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- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 3:50pm (USA Central)
Tacking into the Wind
RUSOT: You're still a Cardassian, Garak. You're not going to kill one of your own people for a Bajoran woman.
GARAK: How little you understand me.
It's scenes like this that further my belief that Garak is and always was sympathetic to the Bajoran people and that his sympathy is probably what led to his exile from Cardassia in the first place.
It's not hard to imagine that Garak was given a brutal assignment against the Bajorans while a member of the Obsidian Order, and then refused to carry it out. In the S2 episode "The Wire," Garak tells a trio of lies about the reason for why he was exiled. You can't trust any of them, but all of them have some variation of him sparing a large group of Bajoran civilians.
Garak has never shown revulsion, condescension, or even restrained antipathy towards any Bajorans. He's lived on the station for years with them. He hated Dukat (the prefect of the Bajoran Occupation). For someone so formerly ruthless and cold-hearted, he has regularly shown empathy towards the Bajoran people, and been unusually candid about the distasteful atrocities committed by Cardassians during the Occupation.
Now, in the midst of the Cardassian rebellion, when he's finally getting a chance to fight for/with his people again, he sides with a Bajoran over a Cardassian.
And I think his words here are very telling. He doesn't say that he's defending Kira because he likes/knows/trusts Kira more than Rusot or because the mission requires it (the way Damar does). Rusot makes it racial. A *Bajoran* is inferior to and worth less than a Cardassian, in his eyes. It's a sentiment Rusot has lived by. It's a sentiment Dukat and Damar have lived by (though Damar is starting to open his eyes to a different perspective). But Garak doesn't hesitate or even have to think about it. "How little you understand me." He's already there. Unlike most Cardassians, Garak already sees Bajorans as equals rather than inferiors. I think he's felt that way for a long, long time, and given the common thread in his "lies" about his exile, I think his feelings towards them played a part in it.
- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 1:02pm (USA Central)
The Return of the Archons
Did anyone else find it really annoying that none of Kirk's party tried to escape the jail cell under their own steam? That cell door took aeons to close and the guards never even looked behind themselves, but everyone just waited quietly in the cell to be absorbed one by one. WTF?
- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 12:59pm (USA Central)
When it Rains...
Kira arguably loved Ziyal more than Garak did. Garak may have been somewhat interested in her, but Kira loved her like a surrogate parent or a sister. Combined with her general hatred of Cardassians in general and the number of times Damar and Kira were at each other's throats, I think Kira had far more reason to want to kill Damar...and she was willing to set aside her feelings for the mission.
On top of that, Kira is portrayed as being far more of a loose cannon prone to acting on her feelings of anger and hatred whereas Garak is a very cool customer who generally seems to keep a lid on things, focus on the job at hand, and act with cold calculating precision. Heck, he even fought side-by-side with Dukat in the Klingon attack of DS9. I'm sure Garak was tempted to kill Damar (just as he was tempted to kill Dukat). But if an angry hothead like Kira was able to control herself, Garak certainly would have.
- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 10:50am (USA Central)
The High Ground
Well that's a specious argument--white British people accepted that other white (recently) British people claimed independence for land which they themselves recently stole from the brown people (not really considered people in the 18th century)? That's not analogous to a 20th century land-seizure and occupation which actively displaces one group of people for the benefit of another being *accepted* by the global community. The fact that Jews, Semites and Israeli nationals have faced (and do indeed still face) persecution immaterial to the fact that the so-called "solution" to that problem was to inflict others with a different problem. Realistically, there is no option which doesn't include maintaining a sovereign Israeli nationstate, but what irks me at least (and I would argue is anathema to a lasting peace) is the attitude which posits Israel's illegal existence as shamelessly necessary, the consequences to others be damned; that its presence is *more* justified that the presence of Palestine, simply because the Holocaust happened.
- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 9:18am (USA Central)
The High Ground
And there's Corey ignoring the reasons why Israel's sovereignty was and still is necessary. Ongoing malignant world prejudices curry any need to consider Israel an illegally occupied land. Seems you may embrace some of them.
It's been over 60 years since Israel's formation- heck, even Great Britain acknowledged America's sovereignty sooner than that. The nation of Israel has been fighting a battle for survival against the horrors of genocide for thousands of years, the only difference today being that they can do so from within their own borders, supported by their allies, rather than as disjointed minority factions within others' borders against people like you.
- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 2:15am (USA Central)
Tacking into the Wind
@Toraya: But I was disappointed in Damar's about-face. Just like that, the scales fall from his eyes, he jettisons a lifetime of beliefs, and kills his friend for saying "Let's rebuild our empire"? Yes, certainly it was all very tidy and dramatic, but way too rushed - and the speed with which Damar dispatched his loyal comrade was really morally questionable. (It's actually not okay to murder your friend and colleague because he holds different political beliefs from you. You might instead try ordering him to put down his weapon.)
