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JD
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 3:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Let's just call a spade a spade. The reason Quark is so compelling in his arguments about humans becoming like Klingons is it's a perfect example of how people rationalize being flatly racist. Quark's just a racist and cultural elitist. He's always been racist. Of course, he's right about Klingons, because they're a savage race full of temperamental morons, as science has proven. But he's dead wrong, of course, in that humans could ever be like those primitive, cookie-scented mongrels. Genetically, due to skull structure, that would be impossible. The same way it would be impossible that a focused Cardassian brain could ever become as complacent as a scattered Bajoran one. These matters are predetermined. I don't mean that to sound racist. It's just simple physiology. As simple and predictable as a Bolian trying to develop a proper Tongo strategy. Don't get me wrong; Bolians are good at some things and I've got Bolian friends. They certainly do their best, unlike Lurians.
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Chrome
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@Jasmine

To be fair, the episode never says Picard's a coward in the alternate timeline, but it implies that him facing near death was a huge motivation in his Starfleet career. In that vein, it doesn't matter how wrong or jerky his friends were. What mattered was avoiding hardship, that moment of looking in the breach, denied a crucial part of his life.

The message isn't that playing it safe is bad, but more broadly that extracting the dark deeds of your past can impact your very integrity.
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Martin
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: 11001001

"A blind man teaching an android how to paint? That's got to be worth a couple of pages in somebody's book."

Best joke worth 4 stars by itself :D
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Rick C
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

I would imagine the runabout at least had a toilet on board?
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methane
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

I watched DS9 weekly from its debut until maybe 3/4 of the way through season 5, when I left the country for a few years. Upon my return, not having come across any spoilers for the episodes I missed (would be hard to do now!), I watched the daily repeats in syndication from beginning to end.

So I had the whole series relatively fresh on my mind when I first saw this episode. Maybe that's why I'm apparently one of the few on this thread who expected the wormhole aliens to intervene at the peak of this episode. Once the minefield came down and the Dominion fleet entered their side of the wormhole, I remember thinking Sisko's only chance was a direct plea to them. Furthermore, if they were ever going to directly intervene in the affairs of Bajor, this had to be the time. Indeed, it's a flaw in the script that the dialogue seems to indicate that Sisko is surprised when they show up, as there is no way the man who has had a 5+ year-long ambivalent relationship with his "emissary" role doesn't think of the "prophets" every time he sees that wormhole. One might argue that Sisko thought that mostly ignoring them would more strongly communicate to the aliens that he would give his life if they didn't intervene; if so, I think there would be better ways to write that.

So, I reject the complaint that this "comes out of nowhere" or is a "deux ex machina". Though there is still much story to tell, this episode is the climax of the entire series, not just this short run of episodes; the beings in the wormhole were there in the first episode and are a regular presence in the series. Luke above points out some specific times they reminded the viewers of the prophets within the occupation storyline. The intervention of the aliens is well set up by the series.

The other big, related, complaint about this episode (one they pretty much apply to the whole series) is that people dislike the wormhole aliens because they believe having them somehow promotes religion. As an atheist, I think that's crazy. Yes, these beings are powerful and mysterious (not a new thing in Star Trek). If you're making a universe with real people (even people represented by aliens), it makes sense that some people would worship them as gods. But: 1) that doesn't make them actual gods and 2) that also doesn't make them automatically evil (which was often the case in previous Trek). Many of the complainers seem to think if the wormhole aliens aren't discredited in some way that makes them actual gods, and that means the show supports religion.

The "prophets" are an interesting science fiction idea...powerful aliens that mostly ignore the less powerful, but have some affection for them that makes them occasionally intervene. In many ways they are like the crews of the Enterprises in TNG & (especially) TOS: powerful "aliens" with a (prime) directive of non-interference with "primitives", that they just can't help but ignore at times to do "what's right" (yes, I'm aware I'm using a ridiculous amount of quotes). Just like the TNG & TOS crews, sometimes when they do and don't interfere seems arbitrary. But, from everything we knew about them, this seems like the one time they would absolutely interfere.

