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Roger W Norris
Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

A couple of thoughts I've had over the years. Doesn't Festival resemble Pon Farr? Pon Farr affects only a few, and is not as violent. It happens every 7 years, while I assume Festival is yearly. But there are similarities.
If the Landru computer is 4000 years old, why is it even working? I would have expected the priests or lawgivers to know the truth, and to be in charge of maintenance and reprogramming. It may be like that because it's suffering the computer of senility. Don't destroy it. Repair it.
And if you want to know why things are the way they are in New Orleans, "it is the will of (Mayor) Landrieu."
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Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: State of Flux

This was pretty solid, though with the problem that the Kazon always came across as embarrassingly cheap Klingon knockoffs. Wtf? They looked like costumes someone out together from a particularly crappy thrift store.

Seska's motivations make a life of sense here... Then she the runs off with the Kazon so that, uh, wtf, made zero sense.

The maddening thing is that had she remained on the ship, she could have been one of those Dr. Smith on Lost in Space or Dr. Baltar in BSG characters, where half the time they are helping you, half the time plotting against you sort of, but still with the goal of getting home etc etc. Think of Seska being a third wheel in the Voyager (Janeway)/Borg adventures, for example.
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Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

Toph said: "I actually enjoyed this episode, mostly for its transparently Hitchcockian nods."

I was just coming here to say this very thing. As a Hitchcock fan, this episode seemed to me an obvious attempt to emulate a Hitchcock psychodrama. But Hitch was expressionistic and a master of mood, framing and tension; "EYE OF THE BEHOLDER" is mostly flatly directed.

I did like, however, seeing inside the warp nacelles. New Enterprise sets really help convey the sheer size of the Enterprise D.

Like everyone else, I found Troi and Worf's romance to be utterly unbelievable. They've never been close or flirted or even been especially friendly toward one another, and yet Worf goes in for an impromptu kiss and Troi readily reciprocates without comment.

I've just realized, Chakotay and 7of9's last season random romance must have been inspired by Worf and Troi.
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Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Where Silence Has Lease

I have little to say about this episode, except to note that I'm getting rather tired of humanity being judged by "superior" beings as being arrogant and agressive, particularly when they themselves threaten and kill the crew.
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Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

Boring, talkative, contrived, mad rambling of a lunatic, cliche of being stuck in a cave on a planet, etc, etc.. One Star. Another miss of DS9. The season started so well, but we are back on the old level and that isn't good.
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Peter Swinkels
Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

I actually found myself agreeing and sympathizing with Lwaxana.
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Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 5:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

I'm heartened by the warm reception that Pulaski has received from above commenters; I thought she was a great character and far superior to Dr Crusher, who I always thought rather bland.

Again, I must carry the torch for unloved counsellor Troi. I loved all her scenes and was genuinely touched by her grief at Ian's moving on.

One other thing I noticed about this episode is just how well directed and framed each shot is. The show has moved on a long way from Season 1 and is increasingly looking like the prestige sci fi drama most people remember TNG to be.
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Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 2:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Sound of Her Voice

I liked the episode very much. Subtle and sweet.
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Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Violations

Analysis aside, I simply didn't find this episode entertaining or pleasant to watch. It brings up some interesting in-universe points for discussion, but the entire topic it broached could have been handled way better. The Ullians were a really interesting race and the opening scene with Keiko had me excited for exploring this memory recovery concept, then it devolved into what felt like a bad episode of Law and Order SVU. I cringed my way through this piece of garbage after that and there was nothing endearing, plot-advancing, or even worth my time, including the music. I'd go as low as one star here, and put it at the bottom of the TNG barrel with Riker's other memory coma.
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J Ryan
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

Just watched this one again. Love it. Kirk's recital of the declaration preamble is classic Shatner. The haters of this episode crack me up. The parallel earth scenario seems to put a bunch of people off. Please. In a TV show that regularly employs technologies that will never come to pass, like matter transporters that basically disintegrates human and reassembles him without I'll effect, or warp engines the enable travel at several magnitudes of light speed, you refuse to accept a parallel earth? LMAO. Classic ep. Good Kirk/Spock moments. Good McCoy lines. It beats the heck out of most of season 3.
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Dr Lazarus
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

I really enjoyed this episode. Tomalak, is a great adversary because he is ruthless and very intelligent. I loved his last encounter with Picard.

Picard: Do you expect us to surrender?
Tomalak: No, I expect that you won't.

The ultimate one upmanship, would had been an episode where Picard bested Tomalak, and when asked to surrender, he would say it's not our way, as he activates his self destruct.

