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Flying Tiger Comics - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 11:37pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Dear Doctor is evil pablum but it would at least have been cool if the race wasn't the Menk but a race that in the later shows had turned into an existential threat, like the Cardassians...

Law of unforeseen consequences and all that.

But no.

Waayyyy too smart for this show and its pathological hatred of not just TOS but also the normal rules of storytelling in prequels.

Lucasian in its level of fail.
msw188 - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 11:37pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

We do see Tomalak briefly in the finale. Are there really no other appearances by him after this?

I don't think this one is 4stars for me. I have a minor personal complaint that prevents a highest rating - I've never liked it when stories put the viewer/reader/whatever in the position of one of the protagonists, but then withhold the protagonist's plan for the sake of a surprise later. It would have been tough to make this story work well otherwise, but it still bothers me.

See, the episode pretty clearly shows events unfolding from Picard's perspective. As others have noted, the (well-built) tension is derived from our lack of knowledge, dramatically presented as Picard's lack of knowledge. It makes Picard's decision to 'go for it' exciting, because we understand the risks inherent with incomplete knowledge just as Picard does. Except that when the Klingon reveal is made, we realize that no, we didn't actually understand the risks (or lack thereof). This, to me, gives the built-up tension a slightly fake quality, and it disconnects me from the main characters.

Despite that rant, the episode is still great in a lot of respects. Mid to low 3.5 stars.
msw188 - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 11:14pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

I skipped this one on my recent rewatch (first since initial broadcasts and early reruns) because I had forgotten which episode it was. I did a bit of reading and realized this was the episode with 'the scene' and I watched it today.

I bring up my experience because I think it fits with my thoughts on the episode. As a whole, there's not a whole lot going on, and the script isn't anything special. But that one scene in the holodeck really sticks in the memory as something genuinely creepy, if you are willing to suspend disbelief just a bit.

I'd have a hard time giving a star-rating to something like this. The scene is a triumph of idea and atmosphere over character; the abductees feel like they could've been practically anybody. The rest of the episode is okay, but nothing great. The Ode to Spot was just lovely, but Geordi's conversation with Data feels like it belongs in an episode where character matters.

I'd waver between 2.5 and 3 stars myself.
Victoria G - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 10:16pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

People may not realize that this episode is taken straight from Greek theater. Many will recognize the chorus and the masks, but there are three types of plot twists that are included. Two were described by Aristotle – the reversal of fortune (Peripeteia) and the moment of recognition (Anagnorisis). Then there is the Deus ex Machina at the end.
Flying Tiger Comics - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 10:00pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

Any captain who didn't lobotomise the obnoxious, wasteful and irritating picardogram after this little effort should be put up for general court martial herself.

Absolutely ridiculous stuff and when you think what this show could have done... Gah.
lynxminx - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 9:52pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

Actually Jammer, the psychology and brain makeup of children is demonstrably, significantly different of that of adults. Even after 300 years, their society might still differ from what we would expect of adults...though I agree this episode doesn't render the concept in a way that rings true.
Pluto Nash - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 8:14pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

I was less interested in "Harry's Story" than the generational ship, particularly its past. What was the world they left like? Is there a specific star or destination they sought out? What experiences did they have to make them so afraid to contact any other civilations?
Peremensoe - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 7:55pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

(Spoiler for later DS9...)

Jem'hadar do have other motives than bloodlust, obedience to the Founders, and need for white. They value the *ideals* of their loyalty and devotion to victory, and respect for a warrior ethic of strength and camaraderie. Thus Omet'iklan is willing to kill Weyoun (presumably against standing Founder orders), for doubting the first, and not to kill Sisko, for upholding the last.
Jammer - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 7:48pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Resurrection

The star rating on this episode is indeed too high. It should be lower, and I'm willing to concede that.
Veronica - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 7:13pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

"I, Borg", as noted before, posed a real ethical dilemma as Hugh was altered by his experience on the Enterprise. The Abandoned shows none of those signs. It wasn't a bad episode but I found the words Odo used to convey "humanity" to the boy to be what I call "Star Trek stock spiel". I understand the show has an ethos to protect, but I found it all too heavy-handed in this instance.

New here. I've watched all other Star Trek series (TOS and TNG in reruns as a kid, Voyager as it aired, Enterprise a few months ago) except this one. Working my way through DS9 for the first time.
msw188 - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 7:12pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Resurrection

I find it a bit interesting that I agree with basically all of Jammer's complaints about this episode, especially about how slow and ultimately pointless it feels. It also doesn't make a lick of sense to me why the dude feels he HAS to go back, and why Kira doesn't, oh I don't know, ARREST the bad Kira.

The result is that I really don't get Jammer's star rating on this one. The few 'nice' moments he mentions feel way too inconsequential to boost the score this high.

