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Mertov
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Strange Bedfellows

Damar advising Weyoun 8:
"Why don't you go talk to Worf again?"

Damar consoling Weyoun 8:
"Oh I'm sure she'll understand... but if she doesn't... I look forward to meeting Weyoun 9"

Damar looking down at a dead Weyoun 7:
"Hahahahahaha"

Priceless :)
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cesium
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Rogue Planet

I wouldn't give this episode a high rating, simply because it is so predictable. Nothing mysterious here. As soon as Archer spoke about seeing the woman, I could guess 99% of the plot, except for how exactly Enterprise would help.

That said, I wondered why the shapeshifters didn't create an evolved society or at least an organized response against the hunt?

My guess is that they are NOT sentient, not as we know it anyway. They are higher animals which evolved a telepathic mechanism. This mechanism allows them to 'mirror' the way the prey/predator thinks, but only when it is nearby and for a limited amount of time. So near to a Human/Eska they are sentient in a way. Alone they are just animals. Ironically Captain Archer may have delayed their evolution...

This would also explain why it would be obvious to DS9 Humans that Odo is not related (he's sentient, and they aren't).

P.S. I suspect The women couldn't just talk to Archer because she was not able to. She needed to have him alone (doesn't trust others, and/or others create too much 'noise'), and figure out just how to explain to him and get him to side with her.

The first obviously doesn't occur often. The second may not be as easy as we think. Quite possibly the memory of the women was far more accessible to her than words like "hunt" or "help". How would we know what easier for a telepathic being? Perhaps the very concept of spoken language is difficult for her...
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Filip
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

@Chrome

"Apocalypse Rising" is another example of how little sense that whole policy makes. Worf and Odo going on that mission actually does make some sense, but for sure there are at least a couple of experts on Klingon culture in Starfleet that could've taken Sisko's and O'Brien's place there, avoiding the whole blitz-lesson on Klingon culture on Dukat's ship (although that did give us a hilarious scene).

But what makes the "Apocalypse Rising" different from the "To the Death" is that it was gripping from start to finish to the extent that it didn't challenge my suspension of disbelief the way "To the Death" did.

@Jammer

Yeah, I know. And I even wanted to mention that as a counter-argument to myself in one of the previous replies, but I decided to stick to it as if we were observing the story from "within the universe." All Star Trek series are filled with such inconsistencies, but more often than not their story and execution more than make up for it and keep me engaged, which is not the case with the episode in question.

Also, I hope no one got the impression that I'm this critical because I dislike DS9. Quite the opposite actually - for me as a series DS9 is a very close second to TNG and is one of the best things the television has ever produced and is something that I've constantly been coming back to over the years. It's just that as I get older some things are a bit harder to swallow.
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Jaspwe
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 5:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Power Play

Really one of the weaker episodes. Too much convenient techno babble, why can Data be possessed, a really stupid ending (all of a sudden they just give up?), too many forced errors (they almost had the bridge but run away?). The classic communicator trick, too much offscreen action, knowledge of transporters is crucial now O'Brien is possessed? What coincidence! "All of the transporters!" "You almost had them ensign." That was poor acting by Riker and Ro. And so on and so on... 1,5 stars at most.
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R.J.
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 4:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

Skeptical - Martine does reappear at the end. She can be seen standing with the others very briefly.
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Mertov
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 4:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

I second Del_Duio, welcome on board Smokey Kaye.

The first 15 minutes of this episode are a disaster in several ways. Sisko's reasons for letting Ezri go in a runabout are downright lame and un-Starfleet-like to the highest degree. Ezri's expectation that her runabout would follow the same path once the engines are offline, in all the turmoil of the badlands, is completely outside the realm of possibility. Ezri (for the umpteenth time) confusing her identity with Jadzia in a dialog is by now nauseating to watch. Worf's reaction to Boday's relation to either Dax's is so infantile that Michael Dorn should have rejected the script for Worf's sake (ok I know Dorn probably is not in a position to do that, but come on writers...!)

Once you can make it past all that to the last 25 minutes, it becomes a nice set-the-atmosphere episode for the final run of the series.

