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Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Fallen Hero

Decent episode with a good guest actor for V'lar and a well-executed starship chase scene. This episode could be a turning point for the relations between Vulcans and humans as the distrust between the two at the start is pretty clear, nearly getting everybody killed.

One thing Archer has going for him is he's good at buying time (i.e. bullshitting). We saw this in "The Andorian Incident". Liked it when he tried getting the Mazarite captain to talk about how fast his ship can go...Anyhow the few minutes bought were crucial for "hiding" V'lar and giving the Vulcan ship time to arrive and start kicking Mazarite ass.

Allowing the Mazarites to board without resistance seemed odd -- perhaps its understood they aren't trying to kill anybody (except V'lar) with the space chase + with the Enterprise beaten, Archer has little choice but to use the tactic to buy time. Under different circumstances I'd imagine Archer wouldn't be so docile if enemies tried boarding.

The distrust thing is annoying -- why should the investigation and work of V'lar not be disclosed to Archer? He has reason to be pissed. But he trusts T'Pol despite not being told specifics and maybe that's one key takeaway here.

One of my big disappointments with ENT is how Vulcans are portrayed -- and even here T'Pol lies to the Mazarites when they board (about V'lar's supposed injuries). At this stage in the series, T'Pol still isn't a very engaging and likeable character.

2.5 stars for "Fallen Hero" -- good space ship chase action / confrontation between the captains and some trickery in the end from Archer & co. with the backdrop of Vulcan/human relations getting another test. Nothing close to exceptional for sure, but pretty credible story given the Star Trek paradigm.

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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Resurrection

Wow, this episode sucked. Talk about boring, slow paced, predictable and with a couple of characters that I personally can't stand (Bareil and "Mirror Kira"). The other thing I don't like is overuse of the mirror universe -- DS9 is more than guilty of that.

I was never a fan of Bareil -- the actor playing him is so stiff and the prior romance with Kira was tedious, for me. Only so much weight Nana Visitor can carry in that sub-plot. Here when Bareil arrives from the mirror universe, you just know he's up to no good. He oozes shadiness.

The first part is entirely forgettable as Kira falls in love all over again and Bareil's interest in starting a new life is hardly believable. But he sees the orb and is changed somewhat.

The episode picks up at the midway point when "Mirror Kira" shows up -- and now we know why these 2 are on DS9 in our universe. But the plot is just way too simplistic and we have to deal with so much filler material between "Mirror Kira"/Bareil and Kira/Bareil.

The ending with Bareil phasering "Mirror Kira" came as no surprise but then I was glad when he decided to go back to the mirror universe thus sparing us more Bareil in subsequent episodes.

Maybe the most intriguing scene was with Quark and Kira -- here Quark actually served a useful purpose suggesting to Kira what Bareil was up to. Can chalk it up to his listening skills as a barkeep.

1 star for "Resurrection" -- kinda pointless episode with visitors from the mirror universe, boring, slow-paced. DS9 S6 got off to a great start but is falling back to Earth.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

An hour of levity after a few serious episodes -- can't take this one too seriously but it wasn't particularly enjoyable either with plenty of cliches and the expected pre-wedding complications, different styles of "bachelor parties". Almost felt like I wasn't watching Trek.

I just don't get the romance between Worf and Dax -- the 2 actors don't portray it well. Worf is particularly wooden here. I don't think the clash of cultures here is analogous to any 2 human religions or races that I know of -- so there's no commentary on any kind of real world situation that I can see this applying to.

Sirella, Martok's wife, is super-annoying, needlessly heavy-handed with adherence to Klingon tradition so you know the headstrong Dax will rebel. But I guess somehow she's ultimately cool with the wedding after Dax supposedly goes begging on her hands and knees -- would have been nice to see that after seeing all the friction between the 2 earlier.

We didn't get to see a softer side from Worf really -- not even any real joy. The whole Worf getting married could have been a much more meaningful thing.

1.5 stars for "You Are Cordially Invited" -- another episode of DS9 staff getting to act out a (mostly) fun episode unrelated to the main story arc. Sometimes these outings work ("In the Cards") but here it really didn't for me. The episode focused too much on the unimportant aspects of the marriage and less about any character development.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

This episode is all-action and wraps up nicely (actually too much so) Sisko's plan to take back DS9 -- but it is not on the same level as "Favor the Bold" for depth. There are too many contrivances and fortunate happenings here for the Defiant to take back DS9. Another interesting twist for Dukat's character is the strongest part of this episode for me.

