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Thu, May 25, 2017, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Why does that doctor who comes on board have the exact same hairstyle and wardrobe as 21st century Hillary Clinton?
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part II

I can see why some say the ending is a cop-out but it does make sense as to why so much weird stuff was going on in this episode like the hurried treaty, how Dax/O'Brien just pop up, and wondering what happened to Sisko/Bashir after the Defiant got pounded. It was all a simulation but it shows the Dominion's capabilities to toy with Sisko et al. I'm actually fairly satisfied with the ending.

There are some good moments like Garak/Sisko's conversation where they hush-hush-wink-wink to start a revolt. Also Kira/Odo at the end.

Getting the back-story on Odo and understanding how the shapeshifters operate and that they're the leaders of the Dominion was a cool twist. Yes, it becomes clear that Odo won't stay but that his people are the Founders should set up for some inner demons with whatever this "link" is. I did think the part about Odo experiencing things as a shapeshifter was slow and I kept waiting for it to switch to the other plot about what's going on on DS9.

I think JC's comment about the Dominion not appearing to be a threat anymore does undermine the 3 episodes - they certainly don't appear to be the villains the Borg were in TNG and as I watch these episodes for the 1st time that's disappointing. So I'm waiting to see where DS9 goes with the Dominion now. Certainly the Dominion seem to have greater capabilities than the typical UFP races.

For me, this was a solid 2-parter. I did prefer the 1st part slightly but I'd still rate this 2nd part as 3 stars out of 4.
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

@the sisko:

I tend not to agree with DLPB - in fact I generally find him/her lacking in basic reasoning skills.

However, when I see you simplify complex issues down to preschool-level rules, and see you call your adversary a "monster" for having opinions you disagree with, I am inclined to roll my eyes.

As far as the episode: I like it.
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

Am I the only one who kept thinking the guest star was Victoria Jackson ... and kept expecting her to talk in that high-pitched voice?
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

Great episode - good follow up to the Season 2 ender.
The battle scene on the bridge of the Defiant before and after the Jem'Hadar board was good as well as the suspense of trying to evade them initially with the cloak/powering down.
The bonds between the characters comes through as well - interesting side to Odo with him brooding and then being singularly focused on that nebula.
The final scene came across as a bit cliche for me when Odo meets the people from his home world. Obviously the interest lies in what happened to the Defiant but as this is a 2 part episode, we can wait.
I'd give this 3 stars out of 4 - seems like more questions being raised than answers being given but no question, an exciting hour of Trek.
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

A fun episode and good way to end a season given the impending threat from the Dominion to be dealt with in Season 3.
Overall the episode had a good mix of humor and serious action scenes with a couple of unexpected twists at the end with the Odyssey getting blown up by the suicide tactic from the Jem'Hadar ship and the subterfuge from the alien female (forgetting her name now) who may or may not be one of the Dominion founders.
I will always LOL when the Ferengi are scared - hilarious when Quark sets himself on fire and Nog's fear when ships are approaching. But overall I found it a bit too much Nog silliness or exuberance. Also the beginning of the episode with Sisko and his kid doing the science project and then Nog/Quark coming along dragged on a bit too long for my liking.
Some quality dialog between Quark and Sisko about the history of their 2 races - for once Quark wasn't an annoyance in an episode (for me).
Certainly interested to see where DS9 goes with the Dominion.
For me 3 stars out of 4 - a decent battle scene between starships was nice to see as well.
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

I think when people talk about DS9 pushing boundaries, the one that gets very unfairly overlooked is how it had its leading man embrace an alien world and culture as his own. I guess I differ from most Trekkers with this, but more I watch Star Trek the more I feel its biggest problem is that it has two main themes: 1. Different cultures and people can come together as equals and create a wonderful future for themselves. 2. Humans are the greatest thing ever and moral paragons of the universe. Hope I'm not the only one seeing the problem with colliding the two. Which is not to say I am against Trek's optimism about humanity but you can do that without obnoxious arrogance and I aplaud DS9 for firmly choosing and sticking with the former theme.
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

@The Sisko - I think judging the past for dropping the bomb is that easy. We had already been napalming the hell out of Japan, we obviously were beyond worrying about civilians. And they literally were never going to surrender. The were going to fight to the last man. The fact that they didn't surrender after the first bomb drop when we were promising more is, to me, insane.

In some ways I think it needed to be done. Somebody had to be the first one to deploy on nuke on an enemy. It was horrible and I hope nobody ever does it again. But if any of the other powers had gotten the bomb in WW2, they'd have used it.

