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buddha - Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 9:11am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Emergence

This episode did what Inception tried to do. Throw in some Back to the Future 3 and James Bond From Russia with Love and you get this, not so bad.
todayshorse - Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 8:45am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

I love this episode, the build up as Data takes over the ship is intense and well put together. But has anyone else noticed the knowing 'nod' Data and Picard share just as they clear the bridge? Everytime i see this episode i wonder about it. When i first saw it, i presumed this 'nod' implied Picard was 'in' on whatever was about to take place. But its clear he isnt. Saw it again the other night, and theres also a 'nod' between Data and Riker just before Picards 'nod'. Bizarre!!! Im guessing its a 'meet you in engineering in a minute' type acknowledgement but im still not sure. Even Mrs Todayshorse noted it, i paused and rewound my tivo box to better grasp whats going on. Maybe its nothing! Still, brilliantly done, and as a few others noted i didnt even realise Spiner played Doctor Soong until more recent times. Its one i can watch over and over whenever its aired. 4 stars from me easily.
Niall - Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 5:56am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

Totally agree with Skeptical.
Robert - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 9:47pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

That counts as meaningful on VOY!!!! :P
dlpb - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 9:40pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

No argument about the lack of followup, but he DOES mention it again in Future's End.


@Robert, the person you were replying to said "in any meaningful way".
NCC-1701-Z - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 9:37pm (USA Central)
Re: ANDR S2: Second Season Recap

Jammer, I just want to say I admire your thoroughness in giving a full, coherent explanation as to why you quit watching this show. I watched my friend struggle through season 2, and if it was indeed as horrible as he said it was/the few episodes I did see, I really wouldn't have blamed you for just posting one sentence for your season recap.

Based on the eps I did (unfortunately) see, I came away with the feeling that nothing will ever save this series from obscurity except a complete BSG-style reboot - i.e. junk everything except the most basic plot and character elements of the original and start from scratch. A pity; the premise was very interesting but light-years behind in execution. If this series had been left in better hands, it could have been a classic despite the obvious low budget.
Skeptical - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 9:29pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: The Swarm

This feels like it could have and should have been better. There were two potentially interesting ideas here, and both got shortchanged by being intercut with each other.

First of all, about the swarm. This is quite possibly the most blatant and most pathetic case of the writers not caring about characters so far in the series. Janeway's ENTIRE persona up to this point is that she will not sacrifice her principles to get the crew home in a faster or more convenient manner. This has been drilled into our heads over and over and over since the very first episode. So what happens here? She decides to trespass through a region of space controlled by a hostile species after being warned not to. Sovereignty? Respecting other species? Prime Directive? Screw it, I want a shortcut. No explanation given for her sudden change of heart, just a stupid line about them being bullies. Completely and totally out of character for her.

And completely irrelevant. They could have accidentally stumbled upon the swarm. They could have been responding to a humanitarian crisis. They could have been misinformed as to the swarm's intent. But no, we'll just have Janeway act wildly out of character for no reason whatsoever. Hurray!

But I feel the need to harp on this issue, because a couple commenters suggested that this is part of Janeway's character arc. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. If you want to have Janeway evolve from principles over expedience to ends justify the means over the course of the series, so be it. But there needs to be reasoning behind it. Either it needs to happen slowly, breaking down her resolve over time, weighing her decisions more and more before sacrificing just a few principles, or else there needs to be something big to justify her change. Neither happened. It was just "Starfleet principles morals Prime Directive, oh hi shortcut!" No agonizing decision, nothing. Just a quick change.

If they wanted to do that, they should have waited for Scorpion. The Borg are big enough to accept that Janeway might change her perspective. But a little shortcut? A quick line about bullies? Stupid.

Meanwhile, we have a potentially interesting alien species here. There's not a lot about them that is similar to people we've met previously. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to explore this race in more detail? Perhaps we might want to see what makes them tick? Nah, just show some random action scenes and call it a day. No need to develop them. No need to make them a recurring villain (after all, it sounds like their space is pretty big). Just show some special effects and have the bridge shake like normal, and we're good.

As for the Doc scenes, they're good, but they should be really, really good. I like a lot of how it went down. The fact that Kes was adamant about saving the Doc's memories and refused to back down is very consistent with her character. The fact that the Doc immediately was fine with wiping his memory was surprising, but in a good way. After all, his primary purpose is to be a Doctor. His lack of concern for his "life" is refreshing and shows that he still is, in fact a program. Some of my favorite Data scenes were the ones that made it clear he wasn't just a funny human, but rather still an artificial life form. That little scene in the beginning is the same.

So there was a lot of good going on there. Everyone's character seemed to be natural, and everyone's choices seemed a logical extension of what we've seen so far. But the ending was just a bad reset option.

For one, there was no drama. The Doc was rapidly degrading; he was clearly "dying". This meant that something had to be done, and that there was a clear time limit to when it had to be done. That leads to fake drama sometimes. If I have a life threatening injury and will die within hours unless I try a risky surgery that has a 50% chance of killing me, I will obviously try the surgery. The only drama is seeing how the cosmic author wants my surgery to go: successful or not. But if I have a serious but not immediately life threatening injury? Should I take the risk on the surgery or not? Now the drama depends on my choices, not a cosmic roll of the dice.