As to the hate-Ezri crowd, I agree that she gets way too much screen time in Season 7, but to claim that Jadzia was a much better character is a stretch. As few people have pointed out, Farrell barely did (or did she?) more with Jadzia Dax's development in 6 seasons than did deBoer with Ezri Dax in one season.
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Mertov
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

Agreed with Dave above. I love coming back to read Jammer's reviews, as well as the fact that people are still commenting now.

One of the best Bashir episodes. His character evolved a ton since the beginning of the series to the point where I look forward to seeing him now. And I mean "now," as in, Julian of today who contemplates and implicates himself in complex situations, and not the one from the mirror universe, holosuites, or the early-drooling-Bashur version. Credit to the writers and to Sid's acting for succeeding with the much-needed renewal of the character over the seasons.
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Rahul
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

Really enjoyed this episode -- the creatures flying around and attacking people's backs gave me a good fright after seeing the episode for the 1st time as a kid in the late 70s/early 80s or whenever it was.
It's an interesting story with Spock's acting the strong point - does a great job mimicking what it's like to be fighting through pain while still trying to help the cause. His logic wins out in this episode.
What is puzzling is how it took them so long to figure out that a certain type of light from the sun kills the creature -- from that standpoint the episode dragged a touch, but it was still engaging. Not a huge fan of Shatner's forceful style of acting in storming out of rooms, being very curt with Bones/Spock to figure out the solution. Given that his extended family was killed I think a more vulnerable Kirk would have been better.
Also, the part about Spock being temporarily blinded -- couldn't they have waited for the lab test results? Getting bailed out because of Spock's extra eye-lid is a let-off.
Nevertheless, a solid episode to conclude Season 1 of Trek TOS. I give it 3/4 stars.
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Quincy
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Parallels

Jesus... people don't even pay attention and then ask questions that have already been answered in the show. Jammer himself says, "...I was confused at why Troi was so saddened to 'lose' Worf when he left..." When they're in Warf's quarters waiting as the Enterprise to retrace the shuttle craft's route, Troi states unequivocally, "As I understand it, there's a good chance my Worf won't return... and I'm just having a hard time accepting there's a universe out there where you never loved." What more information are you looking for? Troi is not a quantum field theorist. She doesn't even really understand what's happening in anything other than a layman's pov. Her Worf might not return for any number of reasons, since this situation is completely unprecedented in warp field theory. However, the main reason is that something could've happened to him and he might be laying on a stretcher in the morgue right next to Geordie OR he could've been on that Borg universe Enterprise with the unhinged Riker, who obviously would refuse to let him take the shuttle!. The point is even the experts, one of who is dead as door nail, don't know fully what's going to happen. How the hell is a layman who's afraid of losing her husband supposed to react?

"Everything is possible; nothing matters." Go read Deutsche's thoughts on free will and many worlds interpretation.

@J "I would have expected to see a lot more shuttle crafts"
Many Worf's flew through the fissure. They made either an artistic or production choice to demonstrate the other Worf's going back through the fissure by showing multiple Worf's inside the shuttle craft performing different tasks and wearing different uniforms. It was probably cheaper to do it that way and it illustrates exactly what you claim to want to see. So what's your point? Did you also count the number of Enterprises on screen and then complain that there weren't exactly 285k?

@moj
Geordie was originally reported as having been sent to the sick bay with plasma burns. Even assuming she'd heard what happened as she did with Worf's mishap, that's all the information she had until Dr Ogowa called her to sickbay afterwards. Dr. Ogawa was upset when she told Data and Worf what happened and Data and Worf were visibly startled. Worf is liable to think Geordie died in combat and is fortunate. Data isn't going to break out in tears having no emotions. Both doctors are professionals. The only one liable to express anything is Troi. Were you expecting a eulogy?

