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Vylora
Sun, Jul 19, 2015, 3:37am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

Reading comments in the Enterprise reviews specifically...I did not realize that so many Trek fans were apparently Puritans. And for being Puritans, you all sure do a great job of unnecessarily sexualizing everything you're watching. How dare they show people wearing clothes they're comfortable in when off-duty! People surely don't do that in real life!!

Yes there were a few juvenile "tee-hee" moments in this series but not nearly to the extent it's made out to be. Sometimes a cigar is, in fact, just a cigar. I guess I just tend to find enjoyment in things because I'm not in a constant state of sexualizing everything I see.
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Vylora
Mon, Mar 16, 2015, 6:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

While I agree some ideas in this episode were pretty good, I can't help shake the feeling of "been-there-done-that" upon viewing. A lot of dialogue worked despite a few obvious weak spots, the pacing was decent, and the villain was slightly intriguing (if not a bit over-the-top at the end). It's unfortunately hampered by one too many contrivances and a tired premise that should have either been utilized with stronger writing behind it or simply ignored all together. It also holds the unfortunate distinction of being a season finale. Episode placement isn't a criteria one way or the other, but it is always sad to end on a low note.

2 stars.
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Vylora
Mon, Mar 16, 2015, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

Bad writing, sub-par characterizations, and lapses in logic can really bring down any episode despite being seemingly unique. Intent does not equal quality. There's plenty of Voyager episodes that try something different and still succeed in the quality department. This is not one of them, though it does lead to the slightly better (which doesn't say much) "Course: Oblivion".

Half star.
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Vylora
Wed, Mar 11, 2015, 11:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Whether this episode is anti-religion or anti-superstition is six in one half dozen in the other, especially pertaining to the plot set forth here. In fact, a definition of superstition is "the irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion". It seems clear to me that these people had developed a religion, a "contract", that has been handed down over a millennia and had birthed (as it so often happens) superstitions based on said "contract".

That being said, this is one of the very few times I have whole-heartedly disagreed with Jammer on a review. I thought the episode was well-paced, had some humorous moments, and the Ventaxians (through their leader) came off more as unfortunately naive as opposed to "deserving of exploitation". There was some rather insightful (if not sometimes obvious) moments in dialogue throughout as well.

I don't think this is a great episode by any means. It does have a sense of whimsy to it that belies the story being told. But overall, I would recommend it.

3 stars.
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Vylora
Wed, Mar 11, 2015, 10:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

Ardra: "Who would you be?"
Picard: "I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise."
Ardra: "Keep up the good work." (walks away as Picard is about to respond)

Maybe I'm easily amused but that scene was subtle and hilarious.
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Vylora
Wed, Mar 11, 2015, 9:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

I've always been rather fond of this episode and I can't really further much of what has been said in Jammer's review and the ensuing comments. This is a good example of Star Trek delving further into intrigue and post-war issues that are/were building blocks for storyline revisits and arcs. And I think with a bit of minor structural rewrite this could have easily been a classic episode. As it stands, it is highly-recommended viewing to newcomers and those who may have watched latter ST series but missed out on TNG.

Thankfully, they got rid of the Cardassian "helmets" in future installments. I realize they're a different species with different reasons for dress code, etc...but they really seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.

Really good stuff all things considered.

3.5 stars.
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Vylora
Wed, Mar 11, 2015, 7:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

As per William's comment at the top in here, I too liked a lot of what they were trying to say with this episode concerning Wesley's arc. I just wish they had a better way of saying it. The plot here involving a shuttle pilot (who should probably not be allowed a shuttle...ever) and the rather random energy force that protects the water (why?) is what failed this episode. The secondary plot involving the garbage scow was pointless.

However, most of the scenes that focused on Wesley/Picard worked out pretty well and makes the episode a tolerable albeit frustrating viewing.

