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Page 4 of 1029
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 10:52am (USA Central)
BEst line of the episode:
"TUVOK: It would be safer for the crew if I were to remain in these quarters. I remind you, I am trained in the martial arts of many Alpha quadrant cultures. Sitting here, attempting to meditate, I have counted the number of ways I know of killing someone using just a finger, a hand, a foot. I had reached ninety four when you entered."
I'm reading ahead while rewatching Voyager.
I'll be back in a couple weeks with my cut.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 10:18am (USA Central)
Troy: "...if all the power was off on the ship and people weren't supposed to be on board, why is there still artificial gravity on board the Enterprise?"
Ahem. According to Sternbach & Okuda's technical manual, the gravity generators take hours to spin down. Because of course they do.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 10:16am (USA Central)
Double M, Nick M, and J: I am so with you! Cardassian women are not only incredibly hot, they are also amazingly interesting!
More seriously, I loved how this episode drew from and elaborated on TNG's wonderful Face of the Enemy. But DS9 does it even better, thanks to more character work and Visitor's great acting. Great, great episode!
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 9:25am (USA Central)
"The Data/Riker story honestly did nothing for me either (you seem to agree)."
I do agree. Three of these five stories left me cold, but I can't see getting rid of this one because the whole plot depends on it. Unless you're going to have Picard and the kids emerge from the turbolift shaft in Main Engineering and have Picard be the one who fixes the problem, I can't see how you can cut it.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 8:56am (USA Central)
Rules of Acquisition
Great observations. I only have one point.
I believe that Pel breaking down into tears in front of Zek was not just because of her eventual place in Ferengi society, but I think she feared what could happen to Quark.
Just my cut. Great post.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 8:46am (USA Central)
Good to chat with you again. It's been awhile. :-)
I will say that our economy is a mixture, but we all see where that's going. No one was punished for the 2008 bubble burst (just how the hell can that happen?) and we just go deeper and deeper into debt. My argument is that while a safety net should be provided for those that actually NEED it, to say that the government should provide all basic needs is what got us into this mess. The "wealth gap" is trumpeted all around, but our poverty percentages were no better when the gap was smaller. That argument is just class warfare in my view.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 7:30am (USA Central)
If you don't think about this episode it is very good, maybe up to 3-1/2 stars. This is probably nit-picky, and isn't meant as a serious criticism of the episode but if all the power was off on the ship and people weren't supposed to be on board, why is there still artificial gravity on board the Enterprise? The episode would have been super sweet if they lost gravity as well.
Yes and the aversion to killing main characters in this episode both on the ship and at the station is a bit unrealistic. I've never made any connection to this and Die Hard, though if you do and it bothers you what about Die Hard 2,3,etc? I'd much rather see Patrick Stewart than Bruce Willis fighting off terrorists.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 7:28am (USA Central)
"Wow, this episode is so gripping that all we can do is argue about economics :-)"
Truer words were never spoken, this conversation may be more interesting than the episode!
"Gene's money free utopia is impossible without replicator"
While I will agree with that, in a post scarcity economy (enough land/food for everyone), everyone should have all basic needs met by the government and work should be for luxuries.
I take the mid-way approach whereby the free market is good but what people should be working for are improvements to their free time, not basic needs. IE free market encourages innovation, but it's not acceptable to say that you don't deserve food/shelter/clothing because you can't find a good enough job. For me the socialism vs free market is a cocktail... the thing to argue about is the percentages.
The only thing that'd fail as hard as 100% socialism is 100% free market (although you do admit you want regulation, so you clearly agree with me). As China gets bigger on the world stage it loses some % of socialism too. I don't know what the "correct" mix is, but due to the wealth gap in this country I don't think we currently have it.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 7:12am (USA Central)
Also, to expand on my comment above. Those 3 stories flow together as "fish out of water" stories. The Counselor in command, the Captain in command of daycare and the soldier as a midwife.