@Latex Zebra
That was a classic Worf understatement! It wasn't quite up there with, "lol! Impossible." or "I am a Klingon! If you doubt it, a demonstration can be arranged!" It was more along the lines of, "However, the time will come when we will... convince them... to speak the truth." Not just what he said, but the way he said it, contained awesome subtext. When he says "maimed" he quickly moves on with his statement as if that was the most unimportant part of the log entry. It was hilarious.
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Welchie!!!!!
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 2:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Second Sight

What the hell did I just watch? It seems like they swapped out a DS9 episode with a generic season 4 "drea- ghost" episode of TNG. The one where Troy's empathic abilities are temporarily out of order.
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Gooz
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 2:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Night

Bored? Crew have nothing to do? Create a massive, multiplayer holodeck world and have the crew rotate in and out depending on their shifts. You can even create a couple of rich brats who need Janeway to play governess to.
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Mertov
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

A lot of great commentary above. I don't have much to add except two of my own:

1) I am fine with the race issue being brought up, but not ok with the "our people" characterization of Sisko. Someone tried to justify it away in the comments (sorry, I can't remember who) but even in that comment, I have read nothing that justifies entertaining the usage of "us-vs-them" dichotomy by humans in the 24th century with regard to interpersonal relationships within them.

2) I also disagree with the "decades of Gene Roddenberry 'color blindness'" comment by Jammer. Roddenberry should really be the last one to be associated with color blindness. I will not go into a long essay explaining why but two TOS episodes, "Let that be Your Last Battlefield" and "The Savage Curtain," should be enough by themselves, to prove the opposite..
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Mads Leonard Holvik
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Madbaggins: I think there are some really good Voyager episodes. Regardless of how Jammer rates Darmok.
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Hapworth
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

I like this episode. But I also liked both parts of Descent, so perhaps I'm not to be trusted. Yes, the story is boilerplate, and there's definitely that sense of "been here, done this," which Jammer accurately locates in on-screen elements (the "Trekkian mantra" or "TOS template") and off-screen elements (borrowing from another film: Misery).

So okay. "Liaisons" doesn't offer the freshest strawberries in the patch, but I appreciate episodes that, despite all the weaknesses, still shine through. Like William B, I too have a soft spot for Worf, and he's hilarious here; his antagonist is also terrific because he's instantly loathsome! The food-addicted ambassador is a hoot as well, and he and his surly colleague make quite the comic pair. I laughed out loud as one scene ended with Mr. Loathsome insulting Worf, and then another scene started with Mr. All-You-Can Eat, accompanied by Troi, sipping a fruity drink from a giant Hurricane glass the size of a small vase.

I agree with others that if the Ana storyline had been treated in earnest, some real drama could have been generated. I love "Liaisons" portrays Ana (initially, at least, before she gets kooky) as deeply scarred and beyond lonely. She has lost some of her speech, and cannot gauge how much time has passed, mistaking her seven years marooned on the planet as "only one or two." Yikes! I felt for her; I really did.

But such drama wouldn't have matched well with Laurel and Hardy/Abbot and Costello/C-3PO and R2-D2 back on board the Enterprise (honestly, pick your thin/fat comedic duo of choice with which to compare Mr. Loathsome and Mr. All-You-Can-Eat!).

So there's that. Comedy--and just an overall sense of fun--thrives in this episode, at least for me. I also like Picard's comments near the end, where he admits that even though human ways are more "balanced," he does find it "nice" to see a culture take its curiosity to the "furthest extreme." I agree with Picard. The basic material of "Liaisons" might sound at first like a sleepy, familiar tune, but it's jazzed up with enough idiosyncratic grace notes that I was thoroughly engaged.

Engage!
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William B
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

I'll certainly grant that it's implausible that Julianna could be so well-designed as to fool scanners, and it's a big buy in the episode that Julianna gets her head smashed by a rock during the episode's events.

I think Soong makes sense, though. It's a retcon, of course, and that carries with it some of the usual retcon problems, but I think it makes sense for Soong's character. He was never after fame per se, certainly -- he went to an isolated community to do his experiments, for example. I also think that his original intent was not to reproduce a human but to improve on humans -- hence Lore was super-smart, super-strong, while also having human feeling. That worked out badly, and so Data is still super-smart and super-strong without emotions. He talked in "Brothers" about wanting his children to carry on his legacy/be better than him. So certainly Julianna is more advanced in terms of representation of humans, but that wasn't *all* of Soong's original goal, which was to create a *new* life form. Julianna is more of an achievement than Data in that sense, but it also makes sense that Soong would still work on finding a way to fix Data after Julianna left, because he wants to make up for what Data is missing.

