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nucas
Sat, Aug 12, 2017, 2:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

@Strejda

i thought that was the implication, that sisko's reaction is a direct result of his previous experience. i think this episode would have really benefited from drawing a line between those two points. as it is, sisko's tirade about the dishonest portrayal of race relations in a 400-year-dead nation state on earth just seemed weird to me. it just made sisko seem like he's locked and loaded and ready to explode about this sort of thing.

star trek has always looked to the future but i think there's a fine line between social commentary and clubbing the audience over the head. far beyond the stars walked that line perfectly, and was still at it's heart a very deep space 9 story that slotted right into the plot arc. it was easily a 4-star episode.

anyway, that quibble aside, this episode came together nicely. if you'd told me a month ago when i started watching this show that my favorite episodes were going to be holodeck period pieces set in the 60s, or the ones focused on the base commander's son and ferengi friend, i would never have believed you considering how absolutely dreadful other trek shows have done both the ridiculous holodeck dreck, or kid main characters.
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skuttles
Sat, Aug 12, 2017, 1:57am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

I really enjoyed this episode. 3 1/2 stars from me.

My take on it was that the crew was already somewhat obsessive, that's why you didn't notice at first that their behavior was changing, until it became a little too over the top. That's why T'Pol didn't notice at first either. She thinks all humans are a bit obsessive and strange to begin with. That's why she says at one point that they are acting strangely 'even for humans'.

Also at the end of the episode, after they are cured, Reed was proud of the fact that Archer used his protocols, and Trip asks if he can still install the cup holder, and Archer asks T'Pol or whoever to read his introduction. Showing that they were and still are all a bit obsessive about things.

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William B
Sat, Aug 12, 2017, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

So, it begins. I'll *try* to keep comments on Voyager short, for my own sake, mostly. This will probably be an exception, ha. My wife (formerly girlfriend) and I just watched Caretaker tonight, and I think we'll probably continue.

So overall, it was okay -- but I was left disappointed. Not terribly disappointed, because I didn't remember Caretaker being that strong. Still, I think the episode doesn't quite succeed in the goals it seems to set for itself.

The biggest flaw, which many seem to agree on, is Janeway's decision to destroy the array at the episode's end. Unlike many, I don't really have a problem with Janeway making a call to strand her ship and crew for a higher moral imperative. I suppose I don't even necessarily have a problem with her violating the Prime Directive in doing so. I do have a problem with the way in which this central, series-defining decision played out. Now, Elliott has argued that Janeway's decision here recurs throughout the series, in large ways and small, and that it's by no means decided the moment that Janeway does it, and I will keep an eye out for that. There is indeed something interesting about that idea -- about resting a series on a momentary, almost instinctual decision by a main character, in which we in principle already have all the information at the time she makes it, but have a whole lots of hours left in which to consider its ramifications and so on. In this way of looking at it, it might not even matter much that Janeway didn't particularly explain herself, because there's a whole series to explore that. I like the idea, but I'm maybe skeptical about it in practice (or that this is what ST:V actually does). We'll see.

Evaluating the episode by itself: I think the decision to have Janeway make a choice to strand the crews in the DQ is a great idea, overall, dramatically. The ships being brought to the DQ was basically an Act of God (or godlike being), over which the crews had no control, but having Janeway make the call to strand them there restores her character's agency and creates a baseline of responsibility that Janeway feels for the rest of the series for the plight of her crew. The problem is that despite the running time, Caretaker leaves out huge amounts of information we need to understand and make our own minds up about Janeway's decision, to say nothing of having her justify it beyond "we didn't want to be involved...but we are" sophistry.

Let's, for a moment, leave out that she's stranding the ship by her decision, assume that Janeway's moral obligations to act (or not to act) go beyond her own crew's (and Chakotay's crew's) safety, which actually does work for me -- the Ocampa species hangs in the balance, possibly. Let's take it as a sort of star system of the week one of the Enterprises might have encountered. Why *is* this Banjo Man-Ocampa-Kazon situation different from any other Prime Directive situation? And if it's not, does this mean that Janeway rejects the PD? Does Janeway really have enough information to conclude that the Kazon shouldn't get access to the Caretaker's array? Does she actually believe the story she tells about the Ocampa being stronger than Banjo Man thinks they are, when, you know, Banjo Man *destroyed their planet* and their barely-livable surface is apparently ruled by a Kazon tribe? I feel like if this were a (good) TOS or TNG episode, there would be a long discussion between Kirk/Picard and the senior staff, where they weigh the pros and cons of interference, try to separate the letter and spirit of Federation law, and so on. There's a lot of fuzziness about how the PD applies to superior-powered beings, and many episodes, like A Private Little War or Redemption II, feature the Enterprise captain specifically running interference on an enemy species interfering in the internal affairs of another. So Janeway is maybe in a grey area, where Banjo Man has already "interfered" in the Ocampa system (first by destroying the Ocampa planet's surface, then by restructuring their society so that he can preserve them) and can act to stop him from further interfering with the Kazon. But she's also in a situation she knows nothing about, where all she has to go on is that the Ocampa look friendly and the Kazon look like jerks, and the presumably self-serving narrative peddled by the Caretaker who by his own admission kidnaps and fatally experiments on people from all around the galaxy in order to procreate (?). What if the Kazon were harmed by the Caretaker too? Maybe here we have to just accept the surface narrative, which later episodes will support, that the Kazon are dirty, grimy bastards and the Ocampa are smiling children who "need to grow up," but even the most generous reading I can supply still leads to the contradiction that it still seems like no matter what Janeway does, the Ocampa are becoming a slave race in five years when their supplies run out and they head to the surface where Kazon mining operations are still running. A little dialogue on why Janeway feels it's her responsibility to interfere this far but no further -- in fact, exactly enough to set up the show! -- would have been nice and would have helped the episode, to put it mildly.

