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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 7:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

I'm really surprised no one mentioned the unforgivably bad exposition in this episode. There two long-ish sequences in particular when I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. Just straight, HORRIBLE exposition dictated to viewers with no attempt to legitimize it at all.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 7:02am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Future Imperfect

A relatively good episode ruined by a terrible ending. What were the writers thinking? It's almost as if they backed themselves into a corner and wriggled their out of it by coming up with a 'this will do' ending. I think I would have preferred a Romulan plot.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 6:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

@Peter G.

What you're saying doesn't really contradict what I'm saying. These are just two different sides of the same coin.

The important question here, though, is how this discussion applies to the Orville. Are the people in the Orvilleverse scummy (using you're own word)? Are they behaving in a way that is unbelievable for people who grew up in a world without prejudice and racism and war and disease?

Sorry, but I don't see it.

We're already 6 episodes in, and we've never seen characters discriminating one another in any way (even Isaac the supposedly "racist robot" doesn't do that). We haven't seen any dirty office politics. We've never seen anybody fudging a job s/he was given for selfish reasons.

Right there, already, are three ways in which these guys are better-behaved than your typical 21st century person. They're not perfect, but that's irrelevant. What matters is whether we can imagine these people as being the product of the Orville's enlightened 25th century. And I think the show does a reasonably good job here.

Also, remember that the crew of the Orville isn't supposed to represent the best of 25th century humanity. This isn't the flagship Enterprise, and these aren't supposed to be greater-than-life people. They're just everyday joes, who happened to grow up in a more enlightened era.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 4:23am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

This episode starts as excellent portrayal of race/gender discrimination (btw, to the main questions on the review: yes, you can brainwash women/indian/black slaves into believing they ARE inferior, it actually used to happen centuries ago, and it's unfair and it's the first main point of the story).

The first part displays beautifully the joy of bringing a life to its full potential, the sorrow and injustice of a society that doesn't allow it, and the loneliness of the few ones who try to help (i.e. Trip).
Besides it displays bravely how stupid discrimination is: what harm would do if you allow reading/movies instead of just sleep, at the spare time of cogenitors? (or university for women/black people of XIX century, which is the subtext? And yet it was forbidden).

But then comes the second point: this society believes in slavery for all jobs/genders, not just cogenitors.
Even Archer tries to help the cogenitor on a meeting, until he gets the question about forced workers (i.e. waiters) and becomes overhelmed. He can't change the mind of an entire society on a simple meeting, and he surrenders. Visians are not ready to join the human alliance yet, due to their views about slavery.

I can see why Trip tried: it was like freeing all those Suliban prisoners on season 1, after all.
The difference is, Visians seem open to learn and understand, given the chance. They might change with time. They're just not ready yet.

So this time Archer doesn't confront them, probably for the sake of future cogenitors/slaves to be freed in future alliance negotiations. Even if this means abandoning this cogenitor now. The needs of the many. Here starts the understandable but dark change of Archer towards the Xindi war.

Then comes the tragedy, and yet I feel, like Trip and Charles, that one day standing in full life is brighter than one lifetime on your knees.

I just wish an "intermediate agreement" had been done, i.e. return the cogenitor to Visians to her former sex job, but enabling her all rights to intellectual leisure: read,movies,music, and a chance to retire to Earth when her fertile years are over.
Charles' suicide is not Trip's fault: it's the fault of a society that forbids unnecessarily all that intellectual life.

And Archer's sorrow at the end doesn't necessarily mean he's right. In fact, his sorrow suggests to me that he thinks exactly the opposite he says: he sees the injustice too, he can't just say it aloud because it would involve no more future deals with Visians. And those deals wil be needed, in order to remove slavery from them someday.
The needs of the many.

I fully sympathize with the Cogenitor and Trip. I just missed the intermediate agreement.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

That ending. After seeing it nearly ten times, it still gives me the creeps.

Guinan putting it out there, almost shy. "Since they are aware of your existence..."
Picard's hesitation in moving the pawn, the sudden realisation of an awful truth. "...they will be coming."
"You can bet on it."
Picard taking it in for a moment and seamingly hiding nervousness standing up from of his seat.

Oh yeah, space will never be the same again.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Storm Front, Part I

I'm loving your excellent reviews, and the fact that comments are well tought and interesting, too!
I didn't watch ENT until 2017 and I love it.

