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- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 10:16am (USA Central)
It isn't a bad episode, but it certainly isn't well written or directed either. Lazy directing and writing is easy to spot... for example:
Neelix says he can barely open his eyes... Tuvok gives him some motivation, and the next minute he is wide awake and saving the day. A good director would have made sure that this was acted properly.. that you could see how hard it was for him to carry on when injured so much.
That's one example of many in this episode and beyond.
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 9:54am (USA Central)
I just finished watching this. I'm pretty sure I would have seen it before, but it was obviously so long ago that I don't remember.
As I said in my review of "Faces," I find Roxanne Dawson to be probably the single most sexually attractive Trek actress I've seen; and I'd fairly happily watch B'Elanna for hours.
With that said, this was by far the weakest B'Elanna episode I've seen. Yes, she's fiery, and I love that; but at the same time, temper still usually needs some sort of motivation. Here her temper seems purely arbitrary, most of the time. She's angry just because she's angry, and for no other reason.
Anyone who's seen "Gravity," will also know how much irony there is in Tuvok teaching Torres anger management; Tuvok might be Vulcan, but it's still a true case of the blind leading the blind, there.
There also wasn't enough action here for me, or at least not enough action that had a real point in terms of the characters or the story. I like action, but not when it is mindless, or occurs purely for its' own sake. Chakotay gets hit in the head, which doesn't really do much except maybe raise tension slightly, although you know that, as a regular character, of course he's going to be ok.
B'Elanna attempting to reason with the alien, however, and plead with it before killing it, is a good example of why VOY has become my favourite Trek series of the lot. There was action in this show, and during a few episodes said action becomes fairly intense; but despite survival occasionally being an issue (although nowhere near as much as it should have been, I know Jammer) the characters' commitment to principle demonstrated that this was still genuine Star Trek.
So yeah; Roxanne looking sexy is always a big plus, but I kept waiting for her to have an interesting character moment like she did in "Faces," and except for the brief conflict and flashback at the end, she never really does. It's disappointing.
This one gets two stars from me, with an extra half star due to makeup making Roxanne look as though she'd just been mud wrestling. Yum, yum. ;)
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 8:11am (USA Central)
Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy
Oh, I was sooo entertained by this episode back in the day. I remember when Janeway put the Doc's hand on her back end and curling my lip in disgust then laughing my butt off because the camera cut to Paris making the same face I did. I am so happy to know Mulgrew suggested and it was approved to be added. It was awkward but fun. Did Mulgrew feel a little left out hence the suggestion? I can see her say something like, I adore Picardo, but there is the political view of Janeway where she's still feeling out if he's to be treated as an equal. let me have a fun scene with him since my character is often annoyed by him."
Pon Farr scene had me in stitches.
I love the concept of the ECH.
Fun, fun episode.
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:51am (USA Central)
I disagree. There was no reset button. Look at Mulgrew's face in the final shot. She's trying to be the reset button :-). But we know better. And their unshakable friendship is dabbled throughout the series thereafter.
"I can see their fears of this turning into a soap opera if they follow through with this
romance, but that just shows their own limitation as writers."
mmm, actually blame Mulgrew on that note and the writer's lack of ability to pull off a complex connection beyond sex. If the writer's weren't hinting at sex but a beautifully orchestrated connection between j/c as comrades out of the gate vs tossing her in bed, I think Kate might have more readily gone along for the ride.
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:40am (USA Central)
DLPB> ha, if I am not mistaken, we could probably add Mulgrew orgasmic over acting effect to a drinking game. I've smirked a few times over the seasons.
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:37am (USA Central)
I like the character interaction but it stops there. The twisting ship thing was something I couldn't find plausible. But there could be something far beyond my comprehension in science that could make this happen. It reminded me of the barreon sweep (sp?) in TNG only without the real danger that they die if they touch it. (ie Janeway was caught in it she didn't)
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:30am (USA Central)
Arghgh. "too" I would love an edit button. Trying to figure out why my tablet keeps garbling my words. I am hitting the keys but maybe it's so quick it isn't registering and I get missing commas and strange auto corrects. I need a real keyboard. I bet Janeway doesn't have to backspace constantly on her PADD.
