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Lazarus
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 2:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Alternative Factor

Every time I get the chance, I make sure to fall of a cliff.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 9:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season

The episode's main deficit is the playdoe used by thee make-up department intern. It makes Jameson very hard to look at, let alone take seriously. I also found his admiral's uniform distracting, and somehow the arrangement of its black and red sections reminded me of a really bad rental caveman costume. You know, the kind that has single shoulder strap, like Riker's male courtesan oufit in Angel 1.

On a more serious note, the episode was not altogether bad. I always liked Karnas - played by TOS alum Michael Pataki who called the Enterprise "a garbage scow" in The Trouble with Tribbles.

Also in an episode which seems to go beyond most others in eliminating dialogue by members of the bridge crew, there is a really good scene where Beverly discusses Jameson's health profile is. It's a practice round for the much later scene in BoBW when she reveals how pathetically screwed up Picard's DNA has become because of Borg manipulation. There is also a nicely forceful couple of lines delivered by Troi about admiral dude's mental state. In watching any TNG episode I enjoy watching Troi in the background looking dismayed or aghast whenever someone on the bridge is behaving malevolently or 'not in their bodies' and with Jameson around there's plenty of such fodder.

These minor reactions by major cast members are enough to hold my interest, even when the ship seems to be taking forever to reach Karnas's god forsaken planet.

Finally, I thought that fight scene however pointless in the context of the episode was pretty solid, with two hits scored by Tasha. A good enough episode, miles ahead of Justice. 5/9
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The_Man
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

@Lupe The minute that you said that Bill Cobbs performance was bordering on being inept you lost all credibility.
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pfk505
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 5:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

Just bad.

Everything that happens after the midway point (i.e. Chakotay's otherwise inexplicable about-face) is Neelix's fault.

I can't say I blame Chakotay entirely. To paraphrase another commentator higher up in this thread, if Virginia Madsen showed up at my house claiming to be in love with me, I probably wouldn't turn her away either.

1 star, tops.
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William Nitschke
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Resistance

In case I wasn't clear, my comment was about the lack of subtitles, which means the webpisodes are also not accessible to the deaf or hearing-impaired communities
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William Nitschke
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Resistance

In case I wasn't clear, my comment was about the lack of subtitles, which means the webpisodes are also not accessible to the deaf or hearing-impaired communities
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William Nitschke
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Resistance

I'm sad to see they are not part of the Amazon Prime experience, and I had to youtube them. Since English is not my first language, and my hearing is not as it used to be, I lost a lot of dialogue. With that in mind, the webpisodes are not par to what I've come to expect of BSG. The are a bit bland, aren't they?
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

@ Jason R,,

Picard does bring up the argument, which is what put in my head that this should have been a far more significant theme in the episode. The way the episode it titles, and the way most of it is spent, we're given a lot of air time around two key issues:

1) Whether being crippled is as terrible for Worf as it sounds.
2) Whether Russel was violating medical ethics in using untested procedures.

(1) sort of gets addressed by way of showing us that for a Klingon being crippled is as good as dying, but what it doesn't show us is how much that applies to Worf. The extent to which he really will follow Klingon teaching should be the focus here, but instead it becomes "human vs Klingon" which we kind of already knew. (2) takes center stage later in the episode, but actually ends up being a loose end that's never tied up. We come out of the episode having made no progress on whether in fact Russel was being unethical, as the matter gets dropped once they realize they have to operate on Worf. We also don't learn much of anything about the merits (or demerits) of using experimental procedures on patients who request them. There's actually a whole arc in Boston Legal (which I just finished watching) about whether terminal patients should have the right to use unapproved medications, because what have they got to lose. That's quite an issue to unpack, but it wasn't even mentioned here even though it's essentially the issue in question.

