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Dave in NC - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 2:50pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace


"Profit and Lace" was actually making a social point - that you all missed!!

@ Ian

And what point was that?

I must also let you know that most people have a very wide berth when it comes to what is funny: I can laugh at 3 Stooges, Frasier, Woody Allen, Cheech and Chong, Oscar Levant, Sarah Silverman, Marx Brothers, Dave Chapelle etc etc . . . yet for some reason, I still don't find this amusing. Stale and trite, yes, but funny? Nope.

The thing about humor and what is personally funny is it's something that can't be quantified. Just because YOU find it hilarious doesn't mean anyone else has to, or that anyone else should (or would).

Ian - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 2:09pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

It saddens me to think you all found that episode crap, for god sake lighten up. If you couldn't see the funny side of it, then well I feel sorry for you, you missed the whole point OF the humour.
As someone who has been into Trek since it started here in the UK back in 1969, Trek has had its ups and downs, for me "The Omega Glory" (TOS) was a pile of crap, Star Trek: Into Darkness was crap, but "Profit and Lace" was actually making a social point - that you all missed!!
William B - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 11:51am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren

Like Jo Jo Meastro, I'm not entirely sure what I think about this episode, which is really, really odd. I think that it's maybe supposed to do for Greek culture what "Bread and Circuses" did for Roman culture -- to show how that's, you know, not a good thing to emulate, at least to a degree. As easy as it is to idealize the Greeks for their philosophical thought and emphasis on intellect, they were a state with slaves, and Plato's ideal that a republic would be ruled by Philosopher-Kings whose superior intellect and dedication to ideas has some, er, problems. I don't have as much of a philosophy background/expertise as I'd like, so I don't claim to speak with much background. Still, some of the big problems are demonstrated here. Parmen talks about how his society is superior to one ruled over by the strong rather than the intelligent, but he employs tyrannical cruelty for his own pleasure just as much as any strongman-tyrant. Someone who is deemed by them to be unintelligent because he lacks their psychokinetic abilities, Alexander, is reduced to slavery and mockery. Given the opportunity, these "intellectuals" lounge around fulfilling their desires and do naught else. I value intelligence, and Trek obviously does too, but intelligence by itself is no guarantee of moral virtue, and a society with an intellectual dictator is still a dictatorship.

On the other hand, Spock makes the point of distinguishing between the awful society that Parmen rules over and what Plato himself advocated -- with truth, beauty, and above all justice as founding principles, rather than this perpetual sadistic cruelty. And the episode could also be argued not so much to argue with Plato -- perhaps a wise decision, really -- as with those who would emulate Plato while ignoring his meaning. In particular, the trait that Parmen believes indicates intelligence, telekinesis, is actually completely unrelated to intelligence, and only related to petuitary hormones and, well, height. His mind powers basically are indistinguishable from any other form of strength, and his smug insistence that his powers make him the most intelligent is just a rationalization for his brutality. I think this also has some pretty far-reaching implications. It makes me think of the Dunning-Kruger effect, and other cognitive biases in which the strong seek to justify their strength as indicative of superior moral virtue rather than of some accident of circumstance. Along those lines, I really like the way McCoy is so highly prized by the Platonians because he has actual skill, knowledge, curiosity and intellectual acumen, which they have essentially abandoned; and that the away team beats the Platonians by using scientific investigation and, well, intellect to beat them. This is the application of intellect and intuition through work and curiosity -- rather than the decadent, lazy "intellect" of the "Philosopher-King" class that we see with Parmen, who has clearly left behind anything resembling valuable intellectual pursuits a few millennia ago.

