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methane - Tue, Jul 7, 2015, 4:03pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

I think I enjoyed this episode when it first aired, but I was a little bothered by the complete fake-out at the end. However, that hasn't bothered me whenever I've re-watched it since. It holds up well even when you remember what's coming at the end; you're not caught up in the mystery, but you're having fun watching everyone's actions.

I also feel there was a bit of development for Bashir here. Building on the previous episode, he's teasing "O'Brien" with a familiarity he didn't have before.

I'm not sure if I'd give it 4 stars, but it's a well done episode.
Troy - Tue, Jul 7, 2015, 1:35pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

I give this one 3 stars. I actually thought the Troi-Aaron romance( Especially when you contrast it with Riker-Soren) one of the more believable whirlwind STNG romances. I especially like how Troi fights it, and I thought Aaron did seem to be a born diplomat. It has a good premise and I like how the friendly the dome dwellers are, their curiousity and humanity isn't shaken by the roles they are bred to play.
I don't think losing 23 members would doom the colony...what if the Stellar core fragment killed that just that many?
Robert - Tue, Jul 7, 2015, 1:05pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

They wouldn't have to retool him into a graduate. Ace pilot dropouts with Daddy issues can join the maquis and end up in jail.

The official version is that the writers found Locarno to be irredeemable. It's BS. If they couldn't find a way to redeem him they are pieces of trash writers who should be fired and replaced with fan-fic writers.

The ACTUAL answer is that the writer for THIS episode would need to be paid royalties for every episode of Voyager that they reused his character in.
Troy - Tue, Jul 7, 2015, 12:46pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

Like Jammer I'm a bit torn between 3-1/2 and 4 stars, I can't think of any improvements but don't think of it is being among my favorites despite it being STNG at its best.
This episode has some of the best acting and it is easy to forget the writing. Even minor characters like the pudgy Vulcan really come off as completely authentic.
The story itself is well tailored to Wesley. Here is basically a perfect kid, capable and brilliant who finds himself following the leader. You can witness Locarno putting the screws on Wesley and you see how the other members got caught up in it. Something similar happened to my brother in the army.
As for an alternative ending, I think Wesley would come clean since Picard already knew.
Small comment about Robert Duncan McNeill's dual role. I recall seeing a "Voyager" preview and the producers mentioned that they were looking for a Robert Duncan McNeill type character and eventually decided why not reuse him. I agree with other posters a great continuity payoff would be to retool Locarno and add some backstory about how he was able to graduate. Fanboys love nuance like this and you can see how much discomfort renaming him caused.
Del_Duio - Tue, Jul 7, 2015, 11:22am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

"Why didn't she just cruise on toward the alpha quadrant, or, if she wanted to regain control of the ship, just put it in orbit of the planet until reverse thrusters could work properly? "

I believe the ship was tumbling around crazy and was in the process of breaking up. So while I can't say that landing was the best move, I don't think that remaining tumbling in space was an option at that point.
Del_Duio - Tue, Jul 7, 2015, 11:01am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

Overall, Voyager was never my #1 favorite (DS9, then TNG) and I stopped watching after maybe mid Season 4 and never saw this episode before yesterday.


If only all of VOY could have been more like this one. And wow Kim was actually awesome in this for once.
Luke - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 10:49pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Clues

"'Clues' is one of those bottle shows that works better the first time you see it. It's intriguing when you don't know what's going to happen. But it loses something the next time through." That could be said about all mystery stories. The whole point of a mystery is that you don't know what's going to happen/has happened. The second time you visit any mystery it's naturally going to lose something - that's just the nature of the beast. A good mystery is one which can still offer entertainment on repeat viewings/readings.