So my idea, having said all this, is that the question of medical ethics vis a vis patients of different cultures, could have been an interesting one. Picard did come in to speak on behalf of respecting Klingon culture, but in terms of the plot that only served to squash discussion of the other topic, that of Russel's ethics. So the two lines of argument were at cross purposes and the result is the episode is a muddle, with none of the above situations really getting a full hearing or resolution.
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Hazy Cosmic
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

The Doc's performance as President of Earth-still unimpeachable in 2020. ***
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James G
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

Not a fan of this one. I find Troi a bit over-emotional and over-earnest, and I didn't like the way she snaps at other members of the crew, even her captain. She wouldn't just storm out of a meeting; it's not professional. Downright insubordinate really, especially in front of other officers.

And the basis of the episode, with the 2D creatures and the cosmic string, just didn't grab me at all.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Peter to be fair, Picard makes the very point you do, which sways Crusher to permit the procedure. Crusher's viewpoint, if I am being charitable, is not contrary to what you are saying. Crusher isn't saying that Klingons should be forced to live when they wish to die or that is not really her main point; she is saying that Russell was unethical to put her own glory ahead of her patients. Crusher is accusing Russell of acting in a conflict of interest. That does not change even if she grudgingly concedes that doing the procedure is the only real alternative given Worf's strong cultural imperatives.

That said I agree that it would have been far more interesting to see Pulaski argue for Worf's rights as a Klingon than see Crusher chide some rando guest character for a lack of professional ethics.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

I do like the idea of Pulaski mirroring Picard's viewpoint of respecting Klingon culture, which fits in with some development she had in S2. What the episode tried to be but failed to an extent was to argue that medical ethics would actually change depending on the species involved. Crusher is essentially right if the patient was a human, and she is also right *if* Russel was using patients for her own ends (which I'm not convinced is the case). But Crusher is dead wrong about Worf, and the reason the episode fails is that, as Skeptical suggests, there is no drama if Crusher is just out to lunch, and it's also bad optics to have a main character look like a fool. As things stood here, the only reasonable choices were try to experimental treatment or Worf dies. Him killing himself should have been considered as inevitable if they didn't do it. Yes, *maybe* they could talk him down from that, but this is a separate ethical issue of its own, regarding whether they even have any business telling a Klingon that his culture is wrong about suicide. And that issue is barely touched on in the episode, even though it's even more relevant to our plot than the medical ethics issue is.

Having someone defend Russel's procedure not on its own terms, but on the terms of it being the right choice *for a Klingon* is what the episode needed. It needed the message that although professional ethics have to be objective (meaning every doctor follows the same rules in the Federation), the weight of which procedures they should be performing should change based on the species in question and their belief system. As we see in Babylon 5, it might be wrong to do invasive surgeries on a species that forbids it, and likewise it might be reasonable to do dangerous surgeries on a Klingon warrior who is absolutely willing to accept the risk and doesn't fear death. The reason the episode becomes tedious is because it comes about Crusher's hunch that Russel is being unethical, even though we essentially know nothing about Russel beforehand, and also don't really care either way. Russel says she's being reasonable, Crusher disagrees; big whoop, we know nothing about the science either way since it's technobabble, so we are stuck having to sort of agree with Crusher on principle because she's a lead. The entire problem doesn't hit home and barely even makes sense other than if we just take Crusher's word for it. Having a Pulaski instead of a Russel, basing her idea on Worf's well-being rather than standard human values, would be both interesting and challenging: can medical ethics change based on the patient?
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David K.
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 5:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

So many people were absolutely jerks in this episode.

Odo, for inexplicably being completely hostile to Dr. Mora again after the writers had them make peace in the previous appearance.

Shakaar for inserting himself in to the birth, something he had exactly nothing to do with.

Kira for not putting Shakaar in his place and standing up for Miles. Also for forcing him to almost miss the birth of his second child, ESPECIALLY after he had to miss the first. Also, for not taking in to consideration the unique medical situation she was in and insisting on following Bajoran traditions for a baby that wasn’t even Bajoran.

Keiko for not standing up for her husband.

