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Dusty
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

Every Trek series has a few of these epic temporal stories. 'Yesterday's Enterprise', 'Year of Hell', 'The Visitor' and so on. I wasn't expecting ENT to pull that off as well as its predecessors, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is an excellent episode and one of the series' best. It is undermined somewhat by plot holes (why didn't Archer and T'Pol just keep a log so she didn't have to tell him the same story over and over?) and a contrived ending (who can take three kill shots from a phaser rifle?). The episode is exciting and even touching, especially when we see how Archer and T'Pol's relationship has developed over the years. Seeing T'Pol in a real StarFleet uniform, I felt like cheering; she looked great, without being objectified. Why didn't they just have hear wear one from the beginning?

All of the future crew members look and act so much more interesting than their present versions that I was sorry to see them go. Reed's beard worked, T'Pol's hairstyle was more appealing, Trip's accent had softened, and with Mayweather having been killed in action, the show still seemed whole and I didn't miss him - a sad commentary, perhaps, on just how inconsequential his character was. While 'Twilight' isn't very relevant to the ongoing Xindi storyline due to the necessary Reset Button, it accomplishes something even more important; it proves that Enterprise had potential to be more than a flawed and redundant exercise. I'll wait until the finale to decide whether that potential was fully realized in Season 3.
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Dusty
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 1:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: The Shipment

A serious, focused episode with a decent story that tells us more about the Xindi? Yes, please! I've been waiting for something like this since 'Anomaly.' It doesn't have much in the way of action, but I can live with that as long as there are interesting characters to move things along. Gralik and Degra certainly fit the bill. Both are acting on self-preservation; Gralik is processing a highly dangerous chemical for financial gain, while Degra intends to use that chemical against humans to save his people. When Gralik looks beyond himself, putting himself at risk by sabotaging the kemocite, he proves that not all Xindi are warmongering killers - a welcome revelation. On the other hand, their tendency toward armed conflict is definitely real and turns out to be the sole reason their homeworld was destroyed.

The subplot of the Xindi weapons being powered by space slugs is somewhat lighter in tone, and also serves its purpose well. How can they combat the Xindi's superior firepower if they can't use their weapons? I look forward to finding out. 'The Shipment' is a solid, if occasionally dull, episode that contributes substantially to Season Three's story arc.
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Dusty
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

Other quotes that stand out after seeing this one again...

"Yuta, you're an excellent chef, but you speak in riddles." Who wrote that line? It's such a non sequitur. Is there some weird intergalactic law that chefs are forbidden to speak in riddles? If so, they'd better repeal it immediately. Yuta can't afford to lose her mystique. With this script, her character doesn't have much else going for it. xD

"Was I that obvious?"
"Yes."
Let me put it this way, Riker. If there were an Obvious Meter, you would be only a few notches below "huh-huhuhuhuh...hey, baby...huh-huhuhuhuh...wanna...do it?"

"Chorgan? This is Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterpri--"
*PEW PEW*

"Hahahahaha! FAAAA-aaaaarrrrm??"

On a more serious note: the entire final scene is wrongheaded. As soon as his friend got stunned by Riker's phaser, Chorgan would have IMMEDIATELY jumped to his feet and stepped back from the table, attempting to intervene. He would not just stay in his chair. But the scene requires him to so he can be a sitting duck for Yuta. Not even Picard gets up; he simply stares into space, perhaps daydreaming of France, as a woman is vaporized right in front of him. Didn't anyone involved in filming this scene realize how contrived it was? All Riker and the others had to do was physically get between Yuta and Chorgan and then restrain her. If that's not possible because of her genetically engineered abilities, show us. Have her throw aside everyone who gets in her way and corner Chorgan. Except even that wouldn't fly - because as William B mentioned, why use force at all when you can just beam her aboard the Enterprise far away from her target and subdue her there?

Now that I think about it, Yuta serving the Sovereign makes little sense. If your goal is to eliminate all remaining members of the Lornak clan, and all the Lornak are apparently Gatherers, why would you tie yourself to someone who resents the Gatherers and therefore is unlikely to come in contact with them? How long had she been a servant, anyway?

