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Noni
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 7:06pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

I like this episode a lot, but then again, I'm one of the, judging by the comments, maybe SEVEN people on Earth who love Lwaxana Troi. She is indeed something like a crazy aunt, and she reminds me a great deal of my mom's best friend, who calls herself my aunt and is indeed crazy, and I love her to death.

Plus Majel is just great in the role, she's such a natural.

Yes, the kid playing Alexander sucks. Yes, it's a little weird that Lwaxana brought the kid to a somewhat... inappropriate holodeck simulation. But I think her relationship with Alexander is really cute, and the advice she gives him is genuinely good.

My only complaint is, in the final mud bath scene, I wish they'd cut to Worf and revealed that he was loving it, instead of complaining about "just sitting still." I could TOTALLY see Worf go for taking a mud bath: "Now THIS is relaxation befitting a Klingon!"
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Noni
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 6:58pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Imaginary Friend

I dunno how you could give this stinker half a star more than "Cost of Living." This episode makes that one look like four-star material by comparison.

This isn't a zero star episode exactly - it's not insulting enough to be THAT bad - but it's a serious .5/4, max.
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John Prepuce
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 5:41pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S2: The Gamesters of Triskelion

Why couldn't Kirk just injure Shanna and have another fighter step in so he could kill him instead? I know the episode broke the rule at the end and allowed Shanna to live anyway, but still.

Should Starfleet leave such a potentially dangerous lifeform (the brains) alone, considering they can kidnap anyone from several lightyears away? I would think that's something they should address.

Why didn't Uhura and Chekov get those snazzy harnesses? They were Thralls too.
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Top Hat
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 4:30pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Violations

I'm not sure if I follow the logic that just because a topic has been covered once, it never needs to be covered again, by anyone. But a simple response would be that TNG is likely to reach a viewership who are unlikely to see an issue drama like The Accused (even an Oscar-winning one). Is science fiction device of "telepathic rape" a "dilution" of the topic, or is it a way to talk about it while avoiding some of controversies the that films like The Accused face (it was itself accused of sensationalism)?
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Khyron
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 3:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

This episode is way worse than Threshold. Lizard babies are mostly harmless.

Victim blaming is not. Very messy and uncomfortable to watch. Zero stars.
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MRM
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 1:31pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: Where Pleasant Fountains Lie

The queen was played by June Diane Rafael, who is married to Paul Scheer, the voice of Billups.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 1:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Resurrection

Not much to say about this one. It has a good gimmick to make the viewer tune in (maybe I should say a "just ok" gimmick), but then they sit there and barely do anything with it. I can understand them having Bareil not tell Kira his vision (due to Kira telling him it's inappropriate to share them), but not showing it to us was the turning point in the episode where it seemed like the writers had lost any semblance of cohesion in the narrative.

This episode doesn't know what it's doing, and it meanders through 45 minutes of a plot that just sort of says "eh, whatever." Snore.
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David Staum
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 12:32pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

Good episode, albeit with some flaws that others have pointed out.

But I have to say that Keiko and Miles have zero romantic chemistry. Watching them kiss in the runabout was so awkward it made me cringe.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 11:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

@ Trish,

I can see that feminist critique, but even by the 1950's America had entered an age of become self-aware of it's own inherited tendencies, and was able to poke fun at them while recognizing that things were changing whether people liked it or not. I know that feminism still had some ways to go in the 60's, but you can take a show like The Honeymooners from the 50's as a good example of the realization that many men still wanted to act out the "I'm king of the castle" role while knowing on another level that the wife in the family was in fact not subservient to him. "Right in the kisser" and "You're going to the moon" were both jokes on the faux-nostalgia of when the husband was utterly dominant in every way. By the early 70's you have All in the Family continuing the portrayal of the dominant domestic man as being a spent force, utterly defeated by the new age of both female and youth empowerment. The man in this case who still acts like a savage ends up looking more like a fool than like a threat.