What if, instead of Kes treating the other person, the Doc was needed for another surgery? And what if, instead of an unknown solution, B'Elanna was reasonably confidant she could find a solution but it would take time? Then, drama. Do we force the Doc to dump his memory so that he can perform the surgery, or risk waiting so that B'Elanna can perform her surgery? Would Janeway order the Doc to die? Would Kes be conflicted between her role as a medic and her friendship with the Doc?

How about another option: the solution isn't to merge Holo-Zimmerman with the Doc, but rather to store the Doc's personality in the Holodeck computer? The holodeck can still be used for simple recreations, but no more advanced holocharacters. Will the crew be willing to give up their primary form of escapism just for a holographic program, most of whom probably don't work with him and thus still don't think of him as sentient? Would this be the way to finally accept him as a person?

Instead, we got a plotline that was pretty much just on the rails, with no chance for deviation. A "risky" solution is found, but the only risk is that it might not work, not that it involves any sacrifice on anyone's part. Since the Doc is all but dead anyway, a chance of a cure is better than none. So of course it's used.

And then the cheap reset ending. The Doc apparently doesn't remember anything, then starts singing. And other than a throwaway line a few episodes later, it's never mentioned again.

I mean, if you're going to press the reset button so blatantly, at least play with it a bit. Have him lose his memories, but still a backup exists in the ship's computer (it just can't be integrated into the program). Then you can have a few episodes of Kes grieving for her friend and trying to teach the Doc to become a person again, while Picardo can have some fun playing him like he did in season 1. Then hit the reset button later with magical new tech. Maybe even in Future's End. Do something rather than an ambiguous scene that is never brought up again.

Like I said, a lot of lost potential.
NCC-1701-Z - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 9:20pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

It's too bad Enterprise ended this way. It could have been so much more, but got screwed over by incompetent writers who were too afraid to do anything more creative than rehash warmed-over TNG-type storylines. By the time they did (Seasons 3 and 4 were a massive improvement over 1 and 2, and I liked S4 as a whole a lot more than Jammer did, apparently), it was too late. That pitiful excuse for a finale was the final insult. (HIMYM fans: We Trekkies feel your pain.)

On the bright side, 2005 was a good year for sci-fi. That was the year BSG started airing weekly episodes. Doctor Who was revived to resounding success (and it's still going strong to this day!). Lost finished up its first season, firmly cementing itself as a classic. It's a pity Trek wasn't there to join the party.

Someday, I hope, Trek will experience a Doctor Who-like revival and come back to TV with a fresh take on the genre that still respects what came before. The original Doctor Who was basically dead in the water when it ended in 1989, but when the time came, it roared back to life with a clean restart that still stayed mostly faithful to the old series.

Hope springs eternal, I guess.
Niall - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 7:20pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Preemptive Strike

But also I want to comment on how sensual and heartfelt this episode is, and how the line between father and lover is blurred in the form of Picard. It's an episode of goodbyes for Ro - goodbye to her father figure Macias, goodbye to her one-time lover Riker (their relationship only being possible under the circumstances of the episode Conundrum, but a tenderness and connection nevertheless remaining between them), and goodbye to Picard, the person who meant most to Ro in the world and who in turn cared tremendously about her and was truly proud of and invested in her. The scene where Ro and Picard have their final conversation while posing as sex worker and client, as they touch each other tenderly and whisper in each other's ear, is phenomenally directed and acted - there a breathtaking sensuality and deep sadness to it. Zack Handlen was right when he wrote that it came over like a break-up; they're both solitary people who forged an unexpected but deeply meaningful connection with each other in the face of barriers and who mean a tremendous amount to each other, more than is verbalized by either, but are both bound by their moral code and sense of duty, with the result that their paths are destined to diverge. That scene and a couple of others in this episode (like the final shot, and "Goodbye Will") feel kind of iconic and it's a shame that moments this truly deep and sensual are so rare on Trek; the intimate personal aspects and subtext of Pre-emptive Strike do remind me of Echevarria's Chimera in the final season of DS9, and the actors make just as much out of them.
ThankYouGeneR - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 5:32pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Having just re-watched this episode myself and coming here to read Jamahl's experience of it I found myself surprised at the comments about the Bebe Neuwirth scene. I automatically took Riker's statement "There are differences in the way that my people make love" to be the setup for Riker to tell her anything as innocuous as elbow touching to be 'the way WE do it', which would certainly give her the desired 'perception' of alien sex without needing Riker to engage sexually with her. She would accept that without hesitation and of course & fully experience it AS satisfying. I mean, gosh, her mind would have taken over and sparked her own happy physical responses. And she would have taken away the 'illusion' she had just had sex with an alien.
BRIAN ROBERTS - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 4:42pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: New Ground

Vidur Kapur - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 1:15pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

I actually enjoyed this episode. Star Trek has criticised our current society on countless occasions, but, for me, it never gets old, and I thought Blaloock played T'Pol's disgust at human greed, fossil fuel consumption and meat consumption very well - the scene in the drive-thru where the piece of meat fell on her, for instance, was well played, as was her dislike of Loomis, as this review notes.
Edmund - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 12:34pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Guess What's Coming to Dinner?

