyone but himself when it comes to Odo, while also criticizing Odo for failing to open up to others. His desire to see Odo blossom makes him critical -- or, worse, surprised at every indication of Odo's success; his desire to see Odo safe makes him try to make Odo afraid. And he is completely unaware of these behaviours.

Mora's little speech on the similarities between scientists and lawmen also serves to highlight the ways in which Odo, overall, takes after Mora. Despite his frustrations, we know that Odo values Mora because he patterned his physical appearance after him (though he couldn't get the ears right!) and shrinks in Mora's presence. Mora's cluelessness about how his "friendly" advice about what is best for Odo would actually affect Odo comes down, in part of course, to being a parent, but also in part to being a *scientist*. Just as Odo falls into the trap of believing that his desire for JUSTICE gives him some sort of superpower of objectivity (which he even attributes, in the "Necessary Evil" logs, to perhaps his species), Mora's training as a scientist makes him see himself primarily as an observer, and an objective and dispassionate one at that. He is not quite depicted as the type of scientist like, say, Bashir, who lacks social skills altogether, but Mora's background of viewing himself as an investigator into Odo's nature makes him unable to turn the microscope back on himself and recognize how many of Odo's "flaws" are the result of his own behaviour -- his own stubbornness and certainty of his own objectivity and infallibility -- as *well* as to what extent their mutual desire for the truth and their dedication to hard work means that Odo has learned some of his surrogate father's best traits as well.

While we don't actually get much information about Odo's origins here -- a bit of a disappointment, though people who have watched ahead know what's coming -- I do think the idea that Odo would subconsciously desperately want to destroy the lab very cool. Odo's inability to get through to Mora exactly how traumatic his upbringing was, and (more to the point) how lonely he still felt even around Mora, culminates when the id-Odo essentially tries to murder Mora. Mora's recognition that Odo *wants him*, and his rejection of "RF power"-type tech solutions in favour of the personal, emotional one also signals Mora's full willingness to regard Odo as a person as well as, well, an "unknown sample" to be treated scientifically; and his willingness to risk his life so that Odo can be trapped (and hopefully not killed) is real proof of his feelings for Odo which Odo can actually see and understand. And I like the idea that once Odo expresses his anger the only way that is possible -- through alien gas, ha -- there is the possibility open for real communication between these two.

That Odo actually does turn out to be the killer monster and is still forgiven also helps address one of Odo's big fears -- that he will, if he steps too far afield of what the solids approve of, be destroyed. Mora's fears, which he somewhat projected onto Odo, are wrong -- at least with the station personnel. Odo is regarded as a sick, lonely person affected by alien material, rather than an evil maniac/monster to be destroyed. And in a lot of ways I think that it's good for Odo's rigid moral code for him to find out that he has some destructive urges that he didn't quite recognize. I think Odo knew he was angry at Mora, but I don't think he fully knew *how* angry, and his guilt over having hurt Mora, and Mora's *forgiveness* of Odo, probably help Odo along in understanding that there are grey areas in "justice."

The monster stuff is indeed a bit silly and has a B-movie quality, but it doesn't take up much of the episode, and it is used to good effect to spur a change in the relationship between Odo and Mora, which also helps move Odo along further on his series long arc. 3 stars.
Bill - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 5:07pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Yep, 4 stars for me. I give it that for all the little things, too, like after the briefing the way Sulu tracks just behind Kirk, both faces grim set in determination--it lasts only a few seconds by I found it captivating both in its effortlessness and its portrayal of a war-time commander with his tactical officer on their way to battle. Or McCoy's counsel to Kirk in his quarters, even as he enters the room maintaining a smile in the midst of the possible horror about to unfold. I guess I was more focused on those aspects than on what hats the Romulans were wearing.
Eli - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 1:21pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

After re-watching this original episode, I still enjoyed it thoroughly. The show offers an interesting, morally ambiguous conflict that provides the crew with good opportunities for personal growth and heroism.

Re: criticisms

I completely agree with Tim (Nov. 2014). It's not fair to suggest that Voyager leave a time delayed bomb. As he pointed out 1) The technology is complicated and time consuming to set up, and 2) they are under attack. I would add 3) Voyager is not familiar with the technology and 4) it would be extremely tricky and complicated to ensure the bombs and the space travel machine were perfectly in sync. After all, they would have to be careful to delay the detonation of the bombs very soon after they left, otherwise the Kazon could disable them.

