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wolfstar
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 2:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

Absolutely superb post, Proteus.
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Chrome
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

I think George Monet is underestimating Fajo's power. He was clever enough to make Data look dead and throw off the only Starfleet ship that would be capable of tracking him in a reasonable amount of time. Fajo must've had precautions for dealing with Data's abilities - we know at least he had a ship of loyal people who would deal with Data even if Data managed to incapacitate Fajo.

So Data does have a choice here. He can placate Fajo long enough to find a non-lethal way out - something which Data tries numerous times and fails. Or he can kill Fajo and hope no one else can handle him, which is anything but certain. In the end, Data chooses to kill Fajo not because he thinks it will free him, but because he thinks killing Fajo will at least stop the ongoing slavery, pilfering, and butchery aboard his flying prison.
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Yanks
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Bucktown,

No, T'Pol can't be T'Mir.

T'Pol said to Trip in 'Zero Hour': "I'm not old. I will only be sixty six years old on my next birthday."
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Bucktown
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 12:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Am I the only one with the takeaway when she takes out the purse at the end that T'Mir WAS T'Pol? I actually think that's a great twist, if so. Perhaps it's too far back to fit in with Vulcan lifespans, but the setup of the episode seems to be hinting that T'Pol is much older than anyone on board Enterprise realizes.
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sjdrake
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 12:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

An excellent episode, full of action, suspense, comedy- and entertainment, which is what it's all about after all. Yes, you can pick holes in the plot, as you can with just about every Trek episode ever screened.

Though I often agree with Jammer, on this occasion - and like many posters on this thread- I feel he has been much too harsh.

Seven's walk through the decks, trying not to let the aliens realise she can actually see them, was wonderfully played, with a good score to accompany it. The climax, with Janeway losing it and pushing to the brink, was also excellently done.
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

I think Trish's interpretation is a very interesting one. I haven't watched the ep in a long while but maybe I'll try to make the effort sometime soon.

@ Booming, no, I don't think it's fair to attribute to Spock's comment that he's talking just about the aesthetic of the crystal as being its value, i.e., that the women are beautiful because, like objects, they have a certain look. It seems rather to mean the opposite, that *despite* their aesthetic they are beautiful, meaning their beauty does not derive from their aesthetic appearance. It would almost seem to be a thesis for the entire episode (i.e. that faking their outward beauty is sort of an insult to their real beauty; that fakeness embodied by Mudd himself).
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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 11:45am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

@ George Monet,

I personally find your objections cited here to be really beside the point, as the fact remains that bad people exist and will do bad things. The episode is about whether Data will alter his ethics to deal with an unusual situation. And to your last point, that Data is clearly in the right to kill for his freedom, the episode make it as clear as it can that Data was no longer in danger at that point and could have left if he wanted to, but would know that Fajo would no doubt continue to do these things to others. Data didn't kill him in self-defence or in order to escape, but *executed him* in order to prevent him doing further harm in the future, which was definitely outside the purview of his programming thus far.
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Okona
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 7:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Chrysalis

@ Aaron, thanks for providing the link to that article. It was interesting reading.

IMO the singing was significant because it showed that these chaotic personalities could come together for a few minutes to give the viewer something intricate, difficult, and beautiful.

The episode as a whole was predictable, but more interesting than the stupid baseball episode. I'd give it a B-
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Sleeper Agent
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 5:59am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Court Martial

Beautifully written and played out from the beginning to the end. If not 4, than definitively 3,5 Stars.

PS. That giant wrench in the end was hilarious.
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Booming
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 12:04am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@Trish
Is it not a pretty sexist comment? First, comparing her to a thing and then basically saying: "Well, she is broken but still nice to look at." Meaning that physical beauty is the most important attribute of women while also comparing her to an object.
I mean context and all but phew...
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Proteus
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 11:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

I’m really tired of Kim/Wang bashing in these reviews.

I take Harry to represent the ideal Starfleet officer of the line: professional, competent, respectfully embedded in the chain of command, unfailingly pleasant to all during the faithful discharge of his duty, neither slacker nor rank-climbing ambitious, steady, dependable, honest forthright steadfast and brave...etc.

In other words, a boy scout. And what’s wrong with that? A vast semi-military operation needs a whole lot more people like that than they need forceful, erratic, life-gambling, ego-ridden, brilliant but unstable, messianic captains and rogue commanders.

