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Tim
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 4:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Rewatch and puzzled by the zero stars as don't remember much about the episode and don't remember it being anything I'd hate. Was almost going to skip it given the opinions here but on watching it, no way it's zero stars. 1.5 or 2.

Reason being. It's daft, full of holes maybe, but it's watchable and a bit of fun in places. Doesn't quite work but it's harmless.

There are a number of episodes that are more highly regarded but I struggle to watch, especially when they don't serve any function like flash back episodes (bloody vision quests) or fillers like 11:59 that have nothing to do with Star Trek (okay, both Voyager). 11:59 in fact I'd give a zero for a Star Trek episode.
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Tim
Fri, Oct 28, 2016, 3:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

0 for me. I always skip it now. It's daytime telly stuff and while it may be a reasonable story and production it has absolutely *zero* to do with Star Trek. This is like someone stuck the wrong tape in when broadcasting. Even accepting that it's filler material I don't find the story that interesting anyway.
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Tim
Fri, Oct 28, 2016, 3:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Was going to post exactly what Mikey posted. This is a stinker of an episode for being just plain stupid, but I find it more watchable than stuff like Tattoo. I'm doing a rerun now and I skipped Tattoo. Bloody vision quests do my head in (and I'm sure are an insult to Native Americans) and pan pipes every time, worse with flashbacks of no relevance and then the spirits are actually aliens, yeah right. I can't bring myself to watch that. Threshold I struggle with but I can watch it for a laugh. I get no laughs from Tattoo, just irritation.
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Timothy
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 2:17am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Rajiin

Wait, why is Archer concerned about sex slavery now? Just recently he condemned an entire gender of an alien race to sex slavery, even refusing asylum to a refugee who was so distraught by their captivity that they killed themselves.
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Tim
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 1:29am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

This was a terrible episode. I found this website searching for controversy surrounding this episode and found little other than user comments here.

There is no way that kid should have been given back.

Not sure how this played in whatever year it was originally released but after 3 seasons this is the first episode I really disliked.
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Red Tim
Wed, Sep 7, 2016, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

Reading these comments, I'm glad I'm not the only one left disturbed and angry by this episode. I think the worst part is how everyone acts as though the whole thing was Seven's fault, when she's either
a) A woman who's been assaulted and violated, and then blamed for her attacker's death because she had the temerity to accuse him; or
b) A woman who's been convinced by a trusted medical professional that she experienced a horribly traumatic event, and reacted accordingly.
Which she is depdends on whether Kovin is guilty or innocent (and the evidence is by no means conclusive either way), but in neither case is she at fault - she wasn't making up the allegations for fun, she really believed that Kovin had "violated" her. At least the Doctor partly acknowledges that if Kovin really was innocent, then he (the Doc) is the one mainly to blame for Kovin's death (although, to be honest, the person mainly to blame is the one who opened fire on a much bigger starship and overloaded his own weapons in the process).

The other thing that really bugs me is the investigation. In previous Trek incarnations, it's been established that by scanning someone's "memory engrams" it's sometimes possible to detect whether memories have been implanted or suppressed using some kind of psychic powers or alien tech. No-one ever even mentions engrams as far as I can recall. No-one tries to find the woman that Seven remembers assisting Kovin, no-one tries to find the alleged new-born Borg drone (which would be a serious security threat, right?), no-one even mentions the possibility of memory-altering technologies being used, even though if what Seven 'remembers' really happened, Kovin must have suppressed the memory somehow. For that matter, maybe someone else stole the nanoprobes and altered Seven's memory to make her *think* it was Kovin (I never did trust that Magistrate...). The possibility is never mentioned. it's almost like the writers had decided that Kovin was innocent, so they didn't bother writing a proper investigation.

Oh, and what's the final scene of the episode - Seven coming to terms with her traumatic experience? Seven reflecting on her vulnerability and (misplaced) remorse? No - the Doctor, making it all about him. Almost as though the writers were just using the Seven's analogous-to-rape experience as a convenient plot point to tell a story about so-called 'recovered memories'. Almost as though a woman being effectively raped (or believing that she had been effectively raped) wasn't really that important to them.

