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Aytri - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 5:00pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

I like this episode a lot and thought Rasmussen was hilarious in an annoying-kind-of-way. I think Robin Williams would have overacted it too much, though it'd be cool to see him on TNG. Lines like "La Forge remained below..." and "Buck up, crewman. You'll be telling your grandchildren you were at Penthara IV", and the way he says he's from New Jersey, always get a laugh out of me. That he's making this fairly routine Star Trek mission out to be some universe-changing epic cracks me up too.

It's not one of my favorite episodes, but it's one I bring up a lot if me and friends are watching random Trek episodes on a drinking night and want something light and funny.
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 1:16pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Fifth Season Recap

I'm totally with Jammer that Season 5 is a pretty strong collection of episodes for DS9. But I don't think it's the pinnacle of the series.

Here's what's awesome: S5 includes the best two-parter (Purgatory/Inferno) and the best sci-fi episode not titled "The Visitor" (Children of Time). It also does a very nice job intertwining the Klingon/Dominion/Cardassian/Bajoran/Maquis threads together through the various episodes. More than anything, S5 shows off how good the writers are at plotting this series. The cause-and-effect is really, really impressive.

More awesome: Odo, Sisko, and Kira. They probably get the best focus this year among the main cast. The writers have added a lot of nuance to these three which has made for some series-defining moments (Odo in "Things Past" and "Children of Time", Sisko in "Rapture" and "Call to Arms", Kira in "Ties of..." and "Darkness and Light").

Worf gets some nice moments as well - particularly in the Purgatory/Inferno two-parter, which is probably the best Worf moment in either TNG or DS9 up to this point. Quark gets his best episode with "Business as Usual" too. Maybe the best Quark episode?

It's also interesting to watch Bashir (who gets an "okay" episode to himself in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"), who really has been becoming a lot more sombre. He still has his charm, but the actor's performances really show that it's been sobered by a lot of what's happened on the series (war, "The Quickening", Dominion imprisonment, and his secret coming out). There's just something about Siddig's scenes now that drives home the stress and weight hanging over our favourite frontier doctor.

I also love all the secondary characters coming into the mix - Ziyal, Martok, and Weyoun - while more layers get added to a lot of ones who have been around since the beginning - Garak, Dukat, Nog, Jake, and Winn. Even Rom and Leeta have their moments! The scope of the show is expanding and the station is becoming that much more bustling and interesting because of it.

But while S5 is clearly the most ambitious set of episodes so far in the series, the execution doesn't always match up. I think S4 is stronger overall in that a lot of its episodes hold together more tightly than S5's, even if they aren't as ambitious. Episodes like S5's "Rapture" and "Things Past" are contenders for top entries of the series, but have elements about them that hold them back JUST a tad. "The Ship" is a great idea too, but also isn't as harrowing as it wants to be.

I also find the two Eddington episodes to be a little bit anticlimactic to the Maquis story. I like plot-wise what happens, but I was less enthusiastic about Eddington becoming the face of the Maquis. I never really enjoyed his rivalry with Sisko, who routinely has better verbal sparring with Dukat. Don't get be wrong - neither of the Eddington episodes came anywhere close to being BAD, but they didn't really satisfy me as conclusions to a storyline that's been building since S2.

A couple more criticisms:

-I wish Odo had more time as a solid. I don't see any reason why he needed to be changed back as quick as he did (although it needed to happen at the latest for "Children of Time"). "A Simple Investigation" would have felt more meaningful in the long run too.

-Too much comedy bunched up. Out of the first seven episodes, three are "Par'mach," "Tribbles," and "Let He Who Is Without Sin...". Two out of those three are good episodes, at least (guess which one isn't). "The Begotten" and "Doctor Bashir" are also both stapled to weak-ish comic B-plots.

-Forgettable episodes. S4 had two or three weak episodes, but I'd say everything else is recommended (to varying degrees, obviously). In S5, "The Assignment," "The Ascent," and "Empok Nor" are all pointless. "A Simple Investigation" and "Soldiers of the Empire" both feel like S5 stories trapped in S1-calibre episodes. Both Odo and Martok deserve better approaching the final third of the series' run like this.

Like I said, S5 is pretty sweet. It has a LOT going for it and aims pretty high at a lot of points. A lot of its better episodes are great, series-defining moments, but not all of them are as rock-solid as 45-minute stories. Just a few tweaks would make it amazing. I'm looking forward to Season 6!
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

This is a very strong episode and a great setup for the first chunk of the next season. The episode itself sets up a bit slow, but I think that becomes a much smaller issue with the knowledge that it's part 1 of a 7-part arc (or part 2 of an 8-part arc if you include "In the Cards" (which you should!)).

