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RandomThoughts
Wed, Dec 6, 2017, 3:22am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

@Jammer

Just catching up a bit and I saw your note from Nov. 5th.

Thanks!

It's the little things. You didn't HAVE to change it, but you took the time to do it, and now it's better. Much appreciated. :D

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 1:13am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Hello Everyone

It was silly when the two of them showed up with the wigs and flintlocks, and I thought it was cute and sort of true to how time on the simulator might work. But it was a perfect set-up for... Bortus. I laughed so hard when he asked if he was early I had to stop my recording. Tears flowed. I was entertained.

Was it a good story? Well, it was different, at least to my eyes. Not horrible but not fantastic. The star rating is probably on the nose, but so close to a three I can taste it. As I'd had a strange day at work, I was not trying to figure it out, although I thought it'd be something that wasn't real (I was thinking aliens at work, doing something weird, based on old TNG memories). Honestly, Kitan isn't my favorite because, well, I don't like the makeup. It just looks like plastic to me, much more than the Bortus makeup. It pulls me out of the immersion a bit. But seeing her parents (heh, nice) and getting a bit of backstory was decent. And that she was on the simulator, but not knowing it, my work-melted brain thought it was... well... decent enough. I really think the laugh I got towards the beginning skewed me towards a higher rating. But that isn't all bad to me.

@Skoply I really, mostly, dislike Family Guy, but I know the characters and when I read your note I truly laughed out loud, as that is one of the few things I've seen from that show. Thanks!

I hope the series does well, as it seems to have steered away from the d**k jokes a bit, which is a plus for me. There are many kinds of humor, and if it veers away from the Family Guy type towards more of the types of humor TNG could have done, but didn't, I'll continue to enjoy it.

Lastly... I know this show is nowhere near the level of Babylon 5, but I recall JM Straczynski mentioned that he always wanted his show to have at least one funny moment you could laugh at, even during the darkest episodes. While they didn't always pan out, they usually did. If The Orville can be semi-serious and have a stupid funny moment or two in it, well, I'll keep watching until the thing ends...

Thank you for your time and thank you Jammer... RT
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Dom
Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 9:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Mertov, Those are interesting points, thanks for sharing. I think I'd add two other important points:

1) Discovery is heavily serialized. That means stupid behavior isn't limited to just one episode. If Picard or Data acted stupid or out of character in one episode, we could overlook it because their actions didn't really matter by the time you got to the next episode. Moreover, their actions were largely to drive a story contained within a single episode. It's easier to justify an action that seems out of character when it gets you to a clear endpoint of a story.

But with Discovery, we're supposed to take everything as being part of the larger story. So we can't really write off episode 5 if Burnham did something incredibly stupid because that informs her character development in episode 6 and influenced events in episode 7. It's just much harder to write off a bad episode or even season the way many TNG fans pretend the first two seasons don't exist.

2) We have more and better TV options now. TNG was pretty much the only sci-fi show when it aired. There wasn't really any other TV franchise set on a spaceship at the time. Even between TOS and TNG, the only space opera franchise that made a bit of a dent was the short-lived Battlestar Galactica. So it was either Trek or nothing.

Nowadays, we have options. We've seen dark space opera done in B5, DS9, and the BSG reboot. Our standards for TV are higher. If I want a sci-fi show and don't like what Trek's offering, I can go to the Orville or any countless number of SyFy shows. That might be unfair to Discovery, but that's the market.
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RandomThoughts
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 1:00am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

@Brontodon

I think that every episode. I also get a weird vibe of the voicebox/character Tiki wore around its neck on Buck Rogers from the late 70's.

I have not bothered to look at the voice credits, or if the person in the suit does the voice, but I've wondered every time if that isn't Mr. Spiner using an alias. :)

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 12:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

Hello Everyone

Yeah, I'll say it, I was surprised the first comment spoiler was allowed to remain. Yes, I've seen the series before and know what comes later, but there have been instances (Galactica comes to mind) where a spoiler is removed or blacked out, and a comment is placed to please only talk about this episode, and not anything that happens later.

All that being said (since the cat is out of the bag), it struck me that since she did know she was leaving, perhaps her acting had a bit more emotion to it as she was realizing the end was near, and as she was saying goodbye to Worf, she was able to put some of that in her performance. I really thought her pain and anguish were very nicely done.

