Comments on Jammer's Reviews RSS feed for comments posted on Jammer's Reviews en-us Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:09:55 PDT Comment by pauls on VOY S5: Timeless I guess I missed something... If they can send a message (even a video message!) back in time, why couldn't he just tell them to not even try the slip stream drive in the first place? This is my problem with a lot of lazy time travel stories. Why go back to a point in time just before an major event? Why not much earlier? Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:09:55 PDT pauls Comment by Sean on VOY S7: Inside Man "As far as the Voyager-characters-as-saps paradigm goes, the last scene aboard Voyager is perhaps the show's most telling, in which Tom and B'Elanna pull Harry's leg with a far-fetched premise that promises another way home. And there he is, Harry Kim, still, after all these years and the immediately preceding events of "Inside Man," playing the part of the hapless chump — just as gullible and naive as he was when this series premiered nearly six years ago. Is this supposed to be a funny joke on the character? If we buy into it, I'm thinking the joke is on us." Yeah, this one scene really does tell it all doesn't it? The Voyager characters and the show itself are just caricatures. They're not real people who change. The episodes are not things that really happen. It's just one caricature after another. It's what really disappoints me about the show. No character development, no attempt at telling a decent story, no real attempt at being a Star Trek show and living up the massive legacy left behind by TNG and DS9. It should have been good and it settled for less. It chose mediocrity when you knew that it had so much more potential. It had the premise, it had the writers, it had the concept. It should have been good, by all rights. But it settled. Played for the cheap seats. It's such a disappointment. A waste of seven seasons of Trek. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 01:15:42 PDT Sean Comment by Sean on VOY S7: Inside Man "(No one on board Voyager, by the way, will survive the radiation when traveling through this anomaly, which makes me wonder if even Ferengi would resort to murdering 150 people to score a quick buck.)" I get the impression from DS9 that the answer to that question is no. Unless they're an arms dealer or some other shady business like that. For the most part, Ferengi like people to be alive so they can make deals. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 01:05:40 PDT Sean Comment by Elliott on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 @Sean: as I said before, the issue I take is with the psychological endurance in this extreme circumstance. We have every indication that the Dominion War is more of a drain on Starfleet's resources than either the Klingon or Cardassian Wars. The whole premise of this episode relies on the idea that Starfleet is at unprecedented levels of desperation (thus why replacement personnel had not arrived in so long). Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:50:45 PDT Elliott Comment by Sean on VOY S7: Inside Man Oh ok. Good to know. I thought they were just pulling the "hologram isn't going to last long in the transmitter" thing out of their ass just for this episode. Well it's not a good episode, just that one comment rubbed me the wrong way. Since, you know, Picard's assimilation is one of the main story points of all of Star Trek. Also, it might be just me, but the Pathfinder cast seems like they'd make for a more interesting show then Voyager. Or at least a more interesting focus of the show then Voyager's main cast. They seem promising, if the show used them more. They're definitely the high point of every episode they're in. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:48:34 PDT Sean Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit @Robert: Sisko could have prevented Tosk from escaping. Miles told him he expected to be stopped but had to try anyway. Therefore, Sisko not only condoned, but actively assisted in the escape. He was rather clear in his disapproval of the Hunt, Prime Directive aside, so if he wanted to support Miles and Tosk, more power to him. But to hide behind telling Odo to just try and catch him really slowly is a childish move and a cowardly choice, trying to have it both ways where isn't "technically" culpable for his actions. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:46:42 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit @Yanks : "Did Picard go through "First Contact procedures" with Data's pen pal? No." Of course not. Her civilisation was pre-warp and her memory was wiped anyway. Regarding Sisko, I don't begrudge him having Miles greet him at the door without a full colours band contingent, but he could have at least introduced himself in the days Tosk was on board the station before the Tron arrived. It's actually quite a minor point, but it makes Sisko look ridiculous meeting a race for the first time behind bars when the alien had been on his station for quite a while. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:42:45 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on VOY S7: Inside Man Also re: your previous comment: Doc was warned that his programme might be irretrievable by Janeway and that his going would be a great risk in "Message in a Bottle." In "Life Line," Doc is indeed pulled out of the buffer immediately on both ends. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:39:03 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on VOY S7: Inside Man @Sean : To be fair, Picard was Borg for like a day, not his entire life. This episode is, however, one of the low points of the season, so I wouldn't expend much energy defending it. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:36:41 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers @ Sean : If you consider human psychological evolution to increase in speed as much as the technological evolution the Trek-verse asks you to believe, it's not so difficult to conceive. Think about how much weaker religion's hold on us is now compared to 400 years ago. With the disappearance of money and corporate political institutions, religion serves to purpose in the Federation. I'm certain that people are still spiritual (there is evidence of this), but organised religion is anathema to the kind of civilisation we see. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:34:05 PDT Elliott Comment by Sean on VOY S7: Inside Man Ten minutes in and I'm pissed off again. Holo-Barclay says that everyone's looking forward to seeing Seven because she was Borg. Despite the odds she was able to re-claim her humanity. No one's every done that before. -_- Did this show seriously just forget about Picard? The Best of Both Worlds? Wolf 359? One of the best and most exciting stories of Star Trek ever? Was the beginning of DS9? None of this ringing a bell to any of you idiots writing this horrible excuse for a Star Trek show? No? Ok... moving on. >_> Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:21:34 PDT Sean Comment by Sean on TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers I have a hard time accepting the premise that religion wouldn't exist at all in the Star Trek future. If anything, religion is notorious for its lack of ability to change. Knowing that there are alien races out there wouldn't stop religion from existing. Being able to explore the galaxy wouldn't stop it. WW3 wouldn't stop it. A nuclear war might even make MORE people religious. I just can't see a point where religion just sort of stops existing. All of it, worldwide. It doesn't make sense. Indeed, you'd probably see aliens adopting human religion and vice versa. It just doesn't go away as easily as Trek wants it to. It never historically has. No matter how non-religious the population tends to be, religion is still there and pops back up again and again. Comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:13:33 PDT Sean Comment by Sean on VOY S7: Inside Man Ok. Stop. Stop everything. I'm about a minute and a half in and I'm already pissed off. Harry "Can't Get a Lock Kim" says that the "transceiver wasn't designed to hold photonic data, we've got to get it out of there before it degrades." Just shoot me already. So you're telling me that when you sent the Doctor to Zimmerman and when he was sent back to Voyager, the transceiver was not designed to hold his program and so they had to pull him out quicly before he degraded? Did he know he was going to be facing such danger? I mean they treat him like a regular sentient being, so he should probably be aware of something that could potentially kill him. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:43:22 PDT Sean Comment by TMB on Star Trek: Nemesis As said by many others, this movie killed Trek for two major reasons (and a couple minor ones): 1. The scripts for Insurrection and Nemesis were no better than a regular episode and couldn't carry the weight of a feature film. They were boring and winning no new fans. "Mustachioed Villain with BS motivations a doomsday weapon and a countdown part n" would have been a good working title. 2. Everything about this plot was a big middle finger to the loyal fans they had left. Every five minutes was a major break in years of continuity built between TNG, DS9, and even parts of the previous couple movies. I wasn't expecting the movie to cater to fanboys, but it was like the writers never watched a single episode of Star Trek before making the movie. As a fan of Trek I spent more time scratching my head than watching the movie the first time around. 3. The TNG movies could have been called "Picard and Data parts I-IV." Every single plot was about them and only them. The rest of the cast combined probably didn't equal their screen time. 4. The TNG series ended on a fairly high note, but they were running out of ideas and laid the groundwork for DS9 and Voyager. The movies had nothing to offer except show us how the TNG cast was aging before our eyes. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:03:12 PDT TMB Comment by Kahryl on TNG S3: The Survivors WHY did Picard not get this guy's phone number?? Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:54:04 PDT Kahryl Comment by Robert on DS9 S4: Accession I guess I just mean that Kirk didn't seem to have been in there 100 years and that a piece of Guinan still seemed to be connected to it. I don't mean that it's entirely un-linear, it just didn't feel as linear as our reality. Certain things about that realm seem to work like the prophet's realm. It's probably over complicating it though to compare 2 things we don't understand with each other. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:39:55 PDT Robert Comment by Yanks on DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit Elliot, I agree with a lot of what you post but I don't agree at all WRT your take on "First Contact procedures" here. "DAX: I think we might want to skip formal first contact procedures for now. SISKO: Agreed. Why don't you meet him by yourself at the airlock, Mister O'Brien. He might find that a little less intimidating. O'BRIEN: Aye, sir. SISKO: And, if you can, find out what he's so nervous about. O'BRIEN: Aye, sir." Sisko made a judgement call based on his observations. He had no idea a group of soldiers was hunting him. Letting him stay with Obrien was reasonable. It's not like Obrien was all alone. Odo & company were just a chest tap away. Did Picard go through "First Contact procedures" with Data's pen pal? No. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:45:13 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Accession @ Robert. Good points all. I like that take on the orbs. I don't know that the Nexus compairison is the right one though. Linear time was never an issue with it. One exited when one wanted to, not when the Nexus said to. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:24:14 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Hard Time Very good episode, although I don't give it a 4.0 for a couple reasons. #1. This episode assumes that Sisko, Kira, Odo, Star Fleet and the Federation just sit back and accept that Obrien committed these crimes. I know the episode say the Argrathi convicted, sentenced and administered punishment before anyone could do anything, but Kira was there – you telling me she wouldn’t do anything? The punishment only took a "few hours". So either Kira was there with him and didn’t put up a fight, or they were close enough to get her there quickly and if that’s the case why didn’t they go? eeesh.... Are these folks a member of the Federation, are the in the GQ? Wow, Picard didn't even do that when Wesley broke stupid laws on that planet (whatever the name of it was). He respected their process until it led to Wesley being put to death, and then he said enough is enough. It was convenient for this episode, but damn.... on your own I guess, right O'Brien? #2. 20 years? NO ONE makes it that long under the conditions Obrien was subject to. That's the equivalent of getting thrown in solitary confinement. No food for weeks? No bathrooms? Not even a cot? The sentence was 15 cycles, why did he do 20? #3. Was Ee'Char, played wonderfully by Craig Wasson, put in there by the Argrathi to help O'Brien get through the punishment? ... or was he too being punished and this mind gizmo linked the two together? #4. I understand (I think) why the writers chose Bashir (O’Brien’s best friend) but I thought his little pep talk at the end was not delivered very well and therefore not very moving. It should have been given by Keiko. I think she would have had a much more emotional impact, and it was O'Bien's emotions that were getting the best of him. Hell, if I were Bashir, I would have tackled him. #5. Obrien said: “mankind had out grown hate and rage” …. Really? How can he believe that? I guess he should have told Picard that while fighting the Borg in First Contact, or Janeway while pursuing the Equinox, or Sisko when he gasses planets to make them uninhabitable for the Maquis… strive for it, have improved as a race controlling them, but how could anyone believe it is a reality? I don’t see this as a “reset button” episode. What was eating away at O’Brien was the fact he killed his cell mate/friend, not that he had been cooped up for 20 years. Once he acknowledged that, I don’t see the “road to recovery” taking that long for Miles. I also don’t see the need for pills that prohibit hallucinations either. When we saw Ee'Char acknowledging Obrien and leaving at the end, I think it was clear to Obrien that he wouldn’t be seeing/needing him again. Ee'Char was helping Obrien, just like he had in the cell. While Colm’s performance was a good one, there are too many “WTF’s” to give this one a 4.0. Bashir not being able to wipe just those memories away I don’t think is one of them BTW. 3 stars for me. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:18:29 PDT Yanks Comment by Admiral Crunch on DS9 S2: Necessary Evil "Can someone tell me what Odo was doing on the station before he helped dukat in this episode? He just a decided to leave bajor and live on ds9 which was basically a prison camp??" I assume he was on Bajor, and Ducat had him brought to the station for this assignment. Quark had never met him before, which wouldn't have been likely if Odo had been on the station previously. "At the end Kira says she's tried to tell Odo. I call BS. She could have told him multiple times in the episode but didn't." I thought she explained very well why she hadn't told him. "Tried" as in wanted to but couldn't bring herself to go through with it, not "tried" as in kept getting interrupted or something. