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Jdole
Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

Interesting ideas but, oy, that ending...

I watched this one ep at random after watching a lot of TOS. On one hand, it's refreshing to see a Trek that's more nuanced. Kirk would have overturned this society and punished the leader, no problem, simple and predictable.

On the other hand, this ep goes beyond nuanced to completely passive. Sisko doesn't fight, he gets in the box. The lying, abusive cult leader gets no comeuppance. Not a single villager wants to leave. Neither Sisko nor OBrien even try to explain to these people the extent to which they've been psychologically abused.

I get that defeating the "baddie" wasn't the point of the episode, but the viewer is expected to play as dead as Sisko and as dumb as the villagers. All DS9 had to do to sell it was have at least one villager ready to leave (believable) and have one protagonist at least decry Alexus as a tortuous cult leader before beaming away (satisfying). But no, she makes a huge speech, and our heroes don't even rebut. At that point, even I'm like "At least Kirk would have told someone off!" Hell, Picard would have.

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Luke
Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

Indeed another powerhouse episode. "Favor the Bold" has wonderful special effects - the sight of the Federation fleet was really something to behold, possibly the biggest fleet we've seen on Trek thus far - great character work, a wonderful use of a wordless background character, Morn, to help save the day, splendid use of both Quark and Rom and a rather noticeable shift for Odo.

One thing that really struck me with this viewing, however, was Damar. Here we have a character who is clearly among the villains, but is revealing an awful lot of truly top secret information to Quark even though he has know that Quark's loyalties are at least divided. I used to think that was simply because of his overconfidence, but is it possible that this is the first sign that Damar's conscience is bothering him and he subconsciously told Quark in the hope that the Dominion would be stopped? Or simply to unburden himself with information that deep down he knew was wrong? The writers have, after all, said that they had him have a drinking problem at this point as a prelude to his eventual turn against the Dominion, so it's possible. Or am I just crazy?

Jammer is right about the scene where Kira and Quark "recruit" Morn into their plans - a real highlight of the episode. This war arc has shown an amazing ability to showcase wordless (or almost wordless) scenes that are both absolutely essential in terms of plot and character development while also being simply magnificent scenes in and of themselves. Yassim's suicide in "Rocks and Shoals", Kira's second going-to-work sequence in that same episode and now this one. My hat goes off to this writers and directors!

10/10
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Ivanov
Wed, May 25, 2016, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I really like the theory that the Valakians later found a cure and became the Breen developing a hatred of Humanity. It would explain why they wanted to own Earth when they joined the Dominion war.
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Ivanov
Wed, May 25, 2016, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@Luke Maybe his grandfather was a Romulan defector who made it safely to federation space. at least that's the only logical explanation of why he is half Romulan.

I do find it strange that Starfleet will except Klingons Bajorans and even Ferengi(albeit several years after this incident) But Tarses is worried(and rightly considering the way the Betazoid treats him) that being part Romulan will automatically hurt his chances of being accepted into Starfleet. sounds like some good old fashioned discrimination!
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Robert
Wed, May 25, 2016, 9:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

@Yanks - I wasn't making a point. If you read that part of the wiki article they discuss that doctors had differing opinions as to if the actual knowledge should be thrown out. They even link to an article that talks about the Jewish community thinking it heretical to find any value in the data at all. Your question was "is this the big dilemma". The answer is yes. I wasn't giving an opinion :-)
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Skywaler
Wed, May 25, 2016, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

@JC, good point about Farscape! Hey, there's another series Jammer should review... That and Stargate! That would be awesome.

I have a better appreciation for this episode having read the above. But I actually wasn't that thrilled with Dawson's Klingon impression. It seemed way over the top. The reason that Klingons speak the way they do is (notionally) because they are actually speaking English, not being dubbed by a universal translator. This notion comes from The Klingon Dictionary by Marc Okrand, creator of the Klingon language for STIII and later, whose hilarious sense of humor in retroactively reverse-engineering explanations for on-screen Klingon speech tells us that well educated Klingons will speak in English amongst one another to separate themselves from the lower classes who are unable (comparable to French as the official language of the court of Catherine the Great of Russia, for example).

