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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Doctor's Orders

Overall I don't think this is a very good episode - Billingsley's acting is very good, however. But basically no plot other than Phlox's hallucinations (why the T'Pol hallucination so permanent while the other ones are ephemeral is a question) and his struggle to get the ship into warp.
When T'Pol first appears in engineering and nearly gives Phlox a heart attack when she surprises him, I could have sworn she was also shut down which is why Phlox has to watch over the engines. So I start doubting my own memory but then the ending confirms Phlox was having a major-league hallucination with T'Pol. Not a big reveal at the end -- however it does mean the writers took some liberties with how Phlox can hallucinate for the purposes of the episode.
Also thought the atmosphere for Phlox's terror was handled reasonably well although the 1st half hour went by slowly -- I was wondering what is going to be the point of this whole thing.
Rating: 2 stars -- basically shows Billingsley is one of the best actors in ENT, does the paranoia very well but it's all hallucinations and ultimately not very meaningful.
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Mahler 1
Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

First time commenter here. Jammer, thank you for these reviews; I've used them as a viewing companion for the past few years as I've watched TNG for the first time. I happen to agree with most of the ratings, and I find the arguments compelling.

Here's a thought: when I first saw 'Ambassador Chocolate's' hedonistic pleasure in eating dessert, I first thought he might be a child in a man's body. He later tells Troi that his species are 'born' in fully adult form.

Is it possible that 'Ambassador Chocolate' is simply a kid? For that matter, is it possible that the three aliens are, in fact, rather young--hence the naive manner in which they approach learning of culture in Starfleet? (Perhaps this offers too much of a smoke screen to a story that lacks internal coherence.)
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Harbinger

Ridiculous episode - this is exactly what we don't want from Star Trek because we can get it from other shows (if we so desire).
So much stupidity between Reed and the major -- shouldn't senior officers be able to sit down and talk things through instead of it coming to blows -- isn't that what Star Trek should be?
And then the sexual tension - bizarre love triangle - with Trip in the middle...just silliness all around.
And the B or C plot (or maybe D plot) of some mysterious alien trying to destroy the ship -- that made very little sense.
S3 of ENT isn't going so well and "Harbinger" is probably the worst episode I've seen in it so far -- giving it 1 star. As if the writers just tried to fill an episode with nonsense to try to please viewers of other shows, throw in a token mysterious alien as well.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten


Thanks for the answer. I agree that Quark and Odo share a unique connection, and that Odo would be interested in collecting artifacts of the family he can no longer be with. A dead changeling still seems to be an unusual offer. I might think there might be some sort of legalities about selling alive or dead changelings, a sentient being. But then I’m strange that way. And of course, this is Quark, if there were legalities, he still would be undeterred. Thanks.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Proving Ground

You had to know the Andorians had something up their sleeves (or in their antennae) coming this far to help the Enterprise -- it was almost too good to be true how much help they were giving at first. Yes, Shran likes to repay debts but this was going too far.
Definitely nice to get Shran and the Andorians back into the story given so many nameless / unrelatable aliens. It does help to understand Shran's character and then have him involved in the story.
Definitely getting tired with the Xindi roundtable - it's the same old crap as Jammer says and it's not helping build up any personalities or deeper understanding of the issue.
I suppose the interaction between the female Andorian lieutenant and Reed was ok -- that's kind of where the first hint of subterfuge came in (with the scanners).
A good story, Coombs as Shran gives the episode some life but I'm still not riveted to the greater story arc. On it's own "Proving Ground" deserves 3 stars adding an interested and much-needed twist to the story arc.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

Great episode. Quite innovative to make the crossover character an actual ship. And what a ship! lol. As a Superman fan, seeing a super ship depicted like Superman ought to be (unstoppable) was great.
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Jason R.
Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Strejda I am using "fails" in the sense of "does not" and "stranger" in the sense of someone who is not connected to another by some recognised relationship (family, employment, contract etc...)

So if you see a man about to be hit by a car, can save him, but choose not to, it is certainly not murder. Absent a special relationship, it is not even illegal, unless there is some good Samaritan law on the books a la Seinfeld - but even in the latter case, you are not a "murderer".

