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- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 7:58pm (USA Central)
Terrible episode. The virus was not the remnant of a lost species, but that species attempt to preserve itself through an unprecedented genocide that would spread all across the galaxy.
As others have mentioned, the only practical reason to preserve it would be to use it as a weapon; probably against the Xindi, since those smug, control freak Vulcans are pretty much immune. :)
It could be a very effective threat. Innoculate our friends and then infect enemies and only give them the antivirus if they submit to our demands.
Of course that seems way too immoral for Starfleet and even for me.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 6:50pm (USA Central)
The Inner Light
Alright, I guess I'm going to be a contrarion on this one.
Now just to be clear I don't like this episode. I don't dislike it.
I think I love this episode and I hate it at the same time.
I love Picard's bits. They started off a little hard to get into, but once it got going, it was one of the best character pieces that Trek has ever done. I think the bits on the ship were pretty solid.
Unfortunately I worked out what was going on about halfway through this episode, and from that moment on my brain went into overdrive asking one question over and over again: "WHY!?"
(For the record, I'm not going to go too in depth on the ethics of this episode, but yeah I'm not exactly thrilled with them. Even if your opinion is that the probe is not mind raping them, the probe still makes the person it latches onto think they're crazy, then gives them a life on a dying planet with a family, only to reveal that it wasn't real at all so the family you thought you had was fake. That's…cruel. That's really cruel).
Why would this be the method chosen by the people on the planet to preserve their culture – a noble goal to be sure? They clearly have very advanced computer technology to store all that data – essentially a holodeck program in your head – so why not just store a bunch of information on a computer. If you really think it's important that the aliens who may not even speak your language experience your planet, create it as a computer program or – here's a thought – ask the recipient of your mind program for their consent to experience your culture BEFORE making them live a life on your planet so you don't have to spend time convincing them that their former life wasn't real.
That's the basics of it. To be clear this was all stuff that was going through my head while I was watching the episode, and that probably hurt my experience of it. And to be clear, I don't think this is a bad episode. I just can't justify, for myself, the explanation for what was going on.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 5:44pm (USA Central)
@William B. Not at all meant to be argumentative, but merely to express my own opinion: Your idea that the Vians are going to sacrifice themselves is an intriguing one, but anytime I've watched this episode I've always thought that the Vians are saying they have the ability to save one "other" species. I could very well be wrong. Your idea puts a very interesting spin on things.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 5:29pm (USA Central)
I really don't get the outrage over threatening to kill one murdering pirate to help prevent the deaths of billions of innocent people and the destruction of their planet.
I think this quote from DS9 about a similar situation sums it up quite well:
Elim Garak: That's why you came to me, isn't it, Captain? Because you knew I could do those things that you weren't capable of doing? Well, it worked. And you'll get what you want: a war between the Romulans and the Dominion. And if your conscience is bothering you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Alpha Quadrant. And all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal, and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that a bargain.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 3:30pm (USA Central)
Chain of Command, Part I
Jellico is so well done, and a great contrast to Picard. You're along as a member of the crew in despising him. He does the "new Sheriff in town" routine very nicely. In reality nothing he calls for is out of line and he's even has a soft side hanging up his kid's drawings.
The weak point in the episode is the absurdity of sending Picard on the commando mission with Crusher. I suspect Crusher would quit before she'd do this, and keep in mind when she was off the Enterprise in season 2 she was head of Star Fleet medical.
I always thought Riker was overrated, but while exaggerated his tangles with the new captain are a good indication of how relationships are interactions and Riker wasn't a good match for Jellico.
Troi's uniform: My wife and I had a debate: I had seen an interview with Sirtis (on Arsenio Hall) that she liked being the designated sex kitten as she had an akward adolescence. She had met her at a trek convention and Sirtis complained about the uniforms. So was this a way to get Troi into a uniform to please Sirtis? I'm not convinced she was being polite about it on the talk show. If you notice she is in uniform in many of the episodes following this one.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 1:48pm (USA Central)
Once More Unto the Breach
Interesting idea, but I would have been epically disappointed with that.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 10:08am (USA Central)
"Fair enough, but we're not talking about shellfish being consumed in mass quantities; we're talking about people's lives and entire M-class worlds being laid to waste. At some point, a line must be drawn."
THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE! THIS FAR, NO FURTHER!!
Seriously, how am I the first one to think of that joke?
Okay, I'm torn on this one. "Silicon Avatar" has a lot of good going for it and a lot of bad going against it.