Being a Doctor Who fan, I enjoyed the TCW, I can buy the paradoxes and even make some sense out of them: Daniels took them there because that's where Vosk started his timechanging career.
This means, stopping this Nazi timeconduit will correct all the Vosk-related timewar (I assume this American-Resistance timeline is started in the past of our world, but in the future of Vosk). Vosk must have been the main timewar enemy, according to Daniels, but not the only one.
This would explain why most timewar events are erased by destroying the Nazi timeconduit, but not all (i.e. the Xindi war still happened, and all Silik/Daniels encounters of the first ENT season remain unchanged, as Vosk wasn't involved).

Character construction is deeper at the next story "home" (specially the rare adult message "you can't always win, but you can stay strong and become an admirable man" just before and during the wedding).

Battlefront wasn't so deep, but it was enjoyable.
I loved the calm and solid charactee of Vosk, the alliance with Silik, and I am absolute fan of timetravel, WW II and mobster stories, so I found this episode fun!
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Lennie K.
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

You know what I love in this episode? The exchange between Kirk and Commander Hansen on Outpost 5. I don't know who the actor was who played Hansen, but I think he was great! I also loved the technical detail. "We're a mile deep, on an asteroid of almost solid iron, and even through our deflectors it did this!" It takes vivid imagination, and an attention to detail to write dialogue like that. "And then it fired something at us, some form of high energy plasma. Fantastic power." I just loved that scene, just seems so authentic.

The acting in the original Star Trek was fantastic, as was the music. The music was amazing too, still the best in the history of television in my opinion. Thanks Jammer for providing this forum.
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Prince of Space
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

I have nothng to say about this episode that hasn’t already been said ad nauseum by the artsy-fartsy folks above.

No... I only comment to have the weird pleasure of saying “howdy!” to the very first commenter on this episode, TH.

9 and 1/2 years later, I can’t help but find it interesting. I hope “TH” is still out there, somewhere, and doing well. My thoughts are with you, oh random Internet stranger that went by the name TH!!
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

Picard is kind of a dick here, practically forcing Sito to volunteer on a suicide mission. I put her death on his head. She didn't deserve to be put in that situation. Hell, I don't think Ensign Ro would have survived.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

@Peter G

"In the case of Discovery I tend to think your concern is entirely accurate, though. Kurtzman material has a tendency to underthink, rather than overthink, solutions to problems. They tend to be pat, tidy, and not overly logical. That said I'm somehow finding myself holding out a little hope that there really is an interesting explanation for all this."

That's the thing. I feel that my efforts to think deeply about this show are wasted. On the contrary, the Wachowskis' "Cloud Atlas" had me thinking for days. I need to have trust that the author HAS put coherent logic behind his work, and I feel kind of intellectually insulted by each Discovery episode because they are so underthought.

That may even be the main issue why the more intellectual part of the fandom is not getting warm with this series. Kurtzman is the wrong man for Star Trek.

Actually, Cloud Atlas is an interesting comparison, because that movie was extremely vague in many ways. But that can't be confused with being incoherent or illogical, as Discovery is. You could always feel that the authors put thought behind the scenes, that there was a coherent world behind it. As it USED to be the case for Star Trek, too.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 1:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

"To the comments about swearing: What's the big deal? It's a perfectly natural part of any person's vocabulary, throughout the world. Personally, I hate the fact that swearing is censored by a "beep" on most american TV shows. It's ridiculous."

The point is that some viewers felt, as they have voiced, that it DIDN'T come across natural at all. You say it's a natural thing, but the swearing in Discovery feels so forced, like other parts of the bad dialogue, too. The same with the violence: Every time that I see excessive violence in Discovery, I wonder whether it has some narrative or artistic reason behind it, and I usually get the impression that it doesn't. They're just being violent or vulgar because they can; purely for the sake of novelty.

Another problem is if the swearing sounds exactly the same as people do it today. It takes you out of the immersion and you can't believe it's a 23rd century show any more.

Personally I don't care for censoring swear words, either. But if you do use them, pick the fitting phrases and make them sound natural, not like a forced phrase.
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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 12:42am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

I've been watching Trek since the 60's and think the Mirror, Darkly episodes are among the best and most entertaining of all Trek series. All hail Empress Sato. LOL!
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

He spiner was fantastic in this episode and it was very entertaining to watch.

But the fact that data went rogue and commandeered the federation flagship when there was a dangerously ill child on board and faced no consequences for his actions is absolutely ludicrous.

Even if we employ the excuse that data was himself commandeered against his will and made to do these things. It still raises the major security issue of having such a powerful creature who is susceptible to outside influence in such a position of authority and importance in the first place.

Surely Starfleet would have least rotated him of their premier ship after these events.

But no because star trek never has any lasting consequences for anybody.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

I'm sorry but this entire comment thread about so what if troi lost her alien sixth sense is just stupid.