Correction: make that 7 years!
Edmund - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 12:32pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Guess What's Coming to Dinner?

I love the fact that nearly 5 years after the original air date, people are STILL contributing with comments. A testament to the quality of both the show (good job, Mr. Moore) and the blog (good job, Mr, Jammer)!
Del_Duio - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 10:41am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

Weird, because when I saw TNG during its first-run I thought Dr. Crusher was a far superior character to Troi but upon rewatching the series again I don't know what I was thinking. Except for a few stinkers in the first couple seasons ("I SENSE PAIN!... GREAT.. PAIN!!!) Troi is a whole hell of a lot better than ol' Bev was.

This episode is a great example of that.
Del_Duio - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 10:30am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Suspicions

She should have been bounced out of Starfleet at the very least and most likely jailed.

But then they'd break up the happy 7 and we can't have that!
Del_Duio - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 10:27am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

Wow, what a brainfart haha!

I meant bailed Gaila out of jail, not Keevan.

Kind of makes my whole 2nd part of the post moot, but still it's weird to see the Federation taking bail money.
Del_Duio - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 10:13am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

A good episode, and one my 13 year old had this to say about:

"How are they getting the Vorta out of jail by paying his freedom, I thought the Federation didn't use money?"

This is a REALLY good point. Why on Earth would they ever allow Keevan out of jail #1 and is he really just there until somebody shows up and posts bail? Sisko alone should've been so pissed off at what Keevan did during "Rocks And Shoals" that he should have made it a personal point to keep him locked away (at the very least).
Niall - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 9:04am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Preemptive Strike

This is one of TNG's best, it really stands up and Michelle Forbes's performance is great - there's a maturity, depth and roundedness to it that perhaps was less visible back in "Ensign Ro". Great script by Rene Echevarria. As much as I love it, it's not without its niggles and problems though - firstly, not only does the way Ro is so easily accepted by the Maquis cell strain credulity, their later off-camera acceptance of Riker(!) as a Bajoran relative of hers is downright ridiculous. And the cell members don't really seem like credible terrorists/resistance fighters; Macias (as written) seems to exists only as a father figure for Ro and isn't otherwise fleshed out as a character.

Finally, how does Ro explain herself to her Maquis colleagues at the end? How does she explain how she knew about the Starfleet armada in the nebula? How does she explain the disappearance of her "Bajoran relative" and the loss of her ship? Non-credible details like this do harm an overall excellent episode...
eastwest101 - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 6:56am (USA Central)
Re: ANDR S1: Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way

Jammer, I can understand your problems with this episode but I enjoyed this demented, hilarious romp/take on Raiders of the Lost Ark much more than you. The casino scenes in particular were fun, the bad guys straight out of B grade horror movies and I thought John Trench did alright with it - if anything - I thought he really carried the episode. I don't think anyone intended this to be taken seriously, there is just too much post-modern nudge & wink happening here to be an accident. But you are right - it was beyond silly and way over the top, and the B plot was an absolute clanger.
eastwest101 - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 5:46am (USA Central)
Re: ANDR S1: A Rose in the Ashes

As Jammers rightly says - this is a particularly bad episode and without any of the redeeming silliness or interesting stuff of all the other many bad episodes, a loose collection of clich├ęs in search of a narrative......
Roger - Thu, Jan 22, 2015, 2:53am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Suspicions

So...uh....Crusher still did an unauthorized autopsy. What am I missing here? Why wasn't she disciplined?
$G - Wed, Jan 21, 2015, 10:16pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Tin Man

I like this one quite a bit. If there's a flaw in the episode it's the cutting to Geordi's issues trying to get the ship to 100% again. Other than that, the sci-fi premise (an organic spaceship from an extinct race from possibly another galaxy), the guest star, and the Romulan motivations all work for me. I think I like this one more than any of the commenters, and Jammer too. A solid 3 stars for me, *without* some of the reservations some people have. A solid TNG hour, IMO.
HotLanta - Wed, Jan 21, 2015, 10:07pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Before and After

I agree with everything Dave said. Back vagina! Lmao!
Also, Kathy & B'Elanna dead? No Seven? This time line is beyond lame!
eastwest101 - Wed, Jan 21, 2015, 8:54pm (USA Central)
Re: ANDR S1: The Sum of Its Parts

In summary - Andromeda goes the full Borg in an interesting but somewhat derivative and then genuinely surprising, unpredicatble and touching way at the end.

Hats off to the costume guys whom obviously had just seen The Eve of the Future or Metropolis. Either through budget constraints or a deliberate process they had probably seen some of the Borg stuff in various Star Trek shows and decided to go a very different way....
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