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Redders
Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

What I don't think has been highlighted amongst the comments - and the thing I found most Infuriating about this episode - is that the so-called "man," Deral, having claimed he'd move to the Alpha Quadrant for Dax - then back pedals and bails out! "Oh, I can't leave," he whines! So it's Dax - the woman - who is expected - and seemingly willing - to make all the sacrifices. I would have thought, after 8 lifetimes' experience, Dax would be savvy to this spineless excuse of a man!
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Jason R.
Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 9:38am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Scorpion, Part I

I might add Silly it's anti Trek. How many times has the series dealt with the idea that one should never prejudge a species or a situation by a few stray encounters - Arena, Devil in the Dark, Encounter at Farpoint... it is practically the central thesis of the Trek ethos not to make snap judgments and to preserve life, even at the cost of the ship's own destruction. It goes beyond even the Prime Directive!

And then there's Janeway who picks up a few garbled messages via a 6 year old telepath and suddenly it's Hee Ha let's help the Borg blow them up / assimilate them. How convenient it gets you home in the process Janeway. How convenient.

I'd accuse the writers of betraying these values by arbitrarily making 8472 every bit the genocidal maniacs Kes made them out to be, except that Chacotay figures out what's up almost immediately. He's 100% right. And yet..... there is no consequence to any of this. They just move on. It's like Sisko poisoning a planet all over again, except multiplied by about 1,000.

Poor Arcturis. That guy wasn't nearly angry enough. He should have arrested Janeway, slipstreamed to earth and testified at Janeway's court martial. Then gotten her assimilated.
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TH
Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 4:04am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

Oh - also, there's a distortion in contact with the hull, Tuvok can't reach Janeway OR Chakotay, so he leaves Lieutenant Ayala in charge and goes to search for them himself?! How can that possibly be following proper protocol (which, as a Vulcan, I would have expected him to follow). He is the senior officer in charge of the ship during a crisis and he leaves to go hunt for the Captain? It's a contrivance so that the main cast member can be involved in the plot, but it's ridiculous behavior.

I do echo Jammer that Janeway randomly stopping mid-crisis in the middle of a Jeffries Tube... immediately after Kim advises her that they are lost, going in circles (which the tricorder disputes) and should have arrived at the bridge 10 minutes ago, and immediately after they begin picking up phantom EM readings, she stops them (not even while crawling... she specifically stops them), changes from concerned captain on a mission into soft compassion mode to tell Harry he's been great on this mission... then immediately gets zapped and we don't know if she is going to live or die... awfully convenient (and completely illogical and contrived) timing... makes perfect sense for her to say it at the END when the ring is about to reach them in the holodeck like Tuvok and Chakotay have a moment, but it makes no sense in the Jeffries Tube.

And I echo Jammer that the ridiculous Janeway babel talk is cartoonish and virtually pointless (I guess they wanted it to represent an attempt to 'communicate' with Janeway that goes wrong... but they already tried this much better in 'Nth Degree' with Barclay. This comes off more like the gibberish virus in DS9's 'Babel' which always felt slightly cartoonish to me, but at least it had a supposed medical explanation behind it in that case. She Janeway had to suddenly sit up and shout instead of perhaps just softly mummbling gibberish is beyond me.
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TH
Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 3:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

I have to fully concur with Jammer on this one. This episodes makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

How can anyone think this is one of the show's best?

The main plot point - the distortion - is absolutely nonsensical.

On the one hand, it is allegedly twisting the ship. This is the TITLE of the episode and we see it in the computer rendering produced by the tricorder data, and we see it visually when the distortion is shown in the Jeffries Tube, in the Holodeck and as it warps the door to engineering. It seems to operate in these instances as a 'wall' of warping that is moving through the ship like the Baryon Sweep in 'Starship Mine'.