Well, never mind. I'm sure this episode hasn't added to the widespread, incorrect and highly damaging perception that false rape accusations are a common occurrence. Nah. Probably nothing to worry about.
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Timeship
Mon, Aug 29, 2016, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I just finished watching "Voyager" on Netflix this past weekend. I remembered why I was so irritated with this show at that time.
They use time travel as a fast way to get a plot point across without using any logic. (Not to sound Vulcan) Paradox after paradox, returns to the point, that once you create a new timeline, it will loop to the point of it's beginning. And start again. And repeat.
Janeway's solution was to go back in time, and give high tech equipment to her prior self, and bring them home earlier. Coming home earlier, erases everything, including the need to be brought back. So, by not doing this, they are not brought back and they stay, until, They once again are brought back, which eliminates their need...
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Red Tim
Thu, Aug 18, 2016, 5:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

Normally, the technobabble on Star Trek doesn't annoy me, but whoever was the science consultant in this episode needs locking up (in that hideous day-glo club Tropicana holoprogramme Neelix seems to like so much). If you want to destroy a virus, you use an antiviral. Not an antigen - that's only any use if there's an immune system around to detect it. It's pretty obvious really - "anti" "viral" - clue's in the name. And what the actual flip was the life cycle of those things? Virus infects host, host spawns little flies, flies grow into massive CGI things, CGI things infect more hosts... where did the original virus come from? The normal virus, not the massive ones - I think those miners would have noticed if they'd been attacked by massive flying things like pyramid teabags with tentacles.

And let's not even get into the whole issue of conservation of mass, or the ridiculous idea of a virus absorbing a hormone. Or how rubbish Voyager's quarantine protocols are - they can detect alien viruses during transport buy they don't automatically kill them?! Or how a virus moves from the transporter buffer to A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PART OF THE SHIP (I thought stuff in the buffer was dematerialised, but apparently not). Or how, apparently, a bio-containment field doesn't actually, you know, contain biological organisms.

So, yeah - very silly episode. Captain Janeway is not Ellen Ripley. An "antigen" does not create a massive green fireball. A phaser rifle has no recoil, so doesn't need bracing against the shoulder. And none of those things would matter if the script kept up the tension, but it doesn't, so you end up noticing all the stupid little things that are wrong. And that's where this episode fails.
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Tim
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 8:15am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

The reboots have churned out three movies so far, the first of which I would rate as "acceptable", the second as "trash" and the third as "enjoyable". None of them qualify as classics of either sci-fi, space opera, or Star Trek, as the original movies managed in five out of six attempts.

But that said, the fact of the reboot's existence does not negate the many hundreds of hours of material that came prior. Why would you feel uncomfortable calling yourself a Trekkie? In a universe with six different TV shows (soon to be seven!) and now thirteen movies, there are many different interpretations of the term and all of them are going to mean different things to different people. Who gives a damn what others think?

You can totally still profess your love for Star Trek in the reboot era. The only people it's actually going to matter to are other fans of Star Trek and science fiction. And whether they are hardcore Voyagers, Niners, Booters or TOS-OR-NOTHING! types, that profession is going to lead you to a great nerdy discussion of what made your particular flavour your favourite.

I guess what I'm saying is, there are certain criticisms of the reboots that I feel are valid and relevant (for instance, Into Darkness is a failure because the story claims a seriousness it doesn't earn). But criticising them for simply being what they are - effects-driven action-adventure space movies - is not. Within that genre there is ample scope for a successfully entertaining film with a Trekkian spin, and I think Beyond finally nailed it.
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Tim
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:34am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I'm with you on most of this, Jammer, right up until the end. Why? One word: stakes.

Into Darkness immediately handicapped itself before it even left the gate, when it decided to go down the path of aping The Wrath Of Khan. There's a lot of reasons that TWOK is still considered to be the best Trek movie, but chief among them is that the story has genuine stakes and genuine consequences. It took a lot of balls to kill off Spock and leave him dead when the credits rolled, but the story was so, so much better off for it. It drew on three seasons' worth of familiarity with the characters and the actors and employed it to devestating effect.

How the fuck did the writers think that they were going to get the same audience reaction with characters and actors who we've only met once before, in a story that didn't even really develop their friendship??!! The mind boggles. Then, compounding their error, they hit the infamous Reset Button and just undid it all with Magic Khan Blood.

Awful.

Sure, The Search For Spock also hit a reset button of sorts. But that story, too, had genuine consequences. Kirk had to self-destruct a long military career, blow up his own ship, and lost his son just to even get a *shot* at saving Spock.

