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Bote For Lalo
Sat, Jan 13, 2018, 6:12am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

Seven shocking that Hirogen dude was HILARIOUS.

The Hirogen had great potential to be awesome in the beginning. Back when they were all 7-foot tall genetic freaks that had evolved to the point where they basically hunted "PREY" every day for sport. They even were wearing those awesome silver armor masks.

(I believe an iconic film called PREDATOR had the same premise for it's antagonist. VOY should have stuck with copying that.)

Because unfortunately later, the Hirogen suddenly shrunk down to 5 foot 10 dudes just wearing reptile makeup (and NO awesome silver armor masks), and then it became all serious and weird about how the hundreds of years of "HUNTING PREY" has diminished their numbers, and now they want to steal Voyager's holodeck technology.

It makes sense in theory, but to me -- BOOOOORRING!

They introduced this species as 7 foot tall hunters who hunt for sport in cool armor and collect "relics" of the humanoids they kill to display as trophies. A couple episodes later, they now suddenly look like average-sized dudes who look like office middle-managers. Certainly not like "HUNTERS".

They were awesome in the early episodes when they looked like over-sized brutes on a football team, who not only were smart enough to have developed warp technology -- but who also looked like OVER-SIZED BRUTES ON A FOOTBALL TEAM. That's scary! And they also just loudly bark at people when they spoke because they knew there were so intimidating. It was like watching roid-ed up pro wrestlers who also have PhDs in quantum physics.

They were fun while they lasted.

And when Seven completely read the threat of the Hirogen and then just shocked that dude with an electric pulse out of nowhere -- COMEDY GOLD.

Ah, the Hirogen could have been great.
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Bote For Lalo
Thu, Jan 11, 2018, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

Ugh.

As mentioned earlier in this comment thread, Q is classical "trickster" figure, like Loki. And he's basically omnipotent and eternally bored, which makes him a dangerous annoyance to all non-Q he comes into contact with.

Thankfully, John de Lancie and Patrick Stewart had great chemistry together. Thankfully, de Lancie is a charismatic actor who, scenery-cheweing aside, is fun to watch.

The kid playing Q Jr. just plain sucked; and while he was written to be obnoxious and annoying, I didn't help his acting performance, and it pulled down the entire episode. Even with badly written material, de Lancie can at least turn lemons into lemonade and make his performance interesting. This kid had no chance, and for my money it's the worst Q episode I've ever suffered through.

A very disappointing 1 star.
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Bote For Lalo
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 2:08am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

@Yanks "the Hirogen have been ruined (and they shrunk)

@Skush "What happened to the 7+ foot tall Hirogens from 'Hunters'? All the Hirogen in this episode are normal height. Did that ship just happen to have basketball playing Hirogen on it? That was what made them so intimidating. Seven even says so in that episode."

ALL. OF. THIS.

I'm only going through Voyager for the first time, so I was really starting to enjoy all of the "above average" to "pretty damn good" episodes that were happening in the 4th season. Then we get this stinker.

When I read Jammer's teaser for this episode ("After having taken over Voyager, the Hirogen supply the crew members with artificial identities and subject them to violent holodeck simulations"), I was really excited for this one, because I was really enjoying the Hirogen at this point. I thought the 7-foot tall super-violent Hirogens from "Hunters" were hilariously campy with their over-the-top voices -- as if they were giant professional wrestlers or something. (They basically were. They threw Tuvok around like a rag doll.) And then we got the great Tony Todd's performance of a more nuanced and scary Hirogen in "Prey" -- a brilliant episode. And finally, I basically just crack up at the fact that they have to say "PREY" no less than five times per minute. It almost becomes musical after a while.

So I was seriously looking forward to this episode when I read that the Hirogen were gonna be torturing the crew with ultra-violent holodeck programs. I figured it was a can't-miss episode.

How wrong I was.

Instead we get 2 hours of heavy-handed "Nazis are bad" (as if we didn't know) and the main cast getting to play dress-up in "France" and act out of character. I'm sure it was a fun shooting experience for the actors; but not so much a fun watching experience for this viewer. I mean, I'll probably hate it less when I re-watch VOYAGER in 10 years, but right now on first viewing, this one stunk up the joint for me.