Boy, there was one thing that just really bothered me though, first-run and now, and it is something @JC touched on: He carried her 17 klicks back to the ship, but didn't originally think to put her on his back and carry her 23? They were only 3 away. Carry her there, find the spy, run back out. We could have even had some exchanges where the Cardassian tells him to leave her, and Worf could tell him that if she dies so does he. I know the point they were trying to make, but darned if it just didn't seem... wrong. Yes, we were surprised (woo-hoo?), but the reason we were surprised is because we all know Worf, know what he is about and have a reasonable expectation about his actions. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat just so there can be a 'gotcha' moment was a dis-service to him, in my humble opinion.

No-one seems to be on the fence with this one, you either agree or disagree with his decision. I am in the disagree camp.

Regards... RT

P.S.: About them serving together. I agree they should not be on missions like this as a team, but saying they should not be at the same posting seems a bit silly, since we've seen whole families on Starships for a few years now (which was probably a mistake). Sisko did have to be pulled away from his dead wife once, as I recall. Since Starfleet lets couples serve together, I'd bet they'd get this type of situation more often than we hear about.
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 11:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Honor Among Thieves

Hello Everyone

I liked this one, but wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again. Sort of like when you see a good movie, but once you see the end, you're done with it.

I was able do suspend disbelief enough to figure O'Brien had been there for a bit. Bilby mentioned how he'd seen him around for the past few weeks, and I figure there was some other time compression, regardless of the stardates.

I sort of liked the other two baddies. The one reminded me of a Klingon from TOS. Now that would have been a neat story, a Klingon exiled because he was one of the few remaining ones that looked too human.

Yes, the Orion Syndicate would be an organization the Dominion might use. Then, when they ruled the Alpha quadrant, they would have been among the first to be obliterated (whether they reminded a Vorta of the Jem-Hadar or not). I think a Founder would listen to how they had helped them, nodded, then said "Destroy them", because they would ultimately be uncontrollable.

O'BRIEN: There's a Klingon Ambassador here? Gowron mustn't like him too much.

They did such a good job of making this planet look like a backwater that no-one wanted to be on, it left me wondering why there would be a Klingon Ambassador here? Farius? It just didn't seem that important of a place to need one. Is it part of the Federation, or is it non-aligned? It just seemed it was on-par with the Planet of Galactic Peace, and any Ambassador stationed here wouldn't be nearly important enough to be a game-changer, no matter who killed him. And Bilby, being on this backwater (and somewhat low on the chain of command), just happened to know where the Starfleet source had been previously stationed?

As much as I liked the episode, that was in the back of my brain, telling me this was an important story set on an unimportant planet, and that made my brain hurt...

Your mileage may vary... RT
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 10:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

Hello Everyone

I generally liked this episode, but as I'm watching them with a different eye than I did during first run, some things stood out to me:

I nodded in agreement with @William B when he mentioned thinking of fast forwarding during the Hirogen scenes. They were almost painful to watch.

Tuvok launched a buoy as they were captured, and we see it fire off. Then, I'm expecting Voyager to mention it, but instead we get Kim stating the shuttle is empty. Did the writers want to let us know they really didn't lose another one, and forgot about the buoy? I'm picturing it hurtling through space, in the wrong direction...

I am in agreement with @Stingray-j about the singularities. We'd known Romulans used them for years in their engines, so it wouldn't be a stretch to think someone might want to use one in a relay station that was supposed to last a really, really long time.

Eh, Neelix didn't bother me that much. He acts as he is written. And with Tuvok, I thought he was just reminding him that hey, you can let that work wait a while. Read your letter. He knew Tuvok would probably wait, even though he really wanted to see it, and at the end of the scene, he did stop and look.

Things are going all sideways, the ship might be destroyed, and Torres is in... astrometrics. I was rather surprised to see she was still working on the letters when her place was in the engine room. My thought was, tell the computer to keep working on them, and go do your job.

They keep saying 60,000 light years. I thought they started at around 70k light years, Kes sent them 10k and they found a few other shortcuts here and there, as well as simply flying in that general direction. Shouldn't it be closer to 50k? Maybe 45k? 60k would imply they'd been standing still the whole time, before and after the Kes fling.

