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Jason R.
Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 7:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Tara we can only imagine what might have been had they written better stories for her. A little less mewling psychobabble and more hard edged psi cop might have done wonders. The irony as you alluded to was that Sirtis actually had it in her to play that kind of role! We saw hints of it when Troi was possessed by aliens (on two occasions I think) and played a Romulan agent. She was even goid as the voice of the Demona character in the Gargoyles tv show, a morally ambiguous sometimes vilainous character (as the name implies). Sirtis can't be blamed for this.

My personal view is this somehow comes back to Rodenberry. I cannot remember where I read this, but I recall someone suggesting that he had a fetish for psychotherapy and this may explain the prominence of Troi's character and why she was featured so prominently in earlier episodes. Yet I can imagine his utopian vision of the future short-circuiting any impulse to explore the darker aspects of her powers. This basically forced the writing to wallow in sacharrine mediocrity and neutralizing her as a meaningful character. If you are not going to use her empathic powers for anything dark (which covers almost any use against even aliens, let alone the crew) what else is left but "I feeeeeel PAAAIN!". It may also be why Lwaxana was always played as a joke - any serious examination of her telepathic powers would force us to confront questions of personal privacy, violation and other things at odds with Rodenberry's idealized, sterile view of the Federation and its people.
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Jason R.
Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

As an aside it is of interest to me what Rodenberry's original intention might have been for the Troi character. I know part of her reason for being there was prurient given her outfit in season 1. Yet there is no doubt she was placed to the Captain's right and from her centrality in many of the earlier stories you get a sense that she was intended to play a very central role and wasn't just put there for sex appeal. Yes her contributions are inane, yet the gravitas accorded her, particularly in season one, suggests that something far more substantive was intended. So it begs the question: what happened? Was it just a failure in the writing? Could no one imagine a use for an empath on a starship? Was this just another example like the Ferengi of the writing and acting just falling on its face?
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Jason R.
Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

It occurred to me that having a full telepath like Lwaxana on board would have been equally useless. Her entire power set consisted of knowing who wanted to have sex with her and how - that was the full extent of her telepathic ability. Don't get me wrong - uncovering Picard's hidden lust was at least as impressive a feat as anything Tam did in Tin Man. Just slightly limited in its overall practical application to shipboard operations.
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Jason R.
Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Chrome all Troi knew about him (that she stated) was that she didn't trust him. Well Duh. She doesn't trust the obvious flim flam man? Well I'll at least give her credit - that was greater insight than she had for Ardra, the woman claiming to be *the devil* in Devil's Due.

As always, her empathic abilities were utterly useless at divining anything but the most obvious points. Outside of, say, Skin of Evil and maybe one or two episodes, did Troi's empathic powers accomplish the slightest thing in 7 seasons?

Can you imagine if the writers had actually talen Troi's abilities seriously?
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 21, 2017, 5:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

I always liked this episode but on rewatch it really annoyed me how the crew humors the professor who is so obviously a flim flam artist. I mean even if he were genuine, what gives him the right to waltz around the bridge like he owns the place? The guy was insufferable and it was impossible to believe the crew would be so accomodating.

Picard's speech was laughable given that he strenuously argued to allow entire civilizations die (on more than one occasion) rather than violate the prime directive, but now suddenly he is going to the wall for this one little colony? Pffff.

And by the way, another con artist impervious to Troi's empathic powers? Was his mind too "focused" for her to read? And where was Guinan? Naturally the one person who would have seen through this guy instantly was nowhere to be seen!
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Jason R.
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, 8:34am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Peter you forget Fajo had the forcefield so physically attacking him was not an option. He was alone on Fajo's ship, surrounded by Fajo's men. He had one clear chance to neutralize his kidnapper and every reason to believe doing so would end his captivity.

I agree that in the context of Data's ethical programming, this was probably more an execution, than self defence. But keep in mind Data has a different set of priorities and a more altruistic frame if reference. Data, by his nature, would be inclined to self sacrifice rather than kill, but that is not necessarily a legal requirement.

To put this in perspective, if Data was just some person (say a 20 year old woman) and had a chance to kill her kidnapper and escape, even if her life was in no immediate danger, I have little doubt the killing would be legally justified. Kidnapping and forcible confinement is an extreme attack on someone that frankly would justify almost any degree of violence.

Now I will agree that Data is an Android and a Starfleet officer, not some random person, so the context is a little different. But even so, if Data has an opportunity to end his captivity through deadly force, is he required to refrain, knowing that he might never get another chance?