Poorly thought out as it is, Yuta's death does leave a powerful impression on me - something the episode had been lacking up to that point.
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Dusty
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

This is a more interesting outing than 'Impulse', but it's still not particularly deep. The writing is dull and predictable, but Linda Park does an admirable job with what she's given. Maury Sterling sounds like he's struggling to speak clearly through the mask and makeup, but otherwise he does a good job of portraying the awkward exile desperate for companionship. The biggest cliche (aside from the resemblance to 'Beauty and the Beast') comes along after Hoshi refuses to stay, with a sinister Captain Archer who's obviously not the real deal; I'm surprised it took Hoshi more than 30 seconds to catch on. At least Tarquin isn't completely nuts and so Hoshi, with the leverage of the orb, is able to reason with him. Two and a half stars.

Lupe makes a good point above; the season DOES seem to be frittering away its potential after a mostly promising start. I've yet to see anything since 'Anomaly' that engages me on a level I would expect from a Star Trek series. I can handle pedestrian storytelling; I put up with plenty of that during Voyager ... for a year or so, anyway. What's really getting on my nerves is the cheesecake. As a man, I don't particularly object to seeing attractive women in silky outfits, but as a Star Trek viewer, I don't need to see that. It's not the reason I'm watching the show and I don't believe for a second that Hoshi would dress like that while staying with some creepy alien she barely knows. Even more so than during Voyager, UPN seemed to think every week was sweeps week and they had to showcase a half-naked woman to grab attention. It's okay now and again, but when they do it in practically every episode it gets old fast. Despite the new storyline, ENT still looks like a series that's drifting in network limbo with no particular reason to exist except that "Star Trek shows get high ratings, so let's do another one."
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Dusty
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 2:26am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Impulse

After skimming over that premise, I'm going to have to disregard Jammer's recommendation and proceed with alcohol consumption immediately.

Our prologue is basically T'Pol going insane. Going back one day, the story begins with the Enterprise investigating a Vulcan ship that was pulled into the expanse. The asteroid-dodging scenes are very good and lead nicely into the creepier part where they board the stranded vessel. And then ... bring on the zombies! I'm not buying the premise that Vulcans sans control would be like THIS. I think they just wanted an excuse to do a zombie movie in space. Granted, it's not a bad zombie movie, and it's helped by the best performance I've seen yet from Jolene Blalock. But beyond that, there's not really a whole lot to say about it.

So, what kind of drinking game can we play with this? Take a shot every time they blast a zombie? I'd be throwing up all over myself even before the final escape scene. I'm open to suggestions though. Trip and Phlox talking during the movie is pretty amusing, and T'Pol's hallucinations suggest this will be an ongoing issue. More continuity is always welcome. The downside is that the episode is underdeveloped, implausible and like other ENT outings it doesn't really feel like Star Trek to me; I know I keep harping on that. Yes, it's spooky and fun, but there are plenty of shows and movies that explore that territory. I watch Trek to see something that will make me think. 'Impulse' doesn't do that, and never really tries. In that sense, it's a disappointment. I'd give it two stars.
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Dusty
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Rajiin

Was this "Vulcan neuro-pressure" ever a thing in previous ST series, or did they just make it up as an excuse for Trip and T'Pol to touch each other?

As for the main plot of 'Rajiin'...it's an 'alien' sex slave who makes every crew member act like Riker (and is of course a spy). The Xindi's whole plan is simply to get her on the ship so she can scan the crew's DNA or whatever, and then to blast their way aboard the Enterprise and recover her? That's not clever, that's desperate. Way too many things could go wrong. On a sidenote, where is this woman even getting her skimpy outfits, and why would she wear them when she doesn't have to? Oh, of course. She has to wear them because RATINGZ.

The action scenes are all right and the writers are doing a good job of maintaining continuity. I still don't like the DNA silliness from 'Extinction' but at least they're making use of it somehow. The guest actress did a good job too. I'd give this a weak two-star rating.
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Dusty
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 12:31am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

The hell? =_= Jammer is right; this is cringe-worthy. Did Bakula, Keating and Park lose a bet or something? Trek has pulled the Fun With DNA thing before and I just can't go along with it. Watching Archer, Reed, and Hoshi crawl around like animals and try to feed T'Pol space maggots is not my idea of a great time. Things pick up a little with the alien exterminators, but it's still pretty dull. Plus the aliens couldn't produce an antidote for the "mutagenic virus" in sixty years, but Phlox pulled it off in a few days? Come on. I doubt I'll watch this again but at least it's not as bad as 'Threshold'. One and a half stars is about right.
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Dusty
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 11:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Anomaly

This is a step up. A much better episode than 'The Xindi', with a much more serious and consistent tone. The pirate raid is unexpected, but even more surprising is Archer & Co's response to it, which makes clear that the outlaws have bitten off way more than they can chew and that Archer will stop at nothing to learn about the Xindi.