"Clues" is one of those mysteries. Even knowing what's going on from the get-go, it's still a very dramatic and enthralling episode. And that's because the mystery itself isn't the only thing the episode has in its favor. The main, number one, element "Clues" has going for it are the performances. Nothing shows that better than in the scenes where non-verbal communication is employed. This episode is a masterwork of using what is not said to great effect. For example, the scene where Picard grills Data in his quarters over the fabricated evidence from the probe. When Picard says "strange, that an obscure planet several hundred light years from here should be picked up by the probe," Data just stares at him without saying a word. Brent Spiner manages to convey such a sense of atmosphere and tension in that one, cold stare than most people could do with an ten page soliloquy. Another example - later when Picard confronts Data for the final time on the bridge. When Picard gets the thought in his head that Starfleet might have contacted Data during the missing day and ordered him to conceal the truth, you can almost see the wheels turning in Patrick Stewart's head without him saying a word.

That isn't to say that "Clues" is flawless. There are major problems with the story. First, the solution is nonsensical when you stop and examine it. The whole house of cards is going to come crashing down the moment the Enterprise meets up with any other Federation personnel and they realize that they are two days off from the rest of the galaxy. Second, and I'm sorry but.... I have to dock points for what is quite possibly the most obvious plothole in all of TNG. How did Picard know the name of the Paxons during the flashback sequence? Come on, guys! That's a basic screenwriting 101 mistake right there!

your mom - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 10:21pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

I'm new to the trekkie world. Although all of you trekkie are missing a key point that must be said....

That monster be it 200,000 years old. Has devoted billions of people by now. The fact that they did not destroy it being it will defiantly out live them. Is obserd. I'm really upset about that. The monster hunter said let's kill it. That idea lasted 2 seconds like it's not the only option. Omg. These liberal hack jobs really did a number on this episode.

Picard would of killed it. But nooooo. This monster flawed in creation. Be it an ameoba. Whatever. The answer was simple kill the monster not have the ship regurtated. I'm surprised no one's else saw how quickly the monster hunter after that 39 year vindeta let his passion escape him. What a episode
Peter - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 3:34pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S4: Borderland

I thought that the Augments were pretty much by the numbers duplicates of Khan and his crew but the underlying concepts in this three parter make this a superior outing for the genetically engineered supermen when compared to the inferior treatment given in JJ Abrams' second Star Trek movie.
Samuel - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 3:31pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S2: Resurrection Ship, Part 2

Actually Adama's character is morally ruined in a later episode when he threatens to kill a certain character during a worker problem. The character never recovers from that and is basically worthless there on.
Troy - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 1:28pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

I didn't like this episode 1-1/2 stars. This is similar to "The Game" (which I loved) where aliens use a cunning tactic to take over the enterprise. This episode seems so much less plausible, and this may just be as another reviewer suggested that watchers are more forgiving if they are enjoying the episode. Big issues for me is that Data seems like he should have to have been disabled rather than have his memory selectively wiped and the whole selectively wiping on the ship memory and all people of several different species all with a 3 minute blue light.
I didn't find it very fun either. An exception Riker and Ro was a highlight. Made me think if Ro didn't have such a bad reputation, Riker might fancy her.
As for McDuff making himself captain, possibly the least issue I had with it.
Troy - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 12:55pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

This is a 3 star episode, very well done. The tit for tat rivalry between the doctors is great and very plausible. Tge guest doctor was very well written and performed. Others have suggested that the injury being non-curable in the time of transporter technology are spot on, this is an Aesop fable about the 20th century, not the 24th. Repairing spinal cords can't be more than a century away and I suspect within a generation. But that is a small quibble for this satisfying episode.
Troy - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 12:16pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Hero Worship

I liked this episode maybe 2-1/2 stars (and I liked it more when it was new). Some of the nit-picky critiques do point out flaws that really don't present themselves with a cursory viewing of the episode.
I'm not sure why it would be a problem having two kid oriented episodes in a row. I'd also add that "New Ground" is a Worf episode and "Hero Worship" is a Data episode. The thesis of the episode is to contrast Data's desire to be human with this kid who wants to be android. I actually think the kid was fairly good at the role.
While many people ignore the tech talk in episodes, I enjoyed how the solution to the problem was actually the reverse of what they were doing (Powering the shields would make the problem worse). A good lesson for thinking outside the box.
Troy - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 10:51am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