The scene with Sisko and the Prophets was odd -- not sure what to make of it. How fortunate that they wipe out all the Dominion's ships in the Gamma Quadrant. The scene seemed out of place with the pacing of the overall episode, but it's clearly important and has future ramifications.

The uprising from Kira & co. was fairly typical. This too was rather fortunate but was better than the battle of the hundreds of starships. (I may be in the minority with this opinion).

For me, the battle scene was too unrealistic -- never seen so many ships all at once. I actually think it was too much and the relative space of the ships from each other had to be inaccurately portrayed (due to TV limitations) -- it requires too much imagination on the part of the viewer to think of how the battle would actually proceed but I doubt so many ships would appear so close together.

The real strength of the episode is Dukat's transformation -- great acting from Alaimo seeing the war lost, his daughter wanting to stay on DS9, and then killed by Damar. I actually like this act from Damar -- showing he's truly concerned 1st of all for Cardassia. He thinks Dukat should leave Ziyal behind but Dukat actually has a "human" side. He's reduced to a shadow of his former self.

A strong 2.5 stars for "Sacrifice of Angels" -- there's enough of a good story and action here to overwhelm the contrivances and I like the Dukat/Ziyal ending. Great performance from Alaimo -- as usual. Always nice to see the happy scenes when DS9 is taken back but it all happens too quickly and quite fortunately.
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Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

Great episode with so much going on and it fits together really well -- even the personal stuff between Dukat/Ziyal manages to play a part here. The writers have an outstanding tale going here.

What is still a bit nebulous is the benefits of the link -- some kind of paradise. So it's more important for the female changeling to get Odo to join the link than it is to take over the Alpha Quadrant... I was pretty surprised the 2 spent 3 days shagging. The scene with Odo trying to apologize to Kira was the most powerful of the episode -- Kira's line about being way late for sorry was perfect.

Federation morale is low so they figure they need a victory and Sisko has a plan to take back DS9 before the minefield is removed -- makes sense, but without the Klingons, I'm not so sure -- especially when they find out there are 1254 Dominion ships to deal with. Have to wonder just how many ships StarFleet has. I was also curious as to who the high ranking Romulan female is when Sisko was presenting his plan to the Federation admirals.

As for the tertiary characters, Rom was actually tolerable here -- he isn't so much in "idiot savant" mode. But Leeta's whimpering was annoying -- but that's only a minor knock on this episode. It's good that Quark has a more important role that ties in to the main story arc. Shimerman is a decent actor -- always looking out for his interests but also trying to be of assistance and trying to help his brother.

Weyoun is pretty amusing and he's clearly irritating Dukat -- was funny with his comment about poor eyesight and not being able to see the mines being detonated but his hearing is good so that he can hear Dukat and Damar discussing Ziyal and Kira.

Many aspects of the story are finely balanced -- Dukat has a thing for Kira and the Dominion has an agreement with Bajor so the Cardassians (mainly Damar it would seem) can't do things the Cardassian way.

3.5 stars for "Favor the Bold" -- the continuation of the main story arc is working out wonderfully. All the various sub-stories are moving along nicely. Just the whole link thing and Odo being out of the equation seem slightly less than optimal for story excitement.
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Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Some more random thoughts after a 2nd viewing of this episode:

Helps get better clarity on the many things going on here given less familiarity with the characters etc. Still think the writing is messy as are most of the characters.

Most of the characters are unlikeable -- Saru's the only one who truly works for me. Lorca's just a warmongering a-hole and his character isn't seen to be anything else whereas Burnham's got a bit messier with her disregard for Saru's initial orders re. the tardigrade. If we're to believe she's got a strong moral compass, I'd need more proof.

That's what's really lacking from DSC -- an overall strong moral compass. StarFleet is looking all over for tardigrades and wants to install the spore drive in all its ships. So there's plenty to dislike about DSC, and why it doesn't feel like Star Trek. Little regard for other sentient lives, unlikeable characters, etc.

Wonder what's up with Stamets and the mirror -- I don't think I fully grasped that in my 1st viewing...

Some random notes:

Nice to see Matt Decker's name on the list of great StarFleet captains. Wonder if he was already a Commodore and running the Constellation -- some 10 years later he'd run into the Doomsday Machine...

