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Outsider65
Wed, Oct 5, 2016, 12:12am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

All I can say is I liked this one better than the first two reboot films. A focus on characters helped me forgive a lot of things, because at the end of the day, I enjoy Star Trek for its characters and their interactions probably more than for its premise.

A lot of the people commenting here have some very varied and thoughtful discussions, some of which surprise me with their depth. You've got an interesting dynamic here and a good crowd.
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Outsider65
Mon, Oct 3, 2016, 1:14am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

This movie was kind of boring. Also Kirk has blue eyes now. I know everyone looks completely different now and that's nitpicking, but since the movie is claiming he's genetically the same Kirk as before, just with different childhood experiences, it bugs me. It kind of bugs me that Old Spock recognizes any of them at all when that's our premise. Either cast the actors more accurately or tweak the plot so it makes sense. It's not a big deal but it makes it hard to connect with any Old Spock scenes, he comes off as some old dude who can't remember what his friends looked like and so is mistaking strangers for them. Lol. I want to be moved by his "I've always been your friend" speech but the guy he's talking to is so clearly not the Kirk he knew, both physically and as a person. New Kirk is rightfully confused and I have to side with him on this: who is this crazy old dude claiming they're friends? This scene just makes me nostalgic for the chemistry the old TOS cast had. (And I watched TOS for the first time only a few months ago, so it's not even real nostalgia.)

None of our rebooted characters are likeable now. I hate that. I want to like them automatically, because they're supposed to be the same people, just under different circumstances, but they're not at all.

New Kirk is a jerk without any of Old Kirk's redeeming qualities. He grew up a delinquent (instead of a diligent stick-in-the-mud who only later loosened up) because he never knew his father in this timeline. Fine. But his offer to Nero at the end, followed immediately by happily blasting him to kingdom come when he refused help, was not something Old Kirk would have done. He always had compassion for his enemies, always tried to spare every single one, no matter how heinous their crimes, and he didnt take personal satisfaction in the death of others. To a fault, he was forgiving, merciful to them. (Maybe he could even be called an idealistic idiot.) New Kirk wasn't upset that he had to kill Nero, that he couldn't find another way. He didn't even try to look for a third option. He's a generic action hero with none of the ideals that made the character memorable, likable. Having him offer Nero mercy was a step in the right direction for getting his character right, but there was no follow up, and overall he was just some cocky kid with no experience, main-character shield on full, blowing stuff up and throwing punches in endless action sequences. Maybe if he was some character I'd never heard of before I would have liked him, but when I'm told this punk is supposed to be Kirk, I'm incredulous. He does not live up to the character's legacy.

Spock. Oh boy, Spock. His generic, pleasant tone comes off more as "robot" than "Vulcan" and the actor's slightly upturned lips make him look like he's perpetually about to break into a huge grin. Not exactly a good choice to play any Vulcan, let alone a character who's supposed to be severely conflicted and poker-faced. Despite the perma-smile and soothing voice New Spock is a lot more volatile than Old Spock. Which is odd, because for whatever reason, his parents are a lot nicer to him this time around. He's also a lot less likeable this time through. While old Spock was occasionally snarky and hypercritical, New Spock is actively vindictive. He takes it personally and wants revenge on the cadet who hacked his program. He wants revenge on Nero for killing his mother and planet (understandable, but notable in his lack of attempts to suppress said desire). He wants Kirk to stop annoying him so he JETTISONS HIM OFF THE SHIP AND MAROONS HIM ON A FROZEN TUNDRA PLANET FULL OF THINGS THAT COULD KILL HIM. Seriously. New Kirk is kind of a jerk, but compared to New Spock he's downright likeable. Had New Spock never heard of this cool part of the ship called 'the brig'? You place prisoners there? No? He's so overreactive he shoots the guy who was just made First Officer into space over an argument. He also dates his student/subordinate officer, and unprofessionally makes out with her on the lift, as well as lets her dictate her own assignments to him. Ugh. I don't mind Spock/Uhura but the way it's played here is just sickening. More on that later, though. He never gets likeable as the film goes on, either. Kirk shows back up and pisses him off so he tries to strangle him (of course it's strangulation, it's always strangulation with these two) and then Kirk gets command from him, they have an action sequence together, and a few scenes later he's gladly requesting to serve under Kirk. At what point did they actually become friends? Was it when Kirk shot down storm-trooper level of bad shot enemies while Spock mindmelded with one of them? When Kirk blew up that Nero guy Spock wanted dead? If a cool action sequence together is all it takes to make people best friends, then why aren't Sulu, Kirk, and redshirt Olsen BFFs too? For all of Old Spock's insistence that these two need to become the closest of friends, they really never do. They're still barely acquaintances when the movie ends. Acquaintances who only recently stopped trying to kill each other. Old Spock, go home. You're getting senile, and the Kirk you're looking for is in another timeline. I'm really not seeing any real bond between these two.

McCoy. New McCoy is just kind of there. He tries hard to emulate the accent and mannerisms of the original, and there are a few times it works. Franky, his character wasn't given the importance it deserved. Chilling on the bridge while Spock shoots Kirk into space seems pretty out of character both in the original universe and this one. (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt though, and assuming he didn't actually agree with the decision but didn't want to end up sharing the pod with Kirk and smartly kept his mouth shut.) He was such an important character, it's sad to see the reboot sideline him to "the guy who has funny one liners".

Scotty and Chekov are just jokes, one note parodies of the original characters. Which is saying something, because the originals weren't exactly deep. Chekov's got a funny accent, Scotty likes to drink. Har har har. Hilarious.

