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Ian
Sat, Jun 3, 2017, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

Good episode but some things that bug me:

1) How is that Dr. Bashir knows how to use a console on the bridge of prototype ship he's never been on before and can fire weapons on an attacking ship? Starfleet Medical teaches this?

2) Why didn't the Dominion keep the Defiant, take it apart and study it to learn more about Federation technology?

3) How come the Romulans never bothered to assign an officer on the Defiant after to protect the cloaking device? It would have been interesting have a Romulan character as a regular character.

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Sebastian Howard
Sat, May 13, 2017, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: A Measure of Salvation

" This is the first scene I've seen that combines torture, imagined orgasms, religious debate, unanticipated questions of faith, and somehow comes together and seems to make sense even if we can't be sure exactly what's in the characters' heads. "

You just need to watch more bdsm.
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Fungarian
Wed, May 10, 2017, 1:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Rewatching this episode, I'm bothered less by the decision itself than the total lack of compassion after that point. Whatever the circumstances, here's a terrified man who's about to be put to death, and there's no attempt to comfort him at all. The whole crew (minus the Doctor) seem to just want to get it over with as quickly as possible without any consideration for what he must be feeling or that he might want a funeral or remembrance of some kind. Nobody says that they'll miss him, or thanks him for the sacrifice he's being forced to make to bring back their friends. There isn't one "goodbye".

I understand Janeway's decision, but I don't get why it all had to be so cruel.

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Brian
Mon, Mar 13, 2017, 7:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

For me, this episode is only notable as having a ViewMaster reel... I still have it somewhere.
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Akkadian
Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

My biggest complaint about the show is the find and drop aspect of the technology they encounter. At the end of the series they should have a heavily modified Voyager. Instead we get basically the same model as it "rolled" off the line (with slight mods).
I agree with some that Justin, Ray Wise was great. Waste of an interesting species though and his plan was needlessly complicated.
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Diana
Tue, Feb 21, 2017, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

On the one hand, I largely agree with Nikolai's position on the "Putting lives before abstract philosophy" thing. While, granted, there's a possibility that you save a race that goes on to become the next Space-Hitlers, the people who are living now matter now. And if you're really concerned about them developing in a dangerous way, you have the superior position from which to help adjust their development in a positive direction.

Nikolai really is a jackass, though. What is he thinking? The villagers stated outright they were ready to die when the storms hit-- they couldn't make the Prime Directive easier for him to follow if they tried. He had to fight to convince them to try to escape their fate. And impregnating a local with an alien baby? He doesn't think *that* will freak them out? Unless he's already genetically modified his own sperm, or the baby in the womb somehow-- or intends to perform surgery on it as soon as it's born, and then follow-up surgery on any children that baby has in future.

Not sure what I'm trying to say, really. I largely side with the ultimate decision Nikolai made? But almost every aspect of how he made it was the worst it could be? And the episode seemed kind of a mess in terms of not really laying out the best case it could on both sides?
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Akkadian
Tue, Feb 21, 2017, 1:06am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

The Omega molecule should be popping up all over the place and their is no way for the Federation to put SNL lock on it. One thing that this episode brings up is two scenarios play out: If this pre-warp society can develop the molecule once then they can do it again. OR as this was the society's Hail Mary (having depleted their resources) Voyager left them all to die - a slow death.
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Akkadian
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Another point about this episode: I can believe that Julianaa could be oblivious to her android nature because Soong programmed her to ignore any evidence that contradicts the idea that she is human. HOWEVER I call BS on her ability to fool scanners, teleporters and never having a routine check up? If her body can do all that then it would be some miraculous technology that could be used militarily.
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Akkadian
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Nothing about Soong and data make sense. So Soong creates Lor who is considered a failure. So then he creates Data without emotions. Then he creates a replica of his wife which should be considered the most advanced android and the ultimate expression of his genius. But shrug lets focus on Data. Where the bleep are the other androids then? Don't tell me he really stopped and no one tore her body up looking for answers after she dies?
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Diana
Tue, Feb 7, 2017, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

Sorry, I really do not find this episode impressive.

Injecting the borg with a brief instant of Hugh's individuality, as a substitute 'virus', is just... an utterly ridiculous notion, and a line they didn't need to throw in. Literally every single individual the Borg have ever assimilated shared the same 'experience' of individuality, so that notion has been plenty shared amongst the Borg, and is evidently consistently rejected (or at least, suppressed and pushed into Unimatrix Zero).