This probably bothers me because I also feel like Janeway and the others were largely left without many choices for the rest of the story; there were a few vague murmurs about investigating their situation, which mostly involved things like Paris and Kim looking around the barn where Banjo Man kept all his secrets. Really, the decision to destroy the array is not just the most important, but in some senses the first major decision Janeway makes in the episode after Voyager leaves DS9. We don't have enough sense of who she is to make total sense of it, despite Melgrew's always-great performance. And here I'll add that it's not as if there wasn't time in the episode to clarify this point. The entire sequence in the faux-folksy farm simulation could have easily been excised, the "crew teleported in, shots of crew being experimented on, crew teleported out" stuff could have been reduced to simply Kim and Torres being beamed away, there was lots of redundancy in the "Kim/Torres wait for their chance to escape" material, and so on. There are funny little details which seem like either half-finished set-pieces with no payoff or obvious padding, like that part in the tunnels when Kes informs the others that they have to not touch some energy barrier or their skin will come off. Knowing how the show will eventually be balanced, the disproportionate focus on Paris and his redemption story could easily have been toned down to make more room for establishing stronger, at least one-off-episode-strong pictures of the Ocampa and Kazon and a stronger sense of Janeway's values to get to that big moment.

I think I do get, though, why some of the material I'd consider extraneous was included, though. For example, the "simulation of Earth" stuff with Banjo Man strikes me as hoary and unnecessary, but it at least is setting up the theme of nostalgia, and the question of whether a Caretaker (parent?) has a responsibility to create the illusion of home. It strengthens what might be parallels between Janeway and Banjo Man -- Janeway ends up quasi-parent to two crews, as Banjo Man is a caretaker for the Ocampa, which we already get a sense of in her maternal instincts regarding Harry (see "at ease before your break something," or that "his mom called me about a clarinet" story) and Tom (for whom she's already serving as a representative for his own father, whom he maybe can impress). There's a tension between Janeway's humanist (sentient-life-ist?) belief in self-determination, for example of the Ocampa, and her belief that she needs to act as a shield to protect them, e.g. from the Kazon getting the Caretaker's technology, which maybe sets up her arc as captain: how much is her role to allow her crew maximum freedom to be themselves, and how much of it is to guide them with absolute authority (and maybe a "benevolent" iron fist) to protect them, to create an illusion of home to sustain them? Given that the Caretaker is himself responsible for the Ocampa's plight, as Janeway bears responsibility for stranding her crew, the parallel does tend to pop. And like the Caretaker who sets himself as a type of God, Janeway, cut off from Starfleet Command and the rest of the Federation, immediately gets total authority, beyond any real checks and balances; the first major decision she does is to break the Prime Directive, and unlike those times Kirk or Picard did it, there's no one even in principle to reprimand her for 75 years.

TORRES: What other way home is there? Who is she to be making these decisions for all of us?
CHAKOTAY: She's the Captain.

