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- Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 2:28am (USA Central)
The Neutral Zone
I'm not sure if anyone mentioned it, but isn't it convenient that Riker answered the page using the room's comm unit instead of his communicator, just so the guests could later get on the comm and annoy Picard.
One thing I do give the episode props for...the bit about TV going out of style seems visionary from a show about 8 years away from the popularity of the Internet itself, and about 10 years away from YouTube and DVRs
- Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 1:48am (USA Central)
Yeah, this one was sort of character dev.... Zzzzz.... just a shame that it had such magic-babble visions tha... Zzzzz.... chaotic space, chaotic episode, loosing my min... Zzzzzzz
- Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 1:00am (USA Central)
This is the typical case of an episode where I couldn't help but feel that the writers were trying a bit too much to be smart and hit home. I mean, forcing an artificially wishfully-smart plot, not developing it organically. And for me, they did not completely succeed.
Even though, some issues raised here were powerful enough to make me think and enjoy the set up moderately. In the end, it certainly is another episode underrated by Jammer, but I would not give a constellation of stars as well.
- Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 12:47am (USA Central)
Repetitive plot (everyone blacks out, leaving the Doc alone - only this time he had Seven as well). Repetitive anomaly of the week. Repetitive ending. But as Jammer has precisely captured, there is something that makes it sort of good. Quite fun at least.
Maybe it was the grouping of good acting, just as others have said above. Anyway, surprisingly enjoyable. Of course, though, there were other episodes in this very same season that deserved 3 stars more than this and did not get them.
- Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 12:40am (USA Central)
Certainly a lot of holes. Some really big, like changing the continuity, as Jammer has correctly pointed out. I was a harsh critic of how DS9 changed a lot of things Trek's universe. Now that Voyager does the same (although in less philosophically profound and consequential ways), I will not be blind. It was a major hole that only once again shows the lazy writing regarding the plot initial motors. It is a recurrent problem in Voyager and here is put to the limit, just showing a "don't care" disrespect with basic Trek established history.
That said, what a wonderful episode for Seven! How Jammer can find more action-based than deep in development, it is beyond me. This episode highlighted many of Seven's inner issues and created a lot of potential for lasting consequences to her (which, after seeing the few next episodes, I think is confirmed). It means, it was a huge character development in many parts.
Overall, a really strong episode that, as usual, is built over a ridiculous plot hole. 8.5 ou of 10 from me.
- Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 12:30am (USA Central)
Not a stellar episode, but certainly not nearly as bad as Jammer's review and score would make one think. This was in fact more profound that it appears, if you think that it has dealt with the issue of loving a different species in an unknown quadrant of the galaxy, the moral difficulties of having personal life subject to hierarchical order, sort of unsafe sex in the 24th century, a bit of the peculiarities of being isolated in the Delta Quadrant... I enjoy seeing they talk about sex, which has been an aspect almost forgotten, almost a taboo in the series.
And sure, a bit of insight on Kim, which was long overdue. It was clearly the best installment about him in a long time (if not ever). The scene where Seven goes talk to Kim and wishes fast recovery is touching. Sure, it was far from good writen and, as always, only average acted (Kim almost always looks childish and flat). But one star is just being too harsh on this one.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 11:43pm (USA Central)
I didn't really like this episode. Yes, the story was clever, but I didn't really enjoy watching it that much.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 6:53pm (USA Central)
Its a shame that Jammer and others cannot accept or deal with the surprise twist in the form of Kai Winn's motivations, it was all internally consistent for me. I just saw the episode and was actually quite impressed - the whole thing worked really well for me. A few genuine surprises and interesting to see Sisko take some interesting and unexpected decisions.
Brookes doesn't overact, Visitor and Auberjonis are written well despite the slapdash work in previous episodes to put them together, they work here.
This one will be appreciated and re rated more and more as time goes on, and I am not even a fan of the Bajoran religious stuff in DS9...
