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- Sun, Dec 21, 2014, 2:30pm (USA Central)
"[Re: Fontaine] Wasn't it Valtaine?"
Yes. (Actually "Valtane.")
- Sun, Dec 21, 2014, 11:35am (USA Central)
In response to phaedon, I don't think your claim about 'resentment' towards TNG is warranted. The review here gives 3/4 stars, which looks pretty strong to me. The sentence " "Conundrum" is entertaining enough for me to forgive its unlikelihood" is followed by two whole paragraphs about how the episode successfully plays with the characters despite the ridiculous premise.
In response to Navamske, I often tend to like this sort of narrative device too if it doesn't come up too often. It works especially well in little self-contained bits like this episode. One thing that always bothers me though is the opposite arrangement - 'point of view' protagonists having knowledge that is withheld from the viewer. See my comments on Defector. I've complained about this in some other things as well.
- Sun, Dec 21, 2014, 12:52am (USA Central)
Half a Life
"Soylent Green is people!"
Am I seriously the only one who was reminded of that movie by the premise of this episode?
- Sat, Dec 20, 2014, 9:04pm (USA Central)
I think a great dramatic storytelling device is when the audience has information that the main characters don't have, which is one of the reasons I like this episode, despite its obvious flaws. Another example was that early "Enterprise" episode in which the crew of the NX-01 had dealings with the Romulans (the one in which Reed gets impaled through the leg) but didn't actually see them.
- Sat, Dec 20, 2014, 8:39pm (USA Central)
The Measure of a Man
I finally got the chance to see the extended version of this episode on Blu-Ray. I must echo ReptilianSamurai's comments. I didn't think it was possible to improve on a classic, but I was spellbound. Of particular interest is a scene where Riker and Troi discuss whether their view of Data's sentience is true or imagined (whether they anthropomorphize him). Even as a telepath, Troi isn't sure. This scene makes Riker's arc much more involving, and I paid much greater attention to Frakes' performance.
All in all, I think this episode matches BSG's "Pegasus" in emotional impact and social relevance.
- Sat, Dec 20, 2014, 7:10pm (USA Central)
One problem I had with Troi's command persona was that she didn't have one -- O'Brien had to explain to Ro, "She [Troi] holds the rank of lieutenant commander." Troi herself should have shrugged on her command persona -- surely that's part of the training for the command track -- and said it herself, something all Al Haig-like, perhaps "I'm in charge here" and "Ensign Ro, you're on report for insubordination."
- Sat, Dec 20, 2014, 7:05pm (USA Central)
"But did anyone else want to smack that Jay Gordon kid?"
- Sat, Dec 20, 2014, 4:01pm (USA Central)
You know, it's 2014 and I'm watching TNG again and this time, I feel like I'm watching it for the first time. I read the reviews here and sometimes I decide to skip an episode based on a poor rating.
But I've decided to take a stand on "Conundrum" of all episodes. It really has sunk in how much resentment there is towards TNG both in the reviews and some of the comments. I think that this is exactly the type of episode that makes or breaks you as a TNG fan - whether you can see past the episodic nature of the show, and even the "plotholes," to enjoy how the writers mix things up for the characters.
Quite frankly, it's episodes like this that drive home what the show is all about - it's not just "Best of Both Worlds" with a bunch of crap stuffed around it. It really does a disservice to the memory of the show to focus so overwhelmingly on the "plausibility" of the episode, which is so overwhelmingly outweighed by other, more character-driven, considerations in this episode - namely, nobody, including Data, knows who they are, or what their stations are. Their skills intact - but their identities unknown. The Prime Directive lurking underneath for Picard, and the alien mistaking Worf for a bloodthirsty Klingon - his parents are human, after all. Riker - who finally gets unleashed as a bit of a lady's man - sort of gets his ass handed to him at the end.
There is of course absolutely no discussion of this in "the review" - simply focusing on the absurdity of the alien. I have to say it's tremendously disappointing. And it reads mostly strongly in these trivial episodes, like someone who didn't really like TNG is just sloughing through it.
- Sat, Dec 20, 2014, 4:03am (USA Central)
Almost all of these comments missed the two most interesting characters in this episode: the mother who defied Verin to trust Voyager and save her child, and the little girl who first approached Tom and then discovered the change in the planet's atmosphere. So often in Voyager the female characters undone the damage created by the bad males.
- Fri, Dec 19, 2014, 10:30pm (USA Central)
This was a much stronger episode than the previous Odo-centric outing, and definitely one of my favorites so far. Rene Auberjonois is just so good that even the goofier aspects of this one aren’t particularly notable. It helps that Croden is one of the most compelling guest stars we’ve seen so far, and that nearly every interaction he has with Odo makes for an interesting dynamic. “Odo’s origins” hadn’t been something I was hyper-concerned with before this point despite a few past references, but this episode made me believe that the storyline is potentially pretty fascinating.
- I like that the wormhole is getting a bit more play.
