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- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 2:19pm (USA Central)
For the Cause
Also. SO, Eddington makes this big speech about how "we've never done anything to you. you just hate us cuz we left" which is well said and all, but falls slightly flat considering that him, just him, acting for the maquis within this episode did ALL of the following things
-Betrayed his post and superior officer
-Aided and abetted a smuggler in federation space
-Assaulted a Bajoran Liaison working with the federation
-Stole a huge amount of goods from the federation
Which I feel completely undermines every thing he has to say here.
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 2:16pm (USA Central)
Descent, Part I
Oh no! It's your "Spock's Brain"?
Well to be fair, Genesis is better than Cost of Living (by far) and the Quark in drag DS9 episode.
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 1:56pm (USA Central)
Descent, Part I
This is a safe space right? Can I admit that Genesis is my bad episode guilty pleasure? :)
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 1:55pm (USA Central)
Third Season Recap
Character and story analysis to follow, but for now, here are ratings to close out season three. This time I will include ratings for all episodes, and note in brackets the difference between my rating and Jammer's.
The Search, Part 1: 2.5 (-1)
The Search, Part 2: 2 (=)
The House of Quark: 3 (=) -- the 3.5 I suggested at the time was a bit much, I think
Equilibrium: 2.5 (-.5)
Second Skin: 3 (-.5)
The Abandoned: 2.5 (-.5)
Civil Defense: 2.5 (+.5)
Meridian: 1 (-1)
Defiant: 3 (-.5)
Fascination: 1 (=)
Past Tense, Part 1: 2.5 (-1.5)
Past Tense, Part 2: 2.5 (-.5)
Life Support: 1.5 (-1)
Heart of Stone: 3 (+.5)
Destiny: 3 (-.5)
Prophet Motive: 1.5 (-.5)
Visionary: 3 (=)
Distant Voices: 1 (-1.5)
Through the Looking Glass: 2 (-1.5)
Improbable Cause: 4 (=)
The Die is Cast: 3.5 (-.5) -- this I'm not sure about (I could go to 4)
Explorers: 2.5 (-.5)
Family Business: 1.5 (-.5)
Shakaar: 1.5 (-1.5) -- I suppose my 1* was a bit harsh
Facets: 2 (-1) (I said 2.5, but I think it's a bit weaker than that)
The Adversary: 2.5 (-.5)
So with a few exceptions, my ratings are significantly lower than Jammer's; it is worth noting that this is the first year of his reviews still up on the site (!).
The average comes out to between 2.3 and 2.4 -- I won't give more precision since I keep fiddling with the individual ratings.
So overall, it's not a bad year exactly, and I'd take it over something like TNG s1 or TOS s3. Still, there are fairly few episodes I think are actual successes, and the only outstanding eps were the IC/TDIC two-parter, the season's unquestioned highlight. There are quite a few episodes that were particularly weak as well.
I thought for a while about whether some of episodes I gave 2.5 stars to deserve promotion. Certainly, most of the 2.5 star shows have some real successes: arc-building and action-adventure (the premiere and finale), atmosphere and social commentary (Past Tense), action/comedy with a dose of satire (Civil Defense), character development in the wake of new character revelations (The Abandoned), effective suspense and mystery building (Equilibrium), and quiet character interaction (Explorers). But I felt that none of them rose above average, for reasons I articulated at the time; usually pleasant, but unsatisfying. It may be that I'm getting cranky at this stage, but I do think that this is a particularly weak season for the show.
On the other hand, I am looking forward to s4, which has plenty of gems and also I think finds a consistency that was sorely lacking in s3.
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 12:25pm (USA Central)
Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places
It still doesn't make sense for Worf to not consider K'Ehleyr a "Klingon woman"..she doesn't self-identify as Klingon but her career is almost entirely involved in working with them, and then obviously consider his son to be Klingon, although he (until DS9) wants absolutely nothing to do with them.
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 11:19am (USA Central)
Making Gowron the changeling and killing him would have drawn (justified) criticism of handwaving the Federation-Klingon conflict away. Or Martok would have ascended and continued in the same vein, making the whole episode kind of pointless.
Killing Gowron while Martok was the changeling would be a very interesting ending indeed. It would leave the Klingons without clear leadership and possibly put the Federation in a bad spot, having killed the Klingon chancellor - even by voluntary combat.
But I like where this episode leaves things off.
And we can lament all we want how and why DS9's commanding officers are always sent on missions better served by specialists - like, how is sending O'Brien on this mission a good idea? But if they wouldn't do that, we'd have different protagonists every other episode and where would be the fun in that?
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 10:56am (USA Central)
I randomly watched this episode again last night. I really thought the "A" story with Kira and Dukat was awesome, but the show gets bogged down by WILL KASSIDY STAY???
I think it still would've been so great if they'd had made Ziyal Kira's half sister, a missed opportunity to be sure.
And man, Dukat is such a great & complex character. At least for the first 6 seasons he was.
