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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

Toward the end of Data and Troi's discussion you can see a fly (bluebottle) flying in front of the camera. I had to do a doubletake to make sure I wasn't crazy, but this is the first time I've caught such a thing on Trek!
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:08am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

Not a great episode. I found just one detail touching: when Tripp is told something like "how far would YOU go the day you lose a son?". Because it will happen on the finale...
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact


I hate reading a bunch of people who don't know anything about economic ideology trying to talk about economic ideology. I studied it for too long: I have degrees in economics and history, historical emphasis on the economic history of the Soviet Union. I've read about state communism, industrial democracy, the New Economic Policy, and newer pro-socialist economists like Andrew Glyn; there are practically infinite ways to categorize the various proposals. It was an obsession, and still strikes nerves.

To save myself the trouble of going into detail, I'm just going to say that capitalism is about decentralizing agency, and all the dynamics that come with it are going to continue to come if you do not have centralized economic decision-making. That said, pure capitalism has never existed. It's all a continuum, and capitalism is cultural shorthand for any system which places higher priority on agency than on collective interests. It works fine for groups interests if the people or groups are unified by some other ideology and capitalism is a secondary cultural characteristic; when they aren't, it's a strategic game, just like politics.

Communism has never existed and can't exist without completely dissolving either all agency or the entirety of self-interest, which is what Marx' hypothetical future was predicated on: dictatorship of the proletariat and socialization of everything, leading to eventual disintegration of the individual as a self-interested being. Similar, but less radical, ideas permeate the political left in Western countries; they all feature moral authority or consensus over individual agency to some degree, at least if you recognize that the difference between education and propaganda is fuzzy at best.

I question the coherence of these ideas; you would have to assume a latent, perfectly systematic morality in people, one that all other forms of human group management have failed to come anywhere near, to think it can happen without severely compromising individual agency. Barring that, for socialism or communism to come about, people would have to have changed enough to be defined as automatons, and since most people don't like that idea, I'm pretty damn sure it never will. This is not a value judgment; if it comes, it comes. I know from experience that I can survive as a soldier, an entrepreneur, or a bureaucrat.

Star Trek doesn't get explicitly into its economic structure because, for once, the writers seem to know that their reach would exceed their grasp. There is at least one good discussion of post-scarcity economics that someone else on this site linked elsewhere, so happy hunting.

Oh, and if Riker were a woman, then yes, that would have been rape. But he's not, so it isn't. Cultural sex differences still exist here.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Honestly, this was the best episode yet. Sure it had a few issues, but it was the most "Star Trek" episode yet (thanks Joe Menosky?) and I find that the characters are working very well at this point. All the pieces are finally on the table and every scene largely worked for me. I would say it was solid, but not great.

The holodeck they are using does not seem very sophisticated, it seems more like a prototype that is simply used for military training exercises - nowhere near the level of TNG's holodeck capabilities. I can buy it's inclusion. People can use it as yet another reason to get outraged, but I can accept this minor "retcon" and move on with life.

The Tilly/Tyler/Michael scenes were great, these three work well together. I thought the last scene with Tyler/Michael - "I guess it's called... being human." - was a nice development for both Michael and their new friendship.

This is also the episode where Lorca is at his weakest as he has to confront what he has done up to this point with the Admiral. Finally Lorca has to answer to someone when it comes to his methods, this was what I was hoping to see in future episodes - though it looks doubtful as to him actually being properly punished for his actions (thanks Klingons).

The Sarek/Michael revelation was good and it really drive home the idea that Sarek has secretly felt like a failure on two different fronts when it comes to his "family" - hence why he constantly pushes away both Spock and Michael.

Also worth noting that Joe Menosky always seems to love having weird spiritual/metaphysical elements in a lot of his stories - "The Fight", "Cathexis", "Dramatis Personae", "Distant Voices" and now this katra-focused episode.