I also really agree (with Jammer and Jo Jo) that the depiction of Alexander is impressive -- not just because it's a good development of a supporting character, but because it's an unusual-for-the-time (and still for this time, frankly) depiction of a dwarf/little person as heroic while also pretty directly confronting the feelings of insecurity that come with having one's disability constantly thrown in his face as a weakness or even as stupidity. Alexander's arc over the course of the episode is good -- he starts off pretty much just accepting his lot in life, as is to be expected (had he not accepted it, had he rebelled, he likely would have been executed earlier, and he doesn't have the science kits that the crew have), feeling bad that the Enterprise crew are now condemned to his fate, but unwilling to step out and help them because of the inevitable consequences to himself, beginning to feel guilt and shame once the Enterprise crew shows him another path and Kirk immediately reassuring him that it's understandable in his circumstance, him refusing the power granted the others because he sees its corrupting influence, finally refusing to kill Parmen, refusing not just the Power-power of telekenesis but the power-over-life-and-death that is the "real" meaning of that Power-power. I think one could look upon some of these later developments less kindly, and say that perpetual-victim Alexander's refusal to take on power means that he has to be saved by Kirk et al.; that, indeed, it may be that the episode "sides" with Alexander, and views the power as corrupting in Alexander's hands but not in Kirk's, suggesting perhaps that oppressed people really do need some able-bodied guy to come in to save them. It's possible -- but I think that the episode is clear that Kirk trusts Alexander with the power, and Alexander himself makes the choice to refuse it. It's been so much a part of his life for years that Alexander cannot as easily as Kirk view the taking on of such power as a totally passing thing, specific to this planet. He demonstrates his moral superiority, confirms that it was not intellectual inferiority that kept him from having the telekenesis at all, and leaves.

So, okay, that's the Big Themes of the episode, such as they are: what do we make of the actual depiction? This is probably the longest depiction of pure sadism on TOS, with scene after scene of the crew helpless to stop being subjected to different humiliations. I can't really tell if they are "funny" or not: they are...funny to the Platonians, and maybe to the audience for sheer camp value. It's different watching Kirk et al. humiliate themselves to try to convince McCoy to stay for the Platonians and watching Shatner et al. "humiliate" themselves for a paycheck for the audience, because, well, the actors did sign on to this type of thing, I guess, and maybe don't mind it? But the story's basic point -- the Platonians are cruel and barbaric but believe themselves to be intellectually sophisticated -- doesn't really need scene after scene of proof. There is something kind of effective in the episode's repeating the humiliation again and again, though -- especially when we get glimpses of how awful the Platonians are, and what sense of intellectual superiority backs up their reasoning. When Kirk and Spock are made to court Uhura and Chapel and then switch and then switch back, and one of the Platonians yells out how fickle they are and laughs as if Kirk and Spock had any control over their situation, it's not just pure cruelty, but the shocking, disgusting idea that the Platonians seem on some level to believe their victims actually want to do what they are being forced to do, and deserve it. The fact that the last humiliation is actually some depiction of sexual violence -- Kirk and Spock forced first to kiss and then to get whips/hot pokers and presumably torture and maybe kill Uhura and Chapel -- makes this episode seem like something out of the Marquis de Sade rather than Star Trek.

In that sense, the episode is actually maybe more effective than the half dozen or so "Kirk/whoever has to fight in a gladiator combat against his will for entertainment!" episodes, because at least Kirk doesn't have to be forced to pretend to enjoy those gladiator fights, and at least he has control over his body even if he's being put in a kill-or-be-killed situation. When Spock is forced to laugh or cry, or to dance and nearly crush Kirk's skull, or when Chapel and Spock are forced to kiss and Chapel admits that this is exactly what she's wanted but not like this, and Kirk and Uhura kiss and Uhura talks about how Kirk is the person who made her less afraid, or when the whip comes out, there is the sense that the Platonians are aiming to control not just the body but the hearts of their victims as well, which is what real totalitarian savagery is -- not killing someone but tearing them apart from the inside, breaking their will. That the episode does this in a kind of light, fanciful tone is part of what makes it so strange and puzzling.

