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Peter G.
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 8:33am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@ Nolan,

"Take this episode for example, today, it's rife with offensive portrayals of mental illness. "

No it is not. You're reading into it what you want to about contemporary issues, when the subject matter is nothing of the kind. The 'mutants' in this episode are not mentally ill, they effectively have brain damage as a result of their genetic resequencing. You can't say what someone suffering from genetic alteration gone wrong ought to look like, because the technology hasn't been invented yet. There is, moreover, no contemporary equivalent to what Jack and the others are going through, as they really are being punished in a sense for what their parents did, which makes this true science fiction and not merely a modern issue dressed up. Whatever else you impute onto it is of your creation and not present in the material itself.

"Course, I'm also a so-called "normal" (I'm really not) straight white man, so I fully acknowledge my percpective is skewed and biased itself, and I have no real standing to discuss these details in any specific detail. And I apologize if this view offends anyone, it's just been percolating a while and I thought I'd share it and see what others thought."

You need to know, and I'm quite serious when I say this, that this type of view of self veers far away from the Trek ideal, not towards it. Perhaps you don't endorse the Trekkian world view, which is fine, but if you do consider that its humanist perspective suggests that every person's viewpoint is important, that no one is unfit to speak his mind, and that skin color and sex do not dictate whose opinion counts.
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JackM
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 7:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Kira confirms she was a terrorist who killed innocent families and children indiscriminately during the occupation. She recklessly put the Obriens' baby at risk and he would have died if not for a gimmicky plot device involving herbs that counteract sedatives. She submarines the official investigation of a serial murder spree and if others had been killed before she found Prin she would arguably be responsible for even more deaths unless someone wants to make the argument that Kira is a better investigator than Odo, which is silly. This episode succeeded only in making me forever contemptuous of a main character. Not a fan.
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NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 3:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

Also read that at one point, Ron Moore wrote a scene for this ep having the Jem'Hadar hold a redshirt at gunpoint while ordering Sisko to repair the warp drive. Sisko reassures the redshirt that it will be all right, and the Jem'Hadar says "No it won't" and kills the redshirt. However, it was cut out by the higher-ups to RDM's disappointment as it was considered inappropriate for the episode's comic tone.

Given that Ron Moore went on to create the BSG reboot, it's strangely fitting for him. It's interesting to get a glimpse into RDM's mind back then; he was all about taking things in a dark direction and pushing the envelope in that regard, long before the BSG days when that sort of thing became the norm.

It was already stretching it to feature the Jem'Hadar as adversaries in a comic episode (at one point the Pakleds from TNG were considered instead), so I'm glad they cut that scene out. It would be more appropriate in a show like Breaking Bad.
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NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 3:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

Funny episode. It's fluff, but it's good fluff with a darn imaginative premise. I loved it when miniaturized-Rubicon was firing photon torpedoes, as well as when O'Brien and Bashir were at the micro level while going into the computer system. That said, there's a major nagging plot hole which I want to address HISHE-style:

Vorta Commander: "Good job, Jem'Hadar, you captured the Defiant! A very valuable prize. Now stay on the ship and get it ready for transport while I take my ship on a raid to a no-name planet and leave you guys alone."
Jem'Hadar 1: "Sir, this is probably the most valuable prize the Dominion has ever captured. I mean, we captured the Federation's premier warship mostly intact, and one of their top crews! Can't you cancel the raid and stay here on guard given a victory of that magnitude? I really don't think anyone would mind."
Jem'Hadar 2: "Or at least call the Dominion and ask them to send, like, a hundred ships or so here to escort us back to our space."
Vorta Commander: "Oh my gosh, you're totally right. I'll put the Defiant in a tractor beam, call reinforcements to meet us, and head to Dominion space at maximum warp. Have the crew confined to the cargo bay where they can't try to take back the ship under our noses. Good call, Alpha, here, have a cookie."
Jem'Hadar 1: "I am a Gamma!"
Vorta Commander: "Whatever, it's not like we're ever going to address this Alpha/Gamma thing ever again."
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Lmo
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

This episode opens with Geordi telling Data that he must learn to accept information which comes along in life that does not fit one's own personal narrative and expectations - i.e., that he has a "mother". Then it ends with everyone advising Data that he should not reveal to his mother that she is an android, because it would spoil her own personal narrative and expectations.
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Nolan
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@ David

It's interesting. I've been reading another review site that calls out Star Trek's offensive analogies, and it's just got me thinking how the views toward this franchise has changed in the new contexts provided by the passage of time.