I really thought Chakotay was off a bit when talking with Janeway, though I didn't really blame the actor. Yes, he had to deliver the lines, but they made him sound like Counselor Troi. "How do you feel about that?". A Chakotay response would have been more along the lines of "I am so sorry, and feel your pain. Would you like to vision-quest?" or something. He isn't a counselor, don't give him counselor lines...

I didn't need to hear Kim talk about a letter after the first time. I think it would have been better if he'd just have a hopeful look, then a dashed one when none arrived. It just seemed to keep going. Also, shouldn't Kim have been promoted by now? At least to Lieutenant-junior grade? Hmm...*Janeway to Chakotay: "I'd love to promote Harry, but he can never seem to get a lock...". *

I did think it was neat to see the array fall in on itself when the shielding stopped working. That's how Romulan ships should die when they are defeated, not in a flash like the rest.

Have a Great Day... RT
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 8:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

Hello Everyone

I always liked this episode and was glad to see it come up in my re-watch. A few thoughts:

Romulans: It's in their nature. I was reminded of Chakotay's story about the Fox and the Scorpion... They will always try to get a leg up if they see an opportunity.

Janeway had a hair helmet on. She dropped her head at one point in the episode, and nothing came close to moving.

Heh, Torres and her "Cloak of Belanna". When she was walking, they shot it dark, and the cloak was dark in the middle, and you almost couldn't see the bump.

My favorite little bit was when Doctor pulled the unconscious Romulan off of the console, and as they fell they would have hit a raised section of the floor, so she had to discreetly move and lay down next to it.

Yeah, it could have been better, but it was pretty good as it was. A big thumbs up from me...

Enjoy the Day Everyone... RT
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Dom
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 10:02am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

In retrospect, I think the writers should have simply admitted that Discovery is a soft reboot of the franchise a la Moore's Battlestar Galactica. It's clear that they're not even trying to stick to canon, which would be fine if this were a reboot. If they want to tell a new story that doesn't fit within the established Trek universe, do it in a new franchise or in an alternate universe (or the JJ Abrams Trek verse).
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Dom
Tue, Nov 28, 2017, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Yanks, sure there have been inconsistencies in the past, but usually the type that could be explained with a bit of fudging here or there. Yes, the Klingons in TMP look different from those in TOS, but we all know it was because the film had a larger makeup budget. What I find so frustrating about Discovery is that the inconsistencies are just so large and glaring. If I hadn't read interviews with the show's writers, there's absolutely NOTHING in this show that would make me think it takes place 10 years before TOS. Nothing in Discovery seems consistent with that era of Trek. Without knowledge external to the show, I would have assumed it took place after Voyager. The worst part is all of these problems could have been avoided by making it a sequel to Voyager rather than a prequel.

I'm not sure why the show's being serialized means it should be permitted to defy logic and continuity. In fact, it's far more important for serialized shows to have a firmly established sense of continuity. In an episodic show, if one episode has an odd story that seems to cut against what we already know of the characters or setting, it's pretty easy to overlook. Because episodes in episodic shows tend to stand alone, you can remove individual episodes without much effect on the whole. I think most fans have pretty much written Threshold out of their personal canon. But you can't do that with serialized shows. Each episode has equal weight as an integral part of the story.
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Random Communications Officer Guy
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I'm very late to the party, but I recently discovered this website after enduring "Magic" and wondering what other people thought of it. I didn't like it for the reasons stated above, first by Skeech and then others. I wasn't sure if I was alone. While I usually avoid online discussion boards because they lower an already abysmal view of online-humanity, these were very thoughtful critiques and very insightful adulation as well. For the most part I applaud how well people treat each other (at least relative to most other sites). You should all be commended--except potty-mouth ManManMUC. Just kidding. And the original review is very thoughtful too. Well done.
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Dom
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 2:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

On its own, this was a good episode, perhaps the best of Discovery so far. However, I have to agree with io9''s review in saying that the character moments in this episode don't feel earned. Lorca's interest in science and defense of the planet come out of nowhere. The Burnham-Tyler romance still seems too new to have that kind of depth. We never see this crew grow and learn, go from scientists to warriors, to paraphrase Lorca. Stammets is, as usual, the exception. I felt like the show at least seeded his relationship and his character arc well enough beforehand that I actually felt a pang of sadness when he stepped into the spore chamber one last time.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/what-is-going-on-with-this-major-star-trek-discovery-m-1820398155
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RandomThoughts
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 11:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Menage a Troi

