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Total Found: 18,240 (Showing 101-125)
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- Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 1:13am (USA Central)
What You Leave Behind
@DavidK You brought a great example of different portray of the Federation and of Starfleet. One that is consistent to how these institutions are thought throughout the franchise. I.e. not genocide friendly, to say the least.
Whether different fans get upset one way or the other is another matter. And to be honest, na unimportant one. Think of it. If we take this into consideration no debate about any series, show or movie can be done. All criticism becomes unwelcome, because in the end it is impossible to please everyone at same time.
Besides, even if fans have of course the right of having dissimilar feelings about this or that decision made by Starfleet and by the federation, a much less subjective thing is to decide whether such decision is or not consistent to philosophy and with the simbolic universe created for the franchise. In this aspect, I think that your defense of the decision made regarding the Borg and my attack regarding the genocide-friendly Starfleet in DS9 are, actually just being consistent to what we have seen, heard and learned about Federation and Starfleet in a Star Trek universe. Despite of if we persoanlly agree with such decisions or not, if we think they were the correct, moral, ethic, or not.
About the last point, on the ethics class debate on the diferences beween causing something by taking na action or by not taking, I will pass this one. I don't even think it applies to the context we are talking about. While in the Borg crisis they were sort of facing this dilema of genociding the whole Borgs or being genocide by them, this was not even the case of the Dominion. To begin with, the founders hardly fought direclty themselves. Secondly, there is no reason to think that all single individual in the link being killed was the only solution for the Federation to escape from genocide. In fact, there is not even reason to think that Dominion would genocide anyone (although certainly they were not good at all with thei dominated people).
- Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 12:56am (USA Central)
The Siege of AR-558
@ES & Elliott:
Although I still don't see why having hard soldiers disrespects the francise, I do see how they being blood-thirsty does. And sorry, this is not in everybody's definition of human nature.
Besides, for god sake. Despite ES realizing it or not, his/her interpretation of human nature is precisely one of the most debated philosophies in the modern political thinking (i.e 17h to 19th centuries). One that pretty much didn't exist before the so called contractualists and one that have been criticized since then. Please, let's not try to naturalize what is one point of viewing - and certainly not the one Trek ever had before or after this episode.
- Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 12:05am (USA Central)
The Galileo Seven
I just rewatched this episode for the first time in a long while. Put me fully in the "pro" column. With regards to the criticism of Spock's illogical failure to take into account the emotions of his crew: I agree, but I actually think this is part of the point. It may well be that the writers of the episode intended Spock's position to be wholly logical and misrepresented it by failing to account for the way a logical person would take into account the emotional reactions of those around them. However, the episode plays out very clearly/explicitly as a story of Spock's first "real" command, and his difficulty dealing with those around him are based in part in his command inexperience. It is very difficult to take into account that other people have different set of beliefs, while also trying to hold onto a situation which is spiralling out of control. If anyone can do it, it's certainly Spock -- but he is unprepared for it, and has spent so long basically rejecting human etiquette and the necessity of reaching those around him on an emotional level that he does not have the ability to turn it on on a whim.
Indeed, Spock has spent so much time bolstering his somewhat contemptuous attitude toward human values that it would be something of a betrayal of himself if he were able to immediately reverse course and start factoring in his crew's inspirational needs. I think it's also somewhat clear that Spock really is overwhelmed by the situation, by the rapid deterioration of the situation, and by his decreasing handle on his crew; however, for him to become a more Kirkesque inspirational leader would not only be somewhat dishonest, I think it would just not work. They would see through him right away.
A moment I find instructive is when Spock goes to find Gaetano and says that he has a "scientific curiosity" in what happened to him. He passes his phaser to McCoy and Boma and says to take it in case he doesn't return. McCoy and Boma stare at him in disbelief, and McCoy admits that he doesn't understand why Spock is going to risk his neck to find Gaetano when, if he finds him alive, he might just tell him to stay there anyway. Spock "should not" abandon his crew when they need them, when it might well risk his life; I think it goes counter to the logical organization that Spock seems to want, for him to risk leaving the crew without a leader. However, in the process, he does go and get Gaetano's body, and the away team crew are glad to have resolution on Gaetano's fate, even if it sparks another outraged debate on whether he should be buried or not. It is good for the crew to know what happened to Gaetano so that there is no question of whether or not they are leaving a living man behind.