The other 3 stories were filler, the fish out of water stories were the ones I liked. Data's story existed entirely for the cool factor of removing his head. It was empty.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 7:10am (USA Central)
@Luke - I'll mostly agree with you, but come to a slightly different conclusion. The Data/Riker story honestly did nothing for me either (you seem to agree). But your solution would be to jettison 2 other stories and expand that. I disagree.
This episode was more about Troi/Picard than anything else. I'd have jettisoned the Data/Riker story to add more suspense to the Troi story. Troi may be second guessing herself, but WE know Riker/Data are going to make it in the nick of time... we're watching them do it. And honestly... Worf's plotline provided a decent humorous C plot to a heavy episode.
I'd have gotten rid of Crusher/LaForge and Data/Riker. Then I'd have refocused Troi's story to make IT the A plot, left Picard's story entirely alone and kept Worf for the comic relief.
I think I'd still rate this higher than you though. 7/10
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 5:44am (USA Central)
Five stories in one episode? That's pushing it a little far for my tastes.
The main problem with "Disaster" is, like Jammer said, it's "a collection of half-baked C-stories." Taken on their own, most of the stories could legitimately be good, but forcing them together like this harms each one. What we end up with is a situation where there are too many dishes in the fire so none of them are properly cooked. At least two of the five needed to be jettisoned and the time spent on them used to better develop the remaining three.
The first one that really needed to go was the LaForge/Crusher story. Aside from the novelty of putting two characters who rarely do much together in the same story, what did this one actually add to the mix? Nothing. The story connects in no way to the others. Not only that, but it really adds no character development to either Crusher or LaForge. It was a nice little diversion, but a needless one.
The second that needed to be dropped was the Worf/Keiko story in Ten Forward. The only element this story added to any others was a moment's concern from Chief O'Brien on the bridge when he wants to know what happened to Ten Forward because that's where Keiko was. The story did provide some good humor to the episode with Worf, of all people, having to be the midwife. But, did we really need a whole sub-plot focused on Molly's birth? Good grief, she's not even named in the episode! (And, as an aside, given that "Disaster" aired less than ten months after "Data's Day," where the O'Brien wedding took place, and given that Keiko directly tells Worf that she still had another month before her due date, she and Miles sure didn't waste much time, did they?! LOL!) This was another nice diversion, but another needless one.
The three remaining stories - Troi/O'Brien/Ro, Riker/Data, Picard/kids - are what this episode should have focused on exclusively. Even without the compression the first two stories are forcing on them, only one of these remaining three is handled properly.
Let's start with the Troi/O'Brien/Ro story. I'm most likely in the minority here, but I actually like the idea of putting Troi in command, even if it makes absolutely no sense. (Seriously, the character who "should" have been put in command once the Conn Officer was killed was Ensign No-Name at Ops, but we all know that wouldn't happen. One of the main or recurring characters would be placed in command, not some random nobody. But of the three characters we focus on, Troi is the last person in line for the job. O'Brien obviously would be a better choice since he's clearly the most competent of the three. But, he's an enlisted man, not an officer, which has been established by this point. Ro should have been placed in command. Once she climbed out of the turbolift shaft, she should have immediately assumed command. She, unlike O'Brien, is an officer. And, unlike Troi, is a Bridge Officer. Troi may in fact vastly outrank Ro, but the Bridge Officer status should be the determining factor. Ro is trained for situations like this; Troi isn't. And, really, how interesting would it have been to have Ensign Ro in command, especially so soon after joining the show?) But, despite all of that, I'm willing with roll with the idea of Troi in command because it actually gives her something constructive to do that doesn't involve her ill-defined empathic abilities and isn't a romance plot. As for her initial indecision giving way too quickly to decisiveness - that's exactly why this story needed more time to be properly fleshed out. Cut out the "pregnant woman antics" and give us more character development for Troi!
Now the Riker/Data story. This one is essential for the episode because it's the one that ultimately solves the main dilemma - the warp core breach. (Another aside - how the hell does Troi not know what a containment breach is?!) However, of all the stories, this one is the one that absolutely begs to be developed further. It's ultimately nothing but Riker and Data crawling through some Jefferies Tubes, nothing else. Good Lord, give them something to actually do!