In principle, the rebellious anarchism of the Maquis and the humanistic, IDIC core of the Federation should run counter to Starfleet chain of command on a "mission" like Voyager's, in which people can't quit or put in for a transfer. The conflict between the IDIC/"we work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity" emphasis on personal growth and choice and the hierarchical nature of Starfleet isn't as big a deal on the Enterprise, where, yes, Kirk/Picard must be obeyed on any given mission but people can (and, in the case of e.g. Worf, do) get off any moment they like, even if there is a lot of sunk cost in career damage that might result. So it's with mixed feelings that I report that Janeway's iron fist is already on display, and Chakotay basically already surrendered any opposition before we even got to the ending where Janeway opens with talking about how the two crews will work together, then concludes with "It'll be a Starfleet crew." Is it lazy, five-seconds-from-the-end writing to establish the show's ground rules as fast as possible in a pilot already overstuffed, sometimes with stuffing that didn't seem terribly important? That was meant to be rhetorical, but, yeah, probably I'd say "yes": it seems bizarre to include all the set-up for the Maquis (over two other shows, no less) just to have Chakotay give up immediately, even if, let's face it, maybe this Starfleet/Maquis conflict concept for the show was doomed from the start. (The primary difference between the Maquis and other Federation citizens is their take on how best to deal with Cardassians in the de-militarized zone, which is precluded from ever coming up again, except through extreme contrivance; maybe the fault isn't with the later episodes of the show but with the whole idea that this astropolitical difference would matter enough half a galaxy away from the source of the conflict to build a show around.) But hey, maybe Chakotay falling in line behind Janeway in an episode whose story is about the Ocampa's unquestioning obedience to a flawed god isn't a complete coincidence. Will Janeway manage to preserve her crew, including the recently-added criminal anarchist wing, by giving them uniforms, a mission, and places on the chain of command? We'll see!

I had forgotten how much the episode is already leaning on the Paris/Kim and Tuvok/Neelix pairings. Neelix, I'm sorry to say, is mostly annoying already, though the fact that he was playing Janeway et al. to rescue Kes gives a bit of hope that the original conception of the character was someone who deployed his annoying traits as a way to fool people into underestimating him; the way he's unequivocally *dangerous* while holding onto the bumbling exterior (see the way he grabs the Kazon knife, or shoots their water supply) is an element that I think largely dissipated, for a while anyway, and will probably be missed. My understanding is that Paris was supposed to be a sort of co-protagonist in the original conception of the show, and that really comes across here; as with the Maquis material, I think that his "redemption," including heroic rescues and an immediate commission, happens too quickly and ends up being dramatically pat. B'Elanna (which she pronounces "Bay-Lanna" in this episode) gets little material but has one "ah yes, that's my KLINGON HALF" exposition moment; Harry is Harry, which isn't a problem for the first episode but will, IIRC, become one when he's mostly the same a few years later. Kes is a total blank except for her moment of moral responsibility when she convinces Neelix to stay and help. Picardo is great, but I don't really think the Doctor's material in this ep was that funny. Russ is a wonder at making a great deal out of small amounts of material, and I'm really looking forward to watching him more closely this time through. Chakotay -- well, I dunno. I don't think he comes across that strongly in this episode.

I've sort of talked myself into liking it more than I liked it while watching it, but I still think that the big things it needed to sell -- Janeway's decision to destroy the array, and then the combining of the Starfleet and Maquis crews -- were left pretty unsold, and in an episode that overall left me kind of cold, that's really damaging. I know that Parallax does more with the latter subject, though specifically with the Carey/Torres competition thing, so I'll see how that goes. For now, 2 stars.
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Skeetle
Sat, Aug 12, 2017, 12:04am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

1 star. One word. Boring.

This was just cliche after cliche after cliche.

I had a bad childhood, I don't want my kid to have one. I think it's my fault my parents split up. We are going to become just like my parents. You will leave me like my daddy left me. You don't understand me, you aren't different like me. etc. etc.

The culmination of all the boring cliches is, Torres decides to lose her mind and break a bunch of starfleet regulations, and make a bunch of immoral choices, and surprise, everything is resolved in 2 minutes and no one cares what she did.

She should be severely punished, Tom should divorce her, and the EMH should demand that she never be allowed to work on his program again. But no. No one cares.

Reset button again. No surprise though. What's new?
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William B
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Having just watched Caretaker and rereading my comment here, I don't know why I went for 2.5 rather than 3 stars. (I still wouldn't go to 3.5, probably.) I think that I tried to be a bit harsh on DS9 at times because it's so beloved (including by me) and at times I wanted it to be even better, but while I agree with my brief criticisms earlier, this episode is pretty successful as an intro.
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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

@ DLPB,

I applaud you! I much appreciate you contributing to avoid giving spoilers to what comes next by pretending they don't happen! Good effort to help Startrekwatcher enjoy the series more and be surprised ;)
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Startrekwatcher
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Scorpion, Part I

PS. I also appreciated the callback to Borg events from TNG as Jabeway reviewed Captains logs of those who encountered the Collective
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Startrekwatcher
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Scorpion, Part I

4 stars!

