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Karl Zimmerman
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

It's funny many people consider this episode to be great, because it seemed incredibly flawed and poorly executed to me on several levels.

First, the acting was pretty bad in several cases. James Frain continues to be singularly unimpressive as Sarek. The woman who plays Admiral Cornwell (who I didn't like last week) continues to be wooden. And SMG isn't really doing great things with the material this week, though admittedly it's not the best.

Second, the characterization was inconsistent with the previous episodes. Suddenly, Stamets is this happy, easygoing guy. Maybe it's the influence of the spores? That doesn't explain why Lorca transforms into a mother hen to Burnham, and trusts Ash Tyler, who he just met, implicitly. It also doesn't explain why Burnham, who was acting kind of like a normal human for two episodes, now has a stilted, Vulcan-like delivery again.

Worst by far, however, was the dialogue. This episode was dripping with "tell, not show." My eyes were practically rolling during the scene in sickbay where Burnham whispered out her backstory on Vulcan and an explanation of how Katras work. Or her final scene with Ash Tyler where she talks about how conflicted her emotions are, instead of showing it through her delivery. I mean, Trek has always been laden with expository dialogue, but for some reason it was very jarring in this episode.

It wasn't 100% terrible however. The plot was a standard Trek A/B setup again, which worked well, and it had a reasonably good conclusion for a "serial arc" style show (again almost seeming episodic). Lorca's character development aside from the "mother hen" issues was great. Still, this was an episode with deeply flawed execution.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Christopher Pike was listed as one of Starfleet’s most successful captains last episode, so it would make sense members of Starfleet would know the Enterprise by reputation.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

A mixed bag. I think there is a good story about sarek's crappy parenting in here for sure, picking up threads from all the way back to "Journey to Babel" and revealing something interesting about Burnham (and Spock) through them. But I really hate the contrived, bizarre way that story gets presented to us. Not only is there Magic Spore Power, but now the Federation is building katra-driven psi tech? Sarek and Burnham have Matrix duels for mental supremacy? It's just kind of dopey, and the good character work this week (except for Ash Tyler, the "Poochy" of DSC???) and the reasonable last scene btw Burnham and Sarek doesn't totally redeem it. Not even going to comment on the stupidity of "logic extremists."

No points for dishonorable Klingons. Major points for making it crystal clear that Lorca in no way has Starfleet's blessing, and for letting him make a pretty unforgivable choice that I think will lead to good narrative payoffs. Hoping last show will end with Burnham murdering Captain Jerkface. Idk: 2.5 stars, all earned from the last 15 minutes or so.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Sigh. Now they have holodecks. Ffs.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe


"It makes sense for Enterprise to come immediately to her mind if her 'brother' Spock is serving there."

At first blush, I question whether she would even know that. She doesn't seem close to Spock and her and Sarek are sort of distant too. How well know are non-captains on various starships?

Of course, in 2017, she would just creep his Facebook to find out his business. No reason she couldn't look him up in a database or something for funsies.
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Michael is a boy's name
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I was getting tons of buffering problems and got booted back to the android app's main screen once. I never have this issue with netflix, huluplus, youtube, or even CW. I wish there was a download option like netflix offers. I am paying for the commercial free cbs aa plan.

"Easter egg: Nice to see Connies mentioned (not sure if Burnham had to mention the Enterprise - there are others, right?)."

It makes sense for Enterprise to come immediately to her mind if her 'brother' Spock is serving there.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

This show is really finding itself. Loved nearly every minute. I like the more episodic feel of the last two eps. Larger stories are moving, but the in-episode machinations and character moments are getting strong.

Some thoughts:

- Lorca is so damn fascinating. It seemed Kat (the Admiral) was going to drop some Buran exposition, but all we got was Gabe beating the psych evals. I still there is more to the "I killed my crew" story. I want more details (like how he escaped).

- More Lorca: he didn't save Sarek for Sarek but sort of FOR Michael. He plays it as loyalty to an individual he sees as useful, but there were moments he seemed genuinely concerned for her (see his words to Ash before the shuttle leaves). Like Kat sort of said, we can't tell if it is REALLY him. Is he a magnificent bastard or the ultimate user? Is he this way because of PTSD/Buran or was he always like this? How does a phaser in bed help you get over the fact you sacrificed your former crew? Again, I want more backstory.

- Tilly was by far the least annoying and forced she's ever been. She is endearing and her burgeoning friendship with Michael seems good for both of them. "Green juice. Extra Green." HAHA

- Burnham was the most relatable she's been so far. Lots of moments of humanity, as opposed to woodenness (which I guess is her version of Vulcan imitation).