As far as Julianna being a better achievement that people would look to recreate, well, yeah, that's why he kept her being an android a secret. I think after the Crystalline Entity struck and all, the best Soong could really hope for is to mitigate the damage he's done, rather than create a new, positive legacy. Data is his positive (public) legacy, and so he tinkers on making Data better while people think he's dead; and Julianna is his personal legacy, his attempt to atone for being responsible for her death. Because he's still an egomaniac, it's a kind of frightening kind of legacy, where he even leaves the choice of whether or not Julianna should know the truth with his son or even some random observer rather than acknowledge Julianna's own agency (as a person or a robot).

Just to add a bit of my own take on this episode: I tend to read Data's not telling Julianna the truth as a bit of a downbeat, somewhat tragic moment late in Data's arc. I think that pre-"Datalore," Data might have simply followed Soong's instructions; mid-series, I think Data would have optimistically told Julianna the truth. The reason he doesn't here is not because Soong told him to -- he specifies in the conference room scene that he doesn't think Soong's wishes are paramount. It seems to be more because of Troi's comment that he'd be taking something away from Julianna that he himself wanted -- the recognition of being fully human. Most of the conversations between Data and Julianna end up having to do with the string of bodies, human and android, in their wake -- the colonists are dead, Soong is dead, Lal is dead, Lore is dead -- and one of the big moments in the episode is Data trying to find out from Julianna why she left him on Omicron Theta rather than take him with her, and the answer was more or less that she loved him, but what Lore had done was so heinous that she couldn't trust Data wouldn't turn out the same way. By this point in the series, especially post-"Descent," where Data chooses not to put in the emotion chip (at least for a while), I think Data has lost some faith in the Become Human Project; that he really *might* turn out to be like Lore if he didn't continue to restrain himself and hold himself back. I think his decision not to tell Julianna is based on this loss of faith -- Data now seems more uncertain that an android can become close to human, and Julianna's sense of her humanity may even be endangered by her knowing she's an android. And I think he maybe weighs Julianna's not rescuing Data because he was an android into effect, too, not out of petty revenge but because despite her ability to love him, she *didn't* see him as fully a person those years ago, and maybe wouldn't be able to see herself that way now, either. This is part of why I've never had a problem with Data not telling her, because I don't think this point is that Data is "right" but that it tells us something about Data's tragic condition and how he sees himself.

In response to earlier comments that Beverly should have told her -- that's probably true. It does seem like Julianna should know her own medical situation. And if we take Julianna's rights seriously as a person, it doesn't make sense for Picard et al. to leave the decision with *Data*. But I think they defer to Data because, well, android rights maybe aren't as settled as it seems. "The Measure of a Man" established that Data is *not* property, but numerous other episodes, including "The Offspring," "Clues," arguably even "Descent" (where Data shuts down Lore rather than trying to bring him into custody), and possibly (see recent discussion) "The Most Toys" suggest that android rights are still a fuzzy area where the right to procreate, not be disassembled for lying, and not to be *summarily* executed after committing serious crimes are still a little undefined and up in the air. No one quite knows what to do in this situation, so they defer to Data because Data is the one who seems most able to identify what being an android would be like. This is probably not actually a good or appropriate idea, but ties in with the overall theme that androids are still subtly treated as apart from other beings, even by Data's closest friends.
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Akkadian
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 12:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Another point about this episode: I can believe that Julianaa could be oblivious to her android nature because Soong programmed her to ignore any evidence that contradicts the idea that she is human. HOWEVER I call BS on her ability to fool scanners, teleporters and never having a routine check up? If her body can do all that then it would be some miraculous technology that could be used militarily.
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Akkadian
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 12:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Nothing about Soong and data make sense. So Soong creates Lor who is considered a failure. So then he creates Data without emotions. Then he creates a replica of his wife which should be considered the most advanced android and the ultimate expression of his genius. But shrug lets focus on Data. Where the bleep are the other androids then? Don't tell me he really stopped and no one tore her body up looking for answers after she dies?
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Quarkissnyder
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 11:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

The show should have explained the reason for modifying the alpha Jem Hadar. Was it because there are so few Vorta and Founders in the alpha quadrant that the Jem Hadar will need to take more initiative? If so, that makes sense.

