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Skywalker
Sun, Oct 9, 2016, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

I liked the debate Sisko had with Kasidy. It helped to acknowledge that the civil rights movement was still rather new in the '90s and allow the creators to be self aware that their audience is primarily composed of 20th century Americans. It also allowed Sisko to be a mouthpiece for those who have made comparable criticisms about the idealism of race relations in Star Trek in general.

However, I do not believe Sisko would actually feel this way, even after his experience as Benny Russel. It has been more than three centuries since First Contact with the Vulcans occurred; racism of human against human is at least that far removed from these characters. Sisko says "our people," but his people are indeed not merely all of humanity, but the other citizens of the UFP. So, not a realistic opinion for Sisko to hold, but entirely for our benefit as the audience.
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Skywalker
Sun, Oct 9, 2016, 11:23am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

Jammer, I'm not sure why you assert that continuity has been rewritten regarding the introduction of humanity to the Borg. It has not been. The Hansens set out to pursue a rumor about a cybernetic species that no one in the Alpha Quadrant knew about. They remained far away from the Federation for years and never sent their data back to Starfleet. Ultimately their sacrifice was entirely in vain since they were assimilated before they could inform the Alpha Quadrant of their discoveries.
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Skywalker
Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 9:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

Harry transfers Doc and Krell from the Holodeck to Sickbay — Doc was wearing his mobile emitter on the Holodeck, and is wearing it again in Sickbay. I guess Harry transported it at the same time Doc was transferred. Hah.
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Skywalker
Thu, Sep 22, 2016, 8:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

Did anyone else catch that Seven reads Paris's vitals as "Pulse: 42. Temperature 97.6..."...degrees Celsius?! Good job, Doc, Tom is almost boiling. Must be all that radiation.
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Skywalker
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

One other note: at the end of the episode Janeway is painting! She never did any painting before "Sacred Ground," and now she's painting in the Ready Room!? That's an incredibly nice touch of continuity, like Picard's piccolo from "The Inner Light."

Oh, and the final mano a mano with the macrovirus is also laugh out loud funny. Plus the digital liquid crystal display?! Sheesh. That's like someone today sticking a pocket watch onto a sophisticated bomb.
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Skywalker
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 10:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

This episode isn't bad at all! The rip-off stuff is obvious enough to be funny and therefore enjoyable — Janeway crawling into the Jeffrey's Tube from Sickbay with the EMH and holding a phaser rifle is a grace note to STFC which came out the same year. I laughed out loud when the cheery Talaxian pleasure center characters (still including the female championship volleyball team Harry added from episodes earlier — awesome continuity!) were terrorized by the macroviruses! Perfectly hilarious. And the tie-in with the Tac Tak guys was a nice touch.

The best part about VOY since "Future's End" has been the portrayal of how well this crew works together: they community effectively over the intercom; they solve problems; they work together seemlessly towards their goals. That's good Star Trek! It feels like the crew has come into its own.

And by the way, I noticed how he tricorders became "modernized" suddenly to the DS9 standard back in season 2. I guess they had upgraded units in storage? Doubly the phaser rifles; in one of the previous episodes ("Warlord") Tom has the old style phaser rifle. The new style was introduced this year in STFC. Ah well, I guess they were in storage also...

Given that kind of studio nonsense, I'm frankly surprised the VOY crew didn't update their uniforms with the STFC/DS9 standard this year (1996). Thank goodness! I can imagine a studio exec saying, "These Voyager you guys ain't got the new uniforms. Hey, somebody get these guys the new uniforms, right away!" And then a meek little writer comes up to him and says, "Sir, we can't do that; the Voyager crew is 70,000 light years away from Star Fleet and has not been in contact for almost three years. They wouldn't even know about th change." The neanderthal-like exec would furrow his heavy brow and scratch his tiny head trying to ponder the internal logic of a show he never even watches. He protests, "But the average viewer don't care nothin' about that! We have two different Star Treks with different uniforms. It's confusin'!" After winning the obvious uniforms battle, the meek writer compromises on the tricorders and the phaser rifles.
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Skywalker
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

I like at 26 minutes in where the prisoner has a red halo around his head. Nice photography!