Still think the f-bombs from Tilly and Stamets don't belong in Trek and here they're just used stupidly -- poor writing. If anybody should be dropping them, it should be Lorca.

The gay couple relationship is building and is heading for a kiss in a future episode. If it's going to happen, let it not just be some gratuitous thing like the f-bombs dropped here. If it is going to happen, let it be because somehow the episode demands it.

Initial rating of 2 stars stands. For an interest level, DSC ranks above ENT, which was quite boring, but below the other 4 Trek series so far.
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Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Pathfinder

Terrific episode that really got exciting in the last 20 mins. or so. It's always nice when what seems like a highly improbable event comes true -- but of course it's Trek. Nevertheless, the episode sold the communication contact success well.

In a couple of TNG episodes, I haven't enjoyed watching the Barclay character. I didn't really enjoy "Hollow Pursuits" and even less "Realm of Fear". At the start of this episode, it just seemed like more heavy-handed portrayal of anxiety, stuttering but where Schultz really excelled came in a later scene with Troi when he shows his passion about the Voyager crew. So overall, the clumsy Barclay was well acted here although it is still a major stretch that the whole communication thing could work out (given that it should be nearly impossible to estimate Voyager's whereabouts after all it's been through and the simplistic avg. speed from last point of contact analysis).

The episode had some heavy technobabble but it didn't seem overly confusing or totally implausible. When an episode can get away with that (or maybe it didn't bother me because the story is a good one), it's great.

The holodeck chase scene is a good one and it's also fortunate that Barclay's boss actually appreciates him deep down inside but is trying to stick to the rules in suspending him. If he truly didn't like Barclay, this episode could have gotten rather unsavory. The episode winds up working because you feel for Barclay -- his character has its flaws but he's a good guy and you hope he's right (you know he will be, though).

3.5 stars for "Pathfinder" -- another terrific VOY episode where the cast is very much secondary (like "Living Witness" and "Timeless"). Nothing wrong with the cast but it's good for a change to see what StarFleet is trying to do about Voyager. You have to feel a sense of wonder when Janeway finally communicates with Barclay/Adm. Paris. And the feeling after Barclay is let off the hook and lauded by everyone is a true feel-good moment and that's fine.
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Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: A Fistful of Datas

Really weak stuff here -- similar in quality to "Qpid" and slightly weaker than DS9's "Our Man Bashir" for me. This episode was just plain boring and dumb.

Interesting with the very long teaser like in "Schisms" that doesn't give anything away about what the episode is about. Not sure I like that -- unless the episode doesn't have enough material to fill an hour, which this one didn't.

So another computer malfunction gets mixed in with a holodeck program -- basically gives an excuse for Spiner to show his talent (we've seen him play multiple characters in the same episode "Brothers"). But here, the writing and supporting acting is just limp. I give credit to Spiner for the handful of chuckles in this episode when he suddenly talks in "Old West"' style when on the Enterprise in front of Riker/Picard. Also funny was when Riker started reading Data's cat poem from "Schisms".

1 star for "A Fistful of Datas" -- truly a filler episode just to make up the numbers. The ship's computer and Data's memory banks get fixed just in time and then everything's back to normal. It's just not good enough. Something like "Elementary, Dear Data" is a much better example of something more profound in a holodeck/computer gone wrong episode.
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Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

The best part about "Schisms" is the slowly building dread and the creepy/spooky nature of what is going on. But the build-up is too slow, there's way too much heavy technobabble, and the ending is very ho-hum.

I got a kick out of Data's poetry in the teaser which ends in a way the episode ends: it's just leaves you wondering what's going to happen next. In this case, we don't know anything about the aliens and if they can find another way to enter our universe in the future.

The holodeck scene was an interesting one in terms of building up the dread but how it goes from a wooden table to a metallic operating chair is ridiculous. But I liked the idea of these aliens (regardless of what they actually looked like) abducting crew members through some kind of portal -- decent sci-fi idea even if it is not original. Pretty good performance from Frakes here.

A strong 2 stars for "Schisms" -- 1st half hour went by too slowly, and ultimately it comes down to Riker rescuing a crewman and jumping through the portal amidst a stream of technobabble from Geordi/Picard and another engineer. Payoff didn't live up to the well-built hype, no clue what the aliens were doing with the surgery and why one crew member was killed. Left rather unsatisfied.
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Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

@Black Ajah

maybe it's you who should unsubscribe and not post here again
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Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

This DSC episode felt to me more than any other like a typically structured Trek episode that wraps up conveniently in an hour. You have your escape from a prison, a bit of debate around how to treat or not abuse another sentient life form, and bit of character examination for Saru. Nothing exceptional or even very good here for me, just felt like standard stuff.