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:38:42 PDT Admiral Crunch Comment by Robert on DS9 S4: Accession I always thought the orbs exist partially in the prophet's realm and that exposing yourself to it brings you in connection with that realm. An orb shadow is because it's not linear, so technically once you've been exposed to the prophet's realm a piece of you is always there, since, from the perspective of their realm your exposure is not "in the past". I'm not saying it all makes perfect sense (and as you say we might not be able to grasp it entirely if it did), but it works a LOT like the Nexus with Picard being able to come out minutes after he was absorbed, Kirk coming out a century later and a piece of Guinan still being connected to it. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:23:38 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit I see what you're saying, but I don't think Sisko DID think it was the best choice. I think Miles thought it was the best choice and once he did it (and Sisko was going to have to reprimand him for disobeying orders anyway) he might as well let him finish. Comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:17:05 PDT Robert Comment by Sean on DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558 Elliott, not all Starfleet officers are scientists. There are engineers, doctors, tactical officers, and yes, security officers whose sole job is to keep people safe with military training. The Starfleet officers in this battle are mostly of those later variety, security officers. That is why they joined Starfleet, what they are trained to do. To fight and defend. However, we do see other officers: engineers who are scared and ineffectual at fighting. They aren't trained as well in combat and so aren't prepared for it when it happens. As you say they should be. Starfleet is a sort of NASA/Military hybrid. It is primarily a scientific exploration organization, but it also functions as a military. Notice that this is not the first time Starfleet has fought a war. And this is not the last. They've fought Romulans in the 22nd century, Klingons on and off for hundreds of years, and the Borg several times including the infamous Wolf 359. Starfleet is not ineffectual in its military duties. Yes, it is more of a science organization, but that doesn't mean it's a slouch on military. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:18:18 PDT Sean Comment by Elliott on VOY S7: Repression @Sean: plots don't make a show good. Any story can be great or terrible, it's about the execution. The writers were under no obligation to play fan service and please the base. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:58:41 PDT Elliott Comment by Sean on ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay This is one of the best bad episodes of all of Star Trek. It's pretty awesome. It ranks up there with Threshold, Profit and Lace, Genesis, and of course the original bad Star Trek episode: Spock's Brain. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:49:13 PDT Sean Comment by Sean on VOY S7: Repression This episode is trolling. I swear. It's trolling people who actually wanted Voyager to be good. It had so much promise. But it settled for mediocrity. This episode not only has the long wanted mutiny that would have been fantastic near the beginning of the show, but it also has a line by one of the Maquis that would have made a good story in its own right: Starfleet telling Janeway to arrest the Maquis. It's basically just saying "Hey look at the plot threads we could have done to make Voyager a good show! Are you happy now?" Ugh. I wonder if Voyager's writers actually had a long leash they could have made something good like DS9. Although the way Berman and Braga write, I highly doubt that. Perhaps if Moore and Piller had been in charge. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:42:51 PDT Sean Comment by Sonya on TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder During the scene where Geordi and Data have a conversation about suicide, Data observes Geordi sigh, lean back, and cross his arms to prepare for discussing a heavy topic. Data crosses his arms in the same way while checking Geordi's form to make sure he gets the gesture correct. It's like you can see the wheels turning in his positronic brain. Brent Spiner really did make small scenes a joy to watch. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:09:45 PDT Sonya Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit "What was the alternative? Have the report say "Well we had a security breach but I decided to ignore it?"" Yes. Own your choices, commander. Explain why you thought it was the better choice. Starfleet (at least until Necheyev was introduced) is not hard-headed and unreasonable. Your example from TNG is actually a good point--I dislike the way that episode ended more than the way it botches the message it was trying to deliver. It is, however, not the way Picard normally acted; your example from "Reunion" is more typical. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:44:10 PDT Elliott Comment by SkepticalMI on TNG S6: Rascals Heh, I thought Madbaggins and Elliot's comments from a couple years ago were pretty funny. Because DS9 DID do this episode. And Jammer did give it 3 stars... I'm referring to the Season 6 outing "One Little Ship". It's got the same basic plot. Some of the cast members undergo a Very Silly Transformation. Meanwhile, the bad guys take over the ship. Fortunately, they don't notice the transformed crew, and so these crewmembers use their Very Silly Transformation to their advantage to save the day via Wacky Hijinks. So which one was better? I think we can all agree that DS9 outshone TNG by a parsec in the "ship getting hijacked" section; the Jem'Hadar make much better villains than the Ferengi. This was so embarrassingly bad that Worf and Riker ought to be demoted to latrine duty for losing the ship. As should every other member of the crew. 8-10 Ferengi boarding a ship with 1000 people (probably 300 or so of which are Starfleet) and taking it over? Worf missing the Ferengi with his phaser from 10 ft away? Data not snapping them in half within 5 seconds? How did the Enterprise crew not all die of shame after losing this badly? If the Drumhead happened after this episode, I would consider this to be perfect evidence that every member of the crew is guilty of treason... OK, so that's a very, very difficult bite in the "willing suspension of disbelief" pie. Probably even a more difficult bite than the de-aging spatial anomaly and the ribo-viloxic-nucleic acids or whatever. Once again, rather than making up random physics for their technobabble, they just make up random biology. At least in Genesis, if you turned off your brain then the introns causing de-evolution thing might kinda sorta totally work by magic, if only because introns actually exist. But RVN? Where the heck did that come from? They should have said that the spatial anomaly affected the telomeres or stem cells or something, anything but making up new molecules that we know don't exist. But then again, DS9's was pretty hokey too. So let's call that a wash. The other big big difference between the two episodes is what they did with it. From what I remember, DS9 just ran with the concept without using it for any drama or character development. Yet here, it was actually a key part of the episode. On the one hand, I can easily see the DS9 argument: it's already a very silly episode, why would you try to treat it otherwise? The Adam West Batman era would look silly with any of the Christian Bale-era melodrama, so why would you want to add it in? But on the other hand, it actually worked with TNG! OK, so Keiko's bit was, while reasonably well done, rather boring. It's perfectly understandable that she would have the most negative reaction to the whole situation, since as a wife and mother she has the most to lose. But since it's a Very Silly Transformation anyway, what relevance does it actually have? And do we really want to ponder the implications of Miles being married to a 12 year old girl? But Ro's character arc made perfect sense, and was good to see (regardless of the acting quality of these two kids). Unfortunately, Guinan was being very annoying here. Touting how wonderful childhood can be may be fine, but the way she did it was rather presumptuous. Saying Ro must have had some happy times? To someone who lived through the Occupation? Saw her father murdered? And no compassion at all from the famous Listener? It could have been much better, with Guinan teaching Ro that this childhood COULD turn out differently, and there's no reason not to enjoy it when it's there for the taking. Even still, seeing Ro drawing at the end was a nice touch. And kidPicard's scene with Troi was very good. One of the best supporting scenes Troi has had in the series! Picard's introspection was very well done here, contrasting his obvious frustration with the open-mindedness that he is famous for. He clearly objects to being treated like a child, and yet clearly understands why others would do that. And while he understandably is dismissive of his career options as being less than ideal (the crack about being Wesley's roommate was pretty funny), he is at least open to them. I liked the little introspective line about how he always looked forward rather than looking back, and he's afraid that this is now he is forced to look back. In the end, I consider both episodes to be mediocre. DS9's was better executed, perhaps, but didn't take any real risks. It was just a silly and forgettable episode. TNG's was much shakier in execution, but took the risk of trying to say something meaningful. Even there it was hit and miss, but the few hits at least meant they tried. Neither are very good, and perhaps neither should have been made. But at least they weren't complete losses. But both were signs that the shows were starting to run out of ideas. (Hope nobody interprets this as trying to start another DS9/TNG flame war, or criticizing Jammer's opinions. I just saw a huge similarity in these episodes, saw no one else commented on it, and decided to run with it.) Also as an aside, this is the second season in a row that completely failed in terms of episode alignments in the first half of the season. Last season, we had the kid-centric New Ground and Hero Worship back to back, and this season we have the Very Silly Rascals and Fistful of Datas back to back. Sigh... Out of curiosity, if Picard went back to being 12, did he get his real heart back? If so, then what happened to his artificial one? Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:21:37 PDT SkepticalMI Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Accession @ Robert - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - 1:54pm (USA Central) Sorry, I got ahead of myself. :-) I was using Jammer's comment browser and didn't see your first response. I'm not sure I understand the "it's not linear" thing. Whether they understand it or not, it was linear for us. But, that said, I suppose we are talking about something that is as foreign to us as linear is to them. So being confused is authorized! :-) So... how does this "Orb Shadow" play? hmmm... this is sounding like maybe a test? Is this a method of communication to Sisko from the prophets? Loved seeing Opaka once again. I forgot to mention that. It was nice to see her "shadow" tell Sisko "You are of Bajor". Stuff like this always meant more to me coming from her. I guess we are right to assume this is coming from the prophets. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:05:19 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Accession @ Robert. Ah, thanks. That makes sense. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:47:25 PDT Yanks Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Dax Teaser : *** , 5% So, Bashir is still hitting on Dax, anxious to cure her of all the exotic STI's he's picked up out here on the frontier. On the other hand, she's a damned cock-tease. Stop eating with him if you're just stringing him along! Dax is grabbed by the cloaked fellows, Bashir turns the corner and sees her...10 seconds later..."Dax!" It's a small thing, but if you're going to do an action scene, don't pace it so laughably. Since we aren't getting any tension from the music, it's on you Mr Director. The scene may look silly, but conceptualised, it's a good teaser: to the point, with an upward dramatic curve and looming questions. Act 1 : ***.5, 17% We get a decent and functional chase scene (held back only by Ferrel's confusing "injured" with "sleepy." Also what's with that smile when she steps off the airlock? While it seems like this whole chase is just a gimmick (Action Insert) since the Clytemnestra or whatever they're called were trying to *extradite* Dax, it is later revealed to be part of trying to circumvent a legal technicality. Act 2 : ****, 17% The next several scenes are good for the following reasons: the characterisation elements are *revealed* by the plot. Yes, we get from point A to point B (Sisko and Kira force the Clytemnestra into an extradition hearing), but everyone's actions say something about who they are; Odo is diligent and skeptical, with no particular attachment to Dax; Sisko is loyal to his friend, pursuing every avenue of aid at his disposal, even when she asks him not to; Kira is self-righteous and temperamental; Dax displays a conflict between Kurzon's and Jadzia's feelings; and the Clytron (or whatever) subtly reveals his anxiety over needing to capture Dax. None of these ideas is stated outright, it's DEMONSTRATED. RIshon Uxbridge returns from the dead with a new crinkly nose! So, we get opening arguments, and the premise is revealed; much like "The Measure of a Man," the trial will examine the nature life, individuality and sentience via sci-fi twist (Trill joining). This is classic Trek and presents a very absorbing draw. There's also the hinting of a deeper tragedy here in Dax's unwillingness to comment or return Sisko's smile. As we saw in "Emissary," so long as Ferrel doesn't have to talk, she can be counted upon to deliver. Act 3 : ***, 17% For the first time, Sisko's slippery brand of morality finds a fitting venue; he isn't breaking laws or violating ethics, but he is brushing aside all objectivity in his quest to save Dax. In this instance, it's okay, however. It would have been a little braver of the writers not to have the Clytemnestra practise capital punishment. Sisko is desperate because he wants to save Dax' life; this blurs the argument slightly as the Trills' nature is a relevant topic to pursue without this looming threat. There's a bit of legal griping to get out of the way: so Trill is a Federation world now (I don't think Odan was considered a citizen). This is why Sisko has Kira and Bashir look for Federation precedents on the legal status of Trills' antecedent selves' actions. So, shouldn't Dax get a Federation lawyer? In MoaM, the excuse for having Picard defend Data had to do with the JAG office's lack of personnel. What's the excuse here? Wait a minute, even if Dax is a Federation citizen, the basis on which they're holding the hearing at all is that the Clytemnestra are extraditing from *Bajor* and NOT the Federation, so shouldn't the legal precedent for Dax' status be determined by Bajoran law? It seems like they invoke the Bajor/Federation division of authority when it's convenient and ignore it when it's not (just like in "A Man Alone"). Odo checks in to deliver news that adds a mystery element to the story and introduce us to Data's mother...I mean the Clytemnestra's mother. There's a bit of goofy block in this scene, with the widow walking sideways and backwards while fixing her gaze on Odo. Good thing she didn't trip and break her prosthetics. And, oh....widow wants to know about Kurzon. Well yep, looks like they