Into Darkness does have quite a few things in its favour. But to me, it's a textbook example of how a shitty ending can undermine an otherwise strong story. They could have gotten away with their riffing on TWOK if they'd done it in a way that fit with the reboot theme of just being Dumb Fun Action Movies. Instead, they wind up trying to instill it with a gravitas that it hasn't earned and tarnish the entire effort as a result.
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Tim
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:16am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

:D Somewhat serendipitously, I just typed out a comment about this movie on Ars Technica's Facebook post of their negative review. CTRL-V in 3, 2, 1...

Yes, this is a dumb action movie, with none of the gravitas that a cast with a multi-decade history can bring to the party. But that is what the reboots have been going for since they started out. At this point - the third movie - if you haven't accepted that bedrock fact, you just come across as a bitter old complainer.

So, then, the standard to judge these by is: Do they successfully bring a recognizably Star Trek flavour to the Dumb Action Movie, and does it taste any good?

The answer in this case is a resounding yes. Beyond beats the pants out of both Into Darkness and the first reboot. It is *fun*, with an effortless breeziness that we haven't had since the heyday of the original movies. It correctly puts its focus on the interactions between the characters, who are all impeccably cast. It gives us novel action scenes that have yet to be seen in a Star Trek movie. And underlying it all is a very Trekkian message that unity is strength and peace is worth fighting for, albeit not as well-highlighted by the script as it could be.

In thirty years time, I'll still be watching the original movies, and I'd be happy to add this entry to the list, lightweight as it is. It is the reboot finally standing on its own two feet and making good use of the materials it has. Not perfect, and not even great. But it is unquestionably *good*.
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TimeTravelFTW
Fri, Apr 29, 2016, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

I'm a longtime TNG fan and I recently made my way through DS9 and VOY which I never watched regularly while they were on. I then decided...what the heck...may as well finish the job with Enterprise which I never watched at all. I agree with everyone that Season 4 is leaps and bounds better than what came before.
However I came on here to point out a plot hole in this episode that I haven't seen anyone mention. How exactly did Reed 'help' the Section 31 mission? The Section 31 bloke said at the end that it wouldn't have succeeded without him ....but why? At most he delayed them a few hours with his sabotage of evidence but Archer would still have likely allowed Phlox to finish his work.
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Tim
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 8:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Legacy

I can't help but like this one; good action scenes, Tasha Yar backstory and references, and good character growth for Data. Why is it reviewed so harshly here? The biggest gripe I can come up with is the clich├ęd scene that cues the audience in on the pending betrayal. I think it would have been better to surprise the audience with it.

Incidentally, in regards to the comment about Picard chewing out Riker; of course he did. Riker did have an emotional reaction and take unnecessary risks. That doesn't mean Picard doesn't care about the "native." It means he cares about his first officer and recognizes that their mission wouldn't be made easier by his death or (worse) capture by The Alliance.

3 stars from me.
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Tim
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

"take RLM with a grain of salt. He's pretty biased against the TNG movies as a whole, because he saw the TNG films as a misplaced studio attempt to merely turn a smart franchise into dumb action movies."

Sadly, I don't disagree with this conclusion. In Generations they destroy the Enterprise (a character in of herself) for the sake of a crash landing sequence. In the next three films we get to watch the enlightened Earl Grey drinking Shakespeare quoting Jean-Luc Picard channel his inner John McClane. Yawn.

RLM speaks for a lot of us; I personally find the "character" annoying (too much toilet humor) but the underlying insights are hard to disagree with.
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Tim
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 12:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

Eddie: Listen to the dialog, Sisko forgot to "get his injection." Clever, but stupid at the same time.

I really can't stand the direction the Dominion War went, for a variety of reasons, lazy writing being the one on display here. The notion that Admiral Ross and Captain Sisko are making policy for the Federation ("We vote to attack.") without even a phone call to Starfleet Command and/or the Federation Council?

Lazy, lazy, lazy writing. Evident all throughout the war arc. I loved many of the episodes ("In The Pale Moonlight" is my favorite episode of Trek, even as a TNG fan...) the war brought us, and even some of the scenes here (on Cardassia) but on balance I think the war was a net minus for the Trek universe.

Mind you, not as stupid as the religious nonsense that sucked up so much of DS9's airtime towards the end...
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Tim
Sun, Dec 27, 2015, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

This episode marks the final tipping point, where TNG abandons its roots and becomes Voyager with better casting. Reset button (Data's betrayal is consequence free), pointless cliffhanger, "Gotcha" twist writing, neutered Borg, etc, etc.

