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Dave in NC - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 9:35pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

@ Robert

I was about to post the sane thing.

My interpretatiohn was it took a few months for B'Elanna to track down the files and it happened "between" episodes.
Jack - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 4:11pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

T'Pol has recovered 99% from the epidermis cracking, and only visits Phlox about the remaining 1% left on her wrist. Then she asks how to treat it, when 99% of it healed without treatment.
Data - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 3:19pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

@Petrus The first major issue that I had, was the fact that everyone visible on the planet, was white and blonde. Given Gene Roddenberry's usual commitment to diversity in Trek series, (and he was presumably still alive at the time this show was made) I find that surprising, and disappointing. Beauty can and does exist among other human phenotypes.

First of all white blonde people are attractive and this planet just happens to only have white people on it. The writers shouldn't change their story to fit our human percentage of races. Look at the episode code of honor. I'm pretty sure everyone on that planet was black and I'm sure you wouldn't say they were ugly.
Craig - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 12:33pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

Another perfect example of Janeway being an idiot and the prime directive not working. Even though Paris had already gone through with it she decides to condemn the entire planet to death, perhaps some of the humanoids would evacuate but it doesn't even look like they're prepared to do that.

I don't buy the argument that the prime directive prevents them from saving that planet, who is to say that the oceans belongs to that humanoid species that is destroying it? There was mention of other lifeforms in that ocean and since they weren't even aware of anything below 1000ft or so then who's to judge the intelligence of other the animals in the ocean? In essence a Federation vessel has caused the death of countless species by allowing one to be reckless.
Robert - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 10:02am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

As for fundamental issues being returned too....

I pretty much disagree with Kira's character being re-hashed. We DID keep going back to basics with her, but I feel like each time she was different and she learned something NEW from it.

One thing I DID like about Kira working with Damar was that for her, I didn't feel like she was out to reform him (at first). She'd have to TRULY hate him to say what she did after his family was killed. And she didn't even do it for a good reason, it was Garak that pointed out to her that it might do some good... she had just shot her mouth off. Her hostility was right beneath the surface.

It wasn't until the were all beaten, stripped away of everything, living in a basement with all their comrades killed that I think she finally saw what Damar COULD be. And THEN she thought about trying to shape him into it. I think she does some of her best acting of the entire show (and so does he) as their 2 characters subtlety change over 10 episodes.

But even little things about Kira change a lot over 7 years. The woman who felt stupid about wearing the costumes in "Way of the Warrior" still felt silly in a holosuite in "His Way" but much less so (and was playing along in S7 in "Take Me Out..." and "Badda Bing...") Her relationship with Sisko, Bashir, O'Brien, Dax they all subtlety change over 7 years. It's really nicely done when you look at it.

But Torres? She just never seems to learn from her uneasiness with her Klingon past. It just always seems to come back to bite her. She never totally makes peace with it.
Robert - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 9:45am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

"You didn't find episodes like Night, Extreme Risk, Timeless, Infinite Regress, Nothing Human, Counterpoint, Latent Image, Dark Frontier, Course: Oblivion, Juggernaut, Equinox, Dragon's Teeth, Memorial, Unimatrix Zero, Flesh and Blood, The Void, Workforce, Friendship One and Endgame to showcase darkness of tone? "

Of course there were dark episodes, but I only rarely got the feeling Janeway was beaten down by the world the way the DS9 crew were supposed to be by the war. Things like Flesh and Blood, Dark Frontier, and The Void (all among my favorites) showcased an optimistic Janeway. Not the Janeway from Night, Equinox and Friendship One.

For me the "Janeway Problem" is a lot like DS9's "The Sound of Her Voice". A serviceable episode in a bubble... but Sisko's problems with Kassidy and Miles/Julian's isolation all seemed to be really brought up at random. And then never addressed again. I felt that way about Janeway. She went totally emo in Night, then it popped up again in Equinox and then again in Friendship One through the end of the series.

If she wasn't participating in the fun because she was beating herself up about stranding them and all the people that died under her command instead of that she was the captain (Picard skipped a lot of "the fun" too)... I just wish they had been more explicit. In a lot of ways her arc (and characterization) feels yo-yo like.

Again though, I'd like to point out that I'm not faulting Mulgrew. She sure as held sold every single one of those emotions in Equinox, even if I didn't care for the characterization.
Robert - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 9:26am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

@Tricia - No argument about the lack of followup, but he DOES mention it again in Future's End.

"STARLING: Try to be a little more grateful, Doc. The schematics I downloaded from your ship indicate you were stuck in the sickbay twenty four hours a day.

