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Tara
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 2:45am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: A Matter of Honor

A fun episode, almost ruined by a plot contrivance

Like lots of tv and movies, the whole plot hinges on the hero's ability to outfight the villain/ challenger. Sometimes that's believable but in this case it isn't. Haven't we already established that Klingons are generally much stronger than humans? I am thinking especially of the recent Holodeck teaser with Worf fighting huge opponents as "calisthenics" and Riker watching in amazement and Picard worrying Riker would get hurt.

Riker was right to fight the 2nd Officer who insulted him - that was the only action that had a chance of winning respect. But, shouldn't the realistic outcome have been: Riker gets beaten to a pulp and is left to crawl off with a concussion and a couple fractures, while the Klingons laugh and mock and demote him to janitor for the rest of his term?
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Tara
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 2:27am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

I'm rewatching the second season now and am loving Pulaski. I never used to have an opinion about her one way or the other. I think what's happened is that I got used to being bored to death by Dr Beverley Blamd, and the spicier Pulaski now stands out on welcome relief.

Does B Crusher have any personality at all? Besides "dedicated doctor" and "worried mother"... What words would describe her?
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Tara
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 2:14am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

It's actually not hard to identify that woman and men are equal. It wasn't hard in the 1960's (women's lib was already a thing) and it really really wasn't hard in the late 80s. I think girl power tv shows ( Murphy Brown, Cagney and Lacey,?) were already on the air. So a feminist tv guy with vast power could surely make a feminist tv show. Roddenberry make a sexist one - twice.

TNG was problematic enough to seem annoyingly anachronistic to me in 1987 - by which I mean it seemed a throwback to an older more gender-stupid era, rather than a throw-forward to 24th century enlightenment. OTOH the Roddenberry-free Treks - Ds9 and voy - were pretty egalitarian. (Yet they were presumably also created and directed by men of a certain age. )

You seem to be setting the bar for feminism about one inch below the ground to make sure ole Rod can be said to have hobbled over it.
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TH
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 1:51am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

As I complete my first ever full watch-through of Enterprise (As a 20-year trekfan, I aborted a Trek series for the first time after only a couple of episodes I couldn't get behind. A friend loaning me a bootleg VCD of the first half of season 3 brought me back around with what I considered to be a VERY compelling Xindi arc (it was binge watching before there was binge watching and I think the arc benefited from the lack of individual episode scrutiny that binging provided. I just had to know the answers to all of the mysteries.

So I saw this finale the first time. And having rewatched it, it was even more underwhelming the second (or third) time - I've probably rewatched the episode before.

It's now something of a DECADE later and I don't know if ANYONE will ever read this, but why not. It's a testament to the quality of Jammer's reviews that I still come here to read these reviews alongside the episodes as I watch them because of the depth of analysis they add to the storytelling. I see I'm not alone, with another comment on this episode added just a few days ago.

I will echo all of the criticisms Jammer had for this episode, but without much of the praise.

The entire episode is just devoid of anything meaningful. The framing device takes an episode that should be about the crew of the show that is ENDING and makes the whole thing about Riker and Troi - two characters (neither even the lead) of another Trek show, set in the middle of a decent, but certainly not pivital episode of that series. This episode is about Riker, not about the NX-01 crew. I second all of Jammer's comments about the "freeze program" ruining any sense of the NX-01 feeling real and meaningful. The fact that this is a holodeck program means I kind of don't even care for the NX-01 crew, because they are facsimiles of people who have been dead for 200 years.

The episode also makes no sense even in its own framing device. Go rewatch Pegasus (why the heck did they pick that episode? It's so random!) and you'll find there is no reasonable point in Pegasus for this story to unfold. Based on the Riker we know and that episode, I don't believe for a second Riker confided in Troi what was going on, or that he would seriously consider observing a holodeck program in the middle of the very serious stuff going on at the time. I don't believe anything this holoprogram shows is insightful or novel that would inspire epiphany in Riker. Further, Riker "decides" to tell Picard, yet in the episode, Riker clearly never makes that decision until he's sitting on the bridge and he's had enough of Pressman selfishly endangering the Enterprise crew to keep his secret.