...which is, I guess, to say that the interracial kiss was maybe not such a television watershed in-story. That they got the image of a white man and a black woman kissing on American network TV is impressive and admirable. But they were forced to against their will, you know? And while the story was careful not to depict the problem as that they were different races -- the problem is that it's awkward because it's a captain and one of his officers, and, more to the point, that they are being telekinetically controlled. But everyone knew that. It just makes the moment weird to watch, and associates this big "THIS IS WRONG" emotion over the moment.

Anyway, uh...I do not really know what I think of the episode, to be honest. I think that enough elements of it work that I'm inclined to think favourably of it -- but it is a bit of a slog to get through and I'm not sure if the long depiction of sadism is clever enough to justify...itself. I guess 2.5 stars.
William B - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 10:58am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: The Tholian Web

According to Memory Alpha, the original author of the episode wanted to do a ghost story, and Roddenberry insisted that Trek was SF and not fantasy. No ghosts. So he went with an interdimensional phasing thing instead. Great! And that is how this episode functions as SF, though of course like most Trek it's of the softer sort. But really, this is a ghost story. The Enterprise comes across a ghost ship where the whole crew are dead, and then the captain apparently remains with it, and he fades in and out of existence and he may be real, or is he just a figment of their imaginations? And they all go mad. Meanwhile, enemies are enclosing them in a net, which means that if they don't move right then they may be trapped at this boundary between two universes -- you know, the real universe and the spirit world -- forever, and be driven mad by it, until they, perhaps, become a ghost ship themselves. Pretty worrying situation! The decision to set this episode within the established conventions of the Trek universe -- parallel dimensions were established in "Mirror, Mirror," after all -- is an important one, because while continuity and internal consistency is spotty in TOS, it is still meant to overall be recognizably a universe that mostly obeys rational laws, or pretends to. However, the point of this rundown is that the episode's overall emotional impact and story structure are not significantly different than if the Defiant really were a ghost ship, Kirk really did become a ghost, and the crew just went mad because of being close to the spirit world, like this is a Gothic naval novel. Kirk becoming a translucent figure caught between dimensions has the same narrative function of him being a "ghost."

Part of the reason ghost stories have their impact is that they can represent, in emotional/intuitive language, the way in which our bonds with people close to us and to the past in general continue even when the person is no longer alive. That works in this episode -- in which the crew believes that Kirk is dead, and then his "ghost" haunts the ship, even as Kirk is essentially still maybe *the* dominant factor in the Spock/Bones dynamic -- they are unable to grieve Kirk, and as a result they naturally come into their usual pattern of conflict, but without the ability to mediate themselves the way Kirk would mediate them. Similarly, the madness throughout the whole ship is the result of Kirk being gone, possibly dead. The ship is perhaps going to be trapped in a web, forever. The normal tensions within the crew in a stressful, deadly situation are exacerbated by the absence of their leader -- both lack of a leader everyone fully trusts, and grief over the man they admired. Space madness is the figurative representation of the irrational anger and confusion resulting from grief and loss -- exaggerated here for mythological reasons.

I think the idea that the madness is the result of the intersection of two worlds is kind of nifty, because, if one accepts my premise that this story is basically a SF update of ghost lit tropes, it represents madness at peering into the divide between the world of the living and the world of the dead. That Kirk seems to be completely into the world of the dead means that initially his ghost sightings are just attributed to madness. But he's still alive -- just trapped somewhere between what we think of as "living" and "dead," and only carefully watching for the signs he might still be out there can lead to him being recovered (as if he were, for instance, floating out in the ocean, just barely staying afloat but soon to be pulled under by the waves, or in a coma slowly losing life signs). Spock's decision to stay in this intermediate space between life and death in order to recover Kirk has some mythic connotations -- going into the underworld, and risking anyone who goes down there, to save one who is trapped there. In addition to representing the *impact* of Kirk's apparent death, and the continued uncertainty of whether this has actually happened, the "space madness" has the narrative advantage that it allows ghost-Kirk's visits to occur without immediately requiring action.

