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Fri, May 27, 2016, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

What more can be said of this episode? Geordi has women issues, Picard shows off his interest in artifacts, and the computer develops some weird holoimages. Actually's let's talk about the third one.

Isn't the computer being kind of creepy to Geordi? It suggests the holodeck program and, after minor instruction form Geordi, the program becomes way too friendly with Geordi, producing the famous "Touching the engine, you're touching me" line. What's more, the Brahms character decides to give Geordi a massage, weirding Geordi out. So I think the computer understood Geordi's frustration and helplessness. Since it couldn't give LaForge a solution, it decided to placate his male ego instead. And Geordi almost gets caught up in it...

So, William B I think got this episode's message right. Technology can be alluring and helpful, but it's no replacement for human ingenuity and control.

It is strange that Geordi's romantic issues never got resolved in this episode, as they took up a good deal of the show. There could be a message in this episode about dating, but it's not clear the writers ever found it. At least this sets up "Galaxy's Child", which is a great episode in its own right. A high 3 stars.
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Fri, May 27, 2016, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Think Tank

HAHA Bryan.... no soup for you!!

Another favorite of mine, but it doesn't fault itself into the 4 star range.

I think Alexander was perfect for this role.

I too had a TOS vibe during this one.

3 stars for me.
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Fri, May 27, 2016, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

This has always been my least favorite Voyager episode.

I just don't like to watch the damn thing, regardless of it's valid meaning.

It's awakens my "crazy gene" :-)

Always a skipper.

.5 stars.
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Fri, May 27, 2016, 9:03am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Wow Jammer, I believe we are further apart here than ever.

This is a top tier Voyager episode for me.

As we all know, one can dissect any episode and find flaws. There are no perfect star trek episodes people.

Everyone says Janeway should have turned around once she knew.... based on what? These things weren't even sentient until Voyager set down in their goo. This goo was made into Janeway so the initial reaction is more than plausible. She did change her tune, found a Y-Class planet, blah - blah.

The "logical" details are not what this episode is about. This is the ultimate character piece.

Those that like it, I think, do so because they are endeared to these characters. I still to this day get emotional watching our heroes "melt". Neelix's reaction to Janeway's "death" gets me every time. For those that complain that Trek isn't "dark" or "real" enough, this certainly should quench your pallet.

Then no record at all of their existence? So sad. I would have loved to see the real Voyager somehow figure out what happened. It would have been neat for them to recover the capsule, it for a short period.

This is one of those episodes you don't forget because it was so damn heart-wrenching.

I know Jammer would have had the same reaction to a DS9 episode similar to this where all his heroes die a meaningless death.

4 star episode for me.
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Fri, May 27, 2016, 7:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

** Yanks tips cap to Jammer **

That's some funny stuff there boss. :-)

Teal'c did better with her than Harry did :-)

This made me think of the beginning of BAB5 when Captain Sinclair says something to the effect ... "stick to the list" :-)

I don't know that Star Fleet never had a "list", but I don't think we ever really discussed it in trek. I always just figured that knowledge was "briefed".

I'm not quite as hard, I'll go 1.5 stars.
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Fri, May 27, 2016, 6:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Homecoming

Well, I like the idea that they were able to land and get almost everyone off the planet, it made sense, since the occupation was over and no one thought they would find those prisoners on Cardassia IV. They weren't expecting a jailbreak. My question was, how did Kira even think she could have gotten Li off the planet all by herself.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

@RandomThoughs I agree with you totally, I did state this above. Bereil knew how to play the game, but the game went out the window when he believed someone would surely get hurt by Winn. I also agree that I love to hate Winn. But. there are some characters that I never cared for and some I totally disliked. Kira became a favorite of mine when she started to make sense. When she stopped fighting Sisko and the Federation and realized they were actually on the same side. I never liked Quark and after he nearly got Jadzia killed He couldn't even be redeemed. Although Odo was not always likeable, he was always one of my favorites. I remember when this show originally aired, it was must see TV, I was very young and had just became an RN. I thought, one day I would grow up and forget about DS9 and Star Trek, but No. I love it today as much as I did years ago.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

Times like this make me wonder why the Federation didn't establish a much more substantial presence at DS9 much earlier. If I were in charge of the Federation Department of Defense, I would have built two more Starfleet stations next to DS9 so that the wormhole really could be defended, blocked, protected. Another 20 ships in the Bajoran system would have been nice too.