None of this makes any sense. Riker looks far to happy to be here considering the incredibly heavy dilemma he's supposedly wrestling with.

Finally, we have the whole Trip thing. Besides all of what
Jammer said, "intruders are onboard!" When the hell would you EVER see Trip and Archer ALONE... UNARMED.... run headstrong through the corridors right into the intruders? With no security in sight? Seriously? Don't get me started on the fact that Trip's suicide run would never ever happen in any other episode, but the entire basis for Archer and Trip (the two highest ranking people onboard) to be held at gunpoint is so beyond acceptable it makes me angry.

No real recognition for Trip's passing. No appearance by Shran to console Archer or apologize that he's cost Trip his life... The little moment between Trip and Archer was emotional, and having rewatched the series, I think Conner Trineer was grossly underrated as an actor in this series. He does a phenomenal job at being authentic and bringing emotion throughout, including in that scene.

I concur that the last 30 seconds are the right ones, but why are we even seeing the Enterprise fly away? It was being decommissioned, and it's crew are all watching Archer give a speech. It shouldn't be going anywhere.

Sadly, a disappointing end to a very mixed bag of a series that had lots of potential but only a few real gems.
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Trek fan
Mon, Jan 23, 2017, 12:14am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Bread and Circuses

Great episode and much better than I remembered -- I'll go 3 1/2 stars or maybe even 4. Kudos for allowing the Spock-McCoy bantering to become self-aware for a bit; their scenes together are awesome. Loved the intriguing social commentary behind the televised gladiatoral fights, perhaps an extreme metaphor for football and other violent sports. The pacing, action, and dialogue is all great in this one -- nothing feels too dated. It's not the deepest Trek, but it's a fun hour with a few things to think about.
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dutchstudent1982
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Power Play

So am I thinking to evil here, if this episode left me thinking :

From the enterprise crew side :
*they discovered very early that pain prevented body snaching, surely giving everybody a mild pain (drugs, mechanical (pain stick-bracelents for everybody) or fysical induced) would have be a common idea.

*worf told them normal stun settings would not work, so why not blast in with something stronger? Disruptors cause a lot of pain, as well as large wounds (that would be fatal if left untreated, but would cause short term a lot of harm) and would be perfect.

*17 hostages, minus 5 traded for 1 captain, leaves 13 hostages + the 3 that were bodysnatched, killing off 16 to save the entire crew of over 1000 should be simple sence, and be done much much sooner bluntly refusing ANY demands what so ever.

*why would you keep your word, evil bodysnatching alien criminals, they left your crew, why would you keep your word? beam them into space, kill zhem all, kill zhem with fire.. ehh well you get the idea...
(sorrie I have no problem with eliminating such a treat, perhaps I am more a mirror universe/section 31 guy.
(am I really the only person thinkin this? is it just me?)

From the snatchers point of view :
-you have the ability to snatch any unharmed body, that stupid captain nor any of the crew had taken measures against you swopping for some other body, switch to the captain, kill your earlier host (or stun him if you want too), and instantly know all commands and plans against you...
(cannot believe they haven't used this ability, just as the crew failed to imagine the need and and the means to mount any defence against it)
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Slashygirl
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 10:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

I watched Voyager when it first came out but missed quite a few episodes. I don't know why but this episode kept bugging me all day. I liked it, but I can understand why so many other people have a beef with it.

I felt such a sadness seeing Janeway as she walked around the bridge, so very slowly, nothing working in her favor.

Her dying at the end before the rest of the bridge crew was so depressing.

Besides the plot holes in this story I did enjoy it. I also enjoyed reading every comment and the reviewer on this site. Very thought provoking. Thank you.

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Gooz
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

Bacteria that stick to holographic skin woul fall off when he dematerializes. Seems like deactivating and reactivating (1 sec) would be faster than 15 seconds of scrubbing and infinitely more effective . Another example of the "dressed to heal" TV trope, but a minor annoyance when you consider all the other crap the writers on Voyager pull on every episode.
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Caedus
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 9:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

Interesting yes but truly shows Jammers cynicism and degrading contempt for a brighter future. I mean really .
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Caedus
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 9:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Awesome episode, only needed an epilogue.