Now this is TV, and surely in real domestic life things were often still an unfortunate throwback to earlier times. But insofar as the public-facing social causes are often portrayed through popular media, I don't think by 1966 there was still a public perception that was accepted that the typical man-woman relationship is that the man is utterly dominant and the woman is his footstool. Sure, there were cultural tropes of playing at the man being dominant, but that's different from being actually dominant. To this day there are quasi-theatrical playings out of the man being the king of the house, but it's just playacting, not an actual adversarial situation (not most of the time, anyhow).

So I guess I disagree that people would have seen the Khan/McGivers relationship as essentially similar to typical American relationships of the mid-60's. I think the Khan image (the mighty conqueror) was a significant throwback even at that time, completely inverting the emerging mentality of the progressive movements in the 60's. Sure, you could no doubt find regressive communities and relationships out there (especially in rural areas, which are typically decades behind metropolitan cities), but I think the idea of a woman idealizing a dictator would have been nearly as alien to a 1966 American woman as it is to people today.

I know you were citing a possible objection, rather perhaps than making one yourself, but personally I don't see it. The thrall of serving a great man like a Julius Caesar seems to me to me a cultural divide of centuries, not decades.
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Trish
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 11:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

@Peter G.
@Tony

The feminist critique would be that at the time it was written, the relationship between Khan and McGivers would not have come across as an example of any minority community founded in a specific sexual preference, but as a fairly "mainstream" male/female dynamic. Basically, it was seen as typical, even normative, for any woman to be the "submissive" in a relationship with a man. I think viewers are supposed to see Khan's dominance, even to the point of physical violence, and Marla's submission to it (asking to stay in his cabin after he has literally thrown her across a room, and wanting to go with him into exile after she rescued her captain from being tortured to death by him) as romantic, like Rhett Butler carrying Scarlett up the staircase and awaking the next morning with a smile on her face.

It is this presumption of a sadomasochistic element in typical relationships that makes this episode incredibly distasteful to me. (And let's face it, a 1960s TV show would not have portrayed it as some kind of love story with the shoe on the other foot, that is, with a man as the submissive under a physically dominant woman.)
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 10:59am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

"From that perspective, the transporter chief is a serial killer living in a society that has decided to have no problem with his crimes, as long as there keep being copies to pick up where his "victims" left off. That would make it very reasonable for Barclay to have been avoiding him."

Yeah, no kidding. Not sure if you're a PC gamer but there's a terrific game called Torment: Tides of Numenara which is a successor to what is generally considered to be the best RPG story, Planescape: Torment. Both games delve heavily into the topic of mortality and what makes you 'you', but Numenara in particular addresses in detail the question of the relationship between "you" (whatever that is), the body you inhabit vs a copy of that body, or a new body but with modifications; or your self being converted to data; or about whether there can be multiple 'you's' at once. Anyhow, I really like the game. It allows you to choose how to interpret the answers to these questions, and the story finale follows along the interpretation of your choice.

Ironically, Realm of Fear inadvertently undermines our previous understanding of the transporter system. It seems to me it was originally supposed to be a conversion of your body and mind into energy (i.e. destruction) and then reconstituting that body and mind elsewhere. But Realm of Fear portrays people in the 'matter stream' totally conscious and intact, as if their body as a whole is transported somewhere through a wormhole or something. Now of course this is total nonsense, and Braga is the last person to care about whether any of his stories conform to reality, but it actually undermines his script to suppose that the very thing that *should* terrify you about the transporter (your own death) is actually made untrue in this episode's logic. Poor Barclay.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 10:46am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

@ Trish and Tony,

To be fair, BDSM is a physical acting out of what is otherwise a present factor in all human relationships - the power dynamic and animal dominance element. So in terms of how people inhabit or even prefer particular power dynamics, BDSM would be a subset of the ways in which to live that reality. While it may be interesting to imagine that a person who admires or even craves a strong person to dominate them might also prefer a sub role sexually, this does not necessarily follow. Not that it's wrong, but just that I'm not sure the one implies the other. As far as I understand it a person could be quite dominant in everyday life but nevertheless have sub fantasies for the bedroom (and vice versa).