I'm pretty horrified by Sisko actively wanting the Cardassians to be ready to fight back against the Klingon invasion. I think O'Brien presented the two options as (in my sartastic view) 1) do nothing and let the Klingons take out a dangerous adversary and risk them attacking the Federation, or 2) completely freaking betray the Klingons and ensure that thousands of Klingons die. "I want a third option," says Sisko. Which means he just wanted option #2: to hell with the Klingons and a swift and decisive victory; let's help the Cardies kill as many batleth lovers as possible. I love the manner in which he executed option #2 with Garak, but it's still insane and clearly immoral.

This seems like a good time to complain about dead crew members not getting recognized in funeral services, even by passing mention. People freaking die all the time in Star Trek! Starfleet officers. The sacrificed their lives for *science* and *peace* and the defense of the UFP.

No flags, no burials, no captains writing letters to parents about their children's bravery. I find the absence of at least passing references to these truly huge losses really distasteful.

I freaking love Gowron! What a great character. My favorite was this line:
... or forget."
I played that back about three times and laughed aloud each time! So great.

I really love this episode. It's the final metamorphosis for Sisko into *The Sisko,* now with a freshly shiny head; the Dominion is in the center of the series, and now we have Worf too. And it's awesome.

And it works so very well because DS9 used to be a fairly calm place with occasional tensions. Soon it'll be so wrought with conflict, even reconquered by the Cardassians and the Dominion, that it will hardly resemble the more peaceful station of s1-3. Thus we see what the Federation is fighting for later on in the height of the Dominion War. Battlestar Galactica started out with the gritty war in the first episode, but made good use of flashbacks to help the audience appreciate that those characters weren't always so gritty and hopeless, and that their struggle was to return to their formal, peaceful lives. In DS9 we don't need flashbacks, because we have seen it. Thus the payoff of these "star wars" is enormous.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Adversary

@Luke, I agree with the oddness about the real Ambassador Krajensky never having come to DS9, and that the mission was invented by the Changeling. I think this is the writers' attempt to make us feel isolated way out on the frontier. But as a military officer, I don't find this realistic. I can assure you, Luke, that confirmation of orders *is* still a thing in the 21st century.

Generally I owe that to the writers knowledge of military affairs having probably come almost entirely from 1) watching earlier episodes of Star Trek and 2) from watching Hollywood depictions of the military. The shame is that there are so many plentiful, relatable stories of the mundane and action varieties within military life that, along with sensible military logic, never reach the doors of the writers room.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

What a lively the discussion the past couple months! I wasn't expecting this when I came to read the comments for this episode.

I tend to side with the interpretation of Skeptical and Andy's Friend regarding Dax, while agreeing completely with Luke and William B at the same time: she is manipulative, but those traits are in line with her capricious, chameleon-like character. So I like that dichotomy. While I defend Dax's actions in this episode and others (like how she was trying to cock-block Bashir for fun in "Explorers" -- haven't you had a female friend who did that? Dax is mischievous; it fits her), I never was such a huge fan of her. She's too impulsive, and I rarely felt drawn to her like some of the male characters in the show were (I'm more of a Kira [or even Leeta] kind of guy).

@Andy's Friend, that said, I caution against a world-view that promotes multiculturalism. I believe multiculturalism, while well-intentioned, has generated many great evils in the modern world (notably the permissive attitude of the Belgian police to the enclaves of Muslim immigrants there, allowing lawlessness or even Sharia Law itself to reign). Socialism is another similar institution that, while well-intentioned, has been responsible for the lion's share of 20th century atrocities (outweighing even those of Fascism).