I thought it was realistic. Damar's aboutface, as Jammer and lots of other people have noted, has been built up steadily, from episode 4 in season 6 where Damar submits a secret memo to Dukat recommending they destroy the ketracel-white. Already it's implied that he's not happy with the Dominion, and there are countless scenes from that point forward - probably even earlier - where Damar glares at the Jem'Hadar and Weyoun and expresses his misgivings to Dukat, who keeps him at bay, but the seeds of discontent are already there.
Lots of things have been occurring thick and fast in the past few weeks leading up to the happenings in 'Tacking', and desperate times call for desperate measures, and Damar, as Jammer points out, has shown himself to be a person who can adapt himself to change and proves himself to be more than up to the challenge of a "new world." Garak nails it when he says "If he's the man to lead a new Cardassia, if he's the man we hope him to be, then the pain of this news made him more receptive to what you said, not less." I thought this was a wonderful line, one of the best in this episode, along with the earlier Kira-Damar exchange. It really acknowledged ot both the audience and the characters how much Damar has grown in such a short space of time, and how it's understandable that people might doubt his growth, and by what happens later - him shooting Rusot - it proves that Damar has indeed transcended doubt and proven himself the man Garak and Kira hoped he would become.
In response to what you said about him attempting to "talk" Rusot out of it - I think we can safely assume that he already tried to do so on many occasions prior to their mission, obviously with no success. Judging by Rusot's willingness to kill Garak, a fellow Cardassian, just because he was on Kira's side, I think it's also safe to assume that he would have killed Damar too at that point, if Damar had showed even the slightest preference for Kira's side. And this was something Damar knew since he presumably knew him very well, so that was really the only option he had left, not to mention the fact that they had to make a speedy escape and they couldn't exactly spare anyone to guard Rusot if they wanted to restrain rather than kill him. In a tight situation like that we've seen that Cardassians prefer to kill rather than take prisoners, by the way Garak dispatched the entire bridge crew and Odo's appalled, "Was it really necessary to kill them all?"
Finally, I really liked Garak's role in this entire guerilla arc. The focus is mainly on Damar's growth, but I think a lot can be said for how Garak always immediately jumps to Kira's defence ever since they started helping the Cardassians. Kira obviously isn't fond of Garak ("You want me to bring GARAK!?") and I can't see him taking that lying down, but like Damar, he's willing to put aside personal feelings for the greater good, to the extent that he's willing to risk his own life for her in that final epic showdown. Especially in these lines:
RUSOT: You're still a Cardassian, Garak. You're not going to kill one of your own people for a Bajoran woman.
GARAK: How little you understand me.
KIRA: Then let's all get the hell out of here.
RUSOT: Not you.
GARAK: I'm still here, Rusot.
So much going on in this last scene. Very satisfying end to this particular story arc, as many have pointed out before me.
- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 1:53am (USA Central)
All of the debates notwithstanding, Kolrami lost. He lost because he refused to continue. If, outside of the bounds and effects of the match, a boxer leaves the ring during the fight, (s)he forfeits and (s)he loses. Baseball also clearly designates a winner in the case of forfeiture. Kolrami admits that he can't win so his leaving the table protects him from losing? Clearly, not. Unless there's a provision in the 'Rules of Strategema' (to which we, admittedly, are not privy) which specifically allows for a player to implement the indefinite or infinite suspension of a contest without forfeiture and its acceptance of defeat, we can clearly embrace the truth that, via the route of inducing forfeiture from his opponent, Data was indeed victorious. And further, after witnessing the frustration and anger that Kolrami took with him, I'd say that it's more than fair to conclude that Data "busted him up"! Great season finale! (shhhhh)
- Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 1:21am (USA Central)
I thought that the AIDs in the 80s metaphor was trying to be topical and instead ended up outing itself as hopelessly out of step by rehashing old 80s stereotypes. The metaphor was so heavy handed as to be littered with cliche which made almost all the dialogue clunky. This episode would've been dramatic, bold and daring in TNG's first season. But for the 0's it feels too little too late.
And speaking of unwanted sexual contact, the B-plot seemed like a needless stand in for all those hideous Lwaxana Troi episodes we'd gotten so sick of in earlier Trek. I enjoy allowing women to exhibit a healthy sexual appetite. But Feezal comes on so strong at Trip that she feels more like a sexual predator. Where's the middle ground that isn't portraying women as either madonna or whore? I realize that it's only an hour show but we're the Netflix generation. We recognize memes in the first 10-15 seconds. You don't have to beat us over the head with them in order to let us get the gist and move on.