And the reveal to the space prison was pretty cool.

I hated this episode when I started ("not another Tom and Harry story..."), but it grew on me.
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Skywalker
Wed, Jul 13, 2016, 9:20am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Flashback

The Doctor: "I don't know what happened to you. But there can be any number of explanations: hallucination, telepathic communication from another race, repressed memory, momentary contact with another reality...take your pick. The universe is such a strange place..."

LOL! What a hilarious line! That's basically a list of every other similar Star Trek episode's premise.
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Skywalker
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

In the military we have a term: OPSEC. Operational Security. It means not openly discussing tactical or strategic plans. For example, Kira NOT telling Odo, Quark, and Bashir she doesn't have time for their petty problem because she has to go help Sisko retrieve a captured Jem'Hadar vessel, the "greatest intelligence find in the last ten years," according to the captain. Odo, maybe. Bashir, he's not need-to-know. Quark who is still smuggling illegal merchandise?! Now, we can trust Quark won't willingly damage the prospects of the Alpha Quadrant, depending on the price. But considering his wide range of contacts, he only needs to mention the downed ship to someone, and then a Dominion spy overhears and sends in the Jem'Hadar. Which is exactly what happened. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I like Muñiz's line, "Don't worry, jefe. I'll get you through this one."

So Dax, a Trill, can't even speak Trill with trilled 'r's, nor can she trill the 'r's in Klingon — but she goes out of her way to trill the 'r' in "Enrique"?? Pandering much?

@Luke

I want to thank you, because you really helped me to hate Dax. She's awful! I never realized it before I read your reviews. In addition to your pointed criticism, my biggest pet peeve is that she always calls the captain by his first name. It's so unprofessional. I don't care if they are friends. Time and a place! When she is set straight by Sisko, she calls him "Captain" with such condescension.

Tactical mistake: not taking Kilana hostage!

Why is Worf obsessed with Enrique dying? It's not like he has been with humans for a few days. He grew up on Earth! He knows how humans feel about friends dying. His Klingon moralism is utterly contrived, only so that we have a completely artificial discord of these characters:

Worf says to Miles (his friend of 10 years!!) "You are just another weak human afraid to face death."
Even if he weren't a decennial friend, didn't these assholes just enjoy some serious team building on Kronos?! WTF!

This is completely unbelievable. Dax being a snarky bitch, that is common place. I wish Sisko had smacked her broad across the face like a Klingon captain would. She was completely out of line. Miles was just trying to fix the ship and help his friend (who is not an ensign by the way, Jammer, but a crewman, probably an E-3). Worf and Dax are beyond the pale. They deserve each other.

Some barrage! It sounds like distant thunder. This is what breaks their cohesion?! Improbable.

I don't like whatever lesson was supposed to come from this. "...if we had trusted each other!" says Sisko. What?! Dude, Benny, your people died, and the Jem'Hadar died, because of the freaking *Jem'Hadar*! They blew up the Runabout and attacked because they are Dominion.

@Luke, do you think this idiotic message is comparable to left-wingers blaming the United States' for being attacked by Al-Qaeda?

I also think Jammer is dead wrong about Kilana. The unsure-of-herself routine (along with the low cut dress) were meant to lull Sisko into a false sense of security, as was the "it's my first mission" lie. "I'm just a helpless attractive woman in need of a big, strong captain to help me through this diplomacy stuff." Sisko to his credit does not bite. And she looks pissed. All Vorta have this cloying aspect to their character, and Kilana oozing the diplomatic schmooze plus the weak-woman honeypot ploy is perfectly in character for her and the Dominion. I really like her character.

Or maybe it was just the dress...

Didn't they say this Jem'Hadar ship was indeed special in its construction? I guess it wasn't after all. It just had a Founder on it. Oh...

In the final analysis, even I used to really enjoy this episode, it has two untenable problems. Worf is bizarrely out of character, and Sisko blames himself in an unfathomable attempt by the writers to equivocate both sides in a conflict as being equally wrong.

