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Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 7:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

Enough with Vic Fontaine already -- I've said before: make him a real character as some kind of station entertainment (perhaps even traveling) but making him some kind of super-holodeck character is a bit much. Anyhow, now we've got to care about this holodeck character in this inconsequential, light-hearted and even stupid episode. Not an episode to be taken seriously.

I guess the DS9 cast like acting out different eras/themes whether it's James Bond or now characters in a mobster movie. The only time it worked for me was "Far Beyond the Stars" where there were serious implications for the main story arc. Here, I found it hard to care and was barely entertained. Maybe the most important thing was Ben and Kassidy talking about racism during that mobster era -- but that got quickly swept under the rug given the inane nature of this episode.

Not a fan of Kira in her role here (or her role in the Mirror Universe) -- she's a good looking woman but not a fan of the complete change in character. Kind of insulting...

TOS did the mobster theme way better with "A Piece of the Action" -- that was humorous and provided a much better premise for Kirk/Spock acting as mobsters. This episode wasn't meant to be a comedy but it just turned out to be silly even though the cast is serious about helping Vic.

Basically the only tension here is how the plan adjusts to some bumps in the road. The DS9 cast gets creative and pulls it off -- I guess it's different to actually know what each person's role is and seeing how they adjust to the curveballs that are thrown their way. I think usually we'd just see the plan "live" and not know what was supposed to happen. Nice that most of the cast got involved -- but why were Quark and Jake excluded??

If you like mobster cliches, plenty of that here -- I don't personally care for them, although I would say the portrayals of Frankie Eyes, the big goon etc. were as you'd expect.

1.5 stars for "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" -- just not something that I can care about after a strong episode like "Chimera" or even regardless. It's just supposed to be hollow entertainment and, of course, DS9 needs filler episodes. At least it wasn't as bad as a Ferengi episode.
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Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 7:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

3.75/4 for me.

This was a great great episode.

I'd like to point out that I don't mind if they reuse plots from anything else, because the point of The Orville to me is to "red lamp" usual plots and show how "it would really happen". Meaning things like, Star Trek would've over dramatize the second visit, with grandiose meetings, being captured, etc etc. Whereas Kelly just plainly, "look at my hand, look at it healed, done".

That's where the Orville really excells.

Where it fails, unfortunately, is still how it's becoming a serious show, but still struggling to keep adding humor. If you took off the random humor it'd be great for me. Not the hilarious scenes like the hot potato game, or the leaving the admiral on, that's fine and organic. It's the little tid bits like the "Don't tell them I screamed". They're jarring.

I think they didn't quite realize how good of a serious show they had, and halfway between the season started realizing the humor is hard to keep up.

Also, the actress for Kelly was so good this episode. I could really feel her emotions.
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Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 7:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

There's nothing wrong with having a character who comes from a Christian background. Humanity is spread out all over the Alpha Quadrant. Not everyone is going to live according to the Earth mainstream culture. She's also a trader while Earth has rejected money. Older ideas may be more common in some of the colonies.

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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 7:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

Clearly, not a good "Trek" outing. I don't dislike it as much as many fans do, but it's a bottom 25% episode. I'm actually not against the idea of episode in general. But the execution was Season 1 bad. Still, I was sufficiently entertained despite the many flaws discussed above.

I'll talk about Troi in this episode:

I think she stepped up her game a bit at the beginning. But toward the end, they wrote two really dumb things for her:

One: On the planet, she was practically dismissive about the Romulan situation. The very second the word "Romulan" comes into play, the drama on Angel One takes a back seat. PRIORITIES!

Two: At the very end, after they've cleared up the Angel One situation but still recovering from the virus, they warp off to confront the Romulans. And she's smiling and goofin'. Please. They are about to warp off to a much higher-stakes situation. It's not the moment for mirthy shared smiles.

Oh well, Troi will learn in about five more seasons to take these Romulans seriously.

P.S. -- I did LOL when Data was playing with the perfume bottle and then after the crew leaves the room, "Trent" comes in and gives himself a couple of squirts. Just a weird little moment that was cheesy but funny.

P.S. Two -- This show would have been dramatically more interesting if "Trent" was part of the package for a roll in the hay with Beata. I can legitimately see her insisting that Riker include her little man in the sexcapade. Alas, it was still the '80s.

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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 6:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Datalore

So this started out promising but falls apart as the show wears on. Plus, I just never took to Lore. And title of the show: "Datelore." Stupid.