One more thing about this episode, I don't buy genetic compatibility between Neelix and Kes. Just because every alien they encounter is humanoid doesn't determine compatible mate. This bugs me. I would have preferred the stress of her freaking out then coming to terms then the relief as the bugs moved on, without the B plot of the gross idea of neelix getting laid.
I do buy him as a father when he has character growth in the last seasons but now? eww no.
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 7:20am (USA Central)
I was 14 when this aired. It was icky, brainless, and awkward then and still is now. One scene was memorable when I realized Janeway doesn't have a star fleet stick up her butt that I mistook her for in the first two eps. (I missed a lot of episodes when show started) She can be warm and surprisingly maternal. (A little two maternal in late seasons ) but...that s me analyzing everything.
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 1:25am (USA Central)
Let He Who Is Without Sin...
Huh. When I look over that list of Risa episodes, I begin to wonder whether it was some kind of joke/apology on the writers' part to have the planet burnt to a cinder by the Borg in the "Star Trek: Destiny" book trilogy.
Yeah. Not good.
- Sat, Mar 8, 2014, 1:07am (USA Central)
@Vylora: Since your comment is only two weeks old, it's possible you might see this. What you describe has been done in book form. There are two anthologies from the Mirror Universe by the names of "Glass Empires" and "Obsidian Alliances", followed by several more novels (these also intersect with the DS9 reboot novels). Suffice it to say, these eventually end up with something like you described.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 10:23pm (USA Central)
Time's Arrow, Part I
The other 2-part episodes of TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds"; "Redemption"; "Unification"; and soon "Chain of Command" have been given special single Blu ray releases.
"Time's Arrow" has been snubbed. And if you watch this 2-parter, you'll find out why.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 10:18pm (USA Central)
Jammer, I have to say, I have started watching DS9 after growing up with TNG and DS9. At first, the idea of a continuing show bugged me, but I am really enjoying it. I love that is it so easy to watch online now -- I first saw the show when I was 12 but only saw "The Emissary" and "Way of the Warrior" as they were on VHS!
But your reviews are always good to read after watching a new episode. Thanks for posting them all.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 9:32pm (USA Central)
While it certainly wasn't a wonderful episode, I would never say it was "the worst episode in more than two years." If nothing else, it was watchable. I can recall a couple of others that weren't even that.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 7:30pm (USA Central)
Have to agree with the above two comments (though I think Jammer's right about the planet-side scenes). Janeway didn't handle the situation well at all. On one level her aggression is understandable - she's the hyper protective mother and her crew are her babies! - but as a diplomat she's utterly incompetent in this episode.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 6:37pm (USA Central)
I thought this episode was a huge missed opportunity. Sulu's plotline should have been weaved into the mainstorm better. The notion of Janeway "walking into Tuvok's head" and "interacting with his subconscious" was also totally rediculous. I thought the core idea of a virus which embeds itself in false repressed memories was great. It's just the execution which doesnt quite work (the girl falling to her death was both cliched and bad FX work).
Still, loved seeing Sulu's bridge. When I was a kid, the Excelsior was always my favourite ship.
"The musical scores of Voyager seem to be much more engaging than the dreadfully boring stuff that plagued the last years of Next Generation."
Agreed. TNG's scores became very bland (ALL GOOD THINGS broke this trend).
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 6:31pm (USA Central)
The Dogs of War
"Open your books students, today we will study America the Evil Empire."
America is pretty much an evil Empire. It's usually only Americans who are unaware of how much of a neo-Colonialist Empire the "land of the free" really is. I've lived through 3 of its coups in Greece, one of its coups in Guyana and watched it wipe out all the opposition governments after Trinidad became independent (how dare you nationalise your oil!). The past 100 years is basically the 4 major Empires, and their economic arms (the World Bank, IMF and BIS), slaughtering governments, sponsering proxy militias and reordering nations to benefit them.
"Frankly, the Ferengi-going-socialist arc was rather embarrassing."
Yeah, but Quark keeps the faith and it's Quark who the audience loves watching precisely because he's an uber capitalist.
"Capitalism is simply the ability for free people to interact freely."
There's a reason three of the major physicists of their time (Einstein, Soddy, Edison) were hardcore anti-capitalists (Einstein outright called capitalism "the source of evil"): it is a totally nuts system.