After an AWFUL third season and the underwhelming Borg episode "Unity" I was finally looking FOREWARD to a VOY episode. I had hoped Scorpion would have done for VOY what The Best of Both Workds did for TNG. Unfortunately wasn't to be the case but that doesn't take anything away from this episode

It and Caretaker in my opinion are the best Episodes of Voyager

I'm glad the producers decided to jettison the planned season finale and went with this. Years later I learned that Unity was to be it as far as Borg stories on VOY but thankfully Brannon disagreed and thanks to the line image of dead Borg springing to life we got Scorpion

As to be expected from a Brannon Braga script we get all details incorporated. Here with the crew entering finally Borg space it made great deal sense for crew to make preparations and I loved the mention that they were stockpiling food, prepping their weapons systems(from TNG Borg encounters with rotating modulation), sending out a probe ahead of them and the Doctor working on essentially a Borg vaccine--which although not said explicitly in this episode could have possibly been achieved with some experimenting on 8472 cells so that would maintain ability to wipe out nanoprobes without killing the patient. When Janeway habds that over to the Borg with thenanoprobe modifications that was lost

The teaser was perfect capturing what the episode was going to center around.

The crew's first encounter with the Borg via the Armada was exciting. I was invested in seeing the crew's reactions to first entering Borg space and second to discovering that the Borg were in a conflict with a race more powerful than the Collective. Harry's reaction that this someone might be able to be an ally was reasonable at first blush.

The away team boarding the damaged cube was edge of seat stuff--seeing damaged Borh, seeing them unflinched--despite having just been devastated--continuing with their duties and directives

The bio ship was nicely done as far as interior production

Kim being attacked by the alien was good. I was hoping it would pave the way for his exit from the series--being a uselessly annoying character--at the same time adding some jeopardy and weight to the episode events

The da Vinci scenes felt like padding and halted the episode momentum I was sooooo ready to get back to the other proceedings. And the other issue that nagged a bit at me was the change in Borg to where they aren't capable of investigating or studying something and adapting--instead it was tweaked here that Borg only know what they assimilate which works here for this particularly story both fitting with the theme of human ingenuity via the da Vinci plot and for giving Voyager a bargaining chip but it still rankles but I could eventually get over it. And along similiar lines, while in THIS episode The recent idea thanks to FIRST CONTACT of Borg assimilation utilizing nanoprobes works, ultimately in long run not a fan. Much preferred the surgical assimilation from TNG series

The Borg were thankfully back to being a Collective mind with no emotional femme fatale standard villainess queen.

The episode was terrifying. All sides of the debate were thankfully dramatized on screen rather than offscreen the way so many of today's programs unfortunately do--from idea of how long Borg would keep up the deal to Janeway's counterargument that being in a bind may allow Borg be open to this when other under circumstances they wouldn't to idea once 8472 gets done annihilating the Borg they would turn to purging all other life including the Federation and not wanting to pass on this opportunity to stop the aliens while safely moving through Borg space and having the Collective protect Voyager from 8472

And the back n forth didn't end there. Lots of good stuff on the cube once Janeway aboard with her give and take with the Collective--once again both sides making sensible realistic arguments from janeway acknowledging were she to habd over her data there'd be nothing stopping Borg assimilating the crew but then the Borg point out that by time they crossed Borg territory Species 8472 might have defeated the Borg etc etc

The epic assault on the Borg planet was thrilling. Oh and back to Vrannon's wonderful little details--Janeway telling Paris set course for nearest Borg vessel--they shouldn't be difficult to find----well of course They're in Borg space Borg will be everywhere and makes sense there would also be entire Borg planets and colonies

Overall Excellent
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DLPB
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

Oh, except "lol", YOU are way off. I've seen the whole series and Startrekwatcher is bang on the money. It is a FACT that this episode has little to no influence on future events. A FACT. At no point on do we hear of a changeling taking the place of - much less trying to take the place of - a high ranking Starfleet officer. This whole silly episode was simply peddling a nasty, deluded left wing piece of propaganda that "the only people we have to fear is our own ignorance and fear" - which is patently ABSURD given that the changelings can and did impersonate top ranking officials.

Lazy writing. Lazy propaganda. Whether you like or not "lol". See my other posts above.
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chamdnt
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

As the story goes, only 18 months or so passed between the time Meyer and Nimoy hatched out the movie's concept, and the premiere date. The production does appear to come off as rushed. Certain lines of dialogue appear to not have "ended" the way humans (or even Klingons) normally finish a sentence. The resolution murder mystery itself would probably give Nancy Drew a chuckel (expand search to include uniforms.... find uniforms... conveniently run into the wearer of the uniforms who had just been shot)... OK, so the plot isn't air-tight.

There is plot, though, and then there is story, and Star Trek VI, unique among all 13 of the Star Trek films, is actually ABOUT something from beginning to end. And unlike the other movies - for examlple, the overly referential III and VII - ir is not about the Star Trek universe - it is about something in our universe.

it's about the fear Kirk described when "the end of history" is perceived by a society to be upon it. " The "end of history" line came from phiolosopher Francis Fukuyama, who mused the end of history was upon us once the Cold War ended. He wondered, at that point, whether nations had reached the end point of their evolution, with certain nations with certain ideals to be forever history's "winners" and others with discarded ideas to be history's "losers."