Count me in with the chorus who felt like the adults were really dumbed down so Wesley could look good. Again. Ugh.

In some timeline, he was executed for violating that innocent flower bed on the Edo planet. I want to see that show.
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Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 5:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

I think this episode does more for the Odo/Kira romance than any other -- both characters are extremely well acted and really demonstrate what love means and that it does conquer all. And it isn't done in a cliche or cheesy way. A very strong episode that had me thinking a bit about TNG's "I Borg" for some related thoughts. There's a lot of good stuff here about what makes humans what they are vs. what Changelings are purported to be.

In a way, the Laas character comes across similar to the female Founder who was always trying to convince Odo to join the link -- but I like how Odo has to juggle going off to find the other Founders vs. staying with Kira. But Laas provides some interesting commentary on humanoids that Odo's friends don't like but one that I think is very valid -- how are species meant to exist without ruining others' existence. (Laas should tell that to the Founders!)

Quark's little speech to Odo about instincts and fear turning to hate when faced with the unknown also rings true about humanoids. The Ferengi doesn't have much of a role but every now and then they insert him in to make an important point.

Where the episode falters a bit for me is the discussion of putting Laas in front of the magistrate -- here it didn't seem like Ben Sisko was all that serious and that he basically let Kira off the hook for letting Laas escape. Was it supposed to be a "wink-wink, nod-nod" kind of thing? (And I also have to wonder if Laas could escape if he really wanted to). And what about the security officer who let Kira speak alone to Laas? Don't they check with him? So the episode basically covers this up to ensure the proper Odo/Kira payoff.

3.5 stars for "Chimera" -- quality DS9 here that takes Odo/Kira to a new level as well as exploring human traits in a way that's not heavy-handed. A lot of the writing is perfect and the delivery of it works really well. Also about time we hear about another one of those 100 Changelings sent out into the universe aeons ago.
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Dan Bolger
Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 7:46am (UTC -6)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I thought rogue one was an excellent addition to the star wars canon. An original and interesting story that seamlessly segues into a new hope. Not much I disliked in the film at all, an interesting premise for a side story and an excellently utilized exhibition of darth vader, particularly in the last few minutes. I slightly preferred it to the force awakens. Good performances throughout, generally, and only a bit slight for the lack of a cogent film score theme. Great fun throughout the film.
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Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 5:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

These "misunderstandings" by the M5 seem to be pretty simple - it's not like there was some complex puzzle to figure a war game, no! it's a real war!
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Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 12:21am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

I really liked this episode, but I wish Captain Christopher's child that would change the future had been a daughter instead of a son. And that the thrilled comment from him had been "I'm going to have a daughter? Wow!"

I know, I know, this was 1967.
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Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 12:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: All Our Yesterdays

I also liked the character actors in the 1700's type era Kirk lands in. That whole dimension and the characters in it (the woman accusing Kirk of witchcraft, the magistrate, and the jailer) was very well done.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 11:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Clues

It’s a 3.5 Star episode only thing holding it back from 4 stars was the reveal of missing day. In hindsight I think a better alternative to Paxans being isolationists and needing memories of their existence wiped would be that they are so paranoid about the Borg learning of their species existence and coming for them to be assimilated that that was the reason for them so determined no one knows of them
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 11:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

Huh, no William B's review/comments here?

@SteveRage: "I had no emotional investment in these "Regressives" so couldn't really be bothered if they were being exterminated or not...... Sorry."

Really? I find your lack of empathy disturbing.

@Dave: "But I have to wonder, if the Regressives were all killed, where did these Fima Colonists come from? I assumed throughout the entire episode that the new home they kept mentioning was Fima Colony. Or did they create two colonies and kill off one of them? In that case, why would they go to all that trouble of starting a second colony? It all lends too much credency to the theory that these memories aren't 100% accurate after all."

I'm quite sure they created only one colony for themselves and the Regressives were just killed in a spacecraft that was supposed to take them to their new planet/colony.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 9:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

Pretty good 2-parter - felt like a full-fledged Voyager movie. I actually prefered the 2nd part over the 1st part as the 1st part seemed like something more familiar for the Voyager crew to be undergoing -- just happy in their different jobs ("Bliss" came to mind) whereas the 2nd part had more conflict and a good wrap-up.