As this applies to Star Trek, the characters in all the series sometimes struggle with moral issues of right versus wrong. The writers are expressing their own struggle with such tough issues, knowing there is a difference between right and wrong, just like Starfleet officers have clear morality. They force themselves and their characters to confront and balance their assumptions with their gut.

Chrome made an interesting connexion with the root beer, and the obvious American-centric nature of DS9 and Star Trek in general. And you're all absolutely right there. There are complaints above that the writers don't depict truly "alien" societies. Well, how can they? They have chosen human actors to portray virtually all the sentient races encountered. Moreover, Star Trek has always been about taking familiar topics for its viewers and giving them a mouthpiece in various situations in the galaxy. That's where the "ethnocentrism" comes in — think of the audience. The majority are U.S. Americans (heh). And the actors are mostly Americans (I always find it entertaining when an alien like Dukat sounds more American than a human like O'Brien).

So the "ethnocentrism" is twofold: 1) it is the limit of the human actors who are American (along with the American writers); 2) it is by design, since we human audience members are meant to connect and relate to these characters. That's what makes it good TV.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

I'm not complaining about the fact that this is the first episode. It honestly felt a bit like an introductory episode, what with the introductory captain's log that mentioned Spock, and McCoy's names, Uhura's chat with Spock on the bridge, Sulu and Rand conversing in the botany lab, it's all meant to slowly get to know these people. I see no difference in those scenes than I see in Farpoint, Emissary, or Caretaker. So putting this episode first made sense to me. Maybe they knew they didn't have enough of a plot to fill a full episode, and thus added these scenes to fill it out and introduce us to everyone. Makes sense to me.

Meanwhile, the conference scene was probably the best part of the episode. With the creature in the guise of McCoy, it tries desperately to plead for its own life while his one supporter also tries to support it without giving away that McCoy was not actually McCoy. The episode did a good job of making us feel sympathy for the creature as well, even though we know the danger it presents. Even with Kirk telling Carter that his crusade may not be entirely unselfish, we still have sympathy for it. But unfortunately, if there is no way to stop it peacefully, the crew has to protect itself. The tension in that room was palpable, and was an enjoyable scene.

Unfortunately, while the show tried to give the creature sympathy, they didn't do a good job of making sure that it must die. Kirk said so, and so it must be. Clearly, there's enough salt to satisfy the creatures hunger, but unfortunately it tries to kill instead. Yes, the tablets Kirk held was far less than what he held in his body, but surely she could see that attacking Kirk in full view of McCoy would not go well for her. And after Spock started attacking it, it never pleads for its life. Why not? It was trying to plead for its life in the meeting, why not when it was trapped and cornered? Because, well, they needed to have McCoy shoot it to complete the story, but didn't have a good reason for why it had to stop it. Bad plotting on their part.

So, in general, not that great a start to the series, but I suppose it could have been worse.

