Comments on Jammer's Reviews RSS feed for comments posted on Jammer's Reviews en-us Sat, 10 Oct 2015 06:47:05 PDT Comment by Jarrot Mullen on DS9 S5: Blaze of Glory Bad episode. Firstly, I don't like the premise. Our ever-scheming Eddington let's his lovely wife send out a fake message and obviously knows a) the Klingons will pick it up b) will relay it to Sisko and c) Sisko comes to him for help. Yeah, I believe that. Secondly, the Dominion and the Federation ARE AT WAR already. They have repeatedly shot at each other, the Jem Hadar have repeatedly captured and imprisoned Federation personnel, changelings have repeatedly infiltrated Federation organizations. And yet for several episodes Sisko and the others are acting like it isn't a war. Thirdly, the sarcastic back-and-forth between Eddington and Sisko gets old, quickly. When did Eddington turn so smug? Fourthly, blaming the Maquis for the Cardassia-Dominon-alliance is stupid. The Maquis was never portrayed as anything but a thorn in Cardassia's side, it was the Klingon War that almost annihilated Cardassia and that forge the alliance. Comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 06:47:05 PDT Jarrot Mullen Comment by Kiamau on TNG S3: The Price Again, Dr. Crusher's ever-changing hair... Comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 05:02:16 PDT Kiamau Comment by Ruth on TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I I really didn't rate this episode at all. First of all, you can't order Starfleet officers to do what they don't want to do with no limits, we've been through that with Data in The Measure of a Man. (They can resign at any time and that Data wasn't allowed to was supposed to be very shocking.) If Jellico had pushed too hard, and he very nearly did, he would have been in a big empty high-value target. The Enterprise is full of families for goodness's sake - even if some would have been okay with them messing around on the Cardassian border under Picard's command it doesn't mean they would have been okay with anyone telling them to. Secondly, he was rubbish. So pathetic. Troi was right about him from the start, putting on a tough front but being weak inside. All it took was for that Cardassian to have one piece of info Jellico didn't expect him to have and that's it, he completely and visibly crumbled. As if it required knowing the whole mission to notice that this is normally Picard's ship anyway? As if that meant that obviously everyone including your own mother is a Cardassian spy and omg we've all failed aaaahhhh!!!? Of course, it WAS all a trap, but Jellico didn't know that, he didn't know that Cardassian knew it or even that he knew of the mission. All he did was note Picard's absence and Jellico was about to start crying and hand over the whole Federation. Even if Picard had been hit with horrible dread he still wouldn't have SHOWN it for crying out loud! Picard is soft on the outside, true, but almost unbreakable inside. No-one can intimidate him. He would have been much better suited to the job but we were supposed to believe and a lot of the commenters here did believe that Jellico was not only not the worst choice possible but the best man for the job. Even super soft-seeming Troi could have done better because she's not an idiot. We've seen her in tough situations and at the poker table and she doesn't show her hand like that or back down easily. I also don't agree with those who've said Data wasn't reacting the same way as the rest of the crew. He doesn't lie to people for no reason, that's all (and we saw only a few episodes ago that Geordi also would never exaggerate how long an engineering task takes, and he didn't here, either). He was practically rolling his eyes at Geordi as he followed Jellico out of engineering - as much as Data ever would, anyway. Data is also fully aware that he's the only one on board who doesn't need to sleep - Jellico apparently isn't. But mainly I hate him for doing the Captain's Log. That belongs to Picard only!! Do it off screen but I don't want to hear it! You're not the captain! Comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 04:29:11 PDT Ruth Comment by Robert on DS9 S5: For the Uniform Although the episode presents the planet switching as "his plan" I will at least accept your problem with he. Even if he was 100% sure that they could have evacuated before succumbing to the poison somebody could have been trampled in the confusion or whatever and he'd be responsible. I'd accept the interpretation that he was reckless and got lucky. I'm going to rewatch with that in mind and consider. Comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 04:10:25 PDT Robert Comment by daryl again on DS9 S5: Children of Time Oh yeah, one thing I found EXTREMELY annoying was Sisko's "I can't ask Kira to sacrifice her life for 8000 people, or 8.000.000" FUCKING BULLSHIT! It happens all. the. time. Closing the wormhole to prevent the Dominion fleet from coming through, thereby stranding Worf et al. in the Gamma Quadrant is the exact same thing as stranding the Defiant's crew inside the barrier. With the difference that he knows the people inside the barrier have great lives. Sending the Defiant to meet a hundred Jem Hadar ships in battle is nothing but asking them to die. If Sisko wasn't in the business of doing that, he should have sent them away when the fleet came though the wormhole. For a time, all the philosophic discussion revolved around not letting Kira die. What a load of crap. Comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 03:06:40 PDT daryl again Comment by daryl on DS9 S5: Children of Time I'm torn on the ending. At first, I wanted to call it a character assassination of Odo. I found it unbelievable that he would not have found new love, forgotten Kira. It happens all the time. I found it unbelievable that Mr. D&D Judge character would sacrifice 8000 people he has known for all their lives for the vague *chance* that he and Kira might hit it off. But then I remembered that they made it a point - repeatedly! - that Odo would have joined the Founders if it weren't for Kira. So he seems to be a tad obsessed with her. So perhaps it's less of a character assassination than it is a character affirmation. I now assume Odo is a selfish bastard. Who knows how much of his "honorable" behavior is just pretense to make Kira like him. If you remember, he was a straight up Cardassian collaborator until he met her. Comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 02:58:09 PDT daryl Comment by Gil on ENT S4: Bound Fear of female sexuality makes fools of men, especially writers. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:17:43 PDT Gil Comment by dlpb on DS9 S5: For the Uniform The episode said they evacuated so it's true and Sisko is not a mass murderer. ----------------- Even if we accept the absurd premise that they could, there is no way he could have known that at the time. And he was going to do it regardless. For that and breaking the law, he would find himself in jail. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:54:40 PDT dlpb Comment by Kiamau on TNG S3: The Enemy Dr. Crusher's hair! So long. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:52:37 PDT Kiamau Comment by fhatthewuck on VOY S2: Prototype "Trekkian take on the Prime Directive" Hurr yase, that was a very Star Warsian take on the Force Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:51:22 PDT fhatthewuck Comment by Proper from Gunnerkrigg on TNG S3: The Survivors I'm a jerk but frankly I like what Kevin did to Troi. About time someone pushed the pushy snoop back a bit. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:43:56 PDT Proper from Gunnerkrigg Comment by Easter on DS9 S3: Shakaar @William B I think one of this episodes big failings is that it assumes we know a lot (as it was at this point in the series) and therefore feels it can leave a lot unsaid and just assume we'll fill in the blanks with stuff that honestly shouldn't be left to that. Like, the show never really says or even properly implies that Winn used underhanded dealings to get the First Minister position and be in a situation where nobody is running against her, but since every time we've seen her thus far she's been using underhanded tactics to get power we're supposed to assume that this was no different and just treat her ascension to first minister as the result of illegal maneuvering and duplicity and her lack of competition is from the same kind of stuff she pulled to get Bareil out of the runnig for Kai. We never see her actively lie to the people of Bajor but again based on who she is I think we're supposed to just infer that she didn't tell them the whole story which is something Shakkar can leverage and most importantly, we never actually see or learn the specifics of the contract Shakaar has with the government, we never know if it says "You have use of this equipment for X time" or if it says "you have provisional use of this equipment for X time unless we ask for it back" but since Kira believes Shakaar is justified we're supposed to assume it's in his favour since we're on her side rather than Winn's and Winn is OBVIOUSLY acting inappropriately, because that's what she does. We also never see Shakaar act reluctant about being first minister but since he was, up to this point, a farmer with no interest in politics and we have a definite Li Nalaas parallel I think we're supposed to assume he's doing it for the good of Bajor even though all he really wants to do is farm some space-rutabaga or whatever. These are all really important plot/character points that the show just kinda assumes we'll infer from past behaviour and how the character's we're supposed to like act. Which is a major failing of the episode and how those blanks get instinctively filled or not filled by our respective brains probably plays a huge part in how we initially react to the episode. I actually just went back and read the script and I was misremembering the scene in the valley. I thought shakaar initially gave up. Having reread it I take it more as him accepting that this situation is out of control. Even if he gets arrested and the Kai "Win"s, even if his entire cell gets taken down, it won't stop the civil war from coming. The fuse is too close to lit. Once one side fires at the other it's over. The government will have their justification and/or the resistance will have their martyr. The only way to end this is to find a way to have both sides "Win" which is by making Shakaar, the face of the resistance, and Winn, the face of those opposing them, publicly making good together and getting on equal footing. The solution then is to make Shakaar the First Minister and official head of Bajor and leave Winn the Kai and spiritual head of Bajor so that the people can feel like this has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I get the feeling this episode was planned as a two parter and then when it didn't get it had to try to cut details everywhere it could and hope we would fill in the blanks. So yeah, as much as it's visceraly enjoyable for me to watch I'm gonna have to agree that this was a pretty poorly written episode which requires almost fanfic levels of headcannon from implied scenes to work. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:30:50 PDT Easter Comment by Easter on DS9 S3: Facets @Grumpy I think they made a point that it isn't a proper override and can be fought against by the host so you couldn't use it to possess enemy soldiers and convert them. Also, yes, you could split a trill with dozens of soldiers' memories among a dozen newly enlisted privates. But the main host now lacks the combined force of all that experience so you're trading one supersoldier for a dozen normal ones and if any of those privates dies in battle you lose the memory with them so you're giving up 80 or so years of experience each time making it of limited tactical value AND requiring one Symbiont to have been a soldier for centuries to use even once. The idea in your second post is an awesome one that I wish they'd explored. I really wanted to get to know the other Dax's better and that would have been a great way to let us do that and make the Dax character more than just a relatively normal person with a disproportionately long backstory. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:07:09 PDT Easter Comment by DLPB on VOY S5: In the Flesh All fiction requires suspension of disbelief to some degree or other. A good fiction won't challenge it much, if at all. This episode was so preposterous to me that I was being reminded at every turn that fallible writers were at the helm. That's not a good thing for any fiction. Species 8472 was supposed to be a race unlike any we had every seen before. But then they get them creating a Starfleet Academy in the middle of nowhere and morph into humans. It takes an INCREDIBLE leap of faith to take that seriously. I think it's a missed opportunity because 8472 (despite the shoe-horned excuse to be as bad-ass as the Borg) had potential to have a good arc. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:00:41 PDT DLPB Comment by Robert on DS9 S5: For the Uniform "It's also doubtful that the Maquis could have mounted any kind of meaningful evacuation in just one hour." That doubt is your problem. The episode said they evacuated so it's true and Sisko is not a mass murderer. That said your final comment is problematic. Sort of makes you wonder why the Dominion doesn't just do this to Earth... Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 04:25:09 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on VOY S5: In the Flesh I will say in DLPB's defense that while that is an impressive effort, the vast majority of reviewers for TV, movies, books, etc. are not writers... and we as a society are ok with that. If the only people that liked your episode are other screen writers you are going off the air. I thought the episode had charm and some good acting... but let's be honest here and also say it also had a major retcon, some serious fun with DNA and required suspension of disbelief in the premise. I didn't hate it, but the haters have a point. Seriously. Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 04:20:56 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on VOY S5: In the Flesh 私は感動しています。 Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 04:12:10 PDT Robert Comment by Dany on DS9 S5: For the Uniform Horrible episode! The overacting on Brooks' part is getting ridiculous. And Sisko has to be classified as a fanatic. He's always been religious about Star Fleet, the oath, the uniform. Not only do I find it implausible that Sisko wouldn't get reprimanded for using WMDs, I find it implausible that NO-ONE aboard the Defiant objects to their use. Worf, first and foremost, should have refused to comply. Dax too. She was totally out of character, esp. at the end. It's also doubtful that the Maquis could have mounted any kind of meaningful evacuation in just one hour. And the WMDs themselves are ridiculous. Attaching a container with trilithium to a photon torpedo is all it takes to kill off all humans on a planet. And apparently that's common knowledge. Sure... Comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 03:33:19 PDT Dany Comment by Nathan B. on DS9 S6: Profit and Lace Wow, the hate for this one is really strong...and, in my opinion, *not all* undeserved. I found most parts of the episode hilarious, and I enjoyed it very much. I agree with the point, too: that men would greatly benefit and grow as people if they empathized with women. "Profit and Lace" was a solid comedy in the tradition of Menander and Shakespeare. Like the (barely extant) plays of Menander, though, there is a massive blindspot, and that is the willingness to overlook sexual harrassment/assault. The opening scene with Quark was very painful to watch. I kept thinking, "have the writers learned nothing from their last outing all the way back in Season One?" And I hoped that by the end of the episode, we'd see that they had--only to watch them undermine it all by having the dabo girl want to perform Oomox for Quark. There are plays in both Euripides and Shakespeare that appear to confirm the prejudices of their audiences while actually undermining them. Menander could get away with this in the fourth century BCE. Shakespeare could get away with this in the 16th century CE. But the writers of Deep Space 9 in the twentieth century should have known better. The problem is that instead of presenting something with traditional Ferengi chauvinistic values and undermining them, the episode appears to undermine the new Ferengi value of equality. I think that the writers would counter that they were trying to say that an empathetic male is one who is also truly happier. Consent is not only required for sex to be non-criminal, it's also sexy. That's why Quark gets his "happy ending." And in a way, it also mirrors the last episode, "Valiant." In that episode, the only member of the regular Red Squad cadets who had the wisest attitude--a yearning for home--survived. Put militarism before your humanity, the writers are saying, and you've given up what makes you actually alive. It's not subtle, but the point is a good one. As for the episode itself, Quark would have been out of character to refuse Oomox once offered freely--but there's no way his employee would have freely offered that after being harassed. The closing scene as written should have never made it onto the printed page, let alone the screen. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 22:07:19 PDT Nathan B. Comment by Nissa on DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless I'll join the haters. Worf was at his worst here. Plus, it was all dreary. If you'll notice, DS9 tends to do better with races that aren't the traditional pillars of Trek. Their Klingons are especially weak and cliche-ridden. This is just more of the same silliness, and I couldn't get through the episode. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:05:27 PDT Nissa Comment by DLPB on VOY S5: In the Flesh I am not being paid thousands, Shannon. If it were my job to script-write, I would do a much better job than this. However, I have relocalized Final Fantasy VII, which has been downloaded by thousands of people (well over 10,000): I would like to note it did not take 5 years :P It was more like 6 months with huge gaps in between. FF7 has over 150,000 words. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:57:56 PDT DLPB Comment by DLPB on VOY S7: Repentance I think the point of this story is that the death penalty removes permanently any potential for rehabilitation. ------------ But interestingly the angle of never re-offending never comes up ;) Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 20:43:57 PDT DLPB Comment by DLPB on DS9 S2: Paradise I'd have liked to see how Bones handled her. I can imagine is anger. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 19:59:13 PDT DLPB Comment by Grumpy on DS9 S3: Facets To be fair, we do get some glimpses into broader Trill culture. For one, we hear some untranslated language (the UT must've been fritzing that day), though it sounds like standard Space Hebrew. Second, Kira-Dax mentions being the first female something-or-other, indicating that Trill were previously male chauvinists... just like humanity. How boring. Too bad the Chronicles of Dax never had enough time to breathe. The concept could've been spread over multiple episodes, the prior hosts handled like visiting relatives. Or this: some psychic mishap causes Dax to go schizoid, manifesting one host's personality at a time. Like, permanently. Assuming her condition didn't jeopardize her job (read: role in the cast), that would've made the character actually, y'know, interesting. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:14:38 PDT Grumpy Comment by bc53 on DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light Doesn't work for me at all. Starting with the explosion. Kira just casually assaults and knocks out three security officers and has to be stopped by a placenta-rupture (or whatever) from venting a whole section, killing at least the baby, herself and three unconscious security officers. Then she steals a runabout, deletes all traces of where she may be going to face her nemesis alone. This guy so far has managed to take out 6 people in such a meticulous, organized, fore-seeing fashion that those who are left of the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order would instantly dissolve their agencies out of feelings of inadequacy. And Kira just beams down to his compound unprepared, with only a phaser - because that's a good idea. If the writers wanted me to hate Kira with a fiery passion: well done! We've had out share of stupidly acting cast members this season, but she takes the idiot cake! Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:39:43 PDT bc53 Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Suspicions Just what the world needed - a murder mystery solved by Beverly Crusher, Sherlock Holmes style. At least it's not on the holodeck... This is dull, flat, and lifeless. It's not clear why Crusher cares enough to get involved in the first place, and the rest of the crew don't seem too involved either. The flashback style sucks all the drive out of the early part of the story, so it's difficult to care too much by the time we get to the end. In retrospect, it's also a sad way for Guinan to bow out. So many potential stories not played out. On the positive side, we do at least have an attempt to redeem the Ferengi and at a bit more to the capering simpletons we have oft seen in the past. Perhaps DS9 helped in giving a more rounded portrayal. And the bit where Jo'Bril gets a hole blown through him was pretty cool. 2 stars. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:35:20 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Frame of Mind A polarising episode it seems. Colour me among those who were not keen. Conceptually, it's another one that asks 'what is real'. Unfortunately, we're led around the post so many times the episode loses its grounding. I thought Frakes' performance was always verging on the affected rather than the brilliant, and for me failed to carry the episode in the way that Patrick Stewart carried The Inner Light, say. 2 stars. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 13:27:42 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Robert on DS9 S6: His Way I actually love all 3 of these episodes ("Pale Moonlight", "His Way", "The Reckoning") for showing off the range of DS9. "The Inquisition" is pretty great too. While Pale Moonlight is technically "better", this show is always special to me. And you can give it 4 stars if you love it. It doesn't have to be "Pale Moonlight" to be perfect in it's own way. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:42:42 PDT Robert Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: The Chase OK, so the Indiana Jones-esque elements to this story are fun. Picard's enthusiasm for archaeology, his relationship with Galen, and the chase elements add up to a good scene setter. But it doesn't help that the implications are massive, virtually dwarfing anything that's come before. All of these races share a common heritage! Big stuff... except it's presented in a sub-Sesame Street 'cooperation is good' manner, and cribs The Inner Light for its 'remember us' conclusion, with none of the subtlety and conviction of that episode. "That's all?" indeed. 2.5 stars. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:09:15 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Nathan B. on DS9 S6: His Way Four stars! Or at least, three-and-a-half. I *LOVED* this episode, perhaps because Odo reminds me of myself in some ways. By the end of the episode, I wished very much that Vic were real and my friend. I'm glad to hear he'll be back.. "His Way" is not "In the Pale Moonlight." It's not a serious and deep examination of the darker side of human nature. It's not a reflection on the finer points of ethics and morality. It's a nice bit of touching fun, and accomplishes all that that sort of episode is designed to do. And after ITPM, the timing was perfect, even as "Family" followed "BOBWII." And it's certainly one of the most memorable episodes I've seen in these six seasons. Overall, I'm left very impressed by the versatility of DS9, easily the best of all the Star Trek sub-franchises. Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:30:53 PDT Nathan B. Comment by Luke on TNG S7: Liaisons I wouldn't go that far, but it was definitely a step up. :) Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 07:04:34 PDT Luke Comment by Robert on TNG S7: Liaisons On the bright side this must have felt practically Shakespearian after ST5... Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 06:03:59 PDT Robert Comment by Luke on TNG S7: Liaisons Want to know a depressing little secret? "Liaisons" was the very first episode of Trek, any Trek, that I ever saw. Want to know an even more depressing little secret? My actual introduction to Trek wasn't even with an episode; it was with a movie. And that movie was "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier". And yet, I wasn't scared away and still managed to become a die-hard Trek fan. For all you atheists out there - if that isn't proof that God exists and that miracles do happen, I don't know what is. :P However, despite the fact that "Liaisons" should probably hold something of a nostalgic place in my heart, it doesn't - because this episode is BORING! Aside from a few humorous moments from the Worf and the asshole ambassador plot, what is there, really, to say? The Troi plot is just absurd - her ambassador wants to experience the concept of pleasure and all he can think to do is eat desserts? Um, you know there are other forms of pleasure, right writers? And yes, I'm talking about sex (I'm perfectly happy to have my mind in the gutter, thank you very much! :P). The Picard plot is about as dull as you can get, most likely due to the fact that the actress playing Anna is about as convincing as.... well, I don't even know how to describe it. And yet, I can't even blame her. She's playing a character that has no idea what love is and yet is attempting to get someone to fall in love with her. How exactly was she supposed to play that? I blame the rather odd idea, or perhaps the writing, instead of her. If you want to see something like this done properly, just watch "Misery." I do want to point out that this is the first, and probably only, time that Trek has attempted to portray female on male rape seriously. And that is exactly what the scene is when Anna throws Picard to the ground and attempts to force herself on him. Usually Trek, for whatever deluded reason, likes to play that concept for laughs (as in "First Contact" and later in ENT: "Unexpected"). Given that it happens in real life a whole lot more than most people are even willing to admit, it's nice to see them at least trying to treat it like the serious issue it is. However, like Jammer, I found the scene unintentional funny because Barbara Williams played the part so damn kooky and unconvincingly. But, again, that's not her fault. How else could you portray a possible rape scene when the script demands that you say asinine things like "You should love me now" or "I know more about you" and "Love me!"? If it wasn't for those few glimpses of humor in the Worf plot (Data telling Worf that he's "demanding, temperamental and rude" and "You see? You see? They are insane!") I would give this one a below average rating. 5/10 Comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 05:47:13 PDT Luke Comment by William B on DS9 S3: Third Season Recap The Search followed up on The Jem'Hadar with a suggestion of a major series reshuffling, and then promptly went way overboard and then reversed course dramatically in part 2, and I think that strikes me as an apt summary of this season (and, well, much of the Dominion arc, but...). The season begins with the looming threat of the Dominion being treated as a significant game-changer; the opening two-parter, yes, and then The House of Quark implying that the station is being partially abandoned as a result of the new threat, and indeed is even the direct initiator of that episode's two main plotlines (the low business because of the Dominion is what makes Quark drum up business by pretending he had a heroic fight with the Klingon, and the low population is why Keiko closes the school). Then very quickly come Equilibrium, where Sisko takes the warship to Trill, and Meridian where we learn that planet-of-the-week exploration has been resumed in a commander's log. The rest of the season largely maintains this somewhat incoherent attitude, where the threat of the Dominion is so dire that the Ultimate Warship! is posted to the station, but the ranking officers on the station can spend days or weeks at a time doing proof-of-concept solar sailing ships or getting started in a ground war over farm equipment, or decide to take a sixty year leave of absence to go be with this guy they just met. Much of the issue here is that DS9 (like TNG, really) is a standalone/serialized hybrid, and it becomes one or the other depending on the interests of the week. I am sort of okay with this, except that it becomes harder to sell the EXISTENTIAL THREAT OF THE DOMINION when they are so out of sight most of the time. To be sure, people during tense times focus on things other than looming threats, but there is something about the transition from "The Die is Cast" to "Explorers" that goes beyond "time to relax" and into territory where it seems like Sisko doesn't even have a real job. (...Actually, maybe both episodes could have been improved if Admiral Whatley had relieved Sisko of duty for a few weeks or something for defying orders, and Sisko took up the solar sails hobby as a good project for the interim. Maybe not, on the other hand.) Onto the characters: Sisko: The most Sisko-centric episodes this year were arguably "Past Tense," "Destiny," "Through the Looking Glass," and "Explorers"; of these, "Destiny" worked for me despite some longstanding issues, but "Past Tense" and "Explorers" left me pretty on the fence and "Through the Looking Glass" actively bothered me in terms of Sisko's characterization. "Past Tense" and "Through the Looking Glass" both featured Sisko taking on another man's identity and living through his actions, but the motivation which was present in "Past Tense" was much shakier in "TTLG." What these episodes, and "Destiny" too (and in some respects even "Explorers," where Sisko's desire is to recreate an ancient Bajoran navigation and he ends up succeeding), suggest though is an overarching question of how much Sisko controls his own fate and how much he acts out a role which is already laid out for him. This is actually pretty interesting material, potentially, but I think only "Destiny" really starts to dig into what it might actually be like to be living out a role someone else set out for you and what psychological effects that has -- as well as seeing Sisko actually rebel against it. There is a potentially interesting story, and one that the season keeps gesturing to, but I don't really feel it's being explored. Sisko's continuing blackmailing people to work for him is another thing that I wish the show would deal with more explicitly (i.e. by having some negative consequences for Sisko eventually, at least in terms of the trust people have for him), and similar his defiance of orders in "The Die is Cast" or whatever. What did largely work for me this year is Sisko as friend, and Sisko as interpersonal manager; Sisko's efforts for Dax in "Equilibrium" and his advice to her in "Facets," his weighing his personal experiences with Nog against his potential in "Heart of Stone," and his ability to relate to Dukat and to make appropriate deals with him for the Defiant hijackers' lives in "Defiant" were all effective scenes, the Nog and Dukat stories in particular having Sisko make an effort to integrate new information about people he had already somewhat made his mind about (to different degrees) and thus allowing him to make several lives better. Sisko's scenes with Jake have been reasonable most of the time; the Kasidy relationship which Jake set up is just starting up, so time will tell. Rating: **1/2 Odo: Easily the best-handled of the regular cast, Odo is the only character for whom this season has a fairly consistent focus. Essentially, the whole season plays out as consequences to Odo's being forced to choose between his people and his Deep Space 9 life, with Kira as the primary reason why he chooses the latter, with layers of false explanations gradually unraveled. Lwaxana, the Female Shapeshifter, and Garak all break through Odo's defenses (through close observation, trickery or torture) to get at the real conflict, which Odo tries to hide but keeps coming out. And the season ends with Odo's choice of aligning against "his people" leading to him committing the gravest sin his people have, in the line of doing what more or less constitutes the bare minimum expected of him as a member of the DS9/Defiant crew. The downside is that Odo's feelings for Kira were hammered in too obviously at several points, and the "unrequited" bit is already wearing thin, but this is a relatively small problem. The key eps were "The Search" (pretty good on the Odo side), "The Abandoned" (not great, but with good Odo material), "Heart of Stone" and the "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast" two-parter, the last of which also showcases his keen investigative instincts and is the season's highlight. Rating: ***1/2 Bashir: Bashir continues to gain definition, becoming less of the cipher he was in season one, and the performance and the episode to episode writing seems more confident. His relationship with Garak did not have a key defining episode like "The Wire" this year, but has been a pleasure nonetheless, and effort building on his friendship with O'Brien has worked well. The main problem is that there are no particularly strong Bashir vehicles; the one dedicated Bashir episode, "Distant Voices," was very weak, and other episodes which gave him a big part of the A-plot, like "Past Tense" or "Life Support," generally used him as the humanist mouthpiece in reasonable but not particularly individualized ways. Rating: **1/2 Jadzia: Of the three Dax episodes this season, "Equilibrium" sidelined Jadzia fairly early on to focus on Sisko and Bashir's investigations, "Facets" had Jadzia as something of a blank slate reacting to her previous hosts (especially Joran and Curzon), and "Meridian" ran counter to her general character portrayal and is in the running for the least convincing romance in Trek history, with some pretty stiff competition. Otherwise, Jadzia's role in episode plotlines often came down to "Dax gets her hands burned" (Civil Defense)-level activities. Really not a good year for her. However, some credit for giving us an opportunity to (sort of) meet Curzon at long last in "Facets," and for the intriguing concept (if not necessarily follow-up) of the killer-in-one's-attic idea of Joran. Maybe I should offer separate ratings for Jadzia and Dax, with Dax higher. Rating: *1/2 Jake: Jake was in this season. "Explorers" was the only episode which gave Jake a significant role in the A-plot, and it had its moments, though its explanation for why Jake stays on the station left something to be desired; generally, Jake has just had very little to do. The "Jake dates Marta, then she breaks up with him, then he is affected by a love spell" plotline was not exactly one of the show's stronger arcs. Rating: ** maybe, but really it might as well be N/A. O'Brien: The only real O'Brien story this year was "Visionary," which was a good episode that is an engaging use of the character. His continuing friendship with Bashir was good, and the handling of Keiko's departure in "The House of Quark" was very sweet (though "Fascination's" follow-up less so). Not all that much material but what there was was pretty good. Rating: *** Quark: I enjoyed "The House of Quark," and there are some other good moments for him this season -- his role in "The Search" was pretty effective, for instance. But "Prophet Motive" was nearly content-free, and "Family Business" in spite of some good elements was mostly actively harmful to the character. It is a shame, because Shimerman is one of the strongest in the cast, which largely keeps the character worthwhile despite having less and less good material. Rating: **1/2 Kira: Kira has much more focus and stronger material than most of the cast, but the shape of the Kira material this year (especially with "Shakaar") is pretty messy. The key Kira episodes this year are "Second Skin," "Defiant," "Destiny," and "Shakaar," and of those four I like *three*, which is a pretty good ratio. Still, "Second Skin" does not do as much as it could have, "Defiant" throws some weird curveballs into Kira/Bareil right when his death is gearing up, and "Destiny" somewhat retcons Kira's attitude to Sisko. Meanwhile, "Life Support," an episode which should really have had Kira at the centre for its major events (Bareil's death, the Bajoran/Cardassian peace treaty) sidelines her for most of its running time. The season then tries to make up for it by bringing her issues with the Cardassian treaty into "Destiny" and with Bareil's death into "Shakaar," but they both feel incomplete, and "Shakaar" in particular at times seems to give the werid impression at times like Kira was willing to start a civil war because Winn pissed her off, and that even her grief for Bareil was only about that, as