Finally, the Picard/kids story. The one, and only, story of the five that's properly developed and utilized. What a wonderful situation to put Picard in. It has no relevance to the other stories, but I don't care because it gives us some marvelous character growth for Picard. It's quite possibly the most humanizing story he's had thus far. And, we actually get kids acting like kids! That's something Trek has really struggled with. I have no problems with this one.
So, what is "Disaster"? Well, it's not a disaster of an episode. Each of the five stories are enjoyable in their own way. They just didn't need to be crammed together like this. "Disaster" is a perfect example of something not being greater than the sum of its parts.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 12:51am (USA Central)
A bit of "Brief Encounter" meets "Forbidden Planet," as a woman finds herself so suffocated in her marriage to a well-meaning egomaniac that her mind creates a psychic double to flirt with local space commanders. The unreality of "Fenna," the alternate version of Nidell, works to some degree as a metaphor for the unstable emotions that are often formed in affairs (in real life) -- can an affair which is essentially a desperate attempt to find some comfort and feeling as an escape from a loveless marriage actually let you see the "real" person? And what of the person who gets involved with this person having an affair, who is likely to "disappear" frequently?
And, fine, it's not a bad idea for an episode. But really, the episode then lives or dies on how the Benjamin/Fenna romance goes, and, no. No. Sorry, but no. It doesn't help that unlike most Trek romances, we cannot even "fill in the blanks" with extra scenes between the two (except for their picnic, where I think we're meant to gather that they had a longer time together), and only have to rely on the scant few meetings that happened on screen. Sisko's falling for Fenna on so little is false, especially since we see very little to indicate what he sees in her besides her obvious attractiveness and the thrill of the chase of a mysterious woman who speaks cryptically and then disappears. This would make a lot of sense if Ben were a teenager, but as an adult, well.... I get that he is just barely starting to be able to feel again after his wife's death, I get it because Sisko pointed it out several times, but I really don't feel it.
The lack of connection between Fenna and Nidell is also frustrating -- Nidell is such a blank that we have no real indication of how much Fenna actually represents of her, making Sisko's final remark that Fenna was JUST LIKE HER come across as totally bizarre. I can't even tell if we're supposed to think Sisko's being honest or lying, and if he is lying why.
There are many odd details in this episode that also make it seem unfinished, like there was an extra draft thrown out; the relative disinterest in this mysterious disappearing woman from anyone but Dax; the fact that no one bothered to call Bashir while Nidell lied dying for hours; that Fenna sometimes seems to know she can't stay long and other times can't which is totally at the mercy of the plot; that Nidell, we are told by Seyetik, is both supposed to have these projections under control and has no knowledge of them nor control of them, and that Nidell doesn't tell anyone that OH SISKO MUST HAVE SEEN HER PROJECTION when it comes up (what, embarrassment?). As far as Brooks' acting, my favourite weird mannerism in this episode is when, partway through his conversation with Seyetik where Seyetik reveals the Truth about Nidell, Brooks puts his head on his fist as if making something between an "I'm listening" face and nodding off to sleep, rather than, you know, the emotion of a guy who is losing a woman he cares about.
The episode's saving grace *is* Seyetik and I find him amusing, but he does seem like a small doses person and I feel like even this episode could have used smaller doses of him. I find it amusing that there is no suggestion whatsoever of Seyetik being abusive; we are just meant to understand that after three or four years of being married to this guy, a person's subconscious would basically choose suicide by psychic projection over listening to him reading any more excerpts from his autobiography. Seyetik kills himself because it's the only way to free her, and there is some sense in which it's a matter of atonement for the foolishness of *him* marrying someone from a species that mates for life when no one can stand him; he does end up something of a tragic figure, all big gestures and works of art and incapable of providing day-to-day emotional nurturance.