3-1/2 stars for me. A great way to start the best 6 hours of consecutive Trek since Wrath of Khan/Search for Spock/Voyage Home. Who needs the TNG movies?
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:22am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

Oh, and one question for those who might know:

Where was Dax? You'd think she'd have a role in an episode about staying positive and getting Sisko an awesome gift! Farrell is most fun to watch when she's having a good time with the rest of the crew.
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 10:17am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

I like this one. It's fun to see the NoJay Consortium in action again (my favourite moment still being the stembolts from, I think?, season 1). It probably shouldn't work this well, but it's well paced and satisfying. I think it's neat how this episode reversed the A- and B-plot setup. Usually the comedy gets stapled to a heavier A-plot and sometimes comes off too transparently as comic relief. Not here, though, because it's a nice tour of the station from the point of view of two guys who aren't necessarily keeping tabs on the political moves going on around them.

I also like that the Bajor-Dominion negotiations stayed civil. No assassinations, no protests - not everything has to be as dramatic as that. It keeps things light enough that the focus of whether or not Bajor should sign the pact leaves the impression it should and sets up the next episode nicely. A genuinely creative move by the writers with this one. A strong 3 stars.
$G - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:52am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Blaze of Glory

I'm not huge on this episode even though I feel like I should be.

Part of it is that I never really warmed up to the Eddington storyline. I really enjoyed "For the Cause" but that episode also had the Kasidy drama going for it as well. Eddington's plot was also a bit more palatable (to me) there. His digs at Sisko were well done and I believed him as a member of the Maquis.

But the "For the Uniform" and "Blaze of Glory" arc is just too lukewarm for me. They became more about *Eddington* than the Maquis. I guess that's partially what drives Sisko in all of it, and I suppose it was good to finally put a face to the enemy, but it also ties the Maquis too closely to this one character. Suddenly the Maquis effort all comes attached to Eddington's bravado and sense of theatricality and they seem written a little too much for the benefit of a couple of climactic episodes than for the satisfaction of the series-long arc. Compared to the Klingons, Bajorans, Cardassians, and Dominion, they just don't seem to have the same range of characters that other antagonists do. Then Eddington dies in a scene that almost seems like its a given. It didn't really impact me the way it should have.

All that said, this is still a fair episode on its own merits because of some decent scenes and tension. I like how it hammers home how the Maquis have affected the Alpha Quadrant. The writers began them as victims, turned them to aggressors and then led them completely to ruin - a nice, dynamic arc that fits in well with the stories of DS9's other players. Sisko has a great line about how the Maquis pushed the Cardassians right into the arms of the Dominion, a visceral line that both gave me a chill and showed off how well plotted DS9 as a series really is.

3 stars for me, but with an asterisk. It works on its own as a decent episode of this series, but never really feels like the climax it wants to be (and should be).
Robert - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:11am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

Also, to chime into the other discussion.... everyone is a sum of their genetics AND their experiences. If I were flipped to gay I'd have had a different set of experiences and would be a very different person. That's way more tweaking of the genome than I will EVER be comfortable with.
Robert - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 8:58am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Andy's Friend - Most adoption research these days believes that you should eventually tell your kids that they are adopted. I'm not entirely sure that your point that kids who are a different color or could not have been biologically reproduced* are necessarily at much worse risk

"You don’t just get adopted and live happily ever after."

Some people do (I happen to know one who was adopted outside her race and is doing awesome, but anecdotes make lousy statistics). But more to the point.... there is no other choice. These kids have already been given up. The choice is not be adopted or be raised by your responsible biological parents. Obviously that's preferable, it's be awesome if kids never ended up in an orphanage, but it's hardly reality.

h t t p ://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/adoption-and-foster-care/Pages/When-to-Tell-Your-Child-About-Adoption.aspx

"If your child is already of school age and has not been told that he is adopted, you need to talk with him about it, as early during this time of life as possible.

Adoption should not be a secret. Every youngster needs to have an honest understanding of his origin. Adopted children who have not been told seem to sense that somehow they are different; this nagging intuition can in­fluence their self-image. "
Brennan - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 5:04am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

The ending is such a stretch. You don't think some people maybe WANTED to be engineers and not farmers? Why is being a farmer and having a community better than exploring the stars? It over-simplifies this issue way to much and almost implies people would rather work really hard and go back to their roots instead of trying to make actual progress and enjoy the comforts their society has earned.

