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Lupe
Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Samaritan Snare

WESLEY: Why would anyone use a faulty replacement?

This guy's supposed to be a boy genius?

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Lupe
Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

By now TNG had at least a couple of top-notch eps under its belt, and its average was improving rapidly. Still, this is probably the most important of them. And BTW look how far we've come since the Ferengi were introduced as the new bad guys in season one, and proceeded to caper about like disturbed chimpanzees.

Yes, the whole Borg thing was reduced to banality by Voyager and its familiarity breeds boredom, yea even unto the point of a Borg Brady Bunch, but that only strengthens the solemnity and impact of this debut performance.

Speaking of the score, I particularly liked the moments where complete silence was employed whilst contemplating the Borg Cube (which BTW has to rank as one of the most audacious and iconic spacecraft deaigns since Disovery in 2001).

So much has been said, I can't find much to add, except that if there is one little moment that doesn t work for me, it,s when Guinan faces off against Q, with her fingers poised like cats claws. It looked really corny. I half expected lightning to suddenly shoot out of her fingers. Were we supposed to believe that she has some powers which would have serioualy threatened Q? It's implied here, but I don't remember it being taken up again; at least not in 'wizard battle' sort of way.

But it's a minor thing, and I admit that Guinan is capable of periodically annoying me a little.
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Lupe
Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Where Silence Has Lease

TNG was rapidly finding its feet by now, but it was still plaqued by more than occasional sloppy writing and silly dialog. This moment made me cringe a little:

They make visual contact with the anomaly:


WESLEY (rather in awe): There it is, sir. It's like a hole in space.
...and his next line, moments later:
WESLEY: Captain, if this were any ORDINARY kind of hole in space..

That's getting jaded a bit too fast!
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Lupe
Mon, Mar 5, 2018, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Home Soil

"We're just about to start pumping.


And filtering the water."


Watching the crew entranced by this woman's comatose acting while the opening credits were rolling wasn't a flying start to this episode, and frankly that monotone monolog turned out to be eblematic of the whole story: a decent sci fi idea executed with all the tension or excitement of a documentary on gargling.

And why can Data read a database in ten seconds, but can't dodge a laser and talk at the same time?

There was nothing howlingly wrong with this episode; it was simply plodding.
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Lupe
Mon, Mar 5, 2018, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: 11001001

Excellent by first season standards, but I think four stars is a bit generous. I think this ep's company makes it seem better than it perhaps is. I probably enjoyed Datalore nearly as much, despite Beverley's latest oubreak of ickyness over Wesley.

Minor irritations: Riker falling in love with a hologram in about 1.3 seconds, and what is this 'blondes and jazz don't work, but redheads and jazz do' nonsense? If I were more poitically correct I might leap to the accusation that this is a sublimated racial stereotype (dark hair and jazz, he clearly approves of)

Yeah, I'm biref and nitpicking, and don't buy that myself.
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Lupe
Sun, Mar 4, 2018, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Hide and Q

Sorry about that orphaned line at the bottom: I evidently started writing the review from another tangent and didn't notice it was leftover when I posted it.

I tried completing in a variety of silly ways, involving, for instance, Van Morrison, but lost interest.
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Lupe
Sun, Mar 4, 2018, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Hide and Q

I'm not very impressed by this episode, but I've been grinding my way through season one for the first time in ages, expecting it to be awful. Consequently my expectations are so low that I found this entertaining in an 'of academic interest' kind of way.

Rodenberry was involved with this, so no surprises some of it reeks of bad TOS (thank God he only co-wrote the screenplay, and wasn't responsible for the overall story, or we might have ended up with Q dressed up as Robert E Lee, or Richard Nixon or Tiny Tim) .

People have covered most iof what I would have said, but I do want to mention Picard's tirade at Q on the bridge, early on. I've always thought Avery Brooks was given to fits of bizarre overacting when Cisco gets angry - especially when he giggles at the same time, he comes across as sort of deranged - but I must say I was taken aback by the ferocity of Patrick Stewart's delivery here. It was so intense it makes Cisco's tirades seem genial. I'd forgotten just what a hardass he could be early in the series.