Klingon or human, B'Elanna grew up speaking English natively. As did Worf's mate K'Ehleyr (another half-Klingon-human hybrid), and even more so Alexander son of Worf. Worf has a bit of an accent since he was between 5 or 10 years old when he started learning English, enough time to affect his speech slightly (assuming Klingons mature faster, which they do).

So why would B'Elanna the Klingon have such a pronounced Klingon accent? To me it looked like Roxann Dawson watched a couple TNG Klingon episodes and immitated that, and also that she was having a problem speaking around the false teeth. I'm a linguist, so this sort of stuff stands out ot me, and really took me out of the episode.

But what *did* impress me was Dawson's take of the fully human B'Elanna. Her voice was the same, but quieter, meaker, gentler. Normal B'Elanna has soft moments like that throughout the series. It was a really nice touch. B'Elanna the Klingon should have just sounded like the normal B'Elanna was she was furious and fighting, which happened often. That would have seemed natural, less forced.
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Yanks
Wed, May 25, 2016, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

Don't understand your point Robert. I'm not condoning the experiments, but the knowledge gained shouldn't be suppressed.
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Eli
Wed, May 25, 2016, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

I don't understand why the guards couldn't just stun Harry right away when they started chasing him.

Also, Harry could have proved he was saying the truth by saying that he didn't know his warp theory. Think he would have embarrassed himself on purpose?
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William B
Wed, May 25, 2016, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

To be clear, I agree that Bashir was initially primarily concerned with bringing down Section 31 rather than with Odo, and it was O'Brien who had to remind him at several points in the episode (in the initial darts scene and then when Sloan tempted Bashir with information at the end) what their actual priority was. In the end I think it is important that for his flaws and his tendency to abstraction over immediate, interpersonal concerns, Bashir does actually agree with O'Brien and views saving Odo as a more immediate and important goal than Section 31. One could say that even this is just a function of Bashir being convinced that it is better to fight a battle that is possible to win and that curing Odo is itself a way to thumb his nose at Section 31, but I tend to view the two goals -- saving Odo, defeating Section 31 -- as mostly distinct, and while his natural inclination is to give up on his patient for the broader goal he ultimately does believe that saving Odo is a higher calling, even if it has to be O'Brien who reminds him of it.

Given that Odo having the cure helps save tremendous lives, I think that the narrative does support Bashir and O'Brien saving Odo, which is on some level what I think is evidence that there is good in Bashir's tenacity and idealism, IF he focuses it on specific and achievable good. He has to give up on destroying Section 31 to save Odo, but he is willing to risk a lot to save Odo partly because he does care about Odo as his patient and his friend/acquaintance and partly because he does think what was done to Odo is wrong and is motivated to do something about it. To me the story overall is about the importance of tempering idealism and abstract principles with a pragmatic recognition of reality and to recognize which part of one's "idealism" is actually a kind of egotism. "The Quickening," IMO, was similar in that Bashir's initial approach was proven wrong, but when confronted with his errors he decided to continue trying to accomplish difficult/impossible feats and eventually succeeded in doing good, albeit on a much different scale than he had originally believed himself capable. So I think that some of Bashir's impersonal abstract principles are still shown to be valuable rather than purely ego-driven. Or at least I hope so. On that level, I think Bashir does adapt; it is Sloan who fails to adapt and not only dies in the process, but dies trying to prevent Odo from getting the cure that allows him to end the war (or, at least, significantly reduce the fatalities).
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William B
Wed, May 25, 2016, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

I certainly agree that Melora and Sarina were mistakes, professionally and personally...though I think that the implication is that he did actually help Sarina with his treatment, though the relationship was a major error (and conversely, that Melora may have been helped by the relationship in a small way even though his attempts to fix her "condition" were a mistake). I mostly wanted to say that Bashir does want on some level to connect to others, but I think he does not know how and is totally overwhelmed when the prospect presents itself. I will be on the lookout for to what extent his feelings are personal next time in The Wire. I do agree that there is a tendency to want a kind of hero worship in his patients (and anyone he connects to).
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Wiliam B
Wed, May 25, 2016, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

"When making a strategic assessment I can see why some viewers might feel that cornering the Founders only made them attack sooner and harder, and that this could have hurt the Federation, but based on how the story is told it seems evident to me that the intention was that the virus was the real linchpin in convincing the Founders to surrender, since it gave Odo a reason to go back to them and offer the cure as an olive branch from the Federation."