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 10:54am (USA Central)
Descent, Part I
^^ Good point, Robert! ^^
Hard to remember all the good ones with tripe like Genesis and Masks floating around :D
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 8:14am (USA Central)
Descent, Part II
Well, they certainly didn't start this season off with a bang, did they?
So the major plot-line of Part I, the Borg being uber-badasses again, is dropped almost instantly in favor of... .... a look into the psychology of cults in 1990s America? TNG has given us some head-scratchers of ideas before (a dog being the killer, an evil little girl with glowing red eyes, a celebration of euthanasia under the guise of cultural diversity and the entirety of "Up the Long Ladder" to name just a few), but this stands in a league of its own. You start your final season, with the Borg and Lore as the main antagonists (with the threat of the Federation's destruction) and you instead do this?! Look, I'm sorry but - WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING?!?! This is what all that build up and padding in Part I was for? This?! Talk about a misfire!
You know what, though? The saddest thing about "Descent, Part II" is that it actually does have potential. But then again, so did TOS: "The Way to Eden" and look where that ended up! The idea of examining the phenomenon of cults could have made for an intriguing episode. But two things had to be done. 1.) Don't make it the season premier episode! 2.) Have it involve a "race" other than the Borg. Even having Lore be the cult leader could work under those guidelines. DS9 actually did a rather nice job with this very concept in "Covenant". But they were smart enough to follow those two rules - "Covenant" takes place in the middle of Season Seven and involves Dukat manipulating a group of Bajorans, a race the audience had come to care about. I don't care about the Borg, certainly not in this fashion. For instance - the scene where Lore manipulates a Borg who doesn't want to follow him any more - was I supposed to find that disturbing? Because I didn't. The Borg should not be used this way. They're supposed to be the Big Bad and I thought that was what these two episodes where trying to make them again. Geez, a lot of people talk about how VOY neutered the Borg as villains but if you want to see where that all started look no further than right here! How the mighty have fallen!
"Descent, Part II" goes beyond even this failing, however, because the examination of the Lore-Borg cult isn't even given top priority. We have four (yes, FOUR) different story-lines all competing for screentime - the cult, Data's betrayal/redemption, an escape plotline for Picard/LaForge/Troi and Crusher in command of the Enterprise. As a result, not only does the cult plot suffer, they all do. None of them get adequate time to be worthy of all that much. The cult story goes nowhere until its inevitable tidy conclusion. Data's story is so weak that it's basically resolved by technobabble (and I'm usually a defender of technobabble). The escape plot is painfully cliched - they actually had the Borg guard fall for the old "help, my cellmate is sick" ploy! The Crusher in command story is (as Jammer wonderfully points out) "easily the weakest part of the episode." It serves no purpose other than to further weaken the Borg. What's the solution to the Borg threat? We're going to hit them with the sun! Stepping back for a moment - I guess that would be an effective way to stop the Borg, but (again) oh how the mighty have fallen. Then, throw into this amalgamation a fifth subplot involving Hugh, which apparently is only there to highlight both the cult story (by showing us that Lore is - for some odd reason - lobotomizing drones) and the escape plot (by having Hugh help Riker and Worf and then saving Picard). Was this only put in because of all the references to "I, Borg" in Part I? Because, it was pointless. I take it back: this is easily the weakest part of the episode. I actually cared more about Crusher and her who-cares bridge crew than I did about Hugh and his who-cares "resistance movement".
Given the fact that the next time we see the Borg on the small screen they're used as little more than an allegory for society readjusting itself to life in post-Communist eastern Europe, I say thank God that "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Scorpion" came along and actually made them formidable again.
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 6:04am (USA Central)
To the Death
@Darnell - For what it's worth they are nearly born as teenagers. So 30 would be closer to 45 (assuming their accelerated aging completely stops at teen). How many 50 year olds with a billion war wounds can still hack it in battle?
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 1:50am (USA Central)
Troi's counseling only worked when the scripted called for it. I say that because it didn't work in this episode at all, again, she's useless. Why didn't Troi say anything about how it would be wrong and damaging to removing a teenager from what he has know as home so quickly??? Doesn't Starfleet have to respect other culture's views and beliefs that's different from there own???? Or does this only apply when the script calls for it as well????? One thing's for sure, the fans haven't learned from that...
It's only Jono and Picard at the end that come to that conclusion, everyone else, like "counselor" Troi, are clueless to this... and besides, it's not up to Picard or Admiral Grandma to make that choice, it's Jono's choice, he's at that age to make it for himself.
And about the so-called abuse... half of you people are just making shit up, coming up with your own conclusions, your own head-canon, the episode was not written to for people to come up with there own biased answers... get your heads out of your asses!
- Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 1:20am (USA Central)
Troi has always been a "know-it-all-character" and as I said on The Price episode, she's a hypocrite. The Loss episode shows us that without her know-it-all powers, she's useless and insufferable.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 11:16pm (USA Central)
So the Trill perfected mental possession. Call me crass, but their ancient ritual surely has some practical applications -- even tactical applications. A joined Trill is a whole squad in a nesting doll, able to override the conscious minds of others. Coulda come in handy during the war, eh?