Also, Janeway's decision to destroy the array adds moral and intellectual complexity to the story. Take that decision away and the conflict is less interesting.

I do think, however, that the reason for blowing up the array could have better explained. In my view the Voyager crew should blow up the array because otherwise the gangster Kazon (or another threatening group) would be in control of the most powerful technology in the galaxy and be a threat to everyone. Destroying the array is not simply a matter of saving the Ocampa; it is also necessary for the safety of the galaxy.
navamske - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 12:26pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

@Dave in NC

"Not to be specie-ist, but if the Klingons understand cloaking technology, how hard can it be to master? Why would the Federation allow itself to be hamstrung this way?"

Because the script demanded it. No other explanation is plausible, especially "Well the Feds were taking the high road."
Aine - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 8:48am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

I thought the sexism was nightmarish, but I still wouldn't have given this zero stars. In fact, I thought it was given zero stars as disapproval against the blatant endorsement of workplace sexual harassment by the writers (it's one thing for the Quark character to do/say what he does, it's another thing for the writers to endorse that completely).

Nancy and others covered the main problems with this. I think the redeeming points for this episode are:

1) Lumba kisses a man and there's no revulsion etc around it. The romance is also not something Quark-Lumba regrests or is homophobic about. (Although the rape-as-love trope continues in both storylines.)

2) Quark arguing the case for females to earn profit (though again, with very stupid logic that should have been self-evident on Day 2 of Ferenginar, but still)

3) Odo-Quark hug was kind of fun to watch, even though Quark is basically hyper-stereotyping 'female emotions' etc.

4) While the transgender scenes are FAR from what we could easily expect from Trek (Consider Dax as a transgender character for instance), it's still 'something' to have that on screen (and I felt the review's absolute hatred for watching this - while tolerating other similarly bad stories might have been fed by this :p)

I didn't like Worf's line or any of those Ferengi-hating lines that randomly show up as a normal thing, as if it's 'funny' to be dismissive and derogatory of an entire race. The best counter-scene to this is in one of the early episodes of one of the seasons when Quark tells Sisko that humans only hate on Ferengi's because they remind them of what humans used to care about, and yet Ferengis NEVER DID all the terrible things humans did, historically.

The amount of hatred directed at Ferengis is pretty nauseating. You won't see that kind of dismissive hatred directed at the tall, white, changelings now, would you? :p
Aine - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 7:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

This was such a weird episode - it seemed to have a lot of dramatic potential and nothing much happened. All the interesting stuff seemed to have already happened - had they been captured or something then there could have been something.

The plot also. What happened to that message to the Grand Nagus? Why that opening montage? What happened to the 8 month's mission results? It's all a waste? So what's the contribution of this 'dramatic' episode to the storyline? Absolutely nothing!
Aine - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 6:24am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: His Way

Sad to hear that Vic ever comes back - way too much complacent, annoying screen time.

The Odo/Kira kiss looked so painful to watch - almost like some clamp was being shoved on something.

Odo had some pretty nice moments (the Sisko office singing), but I completely agree with the review that said that they had a complex comrade/siblingy dynamic which was way more moving than the Trek romances ever seem to get. It was such a great contrast to the way some of the characters would sexualize Kira, while Odo always appreciated her for her strength etc. It honestly just felt as if because a 'male' (haha changeling gender by the way!) and a female are friends, the story has to spin them into a romance. Look at Sisko and Dax - works so much better as friends.
DG - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 6:23am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Sons of Mogh

Noggra's face when he says "Your name is Rodek... So don't worry!!!" he just seems so freaking happy about it tot he point where I almost want a whole episode just about what the heck Noggra's life is like that he's THAT happy to have another kid.
romemmy - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 2:33am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Return to Grace

Um.. is it just me or is no one wondering how they are operating the bird of prey without its command codes? Sure, the computers may be unlocked (since they were using them), but being a military vessel it's highly unlikely you don't need codes/passwords to access a significant number of functions on board! Without the codes (and thus the ability to change them) the Klingons should be able to override the computers and take the ship back.

None of them were, as far as we know, capable of hacking the computers (stands to reason that the Cardassians wouldn't waste a valuable technical resource on a freighter, and neither Kira, Ducat or Damar are engineers).

