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SJU
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

I immediately thought of Armus, too.

As Saru is rapidly becoming my favor character, I loved this episode. I cried at least 3 times. Pure Trek to me.
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Alan Roi
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Yanks

Given how inconsitant Star Trek is with time travel and parallel universes in general, my stand is that some forms of time travel disturb single timelines while others create branches. Braxton's crew therefore would only be tasked with dealing with those that don't create different branches.

Alternatively, some others might put forth the argument that it took a while for Braxton's people to get around to repairing the damage that created the Kelvinverse, and that there being no 4th movie would suggest that they've finally fixed the timeline and erased the events that occured in it.
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Yanks
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

THIS is what 'The Orville' does well. I don't care if it's plausible, improbable or not.

They should stick to this kind of stuff. 'A Happy Refrain'... 'Home' ... they are good at this.

Scott Grimes was simply OUTSTANDING in this episode and realness conveyed by Leighton Meester here sold the episode. While some say their duet was "predictable" I was highly anticipating it knowing how well Scott sings. (thank you Identity PI). Simply put it was beautiful and touching.

The 'B' story was the funniest thing on TV in a while for me. I rarely just bust out laughing at the TV but I did multiple time watching this one. Maybe it's because I'm an ex-smoker (35 years) I don't know, but this was the funniest thing this show has done and it's not close.

IMO there is just nothing to complain about here. Is this anything like 'Inner Light' or 'Scorpion' or 'Damage' or 'Duet' or 'City on the Edge of Forever'? .... hell no, but it is true to itself and THIS series.

This is a 4-star episode in my book.

Is Isaac on vacation? :-)

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Alan Roi
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Kinematic

And now we're adding more stuff to widen the scope, which will capture even more characters in your every widening net. Breaking Rules? Well in this era, our chief examples Are Kirk, Spock and McCoy, characters to whom rule-breaking is their code of conduct.
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Boo.
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@ Yanks

Quinto's Spock is another timeline. Who cares what you believe, you didn't write the movies and don't make the rules.
Different realities are trek's stuff. Just because you don't get time travel and the many realities thing, it doesn't mean it isn't what the movies were about and therefore canon.

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Luke
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Captive Pursuit

Well, you heard it here folks. When a white man says that he doesn't believe in burning non-white women alive and instead wants to punish those who do.... that's somehow "terribly racist, bigoted garbage" that should land someone in jail.

What a world we live in.
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Kinematic
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Alan Roi

You could also say that a Mary Sue is defined by the degree to which they can break the rules of their setting. Michael can do lots of things you'd never expect other characters to be capable of, because she's just that cool. Same with Rey from Star Wars.

You've brought up Michael's punishment for mutiny as a contradiction in my argument, and this is indeed the biggest setback she suffers, but she moves beyond it and - this is key - her character does not change significantly in the process of atonement. The only character growth she's gone through that I can think of is that she seems to no longer categorically hate Klingons over the deaths of her parents, but this is explored very little on the show.

Imagine if Tom Paris had been Locarno from The First Duty, as was initially envisioned. His redemption story starts with him disgraced and scorned by other Starfleet officers. Then he finds himself transported across the galaxy with a crew who have only each other to depend on.

At the outset, he admits his wrongdoing on the surface but subconsciously denies it, telling himself the dead cadet knew the risks. After seeing crewmates die performing hazardous tasks, the gravity of what he did finally hits him and he falls into a deep depression, understanding that his friend died because of his desire for glory. Another crisis drives him into action to protect the ship and he pushes through his pain and regret, understanding that the best redemption he can achieve is as a member of a crew who look out for each other instead of their self-image. And despite his change of heart, other characters may have longstanding enmity for him, and moving past this would form part of their own character growth.

That would be a good character arc. Michael is still her same insubordinate self, though. Even in the first season, her misdeeds were forgotten relatively fast owing to the war effort. Instead of character growth, she has characters who used to have problems with her, like Spock, realizing that she was acting for the greater good all along. Her plotlines with Sarek have been about how Sarek did poorly by her, not about how she still had more to learn from him. Spock's disputes with Sarek, as explored in TNG's Unification, are painted as equal parts his fault and Sarek's.

If anyone can point out other Trek characters who fulfill the criteria I've laid out, I'm all ears. Except, of course, for Wesley Crusher.
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spinalatte
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

I liked this episode, 3.5 stars. The story arc seems a little convoluted, but it is nice to see some character development, some plotlines, and enough action to keep many people happy.
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Booming
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@kinematic
Ok, I'll bite.
" It's easy to believe that she could run a starship all by herself, something I couldn't see Data or Dax or Kirk doing" First the premise of that statement is meaningless because what you believe is not an argument that carries any weight in a debate.
Second, of course Data and Dax could do what Burnham can. Data is stronger than everybody, learns faster, works faster and so on. Dax has the knowledge of several other amazing people in her head. It is shown repeatedly that she knows insane amounts of stuff and can do incredible things.