There were a handful of stand out episodes (Pegasus, Preemptive Strike, All Good Things...) after this, but TNG never regained the glory of Seasons 3 & 4.

That said, I'd give it two stars, simply for the two watchable scenes: Picard being chewed out and the holodeck teaser.


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Tim
Tue, Dec 22, 2015, 2:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Continued from my last post, I feel that Jammer underrated this episode. This is a solid Data episode, almost on par with "The Most Toys," and condemning the ending as "too tidy" rather misses the point, for Data's blunt honesty was completely in character. He's incapable of comprehending emotions and fails to see just how injured the Doctor really is, as evidenced by the evolution of their relationship. That relationship was grossly inappropriate and downright creepy at times, but easy to envision when viewed in the context of an emotionless android paired with a grieving Mother.

Ellen Geer nailed the character of grieving Mother; her evolution when viewed in that context is spot on. One might ask where Troi was when all of this was going on, or how a civilian can lock Command Officers out of the Enterprise's computer, but these are minor nitpicks.

This is not a "Top 10" episode for me ("The Most Toys" was) but it's not a 2.5 star one either. 3.0 seems about right.
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Tim
Tue, Dec 22, 2015, 2:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Directed at the people asking how else you could "feed" the CE, remember that Picard said, "If we can determine what its needs are, we might find other sources to supply it."

It's not a reach to imagine being able to "feed" the CE with the technology of the Federation, assuming they could figure out its needs, which was what Picard hoped to achieve. After all, we're talking about a universe where matter/anti-matter reactions are harnessed as effortlessly as we burn gasoline; coming up with enough energy to "feed" something that survives by consuming organic material -- even by the planetload -- is certainly plausible.

With that said, you can't morally justify killing it without at least exploring the options. Certainly not in the moment as portrayed, when it posed no immediate threat to anyone; the "opportunity" and jeopardy" portions of "ability, opportunity, and jeopardy" were absent.

The only possible justification would have been what Riker hinted at, i.e., we might lose our only chance if we try to communicate. Can the CE outrun the Enterprise and consume another planet before our heroes caught up to it? Riker seemed concerned, so perhaps it was possible, but in that moment where they had the CE engaged light years away from any would-be victims?

No, I don't think the Doctor's actions are morally justifiable here. I'm not the peacenik type -- I hate "I, Borg" because I feel they should have exterminated the Borg when they had the chance -- but in this instance I think we were morally obligated to attempt communication before resorting to deadly force.
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Tim
Sat, Dec 12, 2015, 6:23am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

I liked this much more than the two prior episodes, but 4 stars? On par with Yesterday's Enterprise, BOBW, Sins of The Father? No way. It's great fun and trekkian, but not quite on that level.

And I agree with whoever -- I was taken aback when I looked Schultz up the other day and found out he's part of the right-wing wacko conspiracy theorist echo chamber, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate and enjoy his work.
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Tim J
Sat, Sep 26, 2015, 1:04am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

If the entirety of "Star Trek: Enterprise" had instead taken place in the alternate universe displayed within these two episodes, the series would have been way, way, way better off. These were the most fun two episodes of what has otherwise been a dull, unoriginal, and uninspired sprawl of four plodding seasons. I was supremely disappointed when the episode after Part II was not a continuation.
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Tim J
Sat, Sep 12, 2015, 2:53am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Cold Station 12

While the torture scene was riveting like Jammer said, I found the rest of the plot for this episode to be utterly contrived and stupid. You're telling me Soong and his kiddos perfectly place themselves into a hole from which there is little escape and the best that Archer can come up with is to throw himself and a few of his crew members into the mix against 7-8 augmentees? Wtf chance does he think he has? He's GIVING them more prisoners.

And why tell Soong about the self-destruct? So he can catch it? Who does that?? If you have a self-destruct win-button, why not just buzz by the station, press Enter, and win. Blow everything to bits, with Soong none the wiser. Problem solved. We can move on to something more interesting. Sure a few scientists will die, but a potentially MASSIVE problem is nipped in the bud.