Imagine losing a part of your self that you've had since birth, something that everybody else on your home planet has. A thing that basically defines your species and their entire role in the federation. Imagine the shame of having to go back to betazed and be treated like the poor disabled girl who has to talk aloud while everybody else is having telepathic conversations.

Of course troi was angry, anger is normal in the aftermath of losing something so innate that helps define who you are. Its not like she was parading around the ship shouting at anybody who would listen, she only responded harshly when people were being overly pitiful to her.

It also makes perfect sense that she would have misgivings about her role on the ship without her empathic abilities. They are a crutch that she is used to leaning on in the absence of any evolved human like instincts that she has probably never learned or had to employ before.

So what if troi acted like a diva about the whole thing. Worf is the biggest drama queen on the ship most of the time and everybody loves him.

I think a lot of people just defaulted to meh it's a troi episode she's just being her usual crappy self. The thing is she actually has a very valid reason here. She doesn't know that her abilities are going to return and the weight of having to get used to being essentialy disabled is a hard one to bear for anybody (yes even beautiful half alien women).
So what if the sense she lost isn't a human one. Your lack of understanding of her plight doesn't make it any less real for the character.

I will say while I'm here though that a lot of episode was kind of nowhere. The bits I liked boiled down to Guinan being a better counsellor then troi as usual and Data and Troi puzzling out the solution to their problem in a very believable way.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

Marina Sirtis did a good job here, I was enthralled by the entire episode. It makes me wish that Troi had been cast as the head diplomat/negotiator of the show with a talent for espionage.

Instead we got a counsellor in a show where nothing ever had any lasting consequences.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 10:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

Hello Everyone!

Years ago, a friend of mine and I went to see Mark Allan Shephard at a, well, it wasn't a convention really, just some time with him up on stage. And I really enjoyed it. It was very personal and cozy, with around 60 or 70 of us there.

While I don't remember the exact things he said any longer, it was nice to get a different perspective on the show from one of the other characters, instead of one of the stars. He seemed a genuinely likable fellow.

I think this show had just aired recently, and I asked him his thoughts about it, especially how it showcased his character, though he was actually in a very small part of it (beginning and end). He said with a smile that he was very happy they'd done a show about Morn, but appreciated the irony that he'd been in the episode for only a few moments.

He'd said he was hoping for a line of dialogue before the series ended, and they had been seeing about that, but his prosthetic was pretty much a single piece, and not made with a mouth intended for talking. He never did get to say anything.

And yes, that was Mark taking Morn's seat, and they didn't let him talk either! :)

Have a great day Everyone... RT
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Disaster

Troi gets a lot of hate from the tng fanbase and I don't think all of it is justified.
The character did get a lot better as soon as she was allowed to forego her bunny outfit and actually use her brain and in some essence that all started here in this episode.

I think the episode deserves 2 stars just for that.

Plus midwife worf that's another half a star.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Thine Own Self

I was very confused by the B-plot in this episode. Surely Counsellor Troi must already have some bridge qualifications, otherwise why the hell does she have her own specified place on the bridge.

Also in disaster she takes command over Ro Laren who is definitely a bridge officer (she's like the lead helmsman). Also in conundrum when the computer reads out the list of the bridge crew Deanna is included (ahead of lieutenant worf).

The whole thing just left me scratching my head.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

Hello Everyone!

We got to see Dukat sink to the lowest depths of his madness, and when folks go mad, sometimes they say insane things. But also, we saw Sisko going in somewhat the opposite direction, saying in essence there is no gray area, only good and evil. And he would fear... no... evil...

We've seen obsessive Sisko before, and many have mentioned how... wrong and out of place the ending seemed to be. Perhaps they were showing Sisko being a little "mad" as well.
Now for other things. No matter what they said, I find it hard to believe the Defiant was the only war ship in the area that could escort that convoy. And weren't there other ships searching for survivors? Might they have found them?

I didn't see anyone else mention this, but when Sisko clubs him in the head and runs outside, why didn't he grab the phaser?

Dukat said there was a bone regenerator in the medkit, but he wasn't much of a doctor, so he just put on a splint. Assuming the regenerator is still there, wouldn't Sisko ask for it and see if he could get it to work properly?

Enjoy the day... RT
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

@Peter G

I think we simply have a difference of opinion on cultural development, which is perfectly fine. I do agree that people in the past were less squeamish about seeing visceral violence in person. That makes sense when you are confronted with death and physical injury more often. Children dying used to be common. Women dying in childbirth were common. Death and disfigurement by disease were common. Odds are you worked in a profession where you would regularly kill and clean animals, or witness accidents that would maim or kill co-workers. Children shown public executions would unsurprisingly grow up to not be horrified by witnessing those executions as adults.