- Ash was fine. Not enough info to decide either way on the big theory. The last scene wants to push us toward some Burash (Turnham?) vibes. That's fine, I guess. If the big theory is true, then it has a Dukat/Winn feel (though maybe not as purposefully vile).

- As for Kat, her acting is sort of meh. Her outburst after the bed/gun incident was very poorly realized. I like her role in the show, but I wish she was better. Tough break getting kidnapped (lucky for Sarek he was attacked earlier). I did not see the trap coming (maybe I/they/Sarek should have?).

- Sarek was very good. Interesting backstory vis a vis he and Burnham. I really like James Frain in the role. Exciting to she Amanda played by Mia Kirshner! Haven't seen her in anything for over a decade, but was always fond. Vulcan looked amazing (as did the Nebula - aka the disco rave dance party Nebula).

- Very little of Doctor. Why is he always treating everyone? Where is the CMO?

- Stamets acting high/mellow was funny but was unneeded in this episode. Nothing else was done with it. On that note, was he used to jump to the Nebula? Apparently, they weren't too worried after he nearly died last time? (He did say, "once you get used to the needles" or some such.) That felt glossed over, like they cut a Stamets scene. Next week looks Stamets/time jump/loop focused, so hopefully that thread can move some.

- Crew is becoming teamy and closer. Other than Ash and Burnham, weren't the rest all on Discovery all this time? Why haven't others risen to important ship positions or made friends with Stamets/Tilly/etc or earned some of Lorca/Saru's confidence? I guess it is just part of Michael's plot contribution. Everyone was just lost/uninteresting before she showed up. I just accept that as part of the plot contrivance, but on the heels of the Shenzhou crew (esp. Saru/Michael) seeming like near-strangers after 7(!) years, it feel like Disco crew is socializing at a lightning pace.

- Easter egg: Nice to see Connies mentioned (not sure if Burnham had to mention the Enterprise - there are others, right?).

- Hologram battle training: A little too holodecky, but I read elsewhere that TAS played with the idea of holodecks (or similiar tech) this early in the timeline. I can buy the notion that the holograms are not up to future TNG/DS9/VOY level of sophistication.

Probably forgot some stuff. Eager for others' (and Jammer's) thoughts.
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Worf's Purple Space Bazooka
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Probably the strongest and most authentically Trek episode thus far. But was anyone remotely surprised when the admiral's delegation was ambushed? Because I sure as hell wasn't. Not exactly suspenseful storytelling.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

2 stars

I’m officially out. The show isn’t improving. It is still a mess. Cornwall and Lorca have zero chemistry. And could care less about their scenes. And if you have no censorship why does she have a tank top on and him pajama pants. Totally unrealistically call of having sex to be partially clothed

The whole Sarek thing felt like filler although one nugget—which isn’t a whole lot—is now we can understand why Sarek was irritated with Spock for joining Starfleet. Now discovery has holodecks when a century later Riker is amazed by them in TNG pilot. Yridian nebula?!? I’m no yridians were introduced on TNG and Voyager confirned Ransom was the one to confirm their existence.

Don’t care about Tilly or her being captain. The venture into nebula was lacking in energy. I thought Lorca may have sabotaged Cornwall shuttle so she never could make her recommendation to Starfleet instead he will leave her on the hands of the Klingons. Could have done without Stamets hippy phrases. And the show can’t gelp but steal from other treks— fortune favors the bold. Ugh

The only saving grace for this series is if they really do an anthology every season and they get rid of this era, this cast, these characters and have a high staff turnover

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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Lorca is a slime ball! Geez!

This guy is the most unStarfleet Captain in the history of Starfleet Captains. Selling out your commanding officer/bang friend to the Klingons to keep your ship...detestable behavior. He hasn't a shred of honor.

This is very different for Trek. Very very different. This does not seem like it will end well. People are moving around in position on this ship, joining the crew and getting offered positions, and forging relationships as a result. Those relationships don't just *not* have TNG Plot Armour(tm) coating all round them, they stand a likely chance of totally falling apart at any moment.

This show is full of possibilities for tense scenes between people who think they trust each other and find out otherwise. I can see the conflicts forming already.

In every Trek outing on TV in the past, you kind of knew the 6-7-x number of regulars were going to continue to be in the show, more or less. This show seems like it's about to go very very wrong in that regard.

These people aren't likely to get along if the stuff hits the fan.
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Trek fan
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Catspaw

Rewatching this episode again as I marathon the series on DVD in air date order for the first time, I really enjoyed it! I have to say it's a solid 3 or 3 1/2 stars for me. Spock has some really intriguing dialogue about how the aliens feed off the human subconscious and seem to take it for reality: Not sure how I've always missed this exchange in the past, but it really adds to the story's mystique for me, and Bloch really writes this stuff well. The mystery of the story and Kirk's final observation that it was real in one sense -- Jackson is dead -- hint at deeper ideas than the haunted house surface initially suggests. So yeah, consider me a "Catspaw" fan, even though I wish Sulu got a little dialogue -- even Scotty gets ONE line when they de-zombify!
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Instead of flashbacks, they used an in-universe explanation to show Michael’s past. Vulcan looks spectacular and Ash is really growing on me. A Seattlite, cool! I doubt he’s an undercover Klingon like some were guessing, it would seem way too implausible at this point.