For me this episode was just annoying and full of stupid decisions and plot devices. But I guess by this point I should just expect stupid decisions from Johnathan Archer and trite plot devices from the writers.
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Tim J
Thu, Aug 6, 2015, 1:00am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

0/5 stars. This episode was AWFUL. As others have said, it made Archer into a pedantic, irrational crybaby of a captain who is completely out of line. I get that people love their pets, but COME ON. You're a starship captain for the love of god - captain of the first exploratory mission for humankind, no less! I think you can sacrifice your dog getting some friggin "fresh air" for the sake of interspecies relations, especially when you have dealt with said species in the past and already know how easily offended they are.

Utterly ridiculous episode. I was actually *somewhat* fine with the notion of sexual tension, because hell, it certainly happens in constant proximity like that, but the rest of this epsiode was just pure rubbish. A little sexual frustration doesn't turn you into a raving, self-centered lunatic who is completely out of control with his feelings and actions.

And then the embarrasing attempts at humor that wasted out the rest of the episode...just awful.
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Tim
Sun, Jun 21, 2015, 10:41am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

So I've been following Jammer's reviews and reading the commentary as I make my way through this recent round of rewatching the Star Trek franchise (pardon the alliteration). And I have to comment on what I've been reading here.

First of all, the franchise is no stranger to controversy. TOS emerged as a groundbreaking series, not just in its portrayal of The Kiss, but in repeated social themes in its episode plots (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield comes to mind). This is certainly a product of its generation. The show's producers were always able to portray one social issue after another under the guise of Science Fiction. Because it happens to an alien race it can be written off by the general public (censors?) as fantastical rather than culturally relevant but still get its meaning across.

TNG obviously toned this down quite a bit. When they did address it, they always seemed to back down from the issue. DS9 has attempted to do the same from time to time and have come closer to making the point, no more so than in this episode. VOY tried much harder to focus on the issues at the time, such as capital punishment (Meld, Repentance). Of course, not being as strong as its predecessors, it did so badly.

The franchise always seems to hit the gray area in controversial issues, and IMO this was designed to make us think and make us talk. Forcing the interracial kiss avoided the taboo that would have been placed on it at the time. Making Ryker fall in love with a gender neutral suffering a mental illness that allowed it to identify itself as female accomplished the same result (pardon the pronoun usage). Voyager's assault on the death penalty was so convoluted that it left us all scratching our heads.

Is it about homosexuality? Of course it is! It seems that they have chosen Trill society as an analogue for alternative lifestyles and the social acceptance or taboos that come along with it. The Trill are, after all, by their very nature a transgendered race.

TNG backed down from this controversy, preferring to focus on the unrequited or love lost aspect of the episode. Beverly, being straight, couldn't stomach the shift in character of her Trill lover. DS9, on the other hand, doubled down in this episode. By making homosexuality in an of itself not an issue in the enlightened future as well as attacking the controversy head on in the nature of the Trill taboo they created an intriguing episode that stirred the pot for the public at large.

Plato's Stepchildren aired in the still racially charged 60's. Watching the episode in my youth in the 70's, I don't recall even noticing the controversial nature of the scene, but you can write that off to either innocence or upbringing. Rejoined aired in 1995, and this comment feed seems to have originated in 2008. I have to say I'm amazed at the nature of the comments. There is a great deal of acceptance for the homosexual aspects while at the same time saying that the love story would, in fact, be no different if it had been a man and a woman. And there appears to be so much less input from those who disagree with the idea entirely than I would have expected.

I honestly believe that this would have been a very different read had it begun twenty years ago. What was once a hot topic even in the Star Trek community seems to have taken on a more (I hate using this word) progressive tone. If we were to air Plato's Stepchildren now, I expect nobody would notice. Except perhaps for the demeaning attitude towards little people? But we'll let Game of Thrones take care of that.
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Tim
Fri, May 22, 2015, 4:10am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

Did anyone notice how Picard addressed Troi as "Commander" and then later Riker addressed her as "Lieutentant"? She got a Commander rank in Season 7, but before that I never heard any mention of her having an official rank (other than in this episode).
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Timothy
Thu, Apr 9, 2015, 11:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

I love these two episodes, but Sisko's blatant and consequence free violation of orders strains credibility, even by Trek standards. More to the point, it was wholly unnecessary for the plot, given the Dominion's "No changeling has ever harmed another" ethos.

Personally, I would have skipped the rescue subplot and ended the story with Garek and Odo escaping on the runabout. I'm not certain why it exists, except to consume screen time and provide a nifty Defiant pyrotechnics display.
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