For my part I think what the writers were after (or at least thought they were after) is that in a completely egalitarian society there is the risk of stigmatization in actually admiring or even being attracted to someone like a Julius Caesar. Within the confines of that society, there definitely still are totally badass dominant personalities, like Kirk himself for instance, but the form that dominance takes is extremely civilized and polite compared to the trope of the caveman walking with woman slung over his shoulder and taking her back to his cave. So to the extent that someone might be craving a dominant leadership figure in the 23rd century, they definitely have those already. But what they don't have is the version (i.e. what a Kirk might have been like 700 years prior) where there is no lip service to politeness and holding back the darker side. So I see the appeal for McGivers as being not so much finding someone who's dominant, but rather finding someone who is savage and merciless, yet highly intelligent (I think she needed the latter above all). And I'm not quite sure that this particular craving maps so well onto the BDSM community, since in theory that community is actually supposed to be governed by careful control elements and a feeling of safety and mutual giving. In theory, at least. But Khan offers none of those things, especially not safety. I suppose perhaps one could make a case that someone with BDSM predilections but, as Tony points out, didn't know how to live them in a healthy way, might *think* that Khan was a prize, whereas in fact he's a monster. But I believe Space Seed makes a case that he actually is a prize for her, not just seems like one because she's ignorant at first.
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Trish
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 10:42am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

@Peter G.

In fact, the philosophical issue of identity underlying the Star Trek transporter was the basis of one of the essay questions on the admission application for the University of Chicago when I was applying there decades ago. They didn't say the words "Star Trek" or "transporter," but described a device that takes a person apart and assembles a perfect copy of them somewhere else. Part A was if the device completely destroyed the original at the sending end so that only the version at the receiving end still existed, while Part B was if the next generation (so to speak) of the device could leave the original intact while still making the copy somewhere else. For both parts, the question to be answered was, which version of the person is really "you"?

My stance was that both are you, but that they are separate people, who share a past but separate futures. (In Part A, that future is death, or whatever may come after it.) In other words, that they have different "souls."

I ended up deciding to go to Notre Dame instead, but the University of Chicago apparently liked my answer; they did accept me!

From that perspective, the transporter chief is a serial killer living in a society that has decided to have no problem with his crimes, as long as there keep being copies to pick up where his "victims" left off. That would make it very reasonable for Barclay to have been avoiding him.
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Trish
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 10:26am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

@Tony

While the BDSM angle is an interesting and actually rather logical take on this episode, I think it overestimates how accepted the idea of sadomasochism was at the time of the writer or indeed remains today. There is no BDSM in LGTBQ, and the refrain for tolerance and inclusion which begins with "between consenting adults" for many (perhaps most?) people still ends with "as long as nobody gets hurt." I suppose the BDSM crowd is as mystified by the second half of that refrain as the NAMBLA crowd is by the first.

I really don't think the writers THOUGHT they were portraying a BDSM relationship, even though, as you point out, they were.
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Trish
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 10:09am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

@Teelix,

I think you should consider the entire site to have one big SPOILER ALERT. Its primary audience (only Jammer can tell you if that's its original target audience, but it has become the main audience over the years) is people who have watched a lot of Trek, having seen many of these episodes multiple times, who want to talk about details that may have taken us several viewings to notice, and to make connections (sometimes contrasts) between different episodes and series that in some cases appeared years apart.

That kind of discussion is hard to have if everybody has to walk on eggshells for the sake of people who haven't yet experienced any of the plot twists or surprise endings. I think it's fair for us to want a space where we can do that.
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11001001
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 9:19am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Horizon

This episode worked better for me than I thought it would. I found the basic premise of it to be solid, and I really appreciated the civilian "Boomer" perspective from a world-building standpoint. Honestly Montgomery showed that if he were given actual things do with his character, he could handle them *passably*.