That's all well and good... except for the entire mystery plot. Somehow the portions of the ship that the 'ring' has NOT touched have become a maze. And they are constantly in flux EVEN WHERE THERE IS NO GREEN RING FIELD. Neelix rounds a corner and is then instantly gone. Chakotay and Tuvok then split up and then somehow instantly meet.

Kes and Neelix are walking down one corridor and pass quarters that are on different decks. Torres opens a door in Engineering and finds it's a door to a crewman's quarters.

NONE of this is consistent with a twisting. Everything we see other than when we see the green field itself is untwisted. Perfectly normal looking corridors and rooms - just the rooms have been cut and pasted around like a puzzle. I vividly remember the first time I saw this in 1995 and when the diagram of Voyager being twisted is shown thinking "that doesn't make any sense." The tricorder reading diagram doesn't show anything that suggests that the ship has been taken apart and reformed like a puzzle... just that it has been twisted whole. How then does a corridor suddenly span 4 decks? This is not explained or touched whatsoever.

Then you have the "maybe we should just stop fighting and let it happen" sequence. In every other Trek outing ever, EVERY character fights to the very end and lo-and-behold, they find the last grasp solution within seconds to spare - except in this ONE episode where Tuvok just decides "well, we haven't actually seen anyone die, so maybe let's just see what happens", and everyone bites but Torres. I'd have at least appreciates Chakotay asking her "well, do you have any other suggestions?" and her realizing she has no ideas and that they have no choice.

Then you have the scene where the Engineering experiment causes the ring to speed up - Torres and Kim RUN from engineering to the holodeck to warn them and suggest trying Tuvok's plan when Tuvok says "sorry, no time" and points out that the ring has already reached the holodeck - that was fast... but then they suddenly have three minutes to mull it over before the ring takes the entire room. So it goes from Engineering (wherever that is now) to the holodeck at just under running speed, but it takes 3 minutes to cross a room.

And then we have the final resolution... the ring encompasses everyone and.... FADE TO ANOTHER SHOT WHERE EVERYONE'S FINE?! It's like the director totally knew that this phenomenon makes absolute no sense and there was zero way to get from 'let's just get twisted' to 'it won't hurt us, everything will be fine'. All you needed was one shot of everyone twisted where the green tint fades away and everyone just returns to untwisted or something... but they fade-cut like it was all a dream? Seriously?

Then you have the doctor that is simply useless without his medical tricorder... but moments later we learn there are tricorders in the storage locker. I'm sure a regular tricorder isn't as precise as a medical one, but seriously, wouldn't that at least have given him SOME information? Don't the away teams regularly read certain life signs with a standard tricorder? Or shouldn't they have been able to find and retrieve an emergency medkit SOMEWHERE along their travels someone could have brought back to help the Captain (I would hope there would be at least one in Engineering)

And just to put the cherry on top, moments after this crisis resolves... the bridge crew rushes to the bridge to assess the situation - run scans, etc. Neelix (who has no idea of Kes is alright) arrives CARRYING A CAKE! Which means one of two things: Either he rushed to the holodeck to see if Kes was ok, just missed everyone and then GRABBED THE CAKE (although it seems like he draws the knife in the teaser to suggest he has already cut the original cake, but it's ambiguous) and hurried to the bridge to find her (compare to his hyper panic about Kes's safety the previous episode... and most other episodes)... OR, he stopped to bake or replicate a NEW cake before rushing to the bridge. Certainly the first thing I would do after a near-death experience.

Finally, they ask Neelix "where have you been?!" and he basically says "Now that's a fascinating story... for another time", which is writer talk for "we couldn't think of anything interesting to say" - so why have anyone ask the question at all? Just ask "Are you alright?"