But since the show did not address it, I have to assume that it was because somehow the species to be conquered in the Alpha Quadrant are more quick-witted than those in the Gamma quadrant and therefore need to be conquered by more quick-witted Jem Hadar. LIke so much of Star Trek's assessment of alien humanoids, that's offensive.
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Jammer
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 11:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

While there are tons of examples where it would be more plausible to have mission-dedicated personnel doing specific tasks, this always comes down to a TV rule that trumps that idea -- which is that the show is ABOUT the main characters and they are the ones we want to actually see in these stories, rather than a bunch of one-off guest stars.
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cesium
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 10:32am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

The mirror universe episodes were some of the best of ENT. Yes, there wasn't have any influence on the main plot, so what? Most chapters don't have any. Besides, I think a long-running series can allow itself a few lighthearted chapters.

As for this episode, it's obvious half the ship read the ship's library, and watching the way they get 'corrupted' differently by the Federation's universe was great.

P.S. There's no reason to be worried about the "100 year technology headstart" the mirror universe gets. In all likelihood, Empire scientists get ahead by whacking their seniors and not teaching anyone too intelligent or threatening. Regular scientific progress must be slower then in the Federation Universe, progressing by fits and starts. So it's not a contradiction to find that by TOS the universes are about equal, and by DS9 the Federation universe is a bit ahead.
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Luc-Jean
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 10:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Where Silence Has Lease

Funny how it always seems to be the nutjob religious types who have a problem with Picard's musings on death...

My biggest issue with this so-so episode is the way Haskell is just suddenly there in act two, right where Wesley was. At that moment you just know Wesley's only been replaced so they can kill off a redshirt. If Haskell had been there from the start of the episode, or if Wesley had been given a good reason to leave his post and be replaced, it might not have been quite so glaringly obvious. As it stands, they might as well have put a giant neon sign above Haskell's head that said RED SHIRT in all-caps.
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Peter G.
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 9:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

@ Caedus,

So, what you'd prefer is a series where there is no personal risk to any crew members and Starfleet is made out to be a pleasure cruise where everyone is always happy? This episode is fundamentally about how "risk is our business" and that sometimes the optimistic dream of serving in Starfleet will come with dangers and negative repercussions. Even if 24th century science could furnish a perfectly functional robotic leg replacement, that doesn't mean there would be no psychological trauma in knowing you've lost your real leg. Plus what Nog went through on AR-558 would be enough to traumatize someone anyhow. And what technology would you like to have seen "deal with" Nog's psychological distress? Why not just have technology 'deal with' all kinds of distress, like in "Brave New World" and no one would ever be upset again?
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Chrome
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 8:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Measure of a Man

@Tara

To be fair, Picard actually did run down the list of the three requirements the show set for sentience. Plus, we don't really know what property laws were being challenged here. It could very well be relevant that a machine has a life-like existence in order to qualify as non-property.
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Gooz
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 7:04am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Arturis to Janeway and 7/9: "I was hoping to get your entire crew, but I'll settle for the two of you."

Earlier, before the "entire crew" was on board the fake ship, and before Arturis knew his ruse had been discovered:
B'Elanna to Arturis "Don't touch that. You almost kicked us into slipstream drive."

So, does Arturis want the "entire crew," including his hated Janeway, or does he want a few random crew members who happen to be on board at that moment?

Him trying to kick the ship into slipstream did provide for nice tension before we knew what the evil plan was, but more lazy writing that doesn't fit into the whole story.
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Caedus
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 1:51am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

Okay in the 24th century wouldn't the technology exist to deal with his leg injury and psychological distress?

People who dislike Voyager complain about technobabble but to tell you the truth VOY/TNG hell even ENT show a future where yes sciencing one's way out of a problem and the use of technology to solve and mitigate problems will be routine. It might not make for engaging drama but its true in the predictive sense.

Ad that's what sci-fi does best
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