First, the good. The Data-Marr relationship is wonderful. First, Dr. Marr can only see Data as Lore. But, once she emotionally invests in Data and is then hit over the head with her dead son's journals and voice, she can only see Data as Renny. Great stuff. And I have to disagree with the people in these comments who say that Marr is clearly supposed to be seen as the villain and nothing else. I think she's a very sympathetic character, at least once we get to know her. Sure, she starts out as very unlikeable, but that quickly changes. The scene where she almost bursts into tears while Data recites in her son's voice proves that. Seriously, what else are we supposed to be feeling in that scene other than sympathy for her? Also of note is the scene between Riker and Picard when they discuss destroying the Entity. What I like so much about it is that the two characters are clearly holding opposing viewpoints and yet the issue is not resolved. The scene ends with Riker obviously upset that Picard might, in fact, not destroy the Entity. And, of course, I have to give credit to the writers for once more trying to use a Season One idea effectively.
Now the bad. All right, just go ahead and count me in the group that thinks Picard was dead wrong on this one. Why the hell does this episode expect us to spend so much time wondering if communication with the Crystalline Entity is possible? We know it's possible. The characters themselves know it's possible. Lore communicated with it - TWICE! He lured it to Omicron Theta with the promise of life to absorb. He then lured it to the Enterprise with the same promise. Obviously communication is possible! Also, why does the episode expect us to question whether the Entity is a sapient life-form or not? It obviously is! It obviously is capable of communication and therefore obviously knows that humanoid life-forms are also sapient. It just doesn't give a shit! It's still content to feed off them!
Picard's analogy to a whale feeding off cuttlefish is particularly bad. If the Entity was indeed a non-sapient life-form like a whale, then the only solution would be to kill it. After all, it's not feeding on non-sapient life like cuttlefish; it's feeding off people. If a whale was killing people, especially on this scale, would anybody seriously hesitate to kill it? If the Entity is indeed sapient, which we've already established that it is, then again the only solution is to kill it because it knows that it's murdering sapient life-forms but doesn't care. Killing it wouldn't be murder; it would be nothing more than self-defense - not to mention the defense of the two inhabited worlds it was heading toward when the Enterprise located it.
Was Dr. Marr wrong in what she did? Absolutely not. I really could have done without the whole "I did it for you, Renny" craziness, but she was absolutely right to kill the Entity. This isn't a case of live-and-let-live. She just saved the lives of countless people on those two planets. But you say, "Come on now Luke, Picard and company would have communicated with it and convinced it not to kill anymore." Okay, I say. How? What exactly would they have said to the Crystalline Entity to convince it to stop? It already isn't bothered by murdering people for it's own needs. So, again, how would have Picard stopped it? SFDebris said it best once about the Crystalline Entity - this thing is a Lovecraftian nightmare. It has just as much right to exist as anything else? Not at the cost of the billions of people it's killing! Sometimes, sadly, killing is required for self-defense. To quote Picard himself from "Peak Performance" - "That is not a weakness. That is life."
Also, one minor little nitpick - why weren't we ever given an answer as to why the Entity spared the group in the cave? Simply saying, "maybe it mistook Data for Lore" would have sufficed.
So, the good stuff somewhat buoys it up, but it could have been SO much better if they had 1.) remembered the events of "Datalore" and 2.) not given us this claptrap of co-existence with a murderous Lovecraftian monster.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 9:48am (USA Central)
Star Trek: First Contact
I adored Generations but was initially appalled by this film. My friends and I agreed this was material belonging in STNG season 5. The characters seemed to have to un-developed for the film(s). Clearly this was all meant to attract a larger audience into the cinema (I recall a lot of TV ads, too). The fuzzy thinking Hollywood script treatment made this barely tolerable, and I remain baffled by minor characters like the handsome Lt. and Lily, both given importance but contributing almost nothing.
I just re-watched this as part of watching all of Enterprise, and the best I can say is that it's a boring film. An intelligent, dramatic prologue to Enterprise would have been my preference; all that tacked on Borg junk prevented an interesting story.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 9:28am (USA Central)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Painful to watch. I remember thinking I'd wasted an afternoon at the cinema. Shatner says that this is his favorite. I like the guy, but...what? Only thing I can think of this mess is that someone wanted to punish the fans or the studio.
- Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 4:51am (USA Central)
Once More Unto the Breach
Although I am ususally not a fan of Klingon-centric episodes, I do enjoy this one quite a lot.
In regards to the ending:
What if they had shown what appeared to be Kor's glorious victory, but it turns out that it's just Worf(or Martok) retelling the "legend" back on the station at Quark's, or something similar?