Uhura. Possibly the worst treated character in the reboot. She was originally a professional who took her job seriously. She was competent, confident, and could do a variety of tasks. She would flirt off-duty, but never on the job, and she was always respectable. Now, she's some bimbo who sleeps with her superior officer and uses that to get promoted to where she wants to be. Simply appalling. I have no words. She leaves her post to make out with said officer. She has a generic "spunky, rude" attitude like New Kirk. She's been reduced to "girlfriend of main character" status. A legitimate character, reduced to only having relevance as someone's girlfriend. Scotty and Chekov were treated as jokes, but at least they were caricatures of their old selves. New Uhura's got nothing on the old one. Her character's been so stripped down from the little it was, I'm surprised they didn't just scrap her altogether and put a new character in her place. All of her major scenes are either her rejecting Kirk or making out with Spock. Her whole arc is just a lead up to shocking the audience with her making out with Spock. At least, I assume it was meant to be shocking. I was shocked. Not because I didn't figure out they were together (even had it not been obvious, I knew about it ahead of time) but because it was such an indecent departure of who both characters were supposed to be. Because Vulcans have always been portrayed as more subtle and sensual in those areas. Because Uhura's always been more classy than that. Because them eating each other's faces like horny teenagers the second everyone's backs are turned is such a blatant disregard for the characters and the 'touching' scene that's supposed to be taking place. At least we know New Spock won't have to worry about Pon Farr. Don't even get me started on how disgusted I am at them trying to use Uhura for sex appeal. Having a scene where she takes her clothes off was completely uncalled for. Said scene wasn't even set up logically. I can buy that her Orion roommate would lounge around in lingerie- they're Orions, they do that. I won't buy that Uhura would just strip down in the same room as she talked to said roomate, knowing there's some strange dude under the bed. That's not normal behavior. That's the writers looking for any excuse to show us Uhura in her underwear. I can't even describe how extremely disappointed I am about how Uhura was portrayed. She was a role model for God knows how many people, an inspiring and progressive character that barely made it past the racist, sexist censors. Martin Luther King Jr. himself was a fan. This movie is, ironically, more sexist in its portrayal of her than the original 60s series ever was. Absolutely disgusting.

I liked the guy playing Pike. Amanda and Sarek were good. Sarek was too nice, though. It's probably just a reflection of changing views on parenting and whatnot rather than any implications that Sarek's original harsh treatment of Spock lead to Spock being a better person for it. Although I can't help but come to that conclusion, seeing as how original Spock was never shown to be as petty and malicious as New Spock. Nero was entertaining a few times but he never felt like a Romulan. He could have been any species, really, with how generic he was. And his weird tattoos were never explained, and were really distracting. I found myself wondering about the tattoos instead of paying attention to the movie.

This movie essentially erased the events of the original series in its attempt to pay homage to it and tie it into canon. I'd laugh, but it's probably an intentional jab. Because Nero screwed with time, everything that happened will never happen. This could have been avoided by making it an alternate universe, but they didn't. Old Spock not going back in time to prevent Vulcan's destruction at the end seemed out of character. Or going back in time to prevent Nero from screwing up the timeline in the first place. Again, I submit that he's getting senile. Also, Spock really needs to stop screwing with the damn timeline. Seriously Spock, stay in your own time. How he hasn't imploded from causing so many paradoxes is beyond me.

So, do black holes destroy things, or do they pull you through time? Which is it?

A nitpick about the style: it's already dated. Just like the old series sometimes dated itself with its styles (but usually tried to (sometimes successfully) avoid it by making its own ridiculous alien fashions) this movie is way too "late 2000s". Trendy never lasts, and it's a horrible thing to do to sci-fi. The outfits here are cringey in the same way the ones from the old movies were: clearly a product of their time, rather than a canonically recurring, decided style that that fictional Starfleet era used. It's too bad, because they did try to do updated versions of the original TOS uniforms, but ended up stylizing it. Everyone wears their pants like 2000s popstars and boy bands did. It's cringey in a different way from TOS's high waters, but equally so. Why can't the costume designers go for something neutral, functional, lasting? Even the original high waters would have been more professional looking than the popstar pants. I can't see a paramilitary organization like Starfleet allowing its officers to wear their pants that way, let alone make it standard issue. Loose, baggy pants that need a belt to stay on don't scream "intimidating" to me.
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Outsider65
Sat, Oct 1, 2016, 12:55am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

I thought the movie did show that Spock's forced mind meld on Valeris was a huge violation of her person. Look again at the crew's faces as the camera pans on them-most of them are horrified, Uhura looks almost like she's witnessing a rape. Spock and Valeris are both nearly in tears afterwards, it's clear he didn't want to have to do it and she's been horribly violated. No one says anything because he did what he had to, and none of them were Vulcan, so even though they could sort of sense how horrible what he did was, they probably didn't truly know the depth of it. What could they say, really? "Captain, I wish you hadn't had to mindrape that girl in order to save the galaxy"? What would that accomplish? I thought the more subtle reaction shots of the crew, as well as Spock and Valeris' reactions, we're enough to drive the point home.
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Outsider65
Fri, Sep 30, 2016, 11:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

I wondered, if it was so important to bring Spock's body back to Vulcan, why didn't the crew know so? Surely it would have been stated as part of his operating contract, or Saavik would have said something about Vulcans' bodies needing to be returned home for final rest. The way the film presented it, it was expected that Spock's body would be returned to his family and Sarek wasn't happy about their failure to do so.