This two parter did very little for me (2 and 1-1/2 stars for me) It is obviously written around Spock, which is OK, but I guess I'm not hard core enough of a Trekkie to get thrilled by it (yes it is cool). The low point is Sela, and I'm not sure why I dislike her so much, but a lot of it is the underwhelming performance by Denise Crosby. I also didn't care for her as Yar. She is very one note with her performance just Yar with pointy ears and a Moe hair cut. I did like how she was smart and a good tactician in the earlier appearance, but even so it is a bit like eggs without salt, just missing something.
There are great moments, finding Spock was cool, Data and Picard sleeping in the same room, and my favorite is the multiple hand keyboardist and the Klingon Opera, with Worf chiming in.
I guess the question is, would the episode about an anonymous Vulcan going to Romulus to work on peace be a compelling story without Spock? I think you know the answer.
Troy - Mon, Jul 6, 2015, 10:08am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

I love this episode. Destruction of the Enterprise multiple times, fantastic! Patrick Stewart's "abandon ship!" is so intense, so believable, the icing on a very delicious cake.
Rewatching it after about 20+ years was a delight, even though I knew the 3 pips reveal (which I also love). Yes the plot has some issues, like how would deja vu manifest itself? Doesn't matter really, since Trek always needs a bit of suspension of disbelief.
I thought Gates McFadden was very cute in pink hair band. She usually does nothing for me, but I thought she looked hot in that.
Luke - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 9:34pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Hey, anybody out there not an atheist? Because if you aren't then you're a brain-dead moron who will fall anything!

The only "believers" in this episode are so unbelievably stupid that I find it hard to believe they can tie their own shoes. The "skeptics," on the other hand, are all rational in the extreme and shown to be so compassionate that they'll risk their own lives for the sake of this alien planet. Nope, no hidden message there! Move along, nothing to see here. Just ask yourself if this would be acceptable if the roles were reversed.

Good grief! I am getting so sick and tired of TNG's treatment of religion. TOS was never this heavy-handed or dismissive. And thank God (oh wait, does that make me stupid?) that DS9 came along and offered an actual balanced look at this aspect of the human condition. While I can appreciate the fact that it's a false religion and a con-artist the crew defeats here, couldn't we have had at least ONE Ventaxian believer that wasn't so damn gullible?!

Add to all of this the the fact that Jammer is absolutely, 100% correct when he says that the episode is weak, choppy, tedious and predictable. God, at least "Who Watches the Watchers" had something of an interesting plot. "Devil's Due" is so weak that it's almost painful to watch, even without the ham-fisted anti-religion message.

Then there are the plotholes. 1.) Why does Picard even get involved in this dispute between Ardra and the Ventaxians to begin with? Once Ardra frees the Federation hostages, the Enterprise should have left. What happens on this planet is no concern of theirs after that point. If these morons what to throw their lives away to this con-artist, that's there business. Doesn't the Prime Directive apply here? Picard decides to interfere in the internal governmental affairs of a sovereign planet because.... shut up, that's why! "A starship captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life, even his entire crew, rather than violate the Prime Directive.... unless he feels like doing it anyway." 2.) Why does Ardra risk everything just to get Picard into bed? Really, is she just that horny? Lady, you stand to gain an entire planet and all the resources that entails, find another man! I guess it only stands to reason that since the Ventaxians are so dumb that their supposed mythological beings should be as well. 3.) Ventax II is an agrarian based society? Umm, no, no they're not. Does this world really strike anybody as agrarian? They have a unified world government (which again TNG rams down our throat as the only way to end war and live in peace - that's bullshit), a massive capital city, the ability to communicate with orbiting spaceships, etc. This is not a farm based economy, people.