So he hasn’t been promoted. So what? There aren’t enough places in the command structure for everyone to move up. On Voyager, 60 light years from home, no one is going to get transferred. Besides, by this point in the voyage, the crew works together more as family than hierarchy, so rank has become less significant.

Harry seems eminently believable - and likable - to me in this context. In a way, his above-average steadiness anchors the rest of the flamboyant, conflicted and troubled crew. He’s a realistic emotional center point. And I don’t recall Wang ever representing the character with less than the full range of acting chops required (obviously within the limits and opportunities of the script he’s given).

I also think the writers have a pretty good handle on his character. Not every character has to shoot off sparks. Someone has to be the straight man. (No, don’t go there, snarkers. It’s “irrelevant”. Thank you, Seven.) And now that I’ve mentioned her, I think it’s perfect that Harry is fascinated, attracted to and intimidated by the Borgesse - isn’t that how most normal non-godlike human men would react?

And yes, in this episode, Harry’s boyish yearning for a letter from home was an oft-repeated note, because he was to represent earnest, normal, uncomplicated anticipation - while we knew many other crew members’ letters were likely to be ambivalent and bittersweet, and their reactions more complex. AND I think the writers were weaving an ambiguous web for us: the longer we waited for Harry’s letter, the more I expected the news to be tragic for him. Can’t believe no one else has mentioned that. I was relieved at the end when he did NOT get bad news.
_______________

I also think the Neelix-bashers are out of line here. We sensed (I think accurately) that by the end of Mortal Coil, a Neelix (who turned out to be deeper and more complex than we assumed) had barely come back from his eminently believable and affecting crisis of faith. Hyper-vigilant character-continuity nazis wanted to see evidence in future episodes that Neelix was still feeling the effects.

Well, did we want him to be fragile, or break down, or slip back into paralysis and depression? At the end of Mortal Coil, he was called back to life by the thin thread of human need for his services - his care, compassion, personal ministry (in the generic, not the ecclesiastical, sense). And I think, given his nature as we’ve learned it, that was a reasonable and powerful incentive for his renewed grasp on life. (In fact, given loss of faith in gods who are not there, in a vast meaningless universe which could not care less about sentient life, I believe our service to each other is indeed one of very few profound and sufficient ways in which we make our own meaning.)

Given that, I think it’s likely and appropriate that lonely, lost Neelix - who has been adopted by and adopted a family of creatures carrying him ever further from the home which was ripped from him, and the family and loved ones who are no longer there - would, after his Hamlet crisis, redouble his efforts in service to those fellow-sentients. He might even be a little over-bright in compensation for the darkness which may still crowd his consciousness. He might try too hard - and the crew, recognizing that, might be more tolerant than usual because they understand he might still be a bit brittle.

So in the context of his recent crisis, his presentation here seems poignant and textured to me - because we can imagine how hard he’s working for it, and how much this lifeline of connection to this crew means to him.

Cut him (and Ethan Phillips) some slack. I think it’s good work.
____________

Janeway and Chatokay. PERfect. Both of them. Brilliant, subtle, powerful acting on Mulgrew’s part as she absorbs the bad news she was surely half-expecting. Both scenes were powerful. And I think both the script and Beltran nailed Chaoktay’s reaction.

Remember there’s still a chain of command. Remember Chakotay has learned enormous respect for Kathryn, both as captain and as a woman. Remember they were on the verge of becoming, effectively, man and wife when they were stranded together on a planet - that Chakotay accepted their situation before Janeway, is clearly attracted to (but not, I think, head over heels about) her, and patiently gave her space and time to begin to accept the situation and him in the same way. And I can’t be the only one to have read, at the end of that episode, a bittersweet note in both characters’ reaction to being rescued. I think both were on the verge of finding satisfaction, even happiness, in building a life together on the planet. It was somewhat emotionally wrenching for both to go back to business as usual on Voyage, decades from home.

And since that rescue, both have been more attentive and attuned to each other, more personal and solicitous - yet still within the bounds of appropriate command staff decorum. I can read into that both that Janeway reined in her growing affection for Chakotay, and Chakotay backed off (as the principled, perceptive gentleman he is) in deference to Janeway’s engagement to the distant Mark, to whom Janeway’s emotional commitment would have revived along with hopes of going home.