Surely if this was the case, then we must credit Bashir and O'Brien as being correct in curing Odo, since Section 31 seemed intent on letting him die rather than using him as a bargaining chip/overture. Unless Section 31 planned to let Bashir get the cure from Sloan. Given that the Federation was intent on Odo not curing the others (and it had seemed as if going to speak to the Founder directly was a spur-of-the-moment decision by Odo on the Defiant), at the very least Section 31 and the Federation's judgment must have been wrong in wanting to withhold the cure under all circumstances once the Founders were infected, whether or not it was good judgment or not to infect them in the first place. This is part of what I have a hard time understanding about that moment in WYLB; Odos overture to the Founder relies on convincing her that the solids are not as big a threat as she imagines, but he also presumably carries with him the information that the Federation infected the Founders, before the war started. Presumably within the Link Odo could either omit the information he did not want her to know or, more likely, was able to communicate his ambivalent-positive attitudes (the Federation may have infected us in self-defense but there are Federation solids who have helped me and given an offer of surrender they can be trusted). I like to think that Bashir and O'Brien's willingness to risk their lives to save Odo did help Odo make the case for solids and for the Federation's trustworthiness in not only not invading the Gamma Quadrant Dominion location but apparently in restraining Klingons and Romulans from doing so as well.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 25, 2016, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

In the cases of Melora and Selina we see what happens when Bashir does actually connect with a patient; it overwhelms him and his idea of what's going on gets way out of control. Maybe part of it has to do with what we normally call overthinking situations, where for a genetically engineered mind might mean the equivalent of eons of ruminating on what small minutiae mean. His relationships with both of these women were clearly mistakes, both professionally and personally.

I agree that his best example of a real relationship with a patient was the woman in The Quickening, but I think part of that had to do with the fact that she was offering herself as his assistant; she was the feeling up support he needed from these people while he was saving them. So although she was not for the most part functioning directly as his patient she was certainly serving up large doses for his ego on a constant basis. The way she made him feel about himself seemed more pronounced than any way he might have felt about her.

It's different, I suppose, with male patients, and on the few occasions when he had a significant male patient (Bareil, Sisko, Odo) his role in helping them was mostly relegated to being a plot point. Even his feelings about Bareil becoming a robot seemed more on principle than anything to do with Bashir's personal feelings about Bareil, whom he didn't really know.

One reason why I think Jadzia and Bashir wouldn't have worked that well is because she was never going to feed into his ego or his sense of being smart. She was always the type to show off and take the superior position socially, and would never give him the satisfaction of him looking smarter than her. I think this situation would have been self-defeating for Bashir in very short order. Contrast with the more humble and meek Ezri, who we could legitimately see as admiring Bashir for his gifts whereas the competitive Jadzia would only rarely, if ever, have done so.
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William B
Wed, May 25, 2016, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

Anyway, while Bashir is obsessed with finding cures to the point where he fails to see his patients, he also does invest many of his patients with very intense focus and feeling, though intiially it is abstract. That he frequently fails to notice what his patients actually want is a sign that much of this is about him -- Melora, Garak, Goran'agar, the woman in The Quickening, Sarina -- and yet in each case I feel that Bashir does genuinely feel a connection to them. In some cases the connection is mostly in his head, but there is a sort of desperation there for someone to return signals he's putting into the dark. Jadzia remarks on his clinginess and persistence as well, of course. It's possible that Bashir is unwilling to connect to others except on his own terms, of course, in which case his aloneness is "his own fault," and he is certainly egocentric, but I largely think he wants to be able to connect to others but feels constantly isolated and is paranoid of rejection even from his closest friends. Much of this is because he is "closeted" because of his genetically engineered secret, too, though I think part of "Inquisition's" power for me comes from Bashir's fears of everyone abandoning him (and him *deserving* this) persisting after that is revealed. This also links him to Odo, who also to some degree wants to connect to others but does not know how and so settles for problem solving as an attempted substitute for interpersonal connection.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 25, 2016, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

"I agree that Bashir cares in a more detached abstract way about his patients, though I brought up The Wire specifically because I think he was especially motivated due to his personal connection to Garak, and in particular his willingness to continue to help him regardless of what he had done."