The idea that no one there was infuriated over the cut-off from their, what I can imagine to at least be a few, families is completely a joke. Plus the lack of justice for an obnoxious character, other than a few lines of dialogue explaining that she will be punished, is so unrewarding, and leaves me just wanting this episode to turn into an orbital bombardment of that village. I would just love to see O'Brian vaporize a few villagers, beam out, followed with a volley of torpedoes. Just get the kids out first, not their fault the parents are impossibly dense.
Seryn - Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 12:07am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part I

People around 2008 to 2010 particularly picked up on how eerily close "Past Tense" gets to our social issues now. Yet those commenting most recently have decided to argue over the realism of the episodes, when our social issues have gotten worse (the unemployment rate going down does not mean that it will keep going down and evidence to things getting worse before they get better is prevalent on even the mainstream news networks). The entire Cold War was based on walls both real and metaphorical; are the walls going back up?

The appeal to the audience is simply a case of whether one enjoys entertainment over intellectuality, a line DS9 cuddles against, usally making everyone happy. It deviated from the line in this case.
Clarky - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 10:20pm (USA Central)
Re: Confessions of a Closet Trekkie

Ah! So there is hope for me yet, even if I can remember begging my parents to stay up till 8pm to watch STO, on TV, in black and white!
zzybaloobah - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 10:15pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

I'm surprised so few commented on Alexander. He is *painful* to watch. He's over-the-top inept; and worse, he seems OK with it. Maybe a human could be content to be the fool, but a Klingon warrior?
He needs to stumble into a heroic death, and quickly....
Andy's Friend - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 4:37pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Peremensoe #3: Here’s an answer on the matter of adoption:

All your arguments are valid ones. And for the record: your understanding is not correct. I know for a fact ― this is a matter of statistics ― that being adopted *by anyone* is harmful to *some* of the children. I therefore consider that there are ethical problems concerning gay adoption just like any other adoption.

I should have written this from the very beginning; that was my fault.

In one of my posts to Dave in NC I gave a specific example of how many third-world children in Western Europe suffer various types of psychological problems because they feel different. It might be argued that it would thus be better ― more ethical ― for say, Italian or French parents to adopt a child from Romania rather than Korea or Sri Lanka, as the likelihood of that happening would be much smaller. This is an example of the ethical issues I’m talking about.

Other adopted children suffer simply because they realize they’re adopted. This is of course a universal problem, i.e., it wouldn’t matter whether the parents were gay or not.

Some children adopted by gay parents will also suffer. How many? I’m guessing not many. How much wiill they suffer? Hard to tell, but some probably to the point of the typical self-destructive behaviour of those children adopted by straight couples who experience similar psychologic problems.

What I am thus trying to say is that adopting, in itself, is unfortunately connected with various, if mostly small to moderate, degrees of risk of psychological damage to the children. Some of these risks are easier to calculate and thus avoid than others. Some kids just can’t deal with the fact that they’re adopted. We cannot predict which ones. But adopting a child from Uganda in Finland will expose that child to a much, much greater risk of suffering certain issues than adopting a child from the Ukraine.

Unfortunately, there is no way to similarly estimate which children will most likely suffer problems specifically because of being adopted by gays. I believe that risk to be small, and I recognize that it is not the gay couple’s fault in such cases. But the risk exists.

The question is: when kids suffer issues because they can’t handle the fact that they’re adopted, they do just that. It’s an inherent risk that we must be willing to accept if we wish to have an adoption system. Whereas it is unacceptable, in my opinion, to expose a child to higher risks ― such as the examples with Koreans in Sweden or Ugandans in Finland.

*Ideally* there should be no problem in a couple of Finns adopting a Ugandan baby. But when *reality* shows us that that child has a severely higher risk of suffering from psychological side-effects because there are just virtually no blacks in Finland and the child naturally feels different (the symptoms themselves can very different, and can lead to psychoses or neuroses, depending on the personality of the child), I consider it wrong to adopt one ― the parents should choose a child from say, Moldavia instead.

*Ideally*, there should likewise be no problem in a gay couple adopting any child. But the truth is that this is adding another level of uncertainty to the equation. As such, ethical logic tells me that we have a dilemma: should we, for the sake of the few percent who actually develop some psychologic problems specifically because of this, not allow it? Should we allow that concern for a few to prevent the many from living a happy life adopted by gays? It’s an ethical dilemma in the best tradition of Star Trek: do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? This is what I meant.

Adopting is a risky business. When the kids find out, most of them have to work out the problem that their parents aren’t really their parents. Most of them deal with it just fine. But some don’t. You can’t ignore that.