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 6:41pm (USA Central)
I'd give this 3 and a half stars. Voyager's 4th season may be the most consistent season of Trek ever.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 5:49pm (USA Central)
There is no way Neelix would know about these people, he is nearly 10,000 light years from Talax, let alone the Nekrit Expanse which is the frontier for that area of the Delta Quadrant.
My suspicion is that this episode was supposed to take place sometime before Seven joined the cast and before Kes gave Voyager the gift.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 3:58pm (USA Central)
I would rate this episode at least 3 stars. I only have 2 issues with it. 1. The slow buildup bothers me. It drags. Perhaps better pacing would have solved it. 2. I wish they had the extras exhibiting the same monomania. The radiation effects shouldn't happen to just the command crew. The extras shouldn't steal focus, but I would have appreciated seeing several in the background obsessing over something. All we see out of them is normal behavior while our stars obsess and then they are passed out.
I don't require plots to be original. I watch mostly for the acting. If it's engaging then I go with the actors and story.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 12:55pm (USA Central)
That Uhura learning to read scene is high comedy, especially when Chapel goes over to McCoy and asks with seriousness and dejection, does he think they can really teach her again!? And then Uhura pronounces "blue" as "bloo-ey" and McCoy and Chapel laugh indulgently like Uhura's an adorable two-year-old. I think what makes it so bizarre, funny, and extreme is that only the most half-hearted effort is made to acknowledge how devastating this total loss of memory would be, and how difficult retraining would be, while still providing enough of an effort that it is not wholly glossed over. If they glossed it over entirely ("she'll be retrained for next week!") then it would be clear that the writers et al. didn't really expect us to buy it in any realistic way, but needed us to accept it and move on. The slow-approaching but "warp 15" pulses (as Jack mentions) and Spock's mindmeld with the totally non-biological machine (as Jammer and Strider mention) are examples of this -- they are totally goofy concepts, but they are part of the plot, so, deal with it and move on. If they actually took the thing *really* seriously, even ending the episode on something of a downbeat the way TNG's "The Mind's Eye" ends with Troi saying that it would take Geordi a long time to deal with the events of the episode (even though he's fine next week), there would be a sense that they were lending it the proper gravity. This business has essentially one or two lines which tell us this is Serious!, and then end with a joke; it's one of my favourite "bad" moments from the original series, perhaps because it's bad in a bizarre, audacious way that only this show could do.
Another moment I found quite funny, but I'm not sure is actually a poor decision, is a few times during the final Kirk/Nomad confrontation there would be a shot of Kirk saying something, and then a reaction shot of Nomad floating in stunned silence. Hee. It's funny how easily this anthropomorphization goes down, to the point where we look to a machine that literally cannot express any reaction visually in order to "see" its reaction. In general I think the episode does a good job of making Nomad seem like a recognizable character even though it's just a machine wandering about; one of the details I like is the way its attitude toward Kirk subtly changes from reverent awe to confused reluctant compliance to outright hostility as it becomes more and more disenchanted with Kirk's decisions.
The rest of the episode is pretty okay, if not thrilling. The Scotty death and rebirth business I agree is a little pointless. The extent of the social commentary comes down to the idea that well-intentioned missions can become twisted; *probably* we're not going to be sending out any probes which will merge with other probes to become super-probes which kill people, but it's a common theme in science-fiction that computers can sometimes go astray of the original *intent* of the programming, and something like that happens with Nomad. Nomad's emphasis on perfection and sterilization is also one of the series' frequent reminders that humanity is flawed, and this is not actually a "bad thing": ability to accept imperfection is necessary in order to go on with life, and Nomad's extremism comes down to its arbitrarily high standard for existence and perfection. The search for self-improvement and improvement of the world *is* a valuable one, but let's keep things in perspective. Like Jammer, I find Kirk's short-circuiting Nomad's logic more plausible than in other Kirk Outsmarts the Computer episodes, partly because the specific problem Nomad had, the impossible standards for perfection and the programming to destroy anything falling short of that problem, is one that obviously *would* implicate Nomad, as a sub-perfect machine.
I think I'd say 2.5 stars for the package, too.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 12:38pm (USA Central)
Who Mourns for Adonais?