The continuation of the ethical/moral dilemma of needing to use the tardigrade for jumps was well portrayed through Burnham and Stamets mostly, while acting captain Saru doesn’t seem to care for the creature’s wellbeing. But he puts the captains rescue above all else, which is understandable. The creature suffers and is weakened and then ultimately shrivels up after the final jump to rescue Lorca. But finally Burham and Tilly nurse it back to life let it go, which seems like a nice Trekkian thing to do. Advances in CGI help here!

Miraculously Stamets is used for the jump and it works just fine. Pushing it a little bit here in terms of suspension of disbelief. Chalk this up along with Scotty’s many miraculous marvels of engineering in TOS escapes.

Not sure why Harry Mudd was brought into the brutal Klingon prison scene — maybe purely for some link to TOS to keep old school trekkies happy? Wasn’t very true to the original portrayal by Roger C. Carmel, for me. Will he be back in a future DSC episode?

Not sure what Lorca was doing with that device and his eyes earlier in the episode but apparently the Klingons found out about it and torture him Clockwork Orange-style. But he seems to show no effects and is able to fight for his escape the next time the captors come to play “choose your pain”. Lorca and Tyler’s escape came as a bit of surprise for me. But the Klingons stupidly allowed themselves to be outnumbered when coming to play “choose your pain”.

One major drawback with this episode: there’s no need for the f-word from both Tilly and Stamets. That does not belong in Star Trek which should elevate itself from the riffraff of other fiction produced today. Tilly is already an annoying character who has contributed virtually nothing so far, and now she drops an f-bomb. She had continued with her annoying role in a brief lunchroom scene with Burnham early in the episode.

Thought Saru did well as an acting captain -- clearly he has ambitions and is jealous of Burnham's success and the confidence captain Georgiou placed in her. But Burnham appears to be a team player here giving him the telescope in a nice gesture so it would seem these 2 aren't going to be competitors but rather good colleagues.

2 stars for “Choose Your Pain” — the weakest DSC episode so far but only by a small margin. There’s been nothing exceptional or awful so far in the series. This was a good episode for being capable of standing on its own with a plot and resolution in an hour. The Discovery has a new crew member in Tyler who seems interesting and Lorca's character is on the right track.
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Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

Decent episode with a couple of nice, truly Trekkian parts and chances for the whole crew to get involved in varying degrees as the 2 main guys Archer and Trip are out of the picture for the most part.

The 2 scenes I liked was the ending when the creature joined up with its larger self on the planet. This felt like real sci-fi, a totally new sentient life form that seemed to enchant and amaze the landing party. Nice touch with the musical score throughout the episode. The other scene I liked was Phlox preventing Reed from torturing the part of the creature that had been severed. Some good ethical reminders here as well as what Trek's mission truly is.

With the whole crew (minus Archer/Reed) working on the problem we get insights into each one's character. Obviously it's not hard to assume the creature is hostile and we get another view into Reed who has no issue with using force (and also is interested in movie night as stuff gets blown up). Ultimately he comes good with getting the forcefield going. Hoshi overcomes her initial failure and chalks up a win for communicating with the creature after sorting out her working relationship with T'Pol (albeit childishly). As for Mayweather he clears up the misunderstanding with the aliens the crew pissed off in the opening scene -- although this wasn't well acted. T'Pol proves to be an able 2nd-in-command, albeit a bit a hard-ass toward Hoshi initially.

2.5 stars for "Vox Sola" -- good to have the whole crew solving a problem as well as getting a sense of what downtime is like with movie night and Archer/Trip watching water polo replays. A bit of creativity with this new type of alien who is sentient and whose actions are misunderstood initially leads to a couple of nice Trek nuggets.
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Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

Just embarrassingly bad -- can't find a single redeeming quality in this garbage episode. It wasn't funny or enjoyable. Just stupid. The Ferengi (I don't believe they ever refer to themselves here as such) were responsible for many stupid episodes in DS9 (and to a lesser extent TNG).

At the start, how long do we have to watch the Ferengi go through the ship speaking without even subtitles? And why does Trip wander around for so long on in his underwear?

