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Thu, Apr 20, 2017, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Necessary Evil

As others have mentioned, really well done with the flashbacks. Great episode for sure. What works for me is how logically everything fits together - why Gul-Dukat wants Odo to investigate (as opposed to himself), the list of Bajorans secretly supporting the Cardassians, and the part about the femme fatale.
The part about Kira being the killer and Odo trying to figure out what to do at the end is a thought-provoking way of ending it.
A very good insight into Odo - really like his logs and his adherence to justice. I would also call BS on Kira for trying to tell him many times before of her crimes. It's excellent how it works out when Kira tells him (in the flashback) that he has to pick a side to know the truth.
"Necessary Evil" is an example of how to wrap up an episode with an ending the fits the suspense created by the earlier scenes.
Like "Duet" -- very strong performances from the key characters.
For me a strong 3.5/4 stars - could be 4/4 stars if I had a greater appreciation of DS9 as I'm quite new to the series.
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Thu, Apr 20, 2017, 6:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rules of Acquisition

Being new to DS9 but having seen 1 prior "Ferengi episode" ("Acquisition" in Season 1 of Enterprise) which was terrible, I wasn't too thrilled about another Ferengi episode. I'm pretty much in full agreement with Jammer's review.
There is a valid point trying to be made through this episode -- about showing a female's struggles in a very male-dominated society, exposing the Ferengi culture as representative of certain cultures on Earth. But with how Rom, Quark, Zek are portrayed, it's hard to take this episode seriously. The valid points this episode makes could be done through a less ridiculously portrayed race.
It's 2/4 stars for me. I understand DS9 has a good reputation with a number of strong episodes, but this one doesn't do it for me although it's not terrible. Eager to get acquainted with more of this series.
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Wed, Apr 19, 2017, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Cold Fire

It's a common Trek theme for a character to gain mighty powers and then struggle with them. Here, I thought it was done ok with Kes. The part when she nearly makes Tuvok explode and screams ridiculously could have been done much better -- it was as if coming from X-Files or something like that.
I'm surprised Janeway wasn't more suspicious of Tanis and Kes spending so much time together but she's desperate to get in touch with the other Caretaker. It should be obvious that Tanis is not one to be trusted - he's a pretty shady character from the start. Why wasn't he able to fight back when Kes used her new-found powers on him after he sent Neelix flying.
The ending is a bit ridiculous as has been mentioned. I think the episode wasted far too much time with Kes/Tanis and exploring telekinesis -- should have spent more time on the Caretaker part. And yes, a ton of questions left unanswered. Quite unsatisfying in that regard.
I'd rate it 2/4 stars. Had some interesting moments and is not a bad episode but definitely not a very good one.
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Wed, Apr 19, 2017, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Resistance

This is only the 3rd episode of Voyager I've seen and first I'm commenting on. I mostly agree with Jammer's review -- it is a good story, well acted and the final scene with Janeway and the old man is touching. In Trek, we don't see too many such touching moments that are very relatable and human.
The relationship between Janeway and the old man started out as annoying but it got ever so much better as the plot went on and I liked how Janeway handled the it the whole way - she was very respectful, tactful and compassionate. The old man has suffered a great deal during the occupation and Janeway eases his mind at the end and he can die in a dignified way -- that is a good story.
Yes, there were some hokey parts like the final fighting scene when the 2 guards just back away or how Janeway is able to blow up the prison cells and get rid of the forcefield so that the Voyager crew could transport down -- or how Janeway and co. got there in the first place. There will always be some handwaving needed but it doesn't diminish the quality of the story.
The scenes with Tuvok and Torres was allright. Tuvok does a good job as a Vulcan -- very unemotional.
A really good episode, 3/4 stars for me. Good to see Janeway show the diversity of acting she's capable of.
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Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Where Silence Has Lease

An episode with some good points (1st half hour, the mystery, Riker/Worf on the Yamato being toyed with) but plenty of bad points (Nagilum as another type of Q, Picard's speech on death, the red-shirt death that should have been Wesley).
Brings to mind "The Immunity Syndrome" from TOS (which was a vastly superior episode) albeit ultimately very different.
I agree with what others have said re. Pulaski's interactions with Data -- who does she think she is coming on the bridge and asking Data to magnify the void x times? That was stupid and unnecessary. Also, what was the point of Worf/Riker fooling around in the holodeck as the show's teaser?
Overall, not a great episode because the ending is a letdown to a promising beginning. I'd give it 2/4 stars. I think Jammer is too generous in his rating.
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Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