Seriously, this episode is bad, really bad! I thought "Who Watches the Watchers" was bad, but this is worse. The only thing I can point to in its favor are two legitimately funny sight gags. I honestly laughed out loud when Ardra transformed herself into Fek'lhr of Gre'thor and Satan. Though, that's more in the realm of unintentional comedy, as I don't think they meant those scenes to be funny.

Andrea - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 8:16pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

I have to agree with everyone else here. I just watched this episode for about the 10 time and still love it. It's epic Trek, along the lines of The Wrath of Khan and worthy of 4 stars. The sets are cheesy but who cares, the plot and acting are great. The is definitely among the top 5 of my favorite Trek episodes period.
Luke - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 5:25pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

Just FYI, W Smith - I think you mean Catholic vs. Orthodox instead of Catholic vs. Protestant. I say 99.9% of Protestants are in agreement with Catholics on the nature of divinity. They have other differences in doctrine. Orthodox Christians, on the other hand, actually do have a slightly different view of God's divinity than Catholics (mostly involving the nature of the Holy Spirit).
Luke - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 5:02pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

An all-around superb episode, with one major flaw.

First, what's so good? Well, the introduction of the Cardassians for starters. Leaving aside their stupid looking uniforms and helmets (not to mention Marc Alaimo's ridiculous looking facial hair), these are villains of the week that really stand out. I'm trying not to look at them through the lens of the following nine seasons we end up spending with the Cardassians after this and only focus on this episode. If they were simply intended to be another alien menace of the week which later got picked up as recurring (and then main) villains, the writers did an excellent job of making them as three-dimensional as possible. Macet is obviously a good man who wants peace (seen in the scenes where he reprimands his aide on the bridge and his talk with Picard afterward) but who also isn't above skirting the edges of the treaty for Cardassia's benefit (the ending and the scene where he suspiciously eyes Picard and Riker when they discover the supply ship has heavy sensor shielding). A normal villain of the week would be just straight-up evil and not so well-rounded.

Then there's O'Brien. It's wonderful that a guy who has been a part of this show from the very beginning is finally given an episode of his own. And Colm Meaney knocks it out of the park, as his is wont to do. Anybody who says this isn't proto-DS9 must not have been watching the same episode as me.

Finally, there's Maxwell. I have to disagree with everyone saying he was unhinged. I don't think he was unhinged at all; and that's what makes him so compelling. He's obviously a very damaged man but not unhinged. He doesn't go around in fits of anger or paranoia. He's rather restrained for a man who lost his family and is seeking some form of revenge. And to that the fact that he actually is right in the end and I can't see how he's "unhinged." And, now looking at the events of "The Wounded" with that nine years of hindsight we have on the Cardassians, history might very well side with him and view Picard as a fool.

And that brings me to the major problem I have with this episode - the insistence on maintaining the treaty above all else. Picard is even directly ordered by Admiral Haden that he "must preserve the peace, no matter what the cost." It's all based on the fact that the Federation is not in a position to sustain a new war. Obviously this is a reference to the critical blow dealt to Starfleet by the Borg at Wolf 359. Now the problem is this - the Borg only destroyed 39 ships at Wolf 359. The only way that that could conceivably be considered a "crippling blow" is if Starfleet is a teeny, tiny organization, which it simply cannot be. Even if we assume that the 39 ships lost were among Starfleet's topmost ships of the line it still can't be a "crippling blow." If we were talking about the U.S. Navy, then, yes, a lost of 39 capital ships would indeed be a devastating loss. In fact, it would most likely bring an end to the U.S. Navy as a strategic power. But, we're not talking about the U.S. Navy. We're not even talking about the combined navies of Earth. We're talking about an organization that is the combined military (navy and army), not to mention the exploratory, scientific and partial diplomatic/judicial organization, of countless worlds! Starfleet simply has to be GARGANTUAN in size!