if you watch the episode again and focus on Bashir I'm not sure you'll come out feeling like his main concern was for Garak as a person. There is something about Bashir becoming close with Garak that strikes me as appropriate in hindsight, because both of them are consummate professionals that put their work ethic above their personal feelings. Throughout The Wire Garak tries incessantly to rile Bashir up with various stories about himself, and to make him question his intent to help Garak with characterizations of himself. But Bashir was, if anything, unmoved by Garak's admissions, and remained implacably focused on completing his task, which was to 'fix' Garak. This strikes me as a very Garak-like way to proceed with a task; leave personal feelings out of it and complete the job. It is, in fact, Bashir's *refusal* to connect with the personal stories Garak is telling that enables him to remain so implacably committed to healing Garak, even to the point of flying a runabout right to Tain's house (!!!). I mean, this surely cannot be merely Bashir caring that much about his patient; it's not just above and beyond, it's straight-up driven. Now that I think of it I can see how this aspect of Julian, along with his isolated world of imagination, could appeal to Garak on a personal level since the two of them have these things in common.

For all Garak says of Julian's misguided principles and naive notions, I think he saw a lot of similarity between them in their impersonal approach to their work, their pride in their skills, and their tendency towards isolation.
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William B
Wed, May 25, 2016, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

I'm sure most people do break under torture, but the issue is the reliability of the information provided--to what extent information is accurate versus what the interrogators want to hear. But that's neither here nor there. Regardless I don't think that it is necessarily wrong to say that an organization can make poor judgement calls even in the future.

I agree that Bashir cares in a more detached abstract way about his patients, though I brought up The Wire specifically because I think he was especially motivated due to his personal connection to Garak, and in particular his willingness to continue to help him regardless of what he had done. I do think that Bashir's reliance on his intellect as his primary source of deriving meaning from his life contributes to his habit of living in his own mind that you mention. I like to think that this is not entirely a matter of some intrinsic difficulty caring about others but partly a product of believing himself worthless except in his intelligence, which he wasn't born with anyway, with early alienation from "Jules" and a life spent regretting the non intellectual pursuits he felt he had to leave behind (tennis etc.). His relationship with Miles is presumably so meaningful because it seems likely he never had "normal" boyhood friendships, being likely isolated from his peers first by being far less and later by being far more intelligent than them.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 25, 2016, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

@ William B,

Bashir certainly does care about his individual patients, but we may note upon observation that his 'caring' about them tends to be of the more impersonal variety, just as Odo cares about solving crimes but no so much about the individuals he helps when solving them. Contrast Bashir with Dr. McCoy, who had a true human connection to his patients almost invariably, and laughed with them and gave them reason to hope and get through it. Even McCoy's 'tough' attitude was a way to help patients get through the worst of it. But Bashir is more of a technician, where his way of helping is by being smart and succeeding, *knowing* he's done the right thing. The success condition is therefore mostly in Julian's head, rather than in his connection to his patients, and this theme is also focused on intently by the series. We're shown repeatedly that Bashir is far more interested in feeling smart than in connecting with others, and evidence of this is not only his penchant for repeated trips alone to the holodeck (until S7) but his desire to succeed as we see in The Quickening. In that episode we're given a first-hand view of Bashir wanting to be smart rather than humane; he wants to explain away the peoples' fears rather than sympathizing with them. That's why he doesn't understand Trevean and why his resolve is shattered when Trevean has to come in and clean up his mess.

So while Bashir does care about helping, it always seemed like it was more about the idea of helping rather than care for the individuals involved. In Odo's case we know for sure he does care about him, but how much of this cause is purely personal concern for him, and how much is theoretical outrage? Bashir wants his answer and Section 31 is standing in his way, so he's going to best them and get it by any means necessary.

"It is like doing a torture narrative: the most central case against torture, to me, is that it is unacceptable to inflict serious harm on another, but whether or not it is actually effective IS STILL RELEVANT. People do bad *and ineffective* things all the time"