Thought this was a clumsy episode - plenty of questions raised about the nature of the child and ultimately the answers are still bizarre.
I never minded Crusher as a character but Pulaski is quite different as others have noted. As a big fan of TOS, it's good to see her - as I liked her roles in the 2 TOS episodes. She does seem to take a greater authority about her tasks and is more direct.
Wesley's story about staying with the Enterprise and interaction with Guinan probably makes the most sense about this episode. I do like Guinan's psychiatrist roles.
I also thought Troi's role as mother giving birth was done well and her raising of the child was well-acted but it only becomes sort of clear at the end what was going on -- which is a bizarre tale tied to the hazardous cargo the ship was transporting. Anyhow, not a memorable episode for me. 1.5/4 stars.
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Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

This is like "Balance of Terror" and "Space Seed" rolled into 1 poor episode. 2 TOS classics but poorly juxtaposed here. Not sure what contribution it makes to revive those 3 cryogenically frozen bodies - 3 annoying characters.
The issue with the Romulans return - had it really been some 50+ years since last encountering them. The timeline doesn't make sense. Perhaps setting up the Romulans for future episodes as a Federation threat.
Not much to say here - 1.5/4 stars for me. Season 1 TNG is pretty forgettable.
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Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

Absolutely not a fan of this anti-Trek TNG episode - super cheesy and belongs in an episode of X-Files or something of that ilk.
But based on what other people think, I guess it is quite the polarizing episode. Some hate it (like me) and others seem to think it's one of the best of Season 1. Season 1 TNG is quite poor IMHO.
So what was the purpose of Quinn beating up Riker, Laforge, Worf? And Remmick's head exploding as the mother being? No issues with Picard/Riker destroying him as this species -- while clearly intelligent -- is harmful and cannot be reasoned with.
The part with Riker pretending like he was taken over by the parasite was well-done as a means of initiating the conclusion of the episode but the part with the exploding head is just ridiculous. Really forgettable episode - I can't believe Jammer gave this 3.5/4 stars. For me, 1.5/4 stars. A story not worth of TNG.
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Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Judging by how many comments this episode got, it's a good one. Myself, I liked it. I think -- as many others here do -- that Jammer is off the mark on this review, far too harsh and critical.
It is a charming story and I don't think T'Mir/T'Pol's acting is an issue. I also don't have an issue with the 3 Vulcans interacting and despite being almost emotionless, it is clear that they all have distinct personalities, which is refreshing.
There are a number of very compassionate scenes, which the cynical will criticize, but most folks will appreciate. It's a nice change of pace for the show coming after "Shockwave".
I really liked the "I Love Lucy" line, but I too am baffled by how the Vulcans lie in letting Mestral stay behind. Perhaps between ENT and TOS they evolve to not lie although Spock got away with a few.
Of course, with almost every Star Trek show, there are a few holes. The biggest in this case is what happened to the remains of the crashed Vulcan ship which was only a handful of kms away from Carbon Creek.
But overall, an interesting hour of ENT which does have some of the charm of arguably the best Star Trek episode ever "The City on the Edge of Forever". For me, I'd rate it 3/4 stars and can see why some people absolutely love it.
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Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Shockwave, Part II

Jammer's review is too harsh here - how this episode rates lower (by a full *) than "Two Days, Two Nights" makes no sense. But I agree with Jammer here: "This all feels hastily scripted and unconvincing. Although the episode is nicely paced and technically well directed, it comes across as a string of blatantly silly mechanics."
It would be tough to live up to Part 1 and there is a lot of handwaving - the part about Archer coming back from the 31st century to kick Silik's ass is far too much of a stretch.
ENT tends to do some stupid things like Hoshi's shirt coming off - totally unnecessary.
Daniels not explaining anything to Archer (and therefore us) does let the writers off the hook and is very convenient. If they are truly stranded hopelessly in the 31st century, why not be more forthcoming?
I didn't mind the action scenes for the Tripp & Co. to retake Enterprise but the trick with the warp engines to get rid of the Suliban is also a stretch.
The writers set themselves up for a letdown on this episode but it is still one of the better Season 1 episodes. I'd give it a strong 2.5/4.
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Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shockwave, Part I