Honourable Mention goes to the non-main-cast like Baxter who is forced to act like an idiot so that the main cast can provide exposition to audience by explaining to him something things he should be able to pick up on his own - One of my biggest pet peeves in Trek is when characters are seemingly unable to parse facts because the plot requires it. Clearly at least by the final time we see him, he should understand that the ship is no longer laid out the way it's supposed to be - it may be confusing to try to figure out how to get from A to B, but for a Starfleet Officer, it seems ridiculous for him to seem confused at WHAT is happening. Clearly something is reconfiguring the ship and you need to stop walking around looking more like you are worried or concerned and less like you're bewildered in a corn maze. Something is seriously wrong.
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Silly
Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 2:28am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Scorpion, Part I

I agree with Jason above. Janeway’s decision to bargain with the Borg to defeat 8472 is unambiguously wrong and immoral. It’s an incredibly convenient and self serving. There’s absolutely no valid reason to believe Kes‘s hysteria about 8472 killing everything is correct.

Knowing the Borg—- and Starfleet/Janeway do—- the logical assumption is the Borg started the war with 8472... and this it later found to be the truth!

I shudder to think of the reputation Voyager left behind in the Delta Quadrant. I would expect it so bad that most of quietly created an anti-Federation alliance.
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TH
Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 1:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

The one thing I'm surprised no one has mentioned is the scene in which Neelix takes Kes to sickbay.

Neelix's overreaction is cartoonish (which is in keeping with everything he does in the entire episode). She's been eating dirt and bugs. So I guess he therefore assumes she'll be dead in minutes? Calm the hell down.

But what's worse is that the holographic Doctor is too distracted by Neelix that 'he can't think'! That is a ridiculous piece of programming to put into your emergency doctor - that he can be distracted by panicy people (like you might find in an EMERGENCY).
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Eric
Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 12:42am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

In our current age of political polarization, I am not surprised that some people love this episode and others hate it. I loved this episode. I thought it was hilarious and was laughing all the way through.
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Gerontius
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

I can remember when sixty sounded really old. Now it sounds more like the last flush of youth. But then I'm the Patrick Stewart generation. (Which is why I react quite strongly about to some of the things said in the Comments section of Jammer's reviews of Picard...)

Happy Birthday, James! And many more of them, young man.
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HC
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

The idea that you can't do a simple character drama on a starship is a very silly argument that disregards numerous Trek shows and movies that came before this. Now '11:59' on the other hand...

Anyway, this was a lovely episode. No need for an anomaly or some alien of the week, just a well executed story that understands and thoughtfully considers the perspectives of its characters. I always liked this relationship in its early stages and felt it was a shame to see it fall by the wayside in recent years, so I've been pleasantly surprised to see episodes like this and 'Drive' which put them back in the spotlight before the show ends.
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Gerontius
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

I liked the suggestion someone made, way up the thread, hthat a way to get round the paradox could be to see the Children of Tama as a breakaway cult from a culture with a more obviously functional language.

Imagine a bunch of fanatical Trekkies, with the Trek opus as its Holy Book - or rather it's Holy Canon of Trek episodes and films, forming an isolated civilization on a remote planet. Look at the way people in this site constantly use references to different episodes to express ideas. Even using initials rather than words to point to the episodes.

After all, consider how many cultures do work in some ways like that - some kinds of Christians use the Bible in very much the same way, and that happens in other religions, there are Jewish, Muslim and Hindu contexts. (And look how the arguments about what true Trek and what is not Trekverges on a nascent Holy War about what is orthodox and what is heresy. After all the word "canon", so casually thrown about has its roots in religious usage.)

As for technology, that could have been brought along with them breaking away from the mother culture. And anyway mathematicians and technicians communicate in ways no-one else can understand.

That's a good enough botched up explanation for me. Though in fact I don't need it, because this is essentially a fable about how people can learn to relate. Like lots of Star Trek episodes are fables (the best of them, for me). And it was a very effective fable, and a tour de force for the two captains.

Of course getting back to nitpicking, the same lesson could have been achieved without the monster, just by having the two if them marooned together. But it wouldn't have made such a powerful myth to pass on.
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Silly
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: One Small Step

I was actually surprised what Chuckles did and that it didn’t work ... lol, since it’s streaming, I had no idea how far into the episode I was.