However, there is a key problem with this episode's attempt to flesh out Mayweather's character, and give him actual things to do. Namely, its fundamental inconsistency with everything that has gone before, esp. with regard to Travis's competencies and capacities. In the past, Mayweather has been little more than a helmsman, with other skills only having been hinted at. Suddenly, in "Horizon", because it serves the plot, we see him as someone who has been a keen pupil and observer, learning from Reed and Tucker to the extent that he is able to implement their solutions and skillsets, even in a jury-rigged fashion, using the substandard hardware of a "J-class" freighter.

Don't get me wrong: I think this confidence and competence is welcome, and arguably realistic. Mayweather is a *bridge officer.* Even only a year out of spacedock, his training and experience should include a fair amount of knowledge of the inner workings of a starship, to the point that re-routing power to a few relays should be manageable for him.

So why do I bring it up as an inconsistency? Because it helps me to echo and reinforce Jammer's big criticism that neither the writers nor the actor have any idea what to build on top of the blank slate of this character. The inconsistency extends not only to his skillset, but also to his *personality*, highlighting a major logical flow in this episode. In the past, Travis has always come across as inexperienced, but here he is suddenly confident enough in his own abilities and his modifications that he decides to fight off the raiders himself. He does a handy job of it too, using his piloting skills to out maneuver the raiders, and then his juiced up weaponry to disable them.

But when you apply any amount of critical thinking, you realize that this approach to the problem is ridiculous, irresponsible, and totally inconsistent with what Travis (as portrayed so far) would do. The first thing they should have done was to send out a distress call to Enterprise. A Warp 5 ship could have arrived in minutes, and "Lt. Reed" could have disarmed that explosive beacon himself. Defending Earth civilians is presumably one of Starfleet's primary mandates, even in the 22nd century. Surveying gas giants can wait. So with Earth's most advanced starship within communication range, it's ridiculous that they did not simply call for help. If I were Travis, and it were *my* family and childhood friends on the line, I would not rely upon what I had learned from higher-ranking experts. I would just bring in the higher-ranking experts to save the day. Travis has never come across as overly cocky, self-assured, or having unearned confidence. He's come across as grounded (and bland). So it makes no absolutely no sense that he wouldn't bring in the cavalry. It's a major plot flaw that Horizon is depicted as being on it's own by default here, and the proximity to Enterprise is never even brought up.

This leads me nicely to the final absurdity of the episode -- the lack of any sort of debriefing and report. For whatever reason, Travis DOES take this on himself, and he succeeds! A single officer manages to defend an entire ship full of civilians. Again, that's a major reason why Starfleet is out there, so he should be getting a commendation for this! Instead, he chooses not to report it! He pretends to Archer that his family visit had been entirely routine, and that all was well. Leaving aside the fact that he's giving up the chance to get credit for a job well done, this decision is also short-sighted on his part, and arguably negligent. What if the raiders aren't discouraged, and they do continue to prey on Earth ships? He's putting his family at risk. If Earth is going to begin to set up systematic defence of its shipping lanes, then Starfleet needs intel on this raider ship, on its tech and its MO. Admiral Forrest needs to know in what sectors raiding activity is taking place. *Ensign* Mayweather should thus be obligated to give a full report on the encounter, and Enterprise should have requested a download of all the specs on the raider ship that were obtained from Horizon's scans.

Once again, the writers' decisions on this series fly in the face of any sort of logic and realism.
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Tidd
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 9:17am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

I'm not sure I ever saw this episode before? I kind of enjoyed it on a superficial level; well worn Star Trek themes of utopian society, genetic engineering, and the Prime Directive.

The most interesting part was the discussion of whether the PD applies to human societies. Picard seemed to think it did, but I'm not sure I agree: this colony was aware of the Federation, was not surprised by a visit from a starship, but did have great curiosity about scientific advances like transporters. Was their culture affected by this? Only in the sense that it provided a catalyst to an already underlying dissatisfaction in certain quarters; Hannah especially did not suddenly convert to 24thC tech - she must have already been ready to go places her own culture didn't provide for.