And Archer's attitude toward the Ferengi when he sees them ransacking his ship -- he doesn't even seem to show the slightest aggression or resistance as if he knows the Ferengi are a bunch of clowns and that this is supposed to be some kind of throw-away episode.

The only thing that made me chuckle was when the Ferengi try using their translator on Porthos and think it's a lower-level species! But that's not even good for 1/2 a star.

After taking back the ship, Archer just lets them off with a slap of the wrist never to be heard from again until TNG. Considering what could have been the end of their mission, this act from Archer is among the most stupid. Fitting that it would take place on this episode.

Zero stars for "Acquisition" -- just awfully bad on all levels. The Ferengi continue to be the stupidest creation in the Trek canon. Not sure how Jammer gets to 1.5 stars given his review. Not even sure what the writers were thinking here. This is not Star Trek for me.
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Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

Pretty cool episode here -- remarkable how Odo changes after the 2nd link and how infuriated Kira gets when she realizes Odo doesn't give a crap anymore. Definitely throws a major wrench in the resistance cell's plans and really spells doom for the Federation ultimately. Odo resisted the Great Link before, but given his unease and feelings for Kira getting in the way, he probably feels serenity or something when linked.

The appearance of the female changeling is trouble the moment she popped up -- apparently trapped in the Alpha Quadrant. I liked how Odo was asking questions of the female changeling hoping to avoid having to link again after Kira dressed him down, but then he succumbs and the plan to prevent Damar from defusing the mines is shot.

I'm starting to like this Damar character as Dukat's right hand. He has an uneasy relationship with Kira and comes across as a true Cardassian. The drinking scene with Quark was great -- you just knew he wanted to spill the beans about his plan. And then Quark has his line that is something like "I got drunk on canaar with Damar".

The B-plot of Sisko getting some new responsibilities makes sense but you get the sense that before long he'll be back commanding the Defiant. What wasn't well done for me was how such a big deal was made about how difficult the Defiant's mission would be to destroy some Dominion sensor grid but then it seems like the Dax-led crew did it no problem. Anyhow, this was just some contrivance to show how badly worried Sisko is about the Defiant.

3 stars for "Behind the Lines" -- more great acting from Nana Visitor and it's getting more and more enjoyable watching Dukat/Weyoun manage DS9 with all the hairy situations happening beneath their noses. But the bomb dropped is Odo's transformation. Pretty compelling story here.
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Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sons and Daughters

Nothing special here -- feels like a story we've seen before between father and son. And we get more examples of Dukat's scheming to get closer to Kira -- this time through his daughter. The Dukat/Kira subplot is far more interesting mainly because of Dukat's devious attempts. Not surprised Dukat's managed to get Ziyal back on his side (now if he could only do that with Kira, he'd be having his cake and eating it too...)

The Worf/Alexander subplot plays out in pretty standard manner - Worf hasn't been a good father and Alexander lets him know it and ultimately they make up. It wasn't clear what Alexander wanted to prove in serving on a Klingon warship -- and the episode is heavy-handed in showing how inept he is. No way should he be qualified for serving on a space vessel.

I'm not even clear what Alexander did to earn respect in the end -- he got trapped in some room in trying to help on the lower decks or something after a battle with Jem'Hadar ships. This part seemed contrived to make him appear to do something useful as a bridge to being made part of Martok's house in yet another Klingon ritual.

Dukat's certainly turning into an interesting character. When he gives his daughter the black dress that he meant to give Kira, I thought he was such a scumbag.

Ziyal's character is pretty naive and shallow -- Alexander, at least, has something going on inside but it is not clear what. His purpose wasn't well-handled here -- at one point he talks about how Worf would be happy to see him fail.

2.5 stars for "Sons and Daughters" -- well-executed standard type of story that isn't bad, but certainly a step or 2 below the 1st 2 Season 6 episodes. Plenty of the usual Klingon cliches, which don't do much for me at this point, seemed to dominate this episode.
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Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

Another powerful episode -- actually making me feel pity for the Jem'Hadar (which I felt before just objectively given their role) but here at the hands of a snake of a Vorta, I feel it even more. But they are true to the order of the Dominion and the Vorta certainly don't mind one bit. The Vorta has devised a plan for survival and it will cost all the lives of the Jem'Hadar -- but so be it. It's either them or the (former) DS9 staff.

A pretty clever setup that hits on the theme that there are rules even in war. Several nice standoffs between Sisko, the main Jem'Hadar (who was Kelley in VOY's "One Small Step" -- another terrific episode), and the Vorta.