2 stars.
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Vylora
Tue, Dec 30, 2014, 2:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Hide and Q

I'm feeling a comic superhero message mixed up somewhere in this episode. That message still makes sense but it is lost in the myriad blender of equally good and bad exposition throughout. I generally enjoy the episodes of Star Trek concerning Q but this one just falls flat in one too many scenes to really recommend it.

I would like to point out something based on a couple of above comments concerning the little girl. She was already dead when they got there. Riker didn't "let her" die. Either way, the point is moot. Is Riker eventually supposed to go willy-nilly throughout the galaxy and beyond to bring back to life every single loved life-form back to life because he can?

This episode is, even with the good parts, too big for itself and tries too much while saying very little (or at least saying what's already been heard). I commend the writers with the attempt here; the execution is just not there.

1.5 stars.
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Vylora
Tue, Dec 30, 2014, 12:52am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Battle

I definitely appreciate this episode on the "origin-story" level of things concerning future ST (canon and non-canon) but I also find the revenge angle obtuse and underwhelming. Otherwise, it's one of the better episodes of the season and shows a lot of promise of what's to come.

As for wonderboy Wesley coming in to save the day...I really wouldn't mind it so much if it was written a little less obvious (and if it didn't happen every other ep of the 1st season). Or maybe if the crew accepted him as little more than a nuisance every time he flaps a little jaw. Hell even his own mother seemed annoyed with his existence in this particular episode. Seeing as they're the ones that practically gave him a field commission to be an Ensign, you would think they would at least entertain his ideas once in a while. On the other hand, it would also help if he wasn't so seemingly naive. I do really want to elbow-punch him in the eye-socket sometimes...but the writers didn't help much either.

Pretty decent episode overall, though, with just enough here to recommend. I would call this an episode that is good enough if you try to take from it what you can, if that makes sense. The only major downfall is the revenge element which weighs everything down with it's own contrivance. Otherwise, it's good backstory with passable filler.

2.5 stars.
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Vylora
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 11:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

I actually get what they're trying to say (or at least what it seems like they're trying to say) in this episode. The idea of a society with mixed extreme views on different aspects of life. I also get the justice versus exception angle.

Ultimately, having something to say only works when it's said well. And this episode sounds like gibberish in that the execution of everything is so laughably horrible that all intents and purposes mean absolutely nothing. It's pretty to look at and nothing more. Everything else about it falls flat on its face several times over.

I'd rather watch an empty ant-farm in slow motion.

Zero stars.
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Vylora
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 10:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Lonely Among Us

This isn't offensively bad such as "Code of Honor" was but it's still pretty bad. A few redeeming moments that are of note include the Data/Sherlock scenes and some of the crew's dialogue concerning the missing captain. The rest of it goes absolutely nowhere and says absolutely nothing while almost seemingly existing outside of it's own premise. As if this is a story about characters acting out a TNG episode with characters acting out same said story.

1 star.
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Vylora
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 10:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Where No One Has Gone Before

Despite some notable unrealized potential, this is the first good episode of TNG and would always recommend it as such. Very awe-inspiring and some rather great dialogue between the Traveler and Picard concerning the idea of thought, space, and time being different parts of the same whole. I think a lot of what was being said in this episode was a little ahead of its time but I could be wrong. I do know that the fact it held a fascination for me re-watching it as it pertains to current day ideas says something in compliment to the writers of this episode.

I agree there's elements here that could have been done better but it's mostly minutiae in the scheme of things. Wesley was more of a cloying geek in this episode than others and a bit too whiny. Konsiski was a little too much on the scenery-chewing side with his arrogance albeit not horribly so. I understand Picard's necessity to get everyone back home, but firing off a probe or two wouldn't have hurt. So on, so forth.

Nevertheless, this episode did achieve at least SOME of the potential that it set out for and that's a lot more than I can say for some of the other early episodes. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "must-see" but I will call it worthwhile.

