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William H
Mon, May 30, 2016, 5:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

Doesn't O'Brien mostly go on about Scotch? Which... isn't very Irish?
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Akkal
Mon, May 30, 2016, 4:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

Loved this episode! Good entertainment, although I wonder how the station gets by with all or most of its senior staff spending a significant amount of time in the holosuite.

As a musician, I found the music in this episode genious - The usual DS9 theme transformed into big band feelgood-jazz. Nice!
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Aussie2
Mon, May 30, 2016, 3:57am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

All these years later, I enjoyed this episode too. Thought it was so creepy to see the aliens walking around torturing the crew (shades of lots of other shows including X-files and Buffy--remember when she does that ritual after Dawn arrives and sees her entire house in a distorted way?--but still so creepy, esp. when Seven first sees them). Of course, I'm viewing this thru the lens of nostalgia. (Tere were a lot of TNG eps that I initially disliked but changed my mind about later mainly, I think, due to the nostalgia of rewatching a show that reminded me of an earlier period of my life).

Of course you can nitpick, e.g. why would such an advanced species have such medieval looking devices? (Well, I know why: because you need the audience to see what's happening.) I thought the fact that the aliens were so human looking and so calm and seeming reasonably extra chilling, and had no problem in imagining a technologically superior race that would behave so cruelly.
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aussie2
Mon, May 30, 2016, 3:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

Just came back to correct an error: it wasn't Maggie Wheeler (Janice from Friends) who was in this episode of Voyager but comedian Sarah Silverman. Ooops!
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Luke
Mon, May 30, 2016, 3:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

Is Section 31 anti-Roddenberry? You're damn right it is?! And know what? I really don't care. In fact, I applaud "Inquisition" for just that reason. Sorry, Gene was a phenomenal story-teller who cooked up a wonderful universe for us all to play in, but he was also quite a fucking loon most of the time. No interpersonal conflict? No medium of exchange? "Love counselors" instead of marriage vows? Ferengi with gargantuan cod-pieces? The entirety of TNG: "The Neutral Zone"? Yeah, he could be a real hack sometimes. It's nice to know that "Deep Space Nine" was written and produced by actual adults who understand the concept of "moral grey areas" instead of starry eyed Roddenberry-esque children.

For the first few acts, the episode plays like a remake of TNG:" The Drumhead". That's not a bad thing, as "The Drumhead" was one of the best episodes of that series. However, it ends as the complete opposite of that episode, which I also don't think is a bad thing. Both plots appear to be the same, someone from Starfleet shows up and is driven by personal reasons to uncover a conspiracy that most likely isn't there. The differences set in at around the half-way point, because while Admiral Satie used outrageous arguments to justify herself - thereby making herself the obvious villain - Sloan offers arguments that are, at least, plausible. In fact, they are so plausible (even using direct continuity with several previous episodes) that the audience honestly can begin to wonder if he may be correct - especially when you remember that something very similar was done to LaForge in "The Mind's Eye" (he was abducted by the Romulans, mentally broken and turned into a Romulan agent without his knowledge) and even more so once Bashir is kidnapped by Weyoun. The major difference is that "The Drumhead" ended with a Picard Speech concerning due process and "Inquisition" ends with Sloan saying such a position is naive.

Let me make one thing crystal clear, this is an interesting moral argument and it absolutely has to be discussed. The problem with Roddenberry's vision of the future is that for it to work you have to pretend a lot of things simply don't exist (like basic Human nature and needs). If Star Trek really is supposed to be a franchise about exploring the Human Condition then Gene's rules are simply counter-productive or outright in the way. In the real world there are organizations like Section 31 that act in very similar ways. How are we supposed to move past the obvious need for these groups if we're not allowed to have a mature conversation about them?

And speaking of mature conversations.... that's exactly what this episode is. Sloan is actually allowed to make reasonable arguments. He is not just a delusional madman or someone who is clearly the villain (like Satie). He is allowed to hold his own against Bashir and, at times, even comes across as the more sophisticated of the two. But what makes this so mature and adult is that the writers, while clearly coming down on the side of "Section 31 is bad" (see the episode's coda), allow the audience to make up their own minds. Nothing is force-fed to the audience here. Another wonderful example of this same type of argument is the movie "Captain America: Civil War", which makes really strong and compelling arguments in favor of an organization somewhat similar to Section 31.

Given that "Inquisition", VOY: "The Omega Directive" and "In the Pale Moonlight" all aired within two weeks of each other, I'd say Trek writers were really ready to abandon the "Roddenberry Box".

HOLODECK TOYS - 23 (+1)

10/10
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Luke
Mon, May 30, 2016, 2:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

"Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night" is an episode that oh so desperately wants to be as good as previous Kira-centric episodes like "Second Skin" and "Ties of Blood and Water". In many respects, it succeeds in that quest brilliantly. However, in one aspect it fails spectacularly.