They may have played up Chuckles’ sudden interest in history, but I think most of the crew and especially Janeway would have fought like hell to save the capsule. That’s practically a religious artifact to starfleet. I would have risked a lot for it.
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HC
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

Borrows a fair bit from 'All Good Things...' but hey, you might as well steal from the best! Found this one to be fun and quite heartwarming, especially since I'm guessing this will be the last significant Chakotay/Janeway episode.
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Brian
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 5:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Phantasms

3.5 stars. This is enjoyably dreamy and eerie, and accomplishes very well what it sets out to do. I realize it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but this is an example of just how tight of a production TNG was... if a similar episode was attempted on Voyager it would have probably been one stat lower but on TNG the characters and acting are all so excellent that it (the writing is of course good as well) that it frequently is enough to boost an episode by .5 to 1 Star compared to how it would have turned out on Voyager (and its hard to compare to DS9 since this just isn’t the sort of thing it did).
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Salt
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 5:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

@James G

If I remember the first logs correctly I think this episode he's messing about with an experimental program to try and better figure out emotions? He seems to have much less common sense this episode than usual probably because he's still having to test and tweak it
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The River Temarc
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 2:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Andy's Friend wrote:

"As long as you obey the Emperor ― or nowadays, the regime ―, the specifics are not important. Hong-Kong and Macao are prime examples of this: most people were expecting China not to respect the agreements with the UK and Portugal, but China has, in fact, respected the two-system models agreed upon, and kept Hong-Kong and Macao as different societies than neighbouring China."

Without getting into the (fulfilling) debates inspired by this episode: perhaps you might want to re-think this statement you wrote a few years ago?
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Samuel
Sat, Jul 11, 2020, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Horrible series, Picard and Disco. Better shows in past series. Babylon 5 much better.

Hope modern Trek is long forgotten, and that soon. #CancelTrek #CancelStarTrek

With love.
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P'kard
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Bloodlines

Guy who plays Vigo is just laughably inept. Its like his mom told him he was handsome as a child, he believed it and all he can do is do his best "Tom Cruise" smile. However, any serious acting is beyond him.

Terrible writing as well. Why would Picard waste his time on this jerk off? Bok wants him dead so Picard should have sent him to Bok via a depressurized airlock. .5/5.0 stars.
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Mal
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

"Demon” is one of Voyager’s rare attempts at hard science fiction.

The episode draws from one of the great classics of the genre, the short story “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, which was published back in 1944 in Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

You can read the entire short story here:

https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v34n03_1944-11_cape1736/page/n63/mode/2up

From the first moment Paris says,

PARIS: I'm telling you, Chakotay. It was an amazing experience. It, it's like when you're a kid who's afraid of the water and you suddenly realise that you can swim. Go ahead, take your helmets off. Try it.

I hoped that was where the story was going.

And then much later in the episode when Harry tells Seven and Chakotay,

SEVEN: I see monochromatic geological formations, dust, haze.
CHAKOTAY: What do you see, Harry?
KIM: To me, those geological formations are a dozen shades of red and gold. That dust, it's glowing. And the haze, it seems to intensify the colours. I'm sorry. I know it's weird, but I feel connected to this place.

It immediately brought to mind the crescendo of the old 1944 story by Simak.

In “Desertion" by Clifford D. Simak, human researchers are part of a project (like the movie Avatar) where they are transformed into forms that are suited to Jupiter, so they can explore the gas giant the way a native might.

One by one the researchers transform and set out into Jupiter to go exploring. And none ever come back. Finally the head of the program decides he has no choice but to go after his team, and he transforms himself. And that is when we learn how incredible it is to be on Jupiter if you are in a form that is suited to Jupiter.