And Fajo did just commit a brutal murder - and vowed to commit more if Data attempted to escape again. Legally speaking, I wonder if you could even stretch these facts into some form of "necessity" defence - not that you'd need to - as noted, killing to escape indefinite captivity must be legal!
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 14, 2017, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Would Data have been kicked out of Starfleet? Was shooting Fajo even a murder? Data had no way of knowing the Enterprise had just cone. He was alone on Fajo's ship, a prisoner. I think it was self defence - justified to escape from captivity.
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 14, 2017, 10:42am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

The wounding theory doesn't make much sense given the nature of the weapon - we clearly see it consume and vaporize the entire body, regardless of the point of impact. We must also reject the idea that Data didn't fire - it is unambiguous in the episode that he did.

I was also thinking of the zeroith law from Asimov when Peter commented on this. Yet the problem isn't the decision to kill but the decision to lie about it after the fact.

The lie is gratuitous, or serves a selfish purpose antithetical to Data's ethical nature. I simply don't see an easy way to reconcile this with who and what Data is.
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 14, 2017, 8:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

I liked this episode. It is a brainless bit of fun. Of course the premise is laughable - if the device can instantly brainwash someone on the first go (as it clearly does given how immediately Judd turns on Wesley) then what is the point of the narcotic effect? Why bother addicting the crew to it if it takes absolute control of them on the first use?

And yeah, bullshit on Picard, let alone Worf ever picking up this doodad.
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Jason R.
Sun, Feb 12, 2017, 7:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"The day may come soon when I'm forced to treat a new Trek series as non-canon..."

I'm already there with the vile Abrams movies. They are not Star Trek. End of story. The sooner they are forgotten the better.
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Jason R.
Sun, Feb 12, 2017, 7:25am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

Just to add some additional perspective on the Canadian system: yes, basic emergency, diagnostic and necessary surgical care is covered by the Provincial health plans (there is no universal care in Canada - each Province has its own health plan).

But the idea that this eliminates the need for private health plans or that it covers all necessary healthcare is something of a fiction.

In Ontario, for example, medications (outside of what is administered in the hospital as part of surgical or emergency care) are not covered. Dental care is not covered. Physio and psycho therapies and rehab treatments (outside of perhaps a narrow very limited hospital based treatment for very serious injuries - and only at the outset) are not covered. Basic assistive devices are not covered. So for instance, my daughter's club foot brace (about $500 at the outset and then again as we get larger braces as she grows) was not covered, despite it being necessary for her not to be crippled. Her emergency anti seizure medication would not be covered. If you got into an accident and needed physio for an injury, most of that would not be covered.

People in Canada do have private health insurance. And you can still end up paying thousands of dollars for healthcare expenses notwithstanding "free" care.

That said I am conservative and I would not take the US system. When I travel to the US the first call is to my health insurer to verify coverage - I am not interested in having to pay a $500,000 bill if God forbid my daughter has a seizure in Florida or my wife needs her appendix out.

The price for healthcare in the US is ludicrous.
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Jason R.
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 3:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

I also got the sense that there was alot of self hatred with Ro. In the scene where she describes her father's death, you really feel that she hates what he became - that she hated her people (and therefore herself).

Regarding Guinan, I guess my beef is more with her in general than in this one instance. I mean is there the slightest doubt that she is going to be Ro's instant friend though barely trying? She isn't a telepath or empath (see how Troi gets rebuffed almost immediately) yet she can just magically become whatever the story needs - it's almost meta. Even Picard is powerless before her spell.
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Jason R.
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 10:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

Peremensoe that is probably how the writers justified it retroactively for DS9, but I don't think that was what was really intended. In the episode it was explicitly stated the Bajorans were forced off their world which had been colonized (not "occupied") by the Cardassians and had become drifters and nomads. Basically it was like Titan A.E. with the Bajorans being a homeless race of scavengers.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 10, 2017, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

Just watched this episode again. I really really liked the Ro character. The scene with Crusher was perfect - I enjoyed how she made a mockery of Federation moral superiority and rubbed it in everyone's face (even Picard)

I am frankly puzzled at the complaints about Ro being some kind of "badass" or "terminator". She didn't so much as throw a punch the whole episode.

The two things that keep me from loving this episode were Guinan and the Admiral. Regarding the Admiral, I thought the performance was just off kilter - very inconsistent. His motivation was not clear or convincing and he just came across as a dunce to me

Regarding Guinan, I just did not buy the ease with which she befriended Ro. Yes, she had something in common with Ro being an exile too, but it just seemed forced to me. I felt like Guinan was just using voodoo or something on her. It was almost meta how Guinan could just get to her with instant success. Who is this sorceress? Maybe they should fire Troi at this point and let Guinan take over.

By the way, one little tidbit I noticed was how the Bajorans were showed to be exiles and wanderers. The implication is that the Bajoran home world was empty of Bajorans.

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Jason R.
Thu, Feb 9, 2017, 4:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Why don't they just bring a damned Betazoid next time?
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Jason R.
Wed, Feb 8, 2017, 1:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

This is one of those episodes I always thought of as a joke and didn't take too seriously when I saw it originally. I find evil clowns compelling (don't ask), so there was that.