First, how does it succeed. It's greatest strength is that it challenges Kira's black-and-white view of the world. Kira has always been prejudiced against any Bajoran who cooperated with the Cardassians on any level instead of joining the Resistance. Up until now she has always used the term "collaborator" as little more than a slur, a damning indictment against anyone who cooperated during the Occupation. But that viewpoint fails to take into account the fact that some collaborators only cooperated because they had no other choice. Sure, some became collaborator for purely selfish reasons - like the utterly despicable Basso - and they rightly deserve absolutely no sympathy. Meru and the other "comfort women", however, are a different story entirely. I understand and sympathize with Meru's choice at every stage because this is what most people would do. Most don't have Kira's fiery brand of determined self-confidence. Most would try to make the best of a bad situation. And look at it from Meru's perspective. She isn't thinking about broad political realities or possible futures; she's only thinking of the here and now, of how to provide for her children. That may make her weak (as Jammer says) and extremely vulnerable but it also makes her very.... well.... Human. So, do I feel sorry for Meru? You bet I do! Given that, however, I also love that Kira doesn't offer up a pat, sentimental ending for us in the episode's coda. Having her simply forgive Meru without a second thought simply wouldn't have worked for her character. With her ingrained hatred of collaborators, this revelation is something she would naturally have to mull over for quite some time.

So, how does the episode fail. In one word - Dukat. Having Dukat be the one who kept Meru as a "comfort woman" is just wrong on SO many levels. First, it destroys the "relationship" between Kira and Dukat. His desire to get into Kira's pants has always been somewhat creepy. But now the writers take that creepiness and crank it straight up to eleven! All those previous encounters now don't look like a man desperately seeking Bajoran approval, they look like a man who just wants to bone a woman whose mother he boned many, many times. Ewwwww! Second, it takes established continuity out behind the woodshed and whips it mercilessly until it is unconscious. For starters, it's been established that Dukat was Prefect of Bajor for the final ten years of the Occupation. That means that Kira travels back 16 years into the past (not 30-35 like Jammer states). Given Nana Visitor's age, it would have to be 30-35 years but just doesn't jive with what we know about the Occupation. That means that present-day, Season Six Kira is, at most, 21 years old. So, how old was she in "Emissary"? 15?! I DON'T THINK SO!! In addition, it simply does not work with Ziyal's backstory. If this is 16 years in the past, then Dukat should be "keeping house" with Tora Naprem - Ziyal's mother. Since Ziyal was 19 when she first appeared in "Indiscretion", that means she's 3 when Dukat first "seduces" Meru. Where the hell are these two women?!

All of this could have been avoided, and the episode would have been immensely stronger for it, if it had been some other Cardassian that Meru was "collaborating" with. If it was, for instance, an officer at the refugee camp that kidnapped Meru away and make her his "comfort woman" we could have avoided all of these glaring continuity errors and still had the emotional struggle of Kira remain intact. Present-day Dukat could still be the one who gets the ball rolling by letting Kira know just to be a bastard. If it had been, say, Dukat's second-in-command we could have even included some Ziyal material - with Kira having to befriend and understand the motivations of both Meru and Naprem (not to mention seeing baby Ziyal). But the writers just couldn't help but make Dukat the central bad guy, could they?

10/10 for Meru. 2/10 for Dukat and his oddly bright space station (seriously, isn't the station supposed to be dark and foreboding during the Occupation days? It looked like the lights were turned up higher than when the Federation is in control).

6/10
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zwiswoo
Mon, May 30, 2016, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

Luke has a fair point; it's hard to imagine the writer putting Nazi or Fascist words into the mouths of sympathetic characters, and the communists exacted a toll upon the world that greatly exceeded anything those other guys accomplished.
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Luke
Mon, May 30, 2016, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

In terms of the Worf/Dax relationship, "Change of Heart" is a very far cry away from the immature, asinine stupidity of "Let He Who Is Without Sin...", isn't it?! We actually get them expressing their love and affection for each other in a show that takes this relationship seriously. Everything they do feels genuine.