3 stars.
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Vylora
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 8:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Last Outpost

Definitely a skip-able episode though it is not bad by any means. The Ferengi come across as worse than in the worst DS9 Ferengi episodes; which comes off as a bit ironic considering this is the source material of said species (yes I know they were spoken of in previous episodes, but this is the first encounter). The last few scenes on the planet, while very "Star Trek" in its search for the unknown, collapses under it's own weight of contrived dialogue and cringe-worthy Ferengi antics.

Most of everything else this showing has to offer is pretty good by early TNG standards and still rather decent today. The first 75% of it includes some nice execution, pacing, and okay dialogue. Nothing stood out as hit or miss either way. The scene with Data and the finger-torture device was a little too cloying, but cute. I would also imagine he would have the strength to break it, but maybe he didn't want to?

Also the send-off to the episode of Riker wanting to beam over a gift to the Ferengi ship was one of those awesome little moments that I had completely forgotten about until I watched this again. Loved it.

All in all, this was the very definition of middle of the road. Just enough there to warrant a peek but not quite much beyond that.

2 stars.
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Vylora
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 6:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Code of Honor

Oh this is bad. Horribly bad. I'm not going to sit here and think of a reason to forgive this episode for how bad it is. A rotten apple is a rotten apple and it doesn't matter if it's not "quite as rotten" as another rotten apple. It doesn't matter if a mouse can find a tiny bite on it that's yummy.

While the previous episode was campy at times, yet entertaining, this one is overtly-campy, offensive, and boring. Any comparisons to TOS on it's supposed homage to "campiness" is incorrect. TOS was campy as in it is a product of its time. And their were MANY episodes of that show that came no where even CLOSE to this schlock.

Yes there were a couple of surprisingly good scenes and the scenery chewing from Jesse Ferguson was pretty awesome. It still isn't worth scraping out of the bottom of the barrel. Plop the lid back on and bury this one please.

Zero stars.
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Vylora
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 6:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Naked Now

It's bad enough to have a "let's show the characters get drunk" episode before we get to know them, but to also have Data be affected by it was a huge mistake as well. He's an android, not a cyborg. And the explanation of how the intoxication works makes no sense whatsoever in Data's ability to get it.

That being said, their were some genuinely amusing moments in what is, at best, a pedestrian episode. Namely the classic Tasha/Data scene. The ones involving Beverly/Picard were great (more-so the ones that take place in sickbay). Also Picards numerous reactions as everything just seems to fall apart around him. And Wesley actually being utilized quite well rather than being a plot device.

Sure it's oft-campy to the point of being almost absurdly so, but as Jammer said, at least it's not boring. Nope. It sure isn't. And there's definitely worse episodes of Star Trek than this. I don't think I'd rate this as high as it's rated here, though. It's worth a peek but you won't miss out on anything if you skip it. But I did grin a little more than I cringed. That's got to count for something, right?

2 stars.
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Vylora
Mon, Dec 29, 2014, 4:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

As a fan of all things Star Trek, I would say the term "mixed-bag" sums this premiere episode up perfectly. It may not hold up well compared to today's standards but it does pretty well in setting in motion the series as a whole while standing alone as one of the best episodes of the first season (which just shows the low standard by which it's judged).

It is not nearly as dis-jointed an experience watching this as I remember it being but it does still seem a little...off...at times. Being as it is a product of it's time onscreen and behind the scenes (fresh faced cast, a premise set in a universe not heard about in decades other than TOS reruns and the occasional film, etc) it really isn't half bad overall. The banter between Q and Picard was especially a stand-out and the dialogue in said parts was pretty spot on. It was mainly these scenes that made everything else seem like a letdown. But not abhorrently so by any means.

The remaining characters in the show had some decent screentime and some decent early character backstory for a couple of them. Nothing there, though, stood out as "horrible" or "great". Although Troi came very close to being in the former column. All in all, it definitely seemed very on par with the sense of what it is. A bunch of (mostly) stage actors quickly thrown together to act out a Star Trek premiere.