I don't think this episode is without flaws; the discussion with the aliens should be slightly rewritten, and their are other items that have been mentioned by previous commenters. Still, I find the episode satisfying and have no problem with giving it 4 stars.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@ Jasmine,

I believe you're right, and I also believe it is entirely intentional that Corey and Marta leave something to be desired in terms of Picard's glorious friends from the past, for whom he nearly died. The whole point is that Picard's nostalgia blinded him to what his past really meant to him. His memory of both himself and of his friends was distorted by regret. He wasn't just the idiot he thought he was; he was the wild freshman who won the Academy marathon. And likewise his great view of his friends wasn't as rosy as he perhaps remembered.

The moral of the story appears to be that, like Henry V, it was necessary to the development of his character that he run with a less than stellar crowd for a time. He couldn't have become the man he was without guts and a little too much self-confidence. His alternate version is an idealized version of himself; intellectual, with integrity, cautious, and responsible. In other words, Picard's idealized version of himself is actually worse than he really is, and Q made him see that. His flaws are what made him able to be who he was, and this appears to have been a repeated motif in Q's moralizing through the series. Q repeatedly shows the crew (specifically Picard) that self-congratulatory pride is a sign more of decadence than advanced thinking. For all his 'issues', Q fundamentally seems to embrace the spirit of creativity and newness, and this is exactly the kind of thinking he was trying to squeeze out of Picard in "All Good Thing..." Both of those require a kind of abandon, I think, that perhaps he saw in Picard that others didn't see and that he was hoping to eventually get Picard himself to admit to. How else could the ending of "Tapestry" be so funny to Picard, other than that he realizes he's been a fool...to want to have never been a fool.
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Jasmine
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

Oh my god, finally, I found at least two other people who think like I do about this episode. And here I thought I was just a Tellarite looking to play devil's advocate!

The characters of Corey and Marta were unlikable and uninteresting, in my personal opinion. Neither of them were being particularly good friends, and Corey basically abandoned Starfleet principles to get back at the Nausicaan. Although I understood when Sisko did something similar in "For the Uniform", the fact is, Sisko had to; Corey didn't. Then he made it worse by forcing his friends into a confrontation. It was manipulative and selfish.

Picard in the alternate reality made little sense. Just because he wasn't willing to cave in to his friend's expectations, he suddenly became a coward? What about him standing up to Corey and even striking his friend before he made a terrible mistake? In the words of Dumbledore, "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends." Picard stood up to Corey to save him, and in my opinion, that's better captain material than Corey would've made. The message in this episode is such a broken aesop.

But, as usual, the acting of John de Lancie and Patrick Stewart make this episode tolerable otherwise. Aside from that, though, I don't feel it has much going for it.
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Mygaffer
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Wow, this episode made me stop watching Enterprise. Literally, I was so disgusted by it, not just the idea that Archer and Phlox are complicit in genocide, which they totally are, but the science is really bad too. The understanding of evolution and disease are so completely off target as to be something that wouldn't feel out of place next to someone's Facebook screed about indigo children and healing crystals.

If you like this episode... man, examine yourself.
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Joey Lock
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I think this is a great episode of Star Trek, anything 50's is always great when mixed with Star Trek, but seeing as this episode was directed by Brooks and centered around race which is something Brooks loves to always mention and go on about it seems, I agree with some of the above comments that it does seem fairly "All Black people are innocent citizens who are picked on by "the White man" for no reason", even Jake's character who is a known thief and dies trying to steal something doesn't seem to be given a bad light, he seems to be shown in a "It wasn't his fault that he got into crime, he was just a poor black kid and he was shot by White policemen", a common hypocritical narrative in recent news the last few years.

It's certainly great to take a fictional look on race and make people think of the real world racism but making a one sided eg Making all the co-writers White and having only one of them support him but even then, Shimmerman's character just seems a usually combative, argumentative person so it's unclear whether this is because he feels its injustice or because he "just wants to have a moan" whilst the rest act like "That's just the way it is".

But the rest of the episode and other themes were great.
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Yanks
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Judgment

John Garman "J. G." Hertzler Jr., .... born to be a Klingon.

There has never been a time where he is on screen and the scene or episode is not better for it.

This is of course a homage.

I really didn't want to see Archer be on trial and or go to Rura Penthe but, this episode is much better than the script/trailer make it out to be.

3 stars from me.
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Jack Bauer
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

This piece of crap was not 3-stars.
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Yanks
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

Yeah, this one has always been blah.

I also think Archer was too quick to the "mad Archer" side.