The Borg were Voyager's biggest villains and and honestly to the people who say "they shoud have remained in TNG!" What fools are you!

The Borg were stated in Q-Who as being native to the Delta Quadrant.

Also Voyager didn't destroy the Borg just gave them a bloody nose and broken leg.

Honestly what is this anti-Voyager prejudice gripping the commenters here?
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Caedus
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

Kate Mulgrew takes her shirt off, giant viruses and empty hallways. This was fun.

Jammer needs to lighten up or get psychiatric assistance.
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Caedus
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

Loved this and don't get Jammers psychotic anti-Voyager prejudice.
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Dave
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 8:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Communicator

Seems weird to test the cloak of a vessel with the door open. Maybe it has a safeguard against that...
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Caedus
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 7:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

I am so sorry but I was bored to tears watching this. I couldn't get past the first 15-20 minutes. I decided I would watch Voyager instead.

Say I have bad taste, or I'm immature or whatever but this was absolutely boring and pointless and rather a waste.

How hypocritical Jammer critiques Voyager and Enterprise and even TNG for sci fi anomalies yet apparently this episode whose whole premise is based on an anomaly merits five stars.

The first scene was ridiculous the woman interviewer actually forgets Jake's books after she reads them to read them again? You can't be serious I mean really.

Character piece my a**.
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Quarkissnyder
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sons and Daughters

There is a universe of difference between being an unengaged parent and a parent who has had no communication whatsoever with his child (or his own parents who are taking care of the child) for five years.

The episode did not indicate that the lack of communication was Alexander's choice; it was Worf's.
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Quarkissnyder
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 3:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

I liked the A story. It was fun, had dramatic tension, was interesting, well-acted, and had a great ending.

My main quibble with it was how trusting Kira was when she knew that another changeling was on the station. When she first goes to Odo's quarters I was sure that she was talking to the female changeling impersonating Odo and not to Odo. Why wasn't she worried about this? When she goes back later and the female changeling is around the corner, why didn't she suspect that was the case? For someone who grew up in the resistance, that made no sense.

The B story--eh. Starting with the fact that it made no sense for the admiral to tell Sisko that he, Sisko, was being sent on a mission with the Defiant and he had to figure out how to get that mission done by the next morning. That's not how the chain of command works. The admiral would have come to him with a mission and a plan and Sisko would have carried it out.

The whole promotion thing just felt weird and off. The admiral's utter lack of acknowledgement that Sisko was not looking for a promotion and did not want to leave the Defiant rang false.

Why do the Jem Hadar have quarters they can be sent to? They don't sleep or appear to have any hobbies. What do they do there? Or do they sleep?

Why do they hang out in Quark's? Why are they ever off duty?

It would be awesome if they turned the B-story into a 30-something like arc where Sisko suddenly has more power over his old friends, makes new friends, and deserts his old ones, leaving to hard feelings.
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Dave
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

Didn't the characters on other shows occasionally have "meetings with the Tholian ambassador" and such? Nothing ever mentioned that they couldn't handle room temperature.
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Jeff
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 11:53am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

And isn't it interesting that Ro's actions in Preemptive Strike were a violation of core Federation principles. and here the exact other point of view is a violation of core Federation principles. Here is where Picard surrenders his right to champion core Federation principles.
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Jeff
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 11:49am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

So much nauseatingly trite banter in this film, including pretty every Anij/Picard conversation. And who the hell would want to spend 40 years as an apprentice? If adults never age and vacate social positions, the children will basically stay children even long after they're adults. What a stagnant civilization that would be. Another example of a "heaven" actually being rather hellish.
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Peter G.
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 10:30am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