I liked the idea of the Voyager crew in a different setting and how their individual characteristics get reflected in how they do different work (7 as some QC officer, Paris tending a bar, Janeway hooking up with a credible dude). Good episode for Chakotay who did a convincing job as the main man on the ground.

Big production here as well, plenty of decent guest actors, sets etc. That's refreshing to see -- a budget being put to good use.

I actually wasn't a fan of the start of the episode as it's pretty clear Voyager's crew has been kidnapped and then you know we'll get the backstory from somebody left on board the ship -- haven't we seen this kind of trick before?

Would also have been good to know what motivated the doctor who was pulling off this job -- odd that it seemed he was the head guy running this crime. So some of the operation could have been made to appear more believable for me.

I enjoyed the bit of humor with Harry Kim and Doc vying for command while Chakotay was gone -- we know both of these 2 have ambitions of bigger and better things.

Part I 2.5 stars, Part II 3 stars -- Part I had some padding in it, Part II had none and really got to the gravity of the problem and the difficulty in solving it. Nice moments at the end for Janeway and Torres/Paris. Good ambitious episode here, but not particularly creative.

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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 8:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Mertov: Interesting points. Let me try some counter arguments or enhancements as to why Discovery is so polarizing.

1.) Yes, you are right, everything thats new is hated at first. And it is also clear, that the only thing praised was production (as it was obviously better). But Discovery is not just new and mildly different (like TNG is to TOS), it is completely different in tone (blood, gore), themes (torture, warcrimes, done by the "good guys") and execution (serialized, not episodic, constant plotting and mystery like Game of Thrones). The production is newer, but also of a very distinct style, that of the Abrams movies, which are equally polarizing. Enterprise got much hatred from many people, but it at least really looked like Star Trek - which leads to point 2.

2.) Yes, being a prequel is VERY bad for the show. Not only does it make the visuals even more jarring, when everybody knows how TOS looks, how ENT looks, how TNG looks, it also can not add anything radically new to the universe - and when it does, people will lose their minds over it. Just remember the shit Enterprise got for the Borg-Episode, or including the Ferengi far too early. And when it adds something radically different (like Spocks adoptive Sister, or the Spore Drive), we know that it can not have any consequences, and if it does, it completely breaks the previous series.

3.) I think that is not a reason at all. People watch weekly shows all the time - or purposely postpone watching them until a season is out completely. Yes, it can be true that negative attitudes toward the show increase negative attitude in viewers, but that is true for every other show out there right now - and shows like The Expanse or Walking Dead still have massive fan followings - not to speak of Game of Thrones, and all those shows have their haters. The problem with this show is that is has "Star Trek" written on it - just like many people didn't like the new Mad Max (even though it was not a bad movie, but it wasn't about Max).

So, while your points play a role, I think it is not entirely the reason people scrutinize the show so much. I think reason four is the reason why I personally scrutinized the show so harshly: Because I watched it.

I saw the first episode when it released, didn't read any comments on it, and was prepared to forgive it many flaws - I actually liked the first fifteen minutes or so. It was all downhill from there, for an two episode opener that had so many flaws that I could scarcely believe it. After that, I looked out extra carefully for any flaw, because the show had to prove to me that it was not as bad as it seemed. Now, in hindsight, I would maybe not as harsh - but everything viewed in hindsight is not as bad as when it happened, and when a show can make up for it in the long run, you can forgive a first season. Yes, the scrutiny of this show is extreme - but the last Star Trek show is not that far in the past that it has an entirely new fanbase (or mostly new) like Dr. Who, and it was always far more consistent than the latter. It also has fifty years of history, droves of scientists who only became scientists because of Star Trek (the extrasolar Asteroid passing through our solar system right now was given a name in Klingon in a scientific paper), and is a global cultural phenomenon. So yeah, if you screw that up, people can and will criticize your product down to the smallest detail.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Elementary, Dear Data

I've been on the HMS Victory - a huge, beautiful museum ship in the British town of Portsmouth - so seeing the Victory model on screen in the opening teaser was a treat. Regarding some criticisms voiced above: I think we just have to forgive the characters in season 1and 2 for having no idea how the holodeck works and what its implications are. It's something the writers themselves seem to be figuring out.

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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 7:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Was a good episode, 3 stars from me. Yeah, of course, the plot was contrieved in places, and Kelly was stupid to just show herself, but lets be honest, it was just a shorthand to get the plot moving. Now, you might not like that, but given that the story only has about 40 minutes to get going, I personally can live with that.