I actually liked Kirk's "your duty is to humanity" speech, but that's partly because I think it's wise with the original series not to take certain episodes too literally. This episode is a great case in point: the crew is going up against "Apollo," who apparently is the real Apollo whom the Greeks used to worship. This bombshell that human civilization was partially created by these aliens is never mentioned again, nor does anyone seem all *that* astonished by it within the context of the episode. This isn't like TNG's "The Chase," which also ends with a reveal that is never mentioned again but is treated within the show as a momentous occasion, and a few moments are given to contemplate the implications for the various species within the show. Here, the actual import is buried, and "Apollo" seems to be more of an abstraction.
I think the episode is about the death of religion in the twentieth century, and its gradual substitution with secular humanism. That read is *sort of* undermined by the reference to finding "the one" quite adequate (presumably the Abrahamic one), but I think there we can still view the Abrahamic God as a different type of idea than the pantheon of antiquity. In any case, this episode is not really about aliens, and while that's mostly always true in Trek (the aliens generally represent certain ideas), this one seems more metaphorical than most, and so Kirk's speech about the value of humanism and the responsibility of humans to each other ends up, within the context of the *episode*, not so much being parochial and "humans only" as representing a wide reaching dedication to the whole of humanity, which, in the 20th century, is a pretty difficult thing to argue. The thing that is lost in the transition from worship of other beings (whether they exist or not) to the emphasis on humanity is that abstracting certain virtues into external beings like gods were able to give humans focus and represent concepts at a time when believing these traits were within humans was impossible. We lose some of our innocence in recognizing that we are masters of our fate, and thus are responsible for what happens to us. The person who sacrifices the most, according to this episode's (pretty sexist) conception of things, is Lt. Palamas, who could have been treated as a goddess and have all her needs taken care of, instead of "having to" fend for herself; the early suggestion that the senior staff seem to believe that she's going to ditch the ship the moment she gets married suggests that others at least believe that what she wants is to have the chance to be taken care of by a man rather than make her own way. We all have that impulse to be taken care of, to some extent, and to put our faith in something besides ourselves; the cost of freedom of awareness of our choices is that we lose that sense of security. I think that's why Kirk wonders if they should have gathered a few laurel leaves.
Apollo's sadness at being jilted by humans is partly, then, projection onto an abstract, fictional character what it must feel like to be abandoned; it reminds me, weirdly enough, of the "Toy Story" movies, which put a lot of focus on the (nonexistent in real life) inner lives of toys formed from the bond that children forms with them. I think this is a decent enough way of expressing the real sense of personal loss that comes with losing one's emotional connection to fictional beings -- even if the fictional beings can't feel, the people who formed attachment to them can. It also connects to a parent recognizing their children having grown up and no longer being needed, a connection which Apollo makes explicitly. In any case, the ending where Apollo mourns the loss of connection to humanity is one of the two moments (the other being Kirk's humanity speech) that stood out to me and which I liked.
The rest of the episode *is* pretty blah; not too much of it is outright *bad*, except of course, as everyone has mentioned, for the Scotty material. Dude, calm down, what is *wrong* with you? The sexism on display in the Palamas subplot is, as others have mentioned above, somewhat mitigated by the fact that she sides with her crew rather than the god who flatters her at the end; it doesn't make her story all that compelling though, which is a shame since she's given something like the episode's emotional centrepiece, as the only person who was *really* tempted to join with Apollo and who ends up betraying him. Like Jammer, I think this probably earns 2 stars, but no more than that.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 12:16pm (USA Central)
What really struck me on the latest rewatch is how even though Leonard Nimoy wrings a lot of genuine pathos out of Spock's problem in this episode, he also kind of plays Spock as an awkward, horny teenager: all lanky, seeming uncomfortable with his body, uncertain what to do with himself, trying in vain to remember what his normal behaviour is and to mimic it while his mind is elsewhere, and full of shame. One of the things that makes Spock so appealing to a lot of Trek's fanbase is, and I think always has been, that he's a geek icon (I don't mean geek pejoratively here, and count myself among them): like Data later will be, he is a character we are meant to admire who values intellectual pursuits, science, and rationality, and is disinterested in the emotional flights of fancy that everyone else seems to indulge in; but unlike Data, Spock prefers it that way. The world can sometimes seem hostile to people who value logic above emotion, to people who are "cold," and Spock is the repudiation of that, at least in part. Spock's embarrassment that he can't control his mating instinct, and that said instinct is totally irrational, seems to me to be partly directed at science nerds, especially teenage ones, who value logic above all else and yet find with a shock that they are at least partly at the mercy of their biology and hormones, after having made a big deal out of placing emotions low on the list of personal values.