"As to your comment about other protagonists never truly being in the wrong"
I don't know what was discussed before that but Burnham is wrong several times even during the first episode.

"One of the qualifiers of a Mary Sue is the setting in which the character exists. James Bond, Dirty Harry, Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris characters, etc. don't qualify because they exist in stories that are structured entirely around them as fantasy figures."
This is obviously wrong. These characters are not portrayed as fantasy figures. As archetypes maybe but if you see all these and Indiana Jones and Macguyver and so on as fantasy I guess many people will disagree. Or you would define almost everything as fantasy. But apparently not a show that plays two hundred years in the future. In a show where people do stuff that is literally impossible like faster than light travel.

"reflecting real military structures"
I was in the military and Star Trek is certainly not like that. Maybe like a ultra sweet cuddly version of a very nice military like in Sweden maybe and whose focus isn't killing people.

The whole Leland thing happened on his ship? and he didn't press charges and there were no witnesses.

"Rey from Star Wars is a Mary Sue for the same reason: she has a level of ability that is completely unprecedented in the story (learns mind trick in 1 day not 4 years), she is instantly loved by existing characters (Leia hugs her instead of Chewie), and she upstages them in their own niches (pilots and fixes Falcon better than Han or Chewie). "

She is obviously strong with the force whatever that means. Is Luke a Mary Sue? She is loved?? In what way is she better than Han?
Han has obviously not seen the Falcon for a long time which has probably undergone a lot of repairs while Rey is shown to be familiar with the Falcon. He is also in his 70s.
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Yanks
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@ Alan Roi

"I don't have any problem with Quinto's spock. But he's a replacement Spock from a different timeline. Peck is playing a younger Spock, and having watched Star Trek from TOS on, he's doing a decent job."

I don't have any problems with either Spock. I do think Peck is channeling Nimoy's version a little better than Quinto.

Quinto's Spock is not a different timeline, I don't care what Orci and company made up when questioned back in the ST2009 days. There aren't different timelines in Trek. That's just crazy. Why would you need Braxton and company if every time you traveled into the past another timeline just branched out?
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Alan Roi
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Wolfstar

IFAIC, there's nothing wrong with writing stories this way. When write a story of any length, i always know how it ends. I don't find randomingly meandering around from A-Z particularly interesting when it comes to storytelling.
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Alan Roi
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Kinematic

But sure. If you're looking for a Mary Sue, and you are willing to ignore the contradictions apparent to your argument, and expand the definition like a baloon, eventually you'll find one. However, there isn't one in this episode and there isn't one in this series.
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Yanks
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@ John Harmon
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
"She's dead for 2 minutes. 'Long after' that is not, even by the medical standards of 20 years ago."

"Dead is dead yo. Especially when exposed to the toxic atmosphere of an alien planet. Doesn't matter how long you're dead for, there ain't no coming back from that.

Unless of course you have a magic Care Bear Stare healing beam."

Ever see 'Amok Time' .... yo
Ever see 'Mortal Coil' .... yo

Come on John, this is the 23 century... "trek-medical" performs miracles all the time.
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Steven
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

“Michael is a self insert character”

Sorry, who is she a self-insert of? Alex Kurtzman? You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

Fantastic post by Kinematic.

As the term Mary Sue is kinda controversial and can easily lead to a reductive discussion on whether a character is or isn't one, it can be useful to look at it other ways too. Put simply, the show's basic mechanic is different to all previous Trek series - TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT were ensemble shows, whereas Discovery is a "ride" show, and the function of the Michael character is to act as an avatar for viewers as we travel with her in and around the depths of the Trek world. This is unlike any previous Trek, and whether or not it's a good idea is debatable. As such, Season 1 of Discovery functioned less like a drama and more like a non-playable video game, or even a rollercoaster (bearing in mind it was written backwards from a predetermined endpoint with various fixed twists along the way - consider those the loops). We've talked a lot in previous threads about how all of the S1 cast apart from Saru were written as plot functions rather than as people - Lorca and Tyler existed solely to be twists, Stamets was something akin to a BSG hybrid, Michael was the viewer avatar and Tilly the comic relief. If we imagine Season 1 as a rollercoaster, then Michael is the seat, Tilly is your friend sitting next to you, and Tyler and Lorca are the two big loops. Season 2, likely also planned backwards from a predetermined endpoint, even has your mom waiting for you at the end. I'm just glad it dispensed with a lot of the previous season's loops and twists for a calmer and more scenic ride overall.
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Alan Roi
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Kinematic

Yes, many of the characters in the show do have amazing and broad reaching abilities, but you decide to discount them, because, hey, none of them are the hated Michael Burnham, so they all get a pass.