It's easy to say we shouldn't have done it in retrospect at the horror. When the President is staring at the estimated casualty list for taking Japan in a ground/water war and making that call to avoid it or not. I don't want to bring current politics into this, but it's a very interesting thing that a universal in politics is that whoever is in office the other side rails on them for "breaking promises". The first President I remember well is Daddy Bush. And it's no secret that I'm a Democrat. But when everyone was slamming him over breaking his "no new taxes" promise... all I kept thinking is... maybe there's crap that we need to pay for that's more important than a campaign slogan?

I think we all need to acknowledge that decisions look different in that seat. It's easy for you or me or DLPB or the writers of this episode or anyone else to say what they would have done holding the bomb in one hand and the projected casualties in the other. But nobody can ever really know without that weight on them.
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The Sisko
Thu, May 25, 2017, 10:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Jetrel

@DLPB - if you consider this "left wing propaganda" then why are you watching Trek at all? This sort of stuff is all over Trek in general - which is why I consider it incredibly important. If I were you, I would stop watching now. You're not going to like what else is coming.

Also, your defense of the decision to drop the bomb is incredibly cynical. Our emotions - not our logic - are what make us human, what makes us different from machines. Without compassion and love, what would this world be? Would it be worth living in?

IMO this episode does a fantastic job in demonstrating the cruelty of genocide, irrespective of what the supposed justification might be. It is simply NEVER right to take the lives of innocent people - not even in the most extreme case of war. The fact that you seem to dispute that makes YOU exactly the kind of monster that this episode talks about.
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Peter G.
Thu, May 25, 2017, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

@ Jason R.,

It's definitely a premise in Trek that there is some sort of manifest destiny for the humans/Federation. They're not just another of infinite random species. There is something definitively American about that premise, I think.
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Jason R.
Thu, May 25, 2017, 6:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Peter along your point I always thought of humans as the Mary Sue of the galaxy, prancing around titans and Gods and always somehow coming out winners.

I was watching Peak Performance yesterday and the part where Data notes the Zackdorn were renowned in the galaxy as master strategists for FIVE THOUSAND years. So basically they were intergalactic celebrities at a time when earth was still marvelling the wonder of agrigulture and written language. And yet these guys are just some aliens that belongs to a Federation run by humans from Earth...

Even in Encounter at Farpoint (and certainly in subsequent episodes like Hide and Q) we get this sense that the Gods themselves must be weary of mighty mankind.

Q Who is the first episode to my mind that really takes seriously the idea that man is not the centre of the universe. Even previous episodes (like EAF) which SAY this never quite SHOW it or convince us that the story really believes it. Part of this is just due to the conventions of TV at the time and maybe part of it is due to Rodenberry's influence? I can't rightly say.
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Thu, May 25, 2017, 3:34am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace

I found the midichlorian idea to be offensive on my first pass and even more so today after multiple viewings. While I know my opinion is colored by watching redlettermedia and such, after a lot of thought I am genuinely convinced that the most probable reason midichlorians were introduced was because Lucas et al. were incapable of PORTRAYING someone who is strong with the force. That is in contrast with telling us Anakin was unusually strong with the force, which is in keeping with the popcorn, one dimensional nature of the film and its characters. In contrast, the originals made the force something about internal struggle balancing power with morality and the spiritual. That's why it was so irritating to see that advancement in the force in the prequels basically boiled down to how much better you were at mastering video game powers. Hell it would've worked too to keep it that way to illustrate how corrupt the jedi had become, which could've necessitated the prophecy of the reset button (how awesome would it have been that the Jedi saw the prophecy as the destruction of the Sith, when it was truly about the weeding of corrupt Jedi who would basically be the Sith but in a different way.)
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Peter G.
Wed, May 24, 2017, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

@ Jason R.,

I think the question of why the Borg were interested in the Federation is a decent one, but perhaps one best left to the imagination rather than somehow to be found in series lore. I could suggest a few scenarios, with the proviso that they are all products of my imagination and have no basis in fact:

-The Federation was in some way more advanced than most races out there, and had something or other the Borg wanted to assimilate. (this would be later contradicted in Voyager, but for the purposes of "Q Who" that's not really relevant. I think Voyager jumped the shark big-time in making any kind of sense of what the Borg do in the Delta Quadrant, which should properly have been a massive warzone and interstellar graveyard).

-The Borg had access to some weird information, maybe even from the future, telling them the Federation would eventually be a threat to them.

-The Borg remembered the probe they repaired which went back to Earth (V'Ger) and when they came in contact with the Enterprise realized that for some reason the probe didn't destroy the Earth, and wanted to know why. Note that this is real fan-fiction stuff, since the Borg being the race that repaired the probe is two steps separated from canon, since it was only an idea Gene had that never materialized.