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 11:27pm (USA Central)
Great episode. I enjoyed the nod to "First Contact". I don't think it busted the Trek timeline, though I do get the point about no 24th century pre knowledge of the Borg. But it is always fuzzy to me what people affected by timeline shift would and wouldn't know, especially when it has been altered so many times.
Anyway, the time travel episodes are all pure fantasy as opposed to sci fi to me as I concur with the determination of the Vulcan Science Directorate that time travel is impossible. There is no past to go back to because it only existed when it was the present. Same goes for the future.
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 10:12pm (USA Central)
give me episodes like this over any episode with the badly and overacted Q character. 5/5
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 10:07pm (USA Central)
In the Cards
"In the Cards" is a great episode, Jammer's review was absolutely spot-on, and Elliot isn't a troll-just dead wrong on pretty much everything he wrote here. I say that as someone who does appreciate many of Elliot's comments.
Many people collect things. Some businesspeople spends millions of dollars on art. Sports fans collect baseball cards. In the previous episode, Michael Eddington treasured his 300 year old "lucky looney" [sic].* Kids passionately acquire sets of provincial and state quarters. Collecting is a passion for many, and as someone who enjoys collecting things myself, I've always been unhappy that the only Trek show in any depth about the passions of collecting was one that focused on its negative side: the unethical collector (TNG's memorable, and--to be sure--good episode "The Most Toys."
In "In the Cards," DS 9 gives us ordinary mortals who still need money and still see value in collecting a celebration of collecting, of the motivations of buying something special for others, of the thrill of the hunt, of the disappointment at the auction, of the willingness to do whatever it takes (within reason and ethics) to get it.
The fact that "In the Cards" manages to so naturally and authentically situate itself in so many things DS 9 has been working on--the feeling of doom regarding the long-awaited Federation-Dominion war, the lovely father and son relationship between Sisko and Jake, the friendship of the romantic Jake and the practical Nog, the diplomatic overtures between the Bajorans and the Dominion--is remarkable. It makes for very pleasant, interesting viewing.
Like a few of the above commenters, I didn't find the episode particularly hilarious--though it had humorous aspects and parts--but I did find it touching, uplifting, and deeply worthwhile.
*In the previous episode, Eddington talked about his "lucky looney" [sic], a reference to the Canadian one dollar coin. I find it odd that his character successfully predicted what is officially known as the "lucky loonie" on the Royal Canadian Mint's own website. Basically, the story is that at the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2004, someone buried a loonie (the nickname of the $1 coin) under the ice in one of the ice rinks. Canada went on to earn gold medals in men's and women's hockey. The Mint went on to issue bronze circulation loonies and proof silver non-circulating loonies called "lucky loonies" every Olympic year from then on. Some of these coins wouldn't actually have a loon on them, but many would.
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 9:11pm (USA Central)
There's a bit of comedy in this episode that I'd completely forgotten from my first viewing. When Geordi first walks up to Christy and asks her out, Worf turns to Data and says "I've been tutoring him." My girlfriend and I were laughing hard on that one.
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 9:01pm (USA Central)
Definitely a solid episode, and combined with The Measure of a Man and Matter of Honor, Season 2 at this point is starting to turn a corner with original, solid storytelling... I like bringing the Romulans into this plot, and the pace was just right. Yeah, the "reboot" solution was a bit simplistic, but whatever. 3.5 stars for me.
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 8:51pm (USA Central)
I have mixed feelings about this episode. I like the originality of the story, but the execution is a bit rough. Yes, yes, Wesley can be quite annoying at times, but he's older now and bit more mature, and his storylines in Season 2 definitely improved, along with his acting... Some good moments in this episode. I laughed at Worf's telling Wesley to "go to quarters, beg like a human." Too funny. And the scene in Ten Forward with Riker and Guinan was well written and acted as well. Anya was a bit much to swallow, as she was way too overprotective... All in all, not a bad episode. 2.5 stars.
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 8:29pm (USA Central)
Great review by Jammer. I thought this episode was a bit like a DS9 equivalent to TNG's "Schisms"--it was an episode with an overall horror feel, although this one was much more like a conventional B-horror-movie, what with all our red-shirt extras being killed off. That was bad writing, in a way, and not only because it was incredibly predictable, both by the canons of horror and of Trek. I don't like horror as a genre, but every now and then it's interesting to see something really different from the usual Trek fare.