@ Brian,

I might suggest that the premise behind Martok's behavior is that he was broken by his time in the prison camp. A Klingon warrior wouldn't go in for psych treatment after such an ordeal, and he very likely wasn't recovered by this time. Taking that as the premise we might then suggest the converse - that his 'recovery' towards the end is a little pat considering how messed up his mind might be. Probably best to consider that this was the first step towards his recovery, and that the rest occurs offscreen. Nothing of what we see onscreen strikes me as indicating Martok is going mad.
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Peter G.
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 10:24am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

Excellent review, phaedon.
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DLPB
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 7:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Family

Out of universe I'm sure Luke is 100% correct and it is kind of insulting. If a COMMANDER can run a space station why can't the FLAG SHIP have a Captain as a first officer.
--------

It's more to do with the fact everyone would then call Riker captain from time to time and this is confusing in a TV show. Nah, it would be too silly to try to pull off.
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DLPB
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 7:01am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Family

Sigh, I really wanted to like this...

And I did. 3 stars? Are you smoking pot, Jamahl? This is a 4 star - or definitely a 3 and a half star episode. We're not used to seeing the human side of Picard - and after what happened with the Borg, this was a wonderful way of addressing the long term effects he will face from his ordeal. The whole storyline with his brother was well acted, well scripted, and had a genuineness that craps all over the "shields at 22%" waffle that plagues too many scenes in Trek. Even the B stories were important and gave some depth to the characters. And it's always a pleasure to see Whoopi playing Guinan.

It was a stroke of genius to portray his brother a jealous, bitter, older polar opposite character. Instead of a silly episode where Picard has a sentimental heart to heart, we get a believable breakdown. And it's all set up properly. I've seen this episode a few times, and I always doubt whether it's the same show that gives us so much treknobabble. After the silly unrealistic "Shelby" character in the previous episode, it was great to see a believable and flawed character - and the real Picard behind the mask of captain.

It was a lovely episode.

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Brian
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 2:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

This episodes's main problem was that the writer's hand was too evident, resulting in the lack of subtlety we saw on the screen. It seems like Ronald Moore was a man with his eye to the spyglasss, missing everything else besides his target; the forcing of a confrontation between Worf and General Martok. By the end of the episode I felt that Martok was acting the less the part of a coward and more the part of a madman, so forced was the situation the show created to have him disregard his duty. Indeed, the comment made by the Klingon about the curse on the ship seemed to come to life and it almost seemed like the episode was about a curse that actually did exist and the curse caused Martok to slowly go mad, becoming more and more of a blatant coward. If that had been the episodes premise it would have been more believeable (assuming one acceptes the existence of a curse). But since there was no actual supernatural curse to cause Martok to act the way he did I agree with Jammer and then some that the cowardicewas forced on his character.

Also this episode would have felt much more satisfying if we had actually gotten to see some of the end game with the destruction of the Dominion ship and the rescuing of the crew.
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Trek fan
Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 1:09am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

Zero stars. I love Star Trek in every incarnation, but this manipulative and contrived episode is a textbook example of "too far." While not quite as bad as "Dear Doctor," it's one of the most morally disturbing things I've seen on Trek, and not in a good way.

The idea of the grew growing a clone who retains the memories of the original person, and then killing him to save the original person, fails here because of the utter lack of moral considerations or consequences. The episode never seems to consider that Archer and Phlox made a mistake by rushing ahead irresponsibility with a medical procedure that had all sorts of unanswered moral questions. And whatever happened to patient consent in the 22nd century? Are you telling me Trip didn't have a "Do Not Revive" order for this kind of case?

As Jammer says, although I don't know why he didn't object to it in "Dear Doctor," Dr. Phlox seems to be the most charmingly amoral person you'll ever meet. And that amorality as a counterpart to human morality seems to be designed into his character, making him into a sort of Doctor Frankenstein who always has some new and dubious procedure ready to go in what Jammer aptly calls his chamber of horrors. After convincing us in "Dear Doctor" that it could be morally wrong to withhold a cure from sick people in desperate need of help, Phlox convinces us here that it's okay to clone a human being without his knowledge and without any scientific data on what will happen. Um, thanks, but no thanks. This is profoundly dumb and offensive on so many levels.
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