That was new to me. Thanks @Hunter :)

RT
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Dom
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 1:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

I think the discussion has veered off course from @Evans' main point. His claim (and mine) wasn't that Discovery isn't diverse. It's that it's diversity as seen and understood in America. The Discovery characters come across as very 21st century American. Satu aside, they look and behave just like 21st century Americans. There isn't really much in the way of non-American cultural representation. This doesn't mean we shouldn't applaud Discovery for the diversity it brings to the table. It's just that, for people like me who care about the rest of the world, it seems like a step back for the franchise.
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Dom
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 9:21am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Evan, that's a great point, one that I think helps explain why I'm not as excited about Discovery's "diversity" as I thought I'd be. I value diversity and the ability of peoples from different backgrounds to interact peacefully has been central to Star Trek. It is great that the series features the first openly gay Trek character. But Discovery seems like it's focused too much on how we as Americans in the 21st century view diversity rather than on getting a truly diverse crew. With the rising nationalism and xenophobia of our current era, I'd think it would be especially important to have crew members who don't look or sound like us.

This is yet another reason why I love DS9. The main cast truly felt like a group of disparate peoples who came from different cultures and practiced different faiths. Sisko's race wasn't just about his skin, but also about his beliefs and history. Kira's religious faith stood in stark contrast to the implied atheism of most Starfleet characters. The show subtly hinted at a class divide separating Bashir and O'brien (educated doctor with a English accent vs. working class Irishman) that they had to overcome before becoming friends. Of course, the large cast of aliens - Odo, Quark, Dax, Worf, as well as Martok, Garak, etc - made the cultural landscape feel more diverse than 20th century America.
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RandomThoughts
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

Hello Everyone!

Well, I'm somewhat ambivalent about this episode. Some good scenes, some not so good ones. Middle of the road. My thought was, if the aliens didn't invade their sleep, wouldn't they have just flown by without knowing they were there? It didn't seem like they were on their way to that planet or anything, and with them being in caverns, Voyager might not have even noticed them at all. They seemed to be trying to defend themselves from a threat that did not exist...

Perhaps I missed something...

Have a Great Day... RT
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Dom
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@BZ, sure I'm not one to be a culture snob. It's not that there's anything inherently superior about classical music or chess, but rather that Trek used to be a show that spoke strongly to people - "nerds" if you will - who preferred chess or classical music to parties and alcohol. The characters on the old shows weren't puritans and would drink, but they were also intellectuals and professionals. Discovery seems more rooted in a 21st century yuppie's version of what's "cool", whereas the older Trek shows felt more timeless.
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Dom
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 8:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Peter G., that's an excellent review. You put into words much of what I've felt about this show and nu-Trek generally. No less a scientist than Stephen Hawking guest starred on TNG. It's hard to imagine scientists today taking Discovery seriously. Even the party scene at the beginning seemed to signal "hey, we're cool because we party like a bunch of 21st century teenagers." Apparently, the way the crew relaxed in TOS and TNG, listening to classical music and playing chess and reenacting historical events in the holodeck, were all too nerdy for Discovery.
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Dom
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 7:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

This was a potentially good episode undermined by Discovery's status as a prequel. We already know Harry Mudd the character from TOS. The evil sociopath we saw in this episode bears no resemblance to that character. Also, we've never seen the sort of time loop tech Mudd wears in later shows. Yet again it seems like the writers really wanted to do a reboot rather than adhere to continuity.
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RandomThoughts
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 6:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Legacy

Hello Everyone!

@digitaurus

Yes, once a male wore a weird, white spandex suit that left little to the imagination, in Transfigurations (season 3).

While many outfits were racy or form fitting, you couldn't see much of anything in the old 480. Now with them on Blu-Ray/HD, you can see much that was previously hidden. For example, in the season 6 episode Man of the People, you can potentially see right through Troi's top in HD, but not in the old SD.

Your mileage may vary, of course. :)

RT
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RandomThoughts
Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 10:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

Hello Everyone!

Years ago, a friend of mine and I went to see Mark Allan Shephard at a, well, it wasn't a convention really, just some time with him up on stage. And I really enjoyed it. It was very personal and cozy, with around 60 or 70 of us there.