And like others have pointed out, the Borg are *not* a race. I'm really surprised Beverley even said such a silly thing. The Borg are a twisted collection of unwilling victims from multiple races, whose identities are stolen from them and whose minds and bodies are repurposed against their will. Mourn them if you will, even spare them if you must-- but don't mischaracterize the notion of eliminating the Borg threat as some sort of 'genocide'. With the Borg gone, there's no loss of 'continuation of species'-- because all the people they would have used to 'continue' themselves are still alive and go on living, just much happier in their unique lives of personal choice and freedom among their families and friends and home planets.

Granted, if the Borg would keep to themselves and just live out the lives they've already assimilated (no new conquests), I'd be open to hearing arguments about leaving them alone. But we (and Starfleet) know they won't do that; the Borg at all times are a collective of conquerors; every missed opportunity to cripple the Borg is an extra allowance of time and resources enabling the Borg to move forward with their next assimilation of innocent and terrified people.

I'm personally curious of what Hugh would have thought if they let him decide whether or not to knowingly introduce the virus to the Borg. For all we know, he would have been game; he already didn't want to return to or assist the collective, and he was already sacrificing his life for them by returning; maybe he would have been happy to save future lives by delivering the virus.
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Diana
Tue, Feb 7, 2017, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

I personally choose to watch this one with the fantasy backstory in my head that Tom Paris somehow got away with using a fake name (Locarno) at school, to avoid being identified as Admiral Paris's son (since he hated being in his shadow so much). Then, after being expelled, he continued to spiral (into the Maquis, etc) until eventually ending up on the penal colony, then Voyager.

That's literally the only way I can watch his Locarno scenes without my brain screeching to a halt, haha. It's not just the same actor-- it's the same CHARACTER, in basically every detail but name.
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Diana
Mon, Feb 6, 2017, 10:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

Luke, the Riker/Troi/Ro problem has nothing to do with gendered double standards. It'd be equally perturbing if a female knowingly pulled a 'Riker', in this context.

Over-exaggeration suggests that you believe your point is not supported by the actual facts, and you over-exaggerate when you say: "[Riker] finds out that [he] might, maybe, possibly have had some slight romantic interest in some other [woman] at some ill-defined point in the past."

That is WAY more tentative than the reality the show presented. The seriousness of Riker/Troi's relationship is underscored in front of both of them, post-memory-loss. The emotional memory of their relationship is literally the only memory that was retained by anyone on the ship (indicating significance), and Riker himself brought up the book with the "All My Love" inscription.

Riker understood perfectly well that whatever was between him and Troi was somehow serious. And he chose to keep flirting with Troi to her face, while snogging Ro as soon as Troi was out of the room. No one blames Ro for pursuing Riker, because she didn't know what he knew. The point isn't "Casual sex is wrong"; it's "Don't lead on two people at once, and especially don't have casual sex with one person when you're pretty sure you're more deeply emotionally involved with another."

Anyway, they gave him only a very *light* chastening, at the end. And he mostly chastened himself, by his obvious awareness that he was the one in a position to feel embarrassed. Neither lady actually gave him much crap about it. But we're perfectly within our rights as the audience to feel a little grossed out when Riker flips from showing Troi the "All My Love" book to: "She's out of the room! Come here, dear Ro-- let's fiddle again."
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Diana
Sun, Feb 5, 2017, 1:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

I appreciate the ambiguity the writers leave us with.

It's good to be reminded that Data is genuinely different from us, genuinely 'alien', as another commenter here pointed out.

When Jenna expresses to Data her concern that she doesn't really "matter" to him... He agrees with her. That part's not really up for debate, at least if Data's self-assessment is correct.

On the other hand, Data clearly experiences (or at least expresses) motivations and goals, which we project onto him as "desires". His primary personal motivation is to become more human (and his experimentation with Jenna is intended to further that cause); his primary professional motivation is to perform his duties for Star Fleet. Who knows what combination of circuits and chain-of-logic commands lead to the ultimate 'motivations' for Data's behaviour?