Of course that brings me to the airlock torture scene, which is far more shocking now than it would have been in the early 2000s and not very Star Trek-ish. But then the Enterprise series as a whole wasn't very Star Trek-ish, so it wasn't as jarring to me as it would've been on, say, TNG. Plus I've already made a commitment to watch the entire season and I'm not going to stop two episodes in, especially when the overall episode is as strong as this one. 'Anomaly' is a message to the viewer that ENT is committed to the Xindi storyline no matter what - and that there's no way back from it, just as Trip says.
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Dusty
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 5:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

"Try not to breathe."
"Yes, sir."
Okay, let's jump into Season 3. The intro song has been remixed; it still doesn't work for a Star Trek series but it's an improvement. Less background vocals and such. On the Xindi story or what little I know of it so far, you could definitely see it as a cautionary tale about the ethics of pre-emptive strikes in war; the Xindi are so wound up they decide to attack Earth FOUR HUNDRED YEARS in advance. Four hundred years is a lot of time to, say, contact Earth and attempt to change that future constructively ... but no, let's just use this knowledge of the future to start the war on OUR terms. This must not be a very peaceful or rational species we're dealing with. The whole thing is more or less a shotgun blast to the face of Star Trek canon, setting a precedent that would affect the rest of this series and probably all future ST series as well, because you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube ... so it had better be a DAMN good story arc.

I like the physical portrayal of the Xindi council; unlike many Trek aliens, they are composed of several different subspecies, all of which have evolved in different directions. You've got the main species that are kind of reptilian, but also the insect representative (who seems to be the most hostile), the manatee-like Xindi who live in the water, and a few others. Nice. About the mines Archer and Trip are confined in: I have to say they're one of the best sets I've seen on the series, and so unhealthy to work in that even the wretched owner guy (slavemaster, really) needs to take periodic huffs of oxygen or whatever is in that mask of his. The whole bit is representative of ENT's attempt to go dark DS9-style, with some success, although it doesn't have the same authenticity yet.

You can take or leave the Trip/T'Pol scene; I would rather have left it, and all the other typically silly non-sex scenes as a thing of the past (a little early for sweeps week, wasn't it?). And speaking of bad precedents, this show really should have resisted the temptation to put a skintight bodysuit on a female character. If crew members are supposed to be equals regardless of species or gender, then just dress them all in a similar uniform and move on instead of jerking off the viewers. "This show is meant to portray a vision of a more enlightened future, when mature men and women boldly go where no one has ... HEY LOOK, BOOBZ!!" Come on writers, get serious or quit Star Trek. This show should be better than that.

I'm a little curious about why a Xindi homeworld that will supposedly be toast in 400 years has been destroyed ALREADY - 120 years in the past, at that. I don't get it. I'm with Jammer; interesting new direction, but uninspired writing and some juvenile stunts drag it down as a season premiere.
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Dusty
Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 1:43am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

The second part of 'Birthright' marks a sudden transition from a Worf/Data story to a story about Worf alone. The part about his father still being alive, when denied by the old Klingon POWs, is quickly dropped and never explained. In retrospect, it looks like a cheap trick to grab the audience's attention in part one.
What led the Yridian to believe Mogh had survived in the first place, and what exactly is his role in all this? We never learn.

The prison, if you can call it that, is a unique example of Klingons and Romulans living in peace. At first Worf wants nothing to do with the place; he tries to escape, but they recapture him only to plunk him back down in the settlement and tell him "not to cause trouble." He's a Klingon being held somewhere against his will! Of course he's going to cause trouble! How he does it is the interesting part; I did like seeing him teach the prisoners' peaceful children about their warrior heritage, as well as the relationship with the Klingon/Romulan girl, which surprised me because I usually find Klingon episodes and Trek romances pretty tedious. There's just something about this one that holds my interest.