@Luke, I am seldom harder on episodes than you are, but on the Luke Scale I would give this a 5/10 at best.
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Skywalker
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising

@Peter G,

Thanks! That's good intel. They needed a better explanation. I imagine this scene:

Sisko: "Worf, Odo, and O'Brien, I am selecting you three to accompany me on this mission."
O'Brien: "Why me? Wouldn't Commander Dax be better suited to infiltrating the Klingon Empire.
Sisko: "Unfortunately the commander has been called away by Starfleet Intelligence for an update on the technical capabilities of Jem'Hadar warships. And you are the only one who will be able to help us set the prototype."

@Chrome,

I actually think that whole incident with Picard is even more stupid. That was just commando stuff, and special operators would so much better. At least Worf (again on the fool's errand!) and Odo make sense.

As a real-world soldier (Army aviation officer), I can tell you that yes, when we don't have more pressing duties, we get assigned random tasks all the time. But never one of such high importance. It's the old Trek trope, "We're the only ship in range," despite the absurdity, because the writers want the main characters involved.
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Skywalker
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising

Major nitpicks:

1) Not only do Dukat and Kira openly discuss the infiltration plan on the promenade, but they walk right into the Infirmary with open doors for any who can see to the spectacle of three senior staff members being surgically altered to look like Klingons.

I guess they assume that the Klingon Empire considers espionage to be dishonorable.

2) Wouldn't Starfleet have true experts on Klingon culture who are spies who would be infinitely better suited to this? Special Forces? And they are depending on Dukat to create their fake identify files?! Jesus, Starfleet has no idea what it's doing.

3) Wouldn't Dax have been a much better choice than O'Brien for this mission? Her only real usefulness comes from her familiarity with Klingon culture (obviously she hasn't been any good at her Science Officer job for a while since she hasn't done anything with that position in ages; all I see her do is be a lieutenant commander *helmsman*!!). Plus seeing Dax in Klingon garb would have been way hotter than potato-faced Irish handyman Everyman Edward O'Brien.

Dax also speaks Klingon! Educated Klingons like to speak English anyway (see page 10 of The Klingon Dictionary), but that's no guarantee.

Did anyone catch Damar's evil grin after they blew up the other Bird of Prey? It was awesome! Haha.

"It's not easy being funny wearing these teeth." That sounded like Colm Meany talking to Michael Dorn!
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Skywalker
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 1:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link

Two questions, in order of importance:

1) Did Odo ever get with that pretty Bajoran shop owner who was throwing herself at him?

2) Did Section 31 infect Odo before this (on Earth in "Home Front"), and the Dominion additionally infect him with a different disease in order to get him back to the Link?
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Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Body Parts

If you go to 11min 55sec, you can see the "Emissary" makeup job of Quark on the screen! Nice Easter Egg.

"It took me my whole life...but I'm gonna die a winner!" There is something sad and sweet in the tone that recalls "Death of a Salesman" for me. Brunt's determination reminds me of Shilock's pound of flesh in "The Merchant of Venice."

Best line: "I can't start a bar with a case of brandy and ... *ugly*glasses*."
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Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

The weeks of being away from DS9 without even asking permission also bothers me, as is the lack of a medical team to assist. I call this a VOY moment. It could have been dealt with easily and kept the episode intact.

@Luke, I think the biggest difference with Bareil is that *Bashir* was the one who had already tried everything to save him before admitting surrender. His ego as the galaxy's greatest doctor drives him to try. It actually fits his character pretty well, inclusive of the death of Bareil.

I also didn't like the Quark-bashing. I wonder if Armin Shimerman was in on this; he was a Trekkie since "Glass Menagerie" first aired and campaigned to audition for the role of Quark. He did amazing things with the material he was given. Was that the full extent of his influence?

One of the best moments is the beginning where Bashir looks out at the stars filled with wonder at the chance to explore new worlds. I feel that way every time I look at the sky (apropos, I am writing this just a few hours before the Juno probe enters Jupiter's orbit, a chance for real discovery). He has the audacity to hope that his two lovely female companions (about whom we know he has fantasized) will join in his romanticism. Sadly they just roll their eyes. The events of the Quickening are meant to reality-check his enthusiasm. But I still like that he is an inherently optimistic character. If I'm not mistaken, he is the only one in the whole cast who has a positive outlook! Every other member of the cast is deeply jaded and has every right to feel that way: Sisko, Dax, Kira, Odo, Quark, Worf, O'Brien, even Jake.
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Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: Independence Day: Resurgence

Thanks for the review!