Spock's death in the last film seemed unnecessary. There were so many people in radiation suits down there who could have gone in, or Spock could have taken a second to suit up. It seemed more rash impulsiveness than true necessity that caused his death. We were supposed to think time was so essential, only to watch Spock struggle and fumble as he fixed whatever it was he was fixing, costing precious seconds that could have been used in better preparation. Him slowly dying and Kirk watching through the glass was a truly heart wrenching moment, but Spock's decision to sacrifice himself like that didn't come off as "the only solution" so much as a knowingly suicidal impulse, a "I will go down fighting for those who matter", akin to a desperate act a cornered Kirk would pull (and probably succeed at, as Kirk seems to have some higher entity making sure his luck never truly runs out). He did it, knowing he would die, but I'm not sure if the film did a good job of showing what he did was truly necessary, and I'm uncertain if that's deliberate or not. Was Spock's death really the only way to save everyone, or was Spock blinded by his own desire to save his friends, and acting irrationally? Agape-the love of others over self, to the point of dying for them- is a powerful emotion to portray, but can be mis-written and come off as needless death or foolhardiness. His death felt more necessitated by design than truly integrated into the story. The film ends with hope, Spock's body landing on Genesis, the planet of rebirth, and already his sacrifice feels a bit cheapened, from the knowledge that he will most likely be brought back, his death a convenience of the story to make a point, rather than fully the character-defining moment it needed to be. Knowledge that Spock's death was forced into the story due to contract demands by Nimoy, rather than it arising naturally as a result of events, just confirms this feeling that his death was much too "convenient". It doesn't come off as a deliberate, well thought out development on the part of the authors, woven into the story as part of the main theme. Another character, introduced as an old friend and developed through the film, being put through the same end would still have served to fill the same thematic goal, and would perhaps have even done a better job at fulfilling this part, having been given the proper character arc. Spock's decision in the end is not part of a series-wide or even film-wide arc so much, although it could have been written as such. It comes off as just another decision, a bit shocking and out of the blue, as it does not march up with any thematic overture of the film. The story of Project Genesis is not self-sacrifice, the subplot with Kirk's son, not self-sacrifice, the fight against Khan, not self-sacrifice. This ending was not properly tied into the themes, and as such does not come off feeling like the end the story was meant to have.

Sorry for the departure into WOK discussion and the short novel, I found I have more feelings and confusion about that movie than I realized when I mentioned it. Back on topic.

We spend much time on Genesis with David, Saavik, and the naked child who would be Spock, but unfortunately very little happens there. We don't learn much about either Saavik or David, and they are clearly not that important other than as caretakers of the Spock shell. The writer's only reasons for placing Saavik there seems to be so that she can "help" him with Pon Farr. (On another tangent, why is it that he undergoes Pon Farr as a teenager this time around, when last time he didn't until much, much later? Is this supposed to be part of the Genesis effect, early onset Vulcan puberty? Or was he reborn different? Is that the normal age that they start rutting, and if so are all the men of Vulcan either married or murderers? What effect does being married/a murderer from a young age have on their society? Or do they have some sort of concubines to get around that problem... Vulcan culture is even worse for women than was previously depicted, if so.)

The threads with Kirk's son were never fully explored. He existed, and he died, but we weren't given a chance to grow attached or to care about him as a character. We lamented his death because of his relation to Kirk, rather than because we cared about him as a character in his own right. His death served to deal a blow to Kirk, nothing more. Saavik could easily have died in his place and pretty much nothing would have changed, except Kirk would have a little less motivation to fight the Klingons, but really he already had more than enough. It was almost like the writers were tying up loose ends: having no idea what to do with the character, they simply killed him off. His appearance in this story was completely unnecessary, and his absence wouldn't have made a difference. The writers probably brought him in only to kill him as a "death is inescapable, in order to revive one loved one you must sacrifice another" kind of thing, but they really didn't do a good job of that either. We barely knew the guy. Kirk seemed to barely know him. We felt for Kirk when he died, but to us the only loss was the hope that the character would develop into an important and likeable one, which given how he was used thus far, this hope was already pretty low. The loss of the Enterprise better served that purpose-we know the Enterprise. She is not a character, really, but still important, still beloved, to the audience as well as to Kirk. We know that Kirk loves the Enterprise, he loves it like the wife he could never have, and has said so many times. It is downplayed in the movies, where he has already been forced to give her up before, but we still know this. Her loss would be a devastating blow, sufficient to show one cannot regain what is lost without also losing something else. The beloved, iconic ship, blown to bits and gone, sacrificed to regain something Kirk realizes he values more. Instead, the destruction of the Enterprise comes off almost as a revenge for the death of Kirk's son. The son both he and we never knew, the lost opportunity for Kirk and the audience to learn more about himself. The Enterprise is an afterthought, overshadowed by the fact that we know that both we and Kirk should feel worse about the loss of his son, that he lost all chance to reconnect with this youth and try his hand at being the father he never could be, at growing as a person in ways he probably didn't think he could. In the wake of this lost character potential, the destruction of the Enterprise is just added melancholy rather than the deep, impacting moment it was meant to be. A huge fumble by the writers. We are left mourning the loss of potential rather than the actual death of the character, and the Enterprise blows up in the background.

The confrontation with the Klingon adversary wasn't altogether satisfying, but he was a sufficient villain, if a little too quickly cast into Mt. Doom after causing Kirk to lose both his son and the Enterprise. I liked him better here than in the My Favorite Matian movie where he was screaming about ice cream. A shallow villain, well, at least at the end. His willingness to sacrifice his loved one for the secrets of Genesis implied something more at the beginning, but he had to be offed in a dramatic struggle before too long because ultimately, this movie is about Spock, not Kirk's battles, and at the end of the day, the guy who ruined everything really can just be another grunt from the opposite side rather than an important entity of pure evil.
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Outsider65
Fri, Sep 30, 2016, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

As someone pointed out the other night while we watched this film, of the big three Kelley and Nimoy have already passed on, Shatner remaining. Looks like Kirk really will die alone, in a sense. It kind of puts his somewhat melodramatic campfire confession into a darker context, considering the reality that followed.

I don't think this movie is as bad as Trekkers say it is. It probably holds closer to canon and previous continuity than ST:IV, and while the humor's more uncomfortable this time around, there are some genuine moments. The franchise would suffer from the excision of these moments.
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Outsider65
Fri, Sep 30, 2016, 8:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

@ohx over two years later, long after you've long and gone, I came, I saw, and I laughed much too much at your assessment of things. "Spock flying into a giant butthole" indeed. The resemblance was not lost on me in my first viewing of this movie, and your hysterical description of events has only served to make sure I will always see it as such each subsequent viewing, probably to the confusion and annoyance of fellow watchers. I thank you for this, wherever you are now.