You have to pretend a whole lot of things haven't happened in the show to come to your conclusions. Below is just one:

Burnham flouts the rules and ends up getting her ship blown up and in jail for the rest of her life and hated by everyone in the federation, especially her former friends and is only pulled out of that by a character from another universe pretending to be a Star Fleet captain who wants to use her to help him get back home to his horrific MMORPG version of the Federation and take over a genocidal civilization. Pure Mary Sue there, ROTFL. No, man, that is not how Mary Sue stories are written. And, no, not a lot of people would have been sad if Burnham had died during the first season. She did not easily shed the consequnces of her bad judgement calls which continue to resonate through the show.

And yet again, Discovery not being a show about office workers set in space does not make the character a Mary Sue or the series a Mary Sue show.
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Gerontius
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

It's interesting that people who are ready to accept stuff that is essentially impossible/magic - devices to create any variety of food, or any environment yoy wish, complete with the people to fit it, hyper light speed travel around the galaxy etc - jib at plot details that are quite possble, just very improbable. We can suspend our disbelief for the impossible, we draw the line at the implausible.
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Kinematic
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Alan Roi

Can you point to any other Star Trek characters who have the same combination of traits I outlined? Other than, of course, the notorious Wesley Crusher, who is probably the best-known "canon Sue."

Other Trek series have characters with high abilities, but not the sheer range of Michael's skills. It's easy to believe that she could run a starship all by herself, something I couldn't see Data or Dax or Kirk doing. The circumstances around Michael combined with her backstory put her on a pedestal squarely above other characters.

As to your comment about other protagonists never truly being in the wrong, there were distinct moments where Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway had to be corrected by their crews. Picard needed a lot of help to see Hugh as a person rather than a weapon. Sisko resents Picard for his actions as Locutus in a situation where Picard was a victim and ended up playing a pivotal role in saving the Earth. Fans still express disgust with Janeway over Tuvix.

One of the qualifiers of a Mary Sue is the setting in which the character exists. James Bond, Dirty Harry, Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris characters, etc. don't qualify because they exist in stories that are structured entirely around them as fantasy figures. On the female side, Milla Jovovich's characters from the Resident Evil and Ultraviolet movies are similar. There's not much concern for character growth or drama, just an idealized badass saving the day.

The problem comes when an unbelievably perfect character is placed in a setting that has been the backdrop of more grounded stories. Wesley Crusher was so offensive because characters who the audience were supposed to respect were being made fools of in order to fluff up a teenage supergenius. In Discovery, Michael has no regard for rules or authority and gets away with it because she's just that cool. In this episode she beats a captain bloody! She should have been dragged to the brig the very next scene, instead she has a heart-to-heart with Spock. Star Trek has traditionally emphasized values of teamwork and cooperation, reflecting real military structures, whereas Discovery is more oriented around the reverence of a fantasy hero.

This is the same problem with Harry Potter fanfic characters who show up with massively more power and beauty than existing characters, or Evangelion self-inserts who are genius pilots that crush Angels like bugs. Evangelion is about damaged people confronting their inner demons, when you add an invincible ace pilot into the mix it destroys the theme.

Rey from Star Wars is a Mary Sue for the same reason: she has a level of ability that is completely unprecedented in the story (learns mind trick in 1 day not 4 years), she is instantly loved by existing characters (Leia hugs her instead of Chewie), and she upstages them in their own niches (pilots and fixes Falcon better than Han or Chewie).
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Alan Roi
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Boo

As many have pointed out here and elsewhere, countless novels are not canon either. It is laughable to point to other non-canon works to support such an argument. Why bring up the Kelvinverse? Again, that is a laughable argument in any manner. What relevance is a different timeline?

Mary's Sues are not profoundly screwed up characters like Michael Burnham is.

I certainly have never come across anyone claiming Burnham is somehow 'better' than Spock. There's no indication that Spock idolized her any more than any younger sibling idolized an elder sibling, or even a baby sitter, really. Burnham is a screwed up character who just happens to be good at her job when she isn't making bad judgment calls, that is. Nothing the character flaws that Spock accuses her of when they interact rings false, even to those who like the character. Burnham cannot be a Mary Sue is if those flaws he brought up don't ring true. And that hasn't been the reaction of anyone I have heard of.

Do you think Spock's critical assessment of Burnham is false?
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Skyelord
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@bencanuck I see them but they're just extras/background really imo.

I wish the actual bridge crew really was a developed as Airiam was (briefly). Hopefully with time they will. We had a glimpse of it in this episode and Eden.