well as running contrary to what "Defiant" *seemed* to be saying about her. The Odo crushing on Kira plot reduces Kira largely to object. Rating: **1/2 (it would probably be 3 if the handling of her reaction to Bareil's death were better). Supporting cast: Garak: The key here is the "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast" two-parter, which is the obvious season highlight. This pays off much of what "The Wire" said about Garak in a different setting, giving Garak the opportunity to return to his people in a way that not only furthers his character but also shines a light on Odo's journey. "Civil Defense," "Second Skin" and the actual-Garak scenes in "Distant Voices" are fun but somewhat running in place for the character. I do think mirror-Garak is a tiny bit of a waste of Robinson's talent and presence, since it's a bit of a standard thug. Also having Garak do a brave sacrificial death in "The Search Part II" as part of the illusion was pretty weird. Still: ***1/2. Dukat: His scenes with Sisko and the Obsidian Order operative in "Defiant" were great, and I love most of his scenes in "Civil Defense," especially those videos. "BAJORAN WORKERS!" "Explorers" was fluff and it was odd to have Dukat dropped into that story, given the startling defeat Cardassia just had and the probable implications those would have for Dukat. Rating: *** Rom: The movement to full idiot savant mode is pretty much complete, but Rom has still largely not been placed at the centre of stories (the way he will be in "Bar Association" next year, say) so we will have to wait and see on that. He is getting pretty annoying, but I do think he managed to be the least annoying of the three Ferengi leads in "Family Business," at least. I do actually find his support for Nog quite touching. Definitely, he has changed somewhat radically since the halcyon days of season one, where he objected to Nog's schooling to keep up his image as a good Ferengi (in "The Nagus"), and I do not really think those changes seem wholly organic; Rom, up to "Rules of Acquisition," was put-upon by Quark and took this out on other people (his son, Pel), and I don't think that there was any major event which convincingly realigned him to have the strength of character not to pay forward his misery. I do think it's something of a reworking of the character, whereas I would have preferred a development. Rating: **1/2 Nog: As I said in the eps themselves, I do think that having the "Nog is sexist" ep right before "Nog wants to be in Starfleet" was odd placement, but overall the Starfleet development makes sense of some of what we have seen in s1-2 and is a nice direction for the character. Rating: *** Bareil: My girlfriend keeps quoting that line Bashir had in "Life Support": "Nerys, if I remove the rest of his brain and replace it with a machine, he may look like Bareil, he may even *talk* like Bareil...." He would indeed have talked like Bareil. I think I should moderate my criticism of the character by saying that having a voice for Bajoran peace and serenity as a way of coping with hard times was a good idea, and I think that the concept of Kira finding an honourable ascetic as someone to are about and to share her passion for Bajor with was a good one. There are old Ronald D. Moore chats that one can find in archives, where people would continuously write in and talk about how awesome Bareil was and how upset they were that he was killed off, and while I cannot say I agree with them I can at least agree that it was good to have another positive voice out of Bajor. There is a certain quiet dignity in Bareil's martyr-y death, which I did not really talk about much in my negative take on "Life Support." And I will try not to hold "Fascination" against him. Rating: ** Winn: I feel like she has been somewhat retooled from calculating fundamentalist to incompetent politico; the intelligence with which Winn carried herself (and deployed her attacks) was much missed, by me anyway, in her two episodes this year. In a way, it may be that this was the point; Winn is undermined and we see that actually she was not an evil genius but a mostly-bad fool, who knows how to play the Vedek Assembly but is totally out to sea in other departments, and that probably makes sense. "Life Support's" attempt to put her in a somewhat neutral role rather than a villainous one (she is the heavy to some extent, but her desire for a peace treaty seemed genuine) was a good move, though "Shakaar" bought that back. Fletcher does what she can with the material, though. My favourite Winn moment (a love-to-hate moment) was the way she smugly told Kira that Bareil didn't want credit for his actions, and that she thought that Kira would know that. Various: Zek's and Lwaxana's reappearances this year were not so thrilling; Tain's, though, was quite welcome. This season introduced several new recurring players, including Eddington, the Female Shapeshifter, Leeta, Ishka, Kasidy and Shakaar. I think Salome Jens is very good in the FS role, though she hasn't had that much to do yet. As for the others, well, they also haven't had much to do yet. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 22:23:58 PDT William B Comment by rom on DS9 S5: The Assignment Great episode! 3.5 stars from me. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:12:57 PDT rom Comment by dsFine on DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong Jeez, are these comments made by 15-year-olds? YES, Jake is a spoiled child. YES, he's a coward. That is the FUCKING POINT of this episode. And one it's not that subtly bringing across. Jake wanted to experience drama because in his spoiled little mind he thought that's what would make him a writer. He is naive. And he got what he wished for. If you can't handle a protagonist not acting the way you (think/dream/wish) you would act, you have some growing up to do. Good stories aren't about Mary Sues, they are about real people acting in a real way. And human behavior has quite a spectrum to it. Just because Jake's dad is Mr. Fantastic - diplomat, war strategist, ship combat tactician, spec ops, Bajoran lightship builder, tinkerer of the Defiant's systems - doesn't mean Jake has to be all that. Even in the 24th century and even in Gene Roddenberry's "vision" humans must be sub-fantastic sometimes. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 14:47:09 PDT dsFine Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Starship Mine Oh, and I forgot to add this contained possibly my biggest laugh out loud moment so far in the rewatch - when Picard runs for the transporter against the countdown and the power shuts off BEFORE he can get away. Take that, all you artificial countdown moments! Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:52:39 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Lessons Boy meets girl. Boy is duty bound to put girl in harm's way. Boy and girl break up. Fin. As others have noted, this is unusual in relationship episode terms because it gives the romance room to breathe. Yes, it still seems quick, but at least not ridiculously so. The only trouble is, taking the time to develop the story does make for a rather slow and plodding hour. It is saved to a degree by the call back to The Inner Light, which adds a depth and resonance that helps ground the story line in something that feels real. And at last it doesn't kill Daren off at the end... 2.5 stars. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:50:13 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Robert on TNG S6: Descent, Part I It is my Spock's Brain! And yes, those are awful. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:33:02 PDT Robert Comment by Drakh on DS9 S5: The Ship Meh episode. Two stars at best. When O'Brien and Munez were talking all the time at the beginning, it was clear he was going to die. Worf has been living his whole life with humans, and this is the moment he decides to unlearn everything and go all Klingon on O'Brien. Don't buy it. When the Vorta told Sisko that there was something very special on that ship they needed to retrieve, it was obvious it was a Changeling. What else could it have been? If it was merely something that couldn't fall into Federation hands , they could have just nuked the ship from orbit. If the Defiant needs two-and-a-half days from the wormhole to the planet, how could it be WEEKS off Dominion space? The wormhole is - depending on the episode - a couple of hours or a few days from the wormhole. The Sisko-Dax scene in the messhall was horrible. A bunch of unsophisticated, uninspired dialog. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:59:48 PDT Drakh Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Starship Mine TNG does Die Hard. I suppose it had to happen. And I suppose it happens well enough, it trots along at a fairly fast pace and commences with an engaging look at Data's small talk routine. The scene where he and "call me Hutch" go at it is excellent - just a shame that Hutch meets such an unregarded end. Worf's smile as he evades the reception is a highlight of its own. Picard is also fairly ruthless in this one - tricking a guy to his death with the baryon sweep, shooting a guy in a leg with a crossbow, punching a woman in the face, removing the safety so their ship explodes. I like this Picard! It's not perfect by a long way, but as a big dumb action hour it's decent enough. 2.5 stars. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:44:36 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Easter on DS9 S4: For the Cause Also. SO, Eddington makes this big speech about how "we've never done anything to you. you just hate us cuz we left" which is well said and all, but falls slightly flat considering that him, just him, acting for the maquis within this episode did ALL of the following things -Betrayed his post and superior officer -Aided and abetted a smuggler in federation space -Assaulted a Bajoran Liaison working with the federation -Stole a huge amount of goods from the federation Which I feel completely undermines every thing he has to say here. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:19:46 PDT Easter Comment by Del_Duio on TNG S6: Descent, Part I Oh no! It's your "Spock's Brain"? Well to be fair, Genesis is better than Cost of Living (by far) and the Quark in drag DS9 episode. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:16:23 PDT Del_Duio Comment by Robert on TNG S6: Descent, Part I This is a safe space right? Can I admit that Genesis is my bad episode guilty pleasure? :) Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:56:16 PDT Robert Comment by William B on DS9 S3: Third Season Recap Character and story analysis to follow, but for now, here are ratings to close out season three. This time I will include ratings for all episodes, and note in brackets the difference between my rating and Jammer's. The Search, Part 1: 2.5 (-1) The Search, Part 2: 2 (=) The House of Quark: 3 (=) -- the 3.5 I suggested at the time was a bit much, I think Equilibrium: 2.5 (-.5) Second Skin: 3 (-.5) The Abandoned: 2.5 (-.5) Civil Defense: 2.5 (+.5) Meridian: 1 (-1) Defiant: 3 (-.5) Fascination: 1 (=) Past Tense, Part 1: 2.5 (-1.5) Past Tense, Part 2: 2.5 (-.5) Life Support: 1.5 (-1) Heart of Stone: 3 (+.5) Destiny: 3 (-.5) Prophet Motive: 1.5 (-.5) Visionary: 3 (=) Distant Voices: 1 (-1.5) Through the Looking Glass: 2 (-1.5) Improbable Cause: 4 (=) The Die is Cast: 3.5 (-.5) -- this I'm not sure about (I could go to 4) Explorers: 2.5 (-.5) Family Business: 1.5 (-.5) Shakaar: 1.5 (-1.5) -- I suppose my 1* was a bit harsh Facets: 2 (-1) (I said 2.5, but I think it's a bit weaker than that) The Adversary: 2.5 (-.5) So with a few exceptions, my ratings are significantly lower than Jammer's; it is worth noting that this is the first year of his reviews still up on the site (!). The average comes out to between 2.3 and 2.4 -- I won't give more precision since I keep fiddling with the individual ratings. So overall, it's not a bad year exactly, and I'd take it over something like TNG s1 or TOS s3. Still, there are fairly few episodes I think are actual successes, and the only outstanding eps were the IC/TDIC two-parter, the season's unquestioned highlight. There are quite a few episodes that were particularly weak as well. I thought for a while about whether some of episodes I gave 2.5 stars to deserve promotion. Certainly, most of the 2.5 star shows have some real successes: arc-building and action-adventure (the premiere and finale), atmosphere and social commentary (Past Tense), action/comedy with a dose of satire (Civil Defense), character development in the wake of new character revelations (The Abandoned), effective suspense and mystery building (Equilibrium), and quiet character interaction (Explorers). But I felt that none of them rose above average, for reasons I articulated at the time; usually pleasant, but unsatisfying. It may be that I'm getting cranky at this stage, but I do think that this is a particularly weak season for the show. On the other hand, I am looking forward to s4, which has plenty of gems and also I think finds a consistency that was sorely lacking in s3. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:55:45 PDT William B Comment by Jay on DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places @ Grumpy It still doesn't make sense for Worf to not consider K'Ehleyr a "Klingon woman"..she doesn't self-identify as Klingon but her career is almost entirely involved in working with them, and then obviously consider his son to be Klingon, although he (until DS9) wants absolutely nothing to do with them. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:25:20 PDT Jay Comment by Gorkon on DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising Good episode. Making Gowron the changeling and killing him would have drawn (justified) criticism of handwaving the Federation-Klingon conflict away. Or Martok would have ascended and continued in the same vein, making the whole episode kind of pointless. Killing Gowron while Martok was the changeling would be a very interesting ending indeed. It would leave the Klingons without clear leadership and possibly put the Federation in a bad spot, having killed the Klingon chancellor - even by voluntary combat. But I like where this episode leaves things off. And we can lament all we want how and why DS9's commanding officers are always sent on missions better served by specialists - like, how is sending O'Brien on this mission a good idea? But if they wouldn't do that, we'd have different protagonists every other episode and where would be the fun in that? Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 09:19:39 PDT Gorkon Comment by Del_Duio on DS9 S4: Indiscretion I randomly watched this episode again last night. I really thought the "A" story with Kira and Dukat was awesome, but the show gets bogged down by WILL KASSIDY STAY??? I think it still would've been so great if they'd had made Ziyal Kira's half sister, a missed opportunity to be sure. And man, Dukat is such a great & complex character. At least for the first 6 seasons he was. Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 08:56:58 PDT Del_Duio Comment by Del_Duio on TNG S6: Descent, Part I ^^ Good point, Robert! ^^ Hard to remember all the good ones with tripe like Genesis and Masks floating around :D Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 08:54:32 PDT Del_Duio Comment by Luke on TNG S7: Descent, Part II Well, they certainly didn't start this season off with a bang, did they? So the major plot-line of Part I, the Borg being uber-badasses again, is dropped almost instantly in favor of... .... a look into the psychology of cults in 1990s America? TNG has given us some head-scratchers of ideas before (a dog being the killer, an evil little girl with glowing red eyes, a celebration of euthanasia under the guise of cultural diversity and the entirety of "Up the Long Ladder" to name just a few), but this stands in a league of its own. You start your final season, with the Borg and Lore as the main antagonists (with the threat of the Federation's destruction) and you instead do this?! Look, I'm sorry but - WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING?!?! This is what all that build up and padding in Part I was for? This?! Talk about a misfire! You know what, though? The saddest thing about "Descent, Part II" is that it actually does have potential. But then again, so did TOS: "The Way to Eden" and look where that ended up! The idea of examining the phenomenon of cults could have made for an intriguing episode. But two things had to be done. 1.) Don't make it the season premier episode! 2.) Have it involve a "race" other than the Borg. Even having Lore be the cult leader could work under those guidelines. DS9 actually did a rather nice job with this very concept in "Covenant". But they were smart enough to follow those two rules - "Covenant" takes place in the middle of Season Seven and involves Dukat manipulating a group of Bajorans, a race the audience had come to care about. I don't care about the Borg, certainly not in this fashion. For instance - the scene where Lore manipulates a Borg who doesn't want to follow him any more - was I supposed to find that disturbing? Because I didn't. The Borg should not be used this way. They're supposed to be the Big Bad and I thought that was what these two episodes where trying to make them again. Geez, a lot of people talk about how VOY neutered the Borg as villains but if you want to see where that all started look no further than right here! How the mighty have fallen! "Descent, Part II" goes beyond even this failing, however, because the examination of the Lore-Borg cult isn't even given top priority. We have four (yes, FOUR) different story-lines all competing for screentime - the cult, Data's betrayal/redemption, an escape plotline for Picard/LaForge/Troi and Crusher in command of the Enterprise. As a result, not only does the cult plot suffer, they all do. None of them get adequate time to be worthy of all that much. The cult story goes nowhere until its inevitable tidy conclusion. Data's story is so weak that it's basically resolved by technobabble (and I'm usually a defender of technobabble). The escape plot is painfully cliched - they actually had the Borg guard fall for the old "help, my cellmate is sick" ploy! The Crusher in command story is (as Jammer wonderfully points out) "easily the weakest part of the episode." It serves no purpose other than to further weaken the Borg. What's the solution to the Borg threat? We're going to hit them with the sun! Stepping back for a moment - I guess that would be an effective way to stop the Borg, but (again) oh how the mighty have fallen. Then, throw into this amalgamation a fifth subplot involving Hugh, which apparently is only there to highlight both the cult story (by showing us that Lore is - for some odd reason - lobotomizing drones) and the escape plot (by having Hugh help Riker and Worf and then saving Picard). Was this only put in because of all the references to "I, Borg" in Part I? Because, it was pointless. I take it back: this is easily the weakest part of the episode. I actually cared more about Crusher and her who-cares bridge crew than I did about Hugh and his who-cares "resistance movement". Given the fact that the next time we see the Borg on the small screen they're used as little more than an allegory for society readjusting itself to life in post-Communist eastern Europe, I say thank God that "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Scorpion" came along and actually made them formidable again. 3/10 Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 06:14:44 PDT Luke Comment by Robert on DS9 S4: To the Death @Darnell - For what it's worth they are nearly born as teenagers. So 30 would be closer to 45 (assuming their accelerated aging completely stops at teen). How many 50 year olds with a billion war wounds can still hack it in battle? Comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 04:04:13 PDT Robert Comment by IIII on TNG S4: Suddenly Human Troi's counseling only worked when the scripted called for it. I say that because it didn't work in this episode at all, again, she's useless. Why didn't Troi say anything about how it would be wrong and damaging to removing a teenager from what he has know as home so quickly??? Doesn't Starfleet have to respect other culture's views and beliefs that's different from there own???? Or does this only apply when the script calls for it as well????? One thing's for sure, the fans haven't learned from that... It's only Jono and Picard at the end that come to that conclusion, everyone else, like "counselor" Troi, are clueless to this... and besides, it's not up to Picard or Admiral Grandma to make that choice, it's Jono's choice, he's at that age to make it for himself. And about the so-called abuse... half of you people are just making shit up, coming up with your own conclusions, your own head-canon, the episode was not written to for people to come up with there own biased answers... get your heads out of your asses! Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 23:50:39 PDT IIII Comment by IIII on TNG S4: The Loss Troi has always been a "know-it-all-character" and as I said on The Price episode, she's a hypocrite. The Loss episode shows us that without her know-it-all powers, she's useless and insufferable. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 23:20:37 PDT IIII Comment by Grumpy on DS9 S3: Facets So the Trill perfected mental possession. Call me crass, but their ancient ritual surely has some practical applications -- even tactical applications. A joined Trill is a whole squad in a nesting doll, able to override the conscious minds of others. Coulda come in handy during the war, eh? But since it was only a gimmick for this episode, the ramifications went unexplored, just like every other aspect of Trill culture. Who are the Trill, apart from the symbionts? The vast majority of Trill are unjoined, we're told (unfortunately), but for all we learn about them, they're nothing but spotted humans. Except for this Guardian guy, who can transfer minds more easily than a mountaintop full of Vulcan Masters. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 21:16:26 PDT Grumpy Comment by Darnell on DS9 S4: To the Death For being purpose-bred and single-minded, spending every waking hour training or fighting, the Jem Hadar sure make shitty warriors. No wonder none of them makes it to 30. Though you gotta wonder how many die in an act of discipline. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:23:06 PDT Darnell Comment by Lister on VOY S7: Prophecy Voyager appeared to turn into the "hurumph!" scene from Blazing Saddles when Paris accepted the fight. And the usual utter incompetence from Janeway. "Phaser fire in transporter room one". Janeway stares into space for a bit, calls Chuckles (?), nods at Tuvock, then stares some more. How about, ooh I don't know, isolating the transporters? I did laugh at the Nelix scene though, with his post coital flush. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:39:07 PDT Lister Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Birthright, Part II Worf finds a colony of pacifistic Klingons and awakens their warrior heritage. Basically, that's it. The Data plot line from part 1 goes out the window, and what we're left with is a fairly dull and pedestrian talking head show. It also, for something that probably didn't merit being a two-parter, ironically seems to move astonishingly quickly. Worf's romance appears out of the blue, and the Klingon's set aside 20 years of history on the basis of an animal carcass and a sing-song. It just doesn't seem plausible. 1.5 stars. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:44:19 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Birthright, Part I Has there been a less compelling two parter intro than this? It takes a long time to get where it's going and the two main themes are simply not carried over in an interesting way. Data's visions are a bit too spacey, and Worf's story has some interesting elements (his desire to find his father, even if that results in dishonour for him and his heirs), it's not truly explored. I can't also help think that the ball was dropped in regard to the DS9 crossover. A few more cameos, apart from Bashir? Let's face it, this episode could have been set anywhere. Ah well, at least we get to see Morn.... 2 stars. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 11:55:25 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Yanks on VOY S2: Maneuvers Jack, I'm not sure I'm familiar enough with the Kazon anatomy to say that's a plot hole... They have trees for hair.... I guess anything could be fair game :-) Hell, species 8472 don't fall apart in space, and our space is totally foreign to them. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 09:40:52 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on VOY S3: Future's End, Part II navamske.... LOL!!!!! nice! Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 09:36:49 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement "4. Fake dilemma. Everybody agrees that if you fight Klingons/Romulans, if you want to survive, you have to shoot at decloaking ships. If some civilians transport were to decloak in the heat of battle, that's just bad luck for them. And O'Brien disagrees? O'Brien???" Love your post DJD and I felt many of the same frustrations, but Obrien is correct here. It doesn't matter, you MUST identify your target before you shoot. It's just the way it is. All the crap in this episode, they got this right. As I quoted above, Sisko's quote was spot on... even if his acting wasn't. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 09:24:14 PDT Yanks Comment by Yanks on DS9 S4: Hard Time Dave in NC, Not in solitary they don't. Break... Does anyone know or had any thoughts on this? "#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?" Thanks Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 09:16:24 PDT Yanks Comment by Havok on DS9 S4: Hard Time @Ben Franklin: " why is everyone going ape-s**t over Craig Wasson? Sure his performance was good, but what's with all the genuflecting?" Hyperbole much? I counted: of the 40 comments before you, 5 mentioned Craig Wesson. Of those, only 1 was wholly dedicated to praising his performance. 3 praised his performance with a SINGLE adjective and 1 was dismissive of his performance. So, the only person going "ape-shit" is you. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 06:27:47 PDT Havok Comment by Jonathan on TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise The storytelling, acting, pacing, and especially, the music here are absolutely incredible. This is the apex of science fiction television. For those quibbling about time travel or Guinan's so-called "mysticism", well, respectfully, it's science fiction! Of course there are some logical flaws. Mysticism and the supernatural are inherent to the genre. This is a story with heart. One of the best ever for the series. "Geordi, tell me about...Tasha Yar." Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 06:23:01 PDT Jonathan Comment by Wester on DS9 S4: Shattered Mirror Count me in as one of the haters. Mirror Universe episodes - just like Holodeck episodes and Dream Sequence episodes and Travel To The 20th century episodes - are basically an admittance that the writers don't want to deal with the limitations set up by the actual established universe and just wanna have some fun. It's a cop out. If I wanted a cartoonish Sci-Fi show, I'd watch one. If I wanted to see everybody out of make-up working at a newspaper, I'd watch a show like this. I'm watching DS9 precisely for everything they chose to cast aside and trample on here. Comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 03:04:35 PDT Wester Comment by Elliott on VOY S5: Course: Oblivion Jack: um what? Janeway specifically called him lieutenant as a clue in the teaser. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:49:28 PDT Elliott Comment by IIII on TNG S3: The Price The episode is so, so. But Troi was a hypocrite, she uses her abilities to give the crew an edge and Ral flat out called her on it. Her only excuse is that Troi believes she's on the side of the good guys. When Troi lost her ability for a short time in one episode, she was useless and she knew it... Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:35:14 PDT IIII Comment by Dba on BSG S3: Exodus, Part 1 I like turtles. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:24:30 PDT Dba Comment by petulant on VOY S4: Message in a Bottle The Doctor's getting increasingly annoying this season and i'm already tired of Seven saving the day. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:02:56 PDT petulant Comment by Deborah on VOY S5: Think Tank 3 stars. I like being reminded that not every evolved species is bi-pedal or air-breathing. I liked Voyager playing the two conspiring parties off against each other. I enjoyed the pyrotechnics of the Hazari pounding the think tank at the end. I liked the combination of civility and understated arrogance in Jason Alexander's performance. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:43:48 PDT Deborah Comment by Sketchee on TNG S7: All Good Things... I agree it would have been nice to have seen Guinan in the series one last time. As Jammer pointed out, they already had her planned for Generations. The movie has so much to do with her character's history. I think it would have been great product placement to set that up in some sly way Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:18:04 PDT Sketchee Comment by Jack on VOY S5: Course: Oblivion The silverblood-Paris got demoted to ensign too it seems. What a coincidence...maybe there was an ocean planet of silver blood floating somewhere... Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:56:06 PDT Jack Comment by DJD on DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement I agree with the general consensus of the comments: stupid episode. EVERYTHING is contrived. 1. The premise. The Klingons know that Worf is commanding the defiant. They engage in an elaborate hit and cloak game that goes on for minutes - that despite the Defiant having proven itself to be just about the deadliest ship outside of the Borg or Species 8472 - just to set up a pattern and finally draw Worf to fire on a decloaking fake ship. Oh p-uh-lease. Bond villains have less elaborate plans. 2. The trial. The Federation and the Klingons are at war. Nothing else. The Defiant escorted a couple of Cardassian ships. It was then attacked without warning. That is an ACT OF WAR. Nobody on the Federation's side would have agreed to a trial after that. 3. The Klingon argument. The Klingon lawyer makes the case that Worf must be handed over because only Klingons could judge an act of bloodlusty killing. What?! The Vulcan should have shot him down on the spot! It's like Nog cheating on a stock deal and Liquidator Brunt arguing only the Ferengi could judge him for that. 4. Fake dilemma. Everybody agrees that if you fight Klingons/Romulans, if you want to survive, you have to shoot at decloaking ships. If some civilians transport were to decloak in the heat of battle, that's just bad luck for them. And O'Brien disagrees? O'Brien??? 5. Worf predictably going nuts. Like calling George McFly "chicken". 6. Odo's timing. So he checked up all the passengers' backgrounds and couldn't find anything halfway through the episode. Five minutes before the end he found they all had "survived" a crash 3 months ago. What the hell was the good Constable checking beforehand?!?! 7. Brooks' acting. My god, he is seriously the worst actor in all of Trek when he has to act emotional/excited/angry. It's immersion shattering. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:46:27 PDT DJD Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Tapestry This does a wonderful job of taking an aside from way back and building a story around it. The interaction between Picard and Q is a highlight. But overall, I find it less convincing than many. In fact, I find the most intriguing element of the story the possibility that it was a dream and not something concocted by Q at all. And if it was Q all along, and it was real, what does the story actually mean? That Picard's regrets of his youth were unfounded? That there's no going back? Be careful what you wish for? What was Q hoping to achieve out of all this? I can see why people like it as a "what if" type episode, showing a Picard that is out of step with the character as we know him today. But at some visceral level it just feels wrong to me. 2.5 stars. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:32:17 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Peter on ENT S4: Bound Weak, Strong? Men are from Mars etc It seems this episode is pulling out some of the commonly held views in the eternal battle of the sexes. The comments are very interesting and much thought has bee given to them but the genesis of such an intriguing discussion is ,sadly, a really mediocre episode. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:12:43 PDT Peter Comment by Robert on TNG S6: Descent, Part I Lower Decks and Parallels also deserve high marks and those 5 should be enough to counterattack the clunkers. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:12:33 PDT Robert Comment by Robert on TNG S6: Descent, Part I I'll take that bet. S7 doesn't have to be good, it has to be average.... which is what S7 does best... Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:09:28 PDT Robert Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Face of the Enemy By far the best Troi vehicle so far. Although we need to suspend belief just a little bit that she could successfully blend in with no cover whatsoever - the fear of the Tal Shiar just about covers it - watching her step up into the role, taking on not just Toreth but then N'Vek as well, is a revelation. A sterling performance and a job well done. This also successfully expands on Unification and gives a fuller sense of the Romulans as a race - showing the tensions between the Tal Shiar and the military, and the cracks that allow the dissident movement to emerge. The nuances that emerge add richness to the Romulans. A tension filled, multi layered episode. 3.5 stars. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 13:21:18 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Aquiel Well, if there was one thing that we didn't need too much more of it was creepy stalker La Forge. But he's back - at least I suppose it shows character consistency. I guess this was mildly diverting for a while - it was something of a surprise for the Klingons to bring Uhnari back. The introduction of the alien entity was also something of a surprise - at least no-one is thinking changelings at this point! - and the recreation of Crusher's hand from the ooze was novel. And I didn't see the dog twist coming, although by the end I wasn't really concentrating very hard... Another one of those episodes that for me hearken back to series 1 - and the CGI blob at the end just goes to show that crap FX are crap FX however they're made. 1.5 stars. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:04:26 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Del_Duio on TNG S6: Descent, Part I " It looks, however, like it's all up to Season Seven to pull TNG ahead of TOS in the final overall score department. " I think Q said it best: "I wouldn't bet on it, Picard" You have the awesome finale, Preemptive Strike, and The Pegasus. And that's all I can think of for wicked standouts off the top of my head. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:53:10 PDT Del_Duio Comment by Luke on TNG S6: Descent, Part I "Descent, Part I" is another TNG Season Six episode that never raises to its full potential. So, they're bringing the Borg back as the Big Bad. Good, that's what they're supposed to be. But, instead of actually making them intimidating again, they decide to spend most of the episode (the non-padded portions especially) on Data's quest to be Human and for emotions. Um, okay. I thought this was supposed to be about the Borg being uber-badasses again. But, whatever, I'm game. Then, they decide to make Data's emotional/humanity quest nothing but a plot point by having the imprisoned Borg openly and deliberately stimulate his emotions (because this is about the Borg, after all). Good grief people, pick one! As a result, what we end up with are two story ideas that each have merit in their own right but never receive anywhere near an adequate level of development. Then, at almost exactly the two-thirds mark in the episode, everything literally grinds to a screeching halt as the padding kicks in. A full one-third of "Descent, Part I" is (Jammer nails it) nothing but padding until the inevitable "to be continued..." card appears. It's just another episode that's stretched almost beyond the breaking point to make it a two-parter (just like "Time's Arrow" and "Birthright"). Even "Time's Arrow, Part I" was more ambitious than this. For that episode I said - "For an episode that deals with Data's possible death, time travel, soul-consuming aliens from the future, a look into Picard and Guinan's backstory and Mark Twain in a season ending cliffhanger, there's a rather surprising lack of energy and excitement." Almost exact same thing can be said here. For a story involving the return of the Borg as major adversaries, new and much more aggressive Borg, Data experiencing emotions and the return of Lore (who has been gone for almost three seasons), there isn't a surprising lack of energy and excitement - there's a decidedly shocking lack of it! These TNG season finale cliffhangers have gone nowhere but down, down, down since "The Best of Both Worlds." The saddest thing about it, however, is that it didn't have to be that way. VOY proved that with "Scorpion." Of course, "Scorpion" also proved that the Borg could be used as major curbstomp style villains again. But despite all of that, the episode is just average/commonplace. It isn't exactly bad; it just never raises above itself. That is until the stuff that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever takes place. So, in the middle of a crisis, with this new and highly aggressive Borg threat to contend with, Picard decides to literally empty the ship down to a skeleton crew so that everyone and his brother can search for Data on the planet's surface. WTF!? Um, no! That makes no god-damn sense. The priority is the Borg threat, not the search for Data! Oh, and he decides to join in the search as well - apparently just for shits and giggles - because the Captain has no place on the bridge in an emergency. The only reason for it is so that he can be taken prisoner in the final seconds and have THE DRAMA that much more increased for the summer break. And, to top it all off, he leaves Crusher in command of the Enterprise. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm a big Beverly Crusher fan. But this makes no fucking sense, period! At this point it hasn't even been established that she's a Bridge Officer or that she likes to pick up a night shift command from time to time. It would make more sense to give command over to Ensign Ricky from Turbolift Control! But, of course, just like everything else in the episode, it's just set-up for Part II. Finally, there's Crosis' "seduction" of Data (where Data flat out admits that he'd kill LaForge) right in front of a security guard. Jesus, that's straight out of TOS: Mudd's Women, where Harry Mudd and the women plot their plans right in front of some other security guards. When a scene reminds me of the second worst episode of TOS, that's really not a good thing. Still, all of that is redeemed (somewhat) by the wonderful scene between Picard and Nechayev. It was really nice to see the other side given a full hearing (something I've highly criticized TNG for not doing fairly in the past), even if it's still clear that the writers want us to take Picard's side (why else would Nechayev be written as such an insufferable bitch?). And, I think I agree with Nechayev. Back in my comments on "I, Borg," I said that I would probably have used Hugh to deliver the virus to the Collective and I think I'm still going to hold to that. I'm reminded of this little exchange from "Captain America: The Winter Solider".... FURY: The Greatest Generation? You guys did some nasty stuff. CAP: Yeah, we compromised. Sometimes in ways that made us not sleep so well. But we did it so that people could be free. Destroying the Borg may be a really nasty thing to do. Using Hugh as a carrier for that destruction might be as well. Using him with his individuality intact would be more so. But maybe it should have been done so that the Federation (hell, the entire galaxy!) could be free from the threat of the Borg Collective. Picard's hand-wringing of "the moral thing might not have been the right thing" was very apt (and wonderfully acted by Stewart). (I suppose I should comment on the opening scene with Stephen Hawking. Meh, it didn't do anything for me one way or the other. The thing I that struck me the most about it was that I was wondering if they got the same guy to play Einstein that they got back in "The Nth Degree," because he looked very similar.) 5/10 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More post-season number crunching. :) "THE NEXT GENERATION" SEASON SIX 5 - Time's Arrow, Part II 4 - Realm of Fear 1 - Man of the People 7 - Relics 6 - Schisms 8 - True Q 8 - Rascals 6 - A Fistful of Datas 6 - The Quality of Life 7 - Chain of Command, Part I 9 - Chain of Command, Part II 8 - Ship in a Bottle 1 - Aquiel 8 - Face of the Enemy 7 - Tapestry 3 - Birthright, Part I 2 - Birthright, Part II 7 - Starship Mine 5 - Lessons 2 - The Chase 5 - Frame of Mind 3 - Suspicions 9 - Rightful Heir 6 - Second Chances 7 - Timescape 5 - Descent, Part I Average Season Score: 5.577 Average Series Score: 5.046 Final TOS Average Score: 5.150 Best Episode: Rightful Heir Worst Episode: Man of the People Season Six could legitimately be given the title "The Tale of Two Seasons". The first half managed an average score of 6.250 - impressive to say the least - and gave us the longest stretch of above-average episodes in all of Trek up to this point (9 - from "Relics" to "Ship in a Bottle"). But, once we were subjected to the abysmal "Aquiel", the season took a nosedive in quality. The second half managed an average score of 5.000. Talk about a step down! If it wasn't for the fact that the single best episode of the season was in that second half, it would be finished below average. TNG also continued its shallow slope from the heights of Season Four, but again not by much. Season Six, even with it finishing lower than Season Five, is still damn good entertainment. And, it managed to finally pull TNG out of the depths it dug for itself in Season One and brought the average score up above average for the first time. It looks, however, like it's all up to Season Seven to pull TNG ahead of TOS in the final overall score department. But, given how lambasted Season Seven is in many fan circles, that might be a tall order despite the scores being so close here after six years. Can it be done? We'll just have to wait and see. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 09:54:45 PDT Luke Comment by Robert on TNG S6: The Chase I think Generations wasn't as bad as people say it was. It was missing a plot and a villain worthy of the movie but there were a collection of a lot of great scenes, the Kirk/Picard team up was fun enough, Data got emotions, the Enterprise crashed and Worf got promoted. There were misteps, but it was nowhere near as bad as the bad TOS movies. And when they followed it up with First Contact I really thought we were going to end up with a really amazing TNG movie franchise. I will say nothing more on the subject. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 07:59:16 PDT Robert Comment by dlpb on VOY S2: Maneuvers Pretty sure that available evidence debunks the "Total Recall" portrayal of what happens in a vacuum. In fact, I remember reading that the "lung exploding" theory was also nonsense. Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 05:27:01 PDT dlpb Comment by Daphne on TNG S6: The Chase This is a brilliant concept which is let down somewhat by the limitations of a one-hour TV episode. I absolutely agree with HolographicAndrew that this should have been a movie. It's just a really great science fiction concept, and it could have been one of the best science fiction movies of all time if executed properly. Alas, we got Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis instead! Comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 04:23:20 PDT Daphne Comment by SlackerInc on VOY S3: Unity Good episode, good review, good comments section. :) Like Yanks, I was sad to see Kaplan go. She seemed to have more personality than the average redshirt, and she did a nice job of protecting her commander from harm when it started to get violent. Nice to see Chakotay getting him some a la Kirk. :) There were some nitpicks both from Jammer and the peanut gallery that were on point. A couple I'd add: @ 9:50 I love how Harry said there was no response to his hails (the second one especially) IMMEDIATELY after sending them, allowing absolutely no time for them to respond. I know, the show's got to move along; but couldn't they have some other dialogue from Tuvok or something and then come back to him saying there was no response? @ 37:03, Chakotay's hand is huge or that lady's head is tiny! Comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 20:56:52 PDT SlackerInc Comment by methane on DS9 S4: Accession -This is 3 stories: a personal story about Sisko finally accepting his status as Emissary (as he's confronted with an alternate Emissary); the story of Bajor dealing with changes brought by a possible new Emissary; and the "B story", Keiko returning to the station. The first works quite well and the last works fine; the middle story is much too simplified. How highly you rank this episode depends on how much you forgive that simplification. As others have pointed out, it's pretty much a given that you can't fit that story into a 45 minute episode while giving it the complexity it deserves. -Sisko's personal story I think is well done. I would consider the story of Kira in this episode a part of Sisko's story. These 2, as well as Odo, seem to be behaving consistently with how their characters have been defined, and Sisko undergoes a transformation as he decides to accept his role as Emissary, a major change for the series (which is why I wouldn't say this story was a 'reset button' story). -That middle story is the weak link. As others have pointed out, not every Bajoran would accept this change, and surely some Vedeks would publicly say so. And some of these opponents would justify their position by saying Sisko is the one true Emissary and he can't resign the position. Bajor is a planet with millions of people (I forget the exact number), so there will always be some necessary simplification in these stories. This one simplifies to much, but I'm not really sure how much more in depth they could have added without going to a 2-parter. The story of the TV series is always primarily going to be about our regular and recurring characters; it's a given that Sisko's personal story will get more attention than that of Bajor's populace. -Others have pointed out Jane Espenson's work on Battlestar Gallactica; I remember her more for her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she wrote several humorous episodes. This subplot definitely seems to have her humor. The fact that she is a woman is probably a reason why Keiko comes off better than normal (there weren't many DS9 episodes written by women). -Overall, I supposed I'd give it 3 stars. Sisko's personal story by itself would probably get 3.5 stars. I'm being forgiving about the problems on the large scale depiction of Bajor; I certainly understand why others will think differently. -[Spoilers for the very, very end of DS9 follow.] For the discussion about the prophets: Since Sisko joined the prophets at the end of the series and since the prophets are non-linear, he has always been inside the wormhole. I always imagine him being the 'prophet' who has the most opinions on the outside world & is the driving force when they interact (except in the pilot). Sisko-in-the-wormhole is doing what is necessary to get present-Sisko to man up and embrace being the Emissary. That implies some circular logic (Sisko is doing what Sisko did before) which is always present in certain time-travel stories, but it also fits mythic stories of fate. Comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 16:38:08 PDT methane Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle Just goes to show that there is something you can do with a holodeck gone awry episode - build a complex story with powerful performances and tell it with verve. Moriarty's motivations are subtle and increasingly unclear as we progress - from reformed character, back to arch villain, and then, in the end, reformed character again. It leaves us questioning what is real and what is not real - Barclay's final nervous "Computer, end program" beautifully caps the episode. A fun and thoroughly involving hour with a twist that I never saw coming (even if it then sells a second twist far too easily!). "There's something wrong with the holodeck" indeed. 