Comments on Jammer's Reviews RSS feed for comments posted on Jammer's Reviews en-us Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:12:58 PDT Comment by Ian on VOY S1: Eye of the Needle One point not mentioned. Didn't the Romulan already tell his superiors about Voyager? Thus they already know the future! I recall later episode mentioning the Romulans having an interest in Voyager. Wonder if that is a subtle nod to this issue Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:12:58 PDT Ian Comment by Beleron on VOY S5: In the Flesh I have to side with the nay-sayers here. One of my bigger gripes with the franchise is that the aliens too consistently tend to be rather human; Species 8472 was, up to this episode, a welcome exception. They didn't necessarily need to remain as antagonists, but they should have remained inscrutable. Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:49:56 PDT Beleron Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: Field of Fire Solok's fixation on humiliating Sisko is illogical though. Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:12:02 PDT Robert Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Field of Fire Elliott: "Races/species in Star Trek are "hat races" on purpose because aliens were always meant to represent different facets of humanity, politically, ethically, historically. "Bad guys" (Klingons, Romulans, the Borg, Cardassians) possess, as a people, qualities which should be repudiated, whereas the "good guys" (Vulcans) possess, again as a people, qualities which should be emulated. The majority of Trek races are given this one note, usually bad, to stage the Morality Play. A few, like the Klingons and the Vulcans, are given enough development to explore the issues in more complex ways. There are indeed good and bad sides to Honour and Logic which are worth exploring." This is a pretty succinct explanation of why alien races (and the stories based on them) in most of Trek are simplistic slush. DS9 is the strongest show overall because it recognizes and avoids these storytelling gaffes. Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:02:16 PDT $G Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: Field of Fire @Elliott - The one in Field of Fire was a villain because he was Vulcan, but he was also suffering from some kind of extreme PTSD. VOY made it clear that Vulcans HAVE emotions, they just suppress them well. And Tuvok has made it very, very clear that if he ever lost control the result would be intense. I don't like Field of Fire, but given what I would imagine Tuvok with PTSD to look like it doesn't seem like a negative portrayal of Vulcans. Likewise Sakonna, as I said, is a villain that just HAPPENS to be Vulcan. And she's only a villain because we're supposed to be for the Bajoran resistance but against the Maquis. I always felt that, prior to Eddington, the Maquis were grey villains, as opposed to black ones. You have a point with Solok of course, but... I don't know. I guess I just don't see it as being as subversive as you think it is. Yes, Solok is arrogant. In my post above I said specifically that a Vulcan who thinks Vulcans are superior would not be particularly problematic in cannon. A Vulcan experience arrogance as an emotion? I could see that being problematic. The all Vulcan crew on a Starfleet ship strikes me as a poor idea too. The fact that I liked nearly everything else about the episode lets me largely overlook it, but I think this episode is problematic. That said, a young Tuvok experiences emotions (love) and needs to go train with a master to "fix it". The problem with Solok is that without much of a backstory or getting to know the character he just seems to be a Vulcan that is too emotional. Which isn't great, but it's not as bad as the all Vulcan ship. Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:50:58 PDT Robert Comment by Elliott on DS9 S7: Field of Fire Races/species in Star Trek are "hat races" on purpose because aliens were always meant to represent different facets of humanity, politically, ethically, historically. "Bad guys" (Klingons, Romulans, the Borg, Cardassians) possess, as a people, qualities which should be repudiated, whereas the "good guys" (Vulcans) possess, again as a people, qualities which should be emulated. The majority of Trek races are given this one note, usually bad, to stage the Morality Play. A few, like the Klingons and the Vulcans, are given enough development to explore the issues in more complex ways. There are indeed good and bad sides to Honour and Logic which are worth exploring. Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:46:04 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on DS9 S7: Field of Fire @zzybaloobah, et al.: The S7 Vulcan baddies weren't portrayed as villains who happened to be Vulcan, but villains *because* they were Vulcan. The animosity in the writing stemmed directly from what the Vulcan people, as an analogy for a type of human (which you pointed out is true of basically all Trek aliens. More on that in a moment), represent. Spock, Sarek, Tuvok and the reformist Vulcans from ENT S4 were never portrayed as arrogant the way Solok was. Arrogance, recall, is an emotion. Non-Vulcan characters have often mistaken Vulcan logic for arrogance (Bones, Neelix). Perrin remarks in "Sarek" that she is impressed that Picard does not make this mistake, a condonation of his attitude and perspective. In "Unification," Spock comments to Data that Picard is himself remarkably Vulcan-like. And recall that Robert also made the mistake of considering his brother to be arrogant in "Family." In the transition from the TOS era to the TNG, the writers very carefully carved out a place for the Vulcan philosophy as a kind of benchmark of humanoid progress (TMP being the Apollo to TWoK's Dionysus). This benchmark sits right alongside the idealism of the non-religious, non-capitalist society humanity is supposed to have achieved by the 24th century. DS9 was in the habit of wiping its ass with this idealism, and that practice goes hand in hand with its treatment of Vulcans. As for Paul M.'s "[T]he ideal towards which the humanity ought to strive is neither uber-logic (Spock) nor uber-emotion (McCoy) but rather a synthesis of both (Kirk)," I find this rather dubious. If by "synthesis," he means dialectical synthesis, Spock is himself a synthesis of two antithetical philosophies, is he not? And most of the time, Spock's perspective is clearly in the right; Bones has to be handled by Kirk as a kind of mediator, but it's rare that Spock's logic fails him where Bones' emotions do not. If by "synthesis," he means the more common "combination," one cannot combine two elements if they are "uber," that is, entirely. I think it's unfair to judge Spock or McCoy as being extremists in their positions as logical or emotional. All the Big Three showed nuance and temperament in their approaches. TOS' overarching narrative relies heavily on exploiting Kirk's flaws, so how can he be the "ideal human"? As for your proportioning out thumbs up or down based on series percentiles, I can't say much more than it's incredibly reductionist and inaccurate, if for no other reason than the shows ran for different lengths of time. AND the shows had vastly differing references to Vulcans or Vulcan characters. DS9 had its own agenda, but given episodes like "In the Cards," "Rapture," "The Siege of AR3.14...," "Covenant," "In the Hands of the Prophets" and others, it's reasonable to extrapolate an over-arching anti-Trek philosophy which emerges. These Vulcan episodes fit right with that. Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:37:17 PDT Elliott Comment by Robert on VOY S7: Human Error I saw this recently and will chime in with those disagreeing with Jammer. I usually do agree with his dislike of Voyager's reset button, but this didn't feel like reset back to status quo. It felt like someone who took 3 steps forward and then RAN 2 steps backwards because she scared herself. But I still think she and the viewers learned something and we DID end up going somewhere. For me this episode is up there with "His Way" & "Crossfire" and it does for Seven what those did for Odo in a lot of ways. Even after all of his lessons from Vic Odo still doesn't feel comfortable with the thought of his friends seeing him have fun and when he realizes he's dancing with the real Kira he goes from Nerys to Major at warp speed. But it shows him (and the audience) that there is someone who could have fun under there. Sure it ends with less of a reset (at least "His Way" does) but after 5 years of slow burning that romance we had to get somewhere eventually! In a lot of ways this is Seven's "His Way" with the ending for "Crossfire". She opens up when nobody is around but in the end when she thinks she's too distracted she shuts back in. I LIKED the contrived (it was contrived) cortical node shutdown and her refusal to fix it. There was something poetic in her hiding behind her limitations instead of trying to exceed them. And she does change a bit. The scene with Torres and the baby booties were quite sweet. I think some people saw this and lamented that she didn't start acting around her friends like she did on the Holodeck. But Odo doesn't act with his friends the way he does with Vic either. And the same for Barclay. Closed off characters learning to take baby steps in socializing do NOT need to get there in one quick jump. The reset button here felt organic to the plot, not a cop out. 3.5 stars. Comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:56:51 PDT Robert Comment by dgalvan on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier This film gets a bad rap. I won't claim it's among the best of the Star Trek films. But I like it better than Nemesis and Insurrection. I think I like it better than Star Trek 1: The Motion Picture, too. I'm probably a bit biased since its the first Star Trek movie I saw in the theater. Here are some reasons I like it: 1. It has humor. The jokes don't land as well as they did in Star Trek IV, but they are not terrible. It's a more "human-relatable" movie than several other Trek films. 2. The "big three". The camaraderie between Kirk, McCoy, and Spock is a welcome re-visit that helps close out Spock's character arc of re-adjusting after being reborn, which started really in Star Trek IV. It gave me a warm feeling and it made me think of how William Shatner was probably waxing nostalgic in having so many scenes with the three characters that really were the heart of Star Trek. "God I liked him better before he died!" 3. The whole God thing was really not a bad plot line. In many ways it was reminiscent of numerous TOS (and a few early TNG) episodes that dealt with a near-omnipotent alien entity masquerading as something else. Actually this entity reminded me of the one they encountered in the first episode of the Animated Series (that one also tried to use the enterprise to escape a dead star/planet, episode title: Beyond the Farthest Star). I suppose for people not familiar with TOS, this may have seemed like a copout from dealing with issues of religion, but really this plot line makes a lot of sense in Star Trek context. It was never about religion, it was about the dangers of thinking too passionately instead of thinking critically. 4. It has a good underlying message: While it could be argued that Vulcans rely too much on logic, Sybok is the embodiment of going too far in the other direction. He embraces passion and emotion too much, without drawing enough on the cool dampening of rationality. He's also a pseudo-hedonist, convincing people that the bad part of their pasts should be forcibly forgotten and banished from your psyche ("release your pain"). Kirk provides the useful counterpoint: "I need my pain! It makes me who I am!"). This film explores some of the consequences of passionately leaping before you look. (Sybok finally sees the error in his ways, having been taken with legends and seeing what he wanted to see instead of what actually was.) 5. It further develops Kirk's character. In Star Trek II (yes, probably the best), Kirk went from bemoaning his old age to the greatest ending line of the ST movies: "How do you feel Jim?. . . Young. I feel young." Now here Kirk goes from bemoaning the solitary nature of the life he chose as a Starship captain (climbing El Capitan alone, saying he knows he'll die alone, telling Bones and Spock that "Men like us don't have families."), to realizing the people close to him are indeed his family, and that he never really has been alone. ("I lost a brother once. . . lucky for me I got him back." "I thought you said men like us don't have families?. . . . I was wrong." 