The other thing that struck me, having recently re-watched TOS, is that (with a couple of exceptions perhaps) even in the hokiest TOS eps, you could sit through it, because Spock, Kirk and McCoy were just so charismatic and magnetic right from the get go. By comparison, all the major characters in TNG, at this early stage anyway, seem insipid. Picard and Data are getting there gradually, but I'm afraid even Picard's Shakespearian meltdown here isn't as powrful as Spock raising one eyebrow.

The scenes on the 'planet' with the
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Lupe
Mon, Sep 4, 2017, 9:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 1

Just a quick thought: a few eps back Jammer (I think) brought up the question of whether, by now, people ought to be aware of Baltar having conversations with an invisible friend. Isn't this the episode where he has a conversation with Caprica, alone in his cell? Given that the cell is presumably still bugged, this ought to have put it beyond doubt.
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Lupe
Sat, Jun 17, 2017, 8:31am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Genesis

One of the most monumentally idiotic moments in Trek history (thus far). This time I have no problems with your 1 star rating. I wonder if Gates McFadden volunteered to direct this, or if they bribed her because nobody ekse would touch it?
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Lupe
Sat, Jun 17, 2017, 7:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

Wow, normally when you dole out 1 star I can understand why, but I'm on another page altogether on this one. It wasn't great, but I enjoyed it, and found it memorable, unlike most of the other eps from this era.
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Lupe
Thu, Jun 15, 2017, 7:02am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Gambit

Well I watched all of both parts, which is more than I can say for some other season 6 and 7 episodes. It's tolerable, but not much more. However I'm amazed that nobody has picked on the most obviously absurd thing about this two-parter.

It's utterly ridiculous to think that Baran could subjugate an entire crew indefinitely with that preposterous pain-inflicting device. Someone would have found a way to disable him and smash it within the first day. Plus, apparently he has seperate pain level settings for every member of the crew, which must be really easy to access quickly if two or three of them were to come at him from different directions at the same time. And why wouldn't someone just take it from him when he was asleep? It's a shambles of an idea.



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Lupe
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: True Q

If Crusher is an Irish setter, which dog breeds are other Trek characters?
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Lupe
Mon, Jun 5, 2017, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

Whereas this is a fairly strong episode dramatically, I can't get on board with four stars. I'm not sure why: perhaps it's because I'm not certain where the science fiction is. I've probably given other episodes a pass where the same thing is true, so it must be something else. I quite like it; for me it merely falls short of the greatness everyone else seems to see in it. I didn't warm to any of the cadets; that doesnt help, I guess.
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Lupe
Mon, May 29, 2017, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

I can't see the clip, but my heart sunk when I saw Jj Abrams name beside it. I just don't like the reboot movie franchise, and had been holding out hope the new series wouldn't be more of the same. Actually I'm sure that when I first read about the new series, the studio expressly stated that Abrams wasn't involved.

Ah, well.

BTW, I was thinking. Something the new series could cover, which no episode of any series has explained, but merely glossed over - at least as far as I can recall. Something I'd love to see explained:

exactly how and when the human race collectively agreed to abandon money.

And while they're at it, how anyone in Starfleet pays their bar tab at Quarks (except Dax, who has enough Tongo winnings), what anyone's motivation is for Poker Night in TNG, basically how the whole economy works and anything like trade, making spaceships and or so forth actually gets done.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit of a leftie, but it does seem to be one of the underpinnings of Trek which nobody wants to go near: the elephant in the galaxy.. It must have sounded groovy in the 60's but jeez, I mean we're really hurtling towards that particular vision of the future at the moment, right.
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Lupe
Mon, May 29, 2017, 8:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

I wonder who first use the 'letter to whomever' format as a framing device for TV episodes. I always trace it back to Hawkeye's letters to his father in the early seasons of M*A*S*H*, but perhaps there is some earlier antecedent I'm not thinking of. Trek would use this device again, as late as Enterprise, with Phlox's letters to his human colleague.

It all works reasonably well, and manages to avoid being corny, though it strays close now and then. At at least one point Data seems to casually mention some pretty high security Starfleet matters to his pal, but perhaps this was edited out, or he simply never ended up sending it.

One of the comparatively rare times when Trek manages to combine comedy (or at least something approaching it) and drama in a single episode fairly successfully.

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Lupe
Sun, May 21, 2017, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Deja Q

It's funny - I remember seeing the first episode of TNG - possibly a year after it came out - and finding the whole thing rather rather silly, and subsequently finding Q irritating whenever he turned up. Not Troi's mother or The Grand Negus irritating, but not all that far off. Then something odd happened and I started warming to him, and now I think he's great!