In this aspect, children adopted by gay couples are of course better off, because they cannot obviously be the children of two men or two women, and they will know that from a much earlier age and thus in the majority of cases have accepted the fact that they’re adopted much sooner. However, at present we simply don’t know enough about how growing up with a gay couple affects the psyche of the kids, and how many or how few of them develop problems specifically because of the fact. As I said, I believe that few will. But this raises the question: is a few a few too many?

So therefore, yes, I consider gays adopting as irresponsible as the Finnish straight couple who chooses to adopt a baby from Korea. It’s gambling with other people’s psychological well-being. And regardless of the odds, that should just not be allowed...

...but on the other hand, we also have to consider the alternatives for the children. Chances are the kids will be happy being adopted. But if not, is being a depressed child in Western Europe better than being a child labourer in some third-world country? The scenarios are many. So are the ethical considerations.

It’s merely because of this that I give serious thought to the issue of adoption. Being a parent, you know that dealing with children is not all as simple and easy as some people out there seem to think it is. Even in Scandinavia adopted children suffer many more problems than the average child. You don’t just get adopted and live happily ever after.

Finally, we also have a very fundamental question: is having a child a human right? Can anyone just say: ”Hey, I want a kid” and fill a requisition form? Many straight people who are irresponsible do have children. But does invoking that entitle anyone ― a single person, for instance ― to a child? Because that places children in a category dangerously close to a product.

So as you can see, there are many ethical considerations. And this is want I meant: I have ethical considerations about gay adoption. Just like any adoption. We're talking about human beings. How could there not be ethical considerations involved? I cannot believe that I in a Star Trek forum would need to explain this.

Anyway, as I said, in the majority of cases ― any types of cases ― the children grow up just fine. We normally accept the reality that is given to us; that’s how people survive in hell-holes plagued by war and poverty in the third world. A child adopted by Data would probably get used to growing up with an android.

Consider that. Is Data alive? Is he sentient? We’ve seen him care for Spot. We’ve seen him in command of the flagship of the Federation. We've seen him create Lal. Should Data be allowed to adopt a human child?
Victoria G - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 4:02pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Drive

This reminds me of The Great Race, when Tony Curtis stopped his car just before the Eiffel Tower to propose to Natalie Wood. Except then it did not save their lives.
Andy's Friend - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 3:02pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Peremensoe #2: just to answer your specific question:

” Would you "still be you" if your genes had been flipped to make you gay?”

Yes, I would still be me if all my parents had done had been making me like guys instead of girls. I wouldn’t be quite the same me, but I would be essentially the same ― and the present me wouldn’t give a frak, as he would never have existed.

This reminds me of that extremely imbecile DS9 episode, ”Children of Time”. In that episode, there is no ethical question whatsoever: the moment the Defiant leaves the planet, those people down there won’t merely cease to exist: they will *never* have existed. There is no dilemma whatsoever. The script manipulates its (less attentive, or more gullible, if you will) audience with various smokescreen maneouvres, and tries to create an ethical dilemma that simply does not exist: they are *not* killing 8,000 colonists by leaving. Sadly, that episode makes the DS9 crew remember them: the correct thing to do would be to make them forget, and let them only be remembered by the audience. This is one of the reasons VOY’s ”Course: Oblivion” is a far, far superior episode, with a truly tragic dimension.

Similarly in your scenario. If my parents had chosen to give me purple eyes and white hair, and made me hate cheese and olives and love guys instead of girls, no, it wouldn’t be the present me ― but the alternate me wouldn’t give a frak. He would be him, and be perfectly happy that way. And who I am to say that I’m better than him?
Andy's Friend - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 2:58pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Peremensoe #1: thanks for your comment, which opens up for interesting talks. Here’s my first, very short answer:

”is *your* whole identity...based on your sexuality? Your rhapsodizing about the joy and beauty of het sex suggests it's not irrelevant.”

I was not in any way rhapsodizing about the joy and beauty of sex, I was rhapsodizing about something completely different: the birth of new life, unaided by technology. I was writing about the absolutely wondrous thing that the natural conception of a child is.

So read again: “creating new life, unassisted by technology, that is, magically, a part of ourselves and the very man or woman we love.”

This is not about the sex act, but the very creation of life. I was writing about the end, not the means.
SlackerInc - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 2:43pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Basics, Part I

I have to agree that obviously it was foolhardy to go try to rescue this baby. But I think we have to forgive that, because nearly every iteration of every science fiction or action adventure show or movie involves a lot of "this is an extreme risk just to save one person, but we're heroic types and that's what we do" type stuff. I'm cool with someone making something that moves away from this trope, but as of the mid-'90s especially, it was par for the course.