Not understanding the detractors on this one, it wasn't close to being the mess that "Butcher's Knife" was, nor did it have the plot issues of some of the other previous episodes. Are people getting hung up about the idea that Vulcan culture has logical extremists within it? That is not a crazy idea at all.... this radical part of their culture has already been presented throughout both Enterprise and TNG.

3 stars from me.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

Good Lord, this argument.

The regulars around this site will pontificate over the prime directive forever but when an actually difficult decision comes up which requires choosing between respecting a culture or damning it by your own standards, an awful lot of you damn it with self-righteous impunity.

The boy wasn't abused. Whether the boy should even be considered human after most of his formative years were spent in another culture is highly questionable at best. And yet, ultimately, the reason the boy's genetic humanity is emphasized by any of you is because it is the one link the might justify taking him from what has clearly become his culture. If this were a Tellarian boy whom the Enterprise comes across by accident and discovers 'abuse', it would be a clear prime directive matter and they would not have the slightest prerogative to take the kid.

Elliot is right. What constitutes abuse and what doesn't is a consensus matter, a standard element of culture. Imagine a socialist arguing that, because this is a capitalist patriarchy which subjects its people to intense and possibly traumatic competition for their welfare, we should not be allowed to raise children in this country. By their view, and *by the views of some political radicals here*, they are right. Is it right for them to take your children?

Please. It was a bad episode because it was poorly produced and written, but it was not a bad episode because the message was immoral.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I must admit it is really funny how emotional people get because of this show. :D
How is it to go completely of the rails after 6 episodes. Get a life guys... at least cool it a little and if you just don't like it, here is a crazy thought, don't watch it.
And to everyone who shouts "BULLSHIT SCIENCE!!!" yeah it totally is but
Maybe you should rewatch some of the older shows. Wes and a time alien touching consoles through which the Enterprise could reach far away places.
Or Sisko and his son flying around in a solar power bajoran ship with warp speed.
Or the mirror universe.

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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Really enjoyed this episode. The edge is off and everyone seems to have relaxed in to their roles. I'm glad Stamets is on a magic mushroom high - his snarkiness was really starting to grate. Always glad to see them bring the tech forward, in this case with holo battle sims - remember this is an experimental science vessel so there's no reason they wouldn't have access to advanced prototypes. They were also shown in TAS if I remember correctly.

The Lorca/Cornwell scenes worked for me - they're continuing the long tradition of deep interpersonal relationships between captains and admirals in Trek. Also, why are people still so prudish about sex in 2017?

Glad to seem them cut down on the clunky Klingon dialogue. Also, loved the "disco" T-Shirts. Definitely a better abbreviation for the show than STD!
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

Anything would have been an improvement after the hilariously awful 'Threshold'...but if any Voyager episode is legitimately great and thought-provoking on its own merits, it's 'Meld'. Tim Russ and Brad Dourif carry the episode with great skill, leading the audience into a study of the spontaneous, cold-blooded violence that can and does occur in life--particularly with people like Lon Suder, who is portrayed as a textbook sociopath. And even though I don't hate Neelix, I can imagine how irritating he would be if I were Tuvok, so I did take some sick pleasure in watching the strangling scene. As usual, Janeway did something to drive me insane: stubbornly continuing to advance on a homicidal, barely rational Tuvok in his room even though he warns her to stay away. But Janeway's character never made sense before, so why would it start now?

The overwhelming tension of the main story is periodically broken by the mildly amusing but inconsequential subplot, where Chakotay cracks down on a rather harmless office pool in the holodeck because, to paraphrase him, "StarFleet would have a problem with that."'re STRANDED! In the middle of the Delta Quadrant! If you're lucky enough to get back to Earth someday, do you honestly think HQ is going to care that some of your crew members gambled with replicator rations?! Why would any commander in Chakotay's position be so concerned about this? This is just another example of Voyager not being true to its premise. It pays lip service to the whole "lost indefinitely in space" thing, but the crew don't behave like it, the ship doesn't look like it, and the writers don't want to deal with it. (Ron Moore hit the nail right on the head.)