6. It introduced that snazzy Klingon theme music. Comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:22:31 PDT dgalvan Comment by $G on DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon I like this episode quite a bit. Nog has had a hell of a story. He's one of my favourite characters on the show, and, like everyone's said, it's awesome that DS9 got to the point that it can swing an episode like this. I'd argue that Nog ISN'T just a recurring character, but it may only seem like he's been around more than he has because he's gotten such rich material. (Serious question: outside of some first season shenanigans, has there ever been a bad Nog plot?) "Paper Moon" is also the best Vic appearance so far (and maybe even moving forward too). I like to think that when Nog asks Vic if he dreams, he evades answering because the answer is... well, "no". A dream is only a dream if it isn't just an extension of the program and thus under Vic's control. The answer would have shattered both characters' illusions at that point and was better left unsaid. In the end, when Nog sets up 26/7 activation for Vic, Vic gets to live a "regular" life now too. Yeah it raises a lot of questions about Vic's nature, but it's a sweet moment in and of itself. This is quite a strong episode and nails exactly what it's trying to accomplish. Though 45 minutes might be a *bit* pat for this story, Ron Moore is really, really good at crafting unique scenes that don't revert to perfunctory cliches to move the story to its 45-minute deadline. All his episodes seem to have a vitality that puts them above a lot of other episodes. On top of that, Eisenberg nails all of his scenes - especially the climactic one. Awesome! I only really have two minor nitpicks: The party for Rom's promotion. There's no reason why someone couldn't have called on Nog. Wouldn't Rom have tried to stop by and invite him personally? And Jake, whom I've really begun to dislike. He has nothing to add to the show anymore, and it just feels like a waste for that to be the case. He seemed particularly insensitive in this episode, and it didn't reflect well on him IMO. Other than those gripes, 3-1/2 stars from me! --- On another note: You know what I like so far about Season 7? It's probably the same thing that puts a lot of people off. But it's that S7 is pretty dedicated to fleshing out its recurring and brand new characters before the end. In S7's first 10 episodes, we've seen entire episodes given to Weyoun, Damar, Nog, Vic, Ezri, Garak, Martok and Dukat. Even "AR-558" had a heavy contingent of guest characters. This has relegated Kira, Worf, Odo, etc, to merely being pieces of episodes rather than the focuses. I understand why such a concentrated amount of secondary character episodes rubs people wrong, but to me it just makes the series feel alive. At this point the show now feels very different than it did a couple of seasons prior. The formula of the regulars just doing their jobs and encountering new problems is pretty much non-existent. Ops doesn't get a lot of screen time, and there's hardly been any anomalies or station crises in what seems like forever. I've never NOT seen S7 on DVD, so I've never had to endure week-long waits between episodes. That probably colours my opinion of it all, but what can I say? I'm really digging this. Comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:05:28 PDT $G Comment by Sonya on DS9 S3: Explorers I loved the father/son plot, and I loved Gul Dukat's grudging yet gracious congratulations and display of fireworks. One of the things I value about this show is Sisko and Jake's relationship. Aside from a few comedies (e.g., the Cosby Show), how often do we see strong, positive relationships between African American fathers and sons in the media? Comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:49:56 PDT Sonya Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: State of Flux Best episode so far! State of Flux is a good name for the episode. It really does show how unstable everything is. Even though I knew who the traitor was, the show still did a good job of casting doubt. I agree with Jammer; Seska's pleas of innocence were very convincing, all things considered. When she went to the Kazon ship to retrieve the replicator, it is perfectly logical that she's doing it to remove evidence... AND perfectly logical that she did it to prove her innocence. We already knew she doesn't play by the rules, and we already knew she thought this was a good way to extract the replicator... And then there was the revelation that she was possibly a Cardassian. Honestly, I sort of wish that she had stayed on. After all, being a Cardassian spy doesn't make you a traitor... And hey, having a lone Cardassian stuck with the humans worked on DS9, maybe it would work here? But it does make sense that she would then be the least willing to play by Janeway's rules. So I guess I understand why they went the way they did. Having Seska be a Cardassian spy yet not actually betraying the crew would have been a risky plot to take, but perhaps not the most realistic. In any case, one thing I liked about this episode was that Seska wasn't being a mustache twirling villain here. Her motives were clear; protect Voyager. It was almost noble in a way. And now the reason the Kazon never attacked Voyager since Caretaker is made clear. Seska's rant at Janeway after being caught had a certain amount of logic to it. I'm not saying she's right, but it does certainly make sense to her. And it again touches on a theme that has come up multiple times in the first season: should you sacrifice your principles to get home? In fact, here it's not even about getting home. Should you sacrifice your principles in order to stay alive in a dangerous world? Seska obviously has no problem with it, Janeway obviously won't. And that's why Seska directed a lot of her rant at Chakotay. Once again we get a good Chakotay episode. Once again he is torn between his Maquis loyalty and his desire to keep this a Federation ship. And this time, his Maquis loyalty was wrong. And we get to see him get punched in the gut repeatedly. I liked that he was taking his frustrations out on Tuvok. He may have accepted Tuvok's betrayal by now, but he hasn't forgotten it. And he's perfectly entitled to be frustrated and venting some steam here. So yeah, I enjoyed it. This was a show that was truly Voyager's and didn't feel like a bad TNG rerun. It may have come a bit too early in the season, but really, even that isn't too bad. We would have been wondering about the Kazon eventually. So maybe it's best that Seska was revealed so soon. Comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:04:36 PDT Skeptical Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: Field of Fire @Grumpy - That makes sense, but Solok was in the Academy with Sisko and is definitely an officer. So there's no subcontracting from the Vulcans there. Unless he's in charge of a subcontracted Vulcan ship? Comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:52:44 PDT Robert Comment by Grumpy on DS9 S7: Field of Fire Robert: " bothered me that Starfleet allows an all Vulcan crew like that." When an all-Vulcan crew on a Starfleet ship was first mentioned in TOS "The Immunity Syndrome," I figured it was some sort of subcontracting or whatnot. Like, Russia is a partner in the ISS, but Russia could still fly all-Russian crews. Or, more directly parallel, NASA could borrow a Soyuz to fly an all-American crew. Comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:09:49 PDT Grumpy Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: Field of Fire My 2 cents about Vulcans on DS9 1) I liked Sakonna and Quark from "The Maquis" episodes. Voyager made it painfully clear that nobody considers a Vulcan maquis to be weird (else Starfleet's choice of putting Tuvok undercover on Chakotay's ship would be the stupidest undercover operation in Trek history), so I don't actually think Sakonna is subversive unless Voyager is as well. And she's a thief? So what? As DS9 makes clear "freedom fighters" do illegal things for good reasons. We're meant to side with the Bajoran resistance and against the Maquis, but they both see themselves as freedom fighters. 2) The Vulcan captain from "Take Me Out" was a Vulcan supremacist. The idea of a Vulcan who thinks Vulcans are superior is really not that weird given the cannon material. This episode would have played less racistly weird if he was not in Starfleet though. I liked the episode but it bothered me that Starfleet allows an all Vulcan crew like that. I'd have preferred a different backstory than meeting at the academy and a Vulcan science ship or something. It would have been more palatable to me. 3) I think this episode was kind of sucky, we really didn't need the can of worms this gun opens up, the extra Ezri episode, the out-of-character take on Joran, etc. But the Vulcan wasn't really a problem. Vulcans can experience PTSD and Vulcans can certainly go nuts and have emotions (see every third Tuvok episode :P). I can see how Vulcan villains being a pattern on DS9 might seem intentional, but I think 3 in over 150 episodes may just be coincidental. Although there were 2 this season. But scratching this episode would have helped a great number of issues this season, so I'm in favor. Comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:55:01 PDT Robert Comment by Phillip on TNG S6: Suspicions Why does beverly care about a ferengi's shuttle test? That made no sense to me. I also don't know why people wouldn't accept a ferengi scientist. Space travel has brought interstellar commerce to the ferengi economy. From a profit standpoint a ferengi scientist would be respected by other ferengi's. As for the feminist aspect of the later seasons I agree they change troi and beverly. They mainly change troi. Once she puts on that uniform all of a sudden she changes. Look at the episode disaster. She was in charge and didn't know anything obrien was talking about. Then look at timescape and she's throwing out technobabble left and right. I love troi in the early seasons even though she kinda sucks at being a counselor too. But once modern day political correctness changed her character I couldn't take it. Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:57:40 PDT Phillip Comment by zzybaloobah on DS9 S7: Field of Fire TR-116: Prototype, then ABANDONDED? Yeah, right. What a weapon! Can you say "assasination?" Fire from concealment, no energy discharge? And range limited by transporter? (Why is being on Bajor -- the guy Ezri almost stabbed -- an alibi?) The defensive advantage of firing while completely concealed gives it a huge advantage over a phaser in a straight-up firefight. Maybe Section 31 forced it to be "abandonded". Um... I like Ezri, and I liked this episode. But, given where the series is, can we focus on someone other than Ezri for a while? @Elliott So, all other Trek (execept ENT) treat Vulcans with awe, so DS9 must be the anomaly? ENT and DS9 represent (by series) 40% of Trek. And, as pointed out above, Kirk (human) is the ideal of TOS. So, we've got: 2 series Vulcans thumbs up (TNG, Voy) 1 series Vulcans neutral (TOS) 2 series Vulcans thumbs down (ENT, DS9) (though I hated what ENT did to Vulcans) Hardly evidence to consider DS9 "subversive", or to say that Vulcans were Gene's ideal. (BTW, who gives a flying f**** what's Gene's vision was? For a fairly obvious agnostic, when did Gene become god?) One REAL fault with Trek is that other species are pretty one-dimensional: Ferengi are greedy, Klingons war like, Romulans treacherous, and Vulcans logical. It's an improvement to see some non-logical Vulcans for a change. Why does DS9 focus on the non-logical Vulcans? It makes good TV. Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:14:47 PDT zzybaloobah Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Covenant This isn't a good episode. I think Dukat's belief in the pah wraiths is... kind of interesting, but it also strains my patience. Yes, I believe that he'd do all the things he does here. But does it really supply any storytelling value? It's always fascinating to watch Dukat panic when things go south ("Sacrifice of Angels" and "Waltz") but I'm not really satisfied by this arc he's on. I think his story value reached its peak in "Waltz". But even if I did buy into Dukat's direction, this episode would still feel rushed and hollow. Too many scenes rely on characters trying to talk Kira into the cult while Kira (and the audience) are calling BS. Too many miracles are left unquestioned which makes the Bajorans stupid rather than interesting. I know that this kind of thing happens, but it also has to be treated just so as to actually be interesting and not infuriating to watch. Oh, and Dukat can talk an alien baby into being a miracle on the spot, but he couldn't have talked his way out of the pill scam? He already had a captive audience willing to sacrifice themselves (and their babies!). It wouldn't have been hard. I suppose he didn't have time, though, because of his own contrivance of calling the dang Defiant to pick Kira up. I'm still reserving judgement on S7 Dukat until it's over. I'm still erring on the side of giving it all the benefit of the doubt, but it's all hard for me swallow. Especially so when the episode is as poorly realized as this. There are moments I like, though: -The Bajoran woman giving birth puts the conception around the three-month season gap, which is right after Dukat's experience with the wraith. This makes sense because, IIRC, Bajoran gestation is only 5 months. I forget which episode mentions this, though. If I'm right, that's some eagle eye continuity, writers! -Kira's vedek friend probably started the cult. As mentioned above, Dukat only worked his way to the top. How very in character. -I like that this cult is partially based on outrage that the Prophets never intervened during the Occupation. I also like the implication (along with other things we know) that being "of Bajor" doesn't mean the Prophets care about the lifeforms on the planet. Do I care about lower lifeforms on Earth, or even in my own city? Only in so far as they taste good in sauce. -Kira calls out Dukat on his BS from "Wrongs". He suggested then that Meru left Taban for him. As Kira saw - not the case! Nice try, Dukat. Still, "Covenant" is poorly realized on its own merits. 