Take this episode for example, today, it's rife with offensive portrayals of mental illness. As if presenting what an outsider thinjs mental illness looks like, then discussing it. Problem is, in the 90's this is what the 'common' idea of mental illness was. Of course, if this episode were about mental illnesses perception, then maybe it wouldn't use offensive stock depictions. Instead thus episode seems to be focused on how the mentally ill have a place in society and should have a role in it.

Of course these don't excuse it today, but it does reinforce this growing idea that Star Trek as a whole isn't made for minorities or people experiencing the issues it brings up. The Original series had to use analogy to get around the network, as did TNG, and at the time it was clever, but today, in the more open environment, I'm beginning to think these messages were aimed at straight white men.

The point is to get the dominant power structure to look at all these issues and say "hey, that's not cool, look what this type of behaviour is doing to people. Look were we as a species could be." and because its gotta get past the network and reach that specufic audience, not to mention being largely (though not completely) written by members of that audience, that outside the issues portrayal ends up being used.

For example with this episode; "Here's a bunch of mentally ill people, you recognize this, this is a common depiction of mental illness, you've seen this in the popular media, but look how marginalized they are." if course, since popular opinion of mental illness/race/gender have changed, partly due to the influence of Trek, so many of these depictions become offensive and trite.

So much of Trek has been about opening such topics for discussion, but since those discussions have now happened, and society has (hopefully) grown more open and accepting, Trek now looks outdated in it's messages.

Moving forward, Trek has not only got to talk to the already established white male power structures, but to the recently empowered minorities who are looking for validation of their identities that past Trek could not provide as consistantly due to the culture it was made in.

Course, I'm also a so-called "normal" (I'm really not) straight white man, so I fully acknowledge my percpective is skewed and biased itself, and I have no real standing to discuss these details in any specific detail. And I apologize if this view offends anyone, it's just been percolating a while and I thought I'd share it and see what others thought.
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Trek fan
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

Totally agree with Jammer on this one. Colicos, even stronger here than in "Blood Oath," gets a number of terrific scene-stealing lines as Kor in a story that features him more centrally. And Dorn, in his first substantial DS9 "Worf episode," gives a strong performance in a story that hearkens back to the essence of his character while developing it a bit. I loved the sense of continuity in the frequent references back to TNG's classic "Worf episodes" (I had honestly forgotten there was a "Klingon emperor") and the reappearance of Toral Duras. Kudos to DS9 for delivering a classic TNG-style adventure story in the midst of several heavy arc-dependent stories. I like how the Dax/Kor relationship merged with Worf's storyline here. This is the rare DS9 episode that hearkens back to TOS, to TNG, and to its own character continuity (Dax) all at once in a story that hangs together organically rather than feeling like a staged "event episode" recalling past glories. Very nicely done and fun to watch; at this point in Season 4 of DS9, it's great to see Worf's character display a bit more edginess on this series than he did on the more utopian TNG, perhaps a sign of the big difference between the two shows.
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David Pirtle
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 11:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

And by 'better' I mean less offensive.
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David Pirtle
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 10:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

This episode had me cringing from the opening scene, with its one-dimensional caricatures of the mentally ill standing in for genetic experimentation gone wrong. I kept waiting for it to get better. Didn't happen.
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David Pirtle
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 10:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Resurrection

I hope this is it for DS9's mirror universe episodes. TOS had the good sense only to go there once, and Enterprise's mirror universe two-parter took an original approach. This was just too much 'whatever' for me. I hope it's over now.
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Trek fan
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 9:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