As Fukuyama would admit, though, September 11 proved that , "We haven't run out of history quite yet."

I found the storyline of the Berlin Wall coming down in space to be compelling - uniike shopworn science fiction staples like the search for God or the Robot God, the fountain of youth, time travel, and so forth.

Also, for the first 45 minutes or so, this movie is a genuine curveball. We REALLY don't know what's going to happen once Kirk and McCoy are arrested. Sure, we know that in the end things will be OK, but the screenwriting in this movie was much less paint-by-numbers than in previous (or subsequent) entries. Even a pretty good movie iike VIII had a conclusion that was fore-ordained (we knew First Contact would indeed happen...., Again. Not much suspense there).

Director Nicholas Meyer is a crowd please who knows how to use the camera, how to frame the action, and how to tell a story in visua terms. There is nothing wrong with that. Every one of the regulars was given something to do. Uhura got a chance to save the day, as did Sulu, and Chekov and Scotty played important roles in the investigation. These characters were actually portrayed, for once, as competent - not as comic weaklings or burn victims.

The special effects hold up even today, the music fit the tone of the movie, the action scenes were reasonably well-staged, and at times, you even got the impression that the things in the movie that were happening, were indeed actually happening. For example, the scene where Spock, Scotty, Chekov, Sulu and Uhura deduce (in true Holmes fashion) how the attack on the Klingon vessel occurred. 3 minutes of just dialogue and characters thinking. Try finding that in an action movie today - or in any movie made for mass entertainment.

My one complaint (other than the cheap theatrical trick that was the Spock mind-rape scene, which demeaned the character and the audience) was that the movie did take itself a little too seriously.... Some of the time. That's an offense, to be sure, but the movie is in good (or bad, as it were) company here: The Motion Picture, III (which was staged with the solemnity of a funeral), VII (with that mind-bogglingly awful scene of Picard's vision of fantasy life in the Nexus), IX (with its shallo pontification about genocide), took themselves and their ideas at least as seriously, and their ideas were seriously crummier than the ideas in VI.
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Startrekwatcher
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 3:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

4 stars !

I'd argue this is a key episode in the series pulling multiple lingering threads(maquis, DMZ, Klingons etc)together in a unifying manner via the event of Cardassia joining the Dominion

Finally! Finally! Some MAJOR movement in the Dominion arc after several seasons of just light focus here and there. The Dominion actually make a major move on the Alpha Quadrant. This could have been their goal all along to take actions in Alpha Quadrant to soften up Cardassia to pace way for their request to become part of the Dominion so they could have a foothold and base of operations to carry out further action against the Alpha quadrant. Regardless I was thrilled finally that something significant and impacting was actually happening and how pieces just started clicking into place one thing after another sweeping through the hour

Cardassia via Dukat joining the Dominion made a great deal of sense and was an organic outgrowth of seeds planted in previous years. We had seen Dukat mention how diminished in stature not only he had become but Cardassia--with withdrawing from Bajor then signing a treaty with them , , ,with Maquis and then the Klingon invasion. So only way out of that was through the Dominion. Very nicely done Ira and Robert!!!

Liked the Klingons coming running to the station and the alliance fully restored

Liked seeing another Vorta rather than same ones over and over. It adds to the realism for me that you'd encounter different ones over time. Something despite having the reliable Weyoun DS9 wisely continued doing in the sixth season too

Liked the moment the Vorta announced the release of Cardassian prisoners except Garak which made perfect sense given the animosity between garak and Dukat

One thing DS9 did really well was take the well established Trek civilizations that TOS and TNG gave us and threw them into the mix with the Dominion which made for some intriguing dynamics. It wasn't just the Federation versus the Dominion but Klingins, Romulans, Cardassians, Bajorans which I loved to pieces. Made for a much more fully realized story. Add to that seeing former adversaries working together, in some instances like the internment camp escape, not only spoke to the Trek spirit of unity but made a great deal of sense

Few quibbles: I found it hard to believe Sominion would leave the runabout in orbit so easily allowing escape. I also found the weakest part of the episode to be the repetitive scenes of Worf vs the Jem'Hadar--every time that came on screen it halted the momentum of the episode and took me away from the more engrossing larger story

And if a major shakeup to the status quo, political intrigue, dominion machinations wasn't enough featured in this hour. We got a dose of appropriate action as ships converge at DS9 preparing for a battle with the Jem'Hadar. Then to add a twist the Dominion had no intention of firing a single weapon or losing a single soldier--they were going to wipe them out by destroying Bajor sun--now that is such a Founder thing to do and why they are such smart compelling villains. And to think I was underwhelmed This was what I meant when I said DS9 may not have handled the episodes or the elements in their debuts well but they would go on to use them well one day to where those initial disappointments faded once I saw what they ultimately did with them. And there would be more of that to come thankfully

But this is a classic Trek episode for me and was the first step in a march towards greatness for the series. And the episode makes it clear that Dukat still is obsessed with Bajor and the station and has his eyes set on retaking both which nicely sets up more to come as well as makes perfect sense for Dukat from everything we've see. Again demonstrating smart believable motives and behaviors from the characters--another strong thing DS9 writers must be applauded for
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Startrekwatcher
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

3.5 stars!