This is true...now. But while some things won't change in the next 300 years some will. I have a hard time believing that the Obsidian Order was wasting its time using "ineffective" interrogation methods. When Garak says that he could have gotten information out of anyone, I believe him. The fact that intelligence agencies currently use methods that are both morally questionable, illegal, and ALSO ineffective just means to me that they are sloppy (like the Tal Shiar). I don't think it should be assumed that techniques like this *need* to be sloppy, it's just that they are right now. I'm also not entirely convinced by claims made that torture is ineffective; this seems like a good line to sell the public but I feel like 99.9% of people would break without much ado under the right conditions. But that's a side issue; the main issue is that I don't really believe that intelligence agencies 400 years from now would be using incompetent methods of extracting information. That being said, the worst of what we see from Section 31 doesn't really involve torture but rather intrigue and the plot to commit genocide, both of which obviously could be effectively executed without the need to discuss whether or not it is possible to do those things (the analogy being whether it is actually possible to forcibly extract information from someone). Whether committing genocide is itself a good strategic move is more akin to discussing military strategy than the effectiveness of methods. Once it's establish that the bomb works, or that the virus works, how to deploy it is another issue entirely. In DS9's case it's counterfactual to suppose what would have happened if the virus had never existed.
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William B
Wed, May 25, 2016, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

@Peter G., I think I largely agree with your assessment about what the story is about. I would add that the episode is clear that Bashir's big problem is his obsession with taking down Section 31. We can argue whether or not Bashir being willing to risk killing Sloan and raining destruction down on himself in order to cure Odo is justified or not, but for the most part I don't think the episode seriously disagrees with Bashir on this point. Bashir and O'Brien risking their lives (and Sloan's) because they care about Odo is not about abstract principles but about personal connection, and even Sloan (albeit in his dream) acknowledges that he has lost something fundamental in his life by denying the personal in favour of defending the Federation. However, Bashir gets caught up in taking down the whole organization and it nearly kills him. The implication I think is actually that while Bashir genuinely cares about Odo, and I think is also genuinely horrified by Section 31's actions, some of it is actually still a game to him, which he wants to *win*, and when he gets in that mode he is both easy for Sloan to manipulate and, indeed, dangerous. I think that Bashir's abstraction is a strength and weakness throughout the series, and the show does tie his idealism to his abstract rather than concrete, ends-oriented thinking, along with the implicit suggestion that he (the one character from the original cast lineup who fits in on TNG, c.f. Birthright) represents something of a TNG mentality. And yet I think Bashir caring more about his patients than about whether or not people are dangerous is not the same flaw, and is really something that the show views as complex but IMO mostly supports and celebrates (Bashir's willingness to treat Garak in The Wire despite not knowing what evil lies in Garak's past, in addition to the Odo material here).

On the last point, I agree to a point that it is a dodge of the issues to say that the changeling virus was ineffective and thus that it was wrong, rather than whether or not it was wrong given that it was successful. But it's not, to me, entirely a dodge to examine this. It is like doing a torture narrative: the most central case against torture, to me, is that it is unacceptable to inflict serious harm on another, but whether or not it is actually effective IS STILL RELEVANT. People do bad *and ineffective* things all the time, and the idea that in the 24th century secret organizations beholden to no one will suddenly become immune to making gross errors in judgment even beyond moral errors strikes me as its own kind of idealist; secret organizations tend to make big mistakes because they can cover them up. I don't mind the idea of Sloan as a hypercompetent agent because it fits in with Bashir's medical hypercompetence and the general Trekkian conceit that people tend to be better at their jobs than people are now and whatnot, but I think that there is room to acknowledge that organizations with no oversight will tend to make big strategic errors as well as cross moral lines.

As something of a TNG person, I am ambivalent about the portrayal of Bashir as basically the sole person who objects to Section 31 strongly enough to want to put effort into opposing him and him being a naive fool who is partly in it for the love of secrets and puzzle-solving abstraction anyway. On the one hand, the show points out flaws in the main characters generally and I do think that Bashir's humanist belief that Odo deserves to live is supported. On the other, it seems to argue that there is no reasonable objection to genocide under these circumstances, nor to a secret organization with no responsibility to any democratic institutions, which is not both foolhardy and childish. That said, I suppose I'm not all that confident that I'm not a childish fool, so maybe Behr's characterization is fair.
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dipads
Wed, May 25, 2016, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

Q accused Humanity of being a "dangerous, savage child-race" in ST-TNG and were put on trial. Here, the Aliens -of the-Week have the means to destroy the galaxy and yet Q is nowhere to be seen. No consistency!
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Peter G.
Wed, May 25, 2016, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

You know, I'm beginning to see what the argument between Sloan and Bashir is really about. It's not about some villain within the Federation, nor is it about the corruption of Bashir. It's about the narrow mentality some people have about what Star Trek is supposed to be about when confronted by a darker or more complex angle to the realities Starfleet faces. Sloan is to DS9 what Bashir is to TNG; Sloan to Ira Behr's vision what Bashir is to Star Trek purists who think DS9 has betrayed core Star Trek values. Bashir's outrage is their outrage, and Sloan's reasoning is the counterpoint that DS9 brought to TNG.