I kinda sorta suspect, too, that the pon farr idea is part of the show's general effort to head off the possible negative consequences that one could expect from a hyper-rational perspective on reproduction. "Space Seed" pretty clearly lays out the show's stance on the Eugenics movement. But if there is nothing to reproduction but sensible, logical choices, and if emotion is also further eliminated (which is the assumption that Kirk has going into it), then Vulcans could all choose their mates based not on what is best for them personally but best for the species as a whole, and end up taking the reins of their own evolution and leading it who knows where. Well, or maybe not. If nothing else, the sex drive in *humans* is as powerful as it is because we need to continue propagating the species, and the desire to have sex sometimes is more powerful than the desire to have children in and of itself.
The choice to represent the mating instinct in Vulcans as something out of control, which can only be corralled through very extensive rituals, is mostly about the mysteries of love and sexual attraction in our world, which are fuzzy for *us*, and we as a species acknowledge emotions as valuable in a way Vulcans do not, and our emotions are much less extreme than Vulcans' are naturally. According to McCoy, "They still go mad at this time. Perhaps it's the price they pay for having no emotions the rest of the time." This makes sense to me; the pon farr probably becomes not just about mating, but about a ritual release of years of pent up emotions, a necessary catharsis. Back in "This Side of Paradise," Kirk wasn't sure that Spock would be able to restrain his anger against him once Kirk got him going; Vulcans keep a lid on their emotions partly because if they *start* to get carried away by their emotions, they may not stop, and the pon farr period is the time in which they let themselves get carried away. The ritual itself is appropriately weird, involved, and somehow resonant in a hard-to-pin-down way; the T'Pau character was a great touch, lending an air of gravitas to the proceedings. You get the impression that only someone of total self-control can enforce the rituals in a way that is suitable and acceptable to all parties. The scene takes place in the hot Vulcan desert, which connects to the series' various Western motifs ("wagon train to the stars") and also suggests the fragility of civilization and the return to ancient roots, which cannot be excised wholly.
This is of course a huge deal for the Kirk/Spock/McCoy triad, focusing in on Spock but also the amount of caring the three of them have for each other in general. This is one of the first times in which it's acknowledged outright that Spock and McCoy have affection for each other underneath the banter, and I think this would be difficult to play out before "The Galileo Seven" (for instance). Spock's eventually coming to confide in Kirk about his secret shame is a breakthrough in their friendship, too, because for the most part Spock maintains his unflappable air as much as possible even with those he is closest to; his trust that Kirk will not use this knowledge against him, or will not lose respect for him, is hard-won and difficult. Spock *begging* everyone not to let Kirk fight him, and Kirk's going in anyway because it might save Spock, works as well. And then there's the big fight scene itself, with the series' single most memorable music cue (not counting the theme song), that intense battle theme music which had been playing as a recurring theme all through the episode, much more slowly and quietly. Talk about your no-win scenarios for Kirk: either he dies or he kills Spock, neither of which he can obviously permit.