This movie seemed in love with its own special effects, and I found myself waiting for it to stop showing me what I'm sure were awe-inspiring and moving visuals. The focus on Ilia and Decker seemed pointless, I found that I couldn't bring myself to care about two new characters that didn't integrate with the old cast and took screen time away from them.

Killing off Sonak after only giving him one line was extremely disappointing to me, especially in a chillingly horrific transporter accident. I was looking forward to seeing the portrayal of a normal Vulcan Starfleet officer (Spock clearly had issues and wasn't really a good representation) and to seeing the rest of the crew's reaction to Kirk's preference for Vulcans in the top science spot and an exploration of what that said about Kirk and his longing to see Spock again, as well as Spock's own reaction to being obviously missed and replaced, but sadly that was never to be.

Kirk seemed oddly untroubled by Spock coming back out of the blue and resuming his post while ignoring his friends and clearly having his own agenda. McCoy comments on this but Kirk is just glad to have another familiar face around and doesn't mind that Spock could easily be replaced by a robot and no one would know the difference, and this whole arc is quickly guillotined with a round trip through a giant space sphincter and some brief hand-holding apparently reconciling Spock to his friends and convincing them he won't betray them.

V'ger was immediately obviously Voyager. There wasn't any surprise, from the first time I heard the name I knew this was a movie-length rehash of "The Changling" except this time we were supposed to be glad that the murdering space junk moved on to a higher plane of existence instead of blowing up. And Decker loving it even though it killed his girl and stole her form... Hmm.

All in all, not necessarily a bad movie, but I feel like I would have enjoyed it more had it not been Trek, or if I hadn't watched TOS and this was my first outing with the franchise.
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Outsider65
Thu, Sep 29, 2016, 3:06am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Fun movie, not to be taken too seriously, as it breaks all the rules.

Watching the TOS movies in succession leads to some mood whiplash. First one tries to be mysterious/thoughtful, second deep/emotional, third was ??? (it had some humor, some sad parts, but overall was kind of scattered, no overarching feeling that I remember), and now fourth humorous.
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Outsider65
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 2:38am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Wink of an Eye

I wonder if they died out. Oh well, at least they got one baby out of the deal (Kirk&Deela). More, of they used that one redshirt before killing him off.
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Outsider65
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 2:14am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: That Which Survives

You could tell immediately when they beamed down that the blue geologist was doomed, lack of red shirt notwithstanding.

Spock was at his most obnoxious in this episode, needlessly berating his crew and nitpicking at their language and mannerisms. Scotty's a saint for putting up with all that. This is just one more episode explaining why the crew has ample reasons for being uncomfortable when Spock is in charge. Dude either yells at them for no reason or sacrifices them to space cavemen. Or endangers them all because he values the life of the captain over the combined ship and crew. Maybe it was a showcase of why Dr. McCoy is so essential - if he's gone, who's Spock supposed to fight with?

The away team hiding behind each other to evade the 'ghost' was a pretty funny visual. Sulu got some dumb moments but at least he got off the bridge this ep.
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Outsider65
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 12:20am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Whom Gods Destroy

I always wondered: if insanity is so easily treated and cured in the TOS universe, why was it always treated so seriously when a character was insane or went insane, or the possibility of being driven insane came up. After all, it seems like now only a temporary condition.
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Outsider65
Sun, Sep 25, 2016, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren

One of the better season three episodes, IMHO

The character arc of Alexander was brilliantly played and always felt real, maybe because it's still relevant today.

The interactions of the main three were on par with previous seasons, with each wanting to save the others and Spock finding the whole thing so loathsome that he can barely control himself. It was a good bit of character development.

The ending did lack any sort of comeuppance for the antagonists, which is always frustrating, but par for the course with TOS villains, who are almost always easily forgiven by Kirk no matter the atrocities they inflicted (Khan, those tentacle monsters in human form who turned everyone into giant dice in "By Any Other Name", the Gorn, etc). Oddly, minor villains usually are punished (Harry Mudd, Tyrano Jones).
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Outsider65
Sun, Sep 25, 2016, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Cloud Minders

I disagree, this episode was less than a three star outing.

Season three seems to rely on a lot of "dying of the plague" time limit backstories, only to ignore the urgency implicit in such a framing story to focus on our mains flirting and breaking stuff. There's no sense of tension and urgency like there would have been in previous episode because of this backdrop, now our heroes just lull around as though they're on a day trip.

Spock flirting with the naive councilman's daughter wasn't really sold well, we were never given a reason for his attraction to her other than it being purely physical. We're given no plausible reason why he would start moving in on her, no traits she possesses - talent, wisdom, intelligence - that would interest him, it's clearly just an interest based on appearance, the sort of interest that he's supposed to be immune or at least very resistant to. His voice-over didn't serve to advance the plot or inform us of motives - he was just telling us he found her hot, which we already knew. I have to laugh at the fact that Kirk is taking a nap while on a critical, time sensitive mission - he must really trust those officials to do their job properly. Also, there seemed to only be one bed and Kirk was taking up the whole thing. No wonder Spock was sitting awake monologuing. (I have to wonder what the Ardanans were expecting them to do - share it?)

Spock ditching the sleeping Kirk to make advances on the girl seemed out of character, especially when there were hostiles nearby. And him casually telling this girl he just met about the Vulcan mating cycle - something he would have almost rather died than admitted to in "Amok Time", and then only to Kirk, who was sworn to secrecy and entirely sympathetic - was completely unbelievable. One can only draw the conclusion that he did indeed suffer lasting brain damage from the events of "Spock's Brain", and that is why so many season three episodes have him acting so contrary to his previous nature and attitudes.