But since it was only a gimmick for this episode, the ramifications went unexplored, just like every other aspect of Trill culture. Who are the Trill, apart from the symbionts? The vast majority of Trill are unjoined, we're told (unfortunately), but for all we learn about them, they're nothing but spotted humans.
Except for this Guardian guy, who can transfer minds more easily than a mountaintop full of Vulcan Masters.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 7:23pm (USA Central)
To the Death
For being purpose-bred and single-minded, spending every waking hour training or fighting, the Jem Hadar sure make shitty warriors. No wonder none of them makes it to 30. Though you gotta wonder how many die in an act of discipline.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 5:39pm (USA Central)
Voyager appeared to turn into the "hurumph!" scene from Blazing Saddles when Paris accepted the fight.
And the usual utter incompetence from Janeway. "Phaser fire in transporter room one". Janeway stares into space for a bit, calls Chuckles (?), nods at Tuvock, then stares some more. How about, ooh I don't know, isolating the transporters?
I did laugh at the Nelix scene though, with his post coital flush.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 3:44pm (USA Central)
Birthright, Part II
Worf finds a colony of pacifistic Klingons and awakens their warrior heritage. Basically, that's it. The Data plot line from part 1 goes out the window, and what we're left with is a fairly dull and pedestrian talking head show.
It also, for something that probably didn't merit being a two-parter, ironically seems to move astonishingly quickly. Worf's romance appears out of the blue, and the Klingon's set aside 20 years of history on the basis of an animal carcass and a sing-song. It just doesn't seem plausible. 1.5 stars.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 1:55pm (USA Central)
Birthright, Part I
Has there been a less compelling two parter intro than this? It takes a long time to get where it's going and the two main themes are simply not carried over in an interesting way. Data's visions are a bit too spacey, and Worf's story has some interesting elements (his desire to find his father, even if that results in dishonour for him and his heirs), it's not truly explored.
I can't also help think that the ball was dropped in regard to the DS9 crossover. A few more cameos, apart from Bashir? Let's face it, this episode could have been set anywhere. Ah well, at least we get to see Morn.... 2 stars.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 11:40am (USA Central)
I'm not sure I'm familiar enough with the Kazon anatomy to say that's a plot hole...
They have trees for hair.... I guess anything could be fair game :-)
Hell, species 8472 don't fall apart in space, and our space is totally foreign to them.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 11:36am (USA Central)
Future's End, Part II
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 11:24am (USA Central)
Rules of Engagement
"4. Fake dilemma. Everybody agrees that if you fight Klingons/Romulans, if you want to survive, you have to shoot at decloaking ships. If some civilians transport were to decloak in the heat of battle, that's just bad luck for them.
And O'Brien disagrees? O'Brien???"
Love your post DJD and I felt many of the same frustrations, but Obrien is correct here. It doesn't matter, you MUST identify your target before you shoot. It's just the way it is.
All the crap in this episode, they got this right.
As I quoted above, Sisko's quote was spot on... even if his acting wasn't.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 11:16am (USA Central)
Dave in NC,
Not in solitary they don't.
Does anyone know or had any thoughts on this?
"#3. Was Ee'Char, played wonderfully by Craig Wasson, put in there by the Argrathi to help O'Brien get through the punishment? ... or was he too being punished and this mind gizmo linked the two together?"
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 8:27am (USA Central)
@Ben Franklin: " why is everyone going ape-s**t over Craig Wasson? Sure his performance was good, but what's with all the genuflecting?"
I counted: of the 40 comments before you, 5 mentioned Craig Wesson. Of those, only 1 was wholly dedicated to praising his performance. 3 praised his performance with a SINGLE adjective and 1 was dismissive of his performance.
So, the only person going "ape-shit" is you.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 8:23am (USA Central)
The storytelling, acting, pacing, and especially, the music here are absolutely incredible. This is the apex of science fiction television.
For those quibbling about time travel or Guinan's so-called "mysticism", well, respectfully, it's science fiction! Of course there are some logical flaws. Mysticism and the supernatural are inherent to the genre. This is a story with heart. One of the best ever for the series.
"Geordi, tell me about...Tasha Yar."
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 5:04am (USA Central)
Count me in as one of the haters.
Mirror Universe episodes - just like Holodeck episodes and Dream Sequence episodes and Travel To The 20th century episodes - are basically an admittance that the writers don't want to deal with the limitations set up by the actual established universe and just wanna have some fun. It's a cop out.
If I wanted a cartoonish Sci-Fi show, I'd watch one.
If I wanted to see everybody out of make-up working at a newspaper, I'd watch a show like this.
I'm watching DS9 precisely for everything they chose to cast aside and trample on here.
- Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 1:49am (USA Central)
Jack: um what? Janeway specifically called him lieutenant as a clue in the teaser.
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