I don't actually mind that Spock breaks free of his blood fever trance after he "kills" Kirk, for reasons that other commenters have mentioned above. And partly because I do think that it's the catharsis that is needed; the intensity of emotion that leads up to the ponn farr may in fact not be to help spur Vulcans on to mating in and of itself, but to have the strength to kill for their mates, and presumably to then mate as some sort of "prize." (Which is a bit of a gross way of looking at it, of course.) More to the point, in a fundamental way, a part of Spock really did "die" when he apparently killed Kirk -- because, for everything else he is,
I do kind of mind the resolution from a plot level only insofar as McCoy's plan could easily have gone so absolutely, terribly wrong -- either Kirk could have passed out when Spock wasn't touching him, thus making McCoy's ploy obvious, or, much more seriously, Spock could just have killed Kirk when he passed out at which point Kirk would have been unable to defend himself. They got lucky, in other words, and it's a kind of lucky that the episode doesn't seem to acknowledge; I get the impression we're supposed to assume McCoy's plan was a good one, rather than an act of absolute desperation. But whatever: what does work about it is McCoy as a kind of trickster figure; Spock's being in the throes of the blood fever means he can't see outside it, and Kirk's absolute devotion to Spock and need to save him keep his vision similarly narrow. Even though McCoy is usually the most emotional of the three, this time he's the one with a cool enough head to figure out a way out of the situation through cunning and trickery, in a way that serves as a reminder of the importance of the trio as a trio rather than just a duo; the instability inherent in any group-of-three has the positive side effect that the third can help the other two out of a situation in which they're stuck.
My favourite scenes in the episode are the two major post-fight scenes -- the first between Spock and T'Pring, the second with the Big Three, wherein Spock discovers Kirk is alive. Spock's sad, dejected acceptance of the cold, methodical logic of T'Pring's manipulation and his warning to Stonn -- that having a thing is not so pleasing as wanting, something which at this point he knows very well, having achieved his goal of escaping from the ponn farr's hold on him but at enormous cost -- really work for me. And of course Spock once again *loses emotional control* at the episode's very end, upon seeing Kirk again, which is the positive flipside to his losing emotional control in the fight earlier in the episode. Really, part of this episode is about how, ultimately, Spock's emotional attachment to Kirk (and, indirectly, to Starfleet as a whole) goes beyond the bonds of marriage and romantic love to T'Pring, and even, as it turns out, beyond biology. During the fight itself, biology and tradition won out, but once he saw what he had done, he instantly "sobered up." Kirk is more important to him than T'Pring, and Starfleet is more important than Vulcan. It is perhaps unfortunate that they should be placed in such opposition, but it makes some sense that there is, since Starfleet is still a largely human endeavour. It makes sense, then, that part of the reason T'Pring prefers to rid herself of Spock is because his legendary status, which stems from his attachment to Starfleet, puts her off. This is an episode about the bonds of friendship and chosen life being stronger, when all is said and done, than mere biology, which I think is not so much anti-marriage or anti-relationship (though it *could* be interpreted that way) as a celebration of chosen bonds rather than ones chosen for one, by tradition and biology.
Other notes: this episode gives no indication of whether female Vulcans undergo ponn farr too. I find it interesting and a little sad that Spock seems to be coming on to Chapel after it seems that he definitively won't be going back to Vulcan. It must be sad for Chapel to be such an absolute last resort, just marginally above dying -- especially since Chapel is so much more sympathetic a character than T'Pring. I think the seven year cycle is a reference to "The Seven Year Itch."
I think this is a 4 star show, and it kicks off season two very well. Season one is probably the best season of the show, with relatively few weak episodes and a huge number of strong ones, including "The City on the Edge of Forever," which is probably the best episode of the series. But season two, while much more uneven, has a greater concentration of absolute top-tier classics, IMO -- I'd probably put "Amok Time," "Mirror, Mirror," "The Doomsday Machine," and "The Trouble with Tribbles" above all but "City."
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 5:52am (USA Central)
Take Me Out to the Holosuite
It's amusing that a lot of people can't "suspend disbelief" over the physical aspects of the holosuite, but have no problem believing that everyone would still work and lead productive lives if holosuites existed.
Max Grodenchik -- played high school baseball against him. He was an outstanding athlete.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 5:39am (USA Central)
Obviously the episode would have worked if they casted a stronger female lead. Pam Grier for example, would've been a solid choice. And why not have her be responsible for the murder? Geordi falls for her charms, and he tries to help her, only to be played in the end.