It's not a bad ep, but nothing special

2.5 stars.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

@ Joey Lock,

I think they missed some real opportunity to conclude the Jadzia/Worf relationship, even within the time they had available. But I guess maybe at some point they just said f--k it and wrapped it up simply as they did.

They make some efforts in seasons 4-6 to show that Worf isn't a traditional, normal Klingon, despite his fervent desire to be one. In fact, his honest desire to be a traditional Klingon makes him about the only one there is, from what we see. The rest of the Empire appears to view his kind of mentality as already antiquated, almost like Kor. Jadzia makes a few efforts to show Worf that she's perfect for him because what he really does need is someone who's as much of an oddball as him. Klingon, but too Human, just as she's Jadzia, but too Curzon. Between her background with Klingon culture, her acceptance of eclectic individuals, and her wild, passionate side, I really do see her and Worf as being perfect for each other despite their temperamental differences.

You're totally right that Sorella was basically correct about her. She wasn't really prepared to be married; at least, until she was. She was creating as many chances as possible to sabotage it, and Benjamin basically just tells her to grow up. I mean, Curzon died on Risa for Chrissakes, and unless Jadzia wants to live that life again she's got to drop the crap and get real. Worf went through this with her previously in "Let He Who Is Without Sin", where he had to deal with who she was, and now SHE has to deal with who she really is. She wanted everyone, from Benjamin to Sorella, to treat her with deference as if she was still Curzon. She even took liberties with Worf, and at her engagement party, apparently clinging to his persona and doing the kinds of things she remembered him doing.

But aside from her conflict with what kind of person she wanted to be, I do think Worf recognized that he's never find someone as unique and well suited to him as she was. I mean damn, how many non-Klingons could train against him with a Bat'leth, speak Klingon, understand his ways, and know how to calm him down without merely placating him?
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Joey Lock
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

What I appreciated most about this episode was the way it basically showed that people who consider themselves smart, bright geniuses who believe they know everything because they have higher qualifications are inherently flawed with their almost inherent sense of arrogance that anything they say is correct simply because they're smarter.

The conversation between O'Brien and Bashir was great, O'Brien is the everyman, the normal average joe who has years of experience and is going to be the one dealing with the actual situations whereas Bashir represents the ones who sit behind the desks with their knowledge and comes up with probabilities, then proceeds tell the regular joes what they should and shouldn't do simply because of a few calculations and assumptions they've made, rather than personal experience, despite all the statistical probabilities that go into stock markets these days, they still can't seem to predict stock market crashes and fluctuations very well because statistics alone aren't enough.
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Paul Allen
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

What do you know, a good Ferengi episode!!
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Joey Lock
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

Everytime I watch this episode, Jadzia always strikes me as someone who doesn't want to get married even though she says she does, like she wants the Single life when it suits her but also wants a partner. For example I mean the way, in the words of Lady Sirella, that she was acting like a "Risian slut", she certainly didn't act like someone who was getting married the next day, rubbing the chest of a random topless Lieutenant whilst subtly hinting she may want more from him in the coming hours, specifically the fact she woke up in her quarters with two men on her wedding day one of which was the man she was touching up the night before, that's a pretty bad sign.

Worf must really care deeply for Jadzia like no other for him to put up with her overly confident, flirtacious, wise-cracking tough, independent nature compared to his staunch, traditional, devoted reserved nature, either that or the love making was the best he's had and he didn't want to lose it, but I'd guess its the first one.
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Macca
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: Independence Day: Resurgence

Oh dear. This movie is the product of 20 years of rewrites. It's clear that every time they started a new draft they kept one 'cool idea' from the previous version.

The best one for me was the idea that a ground war had been waged in Africa. This would have been a great premise for the entire movie.

Never mind.

1 Star.
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Kuebel
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Schizoid Man

I was a bit disappointed when Deanna didn't solve the puzzle. I was so sure at first that she suspected - because she had shown Data-Graves images of Tasha and Kareen and the reaction to both should have been an obvious sign.
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Macca
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

3 stars - I agree. That is all.
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Kevin
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Note on the above - I'm definitely *not* suggesting that Spock's nearly beating Khan to death was "cool" or would have been perceived as such, just the yelling of "KHAAAAAN!"
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Kevin
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

It's been three years since I actually saw it, but I'd probably give it a 2.5. It wasn't horrible, but it did enough things wrong that I couldn't fully recommend it. And as for its place within Trek and Trek's place in popular culture, I'm more of the mind that unless there's something truly interesting and original to do with it, Trek should just be left alone. It's nothing to be ashamed of if, after hundreds of TV episodes and ten movies, the potential for Trek as mainstream popular entertainment is mostly used up, and it doesn't seem likely that the various novels, comics, fan productions, and other smaller-scale forms of Star Trek are going away any time soon.