So, the big draw here is the Spock/McCoy interaction. One thing I find interesting is that it starts off from a conflict in which their superficial roles seem to be reversed: McCoy insists that they need to get out of there as soon as possible, ditch Jim in order to save the rest of the crew. Spock is willing to risk the ship to save Kirk. This makes the episode build on the conflict in previous episodes, especially "The Galileo Seven," in which Spock's for-the-good-of-the-many pragmatism ran up against the others', and particularly McCoy's, human and emotional values. However, true to form, Spock continues to justify his decision on cold, rational grounds, and McCoy continues to voice his objections in terms of hot-headed emotional outbursts, which become increasingly irrational and even contradictory as the episode goes on.

So I...sort of agree with other posters (Jo Jo Maestro, Alex) that McCoy seems a little exaggeratedly contrarian in his interactions with Spock. I mean, McCoy is actually very possibly *right* that the ship needs to get out of there as soon as possible, and that Kirk would prefer them leave and safeguard the crew rather than wait to rescue him. However, Spock's "illogically" staying to try to protect Kirk is totally inconsistent with McCoy's eventual angrier and angrier accusations that Spock is just doing this because he wants Jim's command, which even McCoy seems to recognize (stating as he does that he doesn't understand why Spock would not just leave and protect his new command). McCoy's internal logic breaks down, because he starts using any and all emotional reasons to be mad at Spock to start because he's too stressed to think clearly, and because he's angry that Spock has apparently killed them all in a doomed attempt to save Kirk. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an element of anger at himself in all this, for McCoy to be confused and frustrated that *he* is the one advocating leaving Jim behind and Spock is the one who seems to cling to saving the captain. Because it's so inconceivable to him that Spock might be even more tied to the captain emotionally than McCoy is, his quick, intuitive, not-fully-logically-consistent mind keeps searching for cold-blooded reasons why Spock might want to stay and can find none, and it just makes him angrier.

Meanwhile, Spock really does risk the ship to save Kirk -- and why? I think that there are logical reasons to do so -- as long as Kirk might be out there, there is a distinct possibility that he can protect everyone on the ship from death, including Kirk. Spock's calculation is the one prioritizing the best best-case scenario, rather than prioritizing the best *worst*-case scenario, which is what leaving immediately and abandoning Kirk would mean. I do think that there is an emotional component to Spock's decision, however -- not emotional in the sense of "irrational," but emotional in that Spock's value system is one in which he really does personally value Kirk's life more than he personally values other lives, including his own. Kirk is Spock's friend and Spock will not abandon him. I think this is extremely difficult for Spock to explain or justify, so he simply doesn't explain or justify it, but I think it's one of the major reasons behind Spock's decision, and it's the missing element of Spock's decision to stay, which does turn out to be justified, which McCoy doesn't initially expect or understand.

I do like that it's Kirk's tape that allows Spock and McCoy to come back into alignment -- because it's really an inability to properly grieve Kirk, or to incorporate Kirk's role into their dynamic, which is the source of their conflict. With Kirk there, they can snipe all they want until Kirk stops them, and they can even do so affectionately, but they don't have very effective brakes on their conflict (well, McCoy especially doesn't). They are both angry at the loss of Kirk and unwilling to accept his departure enough to start trying to do for themselves what Kirk would do for them -- remind them that they need each other. It's also another type of "ghostly" message from Kirk, where his presence changes their dynamic after his apparent departure.

Ultimately, Spock's big play to stay and try to save Kirk pays off. I also really like that the way they escape the Tholian web is by phasing into the other dimension when they meet Kirk -- thus being able to escape the purely "our universe"/physical boundaries set up by the Tholian web. The last moment of Spock and McCoy pretending they hadn't seen Kirk's video suggests their new stronger private bond. Here, and in Spock's "I'm sure the captain would simply have said: 'Forget about it, Bones,'" there is the sense of Spock's continued comfort with his humanity without losing his essential core of Vulcan logic, which fits along with McCoy's increasingly recognizing the pragmatic essentials of the situation (i.e. in his willingness to abandon Jim to his fate).