Anyway, Seyetik is entertaining and interesting enough (while still a bit grating, even so) that I think this episode can maybe hold onto 1.5 stars.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 12:31am (USA Central)
Rules of Acquisition
Incidentally, I don't think the episode implies that Quark has fallen in love with Pel. Rather, I think he has become very fond of Pel, and then, once he realizes she is a woman in love with him, and once he comes to her rescue, and puts everything together, he recognizes *some* attraction to her, which could very well have become something more given time. But liking her and loving her are two different things, and I don't think either Quark coming to her defense or Quark giving her a somewhat chaste kiss before sending her off qualify as a reach.
Quark's refusing to go with Pel, relatedly, I don't think is just Quark having attachment to Ferengi culture and being a traditionalist, though that is some of it. He also has a whole life on the station. He doesn't actually want to leave his brother and nephew or his business he has spent time building or Odo.
- Wed, Jul 29, 2015, 12:28am (USA Central)
Rules of Acquisition
OK, so, the Ferengi's sexism (as a people) has already been established before this episode, and I think it's fair to say that most of the audience believes that women should be allowed to have jobs rather than being kept barefoot and pregnant, or, I guess, completely bare and pregnant. However, you know, it is true that much of the world is still deeply repressive in terms of gender norms, and it can still be hard for women in more egalitarian parts of the world who find their skill set matched to fields which are traditionally male-dominated, to say nothing of how *very recently* stark divisions of gender roles were enforced in the West. The way the episode broaches the topic of oppressive gender roles is by focusing small -- this woman, this man -- and letting the impact of an unfair society be felt by the characters.
Open on Ferengi guys (or so it seems!) playing Tongo, eventually revealing, all eyes on her, "cool girl," "one of the guys" Jadzia, who as a non-Ferengi gets to be in their boys' club of gambling despite her gender. Rom, whose masculinity is constantly called into question on Ferengi standards, is insecure and suggests their (his) losing to Dax is only because they are "really" losing to Curzon. Quark feels both camaraderie and lust for Dax. And so the episode hits the ground running in terms of establishing what the relevant character bits of this small Ferengi gender story is.
Pel is the most obvious tragic figure here, and the reveal early on of her true gender identity is not really a mistake but rather helps us get into her head early. The difficulty of living this double life obviously weighs on her. We know she's right, and she knows she's right, but she has to live a lie; she is not particularly comfortable *as a man* except insofar as it is necessary in order to succeed.
Pel's initial value to Quark comes in her ability to make profits -- she is a shrewd businesswoman, in ways demonstrated regularly throughout the episode (not just talked about). She and Quark bond, and there is the sense that Quark finds a kindred spirit in his new friend -- his brother is terrible at acquiring, Quark is a slight outcast as a Ferengi, living so far out on the frontier. That a woman can be good at acquisition is no real revelation to the audience, and indeed shouldn't even be to Quark, who knows Dax and does not particularly seem to view Ferengi as so very different from other humanoids. The thing that gets depicted, though, is that it's not just women, but society as a whole who loses because of the oppression of women. Even if naked self-interest is the only goal of society, as it is for the Ferengi, it is *still* better to have the most competent people available to make the most profits -- and that includes women. On a professional level, Pel is essential to Zek and Quark's schemes to make money.
On a personal level, we find what Quark is missing out on by being pushed into a Ferengi value system he doesn't *particularly* believe in. It's not that Quark is free of sexism, and his come-ons are frequently offensive, without even going into the overt forced-prostitution-clause at the beginning of "Profit and Lace." But he likes women and likes women to be involved in his life. With Ferengi women, though, he holds to tradition because he has deep respect and some bits of fear for Ferengi Culture as a whole, with Zek as its representative. That he forms a friendship to Pel which is soon cut short, and even finds himself attracted to her when he knows who she is, highlights the possibilities of life which are cut off for *him* as well as for her -- he loses out on the possibility of a real companion, his speed, who matches him. Quark tells Pel off and indicates that he genuinely believes she has no place in business, etc., but the sneaking suspicion that he is at least partly doing this to make her leave turns out to be well-fonuded when he comes to Pel's defense.