I can't tell for sure whether Spock goes to find Gaetano because he is himself concerned about him, or because he suspects the crew will be concerned about him. If it's the former, I think it's Spock's emotional (human) side peaking through, his concern about the people who died under his command. And in this case, I think he is rationalizing his reason for going to find him as "scientific curiosity" because he does not believe he should be dwelling on the fruits of his command decision. If it's the latter, I think Spock may well have stated that he is going to find Gaetano for scientific curiosity as a way of even maintaining his "cover": Spock consistently, stubbornly denies that there is an emotional component to his actions when he can help it. I think it's worth wondering why that is. I think that this was a tactical miscalculation on Spock's part, either way -- whether it was a rationalization, or deliberate misrepresentation. (It was not a *lie*, because I think Spock did have genuine scientific curiosity, but I really do not believe that was his primary reason.)
Similarly, I don't think it actually is the case that Spock genuinely could not imagine how those apelike beings would react to the display of force because he couldn't understand irrationality. I think it's possible that's a component of it. But mostly, I think Spock (correctly, to my mind) made the risk-benefit analysis that they had a good chance of keeping the apelike beings away without killing any of them, and took that option over the option which had a greater chance of success for keeping the apes away but which led to lives lost. Spock's risk-benefit calculation looks much different from McCoy et al.'s because he values non-human lives more. It also probably is true that, being less bloodthirsty than the others on the team, he tends to expect bloodthirst less than others do.
The episode to me is about Spock's poor PR -- he is unable to communicate with his human crew, because he is unwilling to admit that emotions have value, and further because he is unwilling to lie. I think that Spock's unwillingness to admit value in emotion is actually a very complicated subject, and one on which I don't think Spock actually *is* fully rational. This is the guy who admitted in "The Naked Time" that when he felt friendship for Kirk, he felt ashamed; I don't think that's a very logical, rational position. Given that Spock *does* feel emotions, it would be logical to accept them at least on some level, so that he does not end up letting emotions cloud his judgment because he is too busy denying their existence. I think in this episode, Spock's refusal to deal with the crew's emotional demands is related to Spock's inability to tap into his own emotions or deal with them when he does, which in turn is related to the intensity of Vulcan emotions.
Relatedly, while Spock *knows* that Kirk is an illogical human, he also does have respect for him...which in turn makes it hard for him to really believe that Kirk would do something genuinely illogical and foolish. I think part of the package of Spock's disbelief that the Enterprise would be coming for them is the fact that Kirk *absolutely should not* be endangering the New Paris colony. And that is part of what makes his final action even more desperate. On some level, in order to take the chance of the Enterprise seeing them, he has to convince himself that his mentor, whom he respects, will behave illogically. From a purely logical perspective, there is no contradiction here -- Kirk just acts as Kirk will -- but I think Spock has difficulty reconciling Kirk's emotionalism and Spock's total respect for the man, in such a way that I think it would cloud his judgment enough that it's hard for him to think 100% logically around this point.
When Spock makes that desperate action at the very end, I think it was in some sense an emotional decision. It was the only option left, yes, but the chance of it succeeding was so infinitesimal that I think Spock really believes that it would be much more logical to live for 45 more minutes than to live for 6 more with the slight chance of rescue. What is really happening is that there are competing logical imperatives, one which states that every second of life lived is worthwhile, and one which states that any chance at long-term survival, no matter how slight, must be taken. How do you do that cost-benefit calculation?
Spock is a fascinating character, seldom more so than in this episode -- but I think it's important that it's not *just* because he's a logical guy, but because he tries to be a perfectly logical guy, while he is also dealing with strong emotions brimming under the surface, which in turn affect the kinds of logical thinking he does.
I have some thoughts on the crew's increasingly mutinous attitude, but I'll have to save it for another time.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 11:55pm (USA Central)
Rocks and Shoals
Only two episodes into season six and DS9 continues to pull no punches. Not only do they set this one up to continue the wonderfully-paced and well-written arc but also to stand alone to work on its own terms. If the previous episode is the gritty fallout that brings up difficult questions; then this is the brooding aftermath that has no easy answers.
I've had no complaints watching this back in the day and I definitely don't have any now. Remarkable job.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 11:11pm (USA Central)
Another solution would be to give the prototype robot new programming. 3947 seemed open to possibilities that the other robots were not. Create programming that is of a more peaceful nature, and hardwire it into the power source. Then, give it to both sides. Of course, there wasn't time for that.
But the robots should have enough information to get a head start, if they have been monitoring what Torres was doing.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 9:53pm (USA Central)
A Time to Stand
A gritty yet highly admirable and compelling start to season six. Rather than becoming a foregone conclusion in retaking the station right off the bat; the writers instead create a part two to last season's finale as part of an evolving arc.