Then maybe he has some realization as a character at the about how dangerous it is to be so infatuated with women you hardly really know. Instead he's got to defend himself from a dog morphed into a poop blob.
It's definitely not one of TNG's worst episodes. It's something you put on to fall asleep at night.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 3:17am (USA Central)
@Elliot I've been agreeing with your remarks almost every episode, especially (but not only) about some aspects of DS9. However, I can't help but find it funny to read you accusing Jammer of being biased. I mean, that Jammer was much gentler with some of DS9’s ludicrous problems while being quite picky with other shows, like Voyager, it seems quite clear at this point.
But that you do the same in the opposite direction, also seems quite evident. Your tolerance to some Voyager's recurring problems with plot device, bad character development, lazy writing, weak episodes, is no small deal. Your reading of this episode, for instance, was astonishing: "An emotional episode about an emotionless man (sort of)--now that's compelling”, “a character I know enduring a superhuman level of pain, painted on a beautiful and convincing canvas”, “do I see like a faint brushstroke upon his countenance the change this experience paints for Tuvok. Hallelujah I do". Besides the exaggeration of the general prolixity, well, hallelujah is a wise word. One has to have quite a lot of faith on Voyager to have seen all that deepness in this episode... But do not get me wrong. I am not bothered by your bias for Voyager or Jammer's for DS9. We are not robots evaluating the precision of a warp-engine. I find it to be quite normal, even welcome because I enjoy your remarks quite a lot. The only troublesome thing is to read your recurring charges against Jammer due to him doing precisely the same you do, only with reversed sign....
That said, I enjoyed the episode quite a bit. But it was not more than a bit above average for me; quite empty and quite shallow most of the time. For me, character development is not about just throwing at the screen some event that hits a dear character and then just letting us suppose that and how it will affect him/her deep inside from now on. It is about showing us, in some of the following episodes, how and to which extent, such happenings have affected him/her. That Voyager quite often does not do that in moments that when it certainly should, it is crystal clear already. Even though, that’s where I wholeheartedly agree with Elliot. Even if not often, when Voyager gives us that, it gives probably the best character developments in the whole Trek. Just thinking of the Doc and Seven would be enough to see that.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 3:12am (USA Central)
"Who cares if the Ventaxians are exploited? (Frankly, given their stupidity, they deserve it.)"
I think that's a very cold-hearted perspective. About 40% of Americans believe in astrology. Many believe in homeopathy or New Age crystals or superstitions, so we have no shortage of gullible people here on Earth. Yet, I don't think that they deserve to be exploited. I applaud people like James Randi who expose fraudsters of all kind.
And I don't think that the fact that this is Star Trek and that "technology can do anything" makes this episode any less relevant. The Ventaxians are less technologically advanced, so what Adra does appears to be magic. There's nothing incoherent about the premise. If Adra came to Earth and used the same technology, most people would probably consider it magic too.
And I don't see the episode as anti-religion, but as anti-superstition.
I think that the episode was still somewhat weak. The trial wasn't clever or interesting and most of the investigation happened off-screen.
I agree with SkepticalMI that Adra's tricks are harder to explain on the Enterprise, though presumably she was able to do what she did because the shields were down. Though, it still doesn't explain everything. And the premise of a contract really being written a 1000 years before isn't explained. I guess that she learned of this legend and tried to exploit it, but that doesn't really seem plausible to me.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 2:38am (USA Central)
Cringeworthy mess that had me reaching for the FF button as well, I don't know how the crew kept a straight face when shooting the 'Fever' scene with Nana Visitor trying unsuccesfully to channel Michelle Pfeiffer from the Fabulous Baker Boys...
The "unfabulous DS9 mime?"
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 2:31am (USA Central)
In the Pale Moonlight
I would have loved to have given a 5 out-of 5 star rating for this episode, good story and executed well but all the brilliant work was undone by some Avery Brooks overacting (tm) - completely agree with V_is-for_Voyager's comments about Brookes stilted and forced performance.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 2:22am (USA Central)
Solid episode with good acting, sure it was a bit "cheaty" that it all happened on the holodeck but had me guessing for a while.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 1:12am (USA Central)
Bride of Chaotica!