Did Scotty just go get super-drunk at the end of this episode? He is probably THE reason Starfleet put synthehol on their starships.

An effective, if somewhat scattered, episode, and one of the few very essential episodes of season three. A high 3 stars.
Prawn - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 9:31am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

Ummm... it wasn't wooden? BTW, 100% agreement with Quarky about the Cardassian fireworks and someone being executed for this incident; it seemed WAY too nice, like completely 100% out of character for the Cardassians.
Robert - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 8:29am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

That should have read Aquiel. Must not post before coffee.

The alien needs to switch bodies to live. When the process failed on Aquiel he switched to the dog.
Robert - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 8:26am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

"LAFORGE: Maybe the reason you don't remember anything that happened after Rocha attacked you is that the coalescing process had begun. (drinks arrive) Thank you. Remember when you said you felt like the memories had been drained right out of you? That's probably exactly what was going on.
AQUIEL: Then maybe I did take the phaser.
LAFORGE: Whatever happened, at least you got away before the process took hold.
AQUIEL: So he turned on Maura."

He never split. Doggie blob happened after he failed to get Maura. Being blobbed doesn't leave us with 2 blobs, it leaves us with a new blob.
Robert - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 8:15am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Think Tank

Considering the think tank gets stuff from everyone they help and we've met multiple species with some kind of transwarpish technology, it's probably not a stretch for the think tank to have transwarp.
Jack Bauer - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 3:10am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

Agree with the review and some of the comments regarding the Federation and the capabilities of their ships.

I dont think the Federation vs. Dominion battle plans were very well thought out. In the start of the next episode we see how the Federation have lost 100 or so ships and many more in countless battles. Where the hell are all these ships coming from, and how the hell did they get 600 more for the battle of DS9 6 episodes later?!? (And that wasnt even all of them cause they were waiting on the 7th fleet or something) I hated how two torpedoes destroyed a dominion ship, a trend that followed through the last two seasons. Captain Sisko isnt that resourceful. I would have liked to have seen less ships with more thought out battle plans.
$G - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 12:41am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

This is a surprisingly *not* terrible episode, even for a wet blanket for me. There's just enough charm to it to keep it amusing and the pacing is pretty well done. None of the situations, wacky though they may be, ever really outstay their welcome. There's a nice sense that the crew is working together and that the runabout squad really is being ingenious (opening doors, sneaking around, beaming people INSIDE computers). I could have done without the poor marksmanship of the Jem'Hadar at the end, buuuuuut it's probably for the benefit of the episode that it doesn't go full-on AR-558.

2-1/2 stars for me. Not essential, but enjoyable for what it is.

Just a comment on season 6 thus far: Someone above stated that the comedy episodes seem to be bunched up a bit. While it's not quite like season 5 having "par'Mach," "Tribbles," and "Let He..." within a four episode stretch, the last eight episodes have alternated between heavy and light. It makes it a little difficult to just hit play and enjoy the flow when the show's tone is jumping from "The Magnificent Ferengi" to "Waltz" to "Who Mourns for Morn?" to "Far Beyond the Stars" to "One Little Ship".
Ender - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 12:25am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Think Tank

I noticed that the Think Tank claims to have cured the Phage. Curious, since Voyager has travelled at least 30,000 light years since they encountered the Vidiians.

Sounds like a facile criticism, but I really wish they'd consider these things for continuity's sake. It's hard to be invested in a show which seems to break so many of its own rules.
$G - Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 12:22am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

This might be the best episode of *Star Trek* ever made when it comes right down to it. It might even be the best single hour of televised science fiction. It gets some added kick in the way it (loosely?) connects to the Emissary and Dominion storylines, but you could show this episode to anyone and they could enjoy it.