When Sloan says that Bashir is actually a dangerous man, this thought should really be taken more seriously than the episode gives it credit for. Bashir, even in the face of a genocidal implacable foe, is still more concerned with abstract principles than saving lives (and preserving the Federation). This doesn't mean that Bashir is wrong, per se, but he is shown repeatedly to be rather inflexible in his views - even when those views conflict with his orders or with Starfleet directives. As Sloan earlier mentioned, there is something noble about taking the moral path regardless of circumstance or advantage, but what is moral? Is it 'moral' to sacrifice lives to an ideal?

A repeated motif in DS9 is how inflexibility and inability to adapt will destroy a people. In the wake of the Occupation we see Bajorans too inflexible to learn how to rebuild their world; they devolve into old vendettas and rivalries and want to be revolutionaries. Cardassia can't recognize that its power base can no longer sustain expansionist policy, and cannot accept that its role isn't as a mighty ruler. The Dominion is the prime example of this, where the people who can change into any shape are the least flexible of any race, unable to overcome prejudices and fears that go back thousands (arguably millions) of years.

The greatest example we have of a civilization that can adapt and learn to re-mold itself is the Federation, exemplified in DS9 by Sisko in his dark turn and his allegiance to Bajor, by Kira in her becoming a builder instead of a fighter, by Worf in finally overcoming his romantic notions of what the Empire is, and obviously big changes for Odo and Quark even though Quark's changes aren't given the screen time they deserve. But although Bashir becomes grim and loses his innocence, making his character arc the most apparent visually, his almost child-like principles seem to have never wavered right from the start. Is this a good thing? Is Worf merely making a joke when he comments about how Bashir plays with toys? There is a sort of almost desperate need to keep childish innocence about both O'Brien and Bashir, especially in Season 7. Could Sloan be right that this is a dangerous thing for people of real responsibility? What if Bashir had been commander of DS9 - would there be a Federation left?

And this goes back to my broader comment about fans who insist on Star Trek conforming to Gene's vision of perfect people who never do questionable things. I would argue that this view of Humanity's future itself would be a dangerous thing. To think that people will cease to be complex and have darkness in them is the kind of whitewash that can lead to failure to recognize bad things that are happening. It's like a group hypnosis where no one will recognize the elephant in the room. Sisko announces this elephant in The Maquis with his "It's easy to be a saint in paradise" speech, and that speech to me is the plain essence of DS9. Failure to recognize that truth sounds to me like a dangerous, almost fundamentalist set of blinders. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm a DS9 fan, and consequently I agree with Sloan. Not that everything he does is awesome, but rather that monolithic unchangeable views are never a good thing.

Incidentally, while some above have commented on the fact that the Changeling virus never really helped the Federation, my inclination is that this conclusion was not what the writers were going for. When making a strategic assessment I can see why some viewers might feel that cornering the Founders only made them attack sooner and harder, and that this could have hurt the Federation, but based on how the story is told it seems evident to me that the intention was that the virus was the real linchpin in convincing the Founders to surrender, since it gave Odo a reason to go back to them and offer the cure as an olive branch from the Federation. Maybe the writers didn't succeed entirely in making the virus key to the story, but its effects did seem to be key as we saw the demoralization of Weyoun seeing the Founder waste away. Fight or no fight, the Dominion was about to fall because of the virus. Without the Founders behind them the Jem'Hadar would have turned on the Vorta in an instant.

It's my view that Section 31 played a major role in winning the war for the Federation, and that the moral issues to be weighed are not whether their actions were successful but rather whether they were acceptable. To argue that they weren't useful anyhow seems to me a massive dodge of what the real issue is.
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Yanks
Wed, May 25, 2016, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

I enjoyed this episode for the performance and the it's thought provoking nature. Very "trek" in that regard.

But man, a couple head scratchers here.