Loved the outdoor filming as if it is a feature film -- the scene were Garak/Nog cross Bashir/Sisko was really cool. Really got the sense that they are on an actual planet as opposed to some Hollywood set.

As for the B-story on DS9 - Nana Visitor shines in this one as Kira is becoming exactly what she hates -- trying to suppress the resistance. Really well portrayed. The scene with the vedic hanging herself is powerful and impactful and Visitor shows how it hits Kira like a ton of bricks.

3.5 stars for "Rocks and Shoals" -- more great insights into the Jem'Hadar and the Vorta and even with spending a very short amount of time on the B-story, so much is conveyed as a resistance cell is in the making. Ultimately the main story arc doesn't advance too much here but this makes for an excellent near-standalone episode.
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Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: A Time to Stand

Pretty riveting stuff here from so many angles -- the tables have turned and we get a good idea of what DS9 is like under new rulers; The Federation are trying to scratch & claw their way back. It's a great dynamic.

Many great dialogs here -- like, of course, Weyoun and Dukat not seeing eye-to-eye, Kira/Odo trying to get a Bajoran security force established -- Even Weyoun wanting Jake to stop being biased in his journalism was a propos (as a journalist myself, I can appreciate that!)

The scene with Dukat and Kira was particularly well acted. The hatred Kira has for Dukat is so tangible. And Dukat is quite a character -- so full of himself, but also sleezy and cunning.

One issue is I question why Sisko is relieved of command of the Defiant and given a Jem'Hadar ship -- which of course gets fired upon by a Federation ship. Is there no coordination among the Federation admirals? It makes sense to bomb the facility producing the white using a Jem'Hadar ship but that part about the chase from the Federation ship seemed pointless to me.

Great ending scene with the bomb blowing up the Jem'Hadar asteroid as Sisko and others try to escape -- it wasn't clear what the delay from the surface was but we can assume they found something fishy. But I think it's more realistic that everything didn't work out perfectly with a cherry on top.

3.5 stars for "A TIme to Stand" -- great start for DS9 S6 -- sets up another story arc about the ongoing war and the new situations for everybody. I like this grim reality with DS9 and how it is portrayed.
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Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: One Small Step

Wonderful episode - thoroughly enjoyed it. It may sound cliche to say it but this is what Star Trek is all about. Here it's about the desire to explore, be a part of history and what that really is like. Impressing that on 7 may seem heavy-handed but she's perfect for this situation -- another situation to explain the human condition. There are so many thing I liked about this episode.

The character of Kelley was really well done -- gave the impression of somebody who was a true explorer and dealing with things beyond his comprehension. The switches from 7 on the Mars spaceship to Kelley's logs coming to life was great. Getting to see what he could not transmit back to Earth and coming to grips with the history he recorded make this an impactful episode.

This is great sci-fi. The "graviton ellipse" sounded plausible to me as a cosmic phenomenon and while it is highly unlikely that Voyager would encounter it, so what?

As for Chakotay here, he should be disciplined for his actions -- but I'm sure he won't be. We see his rebellious side, commanding Paris to tractor beam Kelley's ship despite Janeway's orders. I guess for the average person, it's hard to see Chakotay's love for history (paleontology) but we can understand why he'd take the chance.

7 was also great here -- she has been a savior for Voyager since "taking over" for Kes. She undergoes another transformation from unemotional Borg to grasping the human desire for exploration through Kelley. And she's genuinely emotional in the final scene (which is poignant) of the funeral for Kelley.

3.5 stars -- Voyager is perfect for this kind of episode. Yes, there are some fortunate happenings like meeting the graviton ellipse in the 1st place, and escaping it. I like how Jammer puts it: a "floating galactic museum". And Kelley's realization that humans were meant to be out here -- it all touches on the fundamental things that give rise to Trek starting from the very basics of Mars exploration.
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Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

Enjoyable episode for me as I love the TOS nostalgia - Scotty made references to at least 2 episodes that I can remember: "Wolf in the Fold" "Naked Time" and there was one more...

Of course having guest actor Doohan back is an immediate hit although he does go a bit overboard in the scene where Geordi snaps. But what is extremely well portrayed in the 1st half of the episode is how out of place and irrelevant he feels. So I have to give "Relics" props for that.