Too bad DS9 didn't have more fun TNGesque episodes like this one

The idea for the episode was fantastic--Clever and inventive in how they set this story inside an original TOS episode merging both seamlessly with all the modern Trek sensibilities while still retaining the TOS feel

Cool seeing TOS uniforms in a modern trek series. The recreation of TOS corridors were well done. In fact the entire episode was so well done that it was hard to tell where old footage ended and new footage began. Especially enjoyed the scene with Dax and Sisko in grain compartment with Kirk just outside it

Liked the little touches like Dax wanting to see Koloth in his prime given their history or being Dax she would find Spock--not Kirk--the handsome one. Fun neat idea making a furry little tribble a mortal enemy of the Klingons--and I loved idea that a tribble melted the heart of Odo. It also made sense Dax could work the bridge controls given past host alive during this era as well as being a science officer

Brilliant! Hiding explosive in tribble as Arne says poetic justice for Kirk foiling him originally

The episode was framed well with Sisko recounting what happened to the temporal investigators

I was never a fan of "Troible with Tribbles" but This episode made "trouble with tribbles"more interesting than the original ep with how it streamlined things and focused on the interesting and key events

The way they chose to end the episode could not have been any better with the revelation of having brought back tribbles fr the past and seeing them populating the Promenade and one stop Quark's head. Very good!

Liked the wise pairings the writers made ie sisko and Dax--Avery Brooks and Terry Farrell work well together and Odo with Worf. I also enjoyed the way they chose to handle the Klingons radical change in appearance

I also got a kick out of making Arne Darvin the antagonist and I thought it was also near that the original actor was able to reprise his role for this episode.
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nucas
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Field of Fire

i was onboard with this initially, but ultimately the script didn't sell me on the idea that joran was was offering any tangible help or unique insights that ezri wasn't capable of on her own as a trained psychologist, it was just a bunch of faff. i also don't recall him being a complete power-killer psychopath murderer in his first portrayal.

they could have done a lot more with this.
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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

Ok, except even then I think you're way off. This episode has distinct consequences, some direct and some indirect. I'll say more if you want and if you've already seen the whole series.
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Joshua
Fri, Aug 11, 2017, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Basics, Part I

The main problem I have with this episode is how adept the Kazon are at operating Voyager. No amount of 'training' by Seska could prepare them for operating it so perfectly within their short time frame, unless computer systems in the 24th century are that unreasonably accessible.
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Startrekwatcher
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 11:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

I found this to be quite boring. It employed all the usual war cliches and I've seen them employed in far more realistic and gripping ways than in this episode. And the non-jake stuff was pure filler. Must every scene with Kira be about some mundane quirk about her pregnancy be it sneezing or in this instance finding her a caffeine substitute. 2 stars
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Dusty
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

If nothing else, this episode at least inspires passionate and intelligent discussion years after it aired - both about whether Alixus' philosophy had merit and whether she was simply misguided or a flat-out cult leader. I watched it again recently and I think the biggest mistake they made was in the ending: portraying Alixus sympathetically when her character (both as performed and as written) had done absolutely nothing to engender that sympathy. It was unsatisfying.

My explanation of why ALL the colonists instantly forgive Alixus and choose to stay? Poor writing. I can't think of a reason that would actually work within the plot of the episode.
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Startrekwatcher
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 10:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Homecoming

4 stars!

These kind of epic episodes with lots of players providing lots of differing perspectives and agendas with high stakes is DS9 at its best and what it excelled at

--loved how Quark got the ball
Rolling by bringing Nalas' earring to Kira from his Boslick freighter captain

--then Kira asking sisko for a runabout

--good scene with Dax making a good argument to Sisko as to why he should give Kira the runabout

--liked Miles joining her and their ruse to get passed Cardassian security. Also appreciated the realistic behavior displayed by Kira waiting til last minute to close the runabout door to give the others a chance to escape as a Cardassian warship is closing in

--liked way Jaro brought Into things by coming to station to welcome Li home and takes advantage of the opportunity to steal the limelight

--thumbs up sisko/Li discussion at the end

Ep ended with a great cliffhanger !