You could say that Worf is turning a perfectly functional society upside down for no good reason, and there's validity to that. But he sincerely believes he is doing the right thing, he does not insist that any of the Klingon youths leave with him (those who do make their own decision in the matter), and for those who remain he promises not to reveal the settlement's existence. How this promise could possibly be kept, I'm not sure. It's a dreadful risk, one I doubt I'd be willing to take if I lived there myself. This part two is far from perfect; a very different animal from part one, and ultimately they don't hang together very well. Despite that, I enjoyed them both quite a bit. While I agree with Jammer's rating for part one, I would give three stars to part two as well.
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Dusty
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part I

I watched this one right after 'Aquiel'...whoa. Talk about a contrast. This is an absorbing drama on two fronts: Worf investigating the prison camp hoping to find his father, and Data exploring a vision of his creator Dr. Soong. The backdrop of Deep Space Nine is surprisingly underutilized, as Dr. Bashir is the only character from that series to actually make an appearance (unless you count Morn), and he's as irritating as ever - although his interest in Data helps a bit. Data's story is rather murky and new-agey, but the ability to dream does add something new to his character. Worf's situation will be more complicated, as the Romulan prison(?) camp he sneaks into is obviously not what it seems. A very good setup that left me looking forward to part two.
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Dusty
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

Here we go again with Geordi and his "I feel like I know her" stuff...it was interesting in 'Booby Trap' three seasons ago but now it's just tired. The actress playing Aquiel is wooden and unconvincing, as though even she knows the episode is a non-starter. Despite the relatively brisk pacing - things move along pretty well instead of dwelling endlessly on Aquiel's logs - much of it is just boring. When Governor Toe Rag (or whatever his name is) produces the still living Aquiel I just rolled my eyes, because I knew I was in for another throwaway Trek romance.

Aquiel's hemming and hawing about Rocha was so obvious that I MST'd my way through the rest of the episode.
AQUIEL: "Keith Rocha was obnoxious from the minute he reported to duty." (So I killed him.)
GEORDI: "Why do you think he attacked you?"
AQUIEL: "I don't know." (Maybe it was because I was trying to kill him.)
Et cetera. Eventually we have Beverly's hand sticking out of a dish of refried beans and Geordi shooting some CGI whatsit, but I had stopped caring by then. Not exactly unwatchable, but pretty darn bad. I won't bother with this one again.
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Dusty
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 11:49am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

My favorite thing about 'The Defector' is the performance of James Sloyan as Admiral Jarok (AKA Dr. Mora and Jetrel), a prolific actor whose versatility continues to impress. Although I recognized his features immediately from 'Murder, She Wrote' and other programs, I never doubted that he was a Romulan in personal torment - compounded by the skilfully executed plot twist that he betrayed his people for nothing. The Romulans are one of my favorite alien races on TNG, and I wish a little more attention had been given to the whole Tal Shiar/resistance angle. (A program with more continuity like DS9 could have worked wonders with it.) Data and Picard's scenes were also exceptional. A most enjoyable way to spend an hour if, like me, you enjoy political drama and intrigue just as much as sci-fi action and adventure. The episode's only flaw is that it drags a bit in the middle. I'd give it three and a half.
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Dusty
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: Sphere

I think you nailed it, Jammer. I watched 'Sphere' twice as a teenager. I was drawn in by the nebulous characters and murky plot twists, but as it went (dragged) on, I struggled to make sense of what I was seeing. The movie consists of several different plot elements, all of which are interesting - but unresolved. What is the sphere and where did it come from? Who or what is Jerry? What's with the books? Why is Sharon Stone's character supposedly insane? These questions are never really answered. The film is an idea salad with incompatible ingredients and clashing flavors, ultimately leaving viewers with a bad taste in their mouths.
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Dusty
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:47am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

Anything would have been an improvement after the hilariously awful 'Threshold'...but if any Voyager episode is legitimately great and thought-provoking on its own merits, it's 'Meld'. Tim Russ and Brad Dourif carry the episode with great skill, leading the audience into a study of the spontaneous, cold-blooded violence that can and does occur in life--particularly with people like Lon Suder, who is portrayed as a textbook sociopath. And even though I don't hate Neelix, I can imagine how irritating he would be if I were Tuvok, so I did take some sick pleasure in watching the strangling scene. As usual, Janeway did something to drive me insane: stubbornly continuing to advance on a homicidal, barely rational Tuvok in his room even though he warns her to stay away. But Janeway's character never made sense before, so why would it start now?

The overwhelming tension of the main story is periodically broken by the mildly amusing but inconsequential subplot, where Chakotay cracks down on a rather harmless office pool in the holodeck because, to paraphrase him, "StarFleet would have a problem with that." Dude...you're STRANDED! In the middle of the Delta Quadrant! If you're lucky enough to get back to Earth someday, do you honestly think HQ is going to care that some of your crew members gambled with replicator rations?! Why would any commander in Chakotay's position be so concerned about this? This is just another example of Voyager not being true to its premise. It pays lip service to the whole "lost indefinitely in space" thing, but the crew don't behave like it, the ship doesn't look like it, and the writers don't want to deal with it. (Ron Moore hit the nail right on the head.)