Jammers review here hit all the nails on all their respective heads. Everything from the events on the station, to the rather depressing prospects of heavy losses in the fleet, to the impact everything has on people's personal and professional lives. It was all done very well with a fantastic sense of clarity and cohesiveness.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 8:32pm (USA Central)
Call to Arms
Everything worked for me including the B-plots. The scene between Kira/Odo in his office didn't seem uncomfortable in the slightest. Rom/Leeta was pleasant enough (then again I don't hate Rom). And Jadzia's line about marrying Worf was not even close to out of left field. It made perfect sense based on the scenes near the end of "Looking for Par'Mach...". It's clearly stated that according to Klingon customs, as brought up by Worf, they should get married. It was Jadzia who wanted to take it one day at a time. Her line in this episode: "It is what you've always wanted, isn't it?" was not arrogant in any sense of the term. It was, not only plausible, but great continuity.
As it is, this is a phenomenal work of Trek and one of the best finales this side of "Best of Both Worlds" and "Scorpion" among others. Truly stellar work has been done here.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 7:44pm (USA Central)
You mean symptomatic?
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 7:15pm (USA Central)
In the Cards
I never thought of this as a comedy episode per se, or at least not in that it's full-on funny. It is, however, a pleasantly lightweight episode with substance and heart and with elements of wonderful and humorous characterizations throughout. Also a very nice set-up for what's to come. Everything here just clicks in the right place.
Highly recommended and although I don't consider it classic Trek, I do consider it easily as one of the best of DS9.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 5:37pm (USA Central)
When I first saw this ep I dismissed it as the typical lightweight Ferengi nonsense - somewhat cute, somewhat dull, entirely inoffensive. Twenty years later, it enrages me.
Ishka is a female Ferengi who has a pretty good life. Widowed and living alone on Ferenganor, she bucks tradition, dresses as she pleases, speaks to males outside her family, does the profit-earning work she loves, and gets a stipend from her well-off son. The legal and cultural enslavement of Ferengi women is, therefore, cast as a lightweight concern: we viewers are encouraged to see her as a middle-class lady whining because she wants to play in the boys' league. Unlike famous Treks of old which used sci-fi to make us think seriously about real social problems of today, this ep determinedly wants us to laugh at those problems.
Ferengi women live under the following restrictions: They are kept utterly dependent on male family members. They are told how to dress. They are not permitted to speak to unrelated males. They are not allowed to travel. They are also the repositories of 'family honor' as we see in Quark's words to his mother ("our family's disgrace...our family's reputation...")
These are not the cute problems of big-eared aliens on a tv show. These are the very real problems of hundreds of millions of real human women: Muslim mostly, but also ultra-orthodox Jew and certain Christian sects and in parts of India and much of Africa etc etc. I wonder what happens to Ferengi women who don't have kind male family members to support them. I wonder what happens when a husband, son, or brother feels like hitting his (utterly dependent) woman. I wonder what happens in any society to a class of people who are kept powerless and thrown on the mercy of others? I wonder if every Ferengi female besides Ishka is - as Quark believes and no one contradicts - docile, obedient, without opinions and totally happy to be powerless.
Not every episode has to has a heavy social commentary. Personally I prefer the adventure outings and the DS9 geopolitics to the moralizing that characterized a lot of TOS and TNG. But to portray a real and huge social problem that enslaves countless women today, and recast it as a giggle-fest? That is shameful, and unworthy of the Star Trek legacy.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 4:22pm (USA Central)
This episode is asymptomatic of a mostly recurring theme of the fifth season. That theme seems to be to start with a great idea and then falter in the execution story-wise. Whether its the whole episode or smaller plot details.
I suppose this was fairly entertaining enough. Andrew Robinson and Colm Meaney are always reliable in their respective characters. Of course simply enjoying a performance can't save an episode from itself. I can't help but feel the drug-induced angle to the plot could've been much better utilized in terms of overall plot. The way it's handled here leaves me with the sense that Garak was made to be evil for evils' sake.
Good potential with great directing, reliably good performances and absolutely no follow through on premise. Entertaining but ultimately disappointing.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:57pm (USA Central)
Not too much more to say that hasn't been said, but I did like the twist at the end (with the civilized aliens encroaching on the primitives) and how Seven came to realize there was a beauty and simplicity to them that challenged her presumptions.
For a Trekkie, I'm terribly skeptical of technology and feel that it brings a lot of harm (along with, undeniably, a lot of good) and that it's right to examine whether we are better off with or without. There were hints of that theme in this episode, and I appreciated that.