As the writers brilliantly point out at other times: we genuinely *don't know* if Data counts as a 'real person'. We, and the crew, want to believe he does-- and he certainly produces output that gives the appearance that he is-- but for the most part we're treading on the safe side (because the risk of offending against a sentient being, if we're wrong, is unacceptable). Whereas with biological humans, we know because we each *are* humans that there's a soul behind our eyes (or whatever you want to call sentient consciousness; the 'eyes behind the eyes'; the self-reflecting, observational entity we call "I", "Myself", "Me")... we will never really know if this very complex non-biological machine houses a soul or consciousness in the way we do.

I think the biggest trick here is, we will always *want* to project intelligence and humanity, intent and emotions, onto non-human things. We can almost trick ourselves that a toaster secretly has motivation and burns our toast on purpose. How much more with each stage of a machine specifically programmed to speak to us in case-sensitive English sentences, to refer to itself as "I" and "Me", to vary its responses in seemingly organic (but carefully contrived) ways; to adapt its programming on the fly to more and more closely emulate human behaviour and responses? And how much more when you fit a human face on it? Remember, Data was built by a fallible human who fiercely wanted to believe he could make machines that were really alive and conscious. It seems at least within the realm of possibility that, consciously or unconsciously, Dr. Soong programmed Data to be inclined to claim to to alive and conscious, and to exhibit as many traits as possible that give the appearance of sentience, whether or not it was ever achieved.

Again, of course, we will always want to believe Data is, really, alive and a proper person (I certainly do, and always watch him that way). But it's always interesting (if tragic) to reflect on the fact that, as appallingly empty as the thought is, it is certainly *possible* that a machine could be constructed that conducts itself exactly as Data does, proclaiming its 'life' and 'consciousness' via its audible voice through its human face, while never actually experiencing one iota of consciousness.
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Diana
Sat, Feb 4, 2017, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

This episode was interesting if problematic, for reasons others have largely discussed.

Setting aside the 'humanoids=empty shell' early iteration of the Trill concept, and setting aside (though not ignoring) the creep factor of Riker's body being used for sex with Beverly when another host body was already on its way (it was perfectly legit for Beverly to find it awkward to engage in romance with the body of her friend and commanding officer; and Riker agreed to the use of his body to prevent a war, not have sex), and looking at just the Trill/Romance angle:

On the one hand, yes, the ending is a little jarring upon review in 2017; that Beverly had clearly acclimatized to the idea of a new host, and then rejected Odan solely on the basis that Odan's new body was female, comes off as... well, potentially homophobic from a screenwriting perspective.

But then on the other hand, being 100% heterosexual is as legitimate an orientation as being 100% homosexual; as another commenter pointed out, if Beverly were a lesbian in love with Odan's female form, and Odan switched to a male, would it be 'wrong' for Beverly to no longer feel attracted?

I think this is partly the crux of the matter. The idea that 'Who We Are', and 'Who We Fall in Love With', is NOT solely a matter of some internal 'soul to soul' match up of the minds. We are bodily beings, and love and attraction have very physical, chemical elements. Heaven knows, I've had friends I've wished I could be 'In Love' with because the mind-to-mind match-up was so good-- and I've been in love when the minds had virtually no common ground at all. If a person you don't love recites the same words to you, with the same expression, as your loved one does-- if they express the very same ideas and feelings-- it just doesn't have the same effect as experiencing those expressions from the whole person (including the body) of the one you're 'in love' with.

If anything, I'm impressed that Beverly was able to transfer her feelings of romantic love to Riker. I guess the presumption is there's some latent capacity for at least sexual attraction there (what with Riker being a handsome lady-killer and all), so both mind and body were still covered to some degree. And that was fundamentally missing for her in the follow-up host.
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Diana
Sat, Feb 4, 2017, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Identity Crisis

Actually, David: You've just given me the very happy thought that Trekky ladies should start competing for the "Miss Universe" title in Bajoran and other alien costumes. That would be hilarious if done in the right way. Really underline the point that "Miss Universe" should be open to all the humanoids out there ^_^
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Diana
Sat, Feb 4, 2017, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Geordi is definitely Creep #2 in this episode: Creep #1 is the writer who decided to end the episode by making *Leah* apologize to *Geordi*.

As others here have stated, Geordi had multiple opportunities to come clean about the holodeck program, in a way that would have lessened the creep-factor of his ensuing bizarre behaviour with Leah. She asked him more than once how he knew things about her she never told him-- it would have been perfectly acceptable for him to tell her honestly about the crisis where her hologram was needed, and ease that into a more friendly and transparent camaraderie.