As an aside, what's with the Captain's Log? It seemed rather... dramatic, don't you think? Not very professional sounding. I think Kirk took a creative writing correspondence course the week before this episode occurred...
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 8:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I have to agree with Jammer on this one. It is a 4 star episode. But my take on this is that it's the most anti-military episode of Star Trek. It aptly illustrates to what extent the military uses psychological manipulation of its personnel to achieve its ends.
First of all we are shown 3 ensigns that are up for promotion. Sito, Lavelle, and Ogawa. Sito and Lavelle find out that they are competing for the same promotion.
Now it just so happens, un be known to the audience or the ensigns, that someone needs to volunteer for a secret and very dangerous mission. And it is further stipulated that the mission has no chance to work unless the volunteer is Bajorin. And Sito is the only Bajorin in sight.
So what happens? Picard calls Sito in his ready room and rips her a new ass by telling her that because of an earlier incident at Starfleet Academy that she participated in that resulted in the death of a cadet that he considers her unfit to serve on the Enterprise. Since she was expecting a possible promotion this blow was doubly hard on her and she leaves his presence feeling about one inch tall.
Later Worf invites her to participate in a rather unfair martial arts test. When she finally realizes the test is unfair and says so to Worf he tells her she passed the test and suggests indirectly that she has been judged unfairly by Picard.
Sito, encouraged by Worf, confronts Picard and tells him that she thinks he has judged her too harshly and asks for a transfer. Picard then tells her that his initial ass ripping was just a test to see if she would stand up for herself and that he himself asked for her personally to be posted to the Enterprise. Sito is no doubt overjoyed to hear this and leaves Picard's ready room feeling ten feet tall and bullet proof.
Shortly there after Sito is ordered to the ready room to discover that there is a mission that she is requested to volunteer for that has a high probability of her not returning. Does she volunteer for the mission? Hell yes! She knows she is up for promotion. And she just got torn down and then told it was all a test ,so her ego is all built up again better than new. Hell she would probably volunteer to eat anti-matter rather than disappoint the Captain. And the Captain knows this and uses it to his advantage.
Finally when we are on the bridge and are waiting for her overdue escape pod the jr. Officers wonder what the hell is going on. So once again we are shown military tactics in the handling of their own personnel.
For the jr. Officers, they are treated like mushrooms. Feed bullshit and kept in the dark.
For Sito. First she is torn down. Then she has "smoke blown up her ass" to build her back up again and then she is invited to die.
And finally we are shown the 3 ways to be promoted. Ogawa is promoted because she is liked by her superior. Sito would have been promoted because she volunteered for a dangerous mission. And Levelle is promoted by default. Because Sito didn't come back.
All in all I took this as a rather scathing look at military life. And it's spot on.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

On the Ferengi:

No, the Ferengi are not a racist clicheé, they are a carricature of rampant capitalism, as Caroline said above. If you think that that also fits the Jews, or clearly only them, maybe YOU are the racist.

Second, Quark was not racist against the Skreeans. He didn't say "No, I won't serve them because they are different", he said "They have no money, I don't like them". How is that racist? I bet you anything, if they were the most obnoxious hateful people in the Universe, if they had money, Quark would love them. I think people need to get their definition of racism right. Bajorans are racists against Cardassians, for example. Quark hates poor people - because it's all about the profit. That is not racist, is it? It may not be very nice though.

Lastly, a point about something raised very early in the comments, the notion that the Palestinians "occupy" Israel, and that it is the rightfull land of the Jews - well, then Danzig still belongs to Germany, Romania to Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltic Countries to Russia, America to England, Spain and France, or the Indians for that Matter, Tibet to China, and so on and so forth. There is a point where you have lost your claim on a strip of Land and have to accept that it is no longer yours. If you say it ain't so, I dare you to fight for the return of all lands of the Holy Roman Empire to Germany, because if your premise is true, that is all still theirs, and the Germans are an oppressed people, conquered by evil Imperialists from East and West, who suffered untold tragedy in exterminations and mass expulsions.

I think this episode is meant to deal with the question how we deal with refugees. From my point of view, the Bajorans were right. Trust has to be earned. Would you give a Stranger a part of your house, knowing that he may never leave again? I guess not. So if the Skrreeans had a little more sense, they could have formed an alliance with Bajor: They settle on that other M class planet, and give Bajor food in exchange for industrial help. Both sides profit, and trust can be built, and then, someday, both people may combine. Even though there is no need, since apparently, land is plenty, and the only thing that drives refugees is that there is not enough land (or resources) for everyone. Wars are also mostly driven by this. And Religion of course, but thats a can of worms best left unopened.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Azati Prime

I will add that, I appreciate those scenes when they're rare, and go all out. Voyagers typical last act pyrotechnics did less and less for me as the show dragged on.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Azati Prime

Well, they certainly made up for not having any crew deaths for two seasons, that's for sure. Bodies flying outta hull breaches, and that one guy at the back of the bridge not only gets blown back from an exploding console, but a ceiling support then falls on him as he's trying to crawl away. Poor bridge extra guy. Meanwhile Phlox in sickbay must have a zoo going on. Good chaos for all them casualties that'll be coming in.