Those caveats aside, I really like this episode. It underscores the great potential of Tuvok's character and adds an interesting new wrinkle to the Vulcan mind-meld. It's one of the show's finest hours and worthy of three and a half stars.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain


And the troll award goes to you.

Really, what's the point of your post other than evoking a reaction (= trolling). If you bothered to explain what's supposedly "progressive" about this show and why that is "a good thing", your post could actually lead somewhere.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Adversary

I thought this was a good finale. The episode builds suspense very effectively. Nothing fosters paranoia within and between people more than fear of the unknown, and as an enemy that can take any form and hide almost anywhere, the hostile changeling epitomizes that fear. There are shades of 'The Thing' (the blood test) and '12 Angry Men' (Bashir: "Don't you ever sweat?" Odo: "No, I don't") which I also enjoyed.

The episode is weakened somewhat by the cliched scene with the two Odos, and the use of an alien race we've never heard of and never see. What are they like? What sort of homeworld do they live on? What is their relationship and significance to the Federation? It's like the 'Homefront/Paradise Lost' two-parter, in that they don't (or can't) show us what's really at stake, so we just have to take their word for it. However, the scene where Odo kills one of his own kind is shocking, and the consequences will have long-term significance. It's not the kind of episode I'll go back to again and again, but it gets the job done. Three stars is about right.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

4 stars

Excellent episode

Tng really never revisited earlier threads but Moriarty seemed like a good one to revisit.

I guess they didn’t want to namecheck Pulaski outright so they made an oblique reference to her/- I appreciated it as a callback to “Elementary my dear Data”

Barclay good choice to accidentally unlock Moriarty.

The show did a good job tricking me. I was totally bewildered when Moriarty walked out the holodevk and didn’t disintegrate. Then I was further floored when Dr Crusher Confirned he was flesh and blood

Things got really interesting as Picard Er al monitoring the gas giants when lights went off and computers began to flicker. Surprise— Moriarty somehow gained control of the ship.

I enjoyed seeing Data, Geordi and Barclay try to figure out a way to get a holographic object out of the holodeck into the real world. I was genuinely curious if they would succeed.

I loved Stephanie Beecham’s Countess. Her personality was great and every scene she was in was a true joy

The dialogue stood out too

Everything moving along then we get first inkling something is off by Data’s reaction to the transporter logs. What’s going on? I also enjoyed the dominant hand holodeck glitch playing into the plot letting Dara realize what was going on. When he flung his commbadge against the warp core and it m pixelated revealing bits of the holodeck feud was a great moment

And the reveal that they had been on the holodeck the whole time explaining how Moriarty was able to pull off his daring feats—first walking out of the holodeck intact then gaining control of the ship—was a great one!! It made perfect sense but the idea never crashes see my mind

Then the episode fooled me again. I had actually thought Picard had actually figured out a way to beam the pair into the real world when he went to the Countess. So I was surprised in a good way when Picard appeared in the shuttlebay to Riker and Worf and revealed that it too was a simulation. I liked the idea that Picard l, try as he might, couldn’t come up with a solution to bring Moriarty into the real world. That even that was beyond the Enterprise crew’s skillset.

What Picard ultimately cane up with was a good compromise. Moriarty won’t be left in an existential limbo like he had been. He’s with the countess. For all he knows they are living out their lives in the real world

I also loved the anachronistic image of these characters in their vintage attire onboard a 24th century shuttlecraft traveling the stars. The scene of them taking all of it In was a nice moment capturing a true sense of awe and wonder

And the episode’s coda was pitch perfect. Picard’s musings on possibly not being more than simulations themselves inside someone else’s program was great. It made me stop and consider for a brief moment the possibility that maybe I too could be in a simulation. It had a very Twilight Zone feel in that moment. And after what Picard just went through I’d be wondering if that’s really the end of all the holodecking within holodecking there was

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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I get wanting to show the future as we see it in 2017 but continuity is a thing too. The show constantly shows off casual technology that was simply not available in the 23rd century as established by the Original Series. It’s one thing to take the tech used in TOS and modernize the way it’s visualized (like the way the show uses food replicators), but to introduce new tech like the Holodeck that was clearly not available ten years in the future (in the show’s timeline) is frustrating.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

This is such a popular episode, I think, for showing the process of coming to understand unfamiliar people, thematic Trek at its finest.