The Dyson Sphere is pretty impressive if we think about it although it wasn't clear why the communications array sucks ships in. For what purpose? And then when the Enterprise was in orbit around the star, I guess they recharged the impulse engines sufficiently to break orbit and head for the exit. But I thought they were stuck there. In any case, it turned out to be a nice way for Scotty to be useful again.

The scene with Picard and Scotty reminiscing on the bridge of Kirk's Enterprise was nice -- even though Scotty's a captain he prefers being a chief engineer. The analogies from 1st ship to 1st girlfriend were pretty a propos.

3 stars for "Relics" -- always nice to pay homage to TOS. Scotty's a character that will live on for a long time -- still the best chief engineer in any Trek series. This is a nice Trek episode that throws in some nostalgia, does a good job of showing a character's plight (Scotty out of his era), a bit of sci-fi (Dyson Sphere) and an improvised solution to solve a problem (escape the sphere) -- all in all, good Trek.
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Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

Did not enjoy this episode at all -- immediately in the teaser Barclay and his over-exaggerated issues turned me off. "Hollow Pursuits" was ok but this episode was just plain boring with too much nonsensical technobabble.

Troi was also terrible in this episode -- she can really just relieve Barclay of duty? But then Barclay still gets O'Brien to transport him and he calls all the senior staff for a meeting? I think this downplays Troi's importance and role -- which is not a bad thing, for me. I also found myself tapping myself behind the ear while watching...

So were the crew from the other ship turned into those fat worm-like creatures in the transporter field and Barclay had to overcome his fear and grab onto one of them to save the crew? If that's all it comes down to, it's pretty lame. The whole plot is overly simplistic. This isn't a good example of TNG problem solving logically and sensibly. Heavy on technobabble and entirely reliant on one person's trusting his instincts in an instant.

Barely 1.5 stars for "Realm of Fear" -- while it is good to shine the light on a crew member's unusual issues, this episode exaggerates it such that the normal person can't take it seriously. TNG has treated this kind of topic much better in prior episodes. I didn't find it compelling at all to see Barclay going through all the self-diagnosis etc. TNG S6 not off to a stellar start.

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Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

Color me unimpressed again -- this is really a story that should have been made in 1 hour -- too much Samuel Clemens time-wasting without a good payoff. The whole aliens murdering people for energy thing is ineffective -- it almost seems like it could have been left out and then the crew would just have to figure out the mystery of Data's head while spending time in 19th century SF.

Found this episode to be a confusing mess. The technobabble is problematic here - a lot of this is arbitrary to make the episode come to a convenient conclusion. Everything sorts itself out nicely even with Clemens getting to go back to his time.

But there was so much time wasted on Clemens -- if the whole point is to make somebody from the distant past realize that he shouldn't be prejudiced about the future, the technology etc., then this episode handling it as an annoying B-plot does an inadequate job.

And of course, a lot of getting stuff done just in the nick of time -- Geordi getting Picard's message planted in Data's head just as Riker is preparing to fire, and transporting Picard back as the photons torpedoes destroy the "time portal".

2 stars for "Time's Arrow, Part II" -- would have been better if there were more conflicts with the aliens, getting to understand more about them so that they were more of a threat. Obviously a well-intentioned sci-fi episode that gets the crew to dress up in 19th century garb in San Francisco but it just winds up being blah.
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Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Cloud Minders

Definitely one of the better Season 3 episodes for TOS -- one that focuses on the ideals of equality and justice. Trek makes it black and white with a 2-class society (cloud-dwellers and cave-dwellers).

What I find odd is that if the cloud-dwellers have evolved to appreciate intellectual pass-times, how could they not have the compassion to see what is happening to the Troglytes (for centuries apparently) and given that they're in the Federation? We get an idea of the struggles of a people against an oppressive government. There were ongoing signs of disruption and it comes to a head when the Enterprise is in town.

Some interesting characters here -- Plasus, the administrator, wants to maintain the status quo and is the chief antagonist to Kirk. The actor plays the role well, threatening to kill Kirk to preserve his peaceful existence. Droxine is curious about Spock and a romance starts up although it doesn't work as well as it did in "The Enterprise Incident". I thought Spock's "interest" toward Droxene was a bit out of character, although the reverse is understandable. I particularly liked Vanna, the strong female lead of the Disruptors.

Kirk is forced into some unconventional moves -- beaming Plasus down to the mines when all hell breaks loose. Had Vanna not contacted the ship, I'm not sure how it would play out as everybody started to lose their rationality. Ultimately, no idea how things are supposed to play out after the Enterprise leaves -- Plasus wants no Federation interference, but Vanna and Droxene seem to be the voices of reason.