Kirk's going against the orders of a local planet's government and even kidnapping an official seemed off. He always looked for loopholes and compromises, but here his immediate solution is to break the rules. He's always played hard and fast with them and disregarded them when necessary, but there was no cleverness on his part. He had access to the mines and instead of ordering down some reds and quickly mining the stuff he needed himself, he chose to kidnap an official and lock himself in a room with dwindling oxygen to prove a point. Not one of Kirk's better moments.

I didn't find myself sympathetic to the miners. Kirk tried to help them and they wanted to kill him, and then made him dig in the dirt barehanded for seemingly no reason. He was already sympathetic to their cause, why waste time like this?

Honestly, I would have found the idea of Spock having a romance with the Horta from "Devil in the Dark" more believable than the one he had in this episode. She's a naive air-head, taken with him because she's never seen his kind before, and he seems happy to exploit her curiosity, Kirk-style. I never liked it when Kirk got predatory around younger women and now Spock's doing it too. Yuck. Maybe too many mindmelds with sleeping Kirk's subconscious mind have corrupted him.
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Outsider65
Sun, Sep 25, 2016, 12:39am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Lights of Zetar

Not a terribly horrible episode, but not a terribly good one either.

I will say that, although Scotty babying Mira was a bit much, it was nice to see him seemingly liking her for who she was as a person, as the whole package, without any of the leering that happens in a typical Kirk romance subplot. He was sweet. Too sweet. I think I need insulin. Although if he kept that up it would easily become stifling.
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Outsider65
Sun, Sep 25, 2016, 12:24am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Requiem for Methuselah

This episode starts out telling us that the Enterprise is infected with the plague and everyone will die if they aren't treated within four hours. Okay, but where did they pick up this plague, and how? Surely there are decontamination and quarantine procedures which would essentially eliminate plagues, and certainly prevent them from happening on a starship, but the crew are frequently careless, so I'll buy this.

Kirk demands the cure from the guy who owns the planet, after trespassing, and then later claims he didn't "demand", just "ask". His behavior throughout this whole episode is kind of off. Everyone of the ground team is acting odd, in fact. It's probably bad writing, but I'm going to say it could be that they were all suffering from early stages of the plague. I wish that had been established as the case, it would have made this episode easier to swallow.

The hostile planet owner changes his mind and invites them in, offering them a drink. Because the most appropriate time to have a drink and chill is when your crew is dying of plague. Even Spock has a drink. Wtf. There's some joking around about him not wanting his brainwaves messed with by alcohol and drunk Vulcans which doesn't make any sense. A previous episode established Spock saying that alcohol has no effects on Vulcans. So one of these episodes is lying. Or it's a retcon, or Spock was lying, or McCoy and Kirk were mistaken or joking. I'm not deep enough in this to know what's right, but I still had to point that out.

Spock says he's never felt envy before. I'd have assumed that since the pure Vulcans were cruel to him about his mixed race when he was a child and still seem to hold prejudices against him, he'd have at some point felt envious of them and their inclusion in society. I guess I can sort of hand wave that, he could be unaware of his own feelings, or lying about them, or maybe actually telling the truth. It just doesn't seem to go with what we've been told about the character so far.

Again, the crew are dying and Kirk and Co. are happy to goof off and let this guy bring the vital McGuffin instead of insisting on getting it themselves. Why did they even have the subplot about everyone dying if they were going to treat it like it wasn't a big deal? Kirk plays pool and dances with some chick, Spock wanders around saying contradictory things about how things are authentic but brand new despite the fact that age is the test for authenticity for all the things he's saying that about. Also, playing the piano seems like too unnecessary a skill for a logical being who values useful things and hates emotions to have bothered cultivating, especially when he already has that harp-thing, but that's just a nitpick. It's all pretty out of character. Kirk values his crew and duties above all else, and Spock his duties and captain, and while I would buy Kirk et al playing along to keep on their host's good side, that's obviously not the case here. It's played as them actually just screwing around.

The medicine comes back tainted and Kirk and Spock are content to let McCoy go alone with the robot that almost killed them earlier to acquisition more? These three men are always jumping all over each other to be the first to make a heroic sacrifice for the team, but they don't care enough about their dying crew to make sure nothing goes wrong this time? They're content to sit there and do nothing of value and just let McCoy do it? Really? Even if Kirk was distracted, surely Spock would say something and snap him out of it, remind him of his duties, or find out his real plan? Or McCoy would? Where are the checks and balances these three are supposed to impose on each other?

The woman acts like she's still a child emotionally, but Kirk finds her so irresistible that he just walks up and starts smooching on her with no provocation? Their only interaction was dancing and her showing him some pool moves. Those must have been some damn good moves. Kirk has romanced plenty of women, but his ship always comes first. Now he's forgetting about his dying crew to make out with his grouchy host's daughter? And Spock just watches? Really? Even though this could piss off their host, and screw them all over? And then the robot conveniently doesn't see Spock standing in the doorway watching when it comes in to kill Kirk. Mmmmmkay.

Kirk's known this girl for less than four hours, and doesn't even know anything about her other than she's magically good at everything but stupidly naive. And now he's forgetting about his duties and loyalties and risking everyone's lives to try to win her, even though he knows his host could easily kill them all. Wtf. Kirk's number one trait has always been loyalty to his ship, his crew. Even when he truly loves a woman, he'll leave her, because the Enterprise is his #1, it's even been explicitly stated that he's pretty much married to the Enterprise. But now this girl who's good at pool is making him throw it all away? No way I'd buy that.

The host is a lonely immortal, and the girl is just a robot he made for himself as a companion, and Kirk still keeps stupidly fighting to have her? People are dying upstairs and he's fighting for possession of a glorified sexbot? Against a being who could easily overpower him if it so chose? Really? When would he ever, ever do that? He insists she's real, and that she come with him? She's not a person, she's this man's property. Wtf Kirk.