The first season did absolutely nothing for me but when I read TV Guide article talking about DS9 doing a three part story at start of season two I had to check it out and was happy I did
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Startrekwatcher
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

I was only referring to this specific episode.
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Lisa
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Riddles

I'm late to the party, but I always like Neelix. I'm not sure why so many hate him. I really enjoyed this episode. It was on BBC America a couple of days ago. It's very touching AFAIC.
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Ellen
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

The ending was sappy, sentimental and absurd and it just pissed me off.

There was way too much sentimentality going around. People giving each other significant looks across the room. Everyone has a smile on their faces, everyone loves everyone, everyone is soft-spoken and gentle to each other, hugging and caressing, being giving and generous. Taking long walks, being romantic and loving and blah blah fart. Good grief. It's like they got mass sedated entering Earth's atmosphere or something. Not believable.

And if was absurd because these people think it clever to abandon not only their technology on this primitive planet but also each other to wonder off and live desolate, isolated lives at the ass end of the world. Yeah sure, Adama just goes off by himself. A 70+ year old man, bitterly alone, building a cabin. How does he build it? He is only one man. He is old. He has no technology. Fuck, he doesnt even have any tools. I think his cavemen neighbor may be better equipped.

And why would he want to do that anyway? Why would he be ok with spending the rest of his life alone and not even be with his son? What was the utility or even wisdom in that?

The answer is, there wasnt. It just made for a melodramatic, sappy and sentimental ending. But it didnt make a lick of sense.

And then Tyrol just grabbing his backpack and wondering off in the Savannah to go find a home in what...current day Scotland? Greenland? The Kilimanjaro?

And what about the kid he had with his wife (who was a total bitch btw)? Sure he isnt the biological father but he ws there since say one and believed he was. What has changed? he just stopped loving him?

Anyway, him wondering off like that, it reminded me of that scene in National Lampoon's Vacation when the Griswold's are stranded in the desert and Clark says "im gonna go see if i can find a gas station, honey" in the middle of nowhere. And from afar you see these two tribal members sitting on their horses with one of them saying "what an asshole".

Indeed. That is pretty much exactly how i felt when Tyrol said he was gonna go somewhere nordic to basically die alone.

The same goes for all of them. As the reviewer says, technology was never their problem, human nature was. Being horrible to each other was.

How are these people better off being scattered around the globe? What are they gonna do on this rock where they are stuck with nothing but a bunch of cavemen? What if they need medical attention? Are they gonna go ask Joe Neanderthal?

Humans are always stronger in communities. We are social creatures and we are always better cooperating and working together and building strong ties.

Isolation and the following loneliness are very damaging and potent. It may seem all cool and romantic at first, the idea of the rugged individual setting out to make it. Or to scream, as Lee did, that you wanna "GO EXPLORE" and "CLIMB MOUNTAINS WOOO HOOO". But wtf man, you dont have a rope, you dont have the equipment. What if you get injured? Bitten? Stung? Eaten? Break your bones? Your shoes fall apart?

And Baltar and Caprica. Let's for one moment forget Caprica's complete 180 from OH I LOVE YOU GAIUS. to OH I LOVE YOU SAUL. to again OH I LOVE YOU GAIUS behavior (amazing how quickly she forgot that freak Saul). But seriously? In Baltar you got a brilliant mind who is now gonna spend the rest of his days with his supermodel wife growing crops? And then what? What happens after 6 months or a year or 5? All alone, in a cabin growing shit?

Helo and Sharon go built a hut and live happily ever after with their daughter? Well, who did Hera end up with to be mitochondrial eve? One of the caveman?

See, these people going back to Earth from that advanced civilization they had on the 12 colonies is like us going back in time 150,000 years. it is not gonna work. You wont last a second without medical care, vaccine, sanitation etc. The fact that all these realistic aspects were completely glossed over in favor of delivering an emotionally driven and sentimental ending that has people holding hands and sobbing pretending they werent just a few months ago executing and killing one another really did a lot of damage to the credibility of the show. And not just that, but it rendered all the darkness that preceded it empty and pointless.

And really ,what makes them think this time around with the centurions it is going to be any different than what they had before? So way to destroy your last chance of ever getting out of here and getting yourself stranded on a planet with a bunch of proto-humans who are a few generations away from walking with their knuckles.

Anyway, it was so all so ridiculous. Too sappy and sentimental. Rather disappointing.

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Rahul
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Shattered Mirror

Not a fan of the Mirror Universe episodes - didn't like "Crossover" and scratch my head as to why Jammer rates these 2 episodes so highly. I guess I disagree with his review here big time. 60's Trek got it right with "Mirror, Mirror" and maybe 1 rehash for each series is fine, but DS9 going back a 3rd time is stupid.

Yes, it's an episode taken to the limit but it's meaningless and silly for me. DS9 has a ton of episodes so I guess the producers can throw away a few episodes here and there and have the cast in totally different roles and wild battle scenes just for the fun of it.

