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- Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 12:08am (USA Central)
I used to like this episode before I saw season one, and now I realize it doesn't match up at all with Janeway's earlier actions when Neelix's lungs were stolen.
So what we have here is an episode where the entire crew is out of character, simply to force the status quo of the main bridge crew to remain the same. There's just no way they would sit there saying nothing.
I'm not saying Tuvix should have stuck around, but I don't like the show pretending there's some big ethical dilemma to Janeway's decision when really it's just the reset button being pushed. That's the same awful thing that happened in every conflict in BSG later on.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 11:03pm (USA Central)
"It's been an honor serving with you, my friend."
And that says it all. Homo Sapien. Cylon. All too human.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 10:40pm (USA Central)
There are some interesting concepts here but the episode is very poorly executed and stumbles around mostly padding out the run time. The Skrean story might have been compelling if M class planets weren't miraculously ubiquitous in the Star Trek Universe. The Skreans just come off as arrogant and idiotic since the Federation is willing to give them a whole planet. The Bajoran government's reasoning seems perfectly sound.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 10:10pm (USA Central)
A Disquiet Follows My Soul
Roslin has totally checked out. She should resign. And if the mutiny happens, it's Adama's fault. Discipline on the ship has broken down. Baltar's gone angry nihilist. Gaeta gone angry. Chief is lost.
Everyone is broken. Or angry. Or both.
Which is cool. Because that is exactly how they all should react.
So, yeah, good episode, despite all the flaws Jammer pointed out,
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 9:50pm (USA Central)
I understand that this is a metaphore for genocide, but it is a weak one. The Borg are not a species and not a race, and they share among themselves very little in the way of genetics, and they do not sexually reproduce so there is no "emerging" species or race. It is a purely techno-social military organization, albeit involuntarily conscripted. Aggressive military targets are fair game for extermination, if you ask me.
Yes, genocide is always wrong, even if it's your only hope for survival and you do it out of desperation. Your fear and desperation may mitigate your moral culpability, and good may come from your survival, but the genocidal act is objectively evil.
But the fact remains that exterminating the Borg is not genocide. Once again TNG's attempts to preach their morality have rung false due to bad science, sophomoric use of English, and shallow philosophy.
DS9, as usual, got it right. Section 31 was attempting to commit bona fide genocide, and that's why the story was so hard-hitting: they were actually dealing with the moral implications in a sci-fi setting with good science (a synthetic virus infecting a species), good English (look up genocide, they did), and deep philosophy (desperation, remorse, risk and sacrifice, action and rectification).
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 9:33pm (USA Central)
Chain of Command, Part I
Yes, one does wonder if this type of special ops mission would not be better suited to the likes of Section 31? Or the 24th century equivalent to Enterprise's MACOs. I always wondered about the plausibility of sending Worf, Crusher, and Picard on a dangerous grenade throwing mission behind enemy lines.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:35pm (USA Central)
Sometimes a Great Notion
Good review and comments.
I know attraction is personal, but I'll never understand why anyone would prefer Starbuck to Dee. Starbuck was a mess. Dee was sweet and a knock-out.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:00pm (USA Central)
All Good Things...
It's been a real pleasure re-watching the entire TNG series and reading these write-ups and comments. It's made me think about the series in a whole new, more literary, way. This is what the internet is all about.
Franz Kafka wrote a short story called "Before the Law" (www.kafka-online.info/before-the-law.html) that reminds me so much of Picard's relationship with Q and the Continuum he represents. It's a story about a gatekeeper that denies a man entry through a door that was specifically designed for him. Superior morality.
The other thing I remember sending chills down my spine as a child is watching Riker's immensely powerful Enterprise come to the rescue of the Pasteur at an angle from below. To be with the old crew that is rescued by the starship we've followed for years - what a change of perspective! Still affects me!
Just wanted to share that!
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 12:19pm (USA Central)
"The Cylons were created by man.
They look and feel human.
Some are programmed to think they are human.
There are many copies.
THEY HAVE A PLAN."
So, we learn that "The Plan" was to "kill them all!!!" (see Cavil)
How epically disappointing...
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 9:18am (USA Central)
I remember when I first saw this episode.
Wow! Riviting, suspenseful, pounding steady pace, just draining television.
After all this episode brings in the suspense/empathy department, what really caps it off is when the baby is born and our President adds a number to the tally. (snif)
Just a tremendous hour of television. Hard to match. (in any series)
4 stars EASY.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:21am (USA Central)
I agree that this episode is worth a second look. My immediate thought after seeing this episode for the first time, is that I enjoyed it more than TNG's Darmok. Both episodes are about misunderstanding another alien's culture.
I found Tuvok's interaction really touching in this episode, not tired at all. And usually kids acting gets pretty annoying, but they were actually good in this one.
Sure the reverse aging is silly, but no more so than the alien's language in Darmok. It just worked for me and to me it was a solid hour of Trek.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:18am (USA Central)
Seventh Season Recap
That was half my point though. I wasn't making a value judgement as to anything, I was just saying that it's jarring if the (very small) amount of brown people all share each other as love interests.