But this is also exactly why I've always thought the universal translator has always been an absurd technology. Isaiah Berlin was wrong; words and their ideas are not always translatable, especially for radically different societies immediately upon making each other's acquaintance. Teleportation is nothing but a technical problem. Translation is a cultural one, and far, far more complex.
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Rick Berman
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

The strategema discussion is one of my favorites on this board along with the holodeck discussion in “Take Me Out to the Holosuite”.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

So basically 7th day Adventist on a Jihad in space take over Enterprise....neat.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

Watched this episode then came here to post about the several great lines, like Picard saying "I'm an hour away from this battle simulation and I have to handhold an android." to which Polaski says gives that perfectly sardonic, "The burdens of command..." No shortage here.

But then I saw the, how many, 94 COMMENTS most of which revolve around stratigema - a completely fictional game - and what constitutes a stalemate.

Also in this episode, Troi says to Data, "Wait, wait, you're overanalyzing."

Uh huh.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

They already established that they have holographic technology, so it makes sense that they would have a holodeck as well.

Let's face it, technology is made through a slow, steady, iterative process - it doesn't just magically appear in a perfect form one day. The TNG holodeck is *perfect* and there had to be earlier inferior versions that preceded it in order for it to exist. Riker was impressed by the holodeck in TNG S1 because he can't tell the difference between it and reality, the same way we would be impressed today if in Rogue One the computer generated Leia and Tarkin were completely indistinguishable from the ones in A New Hope.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

"Fortunately for me, no Star Trek series ever got that bad in my opinion. Voyager may have had long stretches of "meh" episodes, but I don't recall stretches of really bad ones."

The first and second seasons of Enterprise, the first and second seasons of TNG, and the third season of Voyager are all extremely rough. Especially Enterprise.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

wolfstar - About the thrash metal band, I was thinking something early punk, maybe something along the lines of the Ramones:

Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go
They're ready to go now they got their Plato
And they're going to the library A Go Go
Don't need those human emotions, no!
Well Vulcan has it all oh yeah, oh yeah

I wanna be a logic extremist
I wanna be logically extreme
Don't you wanna be a logic extremist?
Come and be logical with me (repeat)

Yeah yeah yeah, she's a logic extremist
Rockin' all the logical themes
It's gonna be a scream, babe
What do you say?
Supreme logic is our dream

(chorus x2)

Logic, logic, logic (yeah!)
Extremist, extremist, extremist (woo!) [x4]
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Vulcan extremist suicide bombers.

Lorca makes it with the admiral but she's going to can him.

Admiral suddenly decides to go negotiate with the Klingons- who immediately kill everyone and capture her.

Lorca refuses to go rescue her.

Stamets is moving the ship on his own because of his genetic spore injection. I'm not making this up.

And, the main message:

Michael actually got into the Vulcan Science Academy. Sarek was given a choice of whether he wanted to send Spock or Michael. He chooses Spock. Of course.

Oh, and Ash is now chief of security one episode after his introduction and Michael is chief science officer three episodes after she's being sent to prison for life for mutiny.

Given that the albino Klingon still hasn't made a return, sure appears like he could be Ash in the most nonsensical plot twist in television history...

This show is like a punch line. It's so bad for me, it's turned into comedy.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

"Stewart is competent while not being overly pompous, treating Dirgo as an equal despite Dirgo's erratic behavior."

We see a fantastic example of this early on. Picard makes the decision to head to the mountains and Dirgo rejects the idea that Picard is in charge. Wesley flips and yells.