The sheer level of "freedom rhetoric" ascribed to "capitalism" pretty much tells you the truth is precisely the opposite. As I said earlier, 80 percent of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there are more slaves under capitalism then under the epoch of slavery, there are more black men in prison in the US than were anybody in Stalin's gulags (and more blacks in US prisons than there were black slaves in the US in 1850) and our global debt clock is so high that we'd need 15 planet earths worth of resources to pay it back. A middle class lifestyle for everyone would itself take 5 planet earths worth of resources.
Not to mention the totally immoral means in which money is created (as debt, at interest, randomly by banks whenever you ask for a loan). The economist Georgescu-Roegen summed up the result of this succintly: "There is never enough money "in capitalism" to pay back the money owed "to capitalism"."
If you've played the game Monopoly, you see how capitalism always ends up: the wealth pools in one direction and cash has to be loaned out to the "loser players" to keep the Ponzi running. AI simulations by economists like Peter Victor also show us how the system must exponentially create unpayable debts, that anyone X out of debt puts another in a correponding X level of debt (and so poverty is inescapable), and that the system exponentially increases (by expanding markets and relying on new births to push debt onto) in order to stop from collapsing. And of course capitalism must expand or die and must continually go through cycles of booms and busts, in which wealth is pooled further with each crash.
What's interesting about this expansion is that it necessitates a 3 percent annual increase in global energy (and so heat). It's been expanding at this rate like clockwork for hundreds of years.
"OF course, left leaning writers never could leave it at that and so the Ferengi hardly ever behaved honestly."
Strictly speaking, most "left leaning people" are firmly right wing. Indeed, the contemporary left exists only to support capitalism by creating checks, balances and "humane" policies to cater for the system's more ruthless excesses (for example capitalism is inherently unable to provide full employment). The mainstream left basically keeps the con running. Unsurprisingly, things like the New Deal and American welfare systems were supported by huge banks and insurance firms - throw the people a bone or they revolt entirely.
"We all know that the planet was a peaceful dreamland of equality and bounty, where no war was ever waged through the thousands of years of its history; that is until the one day that capitalism reared its hideous head"
Merchantile capitalism started in the Middle Ages. Immanuel Wallerstein wrote a series of books basically explaining that feudalism was itself capitalism (or rather that feudalism never quite existed as we think of it, as most social scientists now believe)
"I remember my first experience with capitalist oppression like it was yesterday. I was 16 and minding my own business, when the manager of a 7-11 accosted me off the sidewalk and forced me to work in his store at gunpoint!"
Where did the person whom your manager bought his land from, get the land? How did the money in this market originate? Who has the monopoly on money creation? Who makes the products in the shops? As worker are never paid enough to buy all the products they produce, what do you think HAS TO HAPPEN to the manager's shop? Capitalism is not some silly 2 party game where one person sells and one person buys.
"Now, if we just listen to Corey there and surrender all our liberty then life would be so much more fair for everyone."
Echelon, Prism and Muscular say hello.
"Ah, the wonderful smell of Cold-War thinking, which cannot deal with basic critics and even sees a phantom where it was not... This reply is the paradaigm of missing the point"
The irony is, most of the education systems in Europe are governed by both the nation's Ministry of Education and Ministry of Economics/Finance. Public education is geared toward serving "capitalism", and even economics courses and business schools focus only on micro and not macro economics. The result is millions of kids who never realy learn about how their entire social landscape operates.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 6:09pm (USA Central)
Reading this comment stream reminds me all over again why I am unable to be a "fan." I loved TOS as a kid, enjoyed TNG as a 20 something, and watched all of the series on DVD in my fifties. Great actors cause better characters to be written. Sir Patrick is a great actor, so are the actors who played Odo, Guinan, Data, and the doctor on VOY. I think Scott Bakula is a fabulous actor and his leadership brought cohesiveness to a difficult series that suffered from the 9/11 attacks. Most of the actors were good, competant professionals who did their best with schedule, writing, and craziness of serial tv.
I liked this episode and liked the character of Ensign Ro because the story lines are relevant in our world. One thing that ENT did better than any of the other shows was to show women as fully functional officers. They were fit and they knew how to fight. It is what makes the show seem so disconnected at times because you have these realistic characters and then you introduce the whole rubbing gel in the decon chamber scenes. And if one wants to look for people disobeying orders, most ST characters do that.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 5:40pm (USA Central)
Decent episode with 3 let downs.