Pleasant episode and a good showcase for Data. I would give it 3/4 stars because I think it's the best sustained exploration of Data's character -- hitting his core of desiring to be human -- since "The Most Toys" or "Elementary Dear Data" or "Pen Pals." Patrick Stewart's direction feels confident and relaxed, with the cast clearly having a good time, and it's nice to see Picard take charge of an away mission (in the shuttle) for a change, even if the technobabble plot is just filler. As for Jammer's big objection that Jenna's interest in Data feels unmotivated unless it's a scientific experiment of her own, I'm not sure I agree: There are actually a LOT of people, both men and women, who feel drawn to emotionally unavailable romantic partners. It's kind of a thing.
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Paul Allen
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: False Profits

"All these Ferengi do all day is sit around and con the citizens out of their money. Would a real society accept this"

Ours does. Vatican, Televangelists.....
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JackM
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Just getting to these comments and haven't read them all, so at the risk of redundancy, this episode interested, and somewhat annoyed, me to the point that I have to put my thoughts down somewhere.

Taking the temporal science premise of the show as truth to avoid THAT discussion and getting to the ethics of it all: Eventually, every one of the people from "our" DS9 timeline determined that they could not be responsible for extinguishing 200 years of reality and 8000 living sentient humanoids. And every one of those 8000 people wanted to live. But, the older version of Odo "loved" Kira so much he was willing to go against the wishes of every other person on that planet, including hers. And so Oldo surreptitiously made a selfish, unilateral contrary decision that wiped out a society from existence.

Yes, Oldo is 200 years older than her version, but it's the same shapeshifter with the same Founder DNA or whatever it is they have. I personally can't believe Kira ever talked herself into falling for him later, knowing what he was capable of.

Then again, Kira herself is a terrorist who killed innocent people for the sake of Bajor, so maybe they were meant for each other.....
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JohnC
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 3:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

The original Star Wars was released when I was in school for a year in Europe. This was before the days when movies were released almost simultenously worldwide, so I didn't get to see it until several months later. By that time, every magazine I'd ever read, and every friend I talked to on the phone, made me think that finally seeing it was going to be an amazing, life-changing experience. And then I watched it and realized as I did that I was daring the movie to blow me away, but it really didn't. I expected too much.

I didn't watch DS9 on first run. I'm just bingewatching the series for the first time, and I love it. Intricate serial plots, multifaceted and deliciously flawed characters, and ambiguous endings. I love all that stuff. So I had read a lot about The Visitor before actually watching it, knowing that many reviewers believe it to be the finest DS9 episode ever, comparing it to The Inner Light, which I consider to be one of the finest television episodes of any series, ever.

So I was really disappointed to be disappointed. I thought maybe it was the Star Wars thing over again - maybe I was just expecting to much. So I rewatched it and just couldn't get past my dislike for so much of this. Leaden acting, unabashed attempts to jerk the tears out of the viewer... one of the reasons Inner Light was so good is that our emotions were stirred as the natural consequence of the way the plot developed - I never got the sense that as a viewer I was being manipulated. In comparison, the Visitor is a hokey schlockey oozing mountain of saccaharine goo.

Beyond that, although I know it's been debated and rationalized in the comments, I just can't feel much sympathy for a character who would intentionally wipe out the existence of events that he experienced and people he knew for nearly a lifetime because he has to get his dad back. Someone earlier mentioned that the episode is implausible because no writer would ever give an unpublished manuscript to another aspiring writer for fear of plagiarism. But there was no risk here. Once Jake got his dad back - Melanie would never exist.

I found this to be heavy-handed and trite. Just like Star Wars, Episode IV. Now, the Empire Strikes Back? - another story. :)

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JackM
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 2:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

As a neanderthal male, I question the testosterone count of any member of my gender who would give 0 stars to an episode featuring that much of Terry Farrell's legs and Chase Masterson's cleavage.