-Maybe Q whisking the Enterprise away is what made the Borg antsy, since how could they possibly know it was Q that rescued them at the end? They probably thought that in scanning the ship they failed to note some crazy advanced gadget that could hurl the Enteprise across the galaxy. No kidding they wanted to ransack Earth to find it! If this is the right answer then Q actually instigated the confrontation, which maybe made the Federation take a bit more seriously developing weapons of war like the Defiant. I think (in hindsight) we could say that while losing 39 ships sucks, without those advances (and the Defiant) the Federation wouldn't have beaten the Dominion.

Yeah, that's all I got for now. As to your second question, it is undoubtedly a plot hole. "The Neutral Zone" made is clear the Borg had already learned about them, but that point was utterly forgotten. I think back then the "Conspiracy" aliens were meant to be the threat that took out some colonies, and once they decided to switch it to a cyborg race they scrapped whatever continuity had come before and started over.

@ Rahul,

I agree with you that the Gomez parts don't amount to much more than being tedious, despite the attempt to show the episode message though them. But about Q and the magic wand ending, I think the main takeaway to me is that Picard was forced into a situation where he had to admit he was helpless and they needed Q. The issue of Q himself isn't so much the point but rather that up until that point in the series the crew was pretty darn cocky and needed to be put in their place. For an atheistic Starfleet captain to be reduced to basically saying "God help us!" is a statement to the effect that no matter how advanced your technology is, there's always a bigger fish as Qui-Gon said, so don't let the size of your phasors make you think you're all that. The quality of the race should be in its enlightenment, not in its technology, and that theme bookends the series in the pilot and the finale. "Q Who" seems to underline that theme by showing them that they still have a lot of learning to do.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 10:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

@ Peter G.,

Yes, I can see your point about Gomez and spilling coffee on Picard -- I guess I didn't make that connection with it being sort of a microcosm of the broader theme of this terrific episode. However, Picard doesn't react like the Borg did toward the Enterprise (fortunately for Gomez!) I just thought the Gomez part dragged on too long and the Guinan/Q/Borg backstory could have used that airtime.

No doubt introducing Q into TNG gives the writers the ability to create some interesting situations for Picard & Co., given Q's incredible powers. But I still think the best episodes come about where there is no "waving of a magic wand" and it's just dealing with the situation in the "normal" paradigm of Trek sci-fi.

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Wed, May 24, 2017, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

Kira isn't having baby fever just because she saw a baby. She carried Yoshi for five months and gave birth to him, that's a deep emotional connection, not insulting by any stretch of the imagination.

I thought this was a decent episode until the ridiculous ending. Yea let's condemn Molly to eternal solitude because she hadn't adjusted to life in the station in the two whole days since they got her back.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle


Why didn't they just transport through the worm hole and then use one of the many methods of time travel to return to their home time?

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Wed, May 24, 2017, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

What gets me is that no one questions Kwan jumping through a force field to his death. Typically, things bounce off /people are blocked from passing through force fields, except for those in the shuttle bays. Seems odd that such a dangerous area would have a passable force field.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Remember

Great episode - although it was slow to develop with too much time spent on the erotic dreams etc. Should have gotten more to the point and it maybe would have been nice to see what happens when the lady Torres transfers her memory to at the end does a little snooping around on the planet. Anyhow that's just a small nitpick.
Dawson's performance is great and the the supporting actors brought real credibility to the story. For me the part where (in the dream) the dad tries to convince the daughter that the Regressives are evil etc. was a bit creepy the way he was whispering in her ear. That made me feel a bit like he was hiding something.
It's an interesting premise with the older Kirina transfering her dreams from a distance whereas it seemed like the Enarans had to touch your back to start transmitting memories. But with some handwaving the story comes together.
I also liked how Janeway adhered to the PD here - suggesting that Torres speak to one of the Enaran engineers about it made sense and kept the Voyager crew from interfering too much. Torres' outburst also stays true to her way of doing things - yes she should have taken it up with Janeway first, but maybe she didn't have a chance as the reception was underway.
The Holocaust allegory here is powerful - maybe a tad heavy handed - but this episode does it better than some other Trek ones.
What's important is that it is thought-provoking and certain to generate discussion. Definitely one of VOY's best episodes. I rate it 3.5 / 4 stars - it built up quite slowly but became very powerful in the last 15-20 mins. Great acting, writing, and good job tying to an event in our history.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Up the Long Ladder

This was terrible.
Dreadful stereotyping of Irish tinker ,gypsy communities is not even remotely funny but it is insulting.
What were they thinking of for goodness sake?-this may just about have worked in a frothy hollywood musical some decades previously but not in this context.
And the wrap up-so all sins forgiven eh?
This guy arranges the non consensual assault and intrusive violation of two senior officers and there are no negative consequences.