Of course it's another example of rules (and common sense) going out the window to enable the plot, but it's annoying some times! I love Star Trek, and they at least do usually consult scientists to make things plausible (with the exception of the Abrams stuff), but these plot holes are annoying some times ;)

Thanks!

S.
legrate - Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 2:09am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

Richard, those rationalizations might work, indeed.

I thought msw188 hit one of the larger plot holes - Crusher performing a complex medical procedure on MacDuff without noticing he wasn't human. Similarly, Troi did share a room with MacDuff, but she also picked up nothing - either a strange inability to read him, or an ability to read a mind buzzing with deception.

While we're at it, how did MacDuff get on the Enterprise at all? They did have shields up, even if they didn't block the scan, one would hope they'd block any sort of transport. Not that they ever do, admittedly. And... sigh... must the Enterprise always meet strangers with its shields down? Starfleet had already ordered against this stupidity back in Kirk's day, and it just gets more and more ridiculous. This is a galaxy where a first strike can (and often does) cripple an unshielded ship, where transporters can (and do) whisk critical people away (why not beam off the whole bridge crew?)... puttering around with shields up should be a sign of trustworthiness, as it means you're not insane.

And as others have mentioned (and a problem with The Game too), it seems the writers often forget that many species are present on the Enterprise. It calls for "magic" technology to be able to remotely and precisely erase the differently-stored memories of: the computer, Data, and how many species... 3 just on the bridge, plus Guinan (conspicuosly absent), Mott the barber, and surely a handful of others at any particular time.
William B - Fri, Jul 31, 2015, 10:35pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

In spite of the title, "Armageddon Game" is not in any particular way "about" the weapons of mass destruction, which are only the MacGuffin to start the plot going. We know this because the one interesting idea -- that having found peace, these peoples must kill anyone who knows about these weapons, including the people who disposed of them! -- is never examined or discussed; it is repeated by the villains a few times, and there's a minor wrinkle in that it initially seems to be one group planning this murder and then it turns out it's both. No one offers any counterargument, nor even particularly expresses outrage that these guys asked for Federation assistance and then planned to kill them. The end section, in which the T'Lani tells Sisko that she has no quarrel with him or the Federation but must kill Bashir & O'Brien, comes across as ridiculous -- if the T'Lani had planned to keep their murdering the heroic scientists who ended the terror of the harvesters a secret, as implied by their hastily blaming O'Brien for activating a subroutine that obliterated them, they surely couldn't just let Sisko go. The escape sequence at the end has weird, heavy-handed over-explanation ("We saw them die!" "Did we though?"), and in general the entire investigation is plodding. Bashir and O'Brien, besides not dying in the initial attack, only accomplish one thing -- to attract the T'Lani to them! -- which is a decent twist, but also means that, since they get rescued at the last minute through no action of their own, their struggle is not all that inspiring. Would Sisko not have been able to find them if they hadn't contacted the T'Lani? No explanation is actually given how the Runabout crew could identify Bashir and O'Brien immediately when the planet couldn't -- I guess superior technology, though if they were found because Sisko could find the T'Lani having beamed down that might give some sense that the endless jiggering with that comm device actually had plot importance.

This is maybe a harsh assessment of an episode that is mostly about Bashir and O'Brien talking. But I do think that survival stories have a greater kick when there is some sense that what the characters do to survive actually matters. To compare for other Trek examples, "The Next Phase," "The Enemy," "Shuttlepod One," "The Ascent" and "The Galileo Seven" all had plots that ultimately did hinge on our trapped characters accomplishing something, often which reflected some major character growth, and an episode like "The Most Toys" has a kind of tragic air because Data's rescue saved him from the long-term external consequences of killing Fajo, but not from the implications of readying himself to. In this case, besides having O'Brien not die nothing Bashir and O'Brien do matters much to the eventual plot resolution, which means that anything they do besides talk is a waste of time.