I haven't seen the episode, but based on the facts described, Flox and Archer had 0 obligation to the aliens and are in no conceivable way "murderers" for failing to help them, period not up for discussion.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

And to answer of the question of why Odo would be interested in the first place, "Vortex" suggests Odo is interesting in collecting artifacts from his people. At the very least, a dead Changeling would be a physical memento of the family he can no longer be with.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten


"I am wondering though, other than getting things started, why would Quark think that Odo would be interested in purchasing a dead changeling?"

My impression is that there's an unspoken comradery between Quark and Odo, which we see play out through the series. After "Broken Link" Quark knows how glum Odo has been, so it would make sense that he'd give Odo the first bid on what he thought was just dead Changeling matter.

Quark also has a reputation for peddling questionable wares (see "Q-Less"), so Quark may have thought he had junk merchandise and only Odo would give it a real look. This is supported by Quark suddenly upping the bid when he realizes the Changeling not only exists but is alive.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

To be frank, I don't like this movie at all, but... it has really fabulous opening sequence (from Picard's dream to the end of the battle of Sector 001) - best piece of grand, cinematic, Trek since The Motion Picture.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

The whole premise of this episode is impossible to buy. A corporation wants to bulldoze an entire town to build this thing? Have the writers ever been to Indiana? I could show them a few cornfields that would be a lot cheaper to plow under. Or they could do it in Iowa and use Kevin Costner's land from Field of Dreams.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 5:58am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Colonial Day

@capitalist "Roslin that she had TWO unpleasant matters to take care of "

I always took the second one as her asking Dr. Baltar to run for vp as her feelings towards him at this point have been a bit back and forth. She doesn't really like him.
and if you remember during the banquet she talks about "The Devil you know". So no she did not kill or have Valance killed.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 4:27am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

@methane It doesn't imply any of that. It's just the reason why it happens (regardless of how things turn out)-advantageous genes for your enviroment are favored and less advantageous are not. But you are right, another reason the moral dilemma here is garbage.

@Jason R. "A stranger fails" 1. They are not strangers, they are people they asked and that agreed to help them. 2. They didn't "fail", (he already had the cure, remember), he refused and purposefully let them die. 3. "doctor patient" "DOCTOR PATIENT" "D.O.C.T.O.R. P.A.T.I.E.N.T."
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 3:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

@DLPB You are wrong. Nothing you said contradicts their argument. Domion wants good press BECAUSE they are conquering shit left and right. Bajor signed a non-agression act and as they said in the first episode, they want to show that as long as you don't resist, there is nothing you have to worry about. It makes sense just fine.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

To make a great episode of a TV show, you need both an intriguing premise and strong execution. 'Living Witness' has both. It's one of the greatest episodes of Voyager I've seen, and I'll continue to go back to it for many a year both as a ST fan and a passionate student of history. I love the actors' enthusiasm in the 'evil Voyager' scenes, which are not only hilarious but tell us a lot about how the Kyrians think and how distorted a culture's view of history can be.

For me the lesson is that any group is prone to this kind of revisionism. We attempt to make sense of past events by arranging the facts into a narrative, and inevitably, things that don't support that narrative are willfully ignored or twisted around until they fit. Every time we try to wrap things into a neat package and say "this is what happened," something is lost along the way.

Without the Doctor's program there to clear things up, the Kyrians probably would have gone on believing this version of history, tweaking or altering it only as time and social conditioning dictated. Unless one is lucky enough to have an objective recording method handy, there really is no right or wrong view of history, because no one's view is infallible, and as the information is passed on you have to settle for recycling someone else's version of the facts in an endless cycle - possibly a cycle of diminishing returns. It's the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.

Four stars, indeed.
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Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

@Luke The whole point of Shelby is that she is just like Riker was in season 1. They straight up say this, with Riker even calling her a smug prick just like him in part two. Not everything is about sexism.
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Spock's Brain

"Brain and brain, what is brain?"

My wife (of nearly 40 years) still, and strategically, uses that line on me today when our opinions about something seemingly important are at an impasse and my frustration with my ability to "convince her" has become visible.

She never fails to crack me up and defuse the situation with that line. I do love her so. :)

So here's to one of the worst TOS episodes ever, but one that has helped keep my marriage intact for decades!
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

To your credit, Dave, I did read through 2/3 of your comment, up to the point of, "...where the great symbolic action is Kirk NOT doing something. How pathetic."