I won't begrudge anyone for being put off by some of the performances (I really could have done without Brock Peters' "preaching" myself), but, to me, this episode is just magic in spite of them.

What's really nice is how not only is Benny Russell's dream a reality within the story framing, but it's a reality because... well, it's reality. 40 years after Russell's struggle (and others like him), there is a science fiction show on TV in which Avery Brooks, Cirroc Lofton, Michael Dorn, and Penny Johnson are all the stars and on which they never have to deal with a contemporary racial spotlight. DS9 is frequently concerned with issues of race and xenophobia, so it's nice that, this once, they brought it back home.

4 stars cam barely contain this one.
zzybaloobah - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 11:17pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

Great episode. One of my all time favorite Treks.

Brooks' acting aside (I thought he did fine, though some of the framing monologue was not great), Garak steals the show. Not since "Improbable Cause" has he had such freedom to act. And what a delightful web of treachery and deceit he weaves! Sisko doesn't have a chance -- which, given Garak's final speech, is probably just as well.
My favorite character -- though I'd be terrified of him in RL.

Sisko's conscience: After "For the Uniform", I'm having a hard time seeing this as a problem for him.

The Federation's "conscience": The writers have made it plain: The Federation faces the END. They've made peace overtures; the Dominion wants TOTAL victory. Others can say "Picard would have found a way to negotiate", but that's just silly. In the face of what we've seen, there's no reason to assume the Dominion has any interest in negotiations. We've never seen the Federation in this kind of danger (Betazed down, Vulcan, Andor, Teller threatened -- we've even got a think-tank recommending surrender). We saw a not-quite-so-dark future in "Yesterday's Enterprise"; how far would have *that* Picard gone to save the Federation?

Is it *really* the "ethical" position to condemn billions to Dominion slavery when you can "violate the rules of war" and prevent it?
I'm with Garak on this one: When your back is against the wall, you do what it takes to survive. The only dirty trick in war is to start one in the first place. (And to jump ahead a season, yeah I'd consider bioweapons....)
(Though I was appalled with Enterprise's "Damage" -- those people Archer condemned were completely innocent.)

What would GR think? Would he *really* say "the Federation goes down swinging?". Or is the very concept of a stronger foe anti-GR? Maybe Kirk would have pulled some implausible rabbit out of his hat and saved the day?
Katie - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 10:35pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

I've been re-watching ENT for the first time after watching the whole series 4 years ago. This is the first episode that was remotely familiar to me. Every other episode so far, I didn't remember anything. That goes for the series as a whole--I have some vague memories of the Xindi and I think something about Nazis? Oh, and the Borg episode, mostly because it pissed me off so much. But other than that, nothing. On the other hand, when I re-watched VOY and DS9 on Netflix over a decade after watching them on TV as a child, there were dozens of episodes that I remembered and was delighted to see again.

This really encapsulates the problem with Enterprise. It was just totally underwhelming and unmemorable. The one really familiar element emerging so far is how deeply annoying Archer is as a captain. I think it's partially the writing, but mostly Bakula's acting. He completely lacks the gravitas of Stewart, Brooks, and Mulgrew. He just comes off as an idiot.

Seriously wondering if I want to devote any time to re-watching this series.
Andrew - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 9:42pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

Coming back late but I don't think the episode requires the viewer to accept the Talarians' initial violence and kidnapping as justified or even acceptable to accept the conclusion that it would also be wrong to force Jono to change or put him under traumatic pressure (although again I think it could have been better developed that the crew was doing so).
William - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 9:29pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

Oh Dear Lord!
paul - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 8:20pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Repression

Well I liked this episode even if the flow was a bit illogical I thought it was a fun hour and jammer I can't understand how you rate this 1.5 stars when I read nothing in your review that would show u liked anything about this episode I love ur reviews but mabye u should have turned off the episode eariler if u hated the flow so badly....
navamske - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 7:53pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

This would have been appropriate.