I just disagree that we have changed anything but the conditioning. Modern medicine is vastly superior. Industrialisation and automation have allowed people to work in far safer environments, and most people have no direct experience with butchering animals or soldiering. Instead of public executions and gladiatorial arenas, we have film, video games, and team sports. Let's not pretend we don't revel in gore, though. Just because it's simulated, doesn't mean it's not there. Creating more and more realistic blood and gore is a billion dollar industry in both film and video games. I'm not trying to suggest that modern people could easily stomach shooting people in the head chainsawing zombies, but there is definitely an interest in seeing these things.

Two quick caveats to this discussion. Obviously we are being very ethnocentric in this conversation, as we are not addressing the areas of our world that are afflicted with poverty, famine, disease, civil war, etc. Those regions do exist, and speak to what humans are capable of when they live in fear and desperation. Secondly, even in the peaceful areas of our world, there seems to be ample willingness to accept violence in the abstract. Police profiling, imprisonment, torture, and air strikes are all part of polite discussion, as long as they only affect someone else, preferably far away.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

My experience watching Voyager has been that I enjoyed many of the episodes because i was able to stay in conscious denial about many of its flaws. And while Jammer and other people's reviews don't often sway my personal review very much, this time was a little different. I actually enjoyed this finale enough that I was considering it 3 1/2 stars, but I agree with almost all of Jammer's review and am thinking more like 2 1/2 or 3 stars. By far the biggest flaw is how casually Janeway is willing to play with the universal timeline so she can feel better. One can not understate how ridiculously shameful, selfish, and stupid that was. I also agree i would have liked a more satisfying ending. Nevertheless, amazingly I still enjoyed the finale and the series!
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

4 stars

Another great TNG sci-fi mystery by the master of these sorts of tales. I knew whenever I saw Brannon Braga’s name on an episode I was going to be impressed and in for treat

The teaser was shocking with the Enterprise In middle of a devastating emergency onboard culminating in the shock of the ship itself exploding

Then very oddly enough the episode starts the first act with everything seemingly fine and ordinary with a routine weekly poker game. That had me scratching my head asking to myself if I had missed something

Then the eerie cacophony of whispers in Dr Crusher’s quarters. Further hints something is amiss. Then the temporal anomaly as we realize we are seeing the events that led to the ship’s destruction in the teaser. Cut to commercial

After the break back to poker game. I thought originally my local tv station had messed up the feed and was replaying the first act again. But then I realized it was the same scene and was intentional. I must say it was a very Bold idea creatively to go an episode with a plot about repeating the same events over and over and structurally crafting the episode that way.

I also loved the way the episode teased the mystery of what was happening. Yes the audience saw the explosion in teaser then even though we had glimmers of sort of what was occurring but still not fully how the repetition was being triggered or how the whispers and other off occurrences played into everything.

Then things inally come together when Beverly in latest cycle of repetition was prepared to grab her tricorder and record the voices. Also the moment she set her glass in a different spot hoping to avoid breaking it again only to shatter it with her lab coat suggested perhaps it was their fate to die again and again

The fourth act was engrossing and the explanation for what was going on was nothing short of brilliant coupled with the earlier reveal that the voices weren’t some ominous otherworldly voices but the crew’s voices—something LOST would borrow

Tng was great at explaining things effectively to the audience— making something complex very understandable and along with the very effective use of diagrams. I loved the idea that the ship’s destruction in proximity to a temporary anomaly was throwing the crew back in time leading to them repeating the events over and over and over again. Even more ominous was Geordi’s musings that they could have been reliving this time fragment for years!!!

I also was very, very impressed by Brannon’s choices to help clue the crew in on what was happening so they wouldn’t go on being oblivious to their predicament. I love the notion of giving Deja vu an in-universe grounder scientific basis with the dekion field. I just thought that was so cool. I also liked the afterimages in the dekion field being processed by Geordi’s visor then the echoes containing key phrases that indicated a disaster on board the ship.