Anyway, this is the best character episode yet. 3.5 stars.

In before someone complains about sex in Star Trek.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Probably my least favorite DSC episode — thought it was a mess with a lot of jumping around with the Vulcan mind melds (both real and synthetic) and the Lorca/Admiral Cornwell B-plot. Not sure why the episode is titled “Lethe” who was a secondary character in “Dagger of the Mind” as far as Trek goes.

So Star Fleet continues to be a questionable organization with Cornwell sleeping with Lorca in her attempt to check up on him. (Last episode they wanted to round up all the tardigrades and install spore drives in many ships.) Makes sense that Cornwell wants to relieve Lorca of command but I got the sense that her going in place of Sarek to negotiate with the Klingons would result in her capture/death and Lorca would stay in command of Discovery. But clearly Lorca, who hits on Cornwell, is playing with a screw loose. Interesting that he decides not to boldly go after her once finding out she’s captured — decides to play by the rules knowing she’s going to use the dirt against him (lying on psychological tests) to relieve him of command. Funny how Burnham says she’s grateful to serve under a captain like Lorca…the 2 have some things in common.

What I liked was getting the tie-in with Spock and how Sarek wanted him to go to the Vulcan Academy (but he of course went to Star Fleet) and thus Sarek has Burnham believing she wasn’t good enough to be admitted to the Vulcan Academy. So now Burnham knows about that and is more at ease with her inner conflict of being human but being brought up Vulcan. So maybe Burnham lightens up a bit going forward. This series can’t not touch on Spock.

The whole katra thing is a bit of a stretch — for Sarek to reach out to Burnham from light years away with fairly specific thoughts. I think back to Spock sensing the Vulcan ship being destroyed by the giant amoeba in “The Immunity Syndrome” but that was just him sensing a cry of despair. Maybe 1 too many flashbacks of Burnham getting denied at the Vulcan academy and then sparring with Sarek for me. Sarek was blocking Burnham from finding out about his decision but it was tedious seeing this over and over again.

1.5 stars for “Lethe” — not an interesting story; we see Adm. Cornwell in an unfavorable light for me (getting in bed with Lorca). It should be automatic that Lorca be relieved of command after admitting he lied on these psych tests — and even being able to fake the answers so perfectly. Overall I don’t have a good impression Star Fleet and this Star Trek — just a poor moral compass, lack of noble actions even coming right from the top. It has to come down to a good story and this episode wasn't it.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

Overall a pretty good episode. I liked how they handled the topic of "correctional" sex assignment at birth, even calling in question earth practices like correcting a cleft pallate or circumcision (btw, I sincerely hope that circumcision as a cultural practice will be long gone by the 25th century).

The ending was solid - cultural customs aren't changed by one sudden revelation, but with the famous author outing herself as a woman, we can at least hope that Moclan society will gradually change, and it was heartwarming to see Bortus und Klyden reconcile and look forward to providing for their child's future.

So far, Bortus' arc has been the most interesting part of the show for me, and I like that, even though their culture is presented as problematic, the Moclans are still shown as people with believable individual motivations. In that regard, The Orville is more Trekkian than Discovery's portrayal of the Klingons as being characterized by nothing but violence and fear.

The only part that didn't work for me (apart from the terrible humor, which I hope will be dropped as the series continues) was the courtroom scene. If female Moclans are so rare and are usually changed into males at birth, why do the Moclans have such a clear concept of women being physically and intellectually inferior to men? If the Moclans procreate within one sex only, how come they even have a concept of a male-female binary sexuality? And why does no-one call bullshit when Grayson tries to prove the capabilities of Moclan women by referring to other species from different planets? The answer to these questions is, of course, that this is all just an allegory, but if McFarlane intends to do some worldbuilding with this show, then he should at least give this world some consistency.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

I loved Trip in kamikaze mode, ready to risk his skin -literally- even beyond anybody else's advice, to shoot and destroy the sphere. This tastes like war! Cool!
I loved Phlox at the tactical officer's desk and doing actually a good replacement of Reed, by using his medical knowledge to adapt phaser settings against the sphere creators. Surprising and effective. Refreshing!
I always love a good fight (specially if Reed/Archer are involved) and the hero running from a burst of flames. And Shran! I just wish Shran's appearance had fitted better, not out of the blue.
And the last scene - sorry, it's my guilty pleasure, I know it's too kitsch but I LOVE world war II...!
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Countdown