Yes, I always enjoy a good 'wreck the set' scene. It's the lowest common denominator in me coming out. Haha.
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William B
Thu, May 26, 2016, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

I will add that using already-placed resentment against shadowy organizations are probably part of the Dominion's expansionist strategy anyway. I can imagine the pitch to Cardassia: the Obsidian Order ruled your lives without your say, and then they tried to destroy us without cause. We had the Obsidian Order as a common enemy. More subtly, they could even add (though doing so in a way that does not ruffle Cardassian pride would take some doing): You saw what happened when you ruled yourselves; you were slaves to others in your society, to secrets. Join with us and we can protect you from yourselves. With Romulus it's different because the Tal Shiar was not wholly destroyed, but they might have been able to identify the destroyed Tal Shiar with a subsection that could be blamed for Romulan woes. Perhaps eventually they would make a similar pitch to the Klingons about the High Council, after eventually Changeling Martok had led them to something of a ruin (never being exposed, of course).
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William B
Thu, May 26, 2016, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

If we are going into full speculation mode, it is also even possible that this was a Founder plot which went badly awry -- we know that the Founders were willing to stir up/respond to and exaggerate *genocidal leanings* within enemy nations in order to cripple them and possibly even co-opt them, regarding the Tal Shiar/Obsidian Order plot. One of the most fascinating and relatively uncommented on elements there is the multiple levels of self-fulfilling prophesy that go on there (which is also a theme in "The Ship," though I think rearranging elements of that plot might have made it more effective) and indeed the whole war arc. Whether the Founders first planted the idea of a secret organization push to genocide the Founders or they were merely responding to Tain, they created conditions where enemies were attempting to destroy them purely as a way to manipulate them...which also justifies the level of force that the Founders use on them. It seems unlikely that the Founders make particular distinctions between "rebellion" and "want to destroy us," but it seems that Founder policy is not only built on protecting against the assumed genocide, but in using that against their enemies, as if they have no idea how to fight a war against solids who don't want to destroy them and so recreate those conditions. The Founders make themselves targets for hatred so that they are under threat so that they use the force, and for most of the series everyone else plays this (possibly even unconscious on their part) game along with them.

Oddly -- and obviously this is veering into fanfic-level speculation -- I could imagine a Founder working in Section 31 (or, more likely, a satellite organization with some ties) on a readily curable disease and on an overthrow of Federation democratic institutions into marshal law by shadowy organization. Perhaps someone closely working in the Federation would recognize how much the Federation's loose (relative to the Empires surrounding it) affiliation of member states depends on faith in Federation values, and showing that member states were not safe from threats within the Federation would lead to dissolution into scattered individual states which would be easy to conquer. It would be along the same lines as the Obsidian Order/Tal Shiar attack -- it takes the form of a genocidal attack against the Founders which is turned against the attackers, "solidifies" (hardy har) the Founders' "moral position" to themselves and probably to the Dominion member states, some of whom probably do believe in the propaganda (certainly it is important to keep the Jem'Hadar and Vorta convinced in the Founders' rightness even beyond being Gods) and demonstrates the futility of going after the Dominion. But then at some point something went wrong, the Founder died too soon, and word never got out to the other Founders that there was a simple cure, nor was the plan to break up the Federation from the inside ever implemented. How independently do the Founders operate when they are in the field?
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Peter G.
Thu, May 26, 2016, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

"Second, given that Odo was apparently infected in Homefront/Paradise Lost, while all-out war looked likely but may in principle have been preventable, it makes some sense to have a sort of reset button available in the event that peace is possible "

Yes, and let's take this even further. At the time of Homefront a faction within the Federation clearly believed that war was inevitable and that the Federation must be prepared for battle. Even the preachers on Risa in "Let He Who Is Without Sin" shared this sentiment, more or less. Admiral Leyton was going to usurp Starfleet and then the Federation via a coup, and he obviously wasn't working alone all by himself. So we have him, who was already planning for war, and Section 31, which was doing likewise. What are the odds that the two plots were unrelated? This is doubly so since Odo was on Earth at Leyton's invitation, and any visit to Starfleet Medical would likely have been either authorized or even requested by Leyton himself.

