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Andrew
Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 9:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

I think this episode, rather than The Begotten, should have been where Odo is turned from being a solid back into being a changeling again. If the female changeling returned and told Odo that the link had forgiven him, and then proved it by offering to restore his powers and giving him back what he lost, then that would have made Odo's betrayal somewhat more understandable, and as a result made his subsequent return to the fold somewhat more plausible. One of the strengths of this episode, and of the Odo character as a whole, is that he is torn between these two worlds, so giving him his powers back at this point would have been the most logical time to do it.

As Jammer noted in the review for The Begotten, there was concern that episode would come to be remembered only as the episode where Odo gets his powers back, and I think that is pretty much what ended up happening. To me it makes more sense for the founders to make him a changeling again because they had the power to make him a solid in the first place, rather than have a scientifically mumbled explanation where Odo somehow gets his powers back from a dying baby changeling. It makes Broken Link a little less powerful if Odo is able to become a changeling again without the link's approval. Also, if Odo had remained a solid for the entirety of the fifth season, it would have raised the question in the viewer's mind about whether he would ever become a changeling again, which I think would have been the better choice.
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Andrew
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

I love this new series. While waiting for this episode I went back and watched a couple of episodes of Voyager and and Enterprise and was reminded of just how dull Trek had become.

I also remember when TNG premiered. I was so excited to have new Trek on TV. However, looking back at the first couple of seasons, they were inconsistent and at times mediocre. Discovery, while not perfect, feels off to a stronger start than any of the other series, with the exception of the original.

I found the scenes with Burnham and Saru sort of heart breaking. I am a Saru fan and find myself rooting for a friendship between those two, or at least a good working relationship.

The little Easter eggs during Burnham's "mushroom trip" were subtle and well done. There was Starbase 11 from "The Menagerie" and Janus VI from "Devil in the Dark". Anyone see any others? Subtle enough that I didn't feel pandered to (unlike that starfleet insignia in the sand from the first episode).

Bring on Sunday.
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Andrew
Thu, Sep 28, 2017, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Ending the first (and only free) episode on a cliffhanger and not introducing most of the cast, especially combined with the padding, make it overall feel particularly unsatisfying.
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Andrew
Thu, Sep 28, 2017, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

From just the first episode, I thought it was average but unsatisfying ... too much exposition without the characters or plot being interesting enough (especially as it felt like there was also too much padding). Burnham was OK but having her raised by Vulcans, let alone mentored by and close to Sarek, let alone even (not in the episode but I know later) raised by Sarek, feel like trying too hard to make her cool. The relationship between her and Saru also felt trying too hard to be too much like the dynamic between Kirk or McCoy and Spock.
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Andrew Spink
Tue, Sep 26, 2017, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

Great episode but one nitpick:
SPOILERS


When the Jem Hadar boarded the Defiant, why did they start taking swings at Odo? Shouldn't they know that it's bad to beat up a founder? And clearly the writers knew by this point that they were going to have the founders be changlings. Unless maybe the Jem Hadar don't realize someone is a changling until they turn liquid. This seems to be supported by "The Abandoned" where the Jem Hadar gets all mystified when he sees Odo as a liquid. Might also explain why the Vorta and Jem Hadar in the last episode don't seem to recognize Odo as a founder. Do the founders only start appearing like Odo after this episode?
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

This episode deserves some credit for admitting Janeway forcing change on Seven is/should be viewed as controversial but the ending has a little too much acceptance too soon from the latter (although some more cooperation, relative to her earlier attitude, was probably needed for her to be a series regular/crewmember, just a bit too fast).
Kes had fine interactions and farewells with Tuvok and Janeway (although directly asking would you stop me from my choice was just a little too exact mirroring) but with Neelix it was so-so and it was also disappointing that the writers and characters didn't seem to care much about her relationships with the other characters.
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

^about what should be done
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

Rewatching, Janeway seems pretty insane to be so indignant with Chakotay. It was much less that he disobeyed her orders as that the situations drastically changed (I can't imagine she would agree to go in "the wrong way" in an instant) and disagreeing with her about what she be done, and privately telling her that he does, is hardly being at war with her.
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