Easily the best episode from an ok Season 1. Watching it right after "Two Days, Two Nights" makes it come across as even better given the action scenes, good pacing and good lines.
Interesting that Daniels, TCW, Suliban are all at play here and the plot works for me. The whole TCW / time travel thing is a big ? but it not worrying about the details of the TCW allows this episode to work.
Usually these 2 parters have a great 1st part. Can only hope 2nd part lives up to the 1st part. I liked the action scene on the Suliban ship - good to see the Enterprise trio at their action best. The Suliban play convincing villains - not as good as say the Borg in "Best of Both Worlds" but them and the whole TCW thing is ENT's main storyline.
One of the few episodes I'd go back and re-watch from Season 1 of ENT. 3.5/4 stars for me.
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Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Two Days and Two Nights

I don't get Jammer's overly glowing review but others calling it total garbage are a bit harsh. It is a dull episode with nothing really happening for the 1st half hour. 4 storylines to fill an hour.
Didn't think Hoshi would be so loose - would have been better if she didn't get in bed with the stranger even if things went along well. Tripp/Malcolm's escapade was entirely predictable. I actually enjoyed Phlox's revival - did make me chuckle. But what was more interesting was Archer's incident with the disguised Tandaran although it was slow in developing. Does set the stage for more to come on that storyline.
Overall almost a waste of a total episode, not sure how Jammer gives it 3 stars - it's definitely one of the weaker episodes. 1.5/4 stars for me.
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Fri, Apr 14, 2017, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

Best part of this average episode is Wesley/Picard's heart-to-heart moments. I think both actors were believable - especially Picard. Didn't mind the garbage scow part although the part of the radiation seemed silly -- as others here have said, the crew acts as if there's no danger until the radiation gets to lethal levels. Anyhow, just seemed like a B-plot out of nowhere and the alien whose planet is threatened looked absolutely ridiculous. Why not just be more humanoid like without all the nonsense over the mouth etc.
Dirgo's character created irritation -- I think Jammer puts it well in saying "too stupid to live" -- in the end he doesn't live.
Anyhow, trying too hard to give Wesley something special prior to his departure to starfleet. I'm also giving it 2.5/4 stars. Not the kind of episode you'd deliberately go back and watch again.
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Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: We'll Always Have Paris

Slow-paced episode with a ridiculously simple solution (once Data got the right coordinates and past the obstacles). Picard's old flame B-plot didn't do anything and I agree with Jammer that Troi's prying is tiresome/irritating. Both the incidents with prying into Picard's and Crusher's feelings was useless, got nowhere and added nothing to the story. Picard/Crusher resolved it themselves without Troi's help.
Some interesting potential with the experiments to meddle with time and the effects it had on the ship's personnel. The best part of the episode, for me, is when Data starts talking about the "hiccup" and when Picard cuts him off when he's going to use another body function as an analogy for another time incident.
Overall a pretty forgettable episode -- 1.5/4 stars from me.
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Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

Obviously this episode will be one of the most memorable because of Yar's death but it's a pretty silly one for me.
Armus is pitiable, yes -- but I'm not a fan of episodes with these aliens with undefined powers. It's hard to accept what is legitimate about its actions. There's little frame of reference and so a solution can always be conveniently manufactured.
Armus's games are ridiculous, boring -- but if it is meant to evoke pity then it works. Troi's psychobabble is actually useful here in pinpointing how Armus came about -- which is an interesting concept (that all the evil can be shed from beings etc.)
I agree with Jammer's overall rating of 1.5/4 stars here. It is a slow-paced, mediocre episode.
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Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Symbiosis

Yes, the episode is heavy-handed and oversimplified but I think it does provide a good example of the Prime Directive in action.
Thought it was an interesting episode that Picard's character came through well. It was good to see how the disagreement between him and Crusher played out and the end action of not helping the Onarans with their coil provided another take on the PD which worked out well.
I'd rate it 2.5/4 stars - an interesting premise with decent examination of the PD although oversimplified.
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Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Arsenal of Freedom

An improved twist on TOS's "That Which Survives". Funny how the solution is Crusher suggesting they turn off the machine.
Seems many other commenters feel this is one of the better Season 1 episodes of TNG - which would make the season as a whole rather mediocre.
Best part was seeing LaForge taking command and fending off Logan who was the low-point of the episode.
I actually enjoyed "That Which Survives" and I did enjoy this episode slightly more though there are the customary gripes which other commenters have mentioned: how the drone kept missing, Picard's decision beam down the planet (dumb decision), just buying the defense system and turning off the demonstration. I rate this a strong 2.5/4 stars.
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Mon, Apr 10, 2017, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Desert Crossing