TUVOK: "There's a vessel coming through the [temporal] rift."
CHAKOTAY: "Klingon?"
TUVOK: "No. Federation."
JANEWAY: "Geez, I hope it's not Captain Braxton again."
navamske - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 7:40pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

When Starling finally gets into the timeship near the end of Part II, he controls it with voice commands and it replies to him. It would have been cool and maybe even a little hilarious if Starfleet/Federation ships in the twenty-ninth century were still using the Majel Barrett voice.
colincostello - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 5:28pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

An excellent episode, drawing heavily on themes first raised by Bladerunner. Many good scenes and some excellent dialogue. A thought provoking episode. I especially liked Janeways sense of guilt at letting the Hirogen have the technology in the first place. And the doctors gradual awareness that life with these holograms may not be as good as he fisrt thought.
digitaurus - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 5:05pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

OK, let me get this straight. Lieutenant Roker (or whatever) is a Blob when he arrives at the signal station. At some point the Roker Blob gets the dog and splits in two, so now we have Roker Blob and doggie Blob. Roker Blob then goes for Aquiel. She runs for the weapons locker gets a phaser and blasts away. She begins to be absorbed by Roker Blob (stripping her memories) but hoses Roker Blob down with the phaser before being fully Blobbed. She then traps doggie Blob in a tube (??) and escapes by shuttle.

Is this right ?

By the way, I thought this was the sloppiest murder investigation ever. Love the way Worf finds the phaser, grabs it with his sticky hands and starts pressing away on the buttons. No wonder they found Klingon DNA in all the wrong places …
digitaurus - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 4:44pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

This pair of episodes arguably throw an interesting light on Star Fleet Command's view of Jean Luc Picard by this stage in his career.

The fact is that - although the Enterprise was clearly pre-assigned to lead the Federation response in the event of a Cardassian attack in this sector (a fact the Cardassians learnt, leading to the ruse to capture Picard) - Picard was apparently NOT scheduled to be its captain in these circumstances. As a result, he has no knowledge of any contingency plans, which of course disrupts the Cardassian's plans.

Why ? Jeliico's behaviour gives us clues. Jellico assumes that the Enterprise crew has become slack - and the evidence suggests he may be right. Perhaps the crew's lack of edge reflects a going-off-the-boil of its captain ?

Personally, I think Picard's experience in The Inner Light DID have a profound effect on his character and that this change is reflected in (i) the tenor of all subsequent episodes (even the best ones), (ii) a more pronounced "softness" in Picard's character, and (iii) a resulting loss of edge among its crew. Maybe Ryker can sense it too which is why he keeps getting so antsy the whole time.

Whatever the reasons, by this stage Starfleet apparently don't see Picard as the right captain for the Enterprise in a time of war.

A counter-argument to this is that Picard is only relieved of the captaincy so he can run off to do spec-ops making use of his theta band experience (as per the Cardassian plot). This is probably the case but I rather like the idea that all Picard's escapades have lead to some serious re-evaluation at higher levels in Starfleet.

dgalvan - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 3:46pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

-Marc Alaimo was excellent as Gul Macet. (He later played Gul Dukat in DS9).

-The writers decided pretty quickly to abandon that weird Cardassian headgear that we see in the first couple scenes. We don't see them wearing it ever again.

-Colm Meany has already shown by this point in the series that he is an EXCELLENT actor. His delivery is always subtle and pitch perfect. So glad he got the opportunity for more depth in this episode.
Dimpy - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 3:44pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

Someone once commented that he wants to punch Archer in the face.

If this is the "breast" Enterprise has to offer, the lineup to punch Archer will just get longer.
dgalvan - Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 3:35pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

I actually really liked this episode. Great example of scientific debunking of snake-oil salesmen. Also Ardra is played in a very charismatic way. Surprised it is so disliked by so many.

I can see that it may have been more appropriate in TOS than in TNG, but still: good stuff.
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