Quite funny one. As a comedy, it works well, achieving to amuse without having to push for it. Although, at the same time, in some moments it did just tried too hard to be funny.
The black-and-white option is indeed still very smart and welcome. There were also some smart plays, like the fact that the aliens believe our reality is just as unreal as we believe the holograms are (what is, btw, a slap on the face of some comments'authors at the previous episode review).
Also, I say once again. I agree with Elliot when he points that it does not matter whether or not the danger for Voyager's crew is credible. I always get bothered when I see someone, mostly Jammer, complaining that the danger didn't felt believable in an episode, since in all Trek it NEVER did or does. And so what?
The other hand is that I don't think this episode achieved much more than fine amusement - what is ok. Fair entertainment may be enough sometimes. However, Voyager crew is not family for me and therefore they did not earn from me the right of having pointless episodes without receiving some criticism. So, here I am: it was a bit fun and certainly funny. But mostly too empty for my taste and a bit too forced here and there. Therefore, a bit wasted. A score of something around 7 out of 10 would be fairer than the underrated stars.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 12:40am (USA Central)
I don't find this one to be as good an episode as most people do. I don't find it to be especially smart, deep or good in character development. Sure, there is a nice chemistry between the characters on focus here. Sure, the twist was sort of cool. But I found it to be not that compelling.
Still, it was certainly quite good overall. Voyager has been growing as a show and this season is very consistent so far. Even an episode that I find not as good as most people, I find mysel rating as very good. Glad with that and hope the show continued in that direction.
I sort of agree with the stars rating.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 12:37am (USA Central)
What bothers me most about this episode is that Bajor is a PLANET. Provinces should be roughly the size of Earth countries. But it feels like Bajor could comfortably fit inside a midwestern state....
It's a fairly common fault (e.g "Shadowplay"), but it's distracting when Bajor is such a big part of the show. It makes it hard to take the whole premise seriously.
1) Kira describes Recantha province as "the farming community"
2) Shakaar and friends seem like small-time farmers (did you see any machinery?) -- yet they tie up Bajor's entire inventory of land reclamators.
3) Shakaar is going to walk from one province to another.
- Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 12:34am (USA Central)
Amazingly good episode, terrific questions being raised. Very solid acting and pretty strong dialogues. Picardo is fantastic and the speech Seven gave to the captain is one of the best I've seen in any Trek show.
Sure, it is outrageous that the captain was willing to erase Doc’s memory without him even having the chance of (re)knowing why. Actually, to even consider imposing that to someone who is already taken as a person, is morally absurd. So, in this case, also out of character. Let’s face it: it does not matter how important the Doc is for Voyager because he is the only doctor around. Either he is considered a living being (although non-biological and therefore different just as Data) and should have more rights than a replicator. Or he is as a machine as a replicator and they should stop letting him grow as an individual and develop “a soul”. Within Trek’s moral standard, it cannot be something that varies according to the crew's necessities, like some people here seem to think. It means, it cannot be a matter of mere pragmatic choice. As well as it cannot be a matter of "enough-philosophy-authoritarian-is-in-his-best-interest" decisions.
In fact, the captain once again shows how much she is capable of making wrong, bad decisions. In the beginning it was looking like the episode would be just one more case Voyager bringing good episodes, very good main plots, built over an irritatingly bad initial plot device. However, all of that came full circle in the end, since it was nice to see that at least in this episode the captain was able to address and recognize that she may have done a moral mistake. That was a marvelous touch! Very moving and actually ended making the episode even better. How moving it was to see her taking care of the Doc, her talking with Seven, he assuming to the Doc that she was biased by his nature. What a contradictory (in a good way) episode. What a deep questioning both on Doc's hand and on the captain's hands. What a mature ending. Certainly 4 stars, a score of 10 out of 10. Easily easily. One of the bet episodes the how Trek.
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