Could Leyton have been working directly with Section 31? Or could they have been manipulating him as they later tried to do with Bashir? Could his coup have possibly been a Section 31 operation where they were finally going to assert themselves more overtly than ever before? As crazy as that sounds, it's no more extreme than attempting genocide before war has even been declared.
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William B
Thu, May 26, 2016, 2:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

@Peter G., I enjoy this episode much more than "Let He Who Is Without Sin," but I agree that there is something off and disappointing about it. I mentioned that I like the Quark/Rom resolution on the very, very close personal level (and even there, mostly just that their last scene together gets the "you're an idiot but I love you" part right, if a little obviously), but it doesn't make any sense more broadly and feels unnecessary. And the Julian/Ezri resolution really *is* bad.

Another problem I have with this episode -- which may or may not be shared by others -- is that I think the Founder's decision to retreat to Cardassian space seems really forced in order to get us to the big battle next episode. She does it *right after* the Cardassian rebellion was apparently crushed. They still have the Breen, and even if they suspect the Breen weapon was a one-shot deal, don't they suddenly have all these new resources from an ally? This may be a matter of the Founder making bad decisions because she is under strain from the disease, but it makes the arc feel very jumpy to me -- the total, shocking victory in "Changing Face" gets reversed and suddenly the Dominion is retreating. While presumably they keep the Chin'toka system, there is a lot of tone whiplash from before. Some part of me almost wonders if actually, Gowron's offensive actually *did* get the Dominion jittery, which goes counter to the interpretation we are supposed to have but might be a nice irony.
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William B
Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

@Peter G.,

It would make a lot of sense for Section 31 to be holding the cure out until such time as it could be used as a bargaining chip. This would actually resolve some of the *practical* concerns I have about this plotline, too -- first of all, why they *have* a cure so readily (rather than, say, merely information on how the virus was created which could maybe lead to a cure). Second, given that Odo was apparently infected in Homefront/Paradise Lost, while all-out war looked likely but may in principle have been preventable, it makes some sense to have a sort of reset button available in the event that peace is possible (which would be disrupted if the Founders found out that they were infected and, more to the point, somehow found some evidence of who infected them). I'm not sure how much stock to put it in given what evidence is on screen, though at least the existence of a cure somewhat supports that interpretation.

"However what I do agree with is that while the Founder did finally agree to accept the cure and surrender, it was only because it came with Odo's assurances, which she trusted. I think that no matter what Section 31 or the Federation said to her the female Changeling would never have trusted them, even to her own detriment, and would have allowed her race to die rather than accepting their terms. If there's any truth to this then the reality is that Section 31 did give Odo the tools he needed to convince the Founders to surrender (the survival of the Link), but what they wouldn't have realized was that only Nixon...I mean, Odo, could be the one to offer it to them. In terms of Extreme Measures I think the moral would be that both Sloan and Julian are right, in different ways, and that the Federation needs both kinds of men. They need the Siskos as well as the Picards."

I agree that that's probably the overall message of the text, and a good way to put it.

"Agreed. Bashir has a strong Human sense at the end of the day, but his fixation on his intelligence and success constantly blind him. I think you said it best when you suggested that by altering who he was at a young age be basically became his genetic modifications, since the old Jules was deemed unacceptable to his parents. His identity would afterward be rooted in a combination of hiding who he was while also going to excess in trying to get others to recognize his gifts. His early scene with Kira in a runabout telling her she should be impressed with him, that he impresses himself; that has always been DS9 gold to me."

It's a tough life. I love that Kira/Bashir scene. And I think that high-wire act would wear a person down after a while (as Bashir seems to fall into a real depression as the series goes on, and not, I think, just because of the war); he cannot let anyone know that he was genetically enhanced, but he must justify his worth by using his genetic enhancement or be deemed unacceptable again.