1-1/2 stars from me. 2 if I were feeling charitable (but I'm not). Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:53:46 PDT $G Comment by Jack on VOY S3: Macrocosm Neelix probably could've mitigated much of the effect of the slimesquirt if he'd taken off his jacket and shirt. Sure no one wants to see that, but if its life and death... Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:45:21 PDT Jack Comment by Eli on ENT S1: The Andorian Incident After watching Shockwave, I have re-evaluated Archer's decision to share information with the Andorians. I still wouldn't go so far as to agree with the decision; I think the Vulcans are their allies first and foremost. But, in the context of the show's thoughtful idealism, his decision is not without merits. I think also I was overly critical to call him reckless. Clearly the relationship between humans and Vulcans is a dynamic one at this point. Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:15:19 PDT Eli Comment by Eli on ENT S1: Breaking the Ice This episode showcases Enterprise's strengths. These strengths include dialogue, character interactions, subtle comic moments, cultural misunderstandings that are addressed without being perfectly resolved, an endearing open mindedness to scientific discovery, and a respectful awe of outer space. I'm a big fan of this series. I see some commentators have criticized Archer's etiquette, or even his intelligence. I think it's interesting that everyone perceives intelligence differently. However, I have never thought of Archer as being unintelligent. On the contrary, I find him to be an exceedingly thoughtful and reasonable man. I also find his curiosity, his sincerity and his personal directness to be positive traits. Bakula does an excellent job in the role as well. I think he has good intentions in the dinner conversation with Captain Vanik. He made one comment at the very end out of exhaustion. This reaction was not prudent; however, he was frustrated that his every attempt to be polite had failed. Vanik was much more rude in his response. Yet, in the context of the show the dinner scene is enlightening rather than simply frustrating. I agree with those who think the scene is successful. Lastly, the scene where we finally learn T'Pol's personal dilemma and we hear Tucker and T'Pol exchange cultural viewpoints is well done. The final scene with T'Pol and the pie is a nice touch as well. Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:02:46 PDT Eli Comment by Elliott on ENT S1: Dear Doctor Sean, I am willing to do a little critical thinking in favour of an episode of a show which went out of its way to do the same, when it usually contented itself to be brainless, pandering schlock. The fact that you have yet to move an inch away from the dichotomous "allowing an entire species to die for no reason" refrain is testament to the theory that DS9 was and is hip to a contemporary "feeling" of moral disambiguation, but truly lacked the conviction to test a critical moral mind. That's the real irony, that a show like Enterprise, which is buried in simplistic storytelling, should surpass DS9 in the very subject that show's proponents tout over and over. However, I too am done with this debate. I have utterly failed to convince you to even frame the argument over this episode in objective terms, let alone compare those objects in a proper debate, so there seems to be little reason to go further. Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:07:04 PDT Elliott Comment by Sean on ENT S1: Dear Doctor I'm pretty much done with this debate at this point. But I did just want to say before I left that I find it ironic that Elliott, you complain about DS9 all the time. Something like In the Pale Moonlight in which Sisko finds himself an accessory to murder and does other nasty things. You complain about DS9 all the time, but you bend over backwards in mental gymnastics not normally found outside of creationists to justify something far worse then DS9 has ever done: allowing an entire species to die for no reason. DS9 never did that. Indeed, when there was an entire species dying for what Section 31 thought to be a good reason, the show actively condemned that. Also when an entire species was dying from the Quickening for no reason, the show actively condemned that. So yeah, that's all. I just find it ironic. Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:28:11 PDT Sean Comment by Robert on TNG S5: Ethics I actually liked the choice of Riker and, in the very next episode, Worf risks his career to go down to the planet with Riker and save Soren. When Riker was considered for the Ares Worf wanted to go with him and felt certain Riker would accept, especially since he viewed it as a dangerous mission. In another episode (can't remember which) they were playing one of those Klingon holodeck programs together. They weren't close friends perhaps in a human sense (like O'Brien and Bashir) but I think Worf felt Riker was the closest he had nearby to a "Klingon Warrior". It made a certain amount of sense. Picard was his commanding officer. Comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:33:43 PDT Robert Comment by Ian on VOY S4: Random Thoughts I do not like how Tuvok comes off very weak , at first, in his confrontation with the thought criminals. Also, why did not the ship simply not be allowed to leave and take their bad thoughts with them? Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 22:26:22 PDT Ian Comment by $G on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 Reading the comments in this thread reminds me why so many Trek species come from Planets of Hats. Humans who lose sight of their values while trapped on a war-torn moon? A Ferengi who isn't greedy for profit? A Jem'Hadar who isn't completely loyal to the Changelings? A Cardassian who opposed the Bajoran occupation? A vedek who doesn't believe in grabbing earlobes? It's almost as if DS9 has been suggesting since day one that a population is made up of individuals and not pieces of a one-note hive mind. Snark aside, this is a fantastic Dominion war episode - maybe the best the show has ever done. Also, like Jammer said, the hidden star may be Quark. He works so well because of how much we've seen of his values to this point. Could any parent (or uncle in this case) watch their child casually go to battle like this without saying what Quark said? I really, really love the scene with Quark watching over Nog and then shooting that Jem'Hadar. Nog would have died if he was alone, but he never would be alone as long as his uncle was there. Also, notice how Quark doesn't even mention whatever purpose Zek gave him. Awesome Quark story here, of all things. Shimerman plays the hell out of it. 4 stars easy. Top 10 episode of the series easy. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 22:23:28 PDT $G Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Once More Unto the Breach I'm with Jammer on this one. I wish we could have seen something of the battle. Maybe the crew sees Kor's ship approaching the fleet before the viewscreen fizzles out of proximity? I don't know if that would have worked either, though... Like another poster above said, I'm not going to armchair direct this one. I like everything that happened in this one... but I just wish it didn't end with the crew just standing on the bridge like that. Anyway, this is a solid episode. The standout scene is Martok and crew mocking Kor in the mess hall. I found it tough to watch, but in an effective way. I like how Darok simply has none of it (Darok is a nice addition to this episode, actually), and I love Kor's reply. Also, kudos to the FX team once again. For a show that's been giving us lots of inventive battle encounters, we get yet another gem. In the last 10 or so episodes, we've had a Defiant-class ship getting destroyed by a Dominion supership, an epic three-fleet battle at Chin'toka, a bird of prey inducing a solar flare to take out a Dominion shipyard, a chase through an icy asteroid belt, and now a Klingon assault on a Cardassian ground base. And, of course, we all knpw what's coming next. It's awesome. Anyway, a solid 3 stars for this one. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:03:51 PDT $G Comment by ds on VOY S3: Real Life I watched this one with my two young sons and it was quite touching. A credit to Picardo. So much lost potential in all of these unused story lines. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:58:53 PDT ds Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: Ex Post Facto If we're going to rip off A Matter of Perspective, could we at least have included Tom shouting "You're a dead man Ren! A dead man!"? Yes, this is a bad episode. It's a mess. I'm surprised to see LeVar Burton's name associated with this, because part of it seems to be bad direction. His two credits in TNG were Second Chances and Pegasus, both pretty good outings, so what happened? We had boring narration and multiple flashbacks, all of which plodded along. Some of which was very repetitive. Most of it was either boring or cheesy. The scene with the wife lazing in the garden smoking a cigarette was so cheesy, such a lame ripoff of film noir, that I have no idea who thought it would work well. Were they going for a sendoff of film noir? If so, it didn't work. Maybe Burton just didn't have anything to work with here. Oh, and the dramatic reveal scene? With everyone gathered in the Den while Inspector Tuvok revealed the culprit? Is it possible to get any more cliched than that? I fully expected the revelation to be that the butler did it, even though there was no butler. That's how bad of a setup this was. Meanwhile, the resolution made no sense. So the Doctor was a spy for the bad guys or something. And his unique method of getting data to the bad guys was this plot? How would that even work? How would he deliver Paris to the bad guys? After all, it was heavily implied that the aliens here were not going to let Paris off the planet. They only agreed to because of the bad reaction he was having. Surely a smarter plan would work? Also, why was Kim dehydrated in the first place? The episode also failed to give the viewers a fair chance to solve the mystery. Tuvok presented four pieces of evidence: 1) The Paris in the memory was too short, 2) The Paris in the memory knew exactly where to stab when the real Paris wouldn't know, 3) The symbols at the bottom was the secret code, and 4) The dog was fond of the killer. Now, a good mystery gives the reader/viewer enough information to solve the mystery as well. But here? The only one of those four that we could have caught was the height issue. We didn't even see where the knife struck, so we couldn't notice that it looks like an unnatural place for a human to stab. We had no knowledge that the symbols were anything but the normal course of events. And we didn't see the dog in the memory. In other words, the mystery cheated us. We were given no chance of deducing the mystery ourselves, and thus the episode presented Tuvok as a genius detective without giving any reason for us to believe it. One final problem with the episode: nobody yells at Paris. We have no idea how far Riker went, but it's possible he was just being friendly in Perspective. But here? We know Paris went too far with the wife. Maybe not all the way, and he may have done nothing wrong illegally, but he was highly unprofessional. I don't care that it was a loveless marriage that just ended. If I'm on a business trip and I cause the divorce of a potential client and then hook up with the client's ex-wife, I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up fired. It would paint my company in a very bad image, just as Paris painted Voyager in a terrible light here. Paris should have been banned from any other away missions for that breach of protocol. It also feels wrong for the character. While he is a felon, we're supposed to feel that he deserves another chance. That, deep down, he's a good guy. If he can't keep his hormones in check, then that's an image of the character that is going to have to change. Perhaps he really is an unlikeable, irredeemable jerk. So why is he here? Far better to just assume this episode was a bad fluke and move on. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:01:20 PDT Skeptical Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: Eye of the Needle This was, altogether, a pretty good episode, perhaps even a very good episode, but it did have a few flaws: 1) It came too early. It's a bit silly to have a dramatic "can they get home?" story just six episodes in. It just feels like we're going too fast, that we are blowing all the interesting stories relating to being stuck in the Delta Quadrant too fast. Hey, there's seven seasons to get through, do we have to have it so soon? 2) There should have been more time discussing the ramifications of changing the future with the Romulan. It just seemed too easy for the crew to decide not to pollute the timeline or whatever, even though the timeline would only be about two months or so. Charlie's suggestion, that the Maquis ship would remain stuck in the Delta Quadrant, is an excellent one. Why didn't they expand on that? Instead of immediately dismissing the idea of giving a warning to Starfleet, Chakotay could have spoken up and declared that he probably wouldn't listen to any warning, and thus could have ended up stuck in the Delta Quadrant alone. Like eddie suggested, the thought of Kes remaining a slave to the Kazon might also give Janeway and company pause. We know that this tug of war between her principles and her desire to get home is a big part of the series, and it'd be a foregone conclusion that she would eventually deny permission to warn Starfleet. But that could have been an argument. Especially if one brings up all the nameless extras who died when the Caretaker brought them to the Delta Quadrant. Janeway could have weighed saving their lives vs helping Chakotay, Torres, and Kes. Then again, the dead crew members seemed to have been forgotten 5 minutes after they all died. K'Elvis also suggested bringing them home, but staying in suspended animation. They also could have brought that idea up, although I think that'd be fairly easy to shoot down. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd trust the Romulans to keep me in suspended animation for 20 years. They are, after all, a nation hostile to the Federation. 3) While this would normally be a good thing, there's no Neelix. One would think it'd be worthwhile to get his perspective. It might have been nice to see an argument between him and Kes, with Kes wanting to return to the Alpha Quadrant with the crew and Neelix not so sure. Yes, he's willing to share the journey, but he realizes the rest of the crew won't care about him when they get back. It might have had an interesting perspective. But the rest of the episode worked well. There was a great sense of an emotional roller coaster ride, as the crew naturally had their hopes raised and dashed multiple times throughout the show. This was probably a better idea than the normal raise hopes and dash them once. It really gave you a sense of just how much this meant to the crew. Torres in particular was really animated, which is rather surprising coming from her. After all, she mentioned that she had no family interested in her back home. And what does she have to look forward to upon getting home? Being arrested? Sure, perhaps Janeway can influence Starfleet enough to get amnesty for the Maquis, but she wouldn't be allowed to return to her former life. It just goes to show how alien the Delta Quadrant is to these people. Even Torres is desperate for a chance to get home to something more familiar. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 18:57:53 PDT Skeptical Comment by Latex Zebra on TNG S5: The Inner Light If anyone deserved two lives then it was Picard. One as a starship Captain. The other as a family man. He lived the dream man. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 13:03:49 PDT Latex Zebra Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: Phage I wanted to like this episode more than I actually did. On the positive side, we finally got to see another civilization in the Delta Quadrant, and it was a really interesting one. We haven't seen anyone like the Vidiians before, and they provide a wealth of possibilities (and I'm glad we'll see them again). They're a desperate race driven to desperate measures, but are their measures going too far? (Answer: yes) We can have sympathy for them but also fear them and, more importantly, defy them. So the concept of the Vidiians was a good one. But it didn't work out. Like most others, I agree that Janeway's decision was wrong. But part of that is because, frankly, I don't trust the Vidiian story. Once they beam aboard, their story is nothing but being the nicest little folks around who was forced to do this brutish thing but would never ever do it again. Yet we know their organs will continue to degenerate. So there is a very real chance that these people will kill again. Janeway said that she didn't want to keep them in the Brig forever, and she has a point that that would be too difficult to do. But the problem is that part of the reason for incarceration is punishment but the biggest part is protecting society. By letting them go, Janeway is clearly making this area of space more dangerous. Sure, it may not usually be her responsibility, but it is now. So Janeway claims she can't kill someone else to save her crewman, even if it is justified to some extent. But by letting them go, she is essentially dooming more people to die as well. Oh, but they seem nice... They only go graverobbing, right? If that's the case... why do they have a giant trap?!? That's what the dilithium asteroid was: a trap to bait random explorers to come in and so that they can steal their organs. There can be no other explanation for it. They bait the asteroid, hide in their holographic extraction rooms, and wait until stupid folks like Neelix wander away from everyone else. That elaborate bait defies their innocent expressions: they know what they are doing. To the Vidiians, the rest of the universe is just an organ factory for them, and they will kill anyone in order to get what they want. And because of that, it's hard to justify not getting the lungs back. This was premeditated murder, and most people understand that deadly force is necessary for self defense. Admittedly, another option was provided, which eliminated self defense. But Janeway didn't know that when she decided to let them go. Speaking of "other options", why did they desperately need Neelix's lungs back? Did no one consider heading for Talaxian space and looking for a donor there? Maybe that wasn't possible, but it would have been nice to have a reason for it. Meanwhile, the Magic Mirror Asteroid was also pretty silly. Why did it exist? Was it just to confuse anyone trying to follow the Vidiian ship? Was it another trap? If so, how does it work? Unfortunately, I think the reason for the Magic Mirror asteroid was that someone thought it was cool, so why not? I'm wondering if that's really the trend: just throwing out cool ideas without a very tight plot. So there were serious problems with the plotting, even if the first part was very good. There was also more evidence that Kes and Neelix aren't the loving couple that they try to convey. As soon as he's incapacitated, Neelix starts imagining Paris trying to angle in on Kes. Possessive and jealous. Again, it seems like Neelix has a rather creepy relationship with Kes, and Kes is just too naïve to realize it. But Kes is at least turning out to be an interesting character. Yes, the wide eyed innocent who dispenses true wisdom is a bit silly, but her natural rapport with the Doctor was good to see. So it was probably the best episode to date, but I don't think it's quite complete. At the very least, though, it was the first evidence that the Delta Quadrant was going to be different. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:14:37 PDT Skeptical Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River @K'elvis: Great post. Agree on the defective Weyoun 7. That Damar convinced him to do it is proof of that. I have doubts about Damar tampering with cloning process (as you suggest), but it's ironic that 7 here is exactly what Damar wants: a more malleable Weyoun. 5 was the one who was always squeezing the leash. "Imagination can be dangerous" indeed. And the Vorta origin story? Awesome. It all reads like a primitive foundation-myth meant to assert its own goodness. We have the persecuted and misunderstood noble race, the inherently evil rival (Weyoun's answer to Odo's question is perfect here), and the warm-hearted primitives who are promised an anachronism that only the story's audience can understand (apes would have no idea what a space empire is). It's really well done. I love every scrap of Dominion mythology we get. You know what's great about the Nog plot, despite it being flat out entertaining? That Nog is barely in it, and O'Brien keeps getting his forged signature thrown in his face. Whatever metaphysical force the Ferengi believe in, Nog and his trades are just like it: a force of nature! It turns out Ferengi myths are pretty neat too! Oh, and one last thing that I love. That runabout chase in the asteroid belt! I love when Trek treats space travel with the quirks it deserves. It's way better than the (admittedly budget saving) point A to B transit. What an inventive episode. This one slides into 4 star territory for being so damn creative on top of being fantastically written. Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 07:25:28 PDT $G Comment by Charles on VOY S3: Rise As often, I disagre with you Jammer. I really liked this episode, it was different, and you who are always asking for "character developement" / storyline, well you've got one here! The premise is almost irrelevant. the whole show is about the Tuvox-Neelix relationship and a "long due" elaboration on their rapport. I thought the outburst was really well acted and justified for the character, and really liked the final dialogue as well. I generally don't like Neelix, but in this episode the whole thing worked. I also liked the idea of aliens invading other worlds cleverly, not by force but by ruse... Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:52:58 PDT Charles Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Chrysalis So this poor girl breaks out of her shell and Bashir asks her to stay aboard crappy DS9? Let her go, man. Despite Sarina not understanding love, she still seems to socialize pretty well. That kills it for me entirely, and all so Bashir can have an uncreepy romance that still ends up uncomfortable. Another 40-minute romance that goes nowhere and affects nothing. 1 star. Maybe worse than either "Resurrection" or "Meridian". Comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:44:13 PDT $G Comment by Eric on TNG S6: Descent, Part I No mention of the idiotic moment when Jeordi has no idea how the subspace conduit works, and yet he is able to duplicate the tachyon pulse to activate it after just two tries and mumbling something about, "Okay, how about a low bandwidth pulse?" And VOOM! the conduit opens and the Enterprise can use it. All to keep the ridiculously contrived plot moving. Jeordi says that the subspace conduit is "100 times as efficient as our warp drive." You'd think that if it were that easy to open a conduit through subspace that could allow a ship to travel 65 light years in a few seconds, that Jeordi would take a couple notes and release a paper or something... You know, ditch that outdated warp drive crap. Of course, after this episode it is never mentioned again. Stupid. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:21:07 PDT Eric Comment by HolographicAndrew on VOY S4: Hope and Fear I liked this episode a lot and I'm not a fan of most of the season 4 Seven centric episodes. The villain was interesting and brought up some past events. Not exactly a groundbreaking episode but seemed solid to me. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:48:57 PDT HolographicAndrew Comment by Peremensoe on VOY S4: Scientific Method Hey GG. We're not exactly organized, round here. Jammer's just this guy, see, who reviewed Trek episodes, and these other folks drift by, and sometimes have ideas too. Who were you paying $19.95 to? Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:17:10 PDT Peremensoe Comment by Guru G on VOY S4: Scientific Method Wow. Reading this review in 2014 and shocked. Scientific Method is my favourite Voyager episode of the entire series. Script plot acting special effects - all top notch. So glad I stayed away from organised Star Trek fandom back in the day. I just paid my $19.95 each month and opined on the episodes myself. A much better way! Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 18:24:42 PDT Guru G Comment by Gordon D on TOS S2: Amok Time What spoils the end of this episode for me is that when Spock realises that Kirk is still alive, he gets a look of pure joy on his face. And just as he does, Shatner steps between him and the camera, so we don't see it properly! Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:15:58 PDT Gordon D Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: Parallax Well, that was a bit of a letdown. One episode in, and we're already doing the spatial anomaly of the week routine. I mean, we're in unknown space here. New life and new civilizations. You have a completely blank slate here, and can start to draw pictures of an entirely new Trek. Instead, we get another singularity, something that could have happened at any time and any place in TNG. Sure, these stories can exist in Voyager, but having it happen so soon in the series run is a bit unfortunate. So the spatial anomaly plot was ok, all things considered. I mean, it was basically routine blah blah blah caught danger technobabble solution drama victory. Same as we've seen dozens of time. Unfortunately, there were two major eye-rolling parts. 