The issue of Starfleet as a military organization and what sort of values it espouses and defends is a worthy one, but like Jammer I thought the movie only got halfway there. To this day I'm still not entirely sure whether Kirk originally intended to carry out the assassination and changed his mind, or if he just didn't want to tell Marcus no to his face or otherwise risk revealing what he had in mind. If it was a change of heart, I couldn't tell what prompted it - he just goes from "let's kill him" in one scene to "let's capture him alive" in another.

And I have to say that I don't like what they're doing with Spock here. Yes, he's younger and hasn't yet become the character we know from TOS, but has it ever been suggested that the kind of emotional control we expect from Vulcans remains a struggle for them by the time of early adulthood? And again, it's been a while, but is there anything at the end to suggest that he's troubled by how he lost his temper and nearly beat Khan to death? It feels like the sort of thing that started as a "wouldn't it be cool if..." but never got developed beyond that level. (In this case, "Wouldn't it be cool if *Kirk* is the one who decided to sacrifice his life, and then Spock loses it and yells "KHAAAAAAAN!" like Shatner did in the original?")
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Genre-Buster
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Hard fact: Trek's characters are hopelessly canonized - nobody is ever allowed to truly die - think about it: not even Tasha Yar. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, although like any trope it can be misused - witness STID and Nemesis. It's just a limitation of the franchise, and limitations can be exploited.

So RT: Love that alternate universe stuff - keep it up. It's proper that good ideas should occasionally make the head hurt. Since Kirk and company CANNOT be killed off (and by now any attempt to do so will only be met with groans), tell us a story that teases their entrance, but then doesn't deliver until the third act, or even better, a later movie. And if the story is good, their entrance would be a secondary development to a plot that's already got us by the gonads.
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Paul Allen
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 11:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

Wonderful final episode, now to continue with my Trek rewatch, onward to DS9, The Jem-Hadar....

Thanks for all the reviews!
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Chrome
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

@William B

You're right, WYLB is definitely not as beloved by fans as "Duet", "Improbable Cause" or even "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". But it's really hard for me to complain about classics like those. I feel like I'm nitpicking shows that don't deserve it when there are *really* bad ones out there that do.
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RandomThoughts
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 10:07am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Nice to see you back. :)

I liked the movie all right, but it didn't leave me with a sense of 'Wow'. I've had episodes of Battlestar Galactica (reboot), Babylon 5, and all Star Trek series leave me with a sense of 'Wow' from time to time, and I sort of expect a Star Trek movie should as well (my 'Wow' feelings can be a super story, a surprising story arc, something that makes you feel really good, etc. Your mileage may vary).

Maybe part of it is that I'm jaded: I never feel the characters are in any real peril (not even a little bit of peril). Sure, they get chased, and smacked around, perhaps even irradiated to death. But I KNOW they will always be back. Because they always have.

Still, it was kind of fun. I did enjoy it, but there is always something nagging at me, that the movie just doesn't FEEL right...

Boy, I'm almost ready to say I'd have preferred it if they did the reboot with a all new crew. The target audience of summer action/adventure folks (that had no real knowledge of Trek), would still have come, and the rest of us would have seen it just to see it. Then we wouldn't really know if a character was going to die or not (Yes, we want you to play Captain Opus of the Enterpoop, for exactly 1 and 1/2 movies or so. Your character will die in the middle of the 2nd one from extreme radiation poisoning, and your body will be shot into space. Still interested?). We could have even had cameos of a old name or two, perhaps Lieutenant Kirk from the Farragut, or a Commander Number One (never gave Majel a name in The Cage) could swoop in and out for a while (still could, actually... hmm...). Maybe bring on a Captain Kirk in the 3rd one, or 4th... Eh, thinking of an alternate universe for a movie in an alternate universe makes my head hurt.

Maybe 2 1/2 from me. Some spots were better than others, and I liked the visuals. It's just that if feels... I don't know... a bit OFF...


Regards... RT
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