Besides that, yes it was a paint-by-numbers type of episode but I enjoyed it as a harmless trifle, primarily because of being able to watch some of the DS9 regulars letting their hair down on R&R. And even though the Worf soccer story was kinda lame, I did like the fact that there was some attempt made to explain why Worf struggles to repress his Klingon instincts at times. Him being raised by human parents wasn't it, and again - I accidentally killed a kid on the soccer field isn't exactly the most interesting backstory - but give them a C minus at least for effort.
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JackM
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

I don't care for Jake-centric episodes much anyway, but the ending here felt all wrong, with the "all is well, see you next week for more fun and hi-jinks" moment of Daddy hugging Jake who has that simpleminded smile on his face. As Robro noted above, that was absolutely the wrong tone for an episode that tried to explore the internal struggle between fear and duty. I've never been on a battlefield. I've never been in a situation where I had a choice between following my conscience or knowing I might lose my life. And I wonder what I would do in those circumstances. So while I liked the premise of the story, the execution was leaden and the ending was all wrong.


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Nolan
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 2:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

@Maniac

This episode IS terrible, but part of the reason I like Helo is that he's really the only one who manages to stay idealistic throughout the series. Even when he killed those Cylons in lock up, he had pure intentions. Now you can argue about whether he was right or not, but it's beside the point. Every other character slips into darkness and makes some morally questionable decisions for the sake of the survival of the greater good, and feels fine and justified for doing so. Helo on the otherhand, makes sure the greater good deserves that survival, and he seems to regret any decisions that draws him away from that ideal.

I'd argue his idealism in the face of such overwhelming moral greyness and cynicism makes him a pretty facinating character. And frankly, one the series needed to maintain some balance.
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Dirk
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 2:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

The funniest lines are when Worf is preparing for the meeting and says the ceremonial suit looks like a dress (I always thought so too) and Riker says "You look good in a dress". Can't imagine how Worf didn't blow his top at that.
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Maniac
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

Had it been a story about Helo's self-destruction it could've been interesting. I admit I don't particularly like the character (and the actor), but how many times have we seen this sort of plot? An idealist prevailing against the odds, rewarded in the end for doing the right thing?

Up to this point, Helo was always in the right (eventually), which I find rather weak from a character building perspective. Idealism can be beneficial, but it can also lead to grave mistakes - and I wish the episode explored this avenue. It would be more true to reality and far more enjoyable I feel.

Helo was robbed of a chance to become a more nuanced and better developed character.
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Seab
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Fight or Flight

There were so many things wrong with this show - so Captain Archer announces they're from earth to every alien species before they find out they're hostile? Really?
And how did they advertise this episode? Tonight's episode: The floor squeaks! Don't miss it.
I see where they were trying to go with the show in general, I just don't think they ever really got there. Just my opinion.
I'm going to rewatch all these shows just because I've set me heart on it, I'm on Voyager season five and just finished Deep Space Nine, but Enterprise - I may have a hard time getting through it...
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Chrome
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 10:39am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

It would've been more believable if the assignment was something we knew Picard was good at, like archeology. Instead the audience is supposed to buy some technobabble and think, "Oh right, theta-band carrier waves, Picard's perfect for that."
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Peter G.
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 10:26am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

I think too much is made about how 'realistic' it was for Picard to be assigned to that mission. It's a given circumstance that the Cardassians engineered a technical threat that *only* Picard was qualified to deal with. It doesn't matter what that threat actually was - it's just a McGuffin. The point is that it had to be Picard and no one else, by design of the trap. Nechayev may have signed off on the order, but she wasn't the one who chose Picard; the Cardassians were. We may quibble about whether the script gave explicit enough detail about why Picard was the only one who could accomplish the mission, but really it doesn't matter. The Cardassians found some way to lure him in, and that's that.

That Picard was a starship Captain might have made the decision to send him difficult, but if it was between that and the Cardassians developing an illegal weapon I don't think there was much of a choice. He would almost certainly have volunteered even if they didn't order him to go.
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james alexander
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 10:06am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

well, somebody thought that it was a good idea for a flag-officer to beam down to a Cardassian Planet on a black-ops mission.
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Chrome
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 9:57am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

To be fair, Picard being used in that Chain of Command mission seemed pretty unrealistic itself. I always thought Nechayev had it out for him, putting Picard on that mission as a form of punishment.
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james alexander
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 9:40am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

that's a good point Peter, people are living longer and Picard has been put through worse situations before, such as in Chain of Command, or even the episode where his artificial heart blew-out and it was revealed that Q is Saint Peter.

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