And as a lot of others have also said, it was a suspenseful and fun episode as long as you swallow that much. My wife, who is not even much of a science fiction fan but watches with me and our daughter as (I had always thought, anyway) a good sport, is the most anxious of the three of us to hurry up and watch the next episode!

As for the Kazon space thing: If it takes eight years to move through Federation space (how do we know this, anyway?), I think we can forgive it taking a few months for the Kazons. Let's just assume that the heart of their territory is closer to the Alpha Quadrant than where the Voyager originally got moved; when the Voyager first encountered Kazons, they were at the farthest edge of their range, the farthest away from the Alpha Quadrant. If that's the case, it could be reasonable to still be near the heart of their territory a few months later.
Boreals - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 8:16am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

Enterprise is my favorite Trek series. I love the premise of humanity taking its first steps into the galaxy. My wife, who is not at all interested in scifi, actually enjoyed Broken Bow. The theme song is uplifting and hopeful, and speaks of our potenial as individuals and as a species. Is the show perfect? No. But it's a lot of fun, espevially for someone who isn't a Trekker.
Gskunk - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 7:35am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Civilization

I guess T'Pol is to this show what Worf was to in TNG...the crewmember who says the reasonable thing and immediately gets shouted down by others who need the plot to get going.
Taylor - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 2:05am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Code of Honor

In tune with TOS, the climactic hand-to-hand is totally lame, as bad as the Gorn fight, except that Tar seems to be facing off with a Prince/Rik James hybrid. Hysterical.
Taylor - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 12:51am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: The Last Outpost

The Ferengi literally act like monkeys in this episode. Not a good look.
Ron - Sun, Sep 21, 2014, 12:13am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

Number One was an XO, an executive officer--true; but she made it clear that whenever a landing party was needed, she would be stuck back on the ship. She only got out because Pike and the other men were n a tight squeeze. That glass ceiling made sure she would never be captain no matter how good she was. Lester knew this, too. Just because the Romulans were no sexists that didn't influence the Federation one wit until at least 15 years later with that one woman starship captain in ST IV and even by the time of TNG, there weren't many more women captains-- just two in Next Gen and Voyager. Not a very good track record for the Federation. Except for a few plotholes, I liked this episode though.
Shane B - Sat, Sep 20, 2014, 7:21pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 2

Let me just summarize my feelings by saying this:

When Starbuck showed up at the end of the episode I said out loud, "Oh, f*** you show."
$G - Sat, Sep 20, 2014, 2:09pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

This episode is just kind of *there* for me. I forgot everything about it before seeing it again today, so it's not even that I knew what was going to happen.

I liked the downtrodden Klingon crew scenes, especially the older guys becoming a bit of a cancer to the junior officers. I also liked the plot of Worf standing up for a captain he knows is neglecting his crew and that that captain would be Martok, beat up and rusty from his time in the internment camp.

On the other hand, the knife fight climax wasn't all that satisfying. Worf loses and suddenly the crew are chanting Martok's name like a bunch of idiot sports fans. Great. So he won. He's the coward you wanted dead in the first place, remember? Except that he isn't anymore, changing his tune about fighting the Jem'Hadar pretty dang quick just because he won a fight.

I'd have softened a bit if we got to see the Rotarran in the fight they supposedly won, too, but it all happened off screen.

This one has some nice moments but I can't necessarily recommend it. 2-1/2 stars is all it deserves, but even that might be generous.
$G - Sat, Sep 20, 2014, 1:46pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Ferengi Love Songs

This one straddles the line between 1-1/2 and 2 stars for me. I like the series-long arc that develops about the Ferengi way of life. On the other hand, I wish it involved more than four or five Ferengi (Zek, Quark, Ishka, Brunt, Rom). Not that I want MORE Ferengi episodes, but I see that the DS9 writers were going for an arc along the lines of Cardassia or Bajor. The difference is that those settings generally get serious face time in a dozen episodes a year and actually seem to exist in a universe with one another. Ferenginar is just... separate from everything. Not that I'd want it to factor into the Dominion War at all but it'd still be nice for it to have at least a bit more weight than, say, the Mirror Universe storyline.

I didn't hate this episode as much as everyone else. Probably because I recently watched some season 1 TNG starring the Ferengi and... wow. Not even DS9's worst episodes reach those depths. Mother of mercy.

tl;dr: A silly, pretty stupid episode that's (thankfully) insulated from the rest of the series. Still nowhere near as bad as "The Last Outpost".
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