1) As soon as we saw a weird ship in the singularity, I immediately half thought it would be Voyager stuck in a stable time loop. Well, I was half right. How is it this can be some brilliant plot twist when it seems like the natural course of action for a Trek show? 2) Event horizons do not work that way! It's a mathematical line, not something tangible! Seriously, Trek should do one of two things: either make everything up as magic technobabble, or use real science. The worst part was when Kes started asking questions and Neelix started explaining everything, except, of course, everything he was saying was wrong. As for the character pieces, it was also ok. Frankly, the Torres part was pretty routine, and seemed about as standard as you can get. There was nothing bad about it (other than Torres and Janeway squeeing like little schoolgirls over warp particles). What was more interesting, to me, was Chakotay. He had to thread the needle here between keeping the peace and standing up for his old crew. Frankly, he was right and Janeway was wrong. Janeway was actually separating the Maquis and treating them as less than equals, whether she realized it or not. Chakotay could have let it go, recognizing that this was a Starfleet ship. And he could have tamped down the expectations of his old crew, all things considered. After all, they are guests on someone else's ship. But he stood up to the captain, risking further tension now in order to defuse longer tensions later. And he did it in a public manner, which may not have been the best option overall, but implicitly showed Janeway how serious the manner was. A rather high stakes game for him, but he pulled it off well. And in the end, he won, getting Torres posted as chief engineer. Given that I remembered Chakotay to be a lame character, this was nice to see. From what I understand, part of the problem of Chakotay's character was due to Beltran's animosity towards everyone involved with the show. So maybe that hasn't happened yet. In any case, it felt a lot more natural than the forced conflict and resolution of Torres' plot. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:11:06 PDT Skeptical Comment by Skeptical on VOY S1: Caretaker Not bad for a first episode. I remember being excited about it when it first appeared, being the first Trek show I saw from the beginning. I remember not being disappointed by it either. And while I currently have a bit of a jaundiced eye against this show for failing to live up to its promise, I thought it held up pretty well. Yes, the water scarcity among a warp capable species is absurd. But sci fi never really understood resources in space. And honestly, it isn't really that bad. Each Kazon sect traded with others; clearly the Ogla were a worthless sect that just happened to be stuck in this system mining the whatever mineral. And Neelix? Maybe his ship lost warp capability and he was stuck there. Of course, there's no reason the entire system was out of water, the Caretaker said they only screwed up the planet. So there might be comets and icy moons and stuff out there. But oh well. And then there's Janeway's controversial decision. There's no doubt it could have been better, but I appreciate what the episode was trying to do. Let's face it, Picard would have been willing to sacrifice the Enterprise to save another planet. The Enterprise C willingly went back into battle to try to save a Klingon outpost. So Janeway willing to strand her crew for the greater good is fine, and provides a bit more of a weighty reason for the series than the crew randomly being stuck over there for no reason (i.e., if the Caretaker just refused to let them go back). Yes, there are ways around it. Yes, a bomb may have worked. But then again, maybe the Kazon would have deactivated the bomb before it could go off. Or maybe they didn't have enough bombs to set it up. I don't know. So while they could have done a much better job of scripting Janeway's dilemma, I'm willing to let it go. Unfortunately, this poor scripting would show up all too often, but we wouldn't know that until later. I guess in retrospect, it was a warning. But like I said, for this episode I can deal with it. As for the rest of it? Some comments:: - Who's bright idea was it to start the series with a scrolling text screen followed by a small rebel ship being attacked by the giant imperial starship? Star Wars, anyone? - The beginning of this episode really, really dragged. There was too much dumping of information, and too much establishing character moments (which I suppose is kinda necessary, but still annoying). I mean, did we need to have a chat about bioneural gelpacks or whatever? Did we need to have a chat about calling Janeway sir or ma'am or captain or whatever? Frankly, I was bored until Voyager actually gets to the Delta Quadrant. - Fortunately, at this point things start up again. Watching the crew react to the disaster was great fun, and we got plenty of real character defining moments. First of all, I imagine this is Janeway's first command, and she's not too far removed from a more hands on job. She is clearly more comfortable taking a hands on approach, skipping the idea of overseeing everything and heading straight to Engineering. This might not be the smartest thing to do (given how bad the disaster was, one would presume she should be on the bridge), but it is a very clear contrast to Picard. We also see the Doctor at his sarcastic, standoffish best, absolutely stealing his scene in sickbay. We see Kim being pretty much useless, but that's to be expected for a very young officer. - And we see Tom being highly competent at everything. I'm not sure if this was intended. But Paris immediately starts walking around and taking charge of everything. He's basically acting like a professional, trained member of Starfleet. He's easily Janeway's right hand man now. Not Kim, not any other random Lt still on the bridge, but a criminal who's just an observer. Was this intentional? Was it planned? Was it intended to show that this is Paris' true character, and what he would have been had he not had that little accident and freaked out? That his bad guy routine was really just him projecting, as he doesn't feel he deserves to be rehabilitated? Maybe. I thought the whole "loner" bit was played up at first, but I think this part of Paris is for the best. He gets a second chance, and without even realizing it makes the best of it. He's a natural leader, even if he doesn't know it himself. - Meanwhile, a bunch of the junk on the array with the Southern Fried Weirdness was pretty boring. Worst part was when they came back a second time, and we had the clichéd "cryptic" conversation when the Caretaker was giving random lines while not responding to Janeway. It was obvious what he was talking about, but Janeway and company seemed confused. And I guess the medical bay was creepy, but it didn't seem to move the plot along. Really, the best parts of the show was on board Voyager; anywhere else and the show drags. - I didn't get the impression that there was much sympathy for the Caretaker. Janeway couldn't be judgmental with him too much, because she was still trying to convince him to send her home. Rule 1 of trying to get a favor from someone: don't piss them off. But yes, I agree that he wasn't all that sympathetic of a guy. - Why on earth did Janeway trust Neelix again after what he did on the surface? Admittedly, Neelix was actually pretty interesting in this episode, but yeah, he should have been thrown off the ship. - And for that matter, Kes and Neelix's relationship seemed a wee bit askew. Namely, we never see much in the way of affection from Kes, and constantly see Neelix try to reinforce their relationship. Again, I'm not sure if this was intentional or not. But it does give an interesting twist that we shall see if it comes up again. After all, Kes is technically only 2 years old and lived a very sheltered life. So Neelix could be seen as being very predatory here. - Is it just me, or did moving straight to ramming speed for the battle with the Kazon seem a bit excessive? It seemed like it was just there because the writers didn't want the Maquis ship around. I guess, at that point, the Maquis still thought that Janeway was going to send them all home, so losing their ship wasn't that big of a loss. Still, it seemed quick to be done. It also seems like no one cared that Chakotay just killed thousands of aliens in one shot. That's one way to turn an angry skirmish into an all out war. And nobody complained? But like I said, overall this episode had a good pace and did a good job introducing the characters. It's a good start; let's see how it goes. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:04:27 PDT Skeptical Comment by Illuin on TNG S5: The Inner Light If anyone needs proof of how great this episode is...... it's been 22 fucking years and it is still generating this level of emotion in people. Not to mention, it does not look remotely dated, even now..... over two decades later. Masterpiece.... not just for Star Trek, for ANY TV show, movie, theater, etc. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:39:54 PDT Illuin Comment by SlackerInc on The Matrix Reloaded So someone actually did like this. I technically can't pass judgement on the majority of the film, as this is one of the few movies I've walked out of--in this case after about 20 or 30 minutes. Just seemed risible, and until now, nothing I ever heard about it made me think I should go back to see if I missed anything. I still think though that the original movie had a perfect ending and there was no reason for sequels except as a cash grab. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 08:56:49 PDT SlackerInc Comment by SlackerInc on Star Trek: Insurrection I too want to cosign the "pissed off" comment from STD. Great rant, kudos. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 08:41:58 PDT SlackerInc Comment by Andrew on TNG S5: Conundrum The plot wasn't convincing ("MacDuff" should have tried a smaller ship without so many civilians and without such a weapons advantage) and some of the actors (especially Sirtis) at times felt tired but there was still a lot of fun, especially amnesic Data, conflicted Picard and the Riker/Ro romance. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 07:46:45 PDT Andrew Comment by Nic on VOY S7: Flesh and Blood I thought the issues presented were interesting, but only during the first hour. In the second hour, Iden’s actions become increasingly difficult to justify, and by the end he is so clearly wrong that the moral issue becomes moot. There may not be a clear-cut hero in this story, but there is a clear-cut villain. Kejal was probably the most interesting character among the holograms, but she did not get enough screen time. I’d give 3.5 stars to part I and 2.5 stars to part II. There is a hilarious goof during Voyager’s first battle with the Hirogen. The crew walks onto the bridge and Tuvok bursts out "Sheilds at 68%!" before he has even reached his station. It's like he's sensing it telepathically! :) Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 07:36:00 PDT Nic Comment by Capitalist on VOY S7: Imperfection Wow, lots of comments, but no props yet for the fx dudes and dudettes that worked on this episode? There are multiple scenes where an actor's head is opened up and an implant the size of a freakin' ROLL OF QUARTERS is either pulled out of it or inserted, all clearly visible in a single shot. That's AWESOME work. I like these emotional eps a lot; the whole cast was just spot on. Also, I don't know why the action scene bothers people. It was fun! PARIS: I need you on tactical! When they come back around, target their engine core. JANEWAY: Yes, SIR!! hehe I'm in the 3.5 to 4 star camp. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 07:31:53 PDT Capitalist Comment by Andrew on TNG S5: Ethics The episode was good but I would have liked some more involvement from Riker (for his conflict with Worf to have gotten a bit more intense and to have had at least some sort of follow-up after the procedure) and Picard (for us to have seen the at least one conversation he had with Worf). The episode is also hurt by that the series hadn't previously suggested much closeness between Worf and Riker, at least for some time, and had between Worf and Picard. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 07:29:51 PDT Andrew Comment by Shayne O on ENT S4: Bound I actually really like Enterprise a lot. I think the second half of the third season made for some of the best Trek since, the Dominion war. Tense, spiraling out of control, and with the whole world at stake. Season 4, its OKish, but this episode they really phoned it in. Captain scores the green chicks? Tick. Sexist essentialism. Tick. Women as property. Tick. Men as insatible slaves to desire. Tick. This might have been great fun if it was made two decades earlier. But in those two decades prior to this, popuar culture had started actually asking women how they feel and we learned that this is no way to treat women. I understand Orion slave women are part of Star Trek lore, but that could have been the plot point to a far more interesting episode about gender politics, objectification and the sex trade. Instead we got this. Honestly, it felt like cowardice from the writers, or more likely the cigar chomping studio execs demanding "MORE SAUCY". Bah. One star. Comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 02:57:13 PDT Shayne O Comment by Jerry on ENT S1: Cold Front Good God, the writing is atrocious. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:17:37 PDT Jerry Comment by Jack on VOY S2: Tuvix couldn't keep Tuvix and also Tuvok and Neelix, it's either A or B. Unless of course you doubled Tuvix first like Riker in Second Chances. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:12:35 PDT Jack Comment by todayshorse on TNG S1: Conspiracy Just seen this episode on the 'scyfy' channel here in the UK. They are currently running TNG from the start of season one and it's been interesting to see the episodes again for the first time in order for quite a while. Interestingly they cut out the head explosion scene which kinda disappointed me. Great episode though. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:06:07 PDT todayshorse Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Afterimage Cretak showing up in a couple more episodes would have been neat. In fact, it would have been a cool subplot to have her live on the station and eventually butt heads mid-season with her "hospital" stunt. It would have felt like more of a betrayal, too. That was my favourite storyline from the premiere episodes. I do agree that Jadzia should have been written off earlier in the show if a Trill storyline like this was in the cards (it clearly wasn't though). It would give us more time to get to know the replacement Trill. That said, I think having Jadzia getting re-assigned would have been a waste of the whole Trill concept. I don't think it's worth keeping Jadzia alive just for the sake of it only to have her just be a recurring character. They get some good stuff out of Ezri, IIRC. It's just that the writers felt the need to go overboard with it in terms of how many episodes she gets. One day I'll watch S7 and skip a couple of the mid-season Ezri shows. I have a feeling the season will hold together just as well *and* still have given Ezri enough development. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:55:05 PDT $G Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: Afterimage I'm actually not one who hated Ezri. I just feel that they introduced her too late. I think that in the end I'd would have preferred to see her get promoted to captain and sent away for all but guest appearances and Worf get his happy ending (especially given what happened with K'Ehleyr) than to have just offed her. I wouldn't have been opposed to seeing the reincarnating thing happen, but I think that they would have needed to introduce a new character in S4/S5 like VOY did in order for it not to be a bit too much. I think given the option I'd have liked to see Cretak and perhaps another female character be added as recurring characters to replace Dax (and of course have Jadzia recur) than to have done what they did at this point in the game. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:50:05 PDT Robert Comment by xaaos on TNG S3: Captain's Holiday Jack O, by vote goes for Ensign Robin Lefler and Kamala!!! :) Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:35:23 PDT xaaos Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Afterimage @Robert: I haven't gotten to the Ezri-heavy mid-S7 on my rewatch, but I seem to remember a bit too much of her as well. I didn't mean my last comment to come off that Ezri's story is perfectly integrated in the show. It's just that it works conceptually for me and, up this point, is one of the better character moves on DS9. The writers on this show have a tendency of being really clever but also surprisingly negligent (see also: "bad"). Odo's one of my favorite characters on the show and has a lot of great development over the series even though there are at least two enormous gaping missed opportunities that the writers seemingly just didn't feel like writing. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:04:07 PDT $G Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite @Skeptical: Thanks for that post. It saved me doing it. I'd have put Bashir in CF, but you make a good point about his reflexes making him a good middle infielder. Sisko and Kasidy should be 3B and 2B. Leeta at 1B, although Quark didn't look terrible so maybe him too. The OF from left to fight could be Kira, Ezri, and Worf. Nog and Jake make a good battery. Phew. Yeah I love baseball, so I love this episode. This episode is more fun on rewatch because there's no anxiety about will-they-have-enough-time-left-to-finish-the-story that contemporary fans sweated about. And yeah, "scotch" is legitimately one of the funniest lines from the whole series. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:49:47 PDT $G Comment by Robert on DS9 S7: Afterimage @$G - I think you sort of hit the nail on the head with "DS9 is kind of caught in limbo between week-to-week adventures and serialized narratives, so some of the writer's choices are always going to service one aspect of the show while being incompatible with the other." I would have had no problem narratively if the writers decided to kill Jadzia and then built the show around it that would be fine. As I mentioned about though, they rammed her down the show's throat for the final season because they didn't have enough time to "explore" the new character otherwise. If they wanted to play reincarnate the Trill they really should have planned for it (instead of been backed into a corner) and done it earlier. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:44:23 PDT Robert Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Afterimage I'm pretty shocked at the comments in here. I had no idea Ezri was so disliked. I suppose it depends on how people enjoy their TV narratives. Do they value the evolving narrative of the series or prefer the reliability of the characters they've grown accustomed to doing new things each week? DS9 is kind of caught in limbo between week-to-week adventures and serialized narratives, so some of the writer's choices are always going to service one aspect of the show while being incompatible with the other. But here's the thing: Ezri is the best thing to happen to Jadzia's story in the whole series. She was literally a character who would reincarnate after every life. How could the series *NOT* eventually utilize this element in its own narrative? A Trill character is pretty much designed to have this function. I realize the writers, still boxed in by Trek restrictions, were probably happy to keep the crew together for the whole series (despite that series being about war). After all, Jadzia's death was due to business rather than writing. But even though they were backed into the move, the writers did the right thing - more so that Ezri is almost an anti-Jadzia. For once the viewer gets to feel the same shock at the Trill-symbiont life cycle that we've been watching the characters go through the whole series. "Rejoined" and "Facets" were both great Trill episodes, but Ezri is the Trill story in Trek. One's enjoyment of this episode pretty much depends on how much one agrees with that, I think. If you object to Ezri in principle then you've already made up your mind. Anyway I agree with Jammer that "Afterimage" itself is pretty well handled as an episode and has a couple of stand out moments. It's predictable but still works well. 3 stars from me. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:05:15 PDT $G Comment by Yanks on VOY S4: The Gift navamske, Ocampans were proven to live much longer than 9 years (Cold Fire). But I agree, her "lifespan" shouldn't have been an issue kicking her off the series. It could have actually enhanced the character. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:47:42 PDT Yanks Comment by Eli on ENT S1: Fusion Great acting by Jolene Blalock in an absorbing episode. The episode contains fascinating, well constructed moments of amiguity. Also, there are a number of well acted scenes with Scott Bakula, who makes a marvelous captain. Further, I thought the Trip side story was a success. The ending was tough to swallow, but thought provoking. The writers did a very commendable job of portraying an important conflict within Vulcan society and culture. This show is yet another example why I'm a big fan of this series. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:57:02 PDT Eli Comment by Eli on ENT S1: Sleeping Dogs This is a very well done, moody atmospheric episode. Another reason why a big fan of this series. Comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:36:32 PDT Eli Comment by Jerry on ENT S1: Fortunate Son Here's the speech I would have liked to have heard from Archer to Travis: I get the whole cargo ship is a family thing. I get the whole Starfleet doesn't have jurisdiction thing. I even get the revenge against the Nausicans thing. If Ryan wants to go after the pirates, fine. But he tried to kill four innocent people, me included. I have a big problem with people who try to kill me and my crew, I'm funny that way. Don't tell me he knew the Enterprise would rescue us in plenty of time; he fired on us! He fired on my ship! That is unacceptable. I'm going after him, I'm going to throw him in the brig, then I'm going to make sure he's tried for attempted murder. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:45:21 PDT Jerry Comment by Caleb on DS9 S3: Prophet Motive Really hokey and lightweight, but I gotta say, I really enjoyed it - mostly for the scene with Quark and the Prophets. Silly, but it worked. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 18:50:23 PDT Caleb Comment by Norvo on ENT S2: Singularity A fun episode very reminiscent of DS9's Dramatis Personae, though one minor point of logic still irks me. Once T'Pol realizes the radiation from the singularity is to blame for the crew's behavior, she claims she can't merely turn the ship around because that'd mean they'd still be exposed to it for the 48 hours it took them to get there... Yet, she manages to "plot a course that will get us clear within 17 minutes"? How does that work? Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:52:35 PDT Norvo Comment by navamske on VOY S4: The Gift @Stefan "The Okampa live for 9 years. Kes could have remained for the entire series. This would have been a problem only if Voyager had a ninth season." In that eventuality they could have bumped her off in the seventh year and she would have been on the show for only seven of nine seasons. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:51:34 PDT navamske Comment by Henry on DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon Eric, I wouldn't try to make sense of the size of the holosuite or holodeck or why not more people would be addicted to living in them. It's less a problem here than in ones like the baseball episode, when it seems like you can really have as many people as you want in there, which would pose the question why they don't use it to give the occupants of the station as good a living condition as they might expect on their home planet. In any case, I enjoyed this episode and I like Vic, but I agree with those saying that It was Vic who had a bigger problem he had to think around. Let's just say that I wouldn't have minded if the Doctor from Voyager and Vic had an episode together down the line swapping notes and maybe music. It is a shame that Ezri wasn't the one who gets him talking about it as she seem to get how he thinks (dismissing him as 'just a hologram' instead.) I really liked Ezri in this too, a lot of nice pleasant characters that suits the theme. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:14:20 PDT Henry Comment by Grumpy on DS9 S2: Paradise Point of information, XS: Orellius Minor is in the Alpha Quadrant. However, it still seems sketchy that 1) there could be a lost human colony so close to Bajor, 2) that Sisko & O'Brien would be scouting for colony sites so close to Bajor, 3) that *Sisko and O'Brien* would be scouting for colony sites at all, rather than DS9's designated colony-scouting team or, I dunno, a flippin' starship, and 4) that any inhabitable planets near Bajor weren't colonized already. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:59:54 PDT Grumpy Comment by XS on DS9 S2: Paradise Long time fan but watching this episode for the first time. What I didn't get was - the wormhole was discovered about 2 years before this episode (2369) and prior to that the bajoran sector was subjugated by the cardassian union for 60 years. So how did this ship end up in the gamma quadrant in 2360? In emmissary dax and sisko have a discussion about edron being 67 years from bajor at maximum warp. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:48:47 PDT XS Comment by Yanks on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home "Star Trek is fun again" .... ... if I remember the reviews of the time period correctly ... Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:50:22 PDT Yanks Comment by NCC-1701-Z on ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay *gets in starship* *slingshots around the sun* *erases this episode from history* *slingshots back around sun* Enough said. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:07:16 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols @DavidK (from a year and a half ago, damn this linear existence): That's a neat explanation, and one that might even make sense. I actually really like the idea of the Prophets meddling with timelines for their own benefit after learning what time is. But here are my questions: Do they want to ensure Sisko has a connection with them? Are the qualities of the WAs passed on genetically? Is this why, in "Accession", Sisko is suddenly cryptically told he is "of Bajor", because the Prophets had gone back and altered his existence? Is this why the events of "Rapture" take place? What's neat about this is that Sisko's visions in "Rapture" aren't Bajor-centric. Remember, Sisko sees the *universe* but still makes the choice to seek out Bajor's role and use that information for the benefit of the Bajorans. On the other hand, this is all just fan interpretation, reasonable though it may be. "Shadows and Symbols" doesn't address it - it just drops the plot twist on us, which raises questions without answering them. This is the bad kind of ambiguity. It changes our understanding of a character's purpose in the story very suddenly, but since there's no groundwork to base the twist on all our hands go up at the end of class as the teacher is already out the door. The episode in general is well put together but with some flaws. The Siskos + Ezri in the desert is good. Kira's story is strong. Worf's motivation is pretty good, even if the events on the Rotarran aren't. Sisko saving the wormhole is okay, but it all seems... disconnected a bit. Opening the orb on Tyree to save the wormhole at Bajor is neat conceptually but a little too random for my liking. Kira's storyline is good - so interesting, in fact, that I wish it had its own episode. Kira in charge of DS9 would have made for some great stories. The shot of the Romulans converging on the Bajoran moon is great. The main flaw built into the episode is Quark. He ruins every scene he's in and nearly wrecks any intrigue in the Klingon op. Martok is a welcome voice of Klingon reason, at least. At least the effects that close out this plot are great. I really love that shot of the in-construction Cardassian warship being annihilated by the solar flare. Ezri is okay. She doesn't hurt the episode but I think her inclusion might be one element too many. It still works, though. I mention it here because it sets up a really, really great moment right at the end when Worf straight up walks away when he sees her. After all his existential strife over getting Jadzia into Sto'vo'kor, here she is, reincarnated, in this elfish little ensign. A great little moment that grows naturally out of so many competing existential beliefs. One thing I want to say is that, while this episode itself completely great, this series knows how to do epic and has really brought the Trek universe to life. Think of it, this is an episode that takes place on Earth, Tyree, Cardassia, in orbit of a Bajoran moon, and on a Klingon bird of prey sneaking through a Dominion shipyard. It even has time for a few Benny Russell scenes (which are, as Elliott mentioned above, one of the coolest metaphysical elements on the show). I came here to write a pretty negative review of this episode and slap a 2-1/2 rating on it, but... honestly? My comment isn't all that negative, is it? (It's pretty long, though...) And now that I've written my thoughts out, I find that "Shadows and Symbols" is secretly pretty good. I'm still skeptical about the Sisko birth twist, but this episode is far from being *just* about that. I don't know - this is a pretty good episode, guys, and a solid enough closer to this three-part arc. 3 stars. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:51:16 PDT $G Comment by Thelia on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home This is absolutely, 100%, by far the best Trek movie of all time!! When Scotty says "Captain there be whales here!" it absolutely makes me grin every time. And who doesn't grin every time Spock says "They are not the hell your whales." No doubt about it best EVER! Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:04:54 PDT Thelia Comment by $G on DS9 S5: The Begotten @Spindles I'd say the writers chickened out too. But the options aren't between changing Odo back here or never changing him back at all. It's all straight up magic anyway (which I'm fine with), so why not just have him change back later in the series and do more episodes featuring Odo's fragility? "A Simple Investigation" would have been perfect for a solid Odo. The most they really did with fragile Odo was his initial angst in "Apocalypse Rising" and him being injured in "The Ascent". It just makes one wonder about the writers room. At times they seem to just switch gears on stories without mining their scenarios for all they're worth. I'm not sure if it's because there was studio meddling, or they didn't know how else to treat the story, or they just got interested in following another character thread, or something else entirely. Plot twists need to be earned. Odo is still a great character, but him getting his abilities back so unexpectedly like this is the first of two huge missed opportunities with his character on the series. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:09:10 PDT $G Comment by James on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier A better film than Nemesis and Into Darkness. It also has more personality than The Motion Picture and probably all the TNG films, although not as good technically or in terms of story. I think the spiritual focus should be given more credit than people give it. It's not about the destination and whether God is there at the end. The movie does, at times, get you thinking, in a very muddled way. It's decent sci-fi. But in the end it's too muddled. I liked the idea that the barrier was something which only belief can penetrate - but did they really intend that? After all it's not God. Why did Sybok get through and no one else? In the end, it was far too ambitious for its own good. Maybe Kubrick directing with Arthur C Clarke writing could have pulled it off. I'm still glad the film exists. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:00:55 PDT James Comment by Thelia on TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday Well RedShirt I believe the story was exactly what the review said it was... The impact one random individual can have on the world and the future. Or if you would prefer the ramifications of seemingly unimportant moments... Maybe by beaming that particular pilot aboard he took the hope and awe he saw in the future back home with him and gave his son a belief and not a dream. Or maybe it was just "beam a pilot aboard,beam him back and go back to the future. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:53:20 PDT Thelia Comment by Thelia on TOS S1: The Squire of Gothos I have to point out that ya'll are saying that Trelane "had the mind of a child'and was "acting like a spoiled little brat",when in fact,Trelane WAS a child. His parents showed up and apologized for their child's selfish and immature behavior and even went so far as to assure Kirk that he would be punished for his bad behavior. The female parental figure even takes some of the blame saying they "spoiled" him. I think this justifies the characters' behavior completely. He acted like a child because he was a child. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:29:08 PDT Thelia Comment by James on Star Trek: Nemesis In my opinion this film doesn't deserve an equal score to Generations, and it's also slightly worse than Insurrection. I wish it didn't exist actually. It leaves me with a bad taste of the TNG crew far worse than The Final Frontier did with the TOS crew. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:00:30 PDT James Comment by Thelia on TOS S1: What Are Little Girls Made Of? I would just like to point out that as a Vulcan Spock was NOT devoid of emotion. He used logic and Vulcan techniques taught to him as a child to CONTROL his emotions. And that was true for full blooded Vulcans as well. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 04:29:31 PDT Thelia Comment by Spindles on DS9 S5: The Begotten It does seem like the writers sort of chickened out at the prospect of keeping Odo a solid for the duration of the show. But seriously, who wants to see Odo live out the rest of series as a solid? It seems to me that the more interesting possibilities exist in Odo remaining a shape-shifter in light of what's coming down the road. As much as the twist end was a little suspect, I found the fact that the changelings turned Odo into a being with working organs, bones, nerves and skin the ridiculous plot point. What are the changelings, magic? Sentient shape-shifting beings are already stretching credulity for a science fiction show. Lovely episode though. Comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 01:13:03 PDT Spindles Comment by William on TNG S1: The Naked Now I think if they were determined to give a nod this early to TOS, a better episode would have been a follow-up to "The Doomsday Machine" or "The Immunity Syndrome." Either would have kept them off a planet and put the crew into an intense situation similar to -- but not exactly like -- what TOS crew faced. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:38:25 PDT William Comment by $G on DS9 S7: Image in the Sand This is a pretty solid continuation of several major plot points. Like "Tears of the Prophets" this episode balances a LOT of stuff and still comes out well paced. The producers should get credit for that. Jammer's observation that this is more of a launching pad episode than a ratings-grabbing premier is correct. My thoughts: -The Damar and Weyoun bickering is particularly well done, especially centring on Damar's love of the bottle (which is arguably the lynchpin that resulted in the Dominion losing DS9 back in S6). It's simple, but a nice continuation of the uneasy alliance they have going. Weyoun's threat that “too much imagination can be dangerous” is yet another line that characterizes Weyoun as an accommodating but wary diplomat. He's probably had more than his share of experiences getting involved in the political maneuverings of races who think they're smarter than the Dominion while simultaneously depending on them. The story of Cardassia is, frankly, one of DS9's crowning moments. They do have ONE line that makes me cringe, though – the “debt of gratitude” they owe to Dukat closing the wormhole and how it shifted the momentum of the war. Damar I can KIND of buy making such a leap. He DID seem to admire Dukat (though that admiration sometimes came off to me as pure sycophancy) but it seems so out of character for Weyoun to be this willing to buy into that notion of causality. -Worf, O'Brien, Bashir all get some good moments. The scene in Worf's quarters is nice. It's odd, though, that Worf has nothing to say about Dukat considering the circumstances of Jadzia's death seem to be common knowledge. I imagine it was a difficult sell to the studio to have a main character actively plotting a murder (regardless of the victim being a villain), but... it seems more like a missed opportunity. I do like what's here but it's a shame it doesn't fill out its potential. Martok's inclusion fits in well, too, and I like that the episode spares us his obvious conversation with Bashir about Stovokor. Maybe it's just me, but it's the clever little omissions like this that make the series feel alive – like the characters exist and interact outside of the confines of the screen. -I think Kira and the Romulans is actually a strong story. It's good to see Kira kick ass again and in a leadership position as well. I wouldn't have minded more episodes with Kira in charge of DS9. She's nearly always great. -I enjoyed Sisko being back on Earth. It gives the show a lot of scope just by breaking out of the confines of the station. Brooks plays a lot of his scenes well. It's always just NICE to see him interact with Jake, laughing and teasing. One scene I particular like is when Joseph confesses his mistake about hiding Sarah from his son. Ben tells his dad that “yes, you made a mistake” and gets up from the table. The scene doesn't end there, while I feel like most programs would have left it at that. The scene continues with some exposition, but I like that the rift isn't just smoothed over. Obviously we don't need any prolonged drama over this (which, frankly, I wouldn't buy anyway since the Siskos are actually heartwarmingly close) but I like that it isn't smoothed over. Ben getting knifed by that Bajoran is actually a pretty shocking scene, although that tension kind of fizzles once he comes home completely healed because of futuristic medicine. - I'm... not really big on the plot twist Joe drops, though. It's the kind of thing that people (rightly) dislike because it comes straight out of nowhere and doesn't need to, like the producers are suddenly decided to tell a new story when what we're already getting is more than good enough. There's more to be said, but most of it doesn't actually take place until the next episode. -No more Vic please. He's an indulgent waste of time on the part of (from what I've read) Ira Steven Behr. I'm not usually one who re-writes a scene to his own taste, but there's no reason we had to sit through a Vic song so Worf could have an outburst. He could have done that sitting in Quark's among people playing tongo and coming in and out of King Arthur holoprograms – you know, things we've actually seen Jadzia enjoy. If the song was a definable thing that we'd associate with Jadzia, it might work. But it isn't. The whole thing just strikes me as a contrived situation when something so much simpler and relatable would have worked just as well if not better. That said, this episode still balances FOUR separate plot threads and treats them all with the beats they deserve. I'm not down with the implications of the major Sisko plot twist yet, but this is still a surprisingly well executed stepping-stone episode. 3 stars. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:22:26 PDT $G Comment by Jay on VOY S1: Emanations Paris took them 0.6 ly from the ring system in what apparently just less than a minute. At that speed, they should have been able to travel 70,000 light years in about 12 weeks... Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:04:12 PDT Jay Comment by William on TNG S1: The Naked Now Oh, they clearly didn't know what they were capable of yet. This was "Next Generation," but didn't believe it yet. This was a TOS show made in the '80s, that's all. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:18:36 PDT William Comment by lizzzi on ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap Jack, thanks for the link. I think they were a little hard on themselves, although there's no denying that Enterprise was a flawed series. I've gone on to read three more of the Enterprise paperbacks--The Kobayashi Maru, and the Romulan War books Beneath the Raptor's Wing and To Brave the Storm. Without giving away any spoilers, I'll just say that Trip and T'Pol's story ends up being treated realistically and with respect. I feel a sense of closure to their storyline--or enough for me, anyway--and am left with positive feelings about it. The authors of the four Enterprise paperbacks I've read just seemed to have so much more overall respect for their characters and their stories than the writers of the TV series did. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:50:32 PDT lizzzi Comment by Nick on DS9 S6: Valiant Star trek tackles the issue of child soldiers. Was it a success? I'd say no. The plot was entirely predictable. The 'child' soldiers on the ship were overly smart brainwashed automatons who were obviously doomed. Imagine the fallout in the Federation if it was discovered children were being used as cannon fodder behind enemy lines? Yes, I realize DS9 (and this season 6) did its best to show how depraved and fallen the Federation had become, sacrificing its once prized ideals to battle an even worse enemy. I get it...but that doesn't the exercise good entertainment. That the Valient serendipitously blows up at the end is as good a deus ex machina than any prophet 'worm hole' could conjure up. Blowing up the ship also neatly avoids any and all moralizing or deeper implications for what just occurred. Overall, weak Trek on all counts. --- as a contrast, compare STOS episode, Miri - wherein nearly feral children commit horrible bloody murder, but face the consequences of their actions, while also maintaining their humanity. This DS9 episode has no such payoff. 2 stars. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:50:05 PDT Nick Comment by Nick on DS9 S6: Profit and Lace You know that episode of Voyager where Janeway and Paris hyper-evolve into space salamanders and mate? Yea.... that one was Emmy material compared to this drek. I admit, I couldn't bring myself to watch more than five minutes of it. If we're lucky, this episode in the DS9 cannon will spontaneously blink out of existence. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:39:17 PDT Nick Comment by Nick on DS9 S6: Time's Orphan As others have noted, I must agree, a weak episode, with few redeeming qualities. One aspect which I don't think has been touched on was the consistent undercurrent of anti-psychiatry (was this episode written by a scientologist?). Miles was terrified of sending feral child Molly off for federation treatment...what, they don't have humane, state of the art facilities in the 24th century? It is bizarre and inconsistent of what we know of Federation standards and practices. At least a whacky episode like Spocks brain, or the classic All Our Yesterday's were ENTERTAINING - including witty banter given the extreme ridiculousness of the situation. I shall shake my head in disbelief and go watch a few Voyager episodes for contemplation... Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:30:32 PDT Nick Comment by Pluto-Nash on DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless They couldn't have returned the blade because they realized doing so would've defeated their original purpose. The blade didn't need to be cursed- the clout it promised alone was curse enough, and someone who doesn't believe that kind of power can sour good intentions real quick is either very innocent or very naive(spelling?). All that aside a good show, I especially liked Quark's amuzing perspective on 'Klingon' stories. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:09:49 PDT Pluto-Nash Comment by Jerry on ENT S1: The Andorian Incident I'm TRYING to watch ENT, but the writing is so bad... "A firefight? In close quarters?" No, you stupid witch! The monks take cover, out of the way, and the instant the Andorians open the door, they're hit with phasers on stun! The writers assume that viewers are as stupid as they are, and won't/can't think of any other tactic/alternative. It's as if no one ever held a hand up in staff meetings and asked any questions. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:06:11 PDT Jerry Comment by Josh on TNG S7: Homeward I don't disagree much with the review or most of the comments above. It is a bit funny to see Penny Johnson here pre-Kasidy Yates and Brian Markinson before his appearances on Voyager and, of course, as Dr Geiger in DS9's "In the Cards". I'd say "Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy" well describes the decisions of Picard and other Prime Directive dogma adherents. Having said all that, I did like Paul Sorvino as Nikolai. It's too bad we didn't see him previously. (I have to say that Nikolai's lavender turtleneck and fuzzy purple tailed jacket make for pretty bizarre fashion, even for this show.) Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:21:52 PDT Josh Comment by Yanks on ENT S1: Civilization I'm not sure why anyone would require more of Archer throughout the series. They treat him like he is part of an organization that's been around for 100 years... they seem to forget he's the 1st one out here. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:48:50 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay I'll get around to reviewing this someday. But really? You'd think that this episode removed the need for star ships... Just the simple fact that this episode has a dog in it means it is better that 10 other crap ST episodes. :-) Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:41:51 PDT Yanks Comment by Vyse on ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay Worst.Episode.Ever. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:26:09 PDT Vyse Comment by James on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Didn't it strike anyone as a little bit trigger-happy to land a cloaked ship in San Francisco's central park? Did they think it was impossible to see the lowered grass or walk into it? Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 05:25:50 PDT James Comment by James on Star Trek: Generations I think this is actually my favorite TNG film. I won't say it's better than First Contact, but the time I saw it was when I was at my peak of affection for TNG and seeing the actors on the big screen was wonderful. I don't care one bit about the plot holes everyone talks about. Comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 05:23:52 PDT James Comment by $G on DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets Okay, I realize I should re-post (see: above) and say some good things about "Tears" if I'm going to claim its good when so many disagree. This is a two-part episode that is condensed into 45 minutes and *works*. That is, it doesn't feel rushed in the slightest. Keep in mind, this is *including* a scene in which Vic croons to Bashir and Quark. Here are the plots and character arcs this episode addresses: -The Feds and Klingons convincing the Romulans to attack Cardassian space. -The battle itself, with some of the cooler battle moments in the show, starring the Jem'Hadar suiciding into the Klingon fleet and Galaxy class starships being taken out by the Cardassian turret drones. -The Prophets, whose warnings are as self-serving as they've always been. They believe Sisko could have stopped Dukat, but he understandably leaves to lead the attack. -Dukat, returning to Cardassia and convincing Damar and Weyoun to let him use a pah wraith to re-open the wormhole. -Dax gets a few last scenes with some of her friends, played as just another day in the life of the station. -Kira and Odo get a couple of lovers' quarrels scenes together. These aren't really necessary, but I suppose it's nice to see Odo learning how to have a relationship. -Ross chewing out Sisko for being a fence sitter Jenner actually plays this scene really well. Watch him, while Sisko explains himself, trying to keep his cool even though he's clearly had enough. -Several strong Weyoun and Damar scenes. The stand out is the "Founders *ARE* gods" moment, but I also really enjoyed Weyoun straight up saying the Cardassians are a disappointment as an ally. I enjoy Weyoun's agitation with a campaign that should probably be going better than it is. Dukat was tough to rein in, and if the defector in "Change of Heart" and Garak's contacts from "In the Pale Moonlight" are any indication, the Cardassians are a poor business partner for the Dominion. Jammer's complained that the Dukat-Weyoun dynamic didn't have enough breathing room, but I think that dynamic transitions gracefully into the cracks we're seeing now. -The last 6 or 7 minutes of the show include Dax's farewell, Sisko talking to Dax's casket, Sisko saying goodbye to his crew in Ops, Kira and Odo talking in Sisko's office, and finally Sisko back in New Orleans. It's actually a really strong sequence, regardless of whether or not you approve of how Dax was killed. It's actually incredible that all of what I mentioned above is featured in a single episode and doesn't feel rushed. I do wish we could have gotten more here as a 2-part season finale, but I still think it satisfyingly closes the book on S6 while opening the doors for S7. The criticisms I made in the above post are still legit (and so are a lot of the criticisms in this thread) but I think this episode really has a lot going for it even with its problematic aspects. Comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 23:32:28 PDT $G Comment by $G on DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets I think Jammer's review reflects my feelings on this pretty well. I think this is a good episode, but not as impactful or suspenseful as it wants to be ("Sacrifice of Angels" did this type of game-changing climax much better for a lot of reasons). I have a few issues with this episode: 1: The pah wraiths vs. the wormhole. It's troublesome because it's now bringing the camp of "The Reckoning" to things that, well, actually matter. It's concerning, but the real problem is that the wormhole being closed isn't as much of a gut punch as it thinks it is. It doesn't even seem to be clear that that's what Dukat intended. It feels like a really obtrusive non sequitur in an episode that has so much more going on. Weyoun and Damar's reactions are pretty right-on: what does this have to do with *ANYTHING* right now? Don't get me wrong - the wormhole closing is a strong plot point for the series, but it's not conveyed with as much gravity as it probably should have been. 2: Dax's death. It... works? Kind of, I guess. The problem is not that it doesn't work; it's that it could have been so much more affecting. I can't really think of a good reason why she couldn't go down on the Defiant in the heat of battle. That would, a) make the battle a lot more intense, and, b) add even more weight to the mounting casualties of war our characters are dealing with. I'm not talking about a blaze of glory, but something that the audience understands as death: war, battle, casualties, loyalties, anything like that. Not fire-zapped by the space devil. 3) Dukat forgiving Damar is just way too easy. One could construe this as the typical Dukat manipulation, but this is a case of a character's worth falling short of the series' length. We've already seen Dukat rise, fall, rise again, and the be defeated. He's only still around because the SHOW is still around, and Alaimo is one of the best performers. But a story shouldn't have to FIND things for characters to do. Their value should be self-evident to the tale. Once their value is up, they need to get off at the next stop. At least Alaimo is good. A good performance can sell some terrible writing - hell, just look at BSG's third season finale. All this said, this is still a good hour. I know, I sound like I'm all over the place, but "Tears" is still a reasonably executed finale that juggles a lot of plot elements and pays off with Sisko finally having enough (the seeds of which were becoming obvious way back in "Far Beyond the Stars"). "Tears" just doesn't hit with the impact it should, and I think that's where a lot of people including me take issue with it. 3 stars. Good, but we criticize because we love. Comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:46:02 PDT $G Comment by HolographicAndrew on VOY S4: One Entertaining episode but it kinda highlights my issue with season 4. So far in my own rewatch I preferred the episodes before Seven came aboard. I think if this was an episode in season 1-3 it would have been better. The whole, 'Seven is unique and can do x, y, and z' thing gets really tired. Like Jammer's review said the writers could have done this episode with any of the characters, but everything is so Seven centric this season. Comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:10:22 PDT HolographicAndrew