Given that one of the subjects of their talk is marriage, it seemed like a neat tie-in that it is Keiko's deep, close knowledge of Miles that ends up saving him. In execution, it seemed terribly unconvincing that Miles drinking coffee in the afternoon while on some alien ship, in space, working on a major project with risky, deadly WMDs, would be the smoking gun required to let Sisko investigate it, not to mention the plot contortions required to justify this already-silly idea (my favourite is the idea that, to justify that it's coffee, the hastily-edited video recording designed to fake deaths has a *spectrographic analysis* precise enough to be able to tell the chemical composition of what's in O'Brien's cup). But accepting this on a "what they are going for" level, that Keiko could identify a small, specific detail which demonstrated the falsenes of the cover story while Jadzia could only bemoan that she never got around to reading Julian's soul-baring journals absolutely reinforces Miles' argument that marriage and intimacy are worth the headaches that come with it. And then the episode undermines it for a not-funny joke at the end -- Keiko actually has no clue about Miles drinking coffee! My girlfriend and I laughed out loud at that point, not so much because of the joke itself (not really funny) as the way the series regularly seems to undermine anything positive in the O'Briens' marriage, as well as the way the episode undercuts its own thematic point. I am not opposed to this kind of undermining, but the episode is thin enough and the coffee idea was already sketched in enough and the O'Briens' marriage already so inattentively rendered that I felt kind of sad. Nevertheless, we still can take from this the idea that Keiko made up an artificial reason to save Miles, and her refusal to give up on him did lead to his being saved, so, that is something.

I do tend to find the scenes on the station overall not quite effective, and I am not sure why. Some of it is that there hasn't been that much development of relationships between Julian and Miles and the rest of the main cast, Jadzia (and each other) excepted, and Garak does not make an appearance. Still, the crew's moderately sad reaction to their death, while realistic, doesn't quite give me much sense of them as individuals. The big scene regarding Julian's death is the Kira/Dax conversation in Quark's, which overall works pretty well; I don't quite find Farrell convincing here, but putting that aside I think that there is something of the right way of conveying the mixture of grief, loss and guilt of someone who knows that a person with an unrequited thing for them has died. There is something both sweet and pathetic about Julian giving Jadzia his medical journals, consisting of his "innermost thoughts," much of which were about his struggle to be the best in his class and his fear of failure, as a way for her to "understand him," like any other young nerdy male desperately giving out his livejournal account in the hopes that only THEN will she see how truly deep he is; and, well, it's a kind of sweet and pathetic I can relate to, while also sympathizing with the mixed feelings that this inspires in Jadzia. Capped by Quark's "good customers" line, it's a melancholy thought that reminds us exactly how lonely and alone this guy is, and Jadzia, by realizing that she probably *is* the most important person in Julian's life right now, gets some sense of what that means for him. The scene of Sisko telling Keiko I did feel was ineffective; I don't think that Keiko reacting with something like shock and not having any emotional outbursts is believable, but there's a certain something missing from the performance or the direction to give a real sense of what she's feeling underneath, at least for me.

As for the Bashir/O'Brien scenes, in a weird way they serve a similar purpose to Jadzia talking about Julian's medical journals. Bashir already likes O'Brien and wants his trust, so even though it's Miles who is closer to death the story is much more focused on O'Brien coming to see Bashir as his own person and coming to care about him than the reverse. As the older and more experienced man, O'Brien's gradually slipping away into disease, and just missing death, with Bashir slowly taking more and more charge of the situation, has a bit of a Circle of Life vibe, a short version of the inevitable fate of people to watch the next generation come into prominence as they themselves go into decline. The age difference isn't so great, but it seems artificially greater because O'Brien has "lived" more than Bashir in many respects, having fought in a war and served multiple Starfleet jobs and having a wife and child. I like how Bashir's backstory, involving a ballerina who is the daughter of a doctor, ties together the interests in medicine and physical fitness that we have seen from him recently. O'Brien's impassioned defense of marriage, while weakened both by the show's need to undermine Miles/Keiko regularly and by the lack of specificity in the details ("oh yeah we fight, she doesn't want to be on the station, but it is worth it! for... reasons"), is touching, and is the most important lesson that he imparts onto Bashir; and when O'Brien imparts this wisdom, there is the sense in which he now recognizes that Bashir's skirt-chasing and immaturity is the sign of his youth, inexperience, and insecurity rather than just a personality type Miles can't really stand.

Overall, the plot of this episode is very weak and the character material is...good but not great, making this a prime example for what Jammer termed the Split Personality Syndrome of the season. 2.5 stars from me.
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