One thing I have to give this episode proper respect for is its "larger than life" sensibility and the sense of adventure, curiosity, and the unknown. I really got that out of this episode more than anything and that's one of the greatest aspects of Star Trek.

Overall...not great...but not bad either. Not as good as the other Trek premieres but it is still worth watching, especially for newcomers to the series.

2.5 stars.
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Vylora
Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

This episode as a whole is a definite step up from the previous one, but not without some balancing issues. Notably the Janeway/Seven scenario. Janeway was very much correct in that the humane thing to do was to try and get the injured Undine back home. Seven was also very much correct that the lives of the crew were of paramount importance if the Hirogen were to attack.

Fortunately, the writers chose the lesser-expected route of having Seven countermand the captain in having the aliens involved beamed away mid-battle rather than opening the rift. Unfortunately, though, instead of making it a grey-area decision; the plot followed along in a black and white matter. Where Seven was 100% correct and made Janeway look 100% foolish to the viewer (even though, technically, she was just as right). Now I understand it was just a series of events, and that, decisions such as those can lead to any possibility based on any given situation in life. I just don't know if the end result was purposely intended this way by the writers or if they didn't fully think it through. At the end of the day, it really does make it look like Seven was absolutely right and Janeway was, not only absolutely wrong, but stubbornly naive. Even though she wasn't. *sigh*

This makes it all the more frustrating for me, because, in retrospect, it almost seems as a major demerit from an otherwise great episode. It does seem like the writers fucked up again. Or maybe they didn't. Maybe they really DID want Seven to win the argument and save the day. And maybe the captain WAS correct, just the circumstances didn't allow her to be.

3.5 stars.

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Vylora
Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 11:48am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

Thanks, Yanks. :D

(couldn't help myself)
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Vylora
Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 11:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

In what could have been a classic episode turns instead into a touching but inconsistent one with very nice character moments interspersed with a well done, albeit unnecessary action subplot.

This isn't a good start in learning of the Hirogen. The idea of them being a hunter species is interesting, if not fresh. But as it's displayed here, they come across as simply the big bad tough guys that will be around for some time.

The scenes involving the Voyager crew receiving the letters from home fared way better, despite the par for the course continuity issues. Some really great dialogue and performances sold it with heart and poignancy.

Neelix prodding Tuvok as he normally does is just Neelix being himself. He doesn't do it thinking he's going to make Tuvok suddenly change. He does it because it's probably his way of showing affinity for him. In the case of this episode, Neelix is utilizing his Morale officer position to encourage Tuvok to take two minutes from what he's doing to read what his family has to say. I think anyone in that position, even Janeway, would encourage that. But since it's Neelix, bring on the hate rhetoric.

I would be lying if I said this episode wasn't a disappointment. It was. However, it does mostly work on its own terms and, overall, is still pretty solid.

3 stars.
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Vylora
Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 8:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

Some memorable character moments are the sole bright spot in an otherwise trite and tired haze of mundane plot mechanics. I would be able to work with the high-concept idea of the aliens themselves if they weren't written as so severely one-dimensional and lacking in any form of motivation whatsoever. Since the character moments are so directly effected by the plot; they in turn unfortunately lose their luster. However, there is entertainment value to be had here and the direction ably moves things along.

Watchable enough overall but also lacking.

2 stars.
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Vylora
Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 2:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

Deep, probing, prescient, relevant, heartbreaking. Outstanding episode on every level highlighted even further because of Ethan Phillips. Highly recommended.

4 stars.
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Vylora
Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

I also very much like John Rhys-Davies and really enjoy what he brings to the da Vinci character. Unfortunately, this is not how I wanted to see him utilized. This is the first true clunker of this season (at least the utterly frustrating "The Raven" consisted of 50% awesome) as it serves absolutely no purpose other than seemingly being in love with itself and the aforementioned titular character. A few nice pieces of dialogue and reliable performances can't save this one.

Concerning flight? Ah...no thanks. I'll take the boat.