Generally agree with Jammer's review - the desert scenes were overdone and a bore to watch. Yes, "Shuttlepod One" was a better example of a seemingly hopeless situation because of the chance for better dialogue.
Lots of fairly similar episodes thus far in Season 1 of ENT - but it is refreshing that they are (sort of) building on each other -- in this case the only worthy thing is the building toward the need for a Prime Directive.
Valid comparisons with "Detained" - once again from the standpoint of the side not in control.
Thanks to @dipads for pointing out the Zobral / Shawshank Redemption connection -- I couldn't place the actor.
Anyhow, a fairly predictable episode that dragged, although it wasn't totally pointless. I'd give it a strong 1.5/4 stars.
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Fri, Apr 7, 2017, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

Definitely an enjoyable episode but one that requires a lot of hand-waving to believe the time travel aspect. Time-travel episodes make for good episodes, but they really require a greater stretch of the imagination. Jammer makes a good point about the significance of a random individual, but is also generous with his rating.

What I liked about the episode is the unpredictability. One of the great things about TOS is the injection of humor -- its own brand of humor. What I didn't like -- aside from the treknobabble about slingshot effects etc. -- is how Kirk shows Christopher around, Uhura starts showing him stuff etc. Proper procedures with non-Enterprise personnel are simply ignored which compound Kirk's problem. Of course, then we wouldn't have a decent episode.

And then there is the loophole of returning Christopher back to before being beamed aboard the Enterprise and so he doesn't remember anything, but the Enterprise crew does.

I fully agree with the first comment (NCC-1701-Z's) although I'd give it 3/4 stars. The idea of an air base reacting to a UFO at the start of the episode is an original twist and well done with a shot of the Enterprise in the Earth's skies.
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Fri, Mar 3, 2017, 3:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Journey to Babel

This is terrific episode as others have said. What's fantastic is that there's so much going on, yet it all works together so well. Obviously, not a single scene wasted.
This is a very well thought out episode - the backdrop of ambassadors dealing on their way to a conference underlies murder/spying/Spock's family, and as others have said, getting a better idea of UFP (not just Earth and Vulcan) members.
In the opening scene, I would have thought Kirk knew that Sarek was Spock's father. He has egg on his face when Spock informs him.
I guess it was convenient Scotty wasn't involved in the episode (no Sulu either) -- I think Spock should be able to give command to him and go to give his transfusion initially -- but that would rob us of his mom slapping his face.
I think the challenge of Spock's mom is well portrayed and the episode continues to chip away at developing Spock's character (after "Amok Time"). Spock is a major part of Trek and probably back in the 60s, folks would have benefited from seeing his Vulcan character develop.
This is another 4/4 stars episode for me. Edge of your seat stuff - can't really find any faults with it -- it's an action-packed hour with a clever plot and all the qualities that made Trek TOS so good, including the usual bit of humor at the end.
TOS Season 2 is doing quite well thus far -- I don't think I'm generous in my ratings, but as I go through chronologically, I've given 3 of the last 5 episodes 4/4 stars! More of a coincidence than anything.
I don't know what's up with Jammer for rating "Journey to Babel" the same as "I, Mudd". Don't see how that can be the case.
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Thu, Mar 2, 2017, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Metamorphosis

I really enjoyed this episode - very creative and thought-provoking. In fact, I'd say it's a top-10 Trek TOS episode for me -- a science fiction love story at its best.
Many themes touched upon and coming after it began to seem Trek TOS had run out of ideas with certain storylines being revisited in different guises.
I don't have an issue with the Companion taking over Hedford as she's about to die -- who knows what went down between them. Maybe Hedford was a willing participant as she's never loved before and the Companion wanted to be human in order to love Cochrane.
The episode does have a certain quality that is hard to define -- the planetoid with its purple skies and the sort of romantic soundtrack from George Duning -- I hesitate to use the word "enchanting" but maybe that's what it is. Certainly agree with William B. on "touching and mysterious" -- certainly get that feeling from the soundtrack. And I can't think of another Trek TOS episode that achieves that quality like this one (maybe "Return to Tomorrow"?)
It's up to the viewer to make out what Trek is trying to say about love and who it should be between. Cochrane's reaction is justified in that he believes it should be between a man and a woman. The character that is the Companion is the star of the episode in making the sacrifice just to experience human love even if it might have been for a short while had Cochrane decided to leave.
The part where he decides to stay is touching and well enacted.
I think this is a highly under-rated episode and I give it 4/4 stars. It's one of the rare episodes I could not remember seeing as a kid in the late 70s/early 80s. So when I saw it for the first time a few months back, I was very impressed and I watched it again a few days later. Just saw it for the third time in a few months now prior to writing this comment.
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Wed, Mar 1, 2017, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: I, Mudd