3 stars for "The Cloud Minders" -- an allegory to any number of oppressed people seeking equality situations in today's world. A good episode representative of what TOS was all about, ends with a hope for a better situation.
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Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Just to correct one thing in my 1st comment final paragraph:

I assume Kol and the other Klingons believe they've left the pale-faced Klingon to die on-board the Shenzhou but unbeknownst to them the female Klingon comes to the rescue (I believe she said she has a ship that will take them to the matriarchs etc.).
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Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

DSC is starting to grow on me -- found I enjoyed this 4th episode more than the other 3 for an initial viewing. It helps that there are fewer unknowns now as far as the Discovery's mission, Lorca's motives, characters, the overall story arc etc.

Still a couple of weaknesses for me: 1) The nonsense of the spore drive. Now the "Ripper" creature apparently is attracted to the spores in some kind of symbiosis and can be used to navigate the ship when using the spore drive by attaching some kind of device (from the Glenn) to its chest? A bit excessive on the sci-fi suspension of disbelief for me. 2) The Klingons are back looking like orcs from LoTR. It's hard to get a feel for their emotions due to the subtitles and heavy costumes but it wasn't as bad as the 1st 2 episodes. At least in this episode, there didn't seem to be anything that ran counter to canon (i.e. no beaming up corpses).

Great title: "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry" -- with (I assume) the lamb being the "Ripper" creature and the butcher's knife being Lorca's orders. It has to be noteworthy that the security chief gets killed by the creature -- probably like Yar getting killed in "Skin of Evil" from TNG S1. Here's somebody who I thought would be an important cast member going forward but her death adds gravity to the situation and Lorca doesn't want her death wasted, obviously.

The action scene rescuing the mining colony wasn't anything special -- that wasn't the point of the episode. But at least Burnham has proved herself and is starting to win points with the crew, and the spore drive actually works although how much longer they can use the "Ripper" becomes a question in my mind.

As far as characters, I'm warming up to Stamets and really liked his confrontational attitude with Lorca, who I'm also liking more and more. The captain's conversation with an admiral at least confirms that he's not some cowboy and that he is following orders, albeit with great latitude. I think we know what to expect from Burnham and Saru now. Tilly continues to annoy me and I'm not sure what the purpose of her being portrayed as so awkward is.

3 stars for this episode -- the capabilities and mission of Discovery are becoming more clear as well as getting a handle on what's going on with the Klingon side. We've got 2 Klingons who are (I assumed) presumed dead as being banished on the remains of the Shenzhou, but they've got a rapport with each other and I guess we're supposed to be pulling for them against Kol and the other Klingons. I think DSC is heading in the right direction.

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Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shuttlepod One

Not a bad episode, but not a great one either -- the kind of thing that's been done on TOS (The Gallleo Seven) better and DS9 (The Ascent) worse immediately come to mind. Those episodes have similarities but important differences.

This is purely a character episode for Trip/Reed and we do learn a great deal about their similarities and differences -- mostly the latter. There are some humorous moments like Trip interrupting Reed recording his good-byes but also some annoying moments like Reed's dream of T'Pol (Stinky) and the Trip wanting to go into the airlock so that Reed could have all the breathable air -- where did that all of a sudden come from??

So far on ENT, I can't really think of 2 other characters together who'd be able to pull it off. Archer and anybody else -- the other person will just do what Archer says. T'Pol would be too boring and Hoshi/Travis aren't good enough actors.

The other thing that I don't get is what was it that they saw crashed on the asteroid? What's the explanation for that? So there were definitely some things contrived to create the predicament for our 2 friends.

What I did like is how realistic the survival aspects seemed -- reducing the temp to -5C (23F) with the shivering/frost on everything, how slow impulse is in the vastness of outer space, and all the little things they do to extend their lives. This much was well done in terms of mechanics.

But ultimately, I don't think they needed to spend as much time on the dialog between the 2 as it got pretty silly at times.

2.5 stars for "Shuttlepod One" -- we get Reed the realist/pessimist and Trip who is more happy-go-lucky/optimist stuck together and it works pretty well with a very basic plot. Some male bonding, some conflict but the situation is well portrayed and the 2 actors do a good job. The fact that we know they won't die despite the minuscule odds takes a bit of an edge off the proceedings.
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