Mike (aka Mr. Plinkett) and company at RedLetterMedia actually liked this movie better than the original, which was enough to send me straight to the theater. I wasn't disappointed! It is what it is, and is completely fun. It doesn't overdo the destruction, yet the visuals overall are beautiful. It's a shame Resurgence was panned when overall it actually is a better movie than the original. I think a trilogy finale would serve it well.

Looking forward to the STID and STBeyond reviews!
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Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

@Yanks, thank you, sir! Yeah, I'm equally annoyed about them being forced out early also. As a military force we are necessarily an instrument of political will against our enemies and in support of our allies. But when *domestic* politics holds us hostage to thwart political opponents at home, and all the while eroding the national defense, it is abysmal.
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Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

Seeing an episode like "To The Death" makes me seriously question the strategic thinking of the UFP:

1) They should have mined or gated the wormhole years ago (something like the Iris in Stargate SG-1 — by the way, Jammer, when are the SG-1 reviews coming?) Ostensibly DS9 is sitting next to the wormhole to guard it, but with only one little ship ("Little?!") there isn't much they can do to control, say, huge fleets of Cardassians, Romulans, or Dominion from passing through.

2) Is Starfleet really so busy cataloguing gaseous anomalies that it can't spare a few more ships of the line to be permanently deployed and docked at DS9? Like about 20 or so? Because the Klingons and the Cardies don't mind swinging by once in a while with immense fleets. DS9 is armed to the teeth now, but it can't maneuver worth a damn. To paraphrase Word, adopting a siege attitude is ultimately self-defeating.

3) It's a trap! @Luke, I strongly concur that this is a ruse. What else would it be? Why the hell would the renegade Jem'Hadar attack DS9 hours before they get the Iconian gateway back online?! If Weyoun wasn't in on it, the Founders surely set it all up. I also would not have taken the Defiant away from the station so quickly. It was decisive and bold, and Sisko was ultimately not wrong to abandon DS9, but it still strikes me as odd. "Good luck, Major! Hopefully some more starships arrive to help soon just in case."

Truly, given the strategic importance of DS9, there should be permanently deployed to the Bajoran sector the equivalent of a carrier battle group with a fleet admiral in command, not a junior O-6 who was a mere commander when stuff started hitting the fan a year ago.

Things I liked:
-Sisko gesturing the deadly phaser rifle at Weyoun; subtle threat!
-O'Brien's droll line, "Followed by a get to know you buffet at 1930," which I can tell you as a military officer rings true! Haha.
-Weyoun.

Nitpick: Dax calls it a "dampening field," but unless she means it disabled their weapons by getting them *wet*, she meant "damping field," like inertial dampers. "To damp" means "to inhibit."
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Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 1:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Resolutions

Freaking Harry! I love the look on Tom's face when Harry has his outburst. He seems to be saying. "Dude... Not cool." From Paris, that's saying something! His insubordinate tone is completely out of line. Pike would send him "back to the Academy" for something like this! This should have come from one of the Maquis. Not Harry.

Tuvok's pajamas have the Vulcan/Romulan style of broad shoulders. Nice touch, costume designers! Best of all, in that scene Harry recalls not one, but TWO previous Vidiian episodes! What?! Continuity on VOY?! I love it!

And why the hell is a mere ensign part of the senior staff anyway? I don't mind him being a main character, but there are at least a dozen people who outrank him! I'm sure they would appreciate being consulted from time to time.
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Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 12:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

I couldn't disagree more with Jammer! Thankfully this is an RDM story, who goes on to sculpt the rest of the DS9 arcs with aplomb. He assumes none of these characters' betrayals will be revisited; had he known they would be intricate elements in stories to come, he would have better.