This had potential to be a great episode but it was only mediocre because of the bad writing/character behavior.
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Kyle
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 2:44am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

I don't know if someone already mentioned this but you are wrong Jammer; Hugh is named in the show. If he wasn't I never would have known that was Hugh from I Borg, since I didn't stick around to read the credits.
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Mentor
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 1:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

This was always on my list of better episodes - not my favorite, but I was always less interested in the people than I was about the starship and technology, even if it was fake. Shrug, it's just who I am. Maybe it's because I too have problems dealing with other people. Maybe it's just because I'm a weird geek.

I'm not saying it was a _great_ episode, but there were far too many stories about either Data and/or the Holodeck malfunctioning, and this was one of those few occasions where both worked as they were intended.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, Jun 4, 2020, 12:30am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Unfinished Business

I enjoyed it, but I did so by viewing the New Caprica flashbacks as the A story and the boxing as the B story.

The NewCap stuff was great, especially Bill and Laura.
Intercutting it with the boxing was, essentially a thematic device to justify the flashbacks. The show needed a modern setting and reason to reopen (and hopefully close for good) those old wounds.

Look at the episode from the writers perspective...

You've got all this great NewCap stuff but you cant air it during Lay Down Your Burdens 2, becuase the time jump and cylon arrival is your cliff hanger. I suppose you could show all of it in Lay Down 2 but then you're stretching the episode to close to 2 hours and really killing the pacing of the season finale.

No, it was right to get to the cylon invasion as soon as possible, but you also don't want to lose things like Lee and Kara having their falling out or Bill and Laura getting high.

So they created a framework and gave it a justifiable premise: characters let all their pent up frustrations out in a boxing match (fighting but with a sense of control) and allow the viewer to go back and see how it almost was a dream come true before it all came crashing down.

The execution might've been "only okay" but I appreciate the idea behind the episode and the highlights are really great.

3.5 stars for me, or 9/10
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Silly
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Empath

This episode is one I liked a lot better when I was a kid.

This episodes is crap! Kirk is right, it is a torture chamber! I don’t care what the aliens claim. BS!

The episode fundamentally expects you to believe the aliens deep down, after a nice Kirk Speech are good. Ok, but, no. Sorry.

It does have great Kirk/Spock/McCoy material, but still, no way.
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HC
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 11:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

The holodeck went from a neat bit of future tech to a lazy excuse for complete and utter drivel like this. The episode relies heavily on anyone being invested in the Fair Haven characters and can't think of a single original idea to make any of it work. The fact that we're still doing shit like the safeties being switched off is kind of embarrassing and yeah, the issue of whether these "characters" are life forms in their own right is needlessly complex AND blindingly stupid. It's like debating whether a video game character is a real person. You know, as much as I love him, I think the Doctor's evolving sentience threw the writers' sense of what was "real" and what wasn't out of wack, to the point where a lightbulb or a microwave might as well be a life form at this point.
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Skeptical
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Ha, sorry for the late reply. Peter, yes, Data had options at the moment, but I suppose I should clarify that I have not seen any other option that would do anything but delay the inevitable. Fajo clearly doesn't believe Data will kill him, so any further threats are irrelevant. And Fajo knows that he can control Data by threatening to kill others (and he already casually mentioned that he will threaten other members of his crew), so Data cannot do nothing forever. While the only other option is to delay in hopes of the Enterprise rescuing him, but he doesn't know that we're 41 minutes into the episode and it's time to wrap things up.

So it's not that I disagree with the rest of your analysis. That is all fine IF Data had other options. I'm fine with Data perhaps recognizing that Fajo is a serial killer as well as a kidnapper (I'll take your word for it about that one scene since I haven't seen the episode in years, but I also recall an impression that even Fajo was shocked when he killed Varra). I'm fine with Data's actions being less than ideal and Data recognizing it. But I'm just not fine with the way it's presented as Data being an executioner rather than Data acting in immediate (or at least in 2 minutes when Fajo picks up a gun and points it at the next crewmember) self defense and immediate defense of others.