And it was smart thinking to anticipate that even realizing what was going on that they may not be able in this cycle to prevent the disaster—so they planned to send a message to themselves into the next loop. And the idea of a subconscious message to Data was very fun

That left the final act about what message Dara sent. I was totally expecting like before Beverly nailing the cards Data was dealing so was absolutely floored when her predictions weren’t as they had been previously. A new mystery arose. Then 3 in diagnostic. What did 3 have to do with the disaster???? When it turned out to be the number of pips in Rikers collar I had to hand to Brannon it was brilliant. That’s something a fan would think up and to see Brannon pull that idea and incorporate it into the episode was spectacular. And it allowed to work in the 3 in several clever ways—again the reappearing number game was something else Lost did

I also liked very much that the crew were in the loop for 17.4 Days—maybe not disconcerting as years—but still a relatively lengthy time to unnerve anyone. And I was perfectly okay with the short shrift the Bozeman story got

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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chrysalis

This was one of the fisrt DS9 episodes I ever saw as a kid. Part of me found it really boring, but at the same time, even as a kid, I really appreciated how the episode ended with Sarina clearly stating "I don't know what love is" (yet). The only bigger cliche than "love interest of the week" for a TV show is "instalove with someone who barely understands human interactions yet but somehow has no trouble picking out their soul mate in the span of one adventure." I liked how this ended realistically, and taught Bashir a lesson about his selfish romantic advances on a woman who wasn't ready for them.

My 11-or-whatever-year-old-self also enjoyed the "save the universe! We only have thirty trillion years!" bit and the "that's a stupid question!" gag.

And on a completely unrlated note, are there any other Channel Awesome fans here who think Jack reminds them uncannily of the Cinema Snob?
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Trek fan
Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Mirror, Mirror

One of the all-time best TOS episodes also reinforces something I'm realizing as I watch them all in order on DVD for the first time: The ensemble chemistry is turned up to 11 in Season Two in a way we didn't see in Season One. While Season One has some of the all-time classic Trek plots, the cast is really clicking together better in Season Two, and it's undeniably fun to watch in a way the ultra-serious Season One (Shore Leave excepted) was not. Together with "Tribbles" and several other episodes in this season, "Mirror Mirror" is one of the episodes where the supporting characters (Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, Kyle, and Chekov here) really come into their own personalities, and it's a 4-star show in any universe.

While Season One established the Kirk-Spock dynamic and developed their characters strongly, it didn't do much for the others except occasionally McCoy, and the episode nature of TOS makes it hard to appreciate this fact if we watch the shows out of air date order as typically happens on TV reruns and Netflix binges where people start with "the best." We learned little about Sulu, Rand, Scotty, Uhura, and Chapel other than their professional demeaners. "Mirror Mirror" is so fun to watch because it allows us to watch them through the lens of their dark sides -- much as we learned about Kirk with his android/transporter/salt creature doubles in Season One. And I agree with Jammer: The analysis of bearded Spock is "fascinating."

And yet the Kirk-Spock dynamic remains central to Season Two -- see "A Piece of the Action" and the Nazi ep for classic interplay -- where it becomes buttressed by great moments for the other regular and semi-recurring characters. It's a subtle shift, but there's a far more proportionate amount of dialogue/screen time/plot relevance given to the ensemble cast in Season Two than in Season One where guest stars and extras ate it all up. It's really Season Two where TOS becomes the Trek we remember years later -- the "feature film Trek" of 7 regular cast members with two or three other semi-regulars -- who all employ their various personalities and gifts to succeed. And it's so much more fun, in many ways, to watch them do their thing in "Mirror Mirror" or "By Any Other Name" (love Scotty's "it's green" scene) than to watch the more self-serious plots of Season One. Season Two really shows the potential this show had if the network had allowed it to run five seasons and allowed the non-regular characters to develop more deeply. And I love this season for that.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Resurrection

Wow, this episode sucked. Talk about boring, slow paced, predictable and with a couple of characters that I personally can't stand (Bareil and "Mirror Kira"). The other thing I don't like is overuse of the mirror universe -- DS9 is more than guilty of that.

I was never a fan of Bareil -- the actor playing him is so stiff and the prior romance with Kira was tedious, for me. Only so much weight Nana Visitor can carry in that sub-plot. Here when Bareil arrives from the mirror universe, you just know he's up to no good. He oozes shadiness.

The first part is entirely forgettable as Kira falls in love all over again and Bareil's interest in starting a new life is hardly believable. But he sees the orb and is changed somewhat.

The episode picks up at the midway point when "Mirror Kira" shows up -- and now we know why these 2 are on DS9 in our universe. But the plot is just way too simplistic and we have to deal with so much filler material between "Mirror Kira"/Bareil and Kira/Bareil.

The ending with Bareil phasering "Mirror Kira" came as no surprise but then I was glad when he decided to go back to the mirror universe thus sparing us more Bareil in subsequent episodes.

Maybe the most intriguing scene was with Quark and Kira -- here Quark actually served a useful purpose suggesting to Kira what Bareil was up to. Can chalk it up to his listening skills as a barkeep.

1 star for "Resurrection" -- kinda pointless episode with visitors from the mirror universe, boring, slow-paced. DS9 S6 got off to a great start but is falling back to Earth.
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