were banging. There's a wrinkle. The Trill Peers gives his testimony. I guess the budget ran out on decent guest actors as we get the Mitt Romney-tron delivery. The arguments that follow are high on substance, low on style. Which is a good thing. Court room drama has to do a lot of exposition in order to cinch the closing arguments. I only wish they'd found a better actor for Peers. Act 4 : ***, 17% I like the arbiter's acerbic irritation with this whole affair. Bashir's beaming pride and moderate arrogance with his work is sort of charming here. Sisko : "[Kurzon Dax] probably wasn't the ideal Trill. He drank a little too much. He could be more interested in women than maybe he should have been...he was not at all like the young woman in this courtroom." Can't help but revel in the irony of Worf-era Dax (drinking, partying, gambling, lesbian-ing...) Sisko lays his little trap for Clytemnestra and, unfortunately, he walks into it a little too easily. He eagerly points out that Kurzon's culpability implicates Dax, thus proving Sisko's argument about the individual nature of each host-symbiont pairing. It's just a bit pat, especially against the rest of the episode. Brooks' portrayal is predictably distracting--smiling wide-eyed and over-enunciating. How about a little nuance there, Avery? Let me see; he's.....happy! Got it. Odo checks in to reveal what we already knew, that the widow and Kurzon were shtupping during the war. Act 5 : ***.5, 17% So it turns out the General was an asshole, but a national hero and both the widow and Dax are sacrificing themselves for the reputation of another. The question in Dax' case is, is this the same sense of honour of which Sisko spoke in his testimony a product of Dax, passed on from the man he knew, or is it the new host, Jadzia, applying her own flavour of morality to her inherited memories? My pondering this interesting question is painfully interrupted by Sisko raising his *fist* to Jadzia's face and lamenting that she is a woman now, and thus he can't punch her. Okay... then we get a story about how SIsko almost killed a man for throwing a drink in his face. Uhuh... Based on this and the events of "Tapestry," I'm starting to wonder if Starfleet isn't feeding their cadets crazy pills. Why is this man so damned angry? Anyway, Jadzia reveals that she is indeed struggling with her memories via the metaphor of Kurzon's scar-producing ring. So we get to the closing arguments. The question..."is not the new host responsible for the actions of its previous incarnations?" is interrupted by the revelation that Kurzon was ploughing the widow during the alleged betrayal. And we never really get an answer (which is okay, by the way). I'm a little tired of these conversations on the promenade while two people slowly walk to no place in particular. How often do people converse like this? Trying to see where they're going will walking *next* to someone so they can be seen by the camera? It reminds me of all those dialogue scenes in the Star Wars prequels. Just lazy blocking. In any event, the widow tells Jadzia to stop living other peoples' lives, which is an appropriate way to close the episode. Episode as Functionary : ***.5, 10% As an allegory, the Trill make a good soapbox for the issues of familial inheritance. Just like Odan was thought to be his previous host's *son* the question of living in the shadow of one's progenitors is magnified for closer inspection by the sci-fi conceit. Most of the character work with Jadzia is done vicariously, with other people examining her on her behalf. In this way, it's weaker than "Measure of a Man," where Data did a lot of his own heavy-lifting. That said, it was very good work. Sisko's character is softened a bit (anger issues aside) and we get some good characterisations all around as well as a strong guest cast, with the exception of Peers. Final Score : ***.5 Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:15:16 PDT Elliott Comment by Kahryl on VOY S5: Course: Oblivion How did the aliens get the antimatter to run their silver-Voyager?? Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:42:19 PDT Kahryl Comment by Kahryl on DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind I don't understand this ending. It's presented as the end to the Dominion threat - but the only thing the Alpha powers did was recapture the Alpha quadrent. In the process almost every Alpha power has been devestated, while the Dominion territory is *completely* untouched. Sure, it'll be tricky to get a foothold again with the wormhole as a bottleneck, but they did it the first time.. and now the Alpha quadrent is exhausted. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:00:06 PDT Kahryl Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement Sisko (Avery) making the drama feel just a tad overly theatrical. Really, just a "tad"? Ya think? Just like every other time he is required to show emotion... While I'm on the Avery acting thing, it was just HORRIBLE, when Sisko is crossing Ch'Pok, he seemingly has the breath in every 3 words or so to get a frakin sentence out. Jesus, does anyone direct these things? Is this the best he can produce? But back to the trial. Loved the flashback actor talking to the "judge" presentation. Very well done. I LOVED Ron Canada in this one. Loved the "Klingon approach" to trying to get Worf. .... and he DID!! If it wasn't for Odo digging up the truth here, Worf was TOAST! Also loved it when Sisko asked Ch'Pok "Care to step onto my battlefield?" You just knew he couldn't turn down this challenge. Great personal drama in this one. Now to Sisko and Worf in Worf's cabin. This line was pretty funny from Worf: "...I did not realize it until I stood there looking down at him, blood trickling from his mouth..." Just loved the delivery on that one. You know, that guy I just planted on the floor :-) I think Sisko goes from the proper ass chewing - to making Commander someday too quickly. Worf screwed the pooch here, he didn't identify the target before he fired, in an environment rich with civilians. That's no minor transgression folks; that might even be ground for demotion. If I'm Sisko, I make Worf prove to me that his tactical judgment and the ability to set aside his Klingon urges have improved before all but telling him he's going to make commander. Great statement here from Sisko: "Worf. We don't put civilians at risk or even potentially at risk to save ourselves. Sometimes that means we lose the battle and sometimes our lives. But if you can't make that choice, then you can't wear that uniform." Wipes tear from face. Was there even a "B" story? 3.5 stars. (4 had Avery been able to act… Jesus) Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:11:42 PDT Yanks Comment by Robert on DS9 S4: Accession "But if the prophets don't understand linear time, how do they put him back at the right time in history? " I'm not convinced this is true. They DIDN'T understand linear time before they met the Sisko, at which point they have always understood it. Well enough, in fact, to send Jennifer Sisko to his father (yes, I think they did that after they met Sisko for a famous Trek paradox). Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:57:23 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S4: Accession "Also, I remain a little confused about the 200+ year thing. Just why did they keep this fella for so long if it wasn't to satisfy the scripture? Why didn't they ask him the same questions they did "The Sisko"? I'm OK with him stumbling upon the wormhole, and them helping him, but why keep him? Quite the premonition if this was a test for Sisko." It's not linear. Sisko discovered the wormhole first, Sisko made first contact with the wormhole aliens (even first is too linear of a word, but it's tough to explain things otherwise). Just because Akorem got there 200 years before Sisko by our understand doesn't mean they kept him for 200 years or that he didn't get there second by their understanding. Because they don't understand linear time before they meet the Sisko it's my best guess that their contact with our realm happens in a non linear fashion. I believe that when they open the wormhole they can decide when to let you out the same way that you can tell an elevator what floor you'd like to get off on. If I want to look for a file on my computer and I can't figure out what folder I put it in or what I named it I might think "when did I work on it" and search for a date range. For them these things are all the same, when is as tangible for them as where and what are to us. I think from their perspective time doesn't move. They simply exist. They encountered the Sisko and thus had always been aware of him. They encountered Akorem and thought he might be useful to the Sisko so they changed the exist point (in time) of the wormhole and sent him out elsewhen. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:54:54 PDT Robert Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Accession Just watched this one last night. Before this ep I didn't realize that any society that employed a cast system could not get into the Federation. Interesting. This episode is an interesting one that bring up all kinds of issues, questions, etc. "I pushed him" Wow, didn't see that one coming. The Crusades anyone? Then Kira letting Sisko know just how much power/influence he had over the Bajoran's, whether he accepted it or not: "KIRA: Maybe you never realized this, Captain, but we would've tried to do whatever you asked of us when you were Emissary, no matter how difficult it seemed. I'd better get to Ops." Kira just chokes me up seemingly all the time. What an emotional scene here. Much more of a punch here than when she was reassigned in 'The Homecoming' "SISKO: I don't doubt I can find someone to fill your post. But to replace you?" I've seen this ep probably 6 times and I tear up every time. Kira's silent response, that look in her tearing eyes.... (snif) A REAL bond between these two and Kira comes off as so damn genuine. I love her for that. A-hem... (clears throat).... Sorry, Yanks swallows... Onto this episode. I don't see this as one of those "reset button" episodes. What did you want, to be drug through the D'jarras crap for 4 or 5 episodes? Sisko saw things were not working out, that this was a step backward for Bajor, that in Star Fleet's eyes he had failed so did something about it! My problem with the solution is this exchange inside the "temple". This catches my ear every time I watch it. "KIRA: The Sisko taught us that for you, what was, can never be again." Now this was fine in 'Emissary' when they were talking about Jennifer's death, but just how does it apply here? Also, I remain a little confused about the 200+ year thing. Just why did they keep this fella for so long if it wasn't to satisfy the scripture? Why didn't they ask him the same questions they did "The Sisko"? I'm OK with him stumbling upon the wormhole, and them helping him, but why keep him? Quite the premonition if this was a test for Sisko. But it was nice to see Akorem realize these circumstances were not as he saw them and not to fight the emissary thing. But if the prophets don't understand linear time, how do they put him back at the right time in history? Puzzling... I'm open to answers it anyone has them. I LOVED the whole Worf, Keiko pregnant thing. I had forgotten that Work delivered Molly on the Enterprise. Very funny there when Work says he's scheduled to be off the station 7 months from now :-) I didn't want to kill Keiko this episode. I thought it was nice that she saw Miles had developed a relationship with Julian. Miles' initial reaction to her being pregnant was a little “WTF” though. 2.5 for me. Probably a 3.0 or even 3.5 if I understood the whole exchange at the end in the wormhole. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:38:01 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: For the Cause HAHA!! Poor Kira, she gets stunned when Tom stole the Defiant and then she gets stunned again here! I guess she's better ask for a raise, pretty dangerous being the #2. :-) Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:00:55 PDT Yanks Comment by langtonian on TNG S7: The Pegasus I've always thought I would have liked to see a bit more of the back story to this episode. The Federation must surely have been in a very weak position to agree to such an unbalanced treaty: the Romulans having cloaks, without the Federation having the same, puts the Federation at a HUGE disadvantage. So what happened? We never really hear about it. I've also always thought that it was a bit unrealistic how shocked Picard was at the disclosure. I mean, he might not have approved, but it seems pretty naïve not to assume that the Federation would be secretly continuing cloaking research, at least to some extent. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:37:30 PDT langtonian Comment by Yanks on DS9 S3: The Abandoned @ Robert. Disagree. We never got this or any indication of this from the Jem'Hadar "child". "PICARD: You will assist us to assimilate this vessel. You are Borg. You will assist us. BORG: I will not. PICARD: What did you say? BORG: I will not assist you. PICARD: I? BORG: Geordi must not be assimilated. PICARD: But you are Borg. BORG: No. I am Hugh." It's easy to make these episode comparisons (folks do it incorrectly with 'Children of Time’ and ‘E2’ all the time (pun intended :-)), but this episode is really in no way like 'I Borg'. The fact is, had Hugh not said "I", his Borg butt was getting injected and going on to unknowingly perform genocide. Sisko was not ever going to do something like that, he was simply ordered by Star Fleet to provide a sample for observation and testing to help prepare for the inevitable. Hell, Star Fleet would never have killed the Jem'Hadar unless he got out and was killing other folks... We saw nothing from this Jem'Hadar that would indicate anything other than what he was "programmed" for. A vicious killing machine that was designed (programmed) to kill anyone but the Founders. Hell, the only reason they don’t kill the Vorta is they provide the white. It wasn't for lack of trying, Odo gave the effort, but to no avail. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:18:07 PDT Yanks Comment by Markus on TOS S2: The Apple Why the hell did they not take down a shuttle to rescue the away team? It is again so obvious. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:15:46 PDT Markus Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: For the Cause Maybe Sisko was so pissed at Eddington because he was starting to feel like Chakotay on voyager. "CHAKOTAY: You were working for her. Seska was working for them. Was anyone on board that ship working for me?" lol Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:40:09 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: For the Cause Just watched this episode last night. I'll have to stray from Jammer's opinion on this one. I thought this was an OUTSTANDING episode. The best part about it WAS we didn't see it coming. Damn, does everything have to be thrown in your face? I too prefer Cyia Batten. So damn sexy and her face is so expressive. I don't hate the replacement (Tracy Middendorf), she was fine (although I think I could look like a good actor alongside of Andrew Robinson :-)), but I don't know why the change had to be made. I kind of felt the same way I did with Ezri here. (Then they did it AGAIN! grrr....) This episode has so much going on. Let's start with the "B" story. I really felt that Garak was afraid Ziyal was going to kill him! :-) I also loved how Quark put that back in his head in the tailor shop (lol). I also love the little exchange in the turbo-lift. "GARAK: You're not going to hurt me, are you? Normally I would simply make a strategic withdrawal at the first sign of trouble, but there doesn't seem to be a way out of here. ZIYAL: You could always call security. GARAK: Oh, true. But it would take them a few minutes to arrive, and by then it might be too late. ZIYAL: I don't think I'll hurt you. GARAK: I'm gratified to hear that. ZIYAL: In fact I think it's safe to say you have nothing to fear from me. (They arrive at the Promenade.) GARAK: And you, my dear, have nothing to fear from me." :-) That scene was just perfect. As was the last scene in the holosuite. "GARAK: Why am I here? Am I to believe that you've invited the sworn enemy of your father simply to enjoy the heat? ZIYAL: You really think I asked you here to kill you? Well, it did occur to me. Kira and my father both told me that you used to be an agent of the Obsidian Order. That you had my grandfather tortured and killed, and that you could easily kill me without a second thought. GARAK: Although I seldom credit the Major or your father with being entirely trustworthy, in this case they're both telling the truth." That's so Garak... he just doesn't ever have a bad scene. OK, on with the main story... MAJOR screw up for Sisko here, perfectly set up by Eddington. (hook, line and sinker) "EDDINGTON: Sir, if the Maquis put up a fight the Xhosa might get caught in the crossfire. If that happens, I can't guarantee the safety of Kasidy Yates. And to be blunt, I don't want that responsibility. SISKO: I can't say I blame you. The security of the CFI replicators is your priority. I'll take command of the Defiant. EDDINGTON: Thank you, Captain." Eddington set the stage and Sisko became a willing actor in his play. He probably recruited Yates months ago once he knew she was snuggling up with the Captain. Brilliant!! (as Odo concedes). The question is, why not let Worf command the Defiant? Oh, he didn't show very good tactical judgment before I guess :-) Don’t want that freighter to get schwacked :-) Thank you to all above that KNOW what the REAL Maquis’ dilemma is. Damn, if you're going to complain about something at least know WTF you’re complaining about. They AREN'T Federation Citizens! Not siding with the almighty Federation here either. This "treaty" is and has been a steaming pile bull from the start. The Kassidy Yates angle is an interesting one. She so sided with the Maquis that she helped them KNOWING that her boyfriend Star Fleet Captain would have a duty to perform someday. Wow. Wonder if she had family down there? Did she really think she was good enough not to get caught, ever? Does she really care about Sisko? I will also agree that Eddington had one of the best rants ever heard on Star Trek. His blurb on the "Federation" was SPOT ON!. Right up there with Quark's "root beer" line to Garak in 'Way of the Warrior' :-) I'm not sure I completely agree with Sisko and his response to Eddington though. He did a whole bunch of pleading and talking with his old bud Hudson, but Hudson didn't embarrass him by stealing 12 Class-4 replicators, eh? Hudson didn't lure him off the station, eh? Nope, Eddington is going to jail if it's the last thing Sisko does. No discussion necessary. No uniform left for him to come back before Sisko has to inform Star Fleet. Lesson learned, don’t embarrass the Sisko. Couple more notes. Ken Marshall is outstanding as Eddington and as I watched this episode I still was thinking how much I wished Felecia M. Bell could have played Kassidy Yates. What a beauty. This episode has Ron Moore written all over it. 3.5 star for me. Outstanding episode on many levels! Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:36:25 PDT Yanks Comment by Robert on DS9 S3: The Abandoned "So I'm not sure I see any ability to limit that built in urge aside from the military obedience that's programmed in." If they can make even a single decision against their programming, I'd still say that implies sentience. Star Trek has supported this in the past with AIs, I don't know why it'd be different with biologically programmed things. "EMH: While I was aboard that ship I poisoned a man. SEVEN: Deliberately? EMH: Yes. I was trying to force him to let me treat patients who were dying. SEVEN: You were prepared to sacrifice an individual to benefit a collective. EMH: No offence, Seven, but I don't exactly aspire to Borg ideals. SEVEN: You were hoping your behaviour was the result of a malfunction. I'm sorry Doctor, but I must give you a clean bill of health. " There was also the scene where Data was shooting Fajo and then lied to Riker about it. Both things truly hint that when an AI can override key aspects of their own program like that, that they are truly sentient. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:40:09 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S3: The Abandoned This was clearly meant to be DS9's "I, Borg". Is it right to use a sentient being as a weapon to destroy their people against their will? In Hugh's episode the individual was a little more of an individual, the race a little less and the weapon was a little more high stakes (obviously Starfleet wants to develop tactics against the Jem'Hadar using this guy, but the TNG crew were talking about wiping out the Borg entirely... though I am skeptical that it would have worked, it seemed too powerful). But it's still largely the same episode. In both cases the Captain made the same choice (although Sisko's hands ended up a bit more tied) and in both cases Starfleet disagreed. I don't know that I personally have an opinion as to what I'd do in their shoes, but it's still an interesting episode, no matter which show it's on. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:31:46 PDT Robert Comment by Yanks on DS9 S3: The Abandoned @ Robert. Agree, but at this time in the series all we know that the Jem'Hadar are genetically bread to kill, and willfully "comply" if you will. Here, we get to see one from "birth" and those urges can't even be controlled by a Founder (Odo). He was obedient, but the "fire" just kept burning hotter and hotter. We learn more as the series progresses, but we also learn that "victory is life" is their motto. I can think of 2 episodes where we see "dissention". One where the #1 doesn't require the white and led his troops to strive for the same. This doesn't happen if the #1 requires it. The other is where a band of Jem'Hadar break free to search for and acquire Iconian technology, and it wasn't to ensure peace throughout the galaxy either. I think the inability to control the urge to kill would put them in a classification like an animal. A dog is obedient, but we don’t treat them like a sentient human being. So I'm not sure I see any ability to limit that built in urge aside from the military obedience that's programmed in. Remember, in "The Search PII" the head Founder states that the Alpha Quadrant could use some order. That can mean only one thing from a Founder. I still say Sisko was wrong here and Star Fleet was right in this case. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:10:06 PDT Yanks Comment by Robert on DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit "When Kirk, Picard or Janeway violated the letter of the law, they OWNED it. They decided to face the music and live with their choices because they thought they were right. Sisko plays this little game where he pretends to try and stop O'Brien so he can falsify his report to Starfleet. What a coward. And talk about a reset button!" Regardless of if you agree with it or not, one of the themes of DS9 was that they were on the Frontier. It was dirtier, messier and Starfleet wouldn't always understand what was going on there. The whole "saint in paradise" bit. Sisko isn't being a coward. What was the alternative? Have the report say "Well we had a security breach but I decided to ignore it?" On TNG Worf and Riker assaulted J'naii guards and all they get from Picard is "PICARD: I didn't know when to tell them we will be there. Is our business with the J'naii finished? RIKER: Finished, sir." And this is after giving Worf a reprimand for murdering one of the Chancellor candidates in Reunion. Yet they remain the first officer and security chief. I actually liked Sisko in this episode, I thought that telling Odo to take his time was something was a nice touch. It wasn't Sisko condoning O'Brien's actions.... but if O'Brien had already disobeyed orders and was heading for a reprimand anyway... might as well let him finish the job. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:00:07 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S3: The Search, Part II "I think some fans didn't like it because other shows and movies have done something similar where nothing was real and they felt cheated" I think the difference here is that while the simulation wasn't real and a whole heck of a lot of things got reset buttoned, a whole heck of a lot DID happen and there are plenty of un-reset consequences to deal with. Season 2 ended with a Vorta spy trying to get into the Alpha Quadrant and this : "TALAK'TALAN: Coming through the anomaly is interference enough. Unless you wish to continue to offend the Dominion, I suggest you stay on your side of the galaxy. " Ok, so that's a giant middle finger to the Federation's exploration, but it's not quite like what we find out in the Search, Part II : "FEMALE: Then perhaps one day I'll come visit you. The Alpha Quadrant seems wracked with chaos. It could use some order. " That ups the stakes tremendously. Not to mention the whole thing about the Founders being Odo's people. The only thing I am sad about is that we lost the Romulan. I understand that "watching the cloaking device" is a stupid job... but this was "pre-Worf". They could have just made her the Defiant's tactical officer. I get that she was a Romulan, but they could have explained it away. And then we would have gotten to keep the talented Martha Hackett. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:35:08 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on DS9 S3: The Abandoned "Also, how "sentient" was he really? Genetically bread to fight? He admittedly had one purpose and one purpose only... to fight... interesting question. " To throw my 2 cents in, this is how I view the Jem'Hadar's sentience. They have base instincts (to revere a Founder, bloodlust, etc.) and we have base instincts (sex, violence, fear). I'm sure everyone has felt a tug of their instincts at one point. Sure, we CAN control/rise above our base instincts. But so can the Jem'Hadar. We've seen some of them rebel, look for a cure for the white, etc. If instincts are typically a little voice in your head telling you to punch out the guy that just bumped into you (there was a Voyager episode about that!) or to run away from something that goes bump in the night... occasionally that little voice gets loud. I feel like whatever the Founders did to the Jem'Hadar the little voice is more like a SCREAM. We've seen too many episodes of Jem'Hadar (albeit later in the series than this one) exhibiting a level of free thought that I have to believe their programming are just really, really powerful instincts coupled with drugs. If I dialed your instincts up to 100 and put you on drugs you'd find it very hard not to act like a caveman. The Jem'Hadar are definitely sentient, they've just been genetically abused beyond all recognition that sometimes it's easier to think of them as machines. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:28:39 PDT Robert Comment by Yanks on ENT S1: Fortunate Son I liked this episode. ...and I don't think Archer or T'Pol were wrong. There is nothing logical by dealing with this problem by taking a hostage. Especially when 99.9% of the time you are alone and most likely out gunned. Is it a perfect world? No, but throwing gas on the fire when you don't have a bucket of water is dangerous and borderline stupid. Letting the Nausicaans know that Star Fleet was “out here” was the right approach. No problem with the Archer/Travis conversation in his cabin. Archer's point was valid, but I think he should have brought up future consequences to being the aggressor. Next time it might not be just the cargo they are looking for. I didn't like this line though: "ARCHER: Any other orders of mine you'd like to question?" Pretty snotty there. I think this episode brings out that not everyone is fit for command as well. Good "Travis episode". I wish the series had more of these. No question they should have taken some upgrades, I think the Fortunate Captain should have taken some when he was back on his feet. I thought it was more of a jealousy/envy thing rather than "we are short people" whine. Ryan always talked about "who will be left" etc, but I thought there was something else in his conversations. "boomer life wasn't good enough"... etc. I too enjoyed the conversations between Captains at the end. Archer should have taken a shot of Drilaxian Whisky. Captains are on call 24/7. The "I'm on duty" cop out would get old. He's not asking him to get plastered. 3 stars for me. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:19:41 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S3: The Abandoned Good point Tgor. I don't think the reason Star Fleet wanted him was "for science". They saw the Dominion as a future threat, and the Jem'Hadar were the ruthless enforcers. They wanted intel. They wanted to develop an answer for them when/if they come-a-knocking. Also, how "sentient" was he really? Genetically bread to fight? He admittedly had one purpose and one purpose only... to fight... interesting question. Comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:31:56 PDT Yanks Comment by Phillip on DS9 S3: The Search, Part II The main problem I have with the simulation is that Garak wasn't real because he really put in a good performance in this ep. Except for his last words being about not being able to have lunch with Bashir. Kinda cheesy. I don't have any problem with the simulation because we learn later that the founders are very meticulous and slow in conquering the galaxy. They send spys into the the alpha quadrant for extended periods of time to gather info. They steal peoples identitys in starfleet and the klingon empire repeatedly. I think some fans didn't like it because other shows and movies have done something similar where nothing was real and they felt cheated but this is what the founders do. And it worked. They gathered a lot of info about the people who stand at the gateway they will need to travel through to force their order in the whole of the Milky Way Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:49:33 PDT Phillip Comment by Tgor on DS9 S3: The Abandoned Yanks, I think it was right for Sisko to not send him to Star Fleet. He's a sentient person who has comitted no crime. Sisko can't morally send him against his will, especially when he would harm others to escape. That's kidnapping. Plus, the Federation at this time isn't in an official war. It is hard to justify kidnapping a person just for science. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:24:47 PDT Tgor Comment by NCC-1701-Z on ENT S1: Fortunate Son @mark: I completely agree with you as to what Archer should have done. The episode itself as a whole was all right to me, but the ending left a bad taste in my mouth. After the end credits, I said, "That's gonna come back to bite them later." One could look at this in terms of 'Archer and humanity are inexperienced, they're slowly learning their way around the cosmos' but really though, it should just be common sense to anyone with an IQ above 50. After all, it's Starfleet's job to protect ships like the Fortunate. Shooting back at the Nausicaans would get that message across real fast. To quote a commander figure from another sci-fi franchise, "If you keep running from a schoolyard bully, he keeps on chasing you. But the moment you turn around and stop and you punch him really hard in a sensitive spot, he'll think twice about coming back again." I think Archer learned this lesson by season 3, though (see "Anomaly") - too bad it took that long. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:30:59 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by LongKahn on DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar I wonder why no other vorta used that energy bolt from the chest. That was kinda cool. I guess most vorta we meet have a group of jem'Hadar soldiers to protect them but I can think of a few instances where they could have used that. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:20:52 PDT LongKahn Comment by rick on TNG S4: Qpid This episode was alone worth it for seeing data in friar tucks hairdoo...and watching troi shoot him with an arrow. Priceless. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:44:04 PDT rick Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Q-Less @Sean, I'm doing little reviews of each episode (a bit of fun I started a couple years ago). I started at the beginning of this season and am giving each episode the same treatment. I will hopefully do the same for the other series. You'll note that good episodes (and good moments) will get positive reviews from me. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:41:01 PDT Elliott Comment by Sean on DS9 S1: Q-Less Elliot, always with the ask to grind against DS9. You're over-analyzing a dull episode from season 1 that no one cares about. You do realize this don't you? Not even fans of the show care about it as much as you do. You're obsessed with DS9. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:20:45 PDT Sean Comment by TDV on TNG S3: Menage a Troi Don't forget this is the episode that spawned the endless annoyed Picard memes/gifs on facebook. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:33:23 PDT TDV Comment by Yanks on TNG S5: The Inner Light Wow. What an interesting, emotional and historic Star Trek episode. Couple times during this one I get all choked up, it doesn't matter how many times I've seen this episode. "PICARD: I'd like to ask your permission to build something. ELINE: Kamin, you've built your telescope, your laboratory. You don't need my permission for something new. PICARD: In this case, I think I do. ELINE: What is it? PICARD: A nursery. ELINE: Really? Really? PICARD: Unless, of course, if you would prefer a porch. It would certainly be easier to build. I could make a start on it right away. ELINE: No." "RIKER: We were able to open the probe and examine it. Apparently, whatever had locked onto you must have been self terminating. It's not functioning any longer. We found this inside. (Riker hands him a box and leaves. Inside it is a penny whistle with a tassel. Picard clutches it to his chest for a moment, then plays his Skye Boat song variation on it)" (snif, snif) But this episode, while playing with our emotions, does it in such a way that should make us cringe. Involuntary mind rape is fully accepted in the Star Trek universe. Picard was RAPED!! ...and for what? So some race that couldn't figure out how to get off their rock could be remembered? It all seems very selfish to me. #1. The Kataanian’s as race believe that force-feeding this program "down someone's mind" is acceptable? Really, the risk never occurred to them? Hoe selfish is this probe? #2. We TREK fans love this episode and it doesn't seem to matter that Picard was almost killed, because we liked the story. Selfish once again. Wow. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:28:36 PDT Yanks Comment by 213karaokejoe on TNG S5: The Inner Light Love this episode even though I avoid it when I see it on our list of recordings. Always makes me cry; probably tied for water works with the episode where Data creates his daughter. "Remember, put your shoes away" "I promise" "Now we live in you; tell them of us, my darling" Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:45:52 PDT 213karaokejoe Comment by Robert on VOY S7: Critical Care The kid is a promising medical talent not so that his worth is increased in OUR eyes (the fact that he's a person should be enough to do that), but so that he bonds with the Doctor. They put them in a quasi mentor relationship so that in the end the Doctor is willing to murder the one he sees responsible. That part of the episode has nothing to do with the healthcare metaphor, it's all done to bring the Doc to a darker place. And I thought it really paid off. It's probably the part of the episode that works the best. Comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:39:05 PDT Robert Comment by Sonya on TNG S5: The Outcast Here is a link to a helpful site re: definitions of gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. http: // (omit the space between the colon and the first two backslashes) In the past (including recently), I've used the term sexual identity, but I think gender identity is closer to the intended meaning. Using these definitions, I think gender expression is a choice, but not gender identity or sexual orientation. (Also note that sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior... just because someone has sex with a person of a specific biological sex, it doesn't mean he or she necessary gravitates towards that sex in terms of attraction.) Again, part of what makes this episode a good one is that it prompts these types of questions, and hopefully promotes greater acceptance of diversity and empathy for others among viewers. Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:19:35 PDT Sonya Comment by Shawn Davis on DS9 S2: Armageddon Game I agree with Jammer's review. I also want to point out that it's a shame that the Defiant wasn't introduced until the beginning of season 3. Sisko and company looked ridiculous trying to battle the T'Lani ship, which is much more larger and powerful, with the small runabouts at the end of the episode (even though they were actually playing a trick on the T'Lani to escape them, but still......). With the Defiant they could had put the T'Lani in their place within minutes. Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:19:29 PDT Shawn Davis Comment by dlpb on VOY S4: The Omega Directive This whole episode was designed to stoke up some sort of intrigue in the series. Like Speckies 8472 was... Lazy attempts at garnering interest. "My dad is bigger than your dad." Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:47:41 PDT dlpb Comment by SkepticalMI on TNG S6: Schisms I like the way the episode built up the mystery of what's going on. It started out as just a day in the life of the Enterprise, just with Riker being a bit sleepy. And things seemed to go along well until some other weirdness. Really, it's not until Data has some missing time that we can be sure there's something technically wrong. I think Riker was a good choice for a main character here, he is essentially the everyman on the Enterprise. So if you're going to have someone abducted by aliens, it's best to make it the most relatable person available. It's kinda like how O'Brien ended up getting tortured so much on DS9. Besides, for whatever other complaints one can make about Frakes' acting, he does a good job of being haggard and overwhelmed. Perhaps not quite as great a performance as in Frame of Mind, but I was impressed. And yes, part of the greatness of the episode (well, goodness, I guess; it's not an instant classic or anything) is that we never really learn anything about the aliens. And in the end, the threat was great enough or at least disturbing enough that even these intrepid explorers and humanitarians wanted nothing to do with them. In Time's Arrow, I thought the ending of the Devidians was rather lame; that the Enterprise would just casually destroy the site without even trying to make contact with them was out of character. And yet here, it makes perfect sense. This time it's personal. There was an abstract threat to Earth by the Devidians, but here there was a real, tangible threat to the Enterprise. And one that the crew seemed helpless against. It's interesting that the emotionless Data offered the suggestion that the aliens were simply explorers, and it was the guy who had his arm cut off and reattached who shot that down. Being so emotional about it may not be ideal, but it is perfectly understandable. And even then, it's hard to argue with Riker. The Devidians were simply eating. It may not be fun for the prey, but at least they have a rational explanation for what they were doing. What about these aliens? Whatever the case, we know that doing such abductions and experimentations are immoral, so it would undoubtedly be harder to establish any meaningful relations with these creatures. And thus, making sure to cut them off entirely made perfect sense. But even still, the ending made clear that not everything went back to normal. Riker was still greatly shaken up by events. There was still a rather unsettling feeling on board. They very nearly lost everything. And they still only managed to escape the aliens by the skin of their teeth. There was no time for introductions, no time to learn more. Instead, the aliens represented only fear of the unknown, and the Enterprise crew's survival instincts were all that was available. And that was to run away. By the way, there does seem to be quite a bit of technobabble in this episode. Normally I don't mind it, but I did have to laugh when Crusher was giving Riker warm milk. "The heat activates the amino acids in the lactose". Psst, Bev, lactose is a sugar molecule, not a protein... that's elementary biochemistry. I don't mind rerouting power through the phase inducers to create an inverse tachyon pulse to negate the gravimetric waves... that's just magic words. Basic science is different and shouldn't be so wrong. Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:51:26 PDT SkepticalMI Comment by Sonya on TNG S7: Lower Decks proportion = promotion Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 11:52:49 PDT Sonya Comment by Sonya on TNG S7: Lower Decks grumpy_otter said, "Is it just me, because I hate Beverly, or was her relationship with Alyssa cloying? That's your BOSS acting like a silly schoolgirl over your romance! Just struck me as false." Yes! I found this inappropriate, especially woven into conversations that involved clearly professional issues such as proportion. Beverly could be accused of favoritism. I don't mind when Beverly and Troi talk about their social lives, but I do mind when scenes perpetuate an inaccurate stereotype that women cannot be professional. I also appreciated Jammer's observation that Picard's harsh treatment of Sito just before recruiting her into a dangerous mission could be viewed as manipulative. (He even said, while referencing the mission, that he needed to 'test' her.) I thought this was just shy of unethical, but I may be giving Picard the benefit of the doubt because I like his character so much. There was much to love about this episode. I particularly found Worf's mentorship of Sito enjoyable to watch, the look on his face when Sito showed up with the pseudo-bruised face, and the look on everyone's faces when the Cardassian observed, "I did not think she would be so young." How did I reconcile the seemingly out of character joining of the table at the end of the episode? Worf is big on honoring tradition and ritual, and perhaps he recognized that joining Sito's friends was a way of honoring her memory. (I don't think he did it with the thought that it would make him feel better, even if that might have been the end result.) Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 11:50:39 PDT Sonya Comment by dlpb on VOY S7: Endgame An entertaining, but completely lazy ending. Like much of Voyager, it is devoid of logic and continuity. They did exactly as Beltran said... tried to wrap up 7 years in little more than an hour. Pathetic. Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:08:00 PDT dlpb Comment by NCC-1701-Z on DS9 S6: Profit and Lace @Sean: My thoughts exactly- that was the only good line (I stopped watching after 15 minutes and rewatched In The Pale Moonlight twice in a row before I felt recovered) Someone call the people who made that doomsday machine Kirk ran into back in TOS, or Species 8472 (they blew up a Borg planet once) ;) Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:52:35 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by Sean on ENT S4: These Are the Voyages... You really did overrate this one. This is a zero star episode if ever there was one. Comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 01:10:25 PDT Sean Comment by Sean on VOY S7: Imperfection The music in this episode kind of felt like Lord of the Rings music at times. For some reason. Also, it's true that Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok should have this sort of technology still in them. And that their being turned back into their normal selves shouldn't be so easy. But let's not forget that Voyager is, at its heart, a reset button episodic show. It's not a satisfying show, like DS9 or even TNG by any means, but you have to put aside expectations for continuity. You have to understand that the show is not going to acknowledge that those three were drones ever again. So you shouldn't expect this episode to acknowledge it or even mention it as a possibility. It would have made for a more interesting episode, sure, but you've just got to ignore it. That said, if you do take the continuity into account, it actually does make sense that Janeway, Torres, and Tuvok wouldn't give up their own node since everyone needs it to live. They can't ever fully be their old selves again. Of course the show wouldn't say this, but that would be the reason. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:55:03 PDT Sean Comment by Sean on DS9 S6: Valiant No. Starfleet does not train its cadets to be brainwashed fascists, as what happened in the episode. The entire point was that we were seeing this group of kids as young as seventeen under major pressure to keep the ship running and maintain a mission. They were really feeling that pressure and it was getting to them. The "captain" cadet was popping pills and the engineer cadet was homesick. We've already seen Red Squad as this very elite group that's extremely loyal to each other. The label of "Red Squad" was a big deal. It's like someone's loyalty to a sports team. Or the school they went to. Only much stronger. They feel like they belong to something and have a massive amount of respect for each other. Red Squad has that loyalty, but much much stronger since they all believed that they were the best of the best and having that label of "Red Squad" meant they were somebody. When you combine those two aspects together: being out in the battlefield for so long, feeling the pressure and the massive in-group loyalty, you can see why this sort of system existed. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:44:20 PDT Sean Comment by Sean on DS9 S6: Profit and Lace The only redeeming factor in this entire shitty episode is: Sisko: "A Dominion invasion of Ferenginar?" Rom: "Think of the repercussions for the Alpha Quadrant!" Worf:"I can not think of any." That made me laugh so hard. Oh, don't tease me DS9. That would be the best thing to happen to this show. Just lay waste to the entire planet, Death Star style. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:36:28 PDT Sean Comment by NCC-1701-Z on TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II One plausibility question: Wouldn't this sort of raid fall under the jurisdiction of the 24th century equivalent of a SWAT team or MACOs, instead of risking a starship captain and their top officers however much their expertise? However, what we get once Picard has been captured makes it all worthwhile. The ends clearly justify the plot stretching necessary to set it up. Classic Trek, and very ahead of its time. "THERE! ARE! FOUR! LIGHTS!" Come on, you can't beat that. I also loved the moment when Riker told Jellico just what he thought of him. A great release of tension. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:43:57 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by Sean on DS9 S1: Move Along Home It's particularly bad when you watch this episode after you've seen all of DS9. Seeing all the amazing dark episodes of the later show, seeing all the amazing morally dubious things these characters have done. And then you see Sisko skipping and saying a rhyme. Lol wut. It's like the show is trolling. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:10:40 PDT Sean Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Q-Less Teaser : **.5, 5% Check out O'Brien's expression in the opening shot as Bashir prattles on like a twat; I've been accused of holding that same look myself, and I'm glad for it as it's the perfect combination of pity, nausea, disbelief and disappointment. Kind of like this episode. Forgive me, you straight folks, is this really how men get into women's pants? The second scene : my god, yes Kira, shoot the door that leads into space! ...and Miles finds Vash. Why do I feel like the discovery of her in the Gamma Quadrant would be more interesting than this scene? Close us out with the reveal of Q. Well, it's a little desperate, but I'll bite. What great lesson are we going to learn this week? Let's find out. Act 1 : *.5, 17% Gosh, Vash sure sounds interested in those million-year-old civilisations. Okay, so Sisko and Dax don't know how Vash got to the Gamma Quadrant. Makes sense, but was Sisko asleep when O'Brien recognised her on the Ganges? Why not just ask him? I think the Assay Office is really just this officer shoving every item up his ass. Can't be more secure than that. So Vash locks up her valuable store, including a mysterious glowing beehive. So here's the first problem : we all know who Vash is and what her history is like. But, we have to wait while the DS9 characters slowly figure it out. Again, O'Brien is right there. Sure, he may not know all of Vash's sordid details like one of Picard's close friends would, but he would at least know whom to ask. "Given the choice between science and profit, I'll choose profit every time." Back in "Captain's Holiday" I could overlook this blatant inconsistency with Federation economics since it was not made clear that Vash was human. In fact, Sovak always refers to Picard as the humaaaaan even when he and Vash are together. I figured she was just one of the bargain-basement look-just-like-us aliens. Thus, her need for profit could be easily explained as being a member of a non-Federation world. Of course, by "Qpid", Roddenberry had stepped further away and Ira Behr was free to make it clear she was human (Worf: "Nice legs. For a human.") . And here we are again, with a Federation citizen having no justifiable need for money, and yet pursuing it voraciously. What is she going to buy? Where? What is it she lacks as a Federation citizen whose every need is met. She has a genuine interest in archeology and would be free to pursue it. Hell, she could have been Dr Galen's right-hand man. So, Sisko FINALLY asks O'Brien about Vash's history and comments "doesn't seem like [Picard's] type." How the hell would you know? Your only interaction with him would tell you exactly nothing about his "type." Ass. Okay, so the Ganges picked up a mysterious woman in the Gamma Quadrant and experienced a mysterious power-loss. Then they bring the mysterious woman aboard the station and the station begins to suffer a mysterious power-loss. I'm stumped, guys. It's a real head-scratcher. Act 2 : .5 stars, 17% So, we get about 45 seconds of Vash putting her pants away before Q finally shows up. Note de Lancie's suggestive pronunciation of "Vash". Heh. And since when does Q consider Picard a "self-righteous do-gooder?" Have Q and Vash been fucking? For 2 years? "Joined at the hip"? Anyone who cites "The Q and the Grey" as sexualising Q obviously forgot this episode (not that I blame them). Bless, de Lancie tries his best with this crap, but it's a loss. Does it say something that Quark and Bashir seem to have the same taste in women? So, Vash starts giving Quark a handjob in exchange for his arranging the auction of her trinkets. Nice... Not hard to see why Picard was into her. He really dug the sluts. So Q continues spending his time playing games with Bashir out of JEALOUSY. Yeah, that's Q alright. O'Brien : "Sherwood Forest. It was one of the little tricks Q played on the Enterprise crew." And that, folks, is the second (eightieth?) problem here. Q's appearances on the Enterprise were always to teach Picard a lesson about the Universe and/or teach Q a lesson about humanity, the only exception being the awful "Qpid", where Q tries to teach Picard a lesson about *love* and ends up being usurped by Vash anyway. That's the lamest use of Q this side of "Q2" and exactly the problem of using him this way. Do we use Q as a bridge between humanity and the Wormhole Aliens? To teach a main character something about the complexities of the occupation (à la "Things Past" or "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night")? Or how about a simple morality tale (à la "Past Tense"?). Nah, leave those to technobabble. Okay, back to the episode. GAH! Kira just about bites my head off "You know if we had one of these power outages during a docking procedure...!" in that shrill, accusatory tone of hers. Geez. Not to beat a dead horse, but how is Vash, a human, able to out-swindle the Ferengi? So, we finally get the confrontation between Sisko and Q. Q is appropriately condescending and we get a fade on Sisko's irritated reaction. Act 3 : 0 stars, 17% You know those guys at the gym who insist upon grunting as loudly as possible so you know they're just "maxing out hardcore."? You know, because they're so big and strong and definitely don't have small penises? Meet, Ben Sisko, the man who tries to physically threaten an omnipotent being. Is anyone impressed by this stupidity? But, instead of letting Q properly demonstrate how fucking futile this gesture is, Q PLAYS ALONG and runs some goofy fisticuffs routine. And Sisko knocks him on his ass... this is cheap, self-aggrandising lunacy, writers. Oh, what now. Random hull breeches and power outages, blah blah. "Playing with the lights and punching holes in the hull doesn't strike me as [Q's] style." Thanks, Ben. I suppose allowing himself to lose boxing matches and chasing tail is? So, Q is willing to display that deadly coldness in the pursuit of Vash's, erm, vash [can I say that?], but not when dealing with Sisko's obstinacy. When Picard was arrogant towards Q, he was hurled thousands of lightyears away and introduced to the Borg. What a joke. Act 4 : **, 17% Only good lines in the episode are the famous dig at Sisko's crew's ineptitude with technobabble [and Sisko again gets in Q's face like he's going to hurt him], and the line about Federation ethics. I reach my wits' end during the following conversation between Vash and Quark; it's the same "we are loveable scoundrels" drivel from before. Harrison Ford could pull this off in one, tiny scene in a feature film; this tedium is self-congratulatory, simplistic and pandering. Cue : technobabble. I did appreciate that they're reusing the thruster trick from "Emissary." It's good they haven't forgotten they can do that. However, it kind of takes the novel idea of a space station in Star Trek and reduces it to irrelevant as the station is now *moving* due to sci-fi anomaly. If you're going to borrow a character from TNG, best not to make the jeopardy premise exactly the kind of threat a starship would face. Act 5 : *, 17% Wait a minute, didn't we just have the crisis commercial break? How can Vash's and Quark's auction still be taking place. Aren't they hurling through space--on a station which does not, presumably, have inertial dampers? Eh, the lights are dim. I guess that's ominous. Babble, babble, babble...I hate it when the best they can come up with is "it's just not clear enough." It's the tech equivalent of Troi's "'s just bad, okay!" It's always cheating when they do the babble routine, but I would like to point out that minutes and minutes of the last act is them slowly getting through this totally tension-less, passionless, rote exercise. So it's technobabble, padding and the resolution all in one. I got to laugh again! Kira, Sisko and Dax step off the turbolift onto the promenade looking for the tridium gas leak or whatever, tricorders beeping, their brows furrowed, "desperate" to save the station, while the extras casually stroll about the corridors. Was there no red alert? No announcement? Did the senior officers panicking and racing around not tip them off? And this from the director of "11001001" and "The First Duty". What a disaster. And they're STILL holding the auction! Is this funny? I'll take your word for it guys! Oohhhh, it was a Space Manta Ray, eh "embryonic lifeform." That makes sense. It can go back to the Space Aquarium with the Jellyfishes from "Encounter at Farpoint." Q : "Seeing the Universe through your eyes, I was able to experience...wonder..." Right, Q never experienced wonder before, not when Riker refused his offer of becoming Q, not when Picard begged for his help, not when Data saved his life. Nope, it was staring at dust with Vash. This is up there with that line from ST IX when Picard reveals that the one time in his life when he experienced a perfect moment, where time seemed to stand still...and it's "seeing my home planet for the first time from space," an incident which had never been documented or even discussed and is blatantly paltry next to at least a dozen experiences we have seen Picard endure. It's just flipping writers' arrogance; this is great because we SAY SO! And our final shot is....Dax. Was she in this episode? What happened? Oh thank god it's over. Episode as Functionary : .5 stars, 10% What's to say? Q is a mess, Sisko's a mess, Vash is a mess. The humour is mostly unfunny. The presumption from the writers is on full display, the danger is perfunctory and shallow, the "mystery" is given half a sentence in Sisko's log for a resolution. Absolutely dreadful. Worst of the season so far. Final Score : * Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:40:12 PDT Elliott Comment by NCC-1701-Z on VOY S6: Equinox, Part II This is probably my favorite Voyager two-parter, even though it was ultimately reset by the next ep and we never saw the Equinox survivors again (too bad, I would have liked to see Marla Gilmore and/or Noah Lessing redeem herself a la TNG's "Lower Decks"). To me, what happened to the Equinox symbolizes what Voyager's first season could have been. I loved watching Janeway become obsessed and watching conditions on Voyager gradually deteriorate to match those of the Equinox, kind of symbolizing Janeway's descent into darker territories. The technobabble got too much for me after a while - I agree with Jammer, it could have been simplified immensely without affecting the plot. Fun fact: Max Burke was played by Titus Welliver, who played the Man in Black on Lost. I knew he looked and sounded familiar but didn't realize why until I re-watched this episode and saw his name in the credits - he looked completely different without the beard. And Rick Worthy, of course, played the Cylon Simon on BSG. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:57:18 PDT NCC-1701-Z Comment by MP on VOY S3: Blood Fever Addendum: I meant "To Leaf AND kapages" Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:43:18 PDT MP Comment by MP on VOY S3: Blood Fever To "Leaf" above: The questions/thoughts you mentioned are the result of Voyager (and most of Trek) bringing up questions and situations with little explanation or resolution. With decades of hindsight, this seems to have been more lazy writing than anything else. For example, all the Trek's which included holographic characters highlight their seemingly-sentience. Yet only Voyager even began to tackle the issue; and only with the Doctor. Yet we see evidence that many random holographic characters are fully aware yet blatantly killed at the simplest command. And that doesn't even begin to talk about the ethical issues of creating sentient, aware "people" with memories and lives for entertainment. Something that no-one has mentioned yet about the Tom/Belanna issue are the extreme conditions Voyager faces of being far from home with limited supplies and resources. This was played up in the first two seasons, then completely dropped as the show became more episodic and "monster-of-the-week." Specifically, with what Voyager faces, is it right to hurt the ship's chances of survival by depriving it of all the experience and expertise of its Chief Engineer in order to respect sexual morality in a highly alien situation? At what point does the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one? To be fair, Trek has never been one to delve deeply into such dark issues. It is no BSG. And true, its ridiculous that Belanna is so critical and has no second who could take her place easily. But that's the problem with Trek, especially in the later shows. It raises, intentionally or not, deep and often disturbing questions that are barely if even explored. We're given contrived or techno babble conclusions and told to shut up and forget about what happened. I don't want to see Star Trek: Supreme Court; but I would have loved to have at least frank discussions about this stuff. Sexual morality, holographic rights for ALL holograms, the limits of human morality in contrast to survival, and more. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:42:12 PDT MP Comment by Grumpy on VOY S7: The Void Ah, a Doylist among Watsonians. As Harry Plinkett said at the end of his ST Nemesis review, "Wait, none of this really happened!" And he should know, being fictitious himself. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:57:29 PDT Grumpy Comment by dlpb on VOY S7: The Void To Daniel.... did it not occur to you that Janeway realized ========= Janeway didn't realize anything, because she isn't real. She is a mouthpiece for whatever the writers want her to say. Are you that stupid? Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:30:37 PDT dlpb Comment by Dave in NC on VOY S7: Critical Care @dlpb Are you sure you're a Star Trek fan? It sounds like you've learned very little from the shows. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:26:08 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S6: Descent, Part I And that wasn't directed completely at you, by the way. This is more a general observation than anything directly said by anyone. I've noticed a undercurrent of misogyny in some of the reviews, both by Jammer and others. Yes, some female characters are written badly, but that's because the writers didn't understand women well and they were being forced by higher-ups to ramp up the sexual titillation. There are some reviewers here that seem to revert to a "Ain't that just like a woman" kind of thinking rather than placing the blame where it belongs: at the feet of the writers/producers (and in the cases of Troi and Ezri, the ability of each actress to emote believably). Then again, the flip side of this is that writers DO understand the male mind pretty well, which may be the reason why some reviewers react the way they do. Of course Keiko is portrayed as bitchy, of course the female characters cry or scream at least three times a season, of course the women are either strangely prudish or super-promiscuous. This is how a lot of men see women, so of course this is going to resonate with many male viewers. Well, that and the lingering shots of Deanna's ample boobage. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:20:04 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Dave in NC on TNG S6: Descent, Part I I'm going to save my review for another day (this is one of those squandered potential episodes), but to reply to "Karaokejoe"... I guess only the female crewmembers are capable of "nagging"? Not to be Mr. Thought-Police, I'm just pointing out that it is kind of sexist to only use this word in relation to the women on the crew. (Unless we are discussing Keiko, hehe). Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:54:27 PDT Dave in NC Comment by Elliott on VOY S7: Critical Care Okay, dlpb, you've just turned in your sanity card. Please show up on time for your straight-jacket fitting. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:59:19 PDT Elliott Comment by dlpb on VOY S7: Critical Care More loading of the dice here, I'm afraid (despite being a good episode). The kid who is being refused care just happens to be a promising talent. Come on. The vast majority of people in the US that can't afford care are useless, lazy bums. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:17:06 PDT dlpb Comment by larmih on DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap Opinions differ. But I found two episodes of DS9 season six I got intrested in Statistical Probabilities and Sound of Her Voice wore done on stories by Pam Pietroforte, which brought me to this site. No other information. Perhaps it was a brief participation of the writer in the franchise, but psychologically they were the most effective, so the author had great potential. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 02:52:00 PDT larmih Comment by Joseph B on DS9 S4: Rejoined Just finished viewing the first season of "Arrow" which is a new super hero series based on the "Green Arrow" comics series. The show utilizes the tone of "The Dark Knight" movie to good effect and is reasonably entertaining as a result. While viewing the eps it seemed to me that there was something hauntingly familiar about the actress playing Oliver Green's mother. Sure enough, it’s the same actress that played Lenara Kahn in this groundbreaking (at the time) DS9 ep. It seems incredible that this episode aired almost twenty years ago. And Susanna Thompson is still a very capable and attractive actress even after all this time. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:10:04 PDT Joseph B Comment by Entilzha on TNG S1: Datalore Another point to add to all those already mentioned: The solution was to just beam Lore off the Enterprise and leave him floating in space? He's not deactivated and I'm sure he can send some kind of signal that can be picked up, or just be noticed, by a space vessel flying close by. Not only would it enable Lore to resume his hostile activities, but if picked up by enemies of the Federation, his tech and knowledge can be used - imagine him in the hands of the Cardassians or the Romulans. It's very naive and sloppy solution by a crew who already behaved stupidly through most of this episode. I'm guessing not the smartest of writers were on board for this one. Comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:07:57 PDT Entilzha Comment by Michael on TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise They looked like warbirds but they were heavy battle cruisers. Why the Enterprise did not use photon torpedoes after the first spread? Perhaps the rift in space....they did not want to destabilize it? They knew the Klingons were on the way. No other Federation vessel could assist? Yes it is a time of war but this was an unusual event to put it mildly!! Comments welcome Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:39:31 PDT Michael Comment by D. Albert on BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 Jammer I agree. The lack of planning cost the series dearly. Some stuff just doesn't add up. You mentioned the big two. Some thoughts: For me, Cavil's character arc flopped. He HATED humanity and thus himself. And Fate. And then, poof! He agrees to a a truce. And it was a truce, which is why he just blew his brains out when it broke apart. It just doesn't fit with his incredible bile. At least the writers in part resolved the conflict between fate and free will in the character(s) of 8. Boomer and Athena show, as you point out, that Cylon biology/fate still depends on individual choice. I like that. Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:20:50 PDT D. Albert Comment by 213karaokejoe on TNG S7: Descent, Part II The incident with metaphysic shielding is a little confusing. The Borg ships stop and wait and the Enterprise stops, not taking advantage of the opportunity to put some distance between them. Didn't like the "Innocent girl-mean man" dynamic at play with the junior officers. Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:23:59 PDT 213karaokejoe Comment by 213karaokejoe on TNG S6: Descent, Part I I read a lot of comments in I Borg that the next Federation death would be on Picard's shoulders for letting Hugh go. Well, Franklin was killed and they took a Borg prisoner. Picard is certainly culpable for Franklin, but so is Crusher. When Picard wants to interrogate the prisoner Crusher gets all judgemental with him. I could have slapped her. Did she learn nothing? Her nagging helped cause the Hugh debacle. Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:58:25 PDT 213karaokejoe Comment by D. Albert on BSG S4: Islanded in a Stream of Stars I really like that Boomer is so messed up. It shows how human she is. Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:13:18 PDT D. Albert Comment by D. Albert on BSG S4: Someone to Watch Over Me "How much individuality does Athena lose by having copies out there who know her well enough to undermine her like this? It's disturbing." I see it differently. Athena would never act like Boomer. That shows how individual they are. Free will, and all. Are we any different? I think not. Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:18:48 PDT D. Albert Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit Teaser : ***.5 , 5% Something's coming through the wormhole! Finally! Dax : "It doesn't match anything in Starfleet files." Really? How odd that a vessel from 70K lightyears away would not be in your files. The NSA must have stolen them. The score's a little better than usual during this scene, it helps add to the feeling of discovery and urgency, two desperately needed feelings on the series so far. I realise that Sisko thinks O'Brien would be less intimidating to Tosk than a formal greeting party, but what if he were dangerous? No security for poor Miles? So far, this is the best teaser since the pilot. Act 1 : ***.5, 17% Seems like Meaney gets all the scenes where he's talking to thin air. Hooray for good actors! There's a classic sci-fi trick of nominal ambiguity in Tosk's self-designation. It's an interesting little insight into his psychology. The majority of this act is just O'Brien and Tosk chatting. Thankfully they're both portrayed amiably and with an understated thoughtfulness. No forced smiles, not awkward laughs, no wasted steps. It feels more natural and artful than nearly any other dialogue we've seen on the series. Unfortunately, it seems like Tosk is up to no good, however, as he searches the station's plans for weapons storage, thus making the ominous music cue justified for once. Act 2 : *** , 17% Things continue to be paced better and more naturally, but I am curious if Sisko has even advised Starfleet that they just met a new race. I mean, first contact is a big deal isn't it? It brings up the question as to whether anyone on DS9 or in Starfleet is trying to contact the Wormhole Aliens. We could have had a DS9-Cmdr Maddox whose curiosity about these new creatures led to a conflict with Sisko. Are they really just like, "okay, so our only means of accessing this remote part of space requires travelling through the territory of non-linear beings who can enter our thoughts and physically control the wormhole. I'm sure that doesn't need a followup."? DS9's setting requires a lot of extras doing group-acting ("Dabbo!"). For budgetary reasons, this often leads to distracting little bits in the background. Ostensibly, all these extra people are supposed to differentiate DS9 from a starship, with its function-centric corridors and clean rooms, but the fact that so many of these extras perform so poorly ends up making the environment feel *more* artificial sometimes. Just a note. The same thing happened in Ten Forward. Next good choice, adding Quark into the mix. Horray for good actors! I do think drinking beer out of coffee mugs is kind of idiotic, however. Was this a censor issue? Next good choice, cutting Bashir off mid-sentence! One gripe is that Sisko still hasn't bothered to introduce himself to this new alien species. I realise he was trying to earn Tosk's trust by letting O'Brien deal with him, but doesn't Sisko have an obligation as a Federation commander to make a legitimate first contact? And now it seems he'd be willing to let Tosk leave without even meeting him! Tosk is caught meddling with Station security and taken to Odo's office for questioning. Here's another good choice; O'Brien earlier remarked that he found Tosk's naïveté charming and disarming, and here we see that in action (this is in contrast to just telling us he's naïve, or worse, showing us and THEN telling us he's naïve). Act 3 : **.5, 17% Well, good job putting off meeting this guy, Sisko, because now first contact is happening in prison. And now you want to "hold him till someone shows up looking for him"? You should get a promotion! "Allow me to die with honour." Oh no, he's a Klingon in disguise! Unfortunately, the plot starts to take a dive here. The other Gamma Quadrant ship emerges and starts shooting the station. The results are identical to what goes on on Starships, things shake, no one fires weapons, shields down, "I've never seen this before." It's a gigantic space station against a tiny vessel. Anyone who claims DS9 didn't pull Trek clichés is delusional. Act 4 : ****, 17% So, we get this goofy little fire fight (also, why would hitting a Changeling injure him?) between the crew and Tron. And it turns out Tosk is designated prey in a "noble and honourable hunt." It's a little predictable, but a worthwhile bit of Trekkiness. It reminds me of a cross between TNG's "Suddenly Human" and "The Perfect Mate"; Tosk is bound by his conditioning (conditioning which, by any human standards is nothing less than barbaric), but to deny him the fulfilment of his conditioned purpose would be to rob him of everything he has ever cared about. We get a moving little scene where Tosk refuses to request asylum from the Federation. Whatever injustice was done to Tosk is impossible to rectify. He's already bound to his fate. Either he dies unjustly with his socially-conditioned honour in tact, or not. Those are his only options. He cannot be saved. O'Brien doesn't plead with him, but silently walks away. Act 5 : *.5, 17% ....So O'Brien tricks Odo by playing on his Starfleet resentment. Okay, good. Then Odo just leaves Tosk, his hunter and O'Brien alone with no other security monitoring. Wow. So O'Brien breaks Tosk free (violating orders and getting at least one of the aliens killed). And here we go off the rails...we were doing so well, too. SIsko tells Odo not to hurry, other SF officers watch O'Brien go by and say nothing. No security alert. I realise that Sisko doesn't approve of the Hunt (nor should he), but you can't have it both ways. Either you're sticking to your oath or your principals. True, there are times when regulations need to be broken (see "The Drumhead"), but you don't get to hide behind a presumed morality like the Q. So what is Sisko's report to Starfleet going to say? "I tried to stop him, really." That's just a lie. He's a liar. The fact is, the hunters are as socially-conditioned as Tosk himself. They may not deserve as much sympathy as the prey, but they aren't "bad guys," they're following their conditioning. They deserve pity just like Tosk. So Sisko throws the riot act at O'Brien because of course he realised he fucked up royally in his Starfleet duty. Then has the audacity to smile, pleased with himself for helping O'Brien along. But I guess these guys just know that they're right. No moral ambiguity. Helping Tosk escape, violating their own laws and potentially igniting contact with a new species--all okay. But I'm sure there will be consequences... Episode as Functionary : **.5, 10% It's a good character piece for O'Brien. I'm not against his having a personal ethical code which overrides his duty, but there should be consequences to this behaviour right? Sisko dubious moral code is further flushed out. When Kirk, Picard or Janeway violated the letter of the law, they OWNED it. They decided to face the music and live with their choices because they thought they were right. Sisko plays this little game where he pretends to try and stop O'Brien so he can falsify his report to Starfleet. What a coward. And talk about a reset button! In spite of these issues, it's a more engaging watch than any of the previous episodes. Credit to better pacing, acting and dialogue along with a score that's at least an interesting shade of wallpaper instead of the usual beige. Final Score : *** Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:05:12 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: Babel Teaser : ***, 5% "You look like you could use some sleep!" Thanks, Kira. Maybe he'd have time if you didn't stand around bitching about everything. O'Brien's Bad Day is actually a decent bit of work, but dear god, how about some music [even some crappy music]? Or some snappy editing? So many seconds go by wasted where we watch O'Briend tap a console or replace a hatch. Anyway, there's a mysterious device in the bowels of the replicator system. Uh-oh. Act 1 : **, 17% And a repeat of the flaw in the Odo/Quark rapport from "A Man Alone"; they're sitting together casually shooting the breeze and are literally telling each other what could amount to character bios. This is not natural dialogue, it's ham-fisted character exposition. What is there for me, the viewer, to infer about their relationship? Nothing, they've just told me everything! Thanks for letting me turn my brain off, guys. On the other hand, it's kind of hilarious how easily Quark gains security access when Odo just left his presence. So, O'Brien's fatigue starts to bleed into his manifesting odd symptoms until he finally starts babbling nonsense at Kira. This must have been fun to memorise... TNG's S6 was an unfortunate period to air a new show. The bland, slow, padded style which characterised the direction of the series of that time was a poor vehicle for introducing us to this new series and these new characters. I found myself equally disenchanted by this style on TNG, but at least I already knew and cared about the crew and their mission. DS9 did not yet have that advantage. To me, this is a much bigger culprit in DS9's perceived lack of direction than its stationary setting. Act 2 : **, 17% Hmm...Star Trek : Gertrude Stein? It would have been nice if the crew's goofy dialogue were perceived as funny by the cast rather than "deadly serious." Yes, it's a serious problem, but come on, how about some realistic emotional responses, at least at first, before it becomes clear there's an epidemic. Clunky exposition returns as the alien with the stew makes a second appearance just to give Odo his clue about Quark's security breech. Others have pointed out the ret-con of Rom being a brilliant engineer despite his "being an idiot," but didn't we see him in the last episode being, well, not