And I still can't believe they ruined the Hirogens like that, ugh....

Parts I, II - 1 star
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Cmdr. Lal
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Datalore

More ageism! Wesley has always in the sane one and they all hate him for it, as does the fan base. That’s humanity in a nutshell. Lore and Q are correct: Humans are idiots. Narcissistic morons who make all of their own problems and drag others into it. Let’s talk about the Beverly stepping in to save Wes scene, isn’t she Star Fleet trained? FFS What a joke. This entire episode is one weak move after another. My favorite part is Worf getting beat, the guffaw it provides makes the cringefest worthwhile. I’m so disappointed in you Jammer, I came here expecting better.
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CmdrLal
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 3:07am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

Concerning the Worf/Troi relationship, I love this callback to OtherDimentionalWorf. I was afraid they'ed dropped the thread. So... The kiss scene was FANTASTIC. First he went for her... HAND... so much connection in the hand... My husband did the same... Then he went in... to kiss... her... NECK! Not her lips... too forward still... he looked into her eyes for reciprocation... and... YES! She's ALLLLL IN! I loved this episode. I normally cringe at a kiss scene, but having suddenly experienced such surprising and amazing love with a longtime friend myself, this scene was so well executed that it pulled all those long-ago first-time emotions back online. It was pure and real. I love how awkward Worf is. I love how much love Troi has for him. In "Parallels" to first see them together, I wasn't so sure, but by this episode I suddenly see how adorable they are together. Yeah, I'm glad the writers followed through. I think it's damn sweet.
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Blalock
Wed, Sep 2, 2015, 2:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Meh. 2.5 stars. I, too, would like more Data backstory (pre-TNG) instead of more pre-activation. The real problem with this episode is the very idea that Soong was able to push synthetics to the point of having an android register on medical scans as human and actually grow older/die. Way too far fetched for me. It almost seems like the writers just threw this one together. Flanagan's acting comes through, though, and I rarely give TNG episodes < 2 stars, so 2.5 it is.
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datalal
Fri, Jul 3, 2015, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Interface

After watching this episode, I thought it was...ehh. The scenes between Geordi and Data were well played, and the idea of using Geordi's VISOR implants as a way to interface with a probe was also intriguing. But I was kind of with Geordi, when everyone is giving the Hera up for dead. How long does a person have to be missing to be presumed dead? The Hera hadn't been missing more than a week, if I remember correctly. So..huh? Funerals already? Ben Vereen/Daddy LaForge just gives up all hope before his son does? Why? Oh right, plot.

[It might have been cool to see what kind of person Geordi's sister actually is, too. Maybe she's a complete contrast, a religious non-techie who's married with kids. Or she's a tech nerd like him, in Starfleet too?]

I also think it's kind of rotten that we only just now get to see LaForge's parents. And he didn't get back to his mom, after she sent him that message...3 WEEKS ago? Why? They could have perhaps hinted that the reason for his lack of communication might be from resentment on the part of Geordi toward his mother - which might naturally stem from her constant nagging and date-arranging. It would have added to his guilty feelings and need to save her - because maybe he didn't just fail to respond to her message one time, but hasn't talked to her much in a LONG time, and with her dead, he could no longer get a chance to heal the wounds and bridge the gap.

We also might feel more pain and distress if we'd seen them before, just as in "Generations" the bit about the death of Picard's brother Robert and his nephew Rene only holds such dramatic impact when you've seen them before in an episode, on the Picard family vineyard.
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datalal
Fri, Jul 3, 2015, 12:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

@ Peter: Haha, I love the idea of Data calling Dr. Maddox over to pick up Lore. Dr. Maddox would be so grateful! It would have been too comical a way to end the episode, but oh well.

I guess I'm one of the few who really liked Descent I AND II. I can concede that they are both flawed episodes, but they were interesting to watch. I didn't mind the presence of Hugh, or the change in Data, plus the dynamic between him and Lore and him and Geordi was interesting. I also liked the way Beverly commands a ship, although when the question is posed to Picard "Who will stay behind to command?", the OBVIOUS choice is Captain Picard, not the freaking CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER (who should be sending some of her medical staff with the teams instead). I scratched my head when the possibility of Picard staying behind isn't even *considered*. (But this episode involved a mistake that Picard made, so he had to fix it in person, I guess.