The loyalty Quark demonstrates is (almost) always local, personal -- he treats his family badly, is pretty gross to Dax in his come-ons, etc., but he really does side with them and demonstrate that he cares about them. Pel makes it into this category, and his willingness to rush to defend her even if it means losing profits both reveals something important about Quark's character, and the way prejudice works -- when it's someone he cares about, Quark cannot toe the party line the same way.
What actually impresses me is the way the episode even presents an argument, and allows sympathy, for the reactionary position. Rom seeks to expose Pel because his masculinity is threatened by her success; Quark neglects and abuses him and treats Pel like the (business-savvy) brother he never had. Rom's jealousy is rendered sympathetic because we see the abuse Quark heaps on Rom for not being the "true Ferengi" he is supposed to be, which is really a way of saying that he is not the true Ferengi *male* Rom is supposed to be. Rom's desire to see Pel taken down, exposed, and perhaps charged criminally is petty and cruel, but it is also the effect of a value system which punished anyone who deviates from the expected standard. Rom becomes a better person (whether he is easier for the audience to watch is a matter of some debate) when he accepts that he need never be the True Ferengi businessman he is required to be.
Zek -- capital, the patriarch(y), etc. -- is "revealed" as a hypocrite, willing to agree to conceal Pel's identity to protect his own image and his own position of dominance.
What does not quite work for me, oddly, is just how far Pel falls for Quark. Her kissing him and then trying to insist on the topic and her anger at Quark's sending her away I can get behind -- but Pel running up and tearing her lobes off before the Nagus out of frustration seems to imply *such* an intense devotion to Quark and the proportionate heartache that comes with it. Why should she be that invested in showing up/embarrassing Quark (and the Nagus) that she will go to prison and have her whole life stripped away? I gather that the point is that she cannot hide the truth of herself any longer, and Quark's sending her away pushed her over the edge, but there is also the suggestion that she is just made so crazy by love that she can't control herself -- which doesn't quite sit well with the gender politics the episode is overall kind of trying to convey. It is a farce, and so I can let that go to a degree.
Of note -- I like that Dax catches on to Pel being in love with Quark before catching on to her being a woman. Smooth. Also this is the introduction of the Dominion.
This episode is not nearly as funny as "The Nagus" and the theatrics of Pel revealing herself in the climactic scene hurt the final product for me. I was set to say this was a 2.5 star show, but I might have talked myself up to a low 3 stars. Ferengi episodes eventually start being awful, but I don't think that this episode is the start of the more and more severe decline.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 7:15pm (USA Central)
The Naked Now
i am glad gene Roddenberry didn't have as much control in later ep like he did with session 1 and 2 if he did the show wouldn't have been as good was it was. sure he came up with tos but he also had a lot of bad idea and most weren't done it seems. should say i hatted tos too btw.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 6:34pm (USA Central)
I liked this one...and yet I wanted to like it even more. It could have been sharper, with some sections trimmed, leaving space for more story.
I would have been interested in exploring more what the killer Dax had been like; they also could have added a "B story" by taking the opportunity to introduce someone who knew Jadzia before her joining.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 1:36pm (USA Central)
Birthright, Part II
I'd give it 2-1/2 stars. I've often thought Worf had a somewhat realistic of what an ex-pat Klingon from a young age might turn out like. In particular I'm sure the Rozhenkos would have a guilt complex and encourage him to research Klingon ways. Like most things the abstract understaning of how Klingons are supposed to behave and how they actually do could easily be missed by Worf turning him into a purist. Reminds me of a friend who studied Buddhism and ended up finding out when he went to find a community they naturally didn't live up to the tennets of their religion (because no one does).
As for Worf dating a younger Klingon, they were considered the "young" but they were Worf's peers (their parents were the same generation as Worf's father), though younger, I don't see an issue with romance and being the only game in town for both Worf and Ba'el, I'm sure sparks would be flying.