Also, if Quark was the one who decided to put those flashing lights outside of his bar, he should be shot out of a docking bay. Worst background visual ever. At one point I wondered if they were supposed to be some kind of visual cue that the audience's warning bells were supposed be going off (duh) even though Kira's weren't.
NCC-1701-Z - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 7:08pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

The silver blood thing seems like something out of a Doctor Who episode. Except that even the worst Doctor Who episodes are made almost watchable by the antics of whoever happens to be playing the Doctor in that particular episode. This episode, on the other hand, had boring, flat characters this time around in addition to a boring, flat plot. I think I fell asleep before the very end and never bothered to actually watch the ending.

Also, Jammer, this is one of the funniest reviews you've ever done. (My vote for funniest Jammer review still goes to the ENT "Precious Cargo" review.) I guess it can be fun to creatively trash a really bad episode - I think you covered all the major plot holes although I won't be going back to the ep to make sure.
msw188 - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 7:04pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

Some friends of mine are watching through DS9. I tried joining them one night a while ago, and one of the episodes I caught was Meridian. I didn't return until the other night, when I caught this episode and the next one.

I'm sorry folks, but this episode is pretty bad. There are a couple of good things I can say:
1. Bashir (since when is he Worf's choice for a ceremony like this?) and O'Brien are awesome. Meaney is as good as ever in the role.
2. Some of Martok's lines, while still a bit too cheesy to really resonate with me, have some worthwhile stuff to say.

But the bad far outweighs the good here:
1. Alexander is here.
2. Worf and Jadzia don't seem to be a particularly good couple.
3. The crew is inept - how do things get done when security officers join parties, and/or miss their shifts?
4. I still don't like Brooks' acting.
5. The most potentially interesting scenes are kept offscreen:
5a) Odo and Kira
5b) Jadzia's final meeting with the Klingon lady
5c) O'Brien and Bashir attacking Worf

I could probably go on, but I'm sure anyone reading this gets the idea. Contrast this bullshit with the O'Brien wedding (Data's Day). For one thing, it wasn't the entire focus of the episode. For another, even not knowing Keiko at all before that, there was a definite feeling of wanting the wedding to succeed. I'm not certain that Worf+Jadzia will be good for either of them, so I can't decide if I want this wedding to succeed or not. Also, the TNG episode gave us the single best Data-face ever. It's a bit unfair to use that in a comparison with this episode, but I'm doing it anyways.

Maybe most importantly, the predictability of the standard 'wedding-drama' is used playfully in Data's Day - Geordi has to make it clear to Data that, despite Keiko's protestations, Data should be ready to proceed with the wedding. After all, that's how these scripts play out. The script has a tongue-in-cheek feel that makes it fun even if it's unsurprising at the end. Meanwhile, this script's predictability just makes it dull.
Peremensoe - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 6:55pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

I just watched both parts again. I too feel they are of equal quality--or, more precisely, form a coherent whole story of quality. This is *not* like the cliffhanger two-parters for which the second halves were written separately.

"Homefront" definitely contains clues to Leyton's real plan; for example, he says he's had weapons stockpiled... for *just such* an unprecedented security deployment.

Also, Sisko does tell people about his changeling encounter, at some point off screen. He declines to tell Dad at first, not wanting to scare him and not sure yet how he himself is going to proceed. But by the end both Dad and Odo clearly know that there are changelings, plural, on Earth.

Not that there's really much useful intelligence there. The claim of "four" may or may not be true, and in any event Starfleet already knew there was one, and if the Dominion can land one they obviously could have landed a bunch.

Changelings can 'eat' if they want to.

Finally, a note on direction. Remember the (great) scene where the Red Squad cadet proudly explains the sabotage operation--and thus Sisko learns the full, awful dimensions of Leyton's plot? The crushing fact of treason by his own CO, who he had learned from and respected? And then the *next* scene is so dark--literally dark, as he and Odo grapple with the betrayal. The light of "paradise," so bright in the early, sunlit outdoor scenes, has fallen into shadows.

Four stars.
NCC-1701-Z - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 4:06pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

I love how in each iteration, Beverly's glass breaks every single time no matter what she does.

Classic episode, especially with Picard shouting "ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP!" over and over again. 4 popcorns.
Robert - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 3:15pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

"On another note, now that I think of it, Odo can be seen as a kind of transgender/no gender character. One who chooses his sexuality... or does he? hmm "

I choose to think Odo and Dax are nearly pansexual (and Dax is genderless). Jadzia obviously has a gender, but the Dax symbiont cannot possibly have a gender as we understand it and seems to be capable of romantic relationships outside the consideration of gender (a trait that Jadzia Dax has demonstrated to have obtained via joining most likely). There was no element of bi-sexuality in her attraction to Lenara Khan, it was much more gender blind/pansexual.

As to Odo? He only exhibits sexual attraction towards women, but I don't think he selected his gender anymore than Data did. Odo's is modeled after his "father" Dr. Moya and Data's is modeled after his "father" as well. I would assume that both of them would be capable of attraction to their same gender, since the entire great link is well, practically the same organism?