- Again, everything Odo. The straight-talking, humorless and gruff security chief must trade words with a man whose passion seems to be dissembling wordplay. I like how Auberjonois plays his restraint; you can tell there’s a part of Odo that would like nothing more than to follow Croden to the changeling enclave, but he never wavers in his duty. But his form of justice is tempered with honor and even a certain amount of benevolence, as we see from his later interactions with Croden and the girl (that smile!). While actually speaking to the crystal at the end was a bit of a stretch, I like the notion that it’s Odo’s cousin of sorts, and I hope it will make return appearances in future episodes dealing with Odo’s longing for a home.
- Speaking of that: I find it really interesting that Odo is both completely confident in his place on DS9 and extremely drawn to the notion of finding more changelings.
- Croden is an excellent character. Half of what he says is false and he manipulates Odo easily, but ends up being a sympathetic character possessed of basic decency despite all that. He’s morally grey and very ambiguous, and thus a type of character that the show has had luck with before (I’m thinking Garak and Kira’s old comrade from “Past Prologue”).
- Quark and Odo were fine in this episode, (“I’m the man behind the bar!”) but I actually think Quark has been slightly overused now at the expense of some other characters. I mean, he was only significant in the early portion of this one, but the last two episodes were pretty Quark-centric and we haven’t seen much of anyone else recently. I do like how the show always stops short of making him completely amoral (notice that he doesn’t really embrace the idea of Ah-Kel killing Odo). Unlike Rom, who’s…kind of murder happy isn’t he? There’s something a little disturbing about that guy because he lacks both Quark’s cleverness and his humanity.
- The Miradorn are interesting in theory, but this wasn’t the right episode for them. Didn’t have time to flesh out the twins-concept, and so Ah-Kel becomes just another bad guy.
- Fri, Dec 19, 2014, 6:46pm (USA Central)
Brilliantly conceived and executed episode.
Once again, have to disagree. Its whole premise is stolen from Babylon 5 again (The prophecies from Valen and the Vorlons), Except B5 did it much better, and over a proper arc.
Ignoring that, it's a decent episode, but also as the above poster notes, produced questions that the writers deliberately didn't try to answer because they couldn't.
- Fri, Dec 19, 2014, 6:19am (USA Central)
"Interesting, for aliens supposed to be out of linear time. "
They should understand linear time as well as Sisko does. Since he explained it to them!
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 11:51pm (USA Central)
I'm really enjoying revisiting TNG for some reason. Bit of trivia:
The ship's name is correctly spelled "USS Brattain" --- even though it's misspelled on the hull of the ship itself. You can see a screen grab of the typo here:
This happens around 5 minutes into the episode. A few minutes later, Beverly and Picard review the Captain's Log from the Brattain and the entry is stamped "USS Brattain - NCC-21166."
Hope you found that interesting!
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 11:00pm (USA Central)
I find it appalling that a man can die and the captain cant give two shits about him.
The captain has been preaching about how import the crew is to him but suddenly its ok to put some random that's been stuck in space for 15 odd years before the rest of the entire crew.
Screw the guy stuck in space, theirs already a **** load more people on the ship that don't want to die for some random person that "might!" be alive... They dont even know what the modifications will do to the ship either.
Yes I realize the captain has a past with them and that should not effect him as the captain of a star ship.
Personally this episode has blown out my judgement of the captain and I think tucker was right in questioning him and they should have left then and there. Worst episode of star trek enterprise so far...
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 9:30pm (USA Central)
Force of Nature
Nick P is mr Plinkett.
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 6:54pm (USA Central)
Rules of Engagement
Entertaining, but as usual full of holes. The biggest one is that the trial would not be allowed to proceed in this fashion. Firstly, having one judge is unlikely to happen, and even if that was the case, "as far as logic dictates" is plainly ridiculous. Court rooms work by law and strict rules. A judge would work within those confines (Starfleet rules in this case), not Vulcan "logic".
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 5:51pm (USA Central)
"This will be the end, or the beginning"
Interesting, for aliens supposed to be out of linear time.
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 3:51pm (USA Central)
Hide and Q
The thing that bother's me most about this episode...Is that Q is dressed as a British general (mostly), yet everyone identifies him as a French Marshal? French Marshals dressed in blue, white and gold, with maybe a red sash. Q is dressed in red and white, the colors of the British, France's sworn enemy! That's be like Q dressing in a SS uniform, and everyone referring him to an American general. Just how lazy is their custom department? The French soldier uniforms look terrible, but at least they got the general color scheme right.
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 1:59pm (USA Central)
"It won't be easy. If it's true this section has existed since the birth of the Federation, they've managed to hide their tracks very well"
- Right, by telling every Tom Dick and Harry they interrogate about their existence and purpose. Surely NO ONE would have EVER heard of them by now.
Come on writers, this is ridiculous.