3.5 stars. Comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 11:47:44 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by JMT on TNG S6: Tapestry I'm watching this series for the first time on Netflix, so I don't have the insight that many of you have, nor am I able to draw comparisons between TNG and the other spinoffs. I've been reading Jammer's reviews and the comments as I've been viewing the episodes, and I feel that doing so has helped give me more insight into the Star Trek universe while showing very valid alternate interpretations to stories which I would not have found on my own. The moral this story attempts to put forward bothers me greatly because it simplifies the consequences of our actions rather than acknowledging how complex they actually are. Picard's life decisions are painted as being "correct", and he dismisses his life as a science officer as being not worth living. First of all, if Picard had really grown so adverse to risk, it begs the question of why he choose to be on a starship. Second of all, I have a difficult time accepting that the risk adverse Picard doesn't have things in his life that Captain Picard doesn't. Perhaps the blue shirt Picard has a loving wife and family. Maybe this Picard isn't so distant from people and has been able to form friendships that the captain couldn't. Third, Picard seems to be out of character. He always struck me as a compassionate man with an understanding that the world is made of different viewpoints. Just because he moves from being a captain to a science officer, shouldn't lower his opinion of himself. It also just feels like he holds a disdain for the low ranking officers which is out of character. Also, the episode paints Picard as being cowardly, but I'd think having the courage to stand up to your friend to stop a meaningless fight and taking a chance with a good friend to move from a comfortable friendship to something more does take courage. He did some very risky things, and somebody who would make those difficult decisions sounds to me like someone who would also make decisions that would attempt to advance his career. Even with different decisions, this is the same Picard. The word Tapestry invokes the images of multiple threads sown together in intricate patterns to produce an entire picture. There is something that strikes me as truly banal about saying if one thread were removed and replaced with another the result is not only different but worse. All of our lives are the product of our decisions, and almost certainly some of our decisions have led to different outcomes than others. However, we don't know how the decisions we make truly effect us and for us or the authors to make the presumptions that "risky" decisions lead to better outcomes strikes me as hollow. The core message, that Picard being stabbed in the heart made him in the man he is today, does illustrate the chaotic nature of how are decisions can lead to outcomes that appear completely unrelated. But it fails in that the outcomes seem to be stratified in a Better/Worse framework rather than a Same/Different one. Often I read the comments here that TNG presents things in "black and white", and generally I find myself disagreeing. At its best TNG presents a dilemma, ex. "do you kill or communicate with the crystal entity" or the I Borg dilemma, but I feel that as the show matured it became good at not showing one particular opinion as being "correct". While morality is painted in simple terms in Justice or Angel One, Silicon Avatar and Chain of Command give much more latitude to multiple interpretations. This episode feels almost regressive. While I did not agree with the themes of this episode, I would still say it was an entertaining, thought provoking and competently produced hour of television. Comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 10:00:36 PDT JMT Comment by navamske on VOY S3: Future's End, Part II @Yanks "autonomous self-sustaining mobile holo-emitter" Autonomous Self-Sustaining mobile HOLo-Emitter, or ASSHOLE Comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 07:24:50 PDT navamske Comment by Sam on TNG S1: The Big Goodbye I'm a fan of science fiction. It's my favorite genre of entertainment. However I DESPISE detective stories - all of them. Police procedural or private detectives or whatever, I find them unbearably tedious. The only thing that could make one worse is to set it in a time period in the past that I also find boring as paint drying. Uggg. Not a detective in the 40 s! And we have to listen to the stupid forties lingo. Shoot me. Why do Star Trek creators assume their main fan base wants to watch this kind of stuff? It's got zero to do with science fiction except that is the stupid device used to trick me into watching it. I hated the stupid period pieces in tos. I hate them eve more in tng. Comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 03:57:21 PDT Sam Comment by Jack on VOY S2: Maneuvers Here's another plot hole: The Kazon that were beamed into space. How is it that their bodies didn't lose molecular cohesion and explode? There is no gravity in space to hold your insides together. You would literally fall apart, your blood vessels would pop, etc... Anyone see the original Total Recall when Arnold was exposed to the Martian atmosphere? That's what I'm talking about. But the Kazons' eyes didn't even pop out. Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:46:47 PDT Jack Comment by Dba on BSG S2: Home, Part 2 SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!! ... ... It's certainly puzzling to hear our names for our own zodiac referred to as "ancient" when the series finale strongly implies that the Colonials are our ancestors. One might suggest that that those names became a deep cultural memory that was recapitulated during the development of our own society; however, the relatively recent origin of the modern zodiac in relation to recorded human history, as well as its particularity to a certain social and linguistic context in our world, seems at odds with the universality the creators are trying to project. Rather, I see the answer to this mystery in the snippet of scripture quoted as the Colonials' "Beresihit": " all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again... " Powerful stuff indeed. Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:18:23 PDT Dba Comment by Jack on VOY S4: One Shannon, your comment is akin to saying that the only person allowed to sue a doctor for malpractice is someone who could have preformed the surgery themselves... Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:15:15 PDT Jack Comment by Jack on VOY S4: Message in a Bottle It didn't make sense to me that the Romulans would outright steal a Starfleet isn't really their style as we've seen it. Other than separating into three pieces, what's so great about this ship? The Enterprise-D could separate into two pieces and the Romulans never tried to steal it. The Romulan warbird they already have is pretty kickass. Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:08:43 PDT Jack Comment by petulant on VOY S4: Scientific Method I liked this episode till Seven came along to save the day! Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:04:05 PDT petulant Comment by inline79 on VOY S6: Pathfinder Got trolled last time I commented here, but this episode is powerful and I want to share my positive perspectives and personal lessons. I'm on the 4-stars side for sure and probably my personal favourite VOY ep. Sidebar: Yes, Mr. Wilhelm doesn't really work as Adm Paris. Maybe Mr. Pitt from Seinfeld. So today, as an Engineering Manager, I can relate to Harkin in this episode. What do you do with someone who has loads of ideas and is always running off on a tangent to the team? Well, I certainly don't have my employees stunned with phasers, but I also don't send them home for speaking out. Ideas are what the future is built on. Good on Harkin to hire on Reg and take that risk. But I just don't think they are paying per kilowatt-hour for the holodeck, so I would have cultivated the ideas while helping Reg with his social skills much earlier on. Other Engineering Managers, like Harkin, don't always get the human side. Intentional or not, I think Star Trek writers consistently tell us that our centuries old bureaucracies will still be around centuries from now. This is one of those commentaries. Fascinating. But when I first saw Reg Barclay episodes decades ago, I identified with Reg's social awkwardness and technical obsessions. I learned to grow away from that but sadly, even today, trolls still find more comfort in this archaic holodeck we call "the internet" than in the real world. Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:35:46 PDT inline79 Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II OK, up front the acting during the Picard/Madred scenes are a veritable tour de force. As the scenes play out, Madred doesn't seem to be too impressive an interrogator. Given what seems to be a realistic presentation of torture as a technique you have to wonder whether that was a writing choice, and what that means in terms of Picard's resistance and ultimate capitulation. You also have to wonder what that last scene is trying to say. That breaking under torture is inevitable? Having been assimilated by the Borg, you have to question what that would do to Picard's psyche. Or is it simply to remove the triumph from the final "there are four lights!"? Picard didn't win his confrontation, quite the opposite - which would raise a question if the intent was to show that ultimately both the victims and the perpetrators are the losers. On the Enterprise, Jellico proves to have a winning strategy, which would seem to mitigate the asshat argument from Part 1. But I find the confrontation between Jellico and Riker problematic - anecdotal evidence would suggest both are competent officers, yet they just can't stand each other. In such circumstances you'd hope professionalism would win out. Riker's shit-eating grin as he gets the last word suggests not... If nothing else, this episode succeeds in making the Cardassians more complicated than comic book Nazis. They love their kids, and want to improve the status of their society - they're not fundamentally and inherently evil. Their methods, however... It's not perfect, this one, but it's not a million miles away. 3.5 stars. Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:23:06 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I Indeed this is a game of two halves. From Necheyev relieving Picard of command in a 30-second 'boom' of an opener, the tensions on the Enterprise are a real change of pace. Jellico may or may not be an asshat, but it's clear he does have a valid motivation in turning a science vessel into a warship. That said, he's been made CO because of his negotiating experience with the Cardassians, so when Troi says he's not as confident as he appears that would appear to undermine his authority. The back and forth with Gul Lemec is also interesting, as the balance of power shifts between the two. However, the revelation that Picard is on a blown mission also highlights the contrivance required to put him on the mission in the first place. The spec-ops plot really doesn't stand up to much scrutiny - we get a wildly unnecessary Ferengi interlude, and lot of running around caves, and a brief phaser shoot-out all to set up part 2. It's all a bit forgettable. Overall, half an exceptional episode. "Get that fish out of my ready room" indeed. 3 stars. Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:00:09 PDT Diamond Dave Comment by CPUFP on TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais? Since William B has already pointed out the most important things about this episode, I'd just like to say that I was amazed by Apollo's lack of nipples. I know that cartoon figures of the era were not allowed to have them (well, not just only this era - even 20 years later, He-Man did not have any), but it was still pretty amazing to me to see that there were no visible nipples at all on the actor. A big thumbs up to the make-up crew! Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 12:50:54 PDT CPUFP Comment by Diamond Dave on TNG S6: The Quality of Life Well, we've just done a kids episode so how about one with cute robots?! Silent Running indeed springs to mind. OK, so we've got a contrived set up where Data has to make a choice between the exocomps and his friends. His choice in favour of the exocomps is described as his most 'human' but Picard. But I would have thought that most humans would have rationalised the decision to save their friends and to hell with the robots. I don't actually have a problem with the choice Data made, if indeed his perspective gives him unique insight into the robotic world. But to suggest it's a 'human' response? One step too far for me. Farallon also struck me as well characterised as an obsessive scientists who's work is going to get canned in 2 days without a breakthrough and you're telling me are these hovering screwdrivers I've made are alive, say what now? Yet another episode where the concept was perhaps better than the execution. The beard thing was fun though. 2.5 stars. Comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 11:54:41 PDT Diamond Dave