As to what should be done to make it less jarring? Ya, I'd be in favor of more minority actors. You either should not have black Bajorans/Vulcans or you should make them common. I swear that Tuvok literally married the only other black Vulcan on the entire planet. Why couldn't Solok's baseball team be half black (it would have made the Tuvok thing feel so much less weird if there were a lot of black Vulcans). Did they ever have any on Enterprise (I haven't finished it yet).
"In that vein, Enterprise credits are the worst offender. They purport to depict humanity's progress towards the Space Age only to omit every single non-American achievement. Where's Gagarin or Sputnik, for instance? They fail to show the first human in space and the first Earth spacecraft? How about the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova in Vostok 6? Or Leonov's first spacewalk? "
Totally agree! Wasn't Chekov included on the bridge as Rodenberry's nod to Russian space progress? Back when we were enemies! That's the spirit of Star Trek.
Brown people are clearly the minorities on every planet somehow, even though by the time Star Trek rolls around America won't be very white anymore. Mind boggling.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:08am (USA Central)
@Andrew - Sort of? Who mourned for the other crew that died? Why is Harry special?
They all got duplicated. In the SAME universe. Harry died exactly the same as literally everyone else. Everyone got split in two and EVERYONE had 1 duplicate die.
Considering there are theories that the transporter is doing this (killing you and beaming a duplicate somewhere else) the only thing that was really "lost" is Harry's memories between the split and the death. So like 10 minutes tops.
What WOULD have been interesting is to revisit this (briefly) in Basics when Naomi is sick. I always felt Samantha should have had PTSD from losing her baby the first time.
Yes, technically the Naomi she has is the same one she carried inside her for (what is it, like 15 months?) but she still watched one of the Naomi's die after childbirth. Would screw with anyone.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 7:04am (USA Central)
Was always amused in this episode when Picard orders Worf to "locate the exact source of that tractor beam, lock on phasers" and it takes Worf 4 shots to actually even come close to remotely hitting it =D
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 1:32am (USA Central)
Funny episode, but a little disturbing if you take it seriously. Because there's a universe where Harry Kim is dead and no one even mourned his death, because his duplicate stepped in to replace him. Since the show plays it off as an upbeat moment it kind of creeps me out. Yeah, I'm going to try to pretend that didn't happen.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 1:09am (USA Central)
He That Believeth in Me
Excellent analysis of the fundamental problem that undermined the series at it moved along. The key word here is "lazy," I think.
- Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 12:39am (USA Central)
Good review. Thanks.
Baltar's biggest sin,of course, is giving the nuke to Damaged 6. And there is no forgiveness for that.
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 11:46pm (USA Central)
Sine Qua Non
Good episode and good review.
Lampkin: Maybe just another manipulation. Maybe all the cool cynicism just a cover for twisted guilt. Most likely a combo of both. The greatest cynics were once idealists, for if you cannot understand the subjective, you cannot never move beyond it to the objective.
Saul: Looks like the Final Five are very different than the other Cylons.
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 10:42pm (USA Central)
Guess What's Coming to Dinner?
"If you are not riveted by BSG mythology by the end of this episode, then you likely never will be."
I'm not. But, interestingly, neither is Sharon. She's chosen her side: family.
And that I can respect.
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 9:37pm (USA Central)
Jammer, et. al
No doubt that "Faith" tells a story combining religion and science fiction. I am not so sure it does it successfully. If we presume science fiction is based in the so-called materialist view of the universe, then faith by definition is a material phenomena -- that is, part of the mechanics of matter and energy. Thus, to allow faith (unreason) equal footing with science -- in its broadest sense -- intrudes on science fiction and thereby undermines it.
It is not just this episode. Its the whole story. Most simply put, the Plot Gods' reliance on Fate and Destiny takes BSG well outside of SciFi. BSG is not SciFi, and that is too bad.
Just imagine a BSG universe that had been better laid out. Imagine a cohesive plot that made sense, rather than relying on Fate and Destiny to force things along. In such a series, the characters struggle with meaning would be much more profound.
As it stands, its just kindergarten spiritualism. Expertly executed, but trite nonetheless.
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 8:21pm (USA Central)
The Road Less Traveled
Plot Gods indeed. It'd bad when character development becomes replaced with the demands of the Plot. All the more so when the plot is Destiny this and Fate that.
The series writers lack of planning really injures both the plot and the characters.
What could have been a great show has become overrun with boring New Age metaphysical boringness. I wrote before, the Spirit Quest should have been planed out. It was not. And it shows.
I'd like to see more Zarek, more Baltar machinations, more SciFi.