Perhaps it hasn't hurt that I've just come off re-watching Breaking Bad, where John de Lancie puts in such a memorable and sympathetic performance, but this is one character and actor who I've certainly done a 180' on over the decades. Not to say he hasn't been in a few clangers (wanting to mate with Janeway, for example. Was that before or after Tom Paris mated with her while they were newts? I can't remember? Still he was probably the best thing about that episode).

Worf's monosyllabic existential suggestion, 'Die', as the only acceptable evidence of being mortal is possibly the funniest one second of dialog in ST history (well, it's debatable, but it'll do until someone can point me to something obviously better, consisting of no more than three letters. Maybe there's a really funny phoneme out there?)

Seriously though, this episode is one of the rare moments when Star Trek manage to a generally funny episode without it being a disaster involving something like the aforementioned Negus and Troi's mother. Babylon 5, for instance, managed to weave humorous dialog into a regular dramatic episode, but usually Trek gives me the impression of having decided that they've had a run of deep and serious eps, and it must therefore be time for a comedy episode, and then playing the whole 44:30 minutes for laughs. This episode manages to be lighthearted without being disposable - though the Mariachi Band was maybe a bridge too far, and the cigar in the last shot might have been ok if they'd have left that awful SFX head out, or waited a few years til they could have CG'd it.

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Lupe
Sun, May 21, 2017, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: When the Bough Breaks

So long since I've seen season one of TNG that I'll refrain from commenting, other than having just noticed that this is the single Trek directorial outing by Kim Manners, who would famously go on to produce and direct X-Files and Supernatural, and to whom Vince Gilligan dedicated the Breaking Bad episode 'Breakage', on his death in 2009. I wonder how that one-off involvement came about.
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Lupe
Sun, May 21, 2017, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

I should mention thatI I (re)watched this episode as part of an unbroken binge which lasted into season four, without pausing to review each episode while it was fresh in my mind. Therefore I won't go into too much detail. Except this one, because for some reason it really stuck in my head:

They carry rocks in the ceiling!

Really, in the scene where Garrett's bridge is blown up, the ceiling gives way and out tumbles an avalanche of various sized rocks. I watched in slow-mo just to check, and I can't imagine what else they could reasonably be construed to be. It always seemed kinda ridiculous to me that every time they get in a firefight things blow up all over the bridge in showers of sparks and flames and smoke, as if the whole place was running on old radio vacuum tubes, but now a bunch of obviously heavy, irregularly sized but basically rock shaped rocks tumble out of the ceiling and cause grievous injury to the Captain. Did they position the Captain's chair directly beneath the ship's collection of small boulders? It's a spaceship - everything should be as light as possible without sacrificing strength, and by the 24th Century I should think that would be very light indeed, so don't tell me these things are inexplicably broken up bits of iron girders or concrete or something.

Anyway, there's my main contribution to the analysis of this episode. I don't think it really needs much else from me by now, but I'll give it a fling:

I guess I'm in the good, probably very good, but not an instant classic group. I'd be willing to buy that it was an instant classic in 1989 in terms of what had preceded it on TNG, but in the bigger picture of what came out over the following 15 or 16 years of uninterrupted TV Trek, I can think of enough episodes which are markedly better that if I give this my highest accolade, I have no room left at the top for them (1989 was, BTW, around when I started regularly watching the series. I'd been aware of it before then, but it didn't start to click with me til around this point).

My biggest problem while watching this episode is really probably my own fault more than the episode's. I guess I'm insufficiently versed in Trek history, but I wasn't clear that there was an ENT-C captained by someone called Garrett, which had existed between Kirk's and Picard's Enterprise, and it therefore seemed to me as if there weren't one but TWO alternate timelines going on. I couldn't understand which universe this other ship had come from. This distracted me quite a bit, and if it's something I should have known about, or I'm missing something obvious, the fault, as I said, is mine.

Apart from that I enjoyed the episode a lot, though it did seem at times to be a bit too contrived or vague. I think the arguments about Guinan's hunch dictating Picard's decision are very valid. I'd thought it a little atypical of Picard while I was watching it, but one tends to get caught up by the creepy atmospherics of this quite effective performance, and to not overanalyse it at the time. As has been observed, this is probably as much Twilight Zone or Fantasy as SF, but ST has never really been the sort of Hard SF which John W. Campbell would have approved of. It does wander into other genres fairly regularly (that's if you even consider SF a genre to begin with). All the same it's inevitable and probably not unfair that it is going to attract the sort of viewership who expect it to cross its T's and dot its I's at least where commonsense is concerned.