"ODO: To differentiate yourself from the others.
FOUNDER: I don't.
ODO: But you are a separate being, aren't you?
FOUNDER: In a sense.
ODO: When you return to the Link, what will happen to the entity I'm talking to right now?
FOUNDER: The drop becomes the ocean."

That basically means that, to my understanding, they should all be the same gender (or lack there of). And unless something in them programs them to like humanoid females, I'd imagine that, should the right man come along, Odo could be attracted to him. (I'm SURE there has got to be some Odo/Garak fan-fic somewhere).
Elliott - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 3:11pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

I was pleased that DS9 was willing, at least, to address the topic of fluid sexuality (Dax in "Rejoined," Odo in "Chimera, Quark, God help us all, in "Profit and Lace"). I was far less impressed by the silliness in, say "Body and Soul," or, God couldn't help us if he were real, "Bound."

SIgh, and of course the Abrams' flicks are just dripping with "not-gays" (see RedLetterMedia).
Elliott - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 3:05pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Robert :

2 words : Rick Berman
Elliott - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 3:04pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

If there is a hell, I'd imagine it's a lot like South Park's depiction as a never-ending luau replete with the sexually, intellectually, spiritually, interrogatively, communally, conversationally, historically, physically and socially interesting lot of humanity (aka "the sinners").

Joshua, I'm sure Jammer would agree that your comment was not censured because you have a radical opinion, but because you used a hateful slur.

@ Dave in NC--see you at the luau! (you, too, Joshua)
Robert - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 3:03pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

"Although I fundamentally disagree with Joshua, I believe its a topic worth of discussion in the context of Star Trek, especially with this episode."

The lack of gay characters in Trek is certainly worth discussing. In the context of a 20th century TV show that was ground breaking in it's exploration of other kinds of diversity. DS9 for example had exactly 1 white male on the show (characters of course, not actors). And he wasn't even an American. For a franchise that had the first interracial kiss and people from different colors and countries flying on a starship together 40 years ago, it is notable that they never really boldly went there with a gay character.

So yes, it's totally a valid discussion to speak on why there were no gay characters written into Star Trek by the writers of our time. It is NOT a valid discussion to speak on if there will be no gay people in the future. That there is troll bait.
bhbor - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 2:32pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

This is what I never get about religious people. One would think that if Dave's soul is doomed, why would you care feeling so satisfied in your correctness? Let him burn if that is the will of the universe, which in all its wonders and complexities has awarded Earth (and I suspect, in your ONE religion) as being the center for moral correctness... for some reason.

The fact that there aren't gay characters in Star Trek (although the topic is broached in a handful of episodes across all the series) says more about our societies present view of sexuality than it does about the future.

Although I fundamentally disagree with Joshua, I believe its a topic worth of discussion in the context of Star Trek, especially with this episode.

On another note, now that I think of it, Odo can be seen as a kind of transgender/no gender character. One who chooses his sexuality... or does he? hmm
Time_Travelling_Robert_From_Yesterday - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 2:17pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

::Points to "Don't Feed The Trollz" sign::

::Slaps his present self in the head::

::Slingshots back around the sun::
Robert - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 2:13pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

"Dave in NC isn't the only one who should be worried for his soul"

Agreed.
Joshua - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 1:59pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

Vulcans don't even have emotions, so I don't see how that applies here. Diversity is not a virtue.

Dave in NC isn't the only one who should be worried for his soul, i hope you know that promoting sin is almost as bad as doing the act.
bhbor - Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 1:43pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I was really surprised by the low rating on this episode since it is easily my favorite in TNG.

People have made fine points back and forth about the consistency of atheism within the Federation here, and I don't really have the time to dig into that at the moment except to say that Sisko's role as Emissary in DS9 never, in my opinion, converted him from an atheist Star-Fleet commander into a believer. It seems that he maintains that the Prophets are some kind of 4th dimensional worm-hole aliens, incredibly intelligent but ignorant in their own way about corporeal life and certainly never regards them as gods. It is very interesting to ponder how such incredibly powerful entities could be so flawed in regard to their understanding of our universe. In this stage, Sisko's role is to define and defend "humanity" ie-corporeal beings by engaging in debate rhetoric was one of the most fascinating aspects of this show.

In regard to "Who Watches the Watchers", I found Patrick Stewart's interaction with the proto-Vulcan leader absolutely spellbinding. The musical score was perfect when Picard asked her to 'touch his face...flesh and blood', it gives me goosebumps every time I watch it. Picard's eventual answer to the question, "I wonder if we will ever travel the stars?" ... "of that I have no doubt" carries with it such a profound spirituality in itself, which I feel most true scientists today hold dear. Science is bad mouthed as a kind of religion in itself, but true explorers willingly except their own ignorance about the complexities of the universe through the profoundly limited lens of human perception, and carry on a question for knowledge despite the enormity of life's complexities.

Within this, religion was, and always has been a poor explanation for the wonders of life.
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