Picard 2, Tomalak 0.

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Sean Hagins
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living


Well, the age one is old enough to date is found at 1 Cor 7:36: " But if anyone thinks he is behaving improperly by remaining unmarried,* and if he is past the bloom of youth, then this is what should take place: Let him do what he wants; he does not sin. Let them marry" So, Dating is only for those old enough for marriage. Such ones are “past the bloom of youth,” or have passed the peak surge of sexual desire.

1 Cor 7:39: "A wife is bound as long as her husband is alive. But if her husband should fall asleep in death, she is free to be married to whomever she wants, only in the Lord" So, we only marry fellow Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses view this command as referring not merely to a person who respects our beliefs but to one who shares and practices those beliefs as a baptized Witness. (2 Corinthians 6:14) God has always directed his worshippers to marry only those of the same faith. (Genesis 24:3; Malachi 2:11) This command is also practical, as modern researchers have found.

Many practices commonly associated with dating are actually serious sins. For example, the Bible commands us to avoid sexual immorality. This includes not only intercourse but also other unclean acts between unmarried people, such as fondling the genitals of another person or engaging in oral or anal sex. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Even premarital passion-arousing behavior that stops short of sexual immorality is “uncleanness” that displeases God. (Galatians 5:19-21) Immoral conversations consisting of “obscene talk” are also condemned in the Bible.—Colossians 3:8.

The heart, or inner person, is treacherous. (Jeremiah 17:9) It can lead a person to do things that he knows are wrong. To prevent their hearts from misleading them, couples who are dating can avoid being alone in tempting situations. They may choose to take such reasonable precautions as staying in the company of a wholesome group or a suitable chaperone. (Proverbs 28:26) Single Christians who are looking for a marriage mate recognize the risks of online dating sites, especially the risk of developing a relationship with a person whom one knows very little about.—Psalm 26:4.

I hope this clears things up, but please feel free to ask me any questions you wish
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Dr Lazarus
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

The very first time I saw this episode, I knew who could had put these people straight. Captain Kirk.

This race of people reminded me of the TOS episode, A Taste of Armageddon. Instead of killing each other in a long drawn out war, the two planets just fought a virtual war, where a computer, most likely a Playstation 3, just calculated probable deaths in some crazed Activision game, then the each planet actually killed those people. For them it was better than actual destruction of the planets infrastructure. Kirk put a stop to that nonsense.

Picard should had just told this Masterpiece Society to either act right, and he would stop the stellar fragment, or just let them die. Apparently they weren't as smart as they thought they were, otherwise they could had stopped the fragment themselves. They were just misguided Earthers. No doubt they are the ones who spawned Khan with their genetics experiments.
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Dr Lazarus
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

I'm with Picard with this one. Just like Kirk found a way to communicate with the Horta, so it could help with miners to find new minerals, once they taught it what to look for. The CE could had been taught to mine Dilithium while it feasted on non M-Class planets. That was a dirty, nasty, and dangerous job that I guess only prisoners were forced to mine.

It seemed that Dr Marr was committed after this. I wonder how many cats she owned? She looked just like a crazy cat lady.
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Dr Lazarus
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

I like Michele Scarabelli. She reminds me of a duller and not as cute version of Linda Hamilton. Just like it would be a huge fail if Sarah Conner had a love relationship with the Terminator, there was no hope Jenna and Data would have a lasting relationship. I would had put money on Data and his cat Spot, working out as lovers.

Picard in this episode, reminded me of the old school dude who tried to be cool because he used to work on TV's with vacuum tubes. That old skill did work out for Clint Eastwood, when he was called up to save the world by fixing a space platform in orbit that was loaded with nukes in the movie, Space Cowboys. It was operating with computers that still had tubes in it.

Not a favorite episode.
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data fan
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

Worse part of "Move Along Home" is easily the part when Sisko introduces his crew to the Wadi. And there they are, trying si hard to look like they're posing for some photo for a tv series of bad ass space adventurers! oh wait..maybe they thought they really were bad asses!. But,the most ignorant looking one as ALWAYS imo is Nana Visitor. She is hands down not only the worst actress but the wirst character!. She should've never been hired.

This episode gets a 1star from me.
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Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

This was a much better episode than I had expected. I remember being quite shocked when I saw it as a kid, expecting Yar to be revived by the end of an episode. A sudden main character death really wasn't to ever be expected at the time.

I admire the decision to make her death sudden and senseless. In a realistic Trek universe a bridge officer's death of this nature would not be an uncommon event.

I don't share Jammer's weariness at the Troi scenes, and to me they proved to be the real strength of the episode, highlighting what an essential part of the ensemble Troi is.