EMH: I recently suffered a severe programme loss and I'm still in the process of retrieving my memory files, but apparently on a few occasions I have been projected into other locations. Undoubtedly you're using a similar procedure. "
TWD - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 6:28am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Sonya Gomez should have died. Too much makeup and not enough acting skills. Rest of episode was great.
Tricia - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 4:42am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

The ending bothered me too. Having seen the rest of the series, we know that his memory loss never really comes up again in any meaningful way. It also never happens again, even though he continues to expand his program. I don't think he shows up at all in the next episode, 'False Profits', so maybe he was recovering. (i.e. B'lana or Harry was recovering his memories and downloading them back into his file). It would have been nice if they had mentioned it though. I actually think it would have wrapped things up better if he had winked at Kes and B'lana at the end, and let them know he was joking.
zzybaloobah - Mon, Sep 29, 2014, 12:56am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

At the very least, Worf should be reassigned. You can't leave him on the same station with Dax -- how do you know a similar situation won't arise again?

And I think you have to demote him as well. The word *will* get out -- you can't appear to do anything but come down harshly on his behavoir.
"You won't make command" sounds like a real consequence, but in the context of a TV series, it's far off and nebulous... and they didn't even stick with it....

As for Klingon morals -- wife vs. military necessity. He's a Klingon warrior, not a Klingon farmer. I think the choice would be pretty clear.....


$G - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 11:53pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

This is a really, really great hour of DS9. Without repeating the good points everyone already mentioned, I want to point out a couple of things that bother me about the comments here:

---
@ Nonya:

"What bothers me here is that Sisko literally steered Dukat to his end. Dukat was vulnerable, emotional, and more or less putty in Sisko's hands. What does Sisko do? Make Dukat face his worst side of himself, without offering alternate perspectives or even so much as telling Dukat he needs to own up to his actions."

I'm not sure what alternate perspectives Sisko could or should have offered here. He eventually plays Dukat's game (after being beaten with a pipe, don't forget) and Dukat reveals himself as a racist, narrow-minded monster. He isn't looking for a new perspective on his conscience or a new way to see the world; he wants Sisko's approval for what he already is. The terrifying thing about Dukat is that he genuinely believes he was benevolent. His frustration all comes from being unable to articulate it so that others can see it as he does. Problem is, Dukat's views are too twisted and, yes, evil to make others agree.

"Dukat has always had this darkness inside of him ever since the occupation, but it's Sisko's behavior here that makes this darkness come forward, in the worst way."

Dukat has darkness inside of him, and so does every other Cardassian military officer who's been indoctrinated with the Central Command's propaganda. The Bajoran occupation had already been running for 40 years before Dukat took over - so what does that say about Dukat? What does that say about the type of person who would seek out that position? Certainly the occupation took its toll on him, and regardless of his efforts to run a "kinder, gentler" occupation, his view of Cardassians and Bajorans was one of racial supremacy. Like Jammer pointed out, the Cardassians shouldn't have been there at all. Full stop. His inability to even see this as a possibility damns him and entire generations of his people. A philosophy can be evil and those who both act on it and BELIEVE IT should be called out as evil as well, excuses be damned.

---
@ Toraya:

"When Sisko starts calling him "evil" I was thrown - since Sisko's assessment was clearly wrong. Was the episode intending to show Sisko as a merciless judge, stripped of empathy by the hardships of war and the burden of command? That would have been understandable and an interesting development of the character! But by the last scene it seemed that viewers were meant to actually agree with Sisko and consider Dukat evil rather than sick."

I just don't understand this interpretation. What sympathy does Dukat deserve from Sisko? This is a man who climbed the career ladder into becoming the prefect of an enslaved world. Before he even committed any atrocities, he was *already* a racial supremacist. Despite years of opportunity to reflect, he still doesn't see the problem that makes all of his reform excuses moot: superiority (however one defines it) does not justify slavery. His version of Kira doesn't even bring this up, instead saying only what he is able to understand about the situation: "we hated you and didn't want peace!" He doesn't understand why the Bajorans hate him, though, or why fighting was what they felt was their only option. That's what's damning.

Dukat is clearly mentally ill in "Waltz". I am not going to dispute that. But his mental state is not an unsympathetic or misguided portrayal of evil on the part of Moore. It's simply the dramatic breaking point that causes him to open up and reveal his true colours. The "shades of grey" that everyone trots out about pre-"Waltz" Dukat shouldn't be misunderstood as ambiguity in his belief system. Dukat's "grey" comes from the fact that he was charming and witty, and that his character arc occasionally brought his goals into alignment with our heroes'. His stories were rarely 'good guys vs. Dukat'.