You say that it's only a theoretical that Fajo will kill again and not in respect to Data's immediate situation, while I'm saying that, as soon as Data refuses Fajo's command to sit back in the chair, Fajo will immediately threaten or kill someone else. That seems to be the part missing here (also seems to be what Matt is saying). Perhaps its a little ambiguous in the episode, but I think that's one part where ambiguity hurts it rather than helps.
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Occuprice
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 2

Lol evidently I made almost the exact same comment 12 years ago...
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Occuprice
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 2

The whole episode is amazing, but the final act is start to finish the most exciting chunk of television I have ever seen.

Saul Tigh becomes my favorite character from now til the end of the show (and he was so good all season).
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Skeptical
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Jeffrey,

I think there would be a bit more of a problem then just "not enough meat" with your proposal (although I agree that what you said would probably be the best way to go). The other issue is that it just makes Crusher into a loser. Regardless of one's opinion on "right to try" medicine, in this case it HAS to work for Worf to make the series continue on, so Pulaski would have to be right and Crusher have to be wrong. And then to have Pulaski on the side of Picard (who is more often than not presented as the moral center of Trek) makes Crusher wrong again. It doesn't look good for the main character to be beat up quite so much. In the episode we do have, it's fine that Crusher is wrong about the procedure, because she was right about Russel's callous demeanor (and her arrogant dismissal of Klingon redundancy is shown to be wrong when that was the only reason her procedure worked). But in the episode as proposed, Crusher would simply be taking her lumps, and taking from a potential rival in the series. One would have to even the playing field a bit.

I think if it was to be Pulaski, they would have to drop "Ethics" as the core of the episode. Yes, the Klingon vs human view of disability could still stay largely in-tact, and the "right to try" viewpoint you bring up could be shown, but there would need to be something else. A personality conflict between Crusher and Pulaski could be a nice balance. Since Pulaski would be a "special" guest star, simply seeing those two together could have enough meat to get through the rest of the episode.

I'm not sure what it would be though. Pulaski's lack of protocol might work to some extent. It could salvage some of the USS Denver triage bit. Pulaski may be a guest, but in the heat of the moment starts acting like she's in command (perhaps bolstered by the fact that she knows some of the Enterprise medical staff), and ends up stepping on Crusher's toes or causing some other problem by doing so. It would obviously be a lesser issue than Russel (and wouldn't result in Crusher banning Pulaski), but could provide some conflict. The only problem is, Crusher isn't necessary one to stand on protocol either. She is clearly a doctor first and Starfleet second, so whatever issue Pulaski causes has to end up being a problem medically rather than procedurally, which makes it somewhat less believable.

And whatever personality conflicts that the episode does create could be resolved during the surgery scene at the end, as the two would be forced to work together on a procedure that neither is comfortable with, and both of their strengths would be required for it to be successful or something. I don't know, that's kind of trite, but with skilled authors might work. I think that would also solve some of the "Crusher is a loser" issue. Instead of Crusher being opposed to a "right to try" procedure in general, she could simply be concerned that it's risky with inexperienced doctors (and make up some medicobabble on why the procedure needs to be done soon) and thus default to the human vs Klingon ethical problem.

So basically, instead of the A and B plot both being about ethics, now one plot would be ethics and the other be a clash of personality. So significantly different, but possibly still worth watching with the right authors. And it would have been kind of nice to see Pulaski return.
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Justin
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Investigations

Okay it’s admittedly stupid but I like “A Briefing With Neelix.” If only to see the Doctor keep getting bumped like he’s Tony Randall and Sickbay is the Green Room 😂
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HC
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Collective

In the TNG days, we'd have spent an entire episode debating the pathogen issue, with different characters expressing opposing viewpoints on the matter and a conclusion being reached that represented a change of perspective for main player in the story. Oh wait, they did exactly that, didn't they? Here, that material (along with the Harry plot) is really just a waste of time that should have been spent developing the conflict with the Borg kids instead. Everything here has been done better before, resulting an dull, uninspired outing. I did, however, get a kick out of Braga effectively saying that the Borg baby got Poochie'd.
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Silly
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

The Enterprise floating in blue cloud skies looked so wonderful to me—-many years later The Voyage Home’s brief similar shot of the Bird of Prey “Bounty”. Just looked fantastic.
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