This was one weird episode. I thought it was quite silly. But it is very different from almost every other TOS episode. If the main purpose is to show a different side of the cast (humor), even then I don't think it works ("...Tribbles" is far superior). The idea that being served by technology and mankind stagnating when not having freedom wasn't well developed. I think there is a point to this episode but it is lost amid all the stupidity.
Harry Mudd is an entertaining character but the whole episode, I felt, was being acted tongue-in-cheek. Kirk never really seemed truly angry at Mudd. It was more like seeing an old friend.
The ending with overloading the androids with logic is a low point for Trek. What is it supposed to prove?
I guess it's a question of taste. Others might find a nugget of value in "I, Mudd" but I don't. I give it 1.5/4 stars -- what's entertaining is Mudd, the premise and story for the episode is very weak. A forgettable episode.
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Tue, Feb 28, 2017, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Catspaw

A disappointing episode, especially coming after "The Doomsday Machine" - but the Hallowe'en theme is appropriate given when it first aired.
Still, it's lots of gimmicks without much meaning; it's another twist on "The Squire of Gothos" or "Who Mourns for Adonais?" where more powerful beings that lack wisdom threaten the Enterprise crew. It's a well-worn formula; interesting soundtrack though.
I wasn't a fan of the redshirt (LaSalle? DeSalle?) who was left in command of the ship - there was a missed opportunity. Would have been better if Scotty was left in charge rather than being a zombie the whole episode.
Even the final scene wasn't that compelling - Why does Korob lose all his power? He has the transmuter. Then, Sylvia is pointing a phaser at Kirk who has the transmuter. Can't she stun Kirk and get the transmuter?
I'd give this episode 2/4 stars and I think that might be a tad generous as it was quite slow paced and only really got interesting about 40 mins. in.
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Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Doomsday Machine

Absolutely my favorite Star Trek episode. As others have mentioned (not a single negative comment above), this episode gets everything right. Not a single wasted scene, a terrific plot with the 2 ships, Windom's acting, the dialog with Spock/Decker/McCoy, etc. -- it's perfect.
The episode does benefit greatly from the character of Decker that Windom brought to life beautifully -- from showing the anguish of his lost crew, to the shock of trying to remember the planet-killer when on the Constellation, to the resignation of his suicide mission on the shuttlecraft.
The enhanced graphics make a big difference, the detail of the asteroids (this is subtle - but I liked one asteroid crashing against the Constellation early in the episode).
Spock is terrific in this episode with his logic that doesn't become overbearing or condescending. Scotty also pulls off a minor miracle in getting the transporter working.
The other thing to not forget is the outstanding soundtrack. Highly recommend purchasing it (comes with Amok Time). The track "Kirk Does It Again" as the Constellation gets set to destroy the robot is a classic -- and one used in a handful of Trek episodes including a derivation of it for 1975's "Jaws".
No question 4/4 stars (maybe 4.5/4 stars as I think it is the best Trek episode objectively speaking aside from being my personal favorite).
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Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

This is a goofy episode - have to agree with @dgalvan. Also very similar to "The Return of the Archons" and also "That Which Survives" (from Season 3) to some extent. That being said, I didn't mind it and don't consider it anywhere near TOS's worst episodes.
The highlight is the philosophical debate between the Big 3 on the prime directive. The fact that the Enterprise is threatened dictates the crew's actions.
Chekov, for having appeared at the start of Season 2, has already played significant roles - more so than Uhura (absent in this one) and rivalling Scott and Sulu. His character as a bit of a ladies man has now been established.
Some inconsistencies - Spock should/could have died twice (once from the spores, the other being struck directly by lightning). He also ran into Vaal's forcefield. Thought Scotty threw the kitchen sink at the impulse engines to break free, yet they have phaser power to destroy Vaal.
Other than the prime directive dialogue, the rest of the dialogue is mostly silly.
I'd give it 2/4 stars - a well-worn plot which would have been more interesting if some story of how Vaal was created, how his people got there was found out.
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