Eh, average, somewhat intriguing but itself too off-puttingly manipulative. The Vori often come off as (at least maybe) a little too good (and the Kraden too bad) to be true, you still develop some sympathy with them and then the ending is sunk by sort-of-ambiguity. That the Vori would conscript and brainwash their own people is horrifying in concept but way too rushed to really be digested or believed. It certainly implies that the Kraden probably don't really commit any atrocities, none of what we saw was true, and it's too much that the soldiers would ignore that reality they knew before and become hateful (though we don't see real soldiers) based just on a simulation (or something) and people wouldn't realize the discrepancies from real life/the past or the similarities from their training.

The end where a Kraden refers to the Vori as their Nemesis is intriguing but it's a decidedly half-hearted attempt at ambiguity, everything else suggests that the wrong and fault is entirely the Vori's. If there really were atrocities the training wouldn't be needed.

While Chakotay's growing identification with the group is pretty well-done the climax goes too far where he just wants to kill a lot of Kraden rather than try to contact his ship even if that can also help the Vori. Then him not initially recognizing Tuvok (but then being able to) is also too overdone and doesn't make sense.
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Day of Honor

Dawson did well but it felt like much too much for her to think near the end that she was completely without honor when she consistently does great in her job as chief engineer.
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Andrew
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Day of Honor

I think this episode had quite strong acting, aside from McNeill being a little uneven, but pretty abrupt and overdone writing.
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Andrew
Sat, Sep 23, 2017, 1:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Especially in comparison, the commentary of TUC in itself and as allegory is much more impressive and interesting, that achieving peace and more understanding with an enemy after a 70-year-conflict will be far from easy, that good people on both sides will feel a lot of inner conflict, but it's still possible to gradually but boldly achieve compromises and cooperation rather than maintain or increase hostility.
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Andrew
Sat, Sep 23, 2017, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

The problem with ID as social commentary is that is tries to or pretends to say that revenge and aggressive militarism are bad but it doesn't really say that revenge is bad, just that trying to get revenge against people that didn't actually attack you is bad (pretty pointlessly obvious). That might have been a somewhat underwhelming but still decent message 3-5 years after the start of the Iraq war but it was completely underwhelming ten years after (and four years after the election of a candidate who won in part from always opposing it and considering it a big mistake).
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Andrew
Mon, Aug 28, 2017, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

I was kind of surprised to see all the mixed reviews of this episode here because I had always considered it a clear four star episode and one of the highlights of the series. On first viewing the end did seem somewhat out of nowhere, but like Jammer, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Having Rom deactivate the weapons one second earlier and save the day would have been the easy way to end it, not what they actually chose to do. On Memory Alpha there is a quote from Ira Steve Behr about the end, saying "Hearing people refer to it as some dopey deus ex machina is really annoying because I would think they'd give us more credit for being on the ball. We didn't have to end it like that, we chose to end it like that. Because we wanted to say that there was something going on here."

I thought this episode was great when it came out but it makes even more sense when you think about the ending of the series. (SPOILERS) A true deus ex machina ending would have no consequences, but here they say "the Sisko is of Bajor but he will find no rest there" and establish that the price to be paid for saving the federation will be a heavy one. The fact that Sisko grows to love Bajor but then does not get to retire there, and leaves behind Jake, Kassidy, and his unborn child, it's not a happy ending at all, but it's a brave one that flows directly from the setup in this episode. I really like the point David made about the Visitor and how Sisko's departure parallels that.

I thought this held up well on repeated viewings. The scene when the Defiant sees the minefield coming down, even knowing they get saved in the end, it's very intense. I do agree that the Dominion is too quick to accept the outcome of the prophets' intervention, and seems odd that in Tears of the Prophets they're pretty dismissive of Dukat's desire to wage war on the prophets. I also agree that Odo's redemption was too abrupt, though my biggest complaint on that front is more with subsequent episodes, since this episode was so jam packed with action that it didn't have time to examine whether Odo was really still a good guy.