I loved so many things!
-Hoshi being brave and resisting intimidation, until her attackers accept that fear won't work and accept drugs (which is not their best option because it affects intelligence, but she leaves them no choice).
-Hoshi as a hacker: no, this is not a jack-of-all-trades nonsense, but a basical trait of telecomm.engineers, along with languages. For such a job you need technical knowledge too. I'm an electrical engineer, not a pure 100% programmer, but even so I speak seven human languages and I can program in a few computer languages, and I see a link: all are languages, after all. Boy I love to see a show understand this!
-The destruction of the aquatic Xindi: majestic, heroic, beautiful, tragic.
-Reed and Hayes finally respecting each other. Reed clearly thinking "Hoshi was my duty, I should have gone to retrieve her, I should be dead, not Hayes"
-Macos: all volunteering, even in the very face of the worst news. I just miss Reed assigning the command to the maco mentioned by Hayes on his last wish.
-Battle! I love battles, and we are having a good lot of them on this excellent batch of episodes. Finally, the Xindi arc goes where I always wanted to see!

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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

It's just awful. Slow, terrible acting from Tony Todd, no reason to be emotionally invested, as you know none of it is going to matter. This is one I skip.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Yes, the plot and many of the individual scenes are dead horse tropes, but this episode actually got me invested in the characters. I particarly liked the Bortus subplot, which showed him as honestly caring for his family. There were a lot of ways that story could have been done wrongly, and I'm glad the were all avoided. The scenes in the zoo were not that great story-wise, but had some cool visual designs. All in all the show, though mostly average, has enough going for it to keep me watching.

The only real issue for me is the humor. If McFarlane wants to do a Star Trek parody, then he should do that. But doing what at most of the time feels like an honest TNG hommage, and then having the characters make dick jokes and dropping constant references to 20th/21th century pop culture is just insincere. I especially hope that McFarlane will find use for the character of LaMarr apart from being a provider of cringy one-liners.
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The Dreamer
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: A Time to Stand

Dukat, rocking the mullet!
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

I bet Archer has had to clean up things that came out of Porthos that were infinitely better than this... thing.

I never liked Archer, he walks around the bridge like he needs a crap and talks like he's only just discovered language. But this is even worse. Not only does this "trained diplomat", Starfleet captain and humanity's representative in space (god help us all) think it was a good idea to take a fucking animal down to an alien planet where he was trying to get vital engine component so his crew wouldn't die in the vastness of space when the ship broke down. And not just any alien planet, the one planet where the locals are easily offended. And dogs have a habit of doing things that could be seen as offensive. And how dare they have bacteria on their planet that could make an alien animal sick!

Jesus Christ, its shit like this that makes me wonder how Enterprise managed 4 seasons and relieved when it was finally shot in the head and dumped in the gutter (but not without another shit of a series finale). It just goes to show that the concept of Enterprise was flawed and hopelessly written/produced/everything from the beginning if this not even bottom of the barrel but under it kind of episode is what we get in the second season.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Thanks to Hank for pointing this out: The Klingons in this show would really fit in nicely in the first season of Lexx. They aesthetic of their ships (both exterior and interior) and their obession with torture and death - even adding their fallen soldiers' caskets to their ships - make them seem more like a branch of The Divine Order than the Klingons we have come to know.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Hatchery

Is it just me, or at least this would have made sense if Archer ever remembered to give the babies to the Xindi later? (I. e. as a goodwill/bargaining tool, on the future episode when Archer enters the Xindi council). Wouldn't have been the best way to show that humans are no monsters and respect civilians/babies? Why forget the babies after they are stored on stasis here? Aww
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Covenant


How do you know what happened? Mika may have wanted to have a special night with the Great Leader. All those Bajorans were various levels of crazy, anyway.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

The bathroom thing would be a 21st century issue, you’d expect them to have it figured out by the 23rd century. Though, I’d imagine Trills still forget which door they should use.

Or maybe every with forcefields and holographics being what they are, every bathroom can be unisex and it’s a non-issue.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Covenant

What is this implication that Mika is a “mistress”? Dukat says privately to her that what happened between them was a moment of weakness and Mika says she forgives him. Guys, dudes, my bros...that’s not an affair, it was a rape, which are (I guess shockingly) common in cults and in wartime. The “comfort women” provided to Cardassian officers we’re not Bajoran teenagers who had crushes on Cardassians and wanted to try them out. They were handpicked sex slaves who had no choice in their “occupation.” Mika was not Dukat’s “mistress” she was his victim. And it’s clear from his character history and the disturbing way he treats Nerys that this is a pattern for him.
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