Speaking of moving on, the show needs to move on from Trip Tucker: ladies man. It doesn't become his character profile. It's much more along the lines of Malcolm for personality or Travis for looks. I'm sure most everyone can agree that Travis is the ship's eye candy for anyone who enjoys men. So why keep hiding him in the coat closet? If this show really wanted to engage they'd make Malcolm the one who keeps chasing after sexual partners while the alien of the week only ever has eyes for Travis. Am I the only one who wants Hoshi and Travis to ultimately end up together? Think of how gorgeous their children would be.
I digress. In short, this episode strives to be as uncontroversial as sociopolitical commentary can get. Its message is at least 20 years too late (30 years by the time I got around to watching it) and seems more like a publicity stunt or ratings grab for sweeps than anything. It's a serious contender for worst episode of Enterprise in my book.
- Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 7:10pm (USA Central)
I fully concur with the reviewer above. The Septimus III scenes were some of the most poignant ones, and the anguished way Damar demanded for reinforcements (although the viewer could see that he himself was probably aware of the outcome) and Weyoun's callous disinterest was amazing to watch, conveyed perfectly by the brilliance and chemistry of Casey Biggs and Jeffrey Combs.
Also, is it just me, or was Worf a bit of a cunt in this episode? Some of the things he said to Ezri were pretty horrible, and actually the way he treated her ever since she stepped onto the station as well. His assertion that she seduced him and that her risking her life to save him was merely because she wanted to shag him. You'd think that he'd be more grateful and appreciative to someone who risked her life (and presumably a Starfleet court martial) for him. I suppose one might chalk it down to Klingon 'swag' and hotheadedness, but still.
The Damar and Dominion plots were definitely the high point of the episode. I really wish they hadn't mauled Dukat's character arc, he and the Pahwraiths just seem so irrelevant to the 'big picture' now.
- Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 11:30am (USA Central)
Two months late but...
The killing-the-bear law, IMO, is a foolish policy. Unless it's rabid, if a bear mauls or kills a human it's a little bit silly to put it down. Any bear in the same position, and any bear in general, is a threat to human life and would act the same way in the same situation. No single bear is more a threat to human life than other bears are. Killing one with the reasoning that it's a particular threat is misguided. If the situation requires immediate actions - fine, kill the bear. But hunting down a particular bear without entertaining a less destructive option is a disgraceful lack of respect for life and simply allowing vengeance and outrage to win out over reason.
The crystalline entity is a little bit different, given how powerful it is, but I think the same logic can apply. I'm stunned to see people leaping all over Picard for his decision, even though he *clearly* stated that killing the entity was an option if a safe state of mutual communication could not be met. Riker, also, was reasonable in suggesting that taking the chance to destroy the entity is the best option. Picard initially accused Riker of being biased, and I think Riker rightly defended himself from the accusation and, as Jammer pointed out, seemed to convince Picard of the arrogance of his comment. The only person who was out of line was Dr. Marr, who was bloodthirsty. The episode (rightfully, I believe) came down against her. Her actions were vengeful and pre-mature because the crew hadn't yet exhausted all the options and seemed on the verge of making significant steps in communicating with the entity. Her actions were also analogous to why we have codified laws and courts and do not allow frontier justice by the wronged parties. Her actions were also believable and, IMO, still sympathetic, but sympathy for outrage should not be the driving factor in seeking justice.
Re-watching TNG makes me really appreciate the characters (in general) as logical and deductive scientists, detectives, and diplomats. Each episode's script is obviously only as good as the guy or gal writing it, but I continue to enjoy the cool headed approaches to a lot of the situations the characters face. Very little hysteria. Reasonable courses of action. I appreciate it more now that I've grown up a bit.
Someone above pointed out that a lot of these posts aren't really talking about the episode so much as they're now just arguing worldviews. That makes sense to me. The episodes raises issues and now we're running with them. But as an hour of drama, I still think the episode is quite solid. I particularly liked the use of Riker and the love interest. At first, it seemed cliche and cringeworthy. Even her death seemed like it might go in a corny, melodramatic direction. It didn't, and it resulted in a good scene between Riker and Picard about personal bias (with Picard being the one in the wrong, interestingly). We as viewers needed the first-hand tragedy of an established character losing someone. If it had been a family member or a close friend, Riker may have been seduced into bias, but since it was only a flirtatious, casual interest the episode let him believably keep his composure without requiring any hand-wringing and without requiring him to make a herculean effort of detachment in order to win an argument with Picard.
- Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 10:55am (USA Central)
I think this episode is a fine example of solid Sci-Fi writing. In fact I don't think Michael from years ago could be more wrong...perhaps he's matured in his thinking since?
What we have here is an examination of people dealing with the consequences of what future science may (and in Trek can) do. They established the premise that genetic modifications could be executed safely with the spinal issue first. Then they provided the characters with motive to leverage that technology for dubious reasons.
It's examinations like this that in my opinion make some of the very best Science Fiction. It's how they relate to the real technology of today and how they spur the imagination of technology to come. For good, or bad.
Great episode. And I loved Season 7 for how they finally begun implementing more running plot items and continuity. It's a shame much of Season 7 wasn't integrated in earlier seasons in my opinion.
Dave in NC
- Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 9:48am (USA Central)
The Nth Degree
Hollywood is like any other industry: make a public enough stink about not getting work and eventually you for sure won't get any. Ask Victoria Rowell or the lady who played Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince.
The truth is no one wants to hear a poor-me story about how the world is keeping someone down.
Seriously, man, not everything should be viewed through a socio-political lens. You REALLY need to reevaluate your thought processes.
Dave in NC
- Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 9:42am (USA Central)
Every problem people have with this episode could have been resolved by saying they were genetic MUTATIONS, not evolutionary throwbacks. It's a lot easier to enjoy if you just pretend that's the actual plot.
Oh, and Gates McFadden did a GREAT job directing this episode. Lots of interesting camera angles and the atmospheric mood of dread is well-developed.
My only complaint is the Barclay spider surprise in Engineering has gotten me single every time. :)
*** 3 stars
- Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 9:24am (USA Central)
The Changing Face of Evil
Boy, Worf is having the worst luck....Over the last 4 episodes, he's been on 3 ships that have been destroyed (the Klingon ship, the Runabout, and now the Defiant).
Worf just spends like a week in an escape pod, gets rescued, then captured & tortured, is bailed out at the last moment before his execution, and just as he gets back to the station, the first battle he gets sent out on....right back into an escape pod.
Worf should probably just take an extended shore leave, though at this point he'd probably find a way to get a paddleboat blown up, too.
Still, he's probably enjoyed his time in escape pods more than he did his own honeymoon on Risa
- Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 9:14am (USA Central)
This episode is hilarious, suspenseful, and awesome. Love it. Guilty pleasure for sure. I'm cool with having bad writing in a few episode if it means we get fun stuff with the TNG cast such as episodes like Genesis and Masks. There are 7 seasons of serious episodes, a few fun ones is a nice change.
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 11:03pm (USA Central)
Never cared for this one....
At one point Present Picard requests Deanna remain in sickbay, with Future Picard under her observation. Only moments after Present Picard departs sickbay, Deanna has a disagreement with Pulaski and what does she do?
She leaves sickbay!! (defying a direct order)! Doesn't really matter though....after that, Present Picard never asks Troi anything about this observation of Future Picard.
Picard KILLED his future self? What? Awful episode.
@ Jack re: "your father liked to cook?"
I always heard this as Pulaski, to herself, finishing the thought with something like, "the bastard never even made a slice of toast for me!", or "I knew that arrogant pr**k was keeping secrets"....Perhaps ol' Kyle hid this idiosyncrasy so that Dr. Kate would handle all of the culinary responsibilities. He was, after all, characterized as arrogant, secretive and manipulative. And a tad chauvinistic....Actually, I rather enjoyed this as a positive continuity point, not the opposite.
All in all though, this episode is a heavy slab of dead weight.
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 8:48pm (USA Central)
Damar: "No of course it doesn't."
Easily the best line in this episode.
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 6:28pm (USA Central)
... and one other point to make, Berman was relentless in casting blame on UPN for not promoting the show which he claims led to viewers not being able to find the show. Bullsh*t!!! Check the ratings for the pilot "Broken Bow" and you'll see that 12.5 million viewers watched it. And an average of 9.8 million viewers watched the first few episodes. So Berman was excuse-making instead of facing the reality that he was producing a bad show. Pity!
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 6:25pm (USA Central)
Couldn't agree more that these last 3 episodes are some of the best work Enterprise had produced in it's nearly 3 year run at that point. Great writing, great acting, great directing, riveting plot advancement, and so much more... Some of the earlier episodes that were criticized now don't seem so bad, as they were necessary plot advancement tools needed later in the season... As for the series, unfortunately by this point they had lost too much of their audience thanks to Braga and Berman monopolizing all of the story-telling in the first season with bland and some cases downright stupid episodes. Where is Harve Bennett when you need him!?