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 11:46am (USA Central)
I hated this episode when I first saw it, and I still hate it. It's only fun is for a few good Red Shirt deaths, and the Yeoman actually kicking the ass of some People of Vaal instead of doing the usual things she does in this episode, such as whining, asking a question that no one can really answer (how reproduction happens on this planet - cue unnecessarily awkward *SEX* speculation), and being the stereotypical blonde git whose idea of seducing Chekov (LOL, "Pav") is to ask him dumb blonde questions.
Actually, everyone is annoying in this episode, except maybe Spock, who seems to be the sole voice of reason. Like, why is their way of life so reprehensible? Ohhh right, because the "plot" demands some forced conflict. I kind of wanted to slap McCoy for his stupid arguments, and Kirk for his asinine speech to the People of Vaal at the end on how they'll just enjoy this new life of toil so much ("HEY GUYS! You get to have the SEX now! Maybe you'll figure out how to reproduce! *crowd laughs at this for some reason*).
I especially wanted to phaser McCoy and Kirk for their dumb joke that Spock looks like Satan. Like Spock's NEVER heard that one before. Or maybe he hasn't, considering that pointy ears and arched eyebrows doth not the Devil make!
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 6:36am (USA Central)
The High Ground
3 Quick Questions
1) Can we think of very many nations that aren't technically occupying land that isn't theirs? Does there ever come a point in which it's no longer fair game to attack someone forever over land that your grandfather owned?
2) Does anyone actually think that either side would agree to anything remotely reasonable to end the fighting?
3) If #2 happened, does anyone actually think the fighting would stop?
- Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 12:26am (USA Central)
Cost of Living
At least we get to see Tony Jay (Lwaxana's groom) and hear his incredible voice!
- Wed, Dec 17, 2014, 4:11pm (USA Central)
Oh my goodness, I just love this episode! 4 stars, for sure. Uhura gets to be bad-ass (with her dealings with Sulu, with the phaser-taking from Marlena, just all around awesome), Evil "Scarface" Sulu and Evil Chekov are GREAT, and Spock isn't even evil in the Mirror universe, just a logical man trapped in a brutal, illogical empire.
I dig the goatee too - I guess they were thinking that would make Spock look more like the Devil, eh? Well, devilishly handsome, maybe.
I wonder if anyone on here had considered how the Mirror Universe came to be, and why it was so easily accessible? And is it truly a Mirror Universe, or just one where Earth, Starfleet and the UFP is upside down into an Imperial Earth bent? It's been noted that in later excursions into the Mirror Universe in DS9 etc. that alien cultures behave much the same as they otherwise would, only more aggressively towards a Terran Empire that is asking for a walloping.
My theory (which isn't really mine) is that the Mirror Universe came to be when McCoy stepped into The Guardian of Forever. The episode's events did put right the timeline of events for the "normal" universe that the USS Enterprise crew knows. But perhaps that other timeline, where the Nazis won WWII and conquered the world, still existed as the split-off Mirror Universe? It might explain why the Terran Empire incorporates a tradition of fascistic salutes, among other things. Anyway, it's just a possibility...
- Wed, Dec 17, 2014, 1:14pm (USA Central)
In answer to Sagiam I.K., perhaps Spock is not 10x stronger than Kirk on Vulcan because Spock is, on Vulcan, subject to the thinner atmosphere and higher gravity which gives a Vulcan his "super strength" when the air volume and gravity are set to human standards. But then again, Kirk would have still been hard pressed to breathe properly while fighting, and lifting those weapons should have been much harder for him. So maybe the Plak Tow (blood fever) does something to weaken the Vulcan in this situation. Or, it's also possible that despite the Plak Tow's influence, Spock was actually trying as hard as he could to restrain his full impulse to fight with all his might, and to instead go easy on Kirk, while making it *seem* like he was going all-out for blood. Being that he's half-human, perhaps the Plak Tow doesn't have *quite* the same hold on his mind as it does for a full-blooded Vulcan. [Given that he only underwent Ponn Farr for apparently the first time in his thirties, after thinking that he "might have been spared" from it, it does seem plausible that the Ponn Farr would affect a half-Human half-Vulcan differently than a typical Vulcan]. --> And yes, the regenerated Spock on the Genesis planet did undergo Ponn Farr as a teenager, but perhaps the Genesis effect didn't just accelerate his growth, but also intensified or ignited that which would have otherwise been largely dormant post-adolescent impulses.
Anyway, back to the Amok Time fight: Maybe Kirk was just very effective at evading most of the swipes and jabs and thwacks that came his way, and he didn't need to match Spock's Vulcan-adapted strength to fend him off for most of the fight - well, until the choking happened, which happened to coincide with McCoy's gamble of knock-out medicine.
Oh well, in any case, it wouldn't have been as fun a match if Spock had sliced Kirk in two with the Lirpa or beaned him in the noggin with the Ahn'woon right off the bat, would it?
- Wed, Dec 17, 2014, 1:00pm (USA Central)
Sacrifice of Angels
As always with DS9, I loved it... up until they brought in the prophets. Way to kill your episode and everything you've worked for in this arc.
DS9 would have been such a good show without those prophets (that definitely killed season 7).
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