But, of course, the real cruz of the episode is the moral dilemma of whether or not to save Dax or complete the mission. This is exactly why "fraternization" in the military is strictly forbidden. I have to say, while I personally and emotionally love that Worf put his personal responsibility to his wife first, it would have been better if the mission weren't so vitally important. The number, location and doings of every Changeling in the Alpha Quadrant? That is one IMMENSE prize that Worf threw away in order to save Dax. If it had been a smaller prize they could have still had the moral questioning happen - maybe something like what JC said above, the location of a secret base or new technology. As it is, I'm left wondering if Worf did in fact make the right call. And I don't want to think that way about a man sacrificing his career for his spouse. This is one time where making the stakes high was the wrong decision. Though, I do love Sisko's response to Worf's actions. He basically tells him, in no uncertain terms that it was the wrong choice and that he will never allow Worf to make that same mistake again, but he wouldn't have left Jennifer either. Sisko can be such a great commanding officer! :-)

There's also something like half of a B-plot involving O'Brien and Bashir trying to beat Quark at his own game, because apparently they have nothing better to do. It's enjoyable for what it is, I guess. Though it is rather nice that it comes to an abrupt halt once Dax gets injured. The writers seem to have finally learned the lessons of "Life Support" and "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" - don't have a light-hearted B-plot dragging down an ultra-serious A-plot.

HOLODECK TOYS - 22 (+1)

7/10
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Nolan
Sun, May 29, 2016, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Forge

This arc, this is the arc that makes me wish Enterpise had continued. It has such reverance to the past. And is basically why I bought the show. (Though I also like many parts of S3, and S4 kept getting better and better, until it suddenly didn't)

As for T'Pol, @John G, it's not hints that she was half human, but apparently (so I've read) that her father would be revealed (presumably just to the audience) to be an undercover intelligence officer for the Romulans! This would explain her heightened emotional state compaired to other Vulcans.

I so wish this show had gotten to the Romulan War. Romulans are to me far more interesting villans than the overused Klingons, and they've been seriously shafted in the franchise.
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SlackerInc
Sun, May 29, 2016, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Revulsion

I agree about the suit and especially the heels.

Anyone else notice the nifty tracking shot early on, from when Tuvok stops talking to when the distress call comes in? Pretty sophisticated!
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NCC-1701-Z
Sun, May 29, 2016, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

@Ivanov: This comment made my day. Still cleaning spit from my keyboard.
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Naive Melody
Sun, May 29, 2016, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Equinox, Part I

Did I miss something while watching this episode, or did they fail to establish the sentience of these aliens? The aliens can apparently be summoned repeatedly, which suggests to me that they are falling for a simple "lure". I don't recall any effort to communicate, so how do we (and Voayger's crew) know that this isn't like eating meat?

Maybe Trek morality frowns upon eating animals? But I am sure I've seen Klingons eating meat, and Sisko's father ran a restaurant that served non-replicated food (seafood, I think, but still animals).
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Luke Matrix
Sun, May 29, 2016, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

In regards to the issue of things being similar in the alternate timeline with ship and crew, I feel that's just a necessary thing for both budget and story usage. I don't want to see a bunch of characters I've never seen before and have no emotional connection with. I love seeing my favourite characters in a different world and seeing what might have been. And they're not going to build new sets or a new model of the Enterprise-D. They barely had time to get the C made and had to take some liberties with the studio model versus the conceptual art. Even simply redressing the bridge cost a bunch of extra money. At some point there just has to be a suspension of disbelief in order to tell the story they want to tell.
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Robert
Sun, May 29, 2016, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@nooffenseintended - I'll cop to enjoying Trek '09 (though not Into Darkness). My biggest worry though is their success. It's lost something from MY Trek. They changed the formula on my favorite drink and it's selling better. That's terrifying!
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nooffenseintended
Sun, May 29, 2016, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@Matthew, I think what I am saying with respect to NuTrek is that there are many people who are watching these movies who are enjoying them simply because those people find them entertaining. There is nothing wrong with that. Yes, I do think people - some fans - are afraid that if they admit to having been entertained by something, these people feel they will be called out as "unhip." Read The Onion's review of 2009's Star Trek if you don't get where I'm coming from (the headline was, "Trekkers blast new movie as....fun, entertaining..."

Today, anyway, it IS uncool to cop to enjoying something that was made for a mass audience. Would Avatar and Titanic have anywhere near the level of hatred that they do were they not so wildly successful? Some Star Trek fans saw the movie series as their "property," and the last two movies made money precisely because the filmmakers didn't care. Wanting to entertain a mass audience and doing a decent job of it is not a crime.

"That guy," to me, is the type that claims to be a Trek fan but actually hates Trek REGARDLESS of how it is presented - as NuTrek or not. That type has been cast aside by the marketplace which is probably why the type has become more and more bitter and venomous.

Bottom line: the 2009 Trek movie got a score of 81/100 on Metacritic. A cadre of fans hated it far more than many people who review movies for a living. The movie made half a billion dollars. Certain fans - by definition - will dislike a movie that got that kind of praise and that kind of money. How can it possibly be good if it is entertaining for a mass audience? Some fans have grudgingly stand that they enjoy the last two Trek movies but have added, "but,.... They're not Star Trek." Says who? And more to the point, something's being "Star Trek" isn't a guarantee of quality. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is "Star Trek." Care to sit through it again? The best "Treks" we remember actually did dare to entertain a mass audience - that was not the only purpose of those films - but trying to entertain, instead of worrying of charges that you didn't flyspeck every syllable of every word of every line for continuity errors - is fine. If you think a movie is bad, argue why it is bad ON ITS OWN MERITS. Don't say "It's Not Star Trek" and think by doing so, you have started, finished and won the debate.