I actually think this episode is mish-mash of a ton of stuff that doesn't fit too well together. One should feel the anguish of the Jennifer Sisko at the end but its juxtaposition after the starship battle scene doesn't work for me.

As for the battle scene, it was cool to see but it reminded me too much about Star Wars -- which is a bad thing. I also find it highly unrealistic that Capt. Sisko could fly so closely to a much larger starship with a ship like the Defiant (it's not a warplane for Pete's sake).

Anyhow, I'm not a fan of the premise for this episode and can't care about what's going on in the MU. To the episode's credit, there were some good lines and the actual story (albeit on steroids) does make for a watchable hour of Trek.

I think 2.5 stars is a fair rating here -- the MU provides a convenient excuse for exaggerated action, acting, and characters. But what's supposed to be touching or poignant fails to deliver for me. Just can't take "Shattered Mirror" seriously.
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skindles
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

This episode wasn't so bad. It had it's fair share of stupid bits, but some good ones too. 2 stars from me.

If you substitute T'Pol, say, for Porthos, and it was T'Pol who was infected from the aliens lack of warning, would you still be complaining about how Archer reacted? Probably not.

Most of the hatred seems to stem from the fact that it was a sick dog and not a person. That is a lot of what the show was about, is how humans raise their pets to the level of people in their minds. Phlox and T'Pol both tell Archer he is being too protective of his dog.

But that's what humans do, or many of them anyway.

Also Archer doesn't have many actual friends on board, most captains don't really. He is always their commanding officer first. Porthos is his best friend. He is protective of his best friend. Maybe that should have been the title 'A Human's Best Friend'.

Archer never once complained to the Kreetassans themselves. Maybe he shouldn't have taken Porthos to begin with, but he asked permission to take him and it was given and they messed up. He didn't do anything drastic about it, except maybe bitch too much about it to the crew. But he was at first frustrated, and then sleep deprived, and his dog/best friend was maybe going to die, so maybe he had a right to bitch a little. And he ended up apologizing in the end, so other than looking a bit pissed off to a few members of the crew, no harm was done. I don't see how this episode makes him out to be a bad captain.

Janeway would probably have sent the delta flyer down to investigate and Kim would have landed on the trees crushing them and started a war, with Chakotay telling her she was being stupid, while she ignored him and stole all the parts they needed and left, the whole thing having been forgotten by the next episode.

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Rahul
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

A powerful, poignant episode and really great acting by Meaney. O'Brien is a good character for this type of episode because of his family, because he's down to earth and easy for the average person to relate to.

"Hard Time" does a good job portraying the re-integration of someone who has done hard time for many years. I'd give props to the creativity of the idea of implanting memories of hard time as punishment -- only in Star Trek could some such thing come about. The drawback for me personally is that the episode wasn't particularly riveting and I found it a bit slow.

I was wondering how the show would "reset" but I liked the ending because it didn't reset. Instead O'Brien will have to gradually get over it with the help of some medication. But I think the memories should continue to haunt him from time to time in subsequent episodes, although I doubt they will.

Julian had a very important role to play here to and I'm starting to appreciate his Siddig's acting a lot more now. The idea of convincing O'Brien that he's not an animal because he feels remorse for killing his cellmate was well done. I think this is a credible outcome of 20 years of solitary confinement that it is possible for someone's humanity to get stripped -- although, of course, it's only a supposition on my part. I also liked that O'Brien and Julian see their friendship develop in a deeper way.

Captain Sisko has a brief scene where he reprimands O'Brien -- again, I think Sisko is too stiff and should have shown a bit more compassion here while still sticking to his guns re. his orders to O'Brien. I thought that was a disappointing scene.

This episode is a good drama but, for me, it's not at the same level as "The Visitor" -- not as moving, or interesting, but still very powerful. I'd give it 3 stars mainly because I didn't enjoy the story of the episode that much even with some excellent acting and the creativity behind the idea of memories of incarceration.
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skibble
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

This gets 1 1/2 stars from me. Because it was sort of interesting and well made. But...

The one thing that made the whole thing fall apart for me was, at the very beginning, when they first realized that the holograms were murderers, they were going to shut them down and reprogram them, and Janeway, the worst captain in starfleet history, decides not to do it. Because it would be like 'declawing a cat'. pfft. Cats don't run around murdering everyone.

Then after they kill lots more people, some completely uninvolved and innocent people at that, then she decides, hey let's shut them down and reprogram them.

Of course they should have done that at the beginning, but no episode then, I suppose. But an episode starting with a stupid decision that results in many people dying, and many more, including the whole Voyager crew!, nearly dying, and then ends with 'oops, guess I was wrong!' at the end is just annoying. Janeway should be relieved of command, yet again.

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