As I've re-watched the series I've noticed that Troi's contribution has been more significant than I remember. It's clear that Roddenberry considered that the exploration of the inner world (superficial as it often seems to be) should carry great weight. *Yes*, she does make rather a lot of obvious remarks, but her opinion is clearly important to Picard's decision making process. It's actually quite remarkable that, considering bridge seating arrangements, she seems to carry as much significance as the First Officer. I wonder if other ships have a similar set up? We certainly never see it in any other series of Trek.

@BobT : that is my new favourite bit of Trek trivia; I can't wait to show it to someone else!
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Intergalactic Hegemon
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

And the last words of the episode: " Aye sir". Paris to Janeway. Just ridiculous. Eight times by my count since Season 1 Episode 1.
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William B
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 11:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

On the one hand, it's very sad for this to be the last Q appearance, but on the other, the alternative is that The Q and the Grey is the last Q appearance. This one fares worse than The Q and the Grey if only because there's less of John De Lancie and there's also no Suzie Plakson; that episode managed to at least have a lot of charisma from the guest leads, even if it was profoundly stupid. I like Death Wish but I think it probably would have been better to keep Q on TNG, with All Good Things as a perfect send-off to the character.

The novelty of De Lancie's actual son playing q wears off quickly and we are left with a plodding mess; almost shocking is that we are apparently meant to take q's boring book report on the Q Continuum as some sort of great achievement. Q's assertion that he's not proud of his son is about the only life we get here. Anyway, the Q valuing self-sacrifice isn't totally unprecedented, because of Deja Q, but even in that episode there was a twist to it (Q did admire Data's self-sacrifice, but wasn't particularly hoping to replicate it, and the second Q basically gave Q a pass for fun). The weird multiple endings with the Q jury, dressed in Q's Encounter at Farpoint/All Good Things robes which, let's recall, were based on Earth judge outfits Q was using to mock Picard, contribute to the worn-out schlockiness of the whole affair.

On the plus side, by this point I find Icheb fairly engaging (if a bit dull when his only role is to play straight man to an I'm-so-crazy non-rebel like q), and I actually do like the idea that Janeway gets some legit responsibilities as godmother. And I dunno, there is still a bit of pop to seeing De Lancie (Sr.) even if he looks tired. So it's not a total loss, but it's close to it. 1 star and I think the worst of the season.
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Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 8:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

"Issac, The Orville, Majority Rule: "I believe you are confusing opinion with knowledge."

That one line was biting social commentary on par with the best of TNG and DS9."

Biting commentary on what exactly? Besides millennials who are too young to know better are there really people who take everything on social media as fact? And even the deeper concept, "popular opinion can be wrong" isn't really groundbreaking. It's the same idea that every comic book villain uses to rig an election.
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Peter G.
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 8:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

@ Sean Hagins,

"So, I should say our system of dating is scriptural, which makes it very good as we get God's view of how we behave"

Out of curiosity, where in scripture does it specify how to date?
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Intergalactic Hegemon
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 5:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

The generational ship captain was Ferris Beuller's dad. That's about all I care to remember about this snoozer. Oh...and Harry's lady-friend had a pretty slammin' body.
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William B
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 1:38am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

I should add, I think Tom was put to great use here. His reversal on the Doctor was actually really personal -- using his knowledge of the Doctor's feelings for Seven to wound him -- but rather than being extremely cruel it is a kind of private beef session between close friends willing to call each other out, sometimes rudely, on each other's BS, a way to communicate that they know each other's weak spots and that the Doctor had gone for his. And his stating that he doesn't care what the whole Alpha Quadrant thinks is totally believable in a way it wouldn't be from most of the others (emphasized by the way he still seems to be avoiding one on one talks with the Old Man), and his appeal to the Doctor's opinion of him stings more as a result. In the end, what convinces the Doctor he is being unfair to the crew is being treated as an equal, and person acting as a bad and thoughtless friend, rather than an overstepping hologram.
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William B
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 1:28am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

I've never been entirely sold on this ep structurally -- it seems to be trying to do too much at once -- but I am basically on board with it. For the most part, the episode manages to have everything follow from the Doctor's choice to write his holonovel and the further opening of communications with Starfleet, and the episode fairly successfully combines the Doctor's personal and artistic journeys with the consequences of the crew's having contact with home -- in that they now have reputations. The family communications scenes are worthwhile in their own right and also enhance the Doctor story by 1) reminding us of the people who will be hurt by the Doctor's holonovel back in thr AQ, and 2) also reminding us by their absence who the Doctor's "family" are -- the slave-labouring EMH's. I find the Doctor's thoughtlessness in how he treats the crew believable, and to an extent understandable, partly in that we recall that he has few real relationships outside the crew, and his myopic focus on the goal of his Art blinding him to the consequences in a wider arena when he cannot as easily explain himself makes sense for his limitations.