1. Janeway appears to be genuinely startled by the revelation she has been tricked (when she is supposed to know).
2. This guy knew where the telepaths were, and wormhole or no wormhole, he wouldn't be playing stupid games.
3. Janeway and Federation just have to win, don't they?
Overall, this is one of Voyager's best.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 4:34pm (USA Central)
The Corbomite Maneuver
"This episode really made me notice the trend in this series of providing gratuitous closeups of actors faces"
It wasnt actually common in the era, but still, the editing was very much a product of its time.
Part of the pleasure of The Original Series, though, is the over-the-top melodrama. It didn't really go for realism.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 4:03pm (USA Central)
The Corbomite Maneuver
This episode really made me notice the trend in this series of providing gratuitous closeups of actors faces to show their response to a given situation. I don't know if this was unique to star trek or common to other shows of the era, but by today's standards it seems a bit silly.
While the crew is trying to break free of Balok's tractor beam near the end of the show, increasing the engine power to dangerous levels, we get a closeup of Kirk's face, then of Scotty's face, then of Spock's face, then of Bailey's face, then of McCoy's face, then back to Kirk. . . etc. During this series of closeups, nothing is really happening or changing in the plot. We are just staring at a series of intense faces looking at the view screen. This happens a lot in Star Trek, and seems to be time-filler or an attempt to build tension. But I find it annoying. And the later Star Trek spinoffs didn't really do this.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 3:43pm (USA Central)
The episode was Ok overall.
But what bugs me the most is the whole "exact duplicate of Earth" thing, which they never even tried to discuss further, let alone explain. I mean the continents were the same and everything, and they commented on it leading up to the opening credits. . .and then they never discussed it again. Why?
Why not just have the same plot on a planet that happened to NOT be an exact duplicate of Earth? And the children could be aliens that are only slightly different from humans. Just seemed odd that they introduced and hilighted this huge plot detail and completely left it alone.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 1:36pm (USA Central)
Jammer, thanks for the clarification. I have read something like that elsewhere, but in fact not mentioning it does not do justice to the show.
Even though, the decision to leave this episode as the last was really poor.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 1:32pm (USA Central)
The Dogs of War
"Ah, the wonderful sound of today's public education dogma. Open your books students, today we will study America the Evil Empire".
Ah, the wonderful smell of Cold-War thinking, which cannot deal with basic critics and even sees a phantom where it was not... This reply is the paradaigm of missing the point.
"Capitalism is simply the ability for free people to interact freely".
Really? Really? Gesus, god bless the educational books that deliver more nuanced and critical understandings about anything - Capitalism, Socialism, whatever - than this.
Let's hope for a better future in the 24th century.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 12:33pm (USA Central)
Worth noting: The first four episodes of season 2 were actually supposed to be the last four episodes of season 1, with "The 37s" being the season finale. For some production or scheduling reason, the eps, which were already produced, were held until the following fall for airing.
- Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 10:29am (USA Central)
Doctor Bashir, I Presume
Jammer you're crazy. For five season we've seen almost NOTHING of Julian Bashir. Literally what do we know of about him? He's a doctor. Okay. 90% of his episodes revolve around some kind of medical theme and everytime he's always put his patients first. Does the guy have no life outside of being a doctor? Where's the character development? Where do we learn about him having to put himself out there and having to deal with something else besides treating peoples scrapes!?
Miles O'brien is the perfect example. Imagine every Miles episode involving him solving some sort of techinical problem with the station? Boring. But instead we get problems with his wife, we get him being in a faux prision, we get him defeating an evil wormhole alien. Miles does shit, Bashir is just a doctor who annoys people sometimes and has a hard time with the ladies.
Then we get this episode and we see Siddig use his acting chops. The scenes were great his parents as Bashir is filled with a dull rage at them. Bashir goes from an overly eager beaver to a sad panda as his "ultimate" secret is reavealed. And the ending scene where he reveals that he's been holding back his whole life just to make others feel better? I'm hoping that this plotline develops in further episodes. What really sucks though is I was spoiled earlier on while reading a book about Star Trek, so I wish that I hadn't know about this reveal before it was unveiled.
On a side note, the B plots almost always suck Jammer. Rom sucks, Leeta was never good, did you ever have any hope for these characters?
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