But don't fall into the trap that “greyness” means his brutal, racist beliefs are up for ethical debate, because they are straight up black as night. The writers and Alaimo's performances did such a good job giving personality to Dukat up to this point in the series that they created a monster who the viewer doesn't hate, and probably even likes. But for some viewers “not hating” ends up as sympathy, which then usually ends up as approval or apologism. The number of internet posts I've seen over the years that glorify characters like Walter White, Tony Soprano, or Vic Mackey is pretty immense. It's a really bizarre halo effect that takes place.

tl;dr: Dukat is mentally ill, but he is also evil and has been for far longer than he's been ill. Don't confuse the two.

---

Anyway, my own review of this episode would be pretty glowing and I'm not going to write it all since I've already written enough. I love “Waltz” for Alaimo's performance and for Sisko's characterization. At the beginning of the hour, our hero chastises himself in his log for wishing death on Dukat – it's all very Star Trek and to be expected. By the end, he's been forced to unload both barrels on the man and suddenly that Federation party line for procedure and tolerance gives way to the raw passion of a man whose belief in utopian values goes far deeper than a simple oath-taking.

My only real issue with “Waltz” is Dukat's escape. I understand the character is too valuable to be killed, and I wouldn't presume to out and out say that killing him would have been “better”, but “Waltz” feels like such a natural conclusion to Dukat's story that having him live to fight another day almost makes me feel like the episode pulled its last punch.

I know where the story goes from here, though I won't judge it until I finish my re-watch. A lot of commenters seem to see this as the beginning of the end, but any failures on the part of future episodes to interpret what should move forward from “Waltz” shouldn't be blamed on “Waltz” itself.

3-1/2 stars, though “Waltz” probably contains enough excellent material to make it a full 4 star gem. Regardless of star ratings, this is a DS9 classic and my close-second favourite Dukat show after S4's secretly excellent “Return to Grace.”
Jack - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 10:45pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: The Council

@ skadoo...if those were all the same spherebuilder she sure changed her clothes a lot.
Jack - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 10:22pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: E2

I agree with Neall...the makeup odf T'Pol was absurdly overdone. T'Pol is in her 60s during the run of Enterprise, so here she'd be 180 give or take. We saw Sarek at 203 and he looked nowhere near as haggard and aged as they made T'Pol look here.
Eric - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 9:32pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

All I could think about in this episode was how small the holosuite actually is. So when Nog gets kicked out of the club and goes back to Vic's place, he's actually only like: 2 meters away from everyone, and just has some holographic "bubble" around him, or a piece of the scene sectioned off, with his own rendering of a scene, walking around on a treadmill in his own little 2-foot space.
Peremensoe - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 9:22pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

Certainly a four-star episode. Leaves some questions open, but in this context that's more than fine, it's fun.

(Was Moriarty strictly the first self-aware holographic person in Trek? He certainly would not be the last.)

Something to think about, if you like: how do you know that the Countess is "sentient"? Because she asserts it? Because the deceptive "archnemesis" does? If Moriarty can successfully 'program' the holodeck to simulate big sections of the Enterprise and local space and Picard's own crew interacting with him--surely he could simulate a sentient Countess to Picard who didn't know her in any sense. Unless, of course, *simulated sentience* isn't literally possible--if sufficient engineered complexity of simulation ends up being *the same thing* as sentience arising "naturally." As is the case in androids? Right? What matters is the internal complexity of the program and the connectedness of its I/O--not the location of its hardware.
Jack - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 8:25pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Azati Prime

Reptile Guy goes from not knowing who Degra is to knowing that he has two daughters in like 5 seconds time. Retile Guy could have been lying about not knowing who Degra was, buy why would he?
Josh - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 8:10pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

I haven't seen this episode in a long time, but whatever one might say about the plot, the acting is solid and the production design holds up extremely well. It's great, actually, and the pacing is brisk and aided by unique matte paintings and a richer score.
Jack - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 7:52pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Harbinger

Reed has a detached retina and Hayes a ruptured kidney. But Archer has to dress them down before they get treated for these severe injuries? Stranger yet, Phlox seems to have already diagnosed the injuries, but released them to Archer's mouth without healing them.
navamske - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 7:14pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

"Haven't we all wanted to strangle Neelix on occasion when he gets annoying?"

Did you ever see the episode where they almost get off the island but Gilligan screws it up?
Peremensoe - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 5:37pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: The Circle

Odo deputizing Quark is a pretty funny scene...
Maximillian - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 5:33pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

"when he is looking once again at the image of Vina and realizes he does have a chance to "live" a normal life again"

I wonder also that Pike had fallen in love with Vena, and part of the reaction was accordingly.
(Susan Oliver was striking btw).

I would have made it far more romantic, and touching, where Kirk asks "Chris, do you want to go there ?"