It was also interesting to see a multi-away-team deployment - like, they can DO that? Neato. But just as it's easier to pretend most of the time that the ship can't separate and doesn't have a battle bridge, It's also simpler most of the time to pretend the ship isn't a compliment of just over a thousand, except as an abstract reference during times of all-encompassing danger.

I laughed at how Troi had to make herself useful somehow. "I'll watch the door". And then she bungles the attempted escape. (Or was that an intentional bungle, just so Picard could retrieve the transceiver thingy from the downed Borg? That wasn't made clear).

I also didn't mind the bridge officers bantering, even if the dialogue was very "OF COURSE the Lieutenant is a dick, and the Ensign is a chirpy fresh-out-the-Academy uber-genius, who talks WAY too damn much." [I guess all the other bridge officers there are mutes? Ehh, they hardly ever talk anyway]. But at least the Ensign character progressed in her scenes from being nervous and unsure of herself to being confident and bold, which is slightly more than one can say for entire seasons of certain TNG character's arcs.... And some of the banter between her and Lt. AngularFace McTallGuy was cute enough, esp. the reversed "I'll just have to make sure my calculations are accurate, ".

I actually starting thinking of some fanfiction story for the grumpy Lieutenant and uppity Ensign, but that would be too likely to descend into a cheesy "characters in conflict for no real reason realize [because...plot] that they're totally IN LURVE with each other" kind of storyline that infests most romantic comedies.
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Lal
Thu, Oct 9, 2014, 12:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

I guess I can't quibble with the 2 stars rating - it's not a terribly great episode. But I found it an enjoyable time. But I always like Barclay episodes - he's the closer-to-everyman person (albeit with exaggerated expression of his neuroses, perhaps) that I can somewhat identify with.

Hell, I don't care how safe transporting in the 24th Century would be, there HAS to be plenty people around the Alpha Quadrant with neuroses about it.

I do think the grabbing the microbes = saving the other ship's crew was a little odd. And I also wouldn't have thought that you'd see or feel anything while being transported, except that one instant your on the Enterprise and the next you're somewhere else. Unless we're supposed to believe that your conscious mind can somehow perceive things even when all your body's matter has been disassembled and converted into a data stream?
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Lal
Wed, Oct 8, 2014, 12:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Next Phase

@ Jean Claude Van Hamm - I kind of wonder that too (after he "decided to leave", lol). But I also thought that perhaps he would have died within seconds in the vacuum and deep cold of space. (And yes, I'm aware that in their phase-shifted-ness, Geordi and Ro should be having difficulty surviving in a vacuum too. But yeah, it's Star Trek, and this particular episode only makes any sense when wrapped in a bubble of technobabble and old TV/storymaking conventions).
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Lal
Tue, Oct 7, 2014, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

I should add that I really wanted to slap Spock for being so insensitive to Yeoman Rand. I mean, she was nearly raped by Evil Kirk! But oh the '60s - who needs counselling for attempted rape, right?
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Lal
Tue, Oct 7, 2014, 10:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

Yeah, the premise is a bit goofy (and the notion that Sulu and the other guys on the surface could survive at such LOW temps, AS IF, even with the best blankets and phasering all those rocks), but this is one of the better TOS episodes, for fun, and for philosophical value.

I laughed SO HARD when "Evil Kirk" was introduced in shadow, with an evil grimace. X-D All the scenes with Evil Kirk are so much fun to watch. This is what Shatnerian acting is made for.

But all the scenes with "Good Kirk" were well done as well. The notion that we "good" people all need our "evil" sides is a little hokey. (What they should really be saying is that we need our animal instincts, our ID, and we also need our prefrontal cortex, our reasoning, cooperation, compassion, our EGO and SUPEREGO - and that neither the ancient parts of our brain nor the more recently evolved parts are good or evil, they just are).