The fact that he lied to her (pretending he's just studied her professional file, and just happens to guess her favourite food etc) makes the hologram bit creepier because it's like he himself believes it's creepy (why else would he conceal it from her and race to try to stop her from seeing it). That he compounds that lie with basically trying to bring a fantasy relationship to life (inviting her to dinner, dimming the lights, playing soft guitar music), creates an incredibly weird and uncomfortable situation for Leah, that she knows is slightly 'off' in real-time, and can only really interpret one way even in retrospect.

That he then turned around and yelled at her once she found out what he was hiding, and that the writers ended the episode with HER APOLOGIZING TO HIM, and him 'magnanimously' FORGIVING her... left a sour taste in my mouth.

******************

Also, and only going here because Star Trek has always been about making us look at our own behaviour in contemporary society, and inspiring future developments...

Add me to the list of people who thinks simulating real people (in holodecks or VR) should be banned, except in the strictest and most regulated circumstances (with the approval of the person whose image is in use). Otherwise, it really is a disrespect and violation, and with the way today's technology is going... I think the real-life implications are not too far away. Considering the potential of Virtual Reality (and let's be realistic, a huge subset of people are interested in VR for the pornographic possibilities), and the increasingly customizable nature of video game images.... whether you're a man or a woman, how would you feel about knowing that the creepiest, meanest, least attractive (to you) person you know is programming an image of YOU to perform whatever sex act or degrading activity they want for them? I mean, seriously... theoretically people could use images of you, your daughter, your son, your sister, your mother, your father--- and not only interact with them however they want, but probably record the simulated encounter and share it. Absent regulation, I bet there are already people out there who would claim "Artistic License" or "Free Speech" about that sort of thing.

Not to tangent too far away from this TNG episode. But there's a reason Leah used the word "Violated" about her feelings seeing her own image used to speak suggestively to Geordi. And we all know it could be a lot worse-- both in the world of Trek, and here in our own world.
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Akkadian
Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 12:36am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

I enjoyed the episode. The scenes with the baby were very impactful. I think people are forgetting that these people have suffered deep physical and emotional trauma so they were not thinking right. Also the error earth committed wasn't exploring it was basically breaking the prime directive (before it existed). They have advanced technology to a people that weren't ready for it.
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Akkadian
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Displaced

Further why keep all these prisoners!? If they didn't want to kill they could have just sent them away to some distant planet. Also why would such and advanced race need to steal ships? Just stupid all around.
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Akkadian
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Displaced

This is one of the dumbest alien plots I've ever heard of. They are lucky they tried this on a Federation ship. Can you imagine trying this on a Klingon, Cardasian, Kazon etc ship? They'd kill and or torture the introducers as they appeared.
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Akkadian
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Alter Ego

I'm not seeing what others seem to enjoy about this episode. It just comes off as more character assasination of Kim. And the rest is just rediculous.
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Akkadian
Sun, Jan 29, 2017, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Field of Fire

As a mystery this episode is a failure (the killer just walks on the elevator?). As a psychological study I'd lien towards success. Also the scene of the klllet and Ezrinpointimg guns at each other from across the station is sci fi gold. Too bad it was in a so so executed episode.
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Akkadian
Sat, Jan 28, 2017, 12:02am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

It is funny to think that the Triannons based their society on the spheres and the Enterprise blows them all up.
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Akkadian
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 10:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

A nuclear submarine can stay submerged for up to 25 years yet this marvel of the future can't last a week without losing power? Even though they tried to explain it I'm still not buying it.
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Akkadian
Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

I have always thought Star Trek played fast and loose with the "lineage" of the characters. Human genes must be VERY weak since they are almost never dominant: half Vulcan, half romulan, half Klingon, half Ocompan...the list goes on and on. They always look like the alien part of the family. And the dominance excuse is pretty thin. Belana's child should have looked very human. AND in the episode "Before and After" suggests that any offspring would also be extremely short lived given the apparent rapid aging of the children. It makes for some potentially compelling stories but it's hard to believe.
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Marianne
Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

What an effective and thoughtful gift the flute was. It served as a tangible reminder of the experience and a consolation to the unavoidable loneliness that it was sure to cause to Kamin.
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