It was pleasant enough, but not what I'm wanting in the home stretch of the series. That really bothers me—so little of the last 10, or even 5, episodes, had anything to do with wrapping up the series (I would say that only "Homestead" did, and only for one character).
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:47pm (USA Central)
Blaze of Glory
Finally, a Maquis Eddington episode that truly works. I still vehemently disagree with the sudden plot-turn of him being Maquis in the first place. But this one is actually good despite that.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:39pm (USA Central)
The Siege of AR-558
Of course it's a philosophy! It isn't automatically true because you or anyone else says it is. It is one perspective on the human condition.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:34pm (USA Central)
My first thought was, where are these cave-dwellers getting their food? Ah well, I had to ask.
I liked this for a lot of reasons others mentioned (it was one of the few episodes I missed when they first aired), primarily the nice setup. I didn't find the plot too bland. But the one thing that REALLY bothered me was Lt. Carey's death. Poor guy! Of course, I knew from the moment I saw him at the beginning that he was going to die. But the way the aftermath of his death was handled was distasteful. The next scene after Carey was shot, Neelix and Paris are just sitting around like nothing happened. They should have been shaken up or...something! I recognize that there's a certain military "the show must go on, keep your cool" attitude, but this was just silly. I would have thought that at least one of them would have been visibly shaken and upset, even if it was only amongst themselves that this was explored.
And then you have the later scene on Voyager where Paris and Neelix are urging Janeway to help the cave guys! It seemed way out of character for both—there should have been some reference to the emotional impact of Carey being killed. It was totally disjointed and served only to nudge the plot along.
And then the last scene with Janeway ruminating over Carey's death with Chakotay...it was as though the writers said, "well, we've got two and a half minutes left, just enough time for someone to finally acknowledge that Carey died." It was just bizarre.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:34pm (USA Central)
The Siege of AR-558
It isn't a philosophy. It is human nature and the way we have always and will always be at our base self. Again, that is the point of the episode. Take away our creature comforts and we revert.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:05pm (USA Central)
The Siege of AR-558
That assertion is itself a philosophy, a cynical philosophy and one to which Trek diametrically opposed itself. As I said, rather than doing the responsible and respectful thing within the franchise and disagreeing with the philosophy on its own merits and faults, DS9 either ignored, parodied or circumvented the argument.
Cynicism was popular in the 90s and continues to be so today, though thankfully idealism seems to be resurfacing.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:02pm (USA Central)
Flesh and Bone
The increasing tension and play between Kara and Leoben is great, especially when you notice how each of them are slowly gaining on the other in their own arguments, but ultimately Leoben has the strongest effect on Kara. This episode shows how strong the writers on BSG are, regular shows would just give all of this Cyclon information through expository dialogue, but they carefully crafted it into a debate between two characters. The bookends of the episode between Roslin's dream and the actual airlocking was a great touch that not only clued Laura in on the possibility that a higher force is at play, but that Leoben's threat that Adama is a Cyclon could hold some weight. Excellent television.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 1:54pm (USA Central)
Unimatrix Zero, Part II
Queen to deactivated drone: "Too bad you're not awake to experience the joy of disembodiment. It's so ... perfect."
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 1:37pm (USA Central)
The Siege of AR-558
The point is that human nature is human nature. That is kind of what Quark was saying. It doesn't matter hwta philosophy is taught in the academy. In real life situation and especially in their prolonged combat without reserves or break, human nature will assert itself.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 12:29pm (USA Central)
Permit me to explain anyway, Josh, because an idea just occurred that almost makes up for the primitive take on cybersecurity.
The destination options are the equivalent of a predictive search, with the gateway cycling through the most likely requests, given the limited input for context. We see this every day with autocomplete, but it was virtually unthinkable 25 years ago.
This may explain the other oddity. Picard didn't tell the gateway where he wanted to go, but we can imagine he began typing "To return to Enterprise" and his autocomplete answers were "To Romulan vessel" and "Toronto." :)
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 10:30am (USA Central)
Wouldn't the O'Briens be made aware of the child's upbringing on Bajor and aversion to Cardassians? I cringed when Keiko made the Cardassian dish. They were clearly improperly briefed about this temporary guest.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 7:05am (USA Central)
Day of Honor
Wasn't it the episode right before this one (The Gift) where Kes supposedly pushed them safely out of Borg space? Oops, I guess not. Not only did they devastate the Cataati, but we see the Borg for the whole rest of the series.
The Cataati were horrible. If Janeway can find the means to provide food and a clean ship for her crew, with absolutely no resources or support from other ships, why can't they? They're too busy feeling sorry for themselves to get off their asses and figure out how to survive. If I was Janeway, I'd be very hesitant to help others after this experience.