I also wanted to mention that I like that it is O'Brien who reminds Bashir of his more pressing humanist commitment to his friend/acquaintance both because it works in-story and also because it nicely reprises the end of "Inquisition," where it was Bashir's knowledge of O'Brien's shoulder that was his way of exiting Sloan's simulation -- which itself happened because Bashir reached out for Miles as a personal plea.

I like the comparison with "Family." I think it's notable that Picard's experience with the Nausicaans did teach Picard a kind of humility, but it was specifically humility about his youthful daring-do and gave him particular incentive to keep himself (and in particular his emotions) under control at all times, which is another thing that the Borg assaulted and took away from him. While devoting oneself to self-control and sublimating one's passions into one's work are not exactly "easy," they are at least possible, whereas it's unclear what "lessons" Picard can take from his Borg experience that can be implemented directly; mostly what he learns is that there are limits to his power and values even over himself, without any clear indication how to implement this through action. That he is mortal and fallible, not just in an abstract way (which he has surely known) but in a visceral, personal way, is mainly a lesson in worldview rather than in how to behave on a day to day basis, which is much harder.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human


"My point though was that this was a real thing that has been really debated by real scientists for a long time. There's a lot out there about it. It's not a bad idea of something to make an episode on but it's no Jetrel."


"The idea is a slippery slope. IE if we allow this data to be used after the person creating it did horrible things to get it, what's to stop others from doing horrible things in the future secure in knowing their contribution to science will be secure."

Don't agree with this though. What's to stop others? Law. You can't do much more than that.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Well, this trailer has my interest peaked for sure.

Can't wait. It appears we have an original story that isn't going to rip-off TWoK!! :-)

Nice to see what appears to be an NX Class at the end. I'm guessing that is the Franklin.
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Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

OK, 'First Contact' diminished the effects of the Borg in Q-Who... everything after that just piles on, along with the Hansen's and Regeneration etc.

This is probably my favorite Voyager 2-parter (and that's saying something). Visually stunning, music was awesome and something that I don't think has been mentioned yet.... pace. Dark Frontier kept pounding at you... very, very good.

The scenes where we actually see assimilation of civilians was gut-wrenching. they succeeded in driving the point home that the Borg have no morals.

Hard to add to what Jammer wrote. I'll just give my cut on why the Borg Queen probably was so interested in 7. Seven is of course "unique", maybe, just maybe, Seven was looked upon as the next Borg Queen? Who knows, my one knock on this episode is they didn't elaborate enough on that revelation.

As to why everyone doesn't know about the Borg? ... section 31 anyone? We know of a "race" of being that can't be stopped... I can see S31 snuffing that for the betterment of Star Fleet and the Federation.

Easy 4-star episode for me.

Set Bookmark
Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Family Business

@Sexpun, I think you're right about your characterization of Jammer's prejudice against Ferengi episodes.

I really like Ferengi episodes. I do think they're funny. Rom and Quark are a hilarious Abbot and Costello routine. I also think a lot of people are delusional if they feel Ferengi don't aptly represent an aspect of the human condition and aren't relatable. Good god, even today in Iran women are treated horribly, and in Saudi Arabia they still can't drive cars! This is *2016*! In the Ferengi we have some of the worst of human misogynism, avarice, and amorality. And Star Trek takes such horrid sorts of people and belittles them for our enjoyment, as a way for us to laugh at our worst traits and see them for the ridiculousness that they are.

In response to Jammer and others, I would cite Quark to Sisko from end of last season, and I'm paraphrasing here, "You know why you don't like Ferengi, Commander? Because we remind you of how you used to be, of parts of your history you would rather forget." Something to that effect.