I am in agreement with you over being excited about the new series. Bryan Fuller and... Nicholas Meyer. Meyer described Star Trek as "middlebrow" escape entertainment on his DVD commentary for TWOK. In other words, the movie worked well because Meyer was not cowed by "serious" fandom. Fans who watched the DVD and heard his comments probably hate him now.
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Ivanov
Sun, May 29, 2016, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Here's how I think the other captains would have handled this.

Kirk would have found a way to seduce the Cogenitor and somehow convince them to Treat the Cogenitors like equals.
Picard would have accepted her request for asylum and given a speech about sentient rights.
The Sisko would have let her on board and dared them to try and get the Cogenitor back from him and the Defiant.
Based on the episode "unforgettable" theirs a chance Janeway would have done the same thing as Archer with the Doctor taking the place of Trip.
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Nolan
Sun, May 29, 2016, 7:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

Yeah, I don't see why everyone is trying to compare Malik to Khan. Khan was a military commander and ruler of a quarter of the globe. He was older than Malik by at leadt a decade. Malik and his crew on the otherhand were just growing out of teenage-hood (and can any of us say we were rational at that age?) and grew up in a shack in the middle of the woods with no chance to experience human society or interact with anyone that wasn't an augment. Plus all they knew of humanity was that they were supposedly better than the rest of us were. Inflated egos AND teenage tendancies? Forget it.
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dipads
Sun, May 29, 2016, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Back when the finale aired, I did not mind that no aftermath was shown to bring a closure to all the story arcs that were created during seven seasons, because I was hoping for a few Voyager movies on the big screen to show us all the consequences upon returning but as of this writing, there are no plans for bringing VOY on the big screen.
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Nate
Sun, May 29, 2016, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

Yes Jammer, you did go out of your way to say that "Voyager is bad and DS9 is good". Everyone knows that you are a DS9 fanboi and that you really can not stand Voyager. Voyager was a better series. It did not take place on a space station and revolve around wormhole prophets.
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Nate
Sun, May 29, 2016, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Jammer had a serious grudge against Voyager. The only thing I can think of is that this was not DS9, his favorite series. A series that was ok, but took place on a space station that was ran by a demi prophet (wormhole alien). This was one of my favorite finales on Voyager. Fun episode, 4 stars.
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nothingoriginal55
Sun, May 29, 2016, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

All Troi ever does is sit on the bridge and state the obvious, how difficult or steessful could her job possibly be?
Man, I hate Troi.

That being said, The Loss and Man of the people are much better Troi stories...
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Matthew
Sun, May 29, 2016, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@nooffenseintended

I'm not sure I follow your analogy all the way. I do see the irony in Star Trek fans having more hate for the franchise, at least in it's current incarnation, than non-fans. But that in and of itself is unremarkable, lots of Star Wars fans were in a similar position in the mid 00's.

But are you saying that the hate for NuTrek coming from fans is a result of trying to be hip or avoid being unhip? As though there is elitist cache in hating on NuTrek.

Because that seems ludicrous on it's on its face. When was Star Trek ever hip, or even hip to hate on (like a Michael Bay or M. Night film)? And particularly now that it's been remade using the highly marketable Star Wars template, there's absolutely no cache in being "that guy" in the room arguing for more "boring" Star Trek.

It just so happens that this fansite is a place where a good number of "that guys" come from time to time. (And for the record, I got a lot more positive about the new series after they brought Bryan Fuller on.)
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

"Dis combat is to de det." --T'Pau

Gotta love Vulcans with Viennese accents.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

@Stubbs

"One question. What happens to Kirk's nephew in 'Operation: Annihilate'? Both his parents (Kirk's brother and sister-in-law) are dead. Assuming the kid survived -- which we aren't told -- shouldn't Kirk feel obligated to care for him? Oh well. It Takes A Village, I guess."

In at least one of the (non-canon, of course) novels, it is stated that Peter was sent to Earth to live with and be raised by his paternal grandmother, Winona.
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navamske
Sun, May 29, 2016, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

@Grumpy

"I wonder how many exact duplicates of Earth are located in, say, the Klingon Empire. 'Cause there's plenty in Federation space."

The writers created the fictitious "Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development" to "explain" why all the aliens were humanoid and all the "town" location shooting ("Miri," "Return of the Archons," "The City on the Edge of Forever") was done on the studio's back lot. Notably, this "Hodgkin's Law" was never mentioned in any of the subsequent incarnations of Star Trek.
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