I haven't seen the newest one yet.
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briiiiian
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

time crystals!! to go along with the engine crystals in the engine room! and dont forget the transporter crystals that let the transporters eork!

tiiiiiiiiiiimmee cryyyyystalsssss


jfc
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Boo.
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

In Kinematic summary, Michael is a self insert character and that is part of the mary sue trope.
I think it is the way they steal Spock's story and cannibalize it to not only make her his sister (which would be fine e.g., Sybok) but everyone's favorite in his family, the one to teach him human (instead of previous assumptions being that it was his mother's role to inspire him to be human too), the one he idolized, the one who made him want to be human and then the reason why he became.. Spock.
It's like, spock is an iconic beloved character and the writers inserted themselves into the story by creating a character who is better than him and also gets all the credit for important aspects of his character. They use him to make their character more important. But she only exists in Discovery.
Even giving Spock a disability seems manipulative like saying everything was easier for her than for him.

Couldn't they make her a new character with her own story without forcefully dragging Spock and his family into it? Why make this character never ever mentioned before the most important person in Sarek's family and the one who created Spock? You can't deny it doesn't work with what we saw before and countless of novels written about him because you like it or not, she is a retcon. She didn't exist. Kurtzman wrote the movies too, can you honestly reconcile with Michael being such a big, important part of kelvin Spock's conflict too? After all, the human/vulcan conflict was the same as original Spock and it was all about his parents and especially his mother. Is kelvin spock to be considered au about that too now when original Spock didn't have a sister either? I don't think so. Michael didn't exist and it makes no sense to retcon more than 5 decades of canon like that. You can give him siblings never mentioned before, but Michael is no Sybok and you can't pretend it's the same thing.
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Peter G.
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 4:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

I definitely agree with Elliott's post for the most part. I do disagree with the one thing William B mentioned, which is the notion that Sisko was trying to obscure the truth to protect his officer. However I also agree that the conflict of interest, which is almost certainly a writing flaw, is the reason this point becomes muddied in the viewing: Sisko *must* use every trick to get his client off, as a counsel, and doing anything less would make him legally negligent. But as a Starfleet officer his job is to the truth, as Picard put it, regardless of the result. The intersection of these two points properly should be to investigate, as a writer, *how would a Starfleet officer act as a lawyer*, which goes completely unexplored. Certainly it wouldn't be like a lawyer of today; but then how would it be? This is actually a science-fiction question, but Moore seemingly didn't think to go there, which is a shame. Instead it was a modern-type lawyer approach, which I do agree is incompatible with Starfleet ethics. So maybe Sisko looks suspect as a result, but it's not Sisko who's actually suspect but rather Moore's idea of what a lawyer in the future would see as his duty. Putting a modern-day legal approach into a Starfleet courtroom simply doesn't work.

And I'll on to this that this is one of my least favorite episodes of this season, and in the framework of the series one that I would reluctantly call a "skipper" (to use Yank's term, I think). It basically achieves not much at all.

In terms of the Klingon subject matter I wholeheartedly agree with Elliott that it's all over the place. What on Earth were the Klingons trying to achieve here? To take revenge on Worf? If so that point is utterly lost in the mix. Was this a scheme of Gowron's to trap Worf? If so that isn't even brought up. And Gowron doesn't even tend to work like that, so I really don't understand wtf is going on here. What we do get a question about Worf's...what...genetics? If it's an absolute fact that Klingons are more aggressive and enjoy battle more than humans, is this episode trying to say that Klingons must become exactly like humans to command starships? But that surely couldn't be a Federation message. Was Worf negligent in his general approach to command? Of course not. His only "crime" here was in perhaps enjoying the process of battle. But that's not new - through the series he brags about how awesome it is to have a war to fight, and no recrimination ever given. And nor should there be: a person is free to like or dislike whatever his culture and inclination suggest. So why is his Klingonness suddenly "a problem" here? It shouldn't be, and trying to pin his aggression on him as a fault is total BS. It's not only racist, in a sense, but also irrelevant to his duties. And I never heard it said before, nor ever again, that in the heat of battle during a war a starship should avoid firing on decloaking vessels? That would be a new one, and if it's new then it sure wasn't treated as one.

Basically it was a mess all around.
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Artymiss
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 3:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Thomas M

"pretty clear Contol killed Leland"
It wasn't clear to me at the time, it all just happened so incredibly fast and I probably wasn't paying enough attention. I now realise he was looking into some kind of retina scanner, not 'space binnoculars'! Not sure he's dead though. Control could be planning to use him like it did Airiam.
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Alan Roi
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Boo

there is the story and there is the meta-world around it consisting of writers, producers, directors who say whatever they want. You are talking about things 'outside the story' which is the actual derailing of talking about the story. Again, obsessing on how the series is 'marketed' distracts from the story.

Burnham is just like every other part of Spock's life we don't learn about until we do. That is how its always been with Spock as presented in the Franchises stories. Anything outside this is marketing.
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