an idiot? He seemed like a normal Ferengi. So the writers later chose to take a normal character and make him both incredibly stupid and incredible brilliant. Let's keep this in mind, shall we? I am not certain that Rom was the only victim of this strategy. So, it turns out Quark is inadvertently responsible for spreading a deadly virus to the entire station's population, including all his customers. I'm sure we'll see consequences to this. Again, the story plods along at a snail's pace with the most lethargic attempts at character interplay sprinkled about. Act 3 : *.5, 17% Here's ANOTHER unnecessary scene--Kira is about to tell Sisko that she found the mysterious device (nice resolution to that mystery, by the way, if only O'Brien had thought to use his tricorder during his repairs), yet we have to actually be shown a 15-second clip of her finding it. Talk about padding. Okay, what would be different, dramatically speaking, in making the "aphasia virus" just a damned virus, ie a disease which weakens and kills you? Is there a reason to make the sufferers aphasic? Do we get some metaphor, plot twist or even a little pathos from this gimmick? Nope! It's just a way to make the virus more science-fiction-y. Take Sisko's finding Jake sick--if Jake had been, say coughing or wheezing, feverish, sick in bed, would Sisko's reaction be less warranted? Instead, we are asked to feel the same based on Jake's random word-generator speak. So, we have to overcome a strange layer of suspension of disbelief for absolutely no reason. The consequences, resolution and empathy of the plot would not be hindered by making the virus act like a virus and not an internet meme-speak. Another unintentional result is we have to rely on the actors communicating their real feelings without the aide of coherent dialogue. Colm Meany could pull this off, but Terry Ferrel and Cirroc Lofton definitely cannot. Poor kid is just flailing his eyebrows about in an attempt to convey desperation. Without knowing this particular child-actor's strengths and weaknesses, it should have been an obvious bad move for the writers to demand something so subtle and strange from a kid. Um, the Bajorans developed a complex virus (with this unexplained goofy aphasic side-effect) during the resistance? How, when? Oof, Kira's friend whom she contacts over subspace gets the shitty acting prize on this one. Act 4 : *, 17% "This virus is a work of genius." My ass. So, Kira has 12 hours to find the Bajoran genius or people start dying. Okay. So, Sisko, maybe you want to assign more than ONE person to work on this! Maybe help yourself instead of interrupting Kira to let her know she needs to hurry up. Geez. Then, we get the scene where Kira tells Sisko she's leaving to find a cure, but fails to mention she won't leave the Runabout, just so Sisko can berate her for breaking quarantine. People are yelling! Drama must be happening! RARG! Well, just in case the virus wasn't riveting enough, we've got the other contrived disaster, the exploding ship. That's right, trying to break away from the station doesn't cause his hull damage or impair his docking clamps, but triggers and EXPLOSION. That's some well-designed technology there. Act 5 : *, 17% Kira stealing Surmak from his office was hilarious. Total Janeway move. Why is it that every time someone goes aphasic, it's always met with "what, what was that?" followed by awkward babbling. Did Kira just sentence this man to death? Well, I'm sure there will be consequences. Did Kira fly past the burning vessel about to blow up half the station and do nothing? No hail, no offer to use the Runabout's transporters or tractor beam? Huh. 30 SECONDS 20 SECONDS 10 SECONDS!!!!!! 'splosion! I did like Quark's little comment about "hazard pay." Do Bajorans earn a salary working Federation jobs? The bookending was really painful--all that was missing was one of those early TNG "that was cute and funny" music cues followed by Sitcom credits. Episode as Functionary : *, 10% What's to say? The plot is ludicrous, the danger at the end obviously manufactured and the titular "Babel" aspect is just a gimmick. We could have had an interesting subtext about the original meaning of the Babel myth--the dispersion of peoples, the multiplying of tongues allegorising the divergence of cultures. Instead we get generic danger and inexplicable justifications. I'm not sure if this underwent a rewrite, but it had, in this way, a similar feel to "Masks," where a potentially intriguing idea is dumbed down to pointless drivel. Much like "The Naked Now," it's also a really bad idea to air an episode which requires the actors to be weird so early in the series. It leads to a lot of uncomfortable scenes with darting eyes and confused expressions. The Odo/Quark stuff was okay in places, but nothing about it really added to their dynamic. Sisko's concern for his son does not inflect his actions in any way except during the designated "character scene." It felt cheap. Overall, it's a cheesy, contrived mess that needs no repeat viewings. Final Score : *.5 Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:31:36 PDT Elliott Comment by Elliott on DS9 S1: A Man Alone I started doing little act by act reviews years ago and never finished. Inspired by the good work of William B. and a few others, I'm going to press on with these: Teaser : **.5, 5% Blue Shirts and Bubbles...Here's a good representation of those typical season 1 blues (most of the series have them); the writers are attempting to define these characters in prosaic, general terms: Dax is a Trill, she's old and she's smart. The "puzzle" gives her the chance to remind us of all these things (delivery still needs work, Terry). Bashir is young, motor-mouthed and hormonal. What I remember about early DS9 and VOY episodes is that they are dealing with many of the same freshman pains as early TNG, but aired in the middle of Berman's Beige Trek. So, while in TNG I could enjoy the wonderful scores and the interesting directing choices, here there's this general haze of bland boredom. Anyway, the teaser contains absolutely no meat on its bones, but it's inoffensive enough. Act 1 ***, 17% Odo's digression on "coupling" is one of those yet-to-be-patented DS9 banality indulgences (let's call them DBIs); a potentially interesting bit of character growth for Odo is reduced to sitcom-level clichés (of course, it's not football, it's "caronette" because we're IN SPACE). Is that really the depth we're going into on the subject of "coupling"? Meh. Jadzia and Sisko share a laugh over a bit of dialogue which someone labeled a joke but is not remotely funny (this episode's take on Past Prologue's "new suit" is apparently "steamed Azna"). Clumsy, clumsy dialogue in the exposition with these two: they have to spell out for us that they feel uncomfortable. Who tells their mentor that she is his mentor? It's so unnatural. One interesting thing about the structure of this act is all the pairs : Odo/Quark [rivals[, Dax/Sisko [old friends], Miles/Keiko [spouses], Jake/Nog [new friends] : all the little dialogues present a theme of companionship. This was a good and subtle choice. Anyway, the "real" plot kicks in--it's good that Odo is still operating as he did under Dukat (basically his own rules). The murder itself is corny as hell--black leather glove holding that enormous dagger? Wasn't there a less 70s-horror-porn way to show this? In any event, the tone of this act is so different from the teaser, it feels like a different episode. Act 2 : **.5, 17% FWAK! [that was the tone metre slapping me in the face] : a return to the teaser material and whacky antics from Nog and Jake. Dax/Bashir adds nothing to what we learned in the teaser. It's just filler. Jake's and Nog's prank is another example of the DBI (I think Michael Piller thought everyone's childhood is a version of "Stand By Me"). I laughed at the generic "serious crisis" music when the deputy grabbed the boys. God these scores are awful. So, Odo discovers his name on Ibudan's Ical circa 1992. There are only 12 children on the entire station? That seems unlikely. In any event, I thought the conversation between Keiko and Sisko was pretty well done--but there's a thorny issue that wasn't addressed: Sisko rightly points out that there are a multitude of cultures living on the station. True, but the problem is that a school is a state function (unless it's a privately sponsored school). Which governmental body is responsible for the station? It seems like in civil matters, Bajoran law is respected (see "Dax"), but we saw earlier (and will see later) that Sisko expects Odo to operate under Starfleet regulations, implying that the criminal and military branch is controlled by the Federation. But the senior-ranking Bajoran is Kira, who is under Sisko's authority. Did they think this through? I know they're going for the whole "frontier" thing, but we're not talking about governments that you have to send telegrams to and wait weeks for a response. Both Bajor and the Federation are instantly accessible by subspace. Another efficient and brief scene continues the murder plot. There's not much to say about it--it's plot mechanics and nothing more. Act 3 : ***, 17% Finally, we get a bit of character work in the A plot with an understated admission of trust between Kira and Odo. Unfortunately, that trend is dropped in the Promenade scene with the Bajorans and Quark. It dawns on them that Odo's history with the occupational government might make him a poor choice for security chief. Okay, good. Then Quark has to tell them (the camera) that Odo's a good guy, despite his gruffness and that Quark considers him a friend. The amity between Odo and Quark will of course prove to be one of the best character features of the series, but telling us flat out in such an omniscient expositional manner is very trite and lazy. If they're at this point now, exactly where are they going in the future? I'm trying to figure out Keiko's motivations here. She's bored and thus wants something to do; O'Brien and Sisko help her found a school...why is she so persistent of Rom? Is there a quota of multi-ethnic children her new school must possess? I never heard mention anything about her wanting to play Ambassador to the Ferengi. Meanwhile, we get the ominous glare from Obi-Wan Bajori, followed by a scene that is literally just Bashir waving around fake instruments while the score continues to convince us we'd be better off napping. There's emmy-winning material. The best scene in the episode occurs when Sisko relieves Odo of duty. Although Sisko is mostly a cardboard sounding board, sleepily professing is baseless belief in Odo's innocence, the writers make a really good choice in having Odo's dialogue flow directly from character. He's upset of course, but he's also unwaveringly cunning. Whereas perhaps most humanoids would appreciate the vote of confidence Sisko casts in spite of his dutiful actions, Odo sees the flaw in Sisko's logic and all but rejects wholesales his overture of collegial respect. It's worthy of a Spock/Kirk moment. Kudos. Act 4 : **, 17% On the other hand, the ransacking of Odo's office is pretty silly (boy, the Bajorans picked up English quickly). And the Quark/Odo dialogue is mostly the same clunky "tell don't show" stuff from earlier, but Auberjonois and Shimmerman display a wonderful chemistry that transcends the lousy writing. In the middle of all this, Bashir and Sisko grab lunch. Okay. I appreciate that the writers are trying to flush out the Sisko/Dax backstory, but a lot of this is hard to swallow. Dax died of old age (we later find out, that Serena Williams literally fucked him to death). Sisko may not be as young as Bashir, but when exactly were he and Kurzon galavanting around, wrestling and picking up women? I could see the older mentor drinking Sisko under the table and maybe embarrassing himself in an attempt to pick up a woman, but it seems a little far-fetched. Worse is the fact that they seem to want to build the backstory on this kind of frat-boy meets midlife crisis camaraderie, but didn't Sisko marry Jennifer when he was fresh out of the Academy? When would Sisko and Kurzon have had these adventures? When Sisko was a teenager? What was their relationship like after Sisko got married? I doubt they were hitting on Amazons. Swing and miss, folks. While we're on the subject of contradictions, why is Odo's shape-shifting ability seem to be the root of the mob violence? I thought the Bajorans resented his status as a former Cardassian collaborator. Why are they playing the race card? It feels like a forced way to try and make Odo's persecution more metaphorical, but it's damned sloppy and comes from nowhere. They *would* do this properly in S7's "Chimera." Closing out the act, we have super-genius Bashir staring at the growing glob in the Infirmary. What could this clump of organic matter made from Bajoran DNA be? Jinkies, what a mystery. [Trivial bit: Morn is seen in the mob outside Odo's office. That's got to be awkward] Act 5 : *.5, 17% Why is the Federation helping these people again? "How do you get a rope around the neck of a shape-shifter?" I'm not suggesting that the Bajorans should have the evolved sensibility of humans (how could they after their history?), but this kind of blood-thirst is absolutely nauseating. You'd think they would have had enough pointless bloodshed by now. In reality, this "kill the shifter" bs is what RedLetterMedia's Mr Plinket properly refers to as a script's equivalent to a penis car (those ridiculous sports cars middle-aged men buy to overcompensate for their perceived lack of sexual virility); in order to artificially inflate the stakes, the mob has to want to kill Odo for...why do they hate him again? His collaboration (didn't seem to bother them before today)? His alien nature (ostensibly so, but what exactly is their objection?)? His alleged murder of one ill-reputed Bajoran we know nothing about? The only thing this approach achieves is to make the Bajorans seem cartoonish. So, the big mystery is revealed: Ibudan cloned himself to frame Odo. Actually, pretty clever. So Odo tracks down Obi-Wan Bajori, who turns out to be Ibudan. All that was missing was Ibudan's "And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling shape-shifter!" Closing the episode is Keiko's first class. Sort of cute, but we get nothing further from Rom re: his interest in putting Nog here, and there are NO other human children on the station? Scratch, that, Federation children? No other officers have kids except Sisko, so the only other kids who show up are Bajoran. See, this is another contrived conflict: given the size of the station, there should be at least a a couple of other officers' kids between the age of 4 and 18 who would attend Keiko's school, making the need to solicit Bajoran and Ferengi children superfluous. Again, unless Keiko's stated purpose had been to try and bridge the cultures on the station--but her motivation was to have something to do with her time, since her degreed profession was apparently not an option. Whatever, enough of this cheese-fest. Episode as functionary : ** 10% There's a bit of good character work for Odo, but there's WAY too much clunky exposition. For the most part, we aren't allowed to discover the characters' backstories or their relationships, we are just told about them (exceptions are Kira/Odo and Jake/Nog). Couple that with some really illogical history with Sisko/Dax and the totally botched motivation for the Bajoran mob, as well as Keiko's amiable, but rather flimsy B-plot and it's probably one to skip. It's worth a footnote that Keiko's school will become important later, but not really worth sitting through the hour to get that bit of information. Final Score : ** Comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:41:14 PDT Elliott