Oh well, it all makes for good drama. Except for the stuffed dog, I just LOL'd at how dumb it looks.
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Lal
Mon, Oct 6, 2014, 2:10am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

The uber-blondness and white-ness of the Edo might not be such a problem if:

a) there wasn't only ONE all-black planet in all of TNG (Ligon II), and that planet was filled primarily with sexist, tribalist hot-heads looking for to steal THE WOMENS (i.e. Tasha, because she's STRONG) or to FIGHT TO THE DEATH...cause!

b) there are so many TNG episodes where the aliens are ALL white people, sometimes with nary a bump on their foreheads to make them look alien in any way. Lazy casting? Or a hint of the subtle racism that pervades TV and Hollywood even today?
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Lal
Sun, Oct 5, 2014, 9:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

Caine, maybe you should just keep watching TOS a bit. The episodes, by and large, DO get better, especially as the relationship between the 3 core characters develops. It's not a great idea to condemn the whole series just because you saw one episode you didn't like. (And "The Man Trap" isn't super-great to begin with. Even the real pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is more interesting to watch than this one).
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Lal
Sun, Oct 5, 2014, 2:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

I forgot to say that the reason I thought the "free-spirited" holodeck program must have been from an earlier season was because it felt a bit cheaply produced, and the whole concept seemed so first- or second-season. But no, this is Season 5. And right after "The First Duty" too, jeez. LOL.

I also forgot to add that I was more sympathetic to Alexander this episode. Except when he's having his laughing hour and being an annoying little shit to Worf.
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Lal
Sun, Oct 5, 2014, 2:00am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

It's funny, during the earlier part of the episode, I wondered, "Is this the one with that weird holodeck program with the face-bubble and the mudbaths? No, that must have been from a season or two back." Nope, this was the one, it turns out.

Not that I hate that scene. I loved that part as a kid, and i still do - it's nostalgic for me. I was Alexander's age (or less) when I first watched that episode, and the holodeck program was always somewhat confusing/creepy (with the face-bubble head esp.) but also enjoyable and fascinating, from the juggler to the pontificator (and I always forget about the fire-shaper, who is just kind of boring). I never noticed the 'lewdness' of the sexy alien dancer as a kid, and every time I see the latter part of that scene, I always look forward to Worf punching out the face-bubble head. :p

All that said, yeah, it's not a very good episode at all - 1.5 stars, maybe. And the only good things about Minister Campio as a potential husband for Lwaxana is that it gave Tony Jay a way onto the show (YAY!), and we get to see his shocked, speechless face as Lwaxana strolls naked into the wedding party. :D Also, there's more Mr. Homm and his silent smirking, which I enjoy.

The alien parasite of the week, while fun, was just there for filler - it didn't jive AT ALL with the Lwaxana/Campio/Troi/Worf thing. And of course, right after they solve the mystery and get the parasite off the ship, everything instantly returns to normal, and the wedding plans were in no way affected. Yah-huh.
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Lal
Sun, Oct 5, 2014, 1:37am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

Great episode, and one of Picard's finest speeches. And although Robert Duncan McNeill plays Nick Locarno and Tom Paris, I don't think of them as the same character at all. Maybe Paris is Locarno's older cousin or something, LOL. In any case, it's too bad Paris got watered down into Mr. Goody-Good McBlandsville on Voyager (which is the same thing that happened to the Maquis characters too, esp. Chakotay... bleh).

I also forgot that Wesley and Josh went to CALGARY, of all places. (And they probably only name-dropped it cause of the '88 Olympics, haha). Of course, if you were actually going to the Canadian Rockies, then Whistler, Jasper or Banff would make more sense as destinations. Or maybe they went to Calgary and did a side-trip to Banff. WHATEVER. I just have a little inner *squee* when something Canadian is mentioned...especially on Star Trek!
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Lal
Fri, Oct 3, 2014, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

@pviateur: I was thinking similar thoughts when the barrel dropped on Worf. All they needed was an extra bar or two on that shelf, and no barrel would have dropped. But they had to have some clear-cut way to paralyze Worf, I guess.
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Lal
Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 10:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

Only 2 stars? I would have given it 3. It's a competently written drama with an okay premise, but some great ethical dilemmas. Yeah the 'romance' was a bit lukewarm (not to mention that they became "in love" awfully fast), and Ron Canada's character was unnecessarily stodgy and single-minded. But Geordi's dialogue with Hannah, and her reasoning on why she needs to leave - it's pretty well done.