Instead, "Chris, do you want go there, and be with her ?"

The eternal love of a man for a woman, is dealt
directly from God.

I think they just missed the boat there.
Peremensoe - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 5:32pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: The Circle

I assume she gets different quarters, having moved off the station and back...
Eric - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 1:23pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Covenant

Awful right from the first act...I rolled my eyes more than once during this episode.
William B - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 12:57pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

@Elliott,

I find Nussbaum's analyses interesting and frustrating in equal measure. She is way too harsh on BSG, among other things, for instance...though I actually see her point on a few particular instances.

As far as Kira, I think the Torres or Seven comparison is useful, because I do think there's a similar sense of...the same fundamental issues being returned to again and again, but there are subtle changes in the form those fundamental issues take. I think that's a good strategy for character development, and it's the basic structure we get with (e.g.) Data too, though Data starts off more explicitly admirable than the others.
William B - Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 11:27am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

This is surprisingly similar to "The Paradise Syndrome," which also features a main character leaving the Enterprise for a brief marriage and an asteroid hurtling toward a planet. It's like someone decided to show the same story from the *asteroid's* point of view, rather than the planet's. This episode avoids many of "The Paradise Syndrome's" flaws and is probably more engaging overall, but I still find this one pretty frustrating. The basic plot of the asteroid colony, who are prevented from understanding their situation or even making proper corrections to their course by an autocratic machine whose original purpose has become corrupted over time, is fine if familiar for TOS. Rather than another computer-goes-awry story (which, you know, this *is*, but still) this is more properly about religious fanaticism, where insistence that no one *question* the way in which one reaches the "Promised Land" actually makes arriving at that destination impossible. The Big Three figure it out and save the people. The Yolandans' faith turns out to be justified, but not in this literalistic way in which no actual pursuit of truth can be allowed. It's uninspired but I guess fine as far as it goes.

The bigger interest and bigger letdown is McCoy's story. McCoy is *dying*; and then he finds the possibility of a year of happiness, even if he has to give up a great deal for it, and he takes it. I was actually fairly willing to accept the somewhat implausible and mostly low-chemistry Natira romance provisionally, on the hopes that it would lead to something of a good story. And there are hints of one. With time running out, McCoy realizes that he really doesn't want to die alone, and his priorities shift with the recognition that this is his last real chance at love. The understated way he deals with the news with Kirk and Spock has some pros and cons -- I agree that the Kirk/McCoy stuff feels a little underwhelming, but there is something very affecting about Spock's reaction all the way through, his completely snark-free touching of McCoy and McCoy's surprised reaction. It's a big development in the Big Three dynamic, which really has continued to evolve throughout the series. It's also a recognition that the Big Three bond, important as it is, is not actually a substitute for romantic love and peace of mind.

But then the computer is destroyed and McCoy just...decides to leave his wife? What exactly has changed here? Now, more than ever, he wants to go out there and find a cure! Um, okay. I mean, yes, it makes sense for McCoy to want to do all he can to work on finding a cure, but I hardly see what has changed between now and when he agreed to give up his freedom for the chance at love and peace. I guess the destruction of the machine thing and his inability to stave off his curiosity made him realize that he couldn't actually sit quietly and wait for the end, but had to look into it? Maybe? But if all it takes is a couple of days of realizing how curious he is, it seems like that marriage thing was a pretty bad decision. I guess it was -- an impulsive stupid decision that was always going to end. Which...is actually a potential story choice, because people who just learned they are going to die in a year are likely to make some bad decisions, but the story's portrayal of McCoy and Natira is much more akin to tragic star-crossed lovers than a guy who loses all ability to evaluate himself in the wake of a terminal diagnosis and makes a life commitment that he can only honour for, I don't know, probably a week or something (hard to keep track of the episode's time scale). McCoy should be a lot more apologetic, I guess is what I'm saying.

And then he gets cured anyway! So now his reason for leaving his wife for his remaining year is gone! And so he...still leaves, because, uh...he...actually much prefers being on a starship, I guess. Which again is fine -- but wow, does he even think twice about how his *stated reason* for leaving his wife now being gone might change things? It all just underlines how little McCoy's commitment to Natira meant, and how little his realignment of values in the wake of his potential death has any bearing on his actual view of himself once that proximate threat is gone. It's a shame, really, because there is a potentially interesting story there, and further, if the story more explicitly examined McCoy just bouncing back to his old values after like a day it could be a story about how fundamentally, one shouldn't make decisions in the immediate wake of tragic news, and how McCoy understandably but very regrettably made a stupid call that hurt himself and Natira too. Alas.

I...guess 2 stars?
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