The Torres/Klingon storyline didn't hold much interest for me. Torres has angst about her Klingon side, what a surprise. Yawn.
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 2:29am (USA Central)
The Siege of AR-558
@Elliott I don't see why Starfleet having "a real military made up of hardened soldiers (...)" departures from the original Starfleet portrayed before. Or corrupts or mock the original philosophy. I think this is a bit too much. From where did you concluded that it did not have a real military? It doesn't make sense with all the wars its has fought in previous Trek. It is not because hardened soldiers were not in explorer missions such as the Enterprise's, that they did not exist, since Federation and Starfleet have been facing wars for a long time at this point. Having hardened soldiers is not being far from the original Trek per se.
However, I totally agree with the continuation of your sentence: "(...) who relish bloodsport on the battlefield". This is what I meant before: the part that is too much for me as well is the portrayal of the soldiers as brute, blood-thirsty, 20th century mariners. This was totally off and, once again, annoying. It seemed like Starfleet teaches one type of philosophy for superior officers and another 20th century-ish to the battlefield soldiers. And this corrupts and mocks the original philosophy.
Said that, I also agree that the magical mines were a poor choice, actually pathetic. And I totally think that Dominion over-written as having silly supwer-powers. Besides, it is also written in a poor one-dimensional way (the Borg were as well in the first appearances of TNG, but it was more reasonable as they were following a one-dimension one-line of program: to assimilate. Even though, they later gained more dimensions as well).
- Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 2:04am (USA Central)
@DavidK I never complained about the prophets' intentions. I agree they were trying to save Sisko from a "heartache". I was questioning Sisko giving up his free will and his freedom to try to have a life just because the prophets have advised so. Yes, they had quite a high previous success rate in predicting things. But isn't this just the sort of excuse a lot of people have used in the past to blindly follow false prophets as well? I mean, believing they have had a high success rate before in predicting things? For instance, who could know whether the aliens called prophets were even being honest and good to Sisko? Couldn't it be the case that they were actually just using Sisko for with bad intentions?Our captain was just blindly following his faith. And worse, Federation and Starfleet were just letting Sisko do that.
@Paul And so what? Yes they have been sort of "developing" Sisko's transition throughout the seasons. I was only claiming that it still looks forced, artificial and unlikely. Btw, I don't agree that Sisko's transition was truly treated as one of the core concepts of the series, but it certainly does not matter for this debate anyway. Even though, it is really annoying how the Starfleet could really keep Sisko at the DS9 after the many signs he gave that he was believing he was the emissary of the prophets, that he was making decisions solely on faith (like preventing Bajor of becoming part of the Federation), etc.
And actually that is the sort of things I was talking about when I mentioned here the departure from Roddenberry's Star Trek. Not the presence of religion by itself. E.g. Starfleet being so lenient with Sisko and, in fairness, with all sorts of misbehavior from other officers through the last seasons. I really think you missed the point when mentioning the other previous religious/deity aspect in Trek’s universe. Of course, they have appeared before, especially in TOS. And in concept, I also enjoyed quite a lot the idea of powerful aliens being seen as gods by other less powerful bipeds. This stands for a very interesting metaphor. In concept.
My criticisms are toward the execution of this concept. DS9 started to throw all the sort of Indiana Jones-ish stuff like the sacred books with blank pages that get on fire when blood touches. And no matter how absurd, ludicrous, nonsense these things became (why the hell aliens would become free when magic words are read? Why Dukat became a Lord Sith with video-game superpowers in Season 6’s finale?), to any criticism people reply throwing back the easy magictechnobabble “they were powerful aliens that existed out of linearity”. Really? Is it that easy? So we can make any sort of story become good futuristic scifi just granting that we explain first that we are talking about all-mighty aliens?
Lastly, although by “departing from Trek” I was meaning the unquestioned acceptance of a faith-blind Sisko and not the presence of religion, it is still worth mentioning something. With all due respect, this is what is usually pointless in this debate. People frequently reply to criticism towards DS9 looking backwards for examples of religions in TOS or TNG, or of all-migthy aliens such as Q. Is it that difficult to differentiate between someone saying that a series is going far from the scifi tone it had and saying that something was unprecedented? Between someone saying that in general the overall DS9 reality is departuring and someone saying "aha, this was never portrayed in Ter before"? It is not a binary game where finding an example of deity in TOS invalidates the argument that DS9 went too far. As always it is a matter of execution and of degree.
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