Is this why there's 213 comments? I'll set it out now - I don't intend to read any but the last few!

Anyway, I'd give it 2.5 stars.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 9:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

Whoa, I just realized (probably for the first time since this first aired) that this is the last episode of TNG to air prior to the premiere showing of DS9's Emissary. I knew that The Wounded and Ensign Ro were setup eps for DS9, and that Chain of Command was adding to that, but it has completely escaped my attention over the years that this dark episode was the direct launching point for DS9. And who dares to say that DS9 was a dark series! TNG got the ball rolling on that. Not even DS9 showed outright torture scenes.
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Tim C
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 8:38am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I doubt many of us would keep coming back here, Jammer, if you didn't go against the grain. The reviews themselves are some of the best analysis to be found on the Internet. Keep it up. Even though you are WRONG and this movie SUCKS 😂
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Tidd
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 8:37am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: Unification

I enjoyed Part II also, especially the Star Trek equivalent of the Binary Star Cantina, and the 'smuggler's woman' on keyboards. Good to see Nimoy (the 'dour Spock' as he's become!), and Picard and Data again as Romulans.

Just one flaw: why was Sela so determined to conquer Vulcan? It was not a major 'thing' as far as the average Romulan was concerned, so where was her motivation?

Anyway, 3.5 stars for me.
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Tim C
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 8:21am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

^^ Hello Teelix!

It's a comments section on the Internet for a television series that's nearly 30 years old. People aren't going to post spoiler warnings, not even when you ask as politely as you have here. Maybe you should just avoid reading the comments until you've finished the show? 😊
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 8:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

Starting this ep, I was momentarily confused that O'Brien was still the transporter chief. I had thought DS9 started at the same time as TNG S6, so that the two seasons were in synch. Turns out that's not right, DS9 seems instead to have started halfway through TNG S6. Huh.

One thing I'm realizing now about Barclay's transporter phobia is that it's probably the most rational fear I can imagine. Since I am more or less convinced that what the transporter does is destroy you and create a copy somewhere else, I'd be terrified of that too. No way I'd let anyone do that to me!
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Tony
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 7:54am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: Future Imperfect

There are multiple comments here that ask "Who stays on one ship for 15 years?" that are a riot.

Uhhhh... this crew does. As in that's exactly what they did!
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Teelix
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 7:51am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

Is it so hard to include a f'n SPOILER ALERT when mentioning MAJOR CHARACTER EVENTS in future episides?????

Not EVERYONE here has seen the whole f'n series!

This is why I was underwhelmed in the episodes about the wormhole minefield because, thanks to the assholes on this website (especially f'n Elliott), I knew the wormhole aliens were going to take out the massive Jem'Hadar fleet once in the wormhole. And that was a comment of his from one of the early seasons. Douchebag.

Y'all can burn in Hell!
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Tony
Mon, Sep 27, 2021, 6:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

I'm surprised with all these lengthy responses I haven't seen anyone state the obvious (maybe some folks are beating around the bush with the "people like this exist" comments):

Marla McGivers has a fetish!

She's a submissive whom the 23rd century has no place for and she knows it (I don't think this is actually realistic, I imagine Federation society would have found some healthy outlet for these people, but it's an interesting concept).

She falls in love with Khan so quickly because she's *already* been in love with him: he's what she's been waiting for her whole life. Khan is not just the man of her dreams: he's the only man for her in the entire galaxy, a mythical unicorn that by some miracle she's managed to stumble upon.

She's never actually been in this kind of relationship before and doesn't know how to do it in a healthy way, she has to learn it as she goes, and that includes how far exactly she's willing to go, and how far she isn't. It's pretty cool that Star Trek was exploring BDSM themes way back in the 60s.
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