But I agree with one of the earlier commenters that this episode is kind of the climax of the series, since everything kind of converges here. I was impressed with how pretty much every aspect of the show was on display in some way, and the writers kept all the balls in the air. Season 6 does drag a bit after this, I think maybe because the writers didn't have a clear plan about how to resume the show after the war arc, but I thought this one was a winner.






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Andrew Hoffmann
Sun, Aug 20, 2017, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: False Profits

@Michael Z Freeman Chakotay's eye-roll at the poet may very well have been Robert Beltran eye-rolling at the actor. I was cringing hard.
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Andrew Hoffmann
Tue, Aug 8, 2017, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Dreadnought

I know it's been 21 years since this review, but the phrase is "Your reputation precedes you," not proceeds.

- Lieutenant Punctuation
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Andrew
Wed, Aug 2, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

I do love that this episode has the Power Rangers Command Center, well the same building looking close enough to it, even though this episode did air first.
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Andrew
Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

Maybe it's in part because I saw this first but this felt like a much better version of Seven getting interested in and exploring the idea of romance than was "Someone to Watch Over Me".

Maybe this episode didn't go as far as it could or should have this late in the show but it still felt pretty intense and with a lot more real growth, and associated, believable fear of growth, than Seven had had in a long time.
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Andrew
Mon, Jul 10, 2017, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

I don't think either Kira's lines or Visitor's delivery suggest self-regret; the lines, especially the last one, seem to be reiterating her belief that all Cardassians who were there during the Occupation were legitimate targets, their belief that they were innocent was a delusion or at least much too self-serving. Well, the line "The light only shines in the dark" is really vague and it could be somewhat self-critical, admitting that she's only good compared to her enemies, but it still seems more like emphasizing that Prin was the one that was wrong in his perceptions.
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Andrew
Sun, Jul 2, 2017, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Ferengi Love Songs

I usually like Wallace Shawn. He went quite a bit too far in this episode.
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Andrew
Tue, Jun 20, 2017, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Razor

My sister got my into BSG and she told me that I should watch Razor after The Captain's Hand rather than in Season 4, and this definitely turned out to be the correct way to do it. Unlike the viewers who saw Razor when it first came out, I got to see it in its "proper" order and it really works well there and doesn't spoil anything for Season 4. It's especially hard to try and think of where a show had been when you had seen it a season prior, so I would probably have been frustrated trying to put myself back in the Season 2 mindset if I was about to start Season 4.
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Andrew
Sun, Jun 18, 2017, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

Luke's compassion for Vader worked a bit better for me on my most recent rewatch, as did the Ewoks. You kind of get the sense that the Ewoks are distracting the bad guys more than beating them until near the end of the battle where they are beating them a bit too much.

I never liked the idea that Leia was Luke's sister and it still feels pretty forced.

I refuse to watch the blu ray with No, to me the point and a lot of the strength of the scene was that Vader acted to save Luke *immediately* upon deciding to do so.
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Andrew
Sun, Jun 18, 2017, 11:48am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back

Despite my having some qualms, a big part of what makes the film so impressive is that it does go in a very different tone and direction from the first film, rather than being at all a rehash, while still being true enough to the first film's spirit.
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Andrew
Sun, Jun 18, 2017, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

Overall a quite good movie although not on the appropriately legendary, breathtakingly excellent level of the first two films.
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Andrew
Sun, Jun 18, 2017, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back

As a kid (first watching it, although the original version, in '96 or '97) I had kind of mixed feelings about this film, I liked it and thought it was good, better than Jedi, but I thought both sequels were pretty big steps down from the first.

Then I thought it was just a bit too constantly dark, numbingly so, and I still feel that way to a degree (in particular, I don't like that Luke fails or otherwise is made to look bad in pretty much all of his scenes with Yoda) but I have grown a lot more appreciative and enjoying of its strengths, still a great movie although not quite as much as the first.
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