#1. In no way were they "equal". Harry is the "operations officer" (which if you think about it is a joke), a member of the senior staff for gods sake. Not dissing Ensign Jetal here, but there ARE folks more vital to the operation of a star ship than others. Voyager can't pull into a Starbase and get replacements. She hasn't had the training Harry has.

#2. The decision should have been easy for Janeway. He's the ship's only Doctor. Can you really risk him going bat-shit in a crisis in the future? He should have been "fixed". She split Tuvix, she told B'Elanna to "get over it", etc... this should have been a no brainer.

#3, and probably the most important.... to think we could have had Ensign Jetal (Nancy Bell) instead of Kim.... opportunity lost.

Trek never made Data sentient and I doubt they will make a determination concerning the good doctor either.

But like I said, it was an enjoyable mess. 3 of 4 stars.

...and for all you ranting about the epicness of season 5.... so far I've rated season 4 higher.... we'll see how this pans out.
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Mark
Wed, May 25, 2016, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Really enjoyed the episode, agree with review. Non interference is certainly a debatable topic. In order to properly evaluate if interference was warranted it seems to me we would have to know the complete history of the planet, including how one race treats the other. Beware of unintended consequences.

So I have no answer and I still liked the episode. I also like the theme song. :)

The pat on the back is the spirited discussion this piece of science fiction created. Good story, 4 stars.
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Yanks
Wed, May 25, 2016, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

@ DLPB
Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 5:40pm (UTC -5)

Decent episode with 3 let downs.

1. Janeway appears to be genuinely startled by the revelation she has been tricked (when she is supposed to know).

**** She didn't know, but she was prepared if it was a con job ****

2. This guy knew where the telepaths were, and wormhole or no wormhole, he wouldn't be playing stupid games.

**** He didn't know where they were until JAneway told him ****
======================================================

My favorite VOY episode.

I love episodes like this where brains win the day. Enterprise was at it's best when it did this.

JANEWAY: "Computer, change music selection. Mahler's Symphony Number One, Second Movement. Maybe this will help you relax."

JANEWAY: "Well, you gave us the specifications. Seemed a shame to waste them."

Love it. The use of classical music just adds to this episode.

Well done.

4 stars easy in my book.
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Mark
Wed, May 25, 2016, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Wife and I really liked this episode. We never watched first run and are finally seeing this via netflix. For the most part I agree with your reviews but not this one. It was light, funny, touching in places and did not mess up the story or waste time IMO.

Regardless, love the site and thanks for all the work you put into it.
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Robert
Wed, May 25, 2016, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

@Yanks - "Should anyone really consider how knowledge is obtained when putting it to good use? Really? .. that's the big dilemma here?"

h t t p s ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_human_experimentation#Modern_ethical_issues
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Yanks
Wed, May 25, 2016, 10:18am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

Jammer: "In the opening moments of "Thirty Days," Janeway demotes Paris to ensign and sentences him to 30 days in the brig. Why? Well, that's what the episode is all about."

Yeah, but I think it would have been more effective has they not shown us this. I'm not a fan of giving away the ending at the beginning. Enterprise did this a few times too.

For all you Janeway haters.... she did exactly what she should have done. They asked for help, she gave them what they needed. It's not her place to shove it down their throats.

As for the punishment, Janeway is right again. Tom disobeyed orders and committed an act of terrorism! Only environmentalist whackos eco-terrorists could think his actions were justified. I think it's probably appropriate. It's not like it's solitary. He had visitors. The demotion in rank was appropriate too.

Oh and....

"PARIS: Thanks. But Captain Proton's not going to be able to save the day this time, is he?
TORRES: What about Tom Paris?"

So, B'Elanna urged him to "save the day"? hmmmm....

One does wonder where he uses the bathroom... maybe they escort him out somewhere to take care of that.

The visuals in this episode are incredible for a TV series. Just think, this was made 20 years ago and it still holds up!!

One has to wonder how excessive mining of O2 can affect anything (scratches head)

The whole letter to dad thing was fine as was Tom's interest in the sea. Good lord, some folks here need to get over themselves. We can't know everything about everyone onboard. This was as good a way to find out something about Tom as any.

Once again, someone can seemingly at will steal a damn shuttle craft... Tuvok should look into these things.

But nit-pics aside, this was an enjoyable episode. I'll go a solid 3 stars.
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