1 star.
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Vylora
Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 1:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

A few notable flaws, mainly the ones that Jammer mentioned; but overall a nice allegory of how restricting personal freedoms can (and usually does) have unintended negative consequences. A good Tuvok vehicle with some decent enough guest star performances.

As to Chris P.: Holding Torres until everything is ready for the ingramatic purge is fundamentally different than any actual short or long term incarceration. Probably partially explains why the Mari were adamant about getting it started as soon as it was ready. They didn't want to hold Torres any longer than what was necessary. Also, one of the huge aspects of a lot of humanity in Star Trek is that of exploration, learning from other cultures, and bettering themselves from it. Janeway's answer wasn't "forced" by the writers as some sort of apology for Voyager's continued exploration. I do agree at times that there's a lot of contrivances in many episodes, however, but I understand the insatiable curiosity. Hell, I'll bet that a lot of the crew would be rather upset if Voyager did nothing BUT travel straight home. (:

All in all, it's not without its downsides but it is intriguing enough. Some food for thought supplied by meaty dialogue interspersed with great character interplay among the cast makes this a recommended viewing.

3 stars.
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Vylora
Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

As a whole, this two-parter was a well-performed and intriguing story when it comes down to it. Throughout, all characters involved deal with crisis, conflict, and struggles and, ultimately, we see it arrive to a conclusion that is the sum of its parts. Said conclusion may be that Voyager "reset" back to day one, but choices were still made in whatever alternate timeline for this to happen. Call it a contrivance, but then I'm not a temporal phycisist. As far as high-concept time manipulation stories go, this was a very good addition.

One standout aspect of this showing is in the sympathetic character of Annorax (played admirably by the always reliable Kurtwood Smith). In building the timeship, he inadvertently wiped a colony out existence that, among the inhabitants, included his wife and children. Him and his crew then spend two centuries trying desperately to undo the damage by utilizing the same process on other cultures and so forth. He justifies these actions in the belief, since he's wiping them out of the timeline, that it's not genocide. How can it be genocide if a people never existed? And do the ends justify the means if the end goal is to restore everything back to how it was?

Definitely some probing ideas in what is basically a disaster-themed slash time paradox episode. Everything else that is put forth here on the Voyager side is handled really well. A very good job on displaying a sense of urgency and dread despite knowing full well how it will end. Technically and visually brilliant. Most actions and dialogue by the beaten, battered crew was nicely realized and arose pretty logically from what we know of them.

I submit that, despite seeing elements of this two-parter as lost potential in that said elements could have been part of the series as a whole in one form or another, this episode like any other can really only fairly be judged based on its own merits.

I suppose the ending itself could have been handled differently. It DOES feel like an absolute reset-button for the Voyager side. I liked quite a lot the closing shot of Annorax, back in his century, doing his calculations on a datapad shortly before being summoned by his wife. However, it was confusing. Does he somehow know by his calculations to not go through with the idea because of the events as shown in the episode? I'd like to think so. If anything, it means that all that transpired did, in fact, have consequences. Even if those consequences aren't currently known by Voyager's crew.

If there's any real demerit to these episodes; it's the confusing inconsistencies from last season's "Before and After" that, I think, should have had some sort of explanation. Otherwise, it just comes off as yet another issue with the continuity that is, at times, endemic to the series.

3.5 stars each.
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Vylora
Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 2:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

Entertaining, engaging, at times funny as hell. A high-concept episode of Voyager that actually works. The aliens were too stubborn for my taste but at least they had motive for what they do (as very clearly stated in the dialogue). Perhaps their stubbornness came from some sort of inherent belief that they are above it all, so to speak.

Craftily written dialogue and nice pacing round out this effort. I felt that the involvement of multiple cast members made it seem truer to an ensemble style episode rather than being aimlessly scattered. Certainly there was a bit of cliche ST to it but it was a fresh-enough perspective to make it all worthwhile.

Surprisingly good showing.

3 stars.
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