In other words, he’s respectful and classy enough not to crowd her. So when he learns her fiancé has moved on, of course he proceeds both honestly and tentatively. At the same time he recognizes this loss on her part might free her emotionally for the relationship he’s clearly ready for, he is also enough of a friend - and, again, principled enough - not to assume, push, rush, or take advantage. And since both are very matter-of-fact people, for whom seeing things clearly and gathering evidence is habitual before leaping ahead, before he leaps, he first wants to know how she’s taking the news.

In a way he’s being a counselor, because that may be what she needs, and he’s intuitive and empathetic enough to want to offer a friend’s shoulder. He wants to “be there for her,” in any capacity she needs. Hs also wants to know where he stands. “How do you feel about that” is a PERfect line to open the dialogue (significantly, after Janeway has already opened up to him matter-of-factly, with some bravely open misting-up during the telling demonstrating her trust and vulnerability).

She then jumps ahead to where he is: “go ahead and say it, I got a Dear John,” and the dialog proceeds into territory showing they’re both very much on the same page. Both recognize a relationship might blossom again, and that given the situation there’s plenty of time.

Was he supposed to just jump her bones? Was she supposed to collapse into his arms? That would have been ridiculous, and untrue to both characters and four years’ worth of relationship-building.

I don’t think either is infatuated with the other, that either sees the other as a love-of-a-lifetime, that they’re fated to be, that the universe has brought them together - nor are they driven by any combination of hormones and puerile fantasy. I think both recognize they’re compatible, they respect and care for each other - they’re important to each other, maybe each others’ best friend - but they’re not obsessed or mad about each other. They could commit to each other in a solid, loving, mature relationship. But neither of them is going to perish of a broken heart if it doesn’t happen

They have time. The dialog and acting captured that perfectly, enhancing two already wonderfully realized characters.
_________

Geez, the critics here! Please submit your screenplays and screen tests for our consideration.
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Springy
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 10:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

It's a rare two parter where part 2 is as good as part 1, but Best of Both Worlds manages it.

Ingenious resolution, every aspect well done, just as in part 1. Moving and well acted. A winner.

Riker rises to the occasion; they all do.

As to the title of the ep - I thought it was about how The Enterprise had to use both Independent (individual) effort and Team (collective) Effort - to win the day against a foe that could only use one of those methods.

The Enterprise had to be Borg-like in managing to continue even after "its head was cut off," so to speak (i.e., Picard was taken from them). They had to work together to quickly mend the great big hole.

But they also had to be able to tap into their individual talents and abilities - notice the emphasis on separation: Riker had to let go of Picard. The saucer had to separate. The shuttle craft had to leave the mother ship.

The Borg couldn't "just let go" of Picard. They can't separate in any way. Not really. So they lose.

So The Enterprise had the Best of Both Worlds - the World in which individuality is most prized, and the World in which teamwork is most prized. They had both abilities, and they had them in spades. Excellent individual talents, excellent ability to work together and sacrifice for the team. They valued separation; they valued togetherness.

They defeated The Borg.

Boom! Just fantastic.
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George Monet
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 10:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Just to add that Data would have been permitted to immediately kill Fajo for the crime of kidnapping an officer and holding him against his will. There is no moral ambiguity in this episode. Fajo is clearly in the wrong and Data is morally and legally permitted to kill Fajo to leave.
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George Monet
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

Watched the episode and hated it. A shuttle in working order explodes without any clear explanation, killing a Starfleet officer and no actual formal investigation is launched. Instead they just immediately pronounce Data dead because the poorly written plot demands it and proceed to divy up his possessions. Data is then held captive by a bunch of people who are clearly fools that he should have had zero problems outsmarting but is instead forbidden from beating them by the bad writer. Fajo is not a believable character, the story isn't a believable story and the setting is not a believable setting. Let me pose this question, where does Fajo's wealth come from? What could this person possibly have to offer in a galaxy where people can replicate material goods? He isn't an intellectual, he isn't an artist, he isn't a shrewd merchant, he isn't a brilliant business strategist. He has nothing and is clearly just a fool.

If he's dealing with criminals then why hasn't one of those criminals killed this weak man?