The robot breaks and Spock somehow is the one who knows why, and not the 6,000 year old genius who made her? No. And he makes a big speech about love and how it killed her? No. Sorry, no. Spock being moved by the fate of a robot is stupid and out of character. Him making a speech about love is stupid and out of character. And the speech was contrived and boring, to top it off.

Back on ship, of course they got there just in time to cure everyone, even though so must time was wasted planetside. Instead of talking about what a horrible captain Kirk was this episode, Bones and Spock talk about how they feel sorry for him because the feelings he had for a robot he knew for three hours tops must have caused irreparable heartache to our womanizing hoebag captain who sleeps with a different girl every week. And for some reason Kirk is sadder here than he was for longer, more fulfilling romances (Edith, Miramanee) he had with real women that ended worse. (I guess I could hand wave this by saying it's the combined forces of all these heartaches weighing on him, but that's a bit of a stretch.) Then Bones goes to town on Spock for being incapable of love? Wtf? Again, that's totally out of character. Bones explicitly stated in a previous episode that he sees right through Spock's facade.

Spock engages in some non-consensual mind melding and memory erasing after Bones leaves. Again, this is pretty out of character. Kirk always says people need struggle and adversity to truly live, and always refused any other way. Now Spock is going against the captain's own wishes because he feels bad for him? It's his fault in the first place for hiding the fact that the captain's weekly conquest was a robot until the last minute. Then he makes it worse by screwing with Kirk's memories and feelings without permission or even Kirk's knowledge of the fact. Maybe it's a Vulcan lullaby. Maybe it's mindrape. Maybe this episode is really stupid.





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Outsider65
Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

Oh and I forgot to mention- what was up with Spock trying to explain asteroid deflection to McCoy with the rocks and McCoy just going along with it? It's an elementary school concept, even if he never played with marbels as a kid, McCoy is a doctor, on a starship no less, of course he'd know how it works. He was being stubborn, sure, but not because he's a simpleton. That was kind of demeaning, treating McCoy like he was 2 years old. Who thought that scene was a good idea?
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Outsider65
Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 7:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

They could have easily fixed the "Kirk to Enterprise" being the secret code to the temple B.S. by having him humming or whistling there instead and unintentionally find the code, or maybe a melody that's ancient but familiar, implying the Preservers may also have been responsible for Earth (that would have been a twist). Even if the Shat is truly incapable of singing, even if he can't even whistle, they could've just dubbed it over. It'd still be convenient, but not quite as implausible.

Spock pushing the ship that far beyond its limits seems uncharacteristically reckless, more like something Kirk would do. (Maybe that's the point, though, to show he's grown in leadership abilities. Unlike Kirk, though, he isn't infinitely lucky, so he naturally failed. Lol)

Vic McNyanyanya? Nooooooo. I'm getting flashbacks to middle school. (Seems like there's always a few actors who spread themselves across the nerd spectrum. I'm shocked, though. Didn't think the guy known for dubbing anime would be playing Captain Kirk in a web series.)
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Outsider65
Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

If we're talking about making sense, it would have made more sense for the Enterprise to have disguised someone else other than Kirk as a Romulan. The Romulans had already seen his face and could recognize him, even if they thought he was dead and he was disguised, it was still risky. It would have made more sense to use another character (Sulu, anyone?) but since Kirk is the star I see why they did it, and he did look pretty cool.

I understood the seduction of the Romulan commander to not be part of the original plan, but something that Spock was more than ok with going along with. This interaction lays groundwork for later developments in the canon and seemed to be the first love interest the series gave him that he was genuinely interested in.

The weird two-finger touching was a nice callback to "Journey to Babel", where Amanda and Sarek(sp?) were constantly doing it to show affection (albeit, theirs was a more appropriate hand holding version, and not the more reminiscent of groping touching Spock indulges in with the commander), and Spock's frequently seen steepling his hands with only the first two fingers when he's thinking in other episodes, implying it has something to do with their mental abilities as well.

My first time viewing, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. No, I wasn't buying that Kirk would do this unless he was possessed by some space alien or an imposter, and the sudden "it was our plan all along, here are your ears" wasn't too unexpected, though I was surprised that it was the real Kirk who had been acting that way earlier, even if it was for espionage purposes. Although later he admits to the commander that it was a Federation plan all along and not just him going off the deep end, so I guess they plan to keep her a Federation prisoner forever? Or don't care that the Romulans find out, as long as they were initially tricked? Sorry, I didn't pay attention very well.
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Outsider65
Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 2:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Spock's Brain

Not a good episode, but certainly not the worst. It was watchable, unlike the episode before it.

I was kind of interested in how the male/female separated society worked and came to be, but the episode didn't care and used it for a joke that fell flat on its face. (Why was Spock so excited about it, anyway? I mean, it couldn't have been /that/ interesting.)

Reminds me of an episode of He-man where a similar society is used to teach the lesson "sexism is wrong", except that episode was actually good. Gotta love He-man.

How is Spock's body still alive when they even took out the lower brain functions that run it? Why were the aliens nice enough to drop his body off at sickbay after stealing the brain? Surely they knew the Enterprise didn't have the technology to restore him. Whatever.

The remote-controlled dead body. Why. I guess it gets points for making me uncomfortable though, what with Kirk constantly looking at and trying to talk to it when Spock was on the communicator, and the constant close-ups of its not-reactions. It was so hokey though, did they expect us to take this episode seriously or not? If they had really been going for humor then they should have made it crashing into walls and stuff.

The brain surgery was painful to sit through, I was sure they'd mess it up for the sake of "humor" and we'd get stuck with a retarded Spock for the rest of the series. (Lucky me, Status Quo is God in this show.) Also why didn't they just use the "learner" on one of the other crew members down there or beam down another doctor to use it on? Spock helping them do brain surgery on himself? Really? They could have brought down Dr. M'Benga or whatever, the guy who interned in a Vulcan ward.