The one thing I'm conflicted about should Worf's father have been there (or been there and died)? I'm not sure. Overall this part was a bit slow paced and a bit of a yawner. A bit more of Mogh would have spiced it up.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 1:34pm (USA Central)
Enter the first episode where Jennifer's acting made me cringe.
Tom and Neelix's little excursion was enjoyable and needed. I was really tiring of the Neelix jealousy thing.
But damn... Kes's little rant with Harry was.... well .... searching for words here.
Best line? DOC: "Hmm. Your world must have very dry literature"
Haha, isn't that the truth... no distrust, no jealousy, no envy, no betrayal... no Shakespeare I guess :-)
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 12:50pm (USA Central)
Jammer, one star? ... come on man... it's not a classic by any stretch, but one star?
I don't know what sci-fi technobabble is "plausible" or not, so I'm willing to accept the what if's... etc.
The writers have to be given some credit for the ending. Nothing the Voyager crew, Janeway or the captain-less crew could do, dream up, execute, etc. could do anything to stop anything here. I think it's a pretty cool having our heroes realize they are helpless... and even to some degree - accept it. Folks complain all the time about technobabble saving the day etc... here it didn't and folks are still up in arms.
I'm not sure how you can portray these affects better. I actually thought their ramblings etc. were kind of humorous.
With all the Tom/Kes gift brouhaha, what I noticed was some serious chemistry between Tom and B'Elanna when they were paired off. Very telling.
Touching moments in the holo-deck as our heroes await their fate. Tuvok's little hand gesture was touching as was B'Elanna's opening up to Chakotay.
Was this huge data dump ever used or provide any benefit later in the series? I can't remember.
I'll go 2.5 stars here.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 12:33pm (USA Central)
Wow, this episode is so gripping that all we can do is argue about economics :-)
Free markets are the answer... BUT, before all you commies hit your head on the ceiling... the banking system does need regulation. Especially since it's all numbers now.
Communism, Socialism. dictatorships never work, never have. It's a pipe dream promulgated by those in power to justify confiscating other people's property and to maintain their power. Then of course, as history tells us, when the "subjects" under a dictatorship become vocal, they are just eliminated.
Gene's money free utopia is impossible without replicator technology and not even practiced between members of the almighty Federation.
But back to this episode, the only redeeming factor, or character building part, is that Harry gets to learn more about Tom's character without the real Tom knowing about it.
Other than that this is a snooze fest.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 10:50am (USA Central)
Best use of Q, and never finding out if it was a dream or the actual Q is a nice touch. Good moral and great Picard back story. I wondered about the old vs young Picard. He is old for the benefit of the audience, you're correct Jammer a necessary tactic.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 10:29am (USA Central)
Face of the Enemy
I agree Troi speaking Romulan was an issue for me, sometimes you have to sigh and remember it is just a television show.
I did think it was very well done, and found it odd I had no rememberence of this episode (possibly one of the few I hadn't seen)
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 9:40am (USA Central)
I'd give it 1-1/2 stars. I thought the cute pooch is enough misdirection to possibly fool some in the audience. I also liked that Geordi redeemed himself from the mistake of the Leia Brahms episode, here he tells her he was snooping in her logs and why. Ah honesty is great Geordi.
Some have suggested Aquiel gives him the brush off, and yes the actors don't have much chemistry so one might think that. In reality she just wasn't a recurring character so they had to do the reset button. The whole crystal ritual is the writers saying it is serious, though the actors say otherwise.
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 7:42am (USA Central)
A Night in Sickbay
Neelix > Livingston? Really? And what about Martok's unseen pet Targ that was the source of a really good story?
- Tue, Jul 28, 2015, 2:46am (USA Central)
This was a great episode- but ultimately I found myself distracted by the opportunity for transwarp tech.
How many times can Voyger encounter a Q or an ally with superior tech (a friendly Saurian scientist for example) and not get a boost? Doesn't make any sense!!
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