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 8:26pm (USA Central)
I guess Jammer missed the part where Kuroda talked about how he entered the prison system as a child for a crime he didn't commit? It was short, but it went a long way for me in developing the character. I thought this was a decent "corrupt-justice-system" story, nearly as good as Detained (and with better acting and a much more satisfying ending).
- Sun, Jul 26, 2015, 12:16pm (USA Central)
The plot was extremely thin and somewhat dumb but Stewart was very enjoyable and Barrett also pretty funny.
- Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 11:30pm (USA Central)
This episode has a lot of things working against it but one element that absolves nearly all it's sins.
While I appreciate the fact that it lays a lot of groundwork for DS9 (as a huge DS9 fan, how could I not enjoy that?) and while I absolutely adore Ro as a character, Jammer is absolutely right that the plot is nothing special. I also don't care for the way the Bajorans are portrayed here. The Cardassian Occupation of Bajor is shown in several different styles before the writers finally settled on a more Nazi style occupation. Here, it's clear that they're using the Cardassians and Bajorans as an Israeli-Palestinian allegory. I don't like that symbolism because it really paints Israel in a rather unfavorable light. Now, I'm not one of those guys who support Israel come hell or high water. They've done their fair share of bad stuff, but comparing them with fictional oppressors who torture people to death in front of their seven-year-old children is going too far. I also didn't care for the fact that the writers went for the cliche of the "evil admiral" (a tired Trek device). But, at least here he's more of a naive dope and not outright evil. Finally, what is up with the crew's reactions to Ro? Okay, she refused to follow orders and some people died. Well, didn't Data refuse to follow orders just two episodes ago? I guess that's okay because everything worked out in the end that time and.... the ends justify the means?
But, all that being said, "Ensign Ro" is definitely an above average episode. And the reason for that is, obviously, Ro herself. Whether you agree that she brings some much needed interpersonal conflict to the show or not, I don't see how anybody could argue that Michelle Forbes doesn't steal this entire episode. Ro is electrifying whenever she's on screen. I love the fact that she isn't willing to take any shit from anybody, either the Enterprise crew or the Bajoran leader in the camp. She's acerbic but likeable. I can see why Forbes was offered the role that would later become Kira because she literally lights up the screen here. Take the scene where Ro tells Picard about her father. As I was watching it I was thinking "damn, this woman is tearing this shit up!; why can't we have more scenes like this instead of the plodding "find the terrorists" plot."
All in all, an integral component for the larger Star Trek landscape and mythos, but not a classic.
- Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 11:24pm (USA Central)
A Matter of Honor
FINALLY!!! I was losing hope after 4 mediocre to bad episodes in a row, then along comes this gem. A great concept, well written and acted, and it was fun to watch. A great character development episode for Riker, and we get to see the inner workings of a Klingon ship... Agree with Jammer, nice to see an episode where the story is trying to bridge the gap between two very different cultures. I could have done without the Benzite b-story, but I get why it was there.
- Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 11:17pm (USA Central)
The Schizoid Man
Alas, a fourth terrible episode in a row, and by this point I had but all but written off this series. After a promising start to the season, it just seemed by this episode that we were getting the same garbage from the old TOS writers, very outdated stories with beyond obvious plot lines. No originality at all, and the show had become quite boring.
- Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 11:13pm (USA Central)
Loud as a Whisper
Season 2 started off on a bit of a promising note with The Child and Where Silence Has Lease, after a rather dismal Season 1. Then along comes what I thought was a bad episode about the holodeck going haywire with one of its characters threatening the ship (yawn), followed by that utter disaster The Outrageous Okona (which should have been called The Beyond Annoying You Just Want To Freaking Beat The Sh*t Out Of Him Okona), and then finally this extremely boring, not creative thought whatsoever episode, replete with a bad plot, bad writing, bad acting, and bad directing... I remember by this point in Season 2 I was starting to believe there would be no Season 3, no matter how many letters Trekkers might send in. It was so bad.
- Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 11:05pm (USA Central)
The Outrageous Okona
Oh where to start... This episode was awful, right up there (or more like "down there") with Code of Honor. Okona wasn't outrageous, the plot was. He was just beyond annoying. And why all of the sudden do all these aliens we run across conveniently look just like us??? Was the budget for make-up that bad? Ugh, just plain awful. I can't make it through 10 minutes of this episode without turning it off and going outside to watch flies you know what... far more interesting than this episode.
- Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 11:00pm (USA Central)
Elementary, Dear Data
I've tried re-watching this episode, and I just can't bring myself to like it. I really can't stand these "holodeck goes haywire" episodes, where computer generated characters made up of photons and forcefields all of the sudden became "aware" and are a threat. Ridiculous.
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