@Luke, I fully agree with your assessment! I also like Eddington's speech. People can get really twisted about things without anyone noticing, and his Borg hyperbole is comparable to the 20th/21st concentury fallacy Reductio ad Hitlerum : "You're worse than Hitler!" "You're worse than the Borg!" Of course we know that's not true; the Federation is nothing like the Borg. The point is that Eddington is angry, and his notion brings us to question our closely held beliefs for a moment, and at the same time see how Eddington has deluded himself into this "cause."
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Skywalker
Sun, Jul 3, 2016, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@Luke, thank you for reminding me about one of my favorite Simpsons episodes! "In your face, space coyote!" " Space coyote?!" LOL! I am going to work that like into conversation some time this week.

Another appropriate reaction from that Simpsons episode is when Homer in mid-trip checks his popping pupils in the water, which then transforms into an enormous rattlesnake that winds around him, and benignly slithers away as Homer cautiously remarks, "Oooooooooookaaaaayyyyyyy....." That sums up my response to this episode!

Majel wrote this episode? I guess that explains a lot. She sort of writes her character a kind of ending (though I would have liked more resolution to Lwaxana). And Majel's effect on the consummate Trek writer Gene Roddenberry might have inspired Onaya's character.

Considering Jake Sisko never writes on paper and hasn't even been to school in years (nice parenting on that one, Benny), he has amazing cursive handwriting!
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Skywalker
Sun, Jul 3, 2016, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

I actually liked the ending, and the whole episode after having not seen it for 15+ years. I like Tuvix's "I forgive you" speech at the end; it rings of a Christ-like human sacrifice (it was also melodramatic, and it was meant to be; he wanted to live but wasn't sure he really had the right to live at the expense of two others). I like how Janeway struggles internally, and then in one take walks onto the bridge with grim resolve.

Janeway had to decide which she could more easily live with: the destruction of Tuvix, or the loss of two other crew members. Without any pleasure, she made her dark decision.

Was it right?

Obviously that's hard for us to decide, and it was equally hard even the other crew who were present. But the point is that we as an audience understand Janeway's thought process, motivations, moral misgivings, and feel the unhappiness blended with relief she feels at the end. I think the episode does that, and earned 3 Jammer stars for it.
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Skywalker
Sun, Jul 3, 2016, 6:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

@Skeptical

"The Doctor's first appearance in the simulation is utterly hilarious. Totally came out of nowhere and totally worked in every way. And what's best? After the Doc saved Harry with his sarcastic wit, explaining the proper methodology of holding a scalpel, the Clown nods along in academic interest for a moment first before moving the plot along. One of the funniest, most bizarre scenes in the entire series."

Perfectly said! I absolutely loved that moment. The direction of this episode makes it really stellar.

@Starik, I'm a huge fan of Death Note! I'd say much of anime is comparably bizarre.
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Skywalker
Tue, Jun 28, 2016, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Another nice touch: out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn the Starfleet PADDs had Apple logos on the back! I went back and looked again: it's just the Starfleet logo. But how remarkably similar to today's tablets! Life imitates art.

Generally about the episode, I also thoroughly appreciated it. "For the Sisko," the Prophets say. Nice! "The Sisko is of Bajor."

And let me be another to resound the hilarity of terrified Worf shouting, "NOW?!"
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Skywalker
Tue, Jun 28, 2016, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Did anyone else notice that the doll Molly is holding in the first scene has Bajoran nose ridges?! Because they were on Bajor for so long!! I think that's a brilliant touch. I love this show.
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Skywalker
Tue, Jun 28, 2016, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

@Luke, lol! I agree with every word. You said it perfectly. Quoting the Communist Manifesto with Irishman Miles O'Brien grinning his approval? Jesus! I felt like I was watching Tom Branson from Downton Abbey rail against the excesses of the British nobility.

What I think is interesting is that the writers both allow you and me to see Quark as the victim in all this, while at the same time insist we interpret capitalism as bad and unions as good. I guess that's their idea of balance. What did Armin Shimmerman's character Hebert say in "Far Beyond The Stars"? Wasn't it you freaking "pinko"?

Yeah.
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