Spock's haircut already reminded me of Frankenstein's monster (movie version(, now we get FrankenSpock.


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Outsider65
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 5:19am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Patterns of Force

Ah yes, the Nazi episode. Where our two Jewish leads dress up like Nazis and run around doing Nazi salutes all episode. (Yeah, I know Roddenberry was Jewish too.) I found this episode appalling. Dressing your actors up like the guys who committed a huge, recent genocide against their people just feels so gross. Maybe it didn't bother them though, I don't know, I only speak for myself.

Yeah what to say about the actual episode...

Kirk and Spock become blood brothers, then Spock's a dick and dances around on Kirk's freshly whipped back for reasons only discernible to him. Whatever, play laugh track. Thankfully we never have to see Spock shirtless again after this episode. *shudders* That much hair is not logical.

Kirk and Spock's mutual hero turns out to be some idiot who not only broke the Prime Directive but did so to start a Nazi state. How disappointing for them. These guys need to find better role models.

For some reason they need McCoy to tell that a man is obviously all not there.

Spock is an expert at putting on shoes now. Since when did "resident alien" mean "dispenser of stupid advice"?

It's got some funny moments though, if you can stomach the premise.

Escaping by pretending their new friend was dead and they were dumping his body outside was some pretty dark humor. Or maybe just dark.
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Outsider65
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 4:39am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

This episode sort of wandered around and went nowhere, and had a ridiculous ending.

It had a few entertaining moments, though. (Like Bones' complete lack of surprise or caring when K & S burst in after escaping.) Overall pretty narmy, but I get a lot of enjoyment from that so bonus for me.

The plot's a mess and others have already covered that, so I'll focus more on the little things that bugged me.

Spock's "Captain, are you able to respond" or whatever said way too many times. Hilariously stupid but out of character. (Obviously he can't respond or he'd have done so by now, dumb*ss. Also "Jim, are you ok?!" was perfectly acceptable and less stilted, and some variation of that should have been used after it became apparent he wasn't ok. He came off as either really stupid or really unfunny/inappropriate ("my captain could be dead/dying and I'm over here trying to be funny"). He also said some other hilariously dumb stuff in the cell, the exact words escape me.

"Spock's hurt and we need to beam up to medical to treat him immediately" except they didn't, and he was not only fine but they pretty much forgot about that point a few scenes later. (How did he even get hurt? The phaser beam didn't touch him and later there's a trickle of green goop on his face (blood?) for some reason but it's never even explained?) They didn't even do a follow up "he's fine now" scene back on the Enterprise at the end (not that anyone was worried, but when you make a big deal of something like that (rather than saying "he's stunned" or something) you've got to follow up!). I guess the writers took him out to keep him from overpowering their enemies, so Kirk and Co. could get recaptured, or something. Between this and the cell scenes, I wonder why Spock was even on the ground team in this episode. I get he was a fan favorite and all, but those scenes would have worked much better with Chekov (also him claiming the US Constitution originated in Russia could have been pretty funny.)

Kirk "hiding" by the bars of his cell where the Yangs wouldn't go after him for fear of Spock was pretty hilariously pathetic. Our heroic captain, hiding behind his XO. C'mon. F*cking pathetic. Kirk's supposed to outsmart enemies in situations like this. I lost a lot of respect for him (as did Spock apparently, given his choice to sit in his cell and make dumb jokes (all while his captain could've been brained or bleeding out) instead of, I dunno, breaking out and coming to his aid.)

How come Kirk/Yangs were able to break the bars off their cell window and escape but (substantially stronger) Spoke couldn't/didn't? (He was probably too busy repeating "Captain, are you able to respond?" for the 7 hours however many minutes straight Kirk was out to even try.) Did he seriously just sit there counting the seconds until Kirk woke up?

The Kahns appeared much more civilized and likeable than the Yangs, were we really expected to side with the violent idiots, who acted like animals and refused to speak, just because they were white? (Who am I kidding, this was the 60s, of course we were.)

If Spock is able to mind control ("plant suggestions in") people, why didn't he use that power to tell the Yangs not to beat on his pathetic captain? Or to get the guard to let them out?

200-300 years in the future and we still haven't cured the common cold? Lol. Finally, a reasonable prediction from this show.

Why did Kirk get bested by an older guy so much this ep? He's usually pretty good at holding his own, did he forget how to fight or something? Is the older guy just that good? Kirk gets beat a lot in this episode, so I'm guess no.

"Spock looks like Satan" sorry, you already used that joke in "The Apple" and even then it wasn't that funny. Who grafitied your bible with a picture of him, anyway? Also, isn't he supposed to be hurt/dying or whatever? Yeah, great timing, let's make fun of the dying guy with a reused joke. And then threaten to kill him if you don't say the Pledge of Allegience right. (Go ahead, he's done f*ck all this episode anyway. He won't be missed.) Spock probably retired after this mission.

I don't even remember what happened to the crazy old guy captain at the end, I presume he died or something. Whatever, we're zooming away in the Enterprise, roll credits. Hope Jim got his head looked at. In fact, everything that happened after the Yangs knocked him out in the cell was probably a hallucination. No wonder it didn't make any sense.
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Outsider65
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 3:00am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Bread and Circuses

This episode started out for me as a "oh no, not another parallel Earth" but ended up better than expected. The parallel Earth thing seems to be contradicting something I swear Spock said earlier in the series about how low the odds, rare etc. etc. but I could be misremembering or he could have just been wrong or the writers retconned it, whatever, but after so many parallel Earths have turned up, especially within the last few episodes and with how he walks around talking about how it's a parallel Earth like it's special I was expecting a callback. Whatever.