In general, the Doctor's social skills develop by pushback; he forges forth uninterested in convention until someone tells him that he has hurt them, and then he adjusts; it is based on his own expectation of his powerlessness that he tends to forget he can wound people. Which ties into the central themes: as long as he is a rude computer program, no one cares much; once he is a rude person, he can hurt people. What is interesting is that the Doctor longs for personhood but frequently forgets about the responsibilities that go along with it, but it is consistent with someone for whom no rights would be granted if he didn't demand them, and so no one particularly thinks to teach him about the attendant responsibilities until he screws up, because he didn't develop them in the "normal" way.

What goes unstated is that the Doctor's satirical excess actually elides real crimes committed against him if we take his personhood seriously. We presume his holonovel does not include what Janeway did in Latent Image, nor about his mutiny in Flesh and Blood or the reasons behind it. And real crimes, again assuming EMH sentience, committed against his brethren, which the Doctor exaggerates his own experience in order to try to understand.

Part of what works here -- and serves as a nice contrast to Data in MoaM -- is that the Doctor is flawed, whiny, entitled, etc., rather than a model near perfect being like Data, which is why the Doctor's fight for his rights is not mere retread. If the Doctor and the other EMHs deserve rights, it does not matter how unlikable he is when he asks for them: they are his by rights. And yet of course he also realizes he was wrong to treat his friends badly even for noble ends.

The somewhat overloaded episode doesn't go as deeply into any one aspect of its story as it could, but makes up for it in breadth and also a portrayal of interdependence. The stroke of irony in the publisher using the Doctor's non-personhood to forcefully put out his passionate plea for personhood -- the commodification of protest art -- is great, and the conclusion of the court case is poignant. The Doctor's artistic yearning is close to the core of his yearning for personhood, and so his being recognized as an artist -- which is, let's also note, part of what he wanted, of being able to be recognized as an artist in addition to being a doctor -- is a believable and meaningful intermediate step on the way to being recognized as a person. The trial is not really given breathing room, and I am put to mind of Roger Ebert's warning about courtroom scenes in non-courtroom movies (regarding Patch Adams), but maybe that's okay here.

The Seven conversation with her aunt, filled with embarrassment with her younger self, was lovely, as was the little moment with B'Elanna and her father, and even Harry's bit with his parents. This episode feels like a time capsule -- a kind of summative episode, a capstone.

I guess I've talked myself into 4 stars, especially if we blame Life Line for the silliness of the EMHs as literal miners. It isn't perfect but it is just so much episode.
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William B
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 12:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

I dunno. I like a lot of s7 episodes but shows like this and Natural Law just sort of break me. There are some interesting ideas here, but the execution bounces between pedestrian and actively frustrating. The episode might have worked as a metaphor for Voyager's situation -- who knows what their overtures of friendship in the DQ will lead to in a few centuries, let alone the hostile acts? -- but this remains unspoken. Anyway, recognizing that friendly overtures can backfire and trying to take responsibility for the wreckage that results is a decent idea, but the execution doesn't work.

A few random points:

- I like how Seven basically foments a coup d'etat in telling the scientist he should be the leader because he is more amenable to doing what Voyager wants.
- Why do Tom et al ask to give the child that Vivaldi music sphere? Obviously the bad guys will just think it is a weapon and maybe shoot in a panic when it starts playing.
- Carey's death is so gratuitous, both within the episode -- what exactly was the guy tying to accomplish by killing him when beaming him up? -- and in general because he has been dropped as a character for years. It just seems mean-spirited.
- Why couldn't they beam up the mother with her baby rather than making her painfully separate?
- Neelix reviewing his tragic history and also stating that he thinks humans take themselves too seriously has no real plot impact here, but does help bring some of his character stuff back into play for Homestead, so is I guess worthwhile.

Anyway yeah that last line is bizarre. I get the point Elliott raises about Endgame but it seems totally bizarre here even so, for Janeway to be not just downbeat but *certain* that exploration can't justify the loss of life, and for Chakotay to go along with it. I can see Janeway saying "sometimes, Chakotay, I wonder if we've caused too much damage..." or whatever, but she sounds sure about her anti-Starfleet speech as she says it.

1.5 stars.
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