You can listen to a reading of the critical part of Clifford D. Simak's story where the head researcher describes what Jupiter looks like to him now that he has gone native:

https://youtu.be/WYOk9D0ZwVk?t=1224

I first read “Desertion" 25 years ago as a boy, and have never forgotten it.

It is a story about what you feel when you go to an alien place - a foreign country - and finally give up your old ways, and, as they used to say “go native.” The resulting beauty and awe can be overwhelming.

Sadly, Voyager’s mediocre writing team was never able to tap into that rich vein, and “Demon” ends up being a complete disaster of an episode.

Half a star for trying something great but failing completely.
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James04
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

TNG as it should be - sciencey, intricate, intriguing, *and no holodeck silliness*, and no preachiness either.

4 out of 4.
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SS Elim
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

Allamaraine!
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Q
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sometimes a Great Notion

@Matthew Martin - I agree 100%. I hated seeing her character die that way.

This episode deserves a lot of credit. It accurately captures how people sometimes achieve apparent peace and composure when they've decided to end their life. It also shows the aftermath of what happens after the person dies - sorrow, pain, trauma, confusion, sense of loss, despair, guilt.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Siege

@Rom I think in the context of DS9 it is utterly disingenuous because there is just no chance, none, that the senior staff won't go. So it isn't even about forcing conformity or bullying as it certainly would be in real life. It is just narrative flimflammery really.

Funny enough though I recall in Babylon 5 there is this kind of scene where the commanding officers are announcing something shockingly illegal (I won't spoil it in case some want to check out the series) and actually several crewpeople actually do walk out. But in that scene it is the main cast who have already decided to proceed and it's the extras and occasional cast members who have to make the call on whether to go along with it. So there is no phoniness to it because we really don't know for sure which way it will go.
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rom
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Siege

Is it just me, or do Starfleet commanders keep offering their crews a way out but keep doing it publicly? Like Sisko in this episode tells them they can leave if they don't want to risk their lives in this illegal mission, but does it in the middle of Ops with everyone literally staring at eachother daring them to be cowards. Who the heck is going to volunteer in that crowd??

Seems unprofessional and poor leadership for a Starfleet commander. I can see that happening in a militia, rebel base, or other unstructured group that relies on intimidation to get things done, but that wasn't very Starfleet of him I thought.
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Silly
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

I agree with others that this thing might actually be a demon from hell, and especially that Janeway worries that too.

I didn’t much care for the first two acts being a rehash of Cause and Effect before switching to the afterlife story.

Voyager did this mid story switcheroo in so many episodes, I strongly suspect it was two writers working separately on each half and only sharing what the midpoint needed to be.
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The Chronek
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

I liked this episode a lot. I enjoyed it when it debuted 23 years ago, and I enjoyed it upon rewatching it last week. Great drama, great acting, great special effects, great music, great dialogue, great introduction for 7 of 9.

Any inconsistencies with previous Borg portrayal can be easily explained away. The Federation was now helping the Borg? Like Janeway said, the Borg to their knowledge had never faced such a threat. And Picard never had recoded nanoprobes that the collective could use as a weapon against a mortal enemy, so he was never in any position to negotiate.

Heck, Best of Both Worlds made a change from Q Who, in which the Borg weren't interested in human life, only their technology. Certainly that minor change doesn't take away from BOBW being an all-time classic. I don't think any minor Borg changes in Scorpion take away from the episode's quality.

I don't think it was necessarily an easy way out to make both Janeway and Chakotay "right". They had to get back to trusting each other, and I think the way they handled Seven's eventual betrayal was the best way to do that. I think this was a moral dilemma that fit in with the best grey area explorations of DS9.

As for why no Borg ships had come after them after species 8472 retreated, I have no problem with that. They had just been in a deadly conflict with a mortal enemy and were possibly licking their wounds. And the episode following this explains how Voyager made it farther out of Borg space.

4 stars from me.

I have spoken.
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