But rewatching it many years later I feel it holds up well as a weird high concept experiment. The story isn't without holes (as others noted) but the execution is just compelling.

The fear character was funny, threatening, even scary. The doctor's appearance is one of the funniest moments in the series and is delivered with perfect comedic timing. Even little touches like the starfleet insignia appearing on Fear's chest after he assimilates Bellana and Harry and his cries of "RED ALERT" had me smiling.

Janeway's thesis at the end about fear's ultimate motivation doesn't make a huge deal of sense in context but I still liked it - and enjoyed how Janeway turns the tables on the Clown. That's right bucko - she's a STARSHIP captain not some spaceship captain so don't mess with her!

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Jason R.
Wed, Feb 8, 2017, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Manhunt

What always bugged me about Lwaxana is just the wasted opportunity. She's this powerful telepath, the only one in the series, and all the writers can think to do with her is play her as some pathetic man-eating buffoon. It would be equivalent to having Data, the show''s only android, working as the ship"s bartender a la Conundrum, showing up only as a punch line for comedy episodes. What a waste.

By the way, I always wonder with her: how can she keep pursuing Picard despite the disgust that so obviously permeates every encounter. Or is the joke on us? Is Picard secretly lusting after her non stop as she claims?
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 7, 2017, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

Uggh, Tara beat me to the draw. Ditto then.
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Jason R.
Tue, Feb 7, 2017, 7:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

I think that if you accept Tara's underlying premise as applicable to today's world, you must accept its application to Riker. The reason is that Riker behaves too much like a 20th century man to be considered "evolved" in a way that Peter's point makes the slightest sense. We know Riker is this way because it's how he acts. His approach to sex is almost indistinguishable from his analog in a modern context. If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

A really gutsy scifi show could attempt to portray a truly different kind of man (the only example of this that comes to my mind that comes close would be the shower scene in Starship Troopers) but that's not Star Trek. This is where Gene's vision proves fraudulent - he seeks to show us a society filled with "evolved" people who nevertheless, behave precisely as we do in our time, which is a paradox. It's like Sisko having a restaurant with waiters and busboys in a supposed "moneyless" society - ridiculous. Not merely utopian in the sci fi sense, but actually impossible.

Supposing I accept the premise that modern culture is a "rape culture", which I guess is Tara's premise - for it to NOT be that culture anymore would require a fundamental change in not just how men feel, but how they act toward women. I don't know what this would look like, but that's the point - whatever it is, it's not Riker.
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 6, 2017, 5:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Court Martial

I am shocked no lawyer has commented on the ludicrousness of an old romantic flame being selected as the prosecutor and not stepping down. Sliiiiiight conflict of interest!!
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 6, 2017, 4:19am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

"i dont know if you hate women or not.."

Correct, you don't. Think before you imply someone is a "misogynist" again.

"what i to know is you view women's issues through male eyes"

Indeed I do. They're the only eyes I have. What eyes ought I have used?

"and think you are some sort of expert"

That's the only place where you're wrong. I never claimed to be an "expert". I just thought your interpretation of the facts were skewed and that you were assuming things that weren't actually shown to reach a biased conclusion.

And remind me again, are you male or female? Or are your "eyes" less male than mine?
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Jason R.
Sun, Feb 5, 2017, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Yes I hate women. Kudos on your fine human insight.
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Jason R.
Sun, Feb 5, 2017, 5:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Dave Geordie never actually said or did anything re "sex acts" with respect to the hologram. Your lunchroom scenario again presupposes a level of crassness and vulgarity not evident. The problem with your argument is you keep having to modify or ignore key facts to shoehorn the episode into the narrative you prefer.

Again I have not watched the episode in a while, but my recollection was the apology was not so much her being sorry for being mad about the hologram, but her being sorry for being hard on him about it. I also saw it as an olive branch and invitation to start over with a colleague she respected after an ordeal.

Whether or not she was more or less in the wrong is kind of beside the point. Have you never apologized to anyone as a token of respect / friendship despite not really "owing" one? I have done it nany times. It diesn't make me submissive or grovelling - and again, from memory I highly doubt that was how it was portrayed. More shoehorning on your part.
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Jason R.
Sun, Feb 5, 2017, 3:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Dave didn't you just say that Geordi should be fired for researching "intimate personal details" about her? Then you stated she should not apologize like a submissive woman to someone "abusing" her.

It seems you say alot of things that aren't true.
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Jason R.
Sun, Feb 5, 2017, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Incidentally, many people (not just women) apologize all the time to defuse awkward situations, to make somebody feel better, or just to smooth over relations. Personally, I have done it many times.

I will have to rewatch the episode, but I think alot of people are creating a narrative based on facts "not in evidence" as they say.
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