Those caveats aside, I really like this episode. It underscores the great potential of Tuvok's character and adds an interesting new wrinkle to the Vulcan mind-meld. It's one of the show's finest hours and worthy of three and a half stars.
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Dusty
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The Adversary

I thought this was a good finale. The episode builds suspense very effectively. Nothing fosters paranoia within and between people more than fear of the unknown, and as an enemy that can take any form and hide almost anywhere, the hostile changeling epitomizes that fear. There are shades of 'The Thing' (the blood test) and '12 Angry Men' (Bashir: "Don't you ever sweat?" Odo: "No, I don't") which I also enjoyed.

The episode is weakened somewhat by the cliched scene with the two Odos, and the use of an alien race we've never heard of and never see. What are they like? What sort of homeworld do they live on? What is their relationship and significance to the Federation? It's like the 'Homefront/Paradise Lost' two-parter, in that they don't (or can't) show us what's really at stake, so we just have to take their word for it. However, the scene where Odo kills one of his own kind is shocking, and the consequences will have long-term significance. It's not the kind of episode I'll go back to again and again, but it gets the job done. Three stars is about right.
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Dusty
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 12:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

At first I was surprised and bewildered by two Star Trek-type shows suddenly launching at the same time (this and 'The Orville'). Now that I've done a little research, I think this show is the one I would actually be interested in watching and reviewing ... but if CBS expects me to pay for the privilege, then forget it.
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Dusty
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

I'm going to opt out of this one, and here's why. I have never found Seth MacFarlane to be funny, interesting, or even particularly talented. I think 'Family Guy' is an unfunny, lazy, and downright nasty show that oozes contempt for its audience. I think his success is thoroughly undeserved, and I have not an iota of interest in seeing him try to carry off a live action Star Trek parody / ripoff / homage / mishmash or whatever it's supposed to be. Even if the show's temperament and humor are substantially different from 'Family Guy' - which seems apparent - I feel like I'd be somehow condoning or encouraging him by watching. And I'd really prefer that Seth, and the whole style of humor he's developed and popularized, just go away.

But for those of you who are watching and will continue to do so, I hope that you find something to enjoy in 'The Orville'. :D
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Dusty
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 11:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

If nothing else, this episode at least inspires passionate and intelligent discussion years after it aired - both about whether Alixus' philosophy had merit and whether she was simply misguided or a flat-out cult leader. I watched it again recently and I think the biggest mistake they made was in the ending: portraying Alixus sympathetically when her character (both as performed and as written) had done absolutely nothing to engender that sympathy. It was unsatisfying.

My explanation of why ALL the colonists instantly forgive Alixus and choose to stay? Poor writing. I can't think of a reason that would actually work within the plot of the episode.
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Dusty
Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 3:12am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

To make a great episode of a TV show, you need both an intriguing premise and strong execution. 'Living Witness' has both. It's one of the greatest episodes of Voyager I've seen, and I'll continue to go back to it for many a year both as a ST fan and a passionate student of history. I love the actors' enthusiasm in the 'evil Voyager' scenes, which are not only hilarious but tell us a lot about how the Kyrians think and how distorted a culture's view of history can be.

For me the lesson is that any group is prone to this kind of revisionism. We attempt to make sense of past events by arranging the facts into a narrative, and inevitably, things that don't support that narrative are willfully ignored or twisted around until they fit. Every time we try to wrap things into a neat package and say "this is what happened," something is lost along the way.

Without the Doctor's program there to clear things up, the Kyrians probably would have gone on believing this version of history, tweaking or altering it only as time and social conditioning dictated. Unless one is lucky enough to have an objective recording method handy, there really is no right or wrong view of history, because no one's view is infallible, and as the information is passed on you have to settle for recycling someone else's version of the facts in an endless cycle - possibly a cycle of diminishing returns. It's the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.

Four stars, indeed.
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Dusty
Sat, Dec 31, 2016, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

"I will not comply."

If I had to choose a most memorable line or moment from Voyager, that would be it. Janeway has a point when she says that the ability to show compassion, even in wartime, is part of being human. I agree with her on principle, and this would be the ideal opportunity to teach Seven of Nine that lesson...