As for the religious aspect: Seth was actually really kind to the religion. The head-priest or pope that was entirely reasonable and valued truth over dogma, the explanation at the end that religion is a necessary step on the path to enlightenment ... Really, if he had wanted to shit on religion, there were many more options open to him.

And for the people criticizing him for supposedly not understanding religion: First, he didn't try, that was not the focus of the episode. The focus was on "how can an advanced civilization affect an underdeveloped culture". Secondly, he does not have to understand the intricate details of religion - the effects that religion has on people is enough reason to criticize religion. To all of you defending religion, must I remind you of the Middle East? Or the Middle Ages? I get it, you don't want to lose your faith, but face the facts: God has retreated into the farthest corners of the universe, to a time before the Big Bang, and clinging to a belief in god today is like believing in Santa Claus. Now, does that mean that religion teaching or spirituality can not teach us anything? No. But it is time that supernatural superstition and organized religion goes the way of the dinosaurs.
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Trek fan
Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: All Our Yesterdays

A touching Spock story with a poignant Sci-Fi setup, "All Our Yesterday's" is one of my favorite Trek episodes. The way it separates Spock/McCoy from Kirk, and ALL three of them from the Enterprise whose interiors we never even see in this one, remains unique in TOS despite the more routine reset-romance subplot. I gladly give it 3 1/2 or 4 stars.

When I first saw this episode as a kid, I was moved by Spock's tragic romance with Zarabeth, as he devolves mentally into a more primitive state (and yes, I think that's plausible given his isolation from the logical trappings and mental bond with Vulcans of his own time) and begins gradually to show alarming signs of shirking his duty to remain with the woman who loves him. Today I'm a bit more "meh" on Zarabeth, having seen the entire series including Spock romances like "This Side of Paradise" that make the beats feel more routine, but Nimoy still plays the part well. This story feels like the more challenging performance for him, given that he needs to show gradual loss of control rather than a sudden alien-induced emotionalism as in earlier episodes, and he has some nice chemistry with the guest actress who unfortunately isn't terribly strong. As their shared loneliness smolders into a deep attraction, and McCoy becomes alarmed at the realization that he can't get back to the future alone without Spock, there is still some genuine tension in the dilemma.

The Sci-Fi setup of a planet whose people travel back into their own history to avoid destruction by their sun's supernova -- a highly understandable way of coping with an inconsolable disaster, as I can understand their preferring to live on their home soil even in the past to current-day diaspora, if resettling on another planet was even an option -- is to me one of the best and most intriguing in Trek. And I don't mind so much how the Big Three get there: While trying to ascertain where the planet's population went to avoid the supernova, Kirk hears a woman scream and acccidentally jumps into the time machine, and McCoy and Spock jump in after him. Makes sense to me: They wanted to stick around just long enough to find out where people went and make sure they're safe; there's no way they could have known what would happen. When they land in different places, there's a real shock in the realization that they will spend most of the episode incommunicado and completely cut off from their own time period, and I like that extra edge. The time machine -- Automocron? -- perfected by the planet's society is fascinating, as we learn that it was used in the past to sentence criminals like Zarabeth, who is apparently from a time earlier than the present-day supernova, when she was sentenced to the ice age for life by a tyrant. Meanwhile, Kirk meets a magistrate in the planet's Salem Witch Trial age who is actually from the present day and has chosen to flee into this particular time period, learning that the machine needs to prepare them to survive in the past or else they will die there. On the other hand, if they are not prepared on a molecular level before time travel, they must return to the future before they die.

On this point, watching Spock rebuff McCoy's digs and become the Alpha Male of their three-person universe is also intriguing: Spock's actions are technically logical, as he mistakenly thinks he and McCoy can no longer survive in the future, and McCoy is the one illogically clinging to the hopes of return. Yet Spock seems a bit too quick to accept the apparent logic of the situation for illogical reasons, namely his attraction to Zarabeth. In any event, his closing line about Zarabeth being dead for 5,000 years is moving in its self-inflicted coldness. If the planet's people cope with their pain by fleeing into whichever part of its past, they idealize most, Spock is a man who copes with his personal pain through logic, allowing his brain to soothe his feelings. This kind of emotional suppression is not the best coping mechanism for an emotional crisis, obviously, but it's a key part of Spock's character nicely essayed by Nimoy here.