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 7:35pm (USA Central)
OK, I'm going to have to come to the defense of the Enterprise crew here. Picard and Geordi were perfectly justified in their actions. For one, Picard took the time to immediately introduce himself to Scotty, and then went to see him as soon as he got off duty. Is it that unreasonable for Picard to not abandon his duties? After all, it's not like anyone expected Scotty to disappear or anything; he would still be around in a few hours. And one could naturally assume Scotty would want to spend a few hours regathering himself anyway. It's a big shock to his system suddenly rematerializing after 70 years; does he really want to spend his time talking to strangers? Certainly Picard's actions are reasonable.
Secondly, calling Scotty a living legend is probably a stretch. The difference in time between TOS era and TNG era is a bit more than the difference between now and World War II. Tell me, do you know the name of Eisenhower's quartermaster? Patton's chief of staff? Nimitz's second in command? I don't. It wouldn't surprise me that even quartermasters in the army now don't know the names of quartermasters from WWII. So while Kirk and perhaps Spock may be household names in the Federation, it's reasonable to assume Scotty was just a footnote in history. Heck, Data has a vast encyclopedic knowledge, and even he didn't know of Bones' aversion to Vulcans. So maybe LaForge had heard of him, but probably not as a legendary figure.
But most importantly, Scotty was acting very rudely in engineering. Someone used the analogy of Wilbur Wright suddenly appearing. Yeah, we'd be excited to talk to him. But what if someone was getting a jet ready for takeoff, and Wilbur kept interrupting our hypothetical mechanic with a bunch of complaints. "What are you doing building a plane outta metal, laddie? It's too heavy! And only one set of wings? Where's the propeller? Oh laddie, this bucket of bolts will never get off the ground..." I think the mechanic might start to harbor the same annoyances that Geordie showed.
I'm an engineer. I've given tours and shown off our company's technology to many other scientists, engineers, and professionals, the majority of which were older and more experienced than I. Not one of them acted in a manner that Scotty did. Not one was so condescending. Every one asked questions and tried to understand the technology and assumed I knew what I was talking about rather than being so dismissive. Scotty was being very unprofessional in there. I don't blame Geordi for showing him out. Especially since it was clear LaForge wasn't taking it too personally. He still seemed excited to talk to Scotty at first, and seemed ok with him while fixing up the old ship.
In any case, maybe its because I don't have the same nostalgia filter for TOS (TNG was my first Trek show, and so its the one that gets seen in rose-colored glasses), but I don't see this as an instant classic. I agree with pretty much everything Jammer has to say. The theme is hammered with no subtlety, and the intrigue of the Dyson Sphere was simply put by the wayside. It's still a fun episode, of course. And showing the old bridge (with the Star Trek fanfare playing in the background) was enough to force the nostalgia out of me anyway.
I think this would have been nice for a pseudo two-part episode. Leave Relics the way it is, and have it end with Scotty riding off into the sunset. Then have the next episode be focused on the Dyson Sphere itself. This is the biggest, best technology humanity has seen since the Iconian Gateway. This civilization had a level of engineering skill far beyond anything Starfleet has encountered so far. Doesn't that work as a mystery? Isn't that worth another episode? It's too bad that it didn't; I would have loved to see what they could have come up with.
As an aside, I'm not sure if anyone else noticed this, but the episode opens with Picard and Riker looking over Data's shoulder as he works at one of the science stations in the back. After some techtalk, the two stroll to the front of the bridge and continue the technobabble with... Data, who is now sitting at his normal console. Oops. Combine that with LaForge constantly grabbing Scotty's injured arm, and it seems the director wasn't a very detailed-oriented man.
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 6:51pm (USA Central)
Baltar speech makes sense. He is an entirely selfish SOB whose incredible guilt for his role in the genocide, and all that follows, weighs on his conscience -- which he has. And that is key, I think, about making sense of his speech.
Unlike Tory, Baltar is no psychopath. Baltar takes Tory's psychopath maxim of perfection and turns it into absolution, which is what he seeks. He twists the humanist ethic Love They Neighbor into Love Thyself. Because that is what he does.
The Ayn Rand meets the Buddha. What a shit!
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 5:44pm (USA Central)
The Ties That Bind
Great post and comments. My take;
Tory: Tory is not acting out a program. Just like Saul and Tyro, aren't. They are individuals. They have no program. Saul is a loyal soldier. Tory is opportunistic, amoral and murdering was done in "self-defense." Learning she is a Cylon, just allowed her to fully express her sociopath nature. And it was done in "self-defense."
Cally: Cally was alway a place-holder more than a character. If anything, she was the victim of poor paling on the writers part. Think about it: Hera is the Special One, right? Well, Hera ain't so special if Nik is around. So, I guess Nik's gotta bit it too.
Nice Destiny they got going there....
Civil War: First, AWESOME! Second, how dumb is Six? If you're gonna play power politics, you got to think. Totally walked right into it.
- Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 5:21pm (USA Central)
I do enjoy this episode, but I have to wonder if Voyager's library computer would truly contain the vast amounts of biographical and historical data the crew uses in this episode to research the past. It seems like any starship (not just Voyager) can call up information on anyone or anything no matter what world or time period. I just find it a little hard to believe.
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