It was at that point I stopped reading. I'd finally realized, and similar to Louis CK's observations about the value of the opinions of those under 20, that you are only a child. Because only a child who hasn't actually lived a life yet would think that "NOT doing something" in the choices adults sometimes must make is "pathetic."

Only a child could think that.

However, true to the spirit of Star Trek (although not to trolling, sorry, son), I still do wish you well dealing with your Aspergers. I know enough about life to predict that I won't have to be there to witness when the inexorable progression of time teaches you just how wrong both your opinions and approach to people are today.

It's inevitable. So, good luck, youngster! And yes, I mean it.
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

I agree with Jammer's rating.

Yes, the premise that an alien race could communicate in this fashion does seem far fetched. However, once you put that aside, this is an entertaining episode. However, this type of episode - trying to establish communication with an alien race - will probably work only one time.

My biggest problem with this episode is this: Picard shows no anger at being kidnapped and placed in mortal danger. At the end of the episode "Allegiance", the aliens in that episode who kidnapped Picard said they did not injure or harm him in any way. PIcard rightly states that imprisonment is harm in and of itself. But in this episode, he's fine with Darmok's race kidnapping him. Why the difference?
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Field of Fire

"Mr. Plow
Nutshell: The Silence of the Trills"


It's okay. Derivative, but okay.

Could do without the spiritual ceremony stuff to bring out the repressed memories. Joran doesn't seem dark enough here either.

Would have been far better to have a twist where Joran is actually the killer through Ezri.
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak

I think people here have a sense of humour bypass.

It's Ferengi silliness, it's Mirror Universe silliness, cast get to have fun in different characters.

It's not a work of art, it's not high drama. It's just a bit of fun.

2 stars, pushing 3. For me, because it's watchable and fun.
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

Personally, I can see why this story is called filler. To me, filler has nothing to do with whether a story has explosions or aliens. As was mentioned above, TNG's "Family" is a great example of an episode which shows how Star Trek episodes can just be about people and can be done brilliantly. An episode doesn't have to advance the plot to not be filler (very rarely did an episode of TOS or TNG ever have a lasting impact). An episode just needs to make you care about the events to the point where you can see why the episode was made.

In episodes like "Mortal Coil" the characters went through a major crisis you could genuinely care about. In this case, Janeway was concerned that an ancestor from a long time ago that you'd never heard of before wasn't quite the person she thought. There were no "stakes" though. Janeway wasn't an insecure child desperately drawing her strength from the heroic image of the stories of her ancestors. She's a successful starship captain. If it had turned out Janeway's ancestor was actually a cannibalistic serial killer, Janeway might have been disappointed but she'd still have been the same person and would have just moved on. There was no drama to any of that. Even in the past, it was a foregone conclusion that the Millennium Gate would be built (as we were told at the start of the episode) so there was no drama to that either (it also didn't help that we learnt immediately that Henry's name was Janeway so we didn't exactly get shocked they ended up together).

It wasn't a bad episode. It was inoffensive. At the same time, it wasn't fun, silly, exciting, dramatic, challenging, innovative, mindless entertainment or necessary exposition. There was no clear reason why this episode took place which is why it felt like filler.
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 8:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

Chrome, you said,

“Sisko's pressure on Odo is really just a catalyst to get Odo to see that Dr. Mora wasn't such a bad guy, and that his methods, while objectively cruel, were at least humanely reasonable given Mora's circumstances.”

I agree. Most of this episode seemed to be about the reconciliation between Odo and Mora. Early on, combined with the B story of Kira giving birth, it seemed like it might tell a tale about the parallels of those births. When the changeling died, it looked like it might be going for a statement contrasting birth and death. And then at the very end, Odo and Kira, each absorbed in their own dramas and musings, went for a walk, together. Some really good stuff.

I am wondering though, other than getting things started, why would Quark think that Odo would be interested in purchasing a dead changeling?
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

Peter G.,

Some people see the glass as half full. Others see the glass as half empty. And another might say, “What in the world is in that glass? OMG! It’s a baby shapeshifter!”

Pretty sure you’ve changed my opinion as much as I’ve changed yours. I guess you and I can agree to disagree.
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Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 6:04am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

so much impotent rage from commenters at a make-believe show not reflecting and validating their world view...
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