Mind you I guess the Enterprise did go and poke its intrusive nose into the colony's affairs to begin with.

This one gets 3 wormholes from me.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

Not a bad episode but I got turned off right at the start where, again, it's Voyageur crew being imprisoned on some alien world. We've seen this before...
But the episode does show a very dark, sinister side to the prison -- certainly not the kind of thing you'd see from TOS, for example. It does try to portray prison life on an alien world as raw and as realistically as it can -- may be better than any other Trek episode I've seen (and there have been many).

I didn't know what to make of the Zio character -- had he truly been able to negate the effects of the clamp (which I agree with @Skeptical's insightful comments that it is just a plot device and unnecessary) or is he truly insane with his damn manifesto.

For me, I wasn't overly impressed with Kim's acting - he did what he had to do -- he lost it on occasion, he was at his wits end trying to get the other prisoners to work together. It was OK.

Janeway's treatment of the 2 criminals was odd but also as @Skeptical said, I'm not sure what else she could have done. Nothing hugely wrong with it. The male prisoner was a wuss -- immediately giving into Janeway's threats of sending him back to the authorities. And the 14-year old looked more like a 20-something -- but that's not that important, just a random observation.

I agree with @Diamond Dave's brief assessment as well. It's a solid 2.5 stars out of 4 episode. Some gritty performances but the plot as a whole is well-trodden.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

A lot of good points brought up about the show.

I would venture to say there is little continuity in Star Trek in general - most shows reset during the next episode with previous events/circumstances rarely brought up later in the series. I've also always had the impression that these episodes were written and spit out quickly under tight time constraints, so that there simply wasn't much time to sit around and think about the past history of characters (and Star Trek history) and how that would play into the present situation.

And of course, the show's entertainment value always trumps logical script-writing as well as any kind of scientific accuracy. That's television.

I would have to disagree that Jellico had an initial 'disdain for Riker'. From the moment he beamed on board, he seemed genuinely excited to work with Riker and the entire crew. It wasn't until he found out that Riker had neglected to carry out a specific request that his entire demeanor changed.

The conflict really seemed to surround the idea that it was Jellico's job to come onboard and immediately start preparing the ship in every possible way for combat. Rather than having outright disdain for anyone, he expected to have every order/request carried out without question, and immediately labeled someone as hostile if they showed any resistance. This may have been a failing on his part, having worked with diffiulct crews in the past during temporary missions, and transposing that hostility onto Riker for simply wanting to discuss the situation with him.

More than anything, it seemed he was expecting that, of all the crews he'd worked with, the flagship would be the easiest, full of top-notch officers who are ready to go above and beyond. When this does not occur (at least not up to his standards), that's when his disappointment begins.

Additionally, the attitudes of the crew certainly got to him as well. For example, rather than complaining and being outraged by the workload, if Geordi had said "Yes sir, I'll get right on that and do the best I possibly can to finish it in time", Jellico probably wouldn't have even cared if the job took longer than scheduled, as long as he knew that the crew had a great attitude and wanted to work hard.

This was why he immediately took so well to Data, and had him follow his run around the ship. It wasn't in Data's nature to complain, and instead simply calculate things coldly (like how long a job takes) without emotion or personal grievances.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

Just watch, after that superbowl they're going to change the OT rules again haha. "EACH side gets a possession until the Patriots lose!"
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 9:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

That and you can only hit about a square foot of the QB and then only for a couple split seconds... it's gonna be flag football before you know it.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor


"One need go no further than the "Alien Nation" series of mid-1990s to find this exact concept, even down to the Binnaum (the Tenktonese version of the cogenitor) who was also saddled with what appeared to be an under-educated or under-appreciated image. The only real difference between the cogenitor of ENT vs. the Binnaum of AN fame was that the Binnaum, while relatively "dumb" in appearance (Albert was at a menial job with the police department) was in fact a revered figure in the religious rites of the Tenktonese."

I wasn't aware. I keep tellng myself to watch that series.

That said, nothing is new on TV. Nothing. Just wrapped differently.
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Wed, May 24, 2017, 9:01am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Don't agree Real Human Robot.

On a couple fronts...

#1, this isn't a US asylumn issue.

#2. None of these exist buy any information we know other than "I can read now" from "it".

"refugees fleeing persecution have the right to be granted asylum. That Charles' predicament constitutes persecution is quite clear, given its definition within, for example, the United States' court system, which lists numerous types of harm that apply here: forced labor (and possibly sexual abuse), slavery, unlawful detention, intimidation, interference with privacy, deliberate deprivation of employment and other life essentials, and restrictions on access to education."

You, as so many do, are making HUMAN assumptions based on human values learn from human experiences on Earth.

You can't do that. You have no evidence that this "it" was abused or persecuted at all.
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