The society itself is puzzling, with questionable internal stability. I also think it wasn't visibly rigid enough - I would have expected a bit more uniformity of dress, with colours of cloth to differentiate professions. (Plus, there is a somewhat implied caste system at work, if some people are bred to be the top dogs, and others are bred for less high-profile jobs. But I guess there was enough holes in this utopia to see it as a dystopia anyway.

Too bad the Enterprise crew can never examine their claims of being "evolved" human beings more closely (Q comes close to do this from the get-go in "Encounter at Farpoint", but Q had to be the bad guy, so he's wrong no matter what). This is TNG, and Roddenberry's utopia has no problems because its blinders block any peripheral vision from coming through.

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Lal
Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 2:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Hero Worship

@Clint the Cool Guy: You're right, TNG never did school well. Ideas about 24th Century education seem to contradict each other within the series.

In Season One (the episode where the kids are abducted by the Aldeans) there's a father scolding his perhaps 8 year-old son for not doing well on (or not completing) his calculus assignments. This fits in well with the notion that somehow mathematical or other school subjects of today will be "child's play" to the children of tomorrow - although I strongly disagree with this idea. I don't think the 12-16 hours, 6 days a week of Grammar School that Shakespeare endured - which was largely lessons on Latin and the Classical authors, such as Ovid - would be tolerable in the slightest to today's generation of kids. And I doubt that calculus will ever be "easy" for kids to learn, unless we genetically engineer future generations, or make learning by osmosis (computer-to-brain link up) possible.

But nor do I agree with the Montessori pre-school setup that passes for "school" on TNG. Or maybe they only meet up to have play time together, and learn the core subjects on their own in their quarters? I don't get it.

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Lal
Fri, Sep 26, 2014, 11:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

** I mean that LaForge would tell Wesley how to fix Data, step by step.
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Lal
Fri, Sep 26, 2014, 11:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

SkepticalMI kind of said it all as to why this episode sucks. I was rolling my eyes almost the entire episode, exclaiming, "But video games don't work like that at all, and even hard drugs don't play with your ethical reasoning right away. Serotonin spikes alone ain't gonna do that!" I also though Lefler suddenly getting addicted at the end of the episode was lame - but I guess if both of them were captured, then Wesley wouldn't be as effectively isolated and repressed for story-purposes.

What's ironic: All the older adults get addicted RIGHT AWAY, but two kids who are barely out of their teens DON'T? Uh huh.

Also also: Sure, Geordi can see, but how are they supposed to hook that game up to his VISOR-connecting implants? Even if he had his VISOR on, how would the game fit his head properly? And I get the impression that the game's "rays" go directly through the pupil to the brain. How is the VISOR supposed to pick up that information the same way? Also, if Geordi was able to "see" the game, would its data necessarily be formatted properly to look like saucers and cones? That's a few too many leaps for me.

I think this episode would have been a little bit better if Geordi had been incapacitated in sickbay from an "accident", only to be ironically revived once no one was keeping him sedated. Then maybe his VISOR is disabled, and he has to tell Wesley what to do, step by step. That would have been more plausible.

The good parts of this episode were: Wesley coming home and getting that surprise party; his conversation with Picard about the Academy and Boothby; and his "smooth" moves on Lefler (or should I say, her smooth moves on HIM, plus their goodbye at the end. Those were actually GOOD Wesley moments - good character development. But him as the Boy Wonder saving the day again - AGAIN? How cliche and dull. Except for his capture at the end - that was nicely done, very "A Clockwork Orange".
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Lal
Thu, Sep 25, 2014, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

Well, I guess if I go to Dwight Schultz's autograph table at the Con I'm going to this weekend, I won't be talking about politics. I'll just tell him that the Barclay character he helped create makes me feel better about situations in my life where I've felt a lack of confidence, or have royally screwed up.

From my very liberal, fairly socialist point of view, all I can say about Schultz's politics is, "Well, nobody's perfect." :p
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