...IF a bunch of Hirogen ships weren't coming to destroy them unless they got their prey back. But the Hirogen are coming, and we have no reason to believe they won't carry out their threat, and therefore this is neither the time nor the place for charity. Seven is absolutely correct in her assessment. She goes directly against orders by sacrificing the invader, but in doing so she saves the ship and the crew. Janeway didn't have a third party threatening to kill her if she saved the wounded Cardassian, so what gives her the right to preach to Seven about humanity in this situation? And in such a patronizing manner, too. As Seven observes, "a lesson in compassion will do me little good if I am dead."

'Prey' is a very strong, intelligently written episode of Voyager. It uses the Hirogen more effectively than anywhere else (thank you, Tony Todd) and continues a minor story arc from 'Scorpion'. If these standards had been applied to the rest of the series it could have been something truly special. Three and a half stars is about right.
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Dusty
Thu, Dec 29, 2016, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Revulsion

I wouldn't call an abused hologram going insane and killing his whole crew "light." But it's not a great episode by any means. Dejaren's craziness is telegraphed from a mile away; in the teaser, really, because what other hologram acts and talks like that? Leland Orser turns in a good performance but they should have had him dial it back and, you know, maybe not done the scene where he's dragging a bloody corpse across the floor. The added suspense of us not being sure what's wrong with this character would have made for a stronger episode.

The Harry and Seven scenes were surprisingly good, actually. And the Harry and Paris scene, and hell, even the Harry and Chakotay scenes weren't bad. That's rare. Seven's outfits, especially this early one, were a slap in the face to Jeri Ryan and the viewers. "LOOK SEE?! LOOK SEE?! Borgg chik iz teh HOTTORZZZZ111! Plz 4 teh love of Grod watch r show!!!" That is the level of thought that went into this. Lowest common denominator. Ryan's acting, however, is golden. This is like a lot of Voyager episodes: potentially great, but settles for average.
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Dusty
Thu, Dec 29, 2016, 1:18am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

This one misses the mark. The plot holds almost no interest for me and the aliens' dialect is downright goofy. I knew there was some kind of brainwashing or manipulation involved but it was hard to care. Seeing a nice guy like Chakotay get swept up in violence again was kind of interesting, but I didn't enjoy anything else about this. It was just mind-numbing and unpleasant. Season 4 didn't really start to take off until 'Revulsion.'
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Dusty
Wed, Dec 28, 2016, 7:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

Voyager is a show that I found somewhat appealing in my early teens because of the action and easily understood plots, but even then I tired of the overheated previews and watched it just for a year or two (Seasons 4-5, I think) before moving on. There was nothing in it that really challenged me or commanded my attention, and by the time Dwayne Johnson was guest-starring to fight a futuristic MMA match with Seven I had to roll my eyes. Now that I watch it as an adult, I can see why I lost interest.

1. Overuse of (and over-reliance on) things that I now recognize as signature tropes of ST: technobabble, time travel, fun with DNA, and the reset button. The writing was sometimes brilliant, but more often than not they settled for transparently episodic thumb-twiddling. Voyager felt more like a network product than an artistic vision, and the writers seemed to think almost every week was sweeps week where they had to pull some contrived stunt to grab the viewers' attention. After a while you just go numb and start ignoring it altogether.

2. I found most of the characters unappealing. Kim is too shallow and frivolous to be taken seriously. Paris is facile and immature. Chakotay serves no definite purpose. Janeway is a self-righteous, idealized creation that I don't think has aged very well since the 90s. Neelix is even more of that era as the pervasive "comic relief" character whom no one seems to find amusing. Whereas B'Elanna is all TOO believable a character to a 2010s observer: insecure, prickly, and disagreeable. Seven, the Doctor, Tuvok, and Kes are the only main cast members I find both likeable and engaging.

3. It never respected its own premise or utilized it to the fullest. Voyager just wanted to be TNG with more bells and whistles, and had the disconcerting effect of feeling both too retro and too modern, lacking a sense of self or a coherent central philosophy. That this never really changed in seven seasons explains why I grew out of the show in only a few years and rarely watch it now.
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Dusty
Tue, Dec 27, 2016, 4:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

I admit that Star Trek + classic alien abduction story is an interesting idea, but the execution falls flat. The episode totally lost me in the teaser and I had no idea what it was supposed to be about until 15 or 20 minutes in. The holodeck and alien science lab scenes were pretty spooky, but to get there I had to sit through uninspiring technobabble and some Data/Geordi scenes that didn't fit. The premise had potential and the acting was good, but ultimately 'Schisms' doesn't quite work for me.
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