All in all, not much to complain about here, and a good but not great episode. They should do something about that ceiling insulation, though.
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Lupe
Fri, May 19, 2017, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Agree with Luke's comment about it being easier to talk at length about an episode you don't like. Although if I find myself at a loss for words when I eventually review something like DS9's 'The Visitor' I'll know for sure.

I can't quite join the 'best TNG' or 'Top 10 Trek' episodes bandwagon. The real stand-out episodes of any season, for me at least, usually have some very personal, character-driven stories or drama, which nonetheless qualify as SF. This steers close with Jarok, but doesn't quite possess whatever enables that emotional charge. For me at least.

Ironically the problem could probably have been solved if we were able to develop more empathy for Jarok early on, and the obvious way to enable this would be for us to knowm from the outset, that he is on the level. Unfortunately this would completely disarm the main device of the plot. Anyway as a well-plotted and tense thriller this is close to the top of its class.
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Lupe
Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

*minor future series spoiler*

BTW is what Troi gets up to in this episode (among others) essentially different to what Harry Kim practically gets crucified for in an ep of VOY? I thought that Kirk had established, and Troi (and perhaps Riker) had cemented that if it's sentient and bipedal it's all good. Should probably have said this in the appropriate Voyager review, but I wasn't reviewing while watching that series. Anyway this is more or less contemporaneous with Voyager, so I don't get the difference, unless there's a different rulebook for first contact species, which would make the Delta Quadrant even more difficult.
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Lupe
Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

I wrote

"condistency"

I do appreciate the irony of this typo.
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Lupe
Fri, May 19, 2017, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Trajan

"They could call it a Directive of some kind... "

Like the 'Stop it - or they'll end up using it in a feature film" directive?
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Lupe
Thu, May 18, 2017, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

**WARNING** This review contains spoilers for later episodes/series.

Difficult to believe, but an episode which contains both Ferengi AND a Troi romantic B story still manages to be watchable.

May as well get the latter out of the way first. From the moment Rai appears, casts that 'look' at Troi, and the music swells a half second later, you know you're in for another ridiculous Troi/romance/alien episode. Christ, Gates got upset because in season one they limited Beverley to behaving like a doctor. At least that was germane to her function as a member of the crew. The less said the better, probably.

Two interesting things happen in this episode, in hindsight. The creators of 'Voyager' use it to set a timeline for returning from the Delta Quadrant - and, an in an ironic twist, the two Ferengi who disappear in this ep become the main characters in one of Voyager's very worst episodes.

Despite all of this, the episode wasn't a total loss by any means, though it's definately a bit of a stumble at this point in season three.
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Lupe
Thu, May 18, 2017, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Enemy

Very solid episode. Season 3 is now living up to the hype.

Really not a lot to add to what has been said. I too suspect the dying Romulan's outburst was meant to be for Worf only, and that even if it were overheard, a medical professional making a decision on that basis would be shabby ethically. It's also pretty obvious that apart from the ethics of it, Beverley makes a tactical blunder by insisting Worf see the dying patient.

I couldn't shake the feeling that Picard was at least as much in the wrong as Tomalak - at least as far as Tomalak knew, and Picard's aggression in these scenes took me a little by surprise, but I think I'd forgotten would a hard case he could be sometimes in this mid TNG seasons. After watching Janeway and Archer (at least in the first two ENT seasons) this was surprisingly confrontational.

Three and a half seems about right. Falls short of being a classic, but no real complaints.
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Lupe
Wed, May 17, 2017, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

Much better. This is the first Ep from season three I've thoroughly enjoyed. Not a classic, but at the moment good solid SF with solid performances from the main cast will do fine. It reinforces my impression that so far this season they do best when they stay on the ship, and don't get involved with clunkily written locals.

The Geordi romance thing could have become really lame, but didn't. Guinan mercifully appears only briefly. The ensemble cast used are all in good form, and nothing here bothered me. Good solid episode. Outings like this should be the average though, not the stand-outs. Looking forward to further improvement and condistency, which I suspect is coming.
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