While I don't remember the exact things he said any longer, it was nice to get a different perspective on the show from one of the other characters, instead of one of the stars. He seemed a genuinely likable fellow.

I think this show had just aired recently, and I asked him his thoughts about it, especially how it showcased his character, though he was actually in a very small part of it (beginning and end). He said with a smile that he was very happy they'd done a show about Morn, but appreciated the irony that he'd been in the episode for only a few moments.

He'd said he was hoping for a line of dialogue before the series ended, and they had been seeing about that, but his prosthetic was pretty much a single piece, and not made with a mouth intended for talking. He never did get to say anything.

And yes, that was Mark taking Morn's seat, and they didn't let him talk either! :)

Have a great day Everyone... RT
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RandomThoughts
Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

Hello Everyone!

We got to see Dukat sink to the lowest depths of his madness, and when folks go mad, sometimes they say insane things. But also, we saw Sisko going in somewhat the opposite direction, saying in essence there is no gray area, only good and evil. And he would fear... no... evil...

We've seen obsessive Sisko before, and many have mentioned how... wrong and out of place the ending seemed to be. Perhaps they were showing Sisko being a little "mad" as well.
-----------------
Now for other things. No matter what they said, I find it hard to believe the Defiant was the only war ship in the area that could escort that convoy. And weren't there other ships searching for survivors? Might they have found them?

I didn't see anyone else mention this, but when Sisko clubs him in the head and runs outside, why didn't he grab the phaser?

Dukat said there was a bone regenerator in the medkit, but he wasn't much of a doctor, so he just put on a splint. Assuming the regenerator is still there, wouldn't Sisko ask for it and see if he could get it to work properly?

Enjoy the day... RT
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RandomThoughts
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

Hello Everyone!

I liked the scenes with Seven and Doctor.

I found it interesting that Da Vinci's programming required him to get winded when running up hills (and needing help from Katarina).

Did Voyager lower their shields to beam them up, while being fired upon by 15 or so ships? Honestly, I always thought that while the shield emitters work together, it would be possible to shut one set off so they could beam through. This time, it'd be one of the lower emitters, because they were not being fired upon from the bottom. And I think this is not totally unreasonable, as they often have "aft shields are down/gone", so they turn the ship around. Turn off a set, beam, done. VoilĂ !

Enjoy the Day Everyone... RT
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Dom
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 11:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

@Chrome, "Except the whole, you know, getting put in prison thing. Wesley would just warp out of prison and then we'd see him having a root beer float with The Traveler."

Fair enough. I did appreciate that Michael suffered some consequences for her mutiny. But that got resolved pretty quickly and within a few minutes she's back to insubordination. Also, Wesley never committed mutiny. He was annoying, but he never physically assaulted Captain Picard and tried to take over the ship.
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Dom
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 9:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

I agree with what seems to be the consensus: this was the best, most Trek-like episode of STD yet.

However, Michael really seems to be dragging the show down. I'm actually quite interested in the other characters - Stamets, Lorca, Saru, even Tilly - but Michael is just insufferable. On any other Trek show, if any other character behaved in such an insubordinate manner, the captain would ask to see her in the ready room and chew her out. It's one thing to disagree with the captain in private or in a staff meeting, but on the bridge! (to be fair, the medical officer also seemed about to refuse Saru's orders so Michael isn't the only character with this problem). Michael is slowly becoming the Wesley Crusher of Trek. The know-it-all, self-righteous who gets away with defying the captain and expects everyone to kowtow to his/her genius. And wasn't Michael supposed to be raised on Vulcan? What ever happened to that? I'm not ready to say they should jettison the character quite yet, but she's a problem, just like Wesley was in early TNG.

Part of the problem is also that the show abandons the Pillar-style focus on characters. Each episode in the Berman era of Trek tended to focus on one or two of the main characters and give them a chance to shine (we had the "Picard episode," "Data episode," etc). Discovery doesn't do that, so we get little bits of characters in each episode, making it all feel a bit unfocused. I suspect Michael wouldn't come across as half so problematic if we didn't get so much of her. I think this problem was best exemplified by Saru's arc in this episode. This should have been Saru's story, from his POV, about how he took command and had to make tough choices. Instead, the show focused on other characters questioning his judgement behind his back, and then Saru throws a petty tantrum so Michael can look like the bigger person. Shame because I was really liking Saru up to that point.
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