For that matter why does Fajo have a baseball card? What is a baseball card to him when his planet didn't even have baseball? How would anybody know the difference between a replicated baseball card and the original? Especially when the thing he seems to enjoy the most is the synthetically reproduced bubblegum smell.
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Trish
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 8:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

Sorry if I missed it, but when I scanned the comments made so far, I didn't see any that noted Spock's line about halfway through the episode as he holds the cracked dilithium crystal: beautiful, even when burned and broken. That line was written into the script for a reason, and Nimoy delivers it very well.

I can see how crystals would appeal to a Vulcan's sense of beauty, as an example of mathematically precise order. For a Vulcan, order has power; order IS power. To see such power pushed beyond its limits is heartbreaking, in as real a way as a Vulcan's heart can be broken.

Eve is a logical woman, making a pragmatic decision based on the precise equation of her life. She finds Mudd and his "cheater" drug distasteful, but the calculation is clear: If she stays on her home planet, there will be no family except her muddy-booted brothers. Mudd offers the only way she can seek a better life.

But pretending to be stupid pushes her past her limit. She is a crystal burned and broken, yet a wise man will see her beauty.

I'm a feminist, and there is much in this episode to make me uncomfortable. (I'd swear the original had a line from Mudd about the drug making men "more intelligent," because it gives you "more of what you have.") But the characters of Eve and Childers have always felt very real to me. I have long imagined a scene many years later, when they've been married quite a while, and Eve sends one of their kids to hang up the dinner pots to be sandblasted. I see them as a couple getting married because it seemed the logical thing to do, through the years learning to love each other.
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Jason R.
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 7:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

"Kai Winn was played by Louise Fletcher, who won an Academy Award in 1975 for her role as as the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Oh my god I never realized that! Cool.
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Omitten High Lird6
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 5:53am (UTC -6)
Re: ANDR S1: The Sum of Its Parts

I would have to disagree with the 2 star rating, O would give it atleast 3 stars...Reasons? Well I listed them below;
1. While yes the Consensus of Parts, has a remarkable similarity to the Borge Collective, it lacked a very vital part where the Borge want to "consume" or "assimilate" all life hell conquer all soly to "upgrade" itself, the Consensus wishes only to "assimilate" other machines or spare parts (all be it for only specific tasks), and for the most part assume a neutral stance (all be it more of a Neutral-evil ailnment) towards other lifeforms and lacks a distinctive need/want to consume all things.
2. I am not a huge star trek fan nor an Andromeda super fan, I find the physical appearance of both the Borg and the Consensus "drones" quite different from one another and not just due to budget differences, meaning Borg drones, ships and equipment are very uniform, perpiusly designed for unitary and functional purpose, where as the two Consensus Drones we see could not be more different from one another one very intimidating and functional while the other seemed very nonfunctional and deliberately designed to seem passive aggressive. As for the ships nothing close to cubes and spheres not even aesthetically pleasing, I would even argue not even functionality, a bit excessive and intimidating, sole purpose to look bigger than life titanicly designed for the sole purpose of intimidating its opponents nothing more nothing less. Quite the opposite of what the Borge field in the Star trek universe.
3. While I did think as far as the Andromeda universe goes they kind of underrepresented the effect the crew of the Andromeda actually had on poor HG and OC-1, one would think such a strong plot tie would reappear again on the shows and future seasons of the Andromeda, for example the OC-1 could have had a huge place in the Reformation of the Commen Wealth, bringing in a more unique type of AI into thier ranks, they could have played a much bigger role in the Commen Wealths development, serving as advisers, reservist (planetary security forces) and most importantly in infrastructure development (aka great engineering drones) which would have shown a much better separation from thier more Borgish supposed copy cat, which they are accused of being.
I could definitely see so much more potential of both the Outcast and the Collective Consensus factions.
4. Finally yes I could see the originality of the HG/humanity vs. Collective/borg suffered some on this episode but is thier really any way to really change the center theme, it really can only be played out in very similar ways, of which I think the writers of the Andromeda series did very good at if not lost some very good potential in another minor plot twist to add to the armory that is the Andromeda Universe.
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Sleeper Agent
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 5:53am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

Uncompelling for the most part, but manages to turn up the heat in the last 10 minutes. Though, I have to say that the Borg kids don't do anything for me, and I'm getting really tired of the over exposure 7of9 is getting.