Meanwhile, Kirk plays around in the renaissance fair and returns to the library, where he talks to Scotty (audio only -- and Scotty is the only other cast member in this episode since we never see the ship's interior) and contends with the irritating Mr. Atoz. The scene where he pushes Kirk in thte library cart is funny. Indeed, the colorful and over-the-top Kirk action subplot is almost comic relief between the increasingly desperate cave scenes. I like the Spock-McCoy dynamics when McCoy finally says something like "my life is back there, and I'm going to try, because I want that life." Another unusual touch is that McCoy (with this dialogue, in which he decides to return to the portal) and not Spock ends up saving them from the death they do not even know awaits them (they merely think they are lost in the past forever) if they stay too long in the past.

If we compare this final Spock episode to the next and final episode "Turnabout Intruder," which is the final Kirk episode, I think this one is the real winner. While "Intruder" has plenty of Shatnering, the spectacle of Shatner pretending to be a woman in a man's body, and the female guest star pretending to be Shatner in her body, feels weird and uncomfortable. By contrast, "All Our Yesterdays" delivers a classic tragedy that looks through a Sci-Fi lens at how hurting people cope with impossible loss, and offers some really solidly thoughtful stuff on that.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I don't get why people hate tech talk so much. That's the best part of star trek alongside the space battles! Seeing so many ways for future tech to work
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James Alexander
Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 4:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Blink of an Eye

this was my favorite episode of the series when I was little. I thought it was so fascinating watching an entire civilisation develop.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 4:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

I am pretty sure I had given up on TNG when this was on the first time around as I could not remember it at all.
This was a tedious collection of overused Trek themes as has been remarked upon already.
God knows what the heck Geordi's new mojo has to do with anything at all and no , please,please Mr yawn fest-in-a-hilarious-full body condom-don't transform into a glowing superbeing.
Yep-series 3-hmm-at least the Borg are coming to kick the Federation's arse next week.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

A decent but overly idealistic episode that illustrates the Trekkian themes of cooperation, non-discrimination, not giving up. Perhaps something like this is needed now and then but I still liked the idea of a spatial void and ships having to do whatever it takes to survive.

The idealistic part is Janeway immediately resorting to Federation principles to try and work together to escape given what the immediate experience was with Valen. It's worth trying I suppose and the episode challenges her principles a bit but not as much as it should have given the really dire circumstances.

There's the incident with the bigoted alien who proves Janeway's first instincts about him right. I guess Janeway needed more of a challenge to her ideals than Tuvok/Chakotay providing some initial resistance for the episode to have enough teeth.

We also see the potato people again who join the alliance -- and as I recall, they're quite good at surveillance. Plenty of oddball aliens in this one which made the episode a bit goofy at times. Janeway had a good line about feeling like she's back in the Federation again given all these alliances Voyager's making .

What's also nice and Trekkian is Voyager adopting the alien vermin who live in the void and then they come in handy by disabling Valen's ship and an bigot's. This works out too conveniently and in the nick of time.

There's the usual ending with Voyager and the alliance ships getting fired upon but managing to escape as Torres pulls off what should be understood as something of a miracle although it doesn't get played up that much.

2.5 stars -- thought the episode could have been grittier, but not a bad premise overall. This kind of reminds me of how a TOS episode might have unfolded -- trying to exemplify some key themes without being dark or sinister.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 3:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

This episode has one great scene, and that's the moment Picard in the ready room joyously tells the crew of his fun times in the Holodeck. The rest doesn't work. It fails as a homage to 1940s/50s noirs, and its central conflict makes no sense, as Data - super fast and impervious to bullets - could have easily saved Picard and company and disarmed the holo-villains.
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William B
Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 12:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