The costumes for the slaves were atrocious, was the costuming department on strike or something? They were obviously wearing mutilated sweatshirts and modern pants, would it have killed them to find or make some actual rags or something, or at least something that wasn't embarrassing to look at? They're in a modern day Rome, we get it, give them ratty track suits or skimpy slave gear or whatever, anything would've been better than what they did end up wearing. The chain pattern symbolizing that they were slaves was weird, too. They're already obviously wearing crap instead of gladiator gear. Why bother.

The subplot with Kirk apparently sleeping with that slave girl was just there, didn't really add anything, just a nod that the writers had done some research and to fill Kirk's bang quota, and maybe to show the villain's character better ("have some funtime/AIDS with my personal concubine before we kill you"). At least we got one of our sort of rare "so dumb it's funny to the audience and painful to the crew" Kirk jokes out of it. (Too bad his friends weren't aware of his situation and able to respond accordingly.)

Also, KIRK DIDN'T LOSE OR RIP HIS SHIRT ONCE IN THIS EPISODE. I'm not complaining, just shocked. Maybe Shatner had already filled his contractually obligated shirtless scene quota for the season.

The hi-light of this episode was definitely the Spock/McCoy interactions. They're always snipping at and trying to one-up each other, it's nice to see that boil over once in a while. McCoy (both figuratively and physically) backing Spock into a corner and playing psychoanalyst, letting Spock know that he's got him pegged, only to back off just as quickly when Spock's obviously had enough, was nice to see. Too often McCoy ends up with the short stick in their battles of wits, and usually has to team up with Kirk to deliver an effective blow, so it was good to see him not only just hold his own, but thoroughly trounce Spock. It was nice to see the two retained a good dynamic even when (and perhaps because) Kirk's away. (Also, HUZZAH!, an episode that isn't just entirely Kirk-centric and lets other characters develop their personalities and relationships a bit more.) McCoy's character is too often underutilized in favor of Kirk and Spock adventures with McCoy playing the part of naysayer/third wheel.

Scottie was amazing, as he usually is when handed command. They spent just the right amount of time focused on the Enterprise this ep: we know what they're doing to save the away team but no unnecessary lingering or filler scenes with them.

I liked that they showed Spock actually testing the bars/trying to break out. The show makes a point to say he's much stronger than a human but it never seems to matter much. Yeah I know he usually doesn't try stuff like that because he's aware of how strong stuff is vs him and it's wasted effort etc. and this instance is more to indicate his mental state than his strength or to show escape attempts but I always have a lingering "why doesn't Spock just try to break them out, he's supposed to be strong, right?" in the back of my mind and it's nice to see lingering questions answered. (This one also answered my "Why doesn't Spock teach Kirk the neck pinch thing?" (he's tried, Kirk sucks and can't do it) question, so bonus points for that.)

As a parting note, I have to point out that, while Kirk's friends were busy being a lot more agitated than usual about whether he was okay, Kirk himself was busy chilling with this week's half-naked blonde. Pretty hilarious.
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Outsider65
Mon, Sep 12, 2016, 8:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Wolf in the Fold

This episode was too sexist for me to really enjoy it. Too bad, too- the murder mystery thing could have been entertaining or interesting under other circumstances. It seemed like unfortunate type-casting that the effeminate man ended up the villain, especially when his reasons for targeting women- them being generally smaller and weaker and thus more easily victimized- seemed of convenience rather than the misogyny that our main cast so shamelessly exhibited.
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Outsider65
Wed, Sep 7, 2016, 5:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

If violence or sex are the only ways for a Vulcan to keep from dying at this time, imagine how rough their love-making must be. (lol)

T'Pring didn't seem to be affected by it, do only the males go into rut? I know later series retcon this for the sake of some "fan service" with female Vulcan characters but it seems here, since T'Pring was able to be released from her marriage bond for asking for the challenge (and possibly end up unmarried and alone) that she wasn't bound to the same "mate or die" thing Spock was.

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Outsider65
Wed, Sep 7, 2016, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Watching through this series for the first time, I find this episode to feel rather different than the previous ones, with the main characters seeming out of character.

Kirk angsting about the death of redshirts? They routinely die and he never usually says as much. He also goes on and on about how this weird, alien-looking planet is somehow like the Garden of Eden.

Spock throwing the rock after commenting on its composition and then being surprised when it exploded (if he knew what it was made of, he'd have known it would explode!), complaining about McCoy's medicine instead of thanking him for seemingly saving his life (then again, he did shrug off two other redshirt-killing blows in this episode so maybe not), complaining that the native people's flower bracelets made him feel "uncomfortable", and gee, acting pretty irritable when he's supposed to be burying his emotions and human half (and no one called him on it, either! That would have been a good opening for some banter or explanation for why he's acting like this). He gets hit by three different things in this episode that would have killed a redshirt and walks it off every time (did the writers not like Spock or something?). Later back on ship he asks Kirk if he's familiar with Genesis (obviously he is, he was calling the planet a garden of Eden earlier, did Spock not pay attention? The real question is why does Spock know it, and why does he think it's relevant to what just happened?) and casting Kirk as Satan (is he trying to start a fight? Again, why is Spock so pissy in this episode?) and of course it backfires on him (I know the whole "Spock looks like Satan" thing is probably just a reference to the fact one of the producers said something like that early on and wanted to change his design, but it comes off as the writers really not liking Spock lol).

The awkward way everyone skirted around talking about sex. They were all grown adults, no reason for them to act like that! (And why does Spock of all people sit there looking embarrassed (and very out of character) instead of redirecting the question to McCoy? Obviously the doctor should be the one to explain the facts of life. Another perfect setup for banter that never went anywhere!)

The yeowman and Chekov acting like horny teenagers was annoying, but at least we finally got to see a female officer actually be competent in a fight for once (shouldn't every officer on board be as competent as her, though? Isn't it standard training?) Actually, the only other time I can recall a woman even actually trying to fight in this series is when Uhura helped them take down barbarian-beard Spock when they were trapped in that parallel universe a few episodes back.

I could go on, but I really probably shouldn't.
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