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 6:01pm (USA Central)
OK - I'll probably be certified and locked up for saying this but for sheer flat-out gonzo entertainment value this is one of the best episodes of Voyager, maybe one of the best episodes of any of the Trek franchises. I'd give it 3.5 stars, docking half a star for implausibility. But if we're going to start knocking points off for implausibility maybe we have to just score EVERY episode at zero stars because the way the ship gets knocked about and roughed up pretty much every episode and is then back to a pristine brand-new state next week is actually just as implausible as anything on offer here. Some good performances and a plot that definitely isn't run of the mill "spatial anomalies" or the usual techy plots. For me this was a winner.
Supplemental note:Note the warp factors used in TOS and in TNG are not comparable. When TNG started Roddenberry apparently decided that Warp 10 should be the absolute maximum speed and so the warp factor would asymptotically approach 10 for faster and faster velocities. Hence we hear in "Caretaker" that Voyager's max speed is Warp 9.975 or some such. I have to say this asymptotic warp scale strikes me as ludicrous - presumably by the year 3000 they are all travelling at warp 9.9999999 or some nonsense - but that's the way it is.
The idea of the warp 10 shuttle being everywhere in physical space in the universe at the same time is obviously ludicrous - for one thing it would annihilate all other matter. It makes more sense if it is somehow outside space entirely (as is supposed to be the case with standard warp speeds) - perhaps in another dimension. But in terms of basic entertainment "Threshold" delivers.
Where I do agree with Jammer is that there's no obvious reason they couldn't have used warp 10 and modified the Voyager engines to get home instantaneously if the doctor's antiproton treatment works. So it would have been best if this had been the series finale and then the end was Voyager turning up in the Alpha Quadrant, a search and rescue ship being sent to intercept them, the rescue team beaming onto Voyager and finding 150 giant slugs with only the Doc able to explain what happened. What a way to end it!
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 5:48pm (USA Central)
Shadows and Symbols
So, remembering back to the series pilot episode "Emissary" when Sisko explains the concepts of linear time, death, and procreation to the Prophets.....it would seem they already know all about those things.
Personally, I found this plot twist very disappointing. Sisko's decisions and actions with regard to Bajor and the Prophets seemed far more meaningful when they were just those of a human interacting freely. Now that we know his entire existence is just a byproduct of Prophet manipulation, all of his current and past behaviors are viewed as being those of a baby Prophet rather than a human Starfleet officer.
Later in the season, they make a big deal about Sisko building a home on Bajor. And that would be a big deal, if Sisko were a human. But essentially he's not. He's half Prophet. His entire existence was conceived for the purposes of serving the Prophets and defeating the Paghwraiths. The Prophets are his family. Looking back over the series, it makes his acceptance of the Emissary role more of a pre-ordained inevitability than a conscious choice. Sisko's willingness to let go of his son Jake in "The Reckoning" now makes it look less like a leap of faith and more like something he was just supposed to do.
@Phillip: I hadn't thought of it that way before, but you are totally right. Sisko is a Prophet rape baby.
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 1:54pm (USA Central)
The Nth Degree
He also doesn't seem bad to me. Seems like someone who is sick of leftist fascists and apologists. Nice to see a guy who cares and who lives in the real world.
A lot of hollywood is the way it is because those people never have to live in places with crime and so on. Deluded, self hating , appeasing leftists.
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 1:48pm (USA Central)
The Nth Degree
I regret learning that Dwight Schultz is a wacko conspiracy believing tea bagger nutjob. I can't enjoy the Barclay episodes now.
Shame that your left-leaning, tolerance for all Trek mantra doesn't seem to extend to those you disagree with. Funny that.
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 1:38pm (USA Central)
What you are asking me and others to do, Shannon, is shut off our brains and accept bad writing. Criticizing people for having higher standards is plain stupid. And no, I won't stop "taking it so damn seriously". Doing that means we are in for more lamely written episodes.
Some of us want more than that, even if you don't.
- Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 3:50am (USA Central)
Vedek Bareil a weak character played by a poor actor? Nuts! Bareil has quiet inner moral strength and acts on principle and out of pure motivation, sacrificing his own career for the greater good as he sees it. Gene would have been proud of this character had he lived to see him.He is far closer to Gene's vision of a benign future than the cartoonish action men, the typical two-dimensional federation officers spawned by the much vaunted academy.He has moral layers that satisfy.
Anglim plays him with an admirable understated dignity that is never brash and in your face. I love all Star Trek but killing off Bareil in this episode and Kes in Voyager has been unforgivable. It shows writers unwilling to take a risk and develop characters that are outside the square. PITY!
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