@Luke, I think your analysis of Ishka is great! But I think your ire is misplaced, in that you interpret the episode wanting us to conclude that Ishka is a moral hero. Hell no she is not! The point to be gathered is that Ferengi females can be just as mean, selfish, and thoughtless as the males. Quark is the hero! Just as you have determined. He saves the day and he doesn't like it one bit. Dumb as Rom his, he is a savant, and gets Quark and Ishka back together because he doesn't want either of them to suffer. Does Rom criticize his mother in that scene? No, he *loves* his moogie! haha. He criticizes Quark, who is always a jerk to Rom. It makes perfect sense.

"Why would any capitalist society so severely cripple a full half of their population?" Watching Mad Men helped me to appreciate just how sexist America was just 50 years ago. And you're right, of course; in fact, the Nagus and the Ferengi come to the same conclusion by the end of the series! The Ferengi aren't perfectly capitalist either; free market and open society is what leads to the utopian Federation anyway. The Ferengi are additionally affected by extreme self-interest and therefore paranoia, causing them to make bad business decisions that do not increase the wealth of their nation.

"Because there is no societies (even the most patriarchal ones) that come even remotely close to this in their treatment of women." I cite again the Iranian and Saudi examples, and add pre-2001 Taliban-run Afghanistan. And you're right, it is a reductio ad absurdum. That's the essence of the comedy. "Or are they just saying that capitalism is inherently sexist? If that's the case then why are capitalist societies often the very best ones when it comes to gender equality?" I never thought there was any intended connexion, other than these being traits associated with pre-Federation humanity.

Ferengi comedy works for big-picture reasons because it puts many of our worst human qualities in one race, and instead of making them a dire and cruel foe (such as with the Cardassians), they are an object of pity and derision. I think that's genius.
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Peter G.
Thu, May 26, 2016, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

@ William B,

"Surely if this was the case, then we must credit Bashir and O'Brien as being correct in curing Odo, since Section 31 seemed intent on letting him die rather than using him as a bargaining chip/overture."

Section 13 may well have been planning on holding the cure over their heads once they were in a more vulnerable situation. Odo, after all, didn't offer it until the end either. However what I do agree with is that while the Founder did finally agree to accept the cure and surrender, it was only because it came with Odo's assurances, which she trusted. I think that no matter what Section 31 or the Federation said to her the female Changeling would never have trusted them, even to her own detriment, and would have allowed her race to die rather than accepting their terms. If there's any truth to this then the reality is that Section 31 did give Odo the tools he needed to convince the Founders to surrender (the survival of the Link), but what they wouldn't have realized was that only Nixon...I mean, Odo, could be the one to offer it to them. In terms of Extreme Measures I think the moral would be that both Sloan and Julian are right, in different ways, and that the Federation needs both kinds of men. They need the Siskos as well as the Picards.

"while his natural inclination is to give up on his patient for the broader goal he ultimately does believe that saving Odo is a higher calling, even if it has to be O'Brien who reminds him of it."

Agreed. Bashir has a strong Human sense at the end of the day, but his fixation on his intelligence and success constantly blind him. I think you said it best when you suggested that by altering who he was at a young age be basically became his genetic modifications, since the old Jules was deemed unacceptable to his parents. His identity would afterward be rooted in a combination of hiding who he was while also going to excess in trying to get others to recognize his gifts. His early scene with Kira in a runabout telling her she should be impressed with him, that he impresses himself; that has always been DS9 gold to me.

"To me the story overall is about the importance of tempering idealism and abstract principles with a pragmatic recognition of reality and to recognize which part of one's "idealism" is actually a kind of egotism."

This is good. It reminds me of a point made in TNG's Family, where Robert correctly points out that Picard didn't merely suffer a defeat but was humbled in a way he never had been before. Even despite having been changed by being stabbed by a Nausicaan, Picard's moral sense still seemed to be wrapped up in his ego, and it's telling that after having his ego shattered he briefly begins to contemplate working on the undersea project back on Earth. The Borg represented not only the antithesis of his values, but of his sense of his own superiority. He was helpless before them. In Bashir's case it's different, since Bashir's ego going to excess isn't merely an issue of stubborn pigheaded pride but, as Sloan mentions, is legitimately dangerous both for Bashir and his friends, and even for the Federation.

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