Wesley: If you want to get out of this, I suggest you listen to Captain Picard! He's the one who's going to keep us alive!
Picard: Thank you, Ensign, that's enough... Captain Dirgo, you're an able pilot. I welcome your input. If you feel that there is an alternative we are overlooking...
Dirgo: ... No.

Picard is diplomatic and respectful and gets Dirgo to agree to his plan - and at the same time subtly takes command by reducing Dirgo to giving his "input".

This moment is a good example of what is annoying about Wesley, but also realistic. Aside from his very high technical ability, he is immature and incompetent. He put his foot in it in an immature way and escalated tension, while Picard was masterful in defusing that tension.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Lorca's feud with the female Admiral who wanted to take his ship should have been the focus of the entire episode.

Michael and Sarek's Inception-styled plot was silly, derivative and featured Stamets with yet another unbelievable bit of pseudo-science.

I'm now convinced that this series cons us into thinking its good, in the moment rather than in reflection, simply by its cynical use of open-ended cliffhangers.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Invasive Procedures

Disclaimer: you are all entitled to your opinions, and I'm super grateful to you Jammer, for posting these reviews with comments sections where we can voice our own opinions.

That said, I'm a sad to once again be all alone in being extremely disappointed in an episode, and wondering what in Q's name everyone else sees in this episode, and in Verad.

I found Verad's performance extremely annoying at best, never mind un-convincing. Granted, I generally cannot stand people who smile nonstop even when speaking, and between speaking just stand there with their mouths half-opened in a smile with staring at you bug-eyed and unblinking, so I'd loath Verad even if he were a real person. IRL I literally cannot look people like that in the eye.
(I abhor Michael Eddington for the same reason.) In any case, Verad 100% failed to gain any sympathy from me. Same goes for his generic girlfriend.

And the episode overall was nothing but a giant failed opportunity, arguably one of the biggest in all of "Star Trek." This episode should have shown us what Dax and Jadzia are like when separated from each other, and how each contributes to the personality of the Jadzia Dax we know. Instead, the entire separation was treated as nothing more than a plot device. We see no hint at all that Dax changed Verad other than Verad no longer stammering as much, mentioning some random memories and calling Sisko "Benjamin." 90% of the "change" is just conveyed through Sisko telling us over and over, "He's changed! He's different! His girlfriend can sense it, with her, like, woman sneses or something. We won't show you, but trust us, Verad is different!"

And Jadzia just being unconscious the entire It's like the writers were absolutely determined not to develop Jadzia at all throughout all of her six seasons. I love Jadzia Dax, she's a fun character; but her entire character is just Dax. We learn virtually nothing at all about Jadzia, and what makes her different than any of the other hosts. Some have said that Ezri Dax was developed vastly more in one season than Jadzia was in six, and it's sadly true. I love both Daxes, but objectively, Ezri is a vastly superior character (in B4 Ezri haters) and this episode is a highlight as to why.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe


Personally, I don’t see it, but I do find it interesting that the writers at Forbes relate most to the character with Aspergers. There’s nothing wrong with an audience surrogate, though. I’m hard-pressed to think of series that doesn’t insert a neophyte to help explain to new fans long-running series elements.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Oh, and having Michael and Sarek repeatedly physically fight in their already silly telepathic space was a terrible dramatic choice. It was transparently clear that this and the opening holodeck combat scene were just there to add some action to an otherwise much more leaden and dialog-heavy episode than the previous five.

A really good point from Ethan Siegel's review on "Tilly, more and more, proves herself to be nothing more than the audience surrogate" I agree with this. She's there just to be the token "ordinary person", in a really glib and sloppy way - she's not even being written and played as naive per se in a Harry Kim kinda way, more like a self-insert character for newbie viewers or a time traveller from 2017 who's accidentally found herself on board. (This week complete with drug references and calling Tyler hot.) So her character isn't working for me at all, not because she's annoying or naive, but because she's not really being written as a character. Ergo the only character who works for me is still Saru.
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