This has always been a particular pet-peeve of mine when it comes to Trek. Starfleet is almost always presented as this small close-knit organization when it simply cannot be. It even goes so far as having virtually everyone with the rank of Captain or higher be on a first-time basis with each other. It's so bad that at one point in DS9 when Dax refers to a Captain Shelby, intended to be Shelby from "The Best of Both Worlds," the writers flipped out because in the Expanded Universe novels (yes, I'm bringing EU stuff into this, sue me) Shelby was still a Commander. So they came up with a convoluted explanation about how Dax was referencing someone else (because we can't possibly expect the viewers/readers to simply assume that there are two people in Starfleet with the last name of Shelby who aren't directly related to each other - it's impossible!) Thank God DS9 eventually gave us scenes of large Federation fleets with hundreds, if not thousands, of ships during the Dominion War.

This absurd situation really harms the drama here in "The Wounded" because the drama is absolutely based on it. The Federation, with Picard as its agent, must maintain the peace because they lost a grand whopping 39 ships less than a year ago. SMH, it makes no sense.

Luke - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 4:05pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

Everybody always talks about how the episode "Lower Decks" is one of the best of TNG. I, respectfully, disagree. "Data's Day" is a much better example of such a story. In both stories, we're not given the entire picture of what's going on. However, unlike in the later episode, this one focuses on a character who is much more enjoyable to spend time with and who has already been developed enough to merit an entire episode from his point-of-view.

Add to that some rather enjoyable character development for O'Brien, the introduction of Keiko and Spot, excellent scenes that use the rest of the main cast and their personalities well and the rather shocking twist at the end (which leaves the good guys outclassed by the Romulans) and you have a wonderfully enjoyable episode.

It's not ground-breaking or classic by any means, but definitely a pleasant offering.

Peremensoe - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 4:03pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

So Geordi's from Somalia, so what? He was born in 2335, in a Somalia that has undergone quite dramatic social, political, economic change from today (ethnic, too, judging by his decidedly non-Somali appearance)... Somalia 320 years ago certainly had none of the problems we see today.

Sisko's highly personalized vision-story is presumably about US racism because he *is* from New Orleans. I don't really see the problem.
W Smith - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 3:50pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

This episode was actually pretty good until the 9 or 10 days schism reasoning. That line was delivered so pat that nobody, including the actor, could take it seriously. Yes, others here have mentioned seemingly ridiculous reasons for schisms on Earth but none of them deal with the number of days for creation. They relate to leadership succession (Shia vs. Sunni) or the nature of divinity itself (Catholic vs. Protestant). This number of days issue was just too absurd and immediately took me out of the story. The action scene ending was also cliche with the GI Joes of Earth military making their obligatory appearance. A solid first half wasted by a poor second half.
Nic - Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 7:45am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

I agree with most that this was a good episode that could have been so much better given its premise.

Lal's death was contrived to be sure. If this story had been pitched in a season or two later, I'm sure the writers would at least have considered making Lal a recurring character.

Haftel struggles for the whole episode to make his points; even he doesn't seem to believe his own arguments. His role should have been excised entirely, OR, what would have been a very bold choice, Lal could actually left Data and gone to Galor IV. I think that somehow would have been more tragic than her random death.
JPaul - Sat, Jul 4, 2015, 9:55pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: The Savage Curtain

This episode could have been better had the writers actually come up with a reason for Evil losing to Good other than Kirk being amazing at hand to hand combat. Evil has a tendency to turn on itself and it seems reasonable to me that at some point, possibly with the right push from the Good group, the Evil group would have self-destructed due to infighting.
NCC-1701-Z - Sat, Jul 4, 2015, 2:42pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: The Council

"There's also a B-story, where T'Pol, Reed, Mayweather, and Cpl. Hawkins (gee, who's gonna die?)"

^ I laughed out loud at that line. I think the audience would have been justifiably upset if Hawkins hadn't died. Hey, redshirts are a Trek tradition.

I'm glad they gave Hawkins' death some meaning though with Reed and T'Pol's discussion.
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