I think I remember reading someone doing a psychoanalysis of this episode, with the monster as id -- I read it years ago, and don't remember much. Anyway, here's my take, possibly informed by that: the teaser features the first genuinely sympathetic Malon characters we've seen, and establishes the importance of a happy childhood as the two Malon discuss what toys to get Fesek's child. Then after a rupture of containment, the teaser ends; when we come back, the B'Elanna/Tuvok scene establishes that B'Elanna, wounded over her pile-up of childhood and young adult injuries, takes her anger out on people who happen to cross her. B'Elanna is hostile to the Malon, but what she emphasizes repeatedly is her disgust that these people are dumping their garbage on innocent people rather than dealing with it. I'm sensing a theme. So B'Elanna reacts badly to the Malon partly because they remind her of her own problems (at least her problem-of-the-week), because she's in grave danger of dumping her own unprocessed garbage on anyone who happens to be nearby, when a rupture is ready and containment fails. This comparison comes to a head in the climax, when it turns out that the monster is a Malon who has been sufficiently poisoned as to "die" and then go mad with rage and want to kill everyone, and here B'Elanna articulates that she understands that kind of anger -- no longer fully separating herself from what she sees as the monstrousness of the Malon, even in its most extreme form. Tuvok also mentions, early in the episode, that anger can be a powerful tool if channeled properly, and so yes, B'Elanna ends up pouring out her anger on the diseased Malon in a life-threatening (lives-threatening) instance. And then she showers to get rid of the grime on her while she revisits her memories of the fight, and we're meant to see these two actions -- the processing of what just happened to her and the sonic showering to vibrate the dirt away -- as being the same thing. So this is a show about emotional waste management, about finding ways to remove the theta radiation of pent-up feelings without harming innocents, and maybe sometimes to use that as a power source. In addition to B'Elanna relating to the poisoned Malon directly, still feeling like an injured outsider all these years later, it also serves as a reminder that the parts of oneself that one doesn't want to recognize still live on and can end up causing considerable damage; the Malon ship is also in some ways analogous to B'Elanna, with the hidden creature inside being the congealed anger and pain she tries to deny until it continually sabotages the ship (her life) and threatens to hurt anyone near her, including those trying to help.

On that level, the episode is a decent psychological study with a good central metaphor. The performances I thought were good, especially Ron Canada's guest turn as Fesek, and I like that he is rendered sympathetically throughout. The episode gives Neelix something to do in a way that's pretty in keeping with his character history and is not annoying. I also like that Voyager works on plans B and C while the Plan A goes on, suggesting a kind of competence and decent planning on the main staff; and I think also that this ability to make relatively cool-headed decisions contrasts with the difficulties B'Elanna is facing. There are two main problems I have with the show:

1. B'Elanna has always had a temper and this is a consistent point that has been raised. However, the idea that in *this* particular episode, she is a constant live wire unable to control herself, to the point where Tuvok recommends pulling her from the away mission, seems a little out of nowhere. She's been on life-threatening missions before. Why is it that they're so sure that she's unreliable *now*? Relatedly, B'Elanna's frequent outbursts seem to be implausibly intense throughout the show. The episode just doesn't justify why her garbage is all coming out right now. This is as opposed to something like Day of Honor, which clearly identified an initial trigger and then showed her day gradually worsening, and even so her professionalism was not in question, so much as her failure to make sense of her personal life.

2. It's kind of boring for some stretches and I'm not sold on its effectiveness as a horror story. The "monster" ends up not being that interesting except for what it tells us about B'Elanna, and the POV shots just seem silly.

All in all, it's an episode with a cool character core idea, somewhat fumbled in execution by insufficiently justifying what makes B'Elanna so totally unreliable in this situation, as opposed to others -- and which is not all that entertaining for me. 2.5 stars, probably.
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

People love to debate. On religion maybe you should watch Dr Who episodes and debate on which faired worse.

This is my last post until 2018 so Happy Holidays! Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa! And Happy New Year to the Orville Faithfuls! 😁
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Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 11:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

The episode had some fun looks at the characters and I am a defender of a bit of "filler" now that we're in the age when some people think that practically everything on TV has to be just one long movie to the exclusion of anything else.

But the extremism of the Vulcans' problem with Sisko and humans (and other non-Vulcans) in general made the whole setup just plain unpleasant and not very believable. This is, after all, a centuries-old society where people of different species cooperate on a regular basis even if they don't always like each other.

The idea that it's remotely acceptable in the Federation to burst into someone's office, racially abuse them and challenge them to a contest designed to be particularly humiliating to people of their background if they lose is outrageous. Imagining this going on in your workplace.

It also gets Vulcan bigotry wrong. They would be coldly superior, not flinging stupid insults. They would be overly annoyed at humans for actual common human flaws rather than on some obsessive quest to prove that humans are bad at everything.

If Sisko had actually done something that offended or hurt these particular Vulcans personally it would made more sense. Or if Sisko was tired of Vulcan superiority and HE was the one who said "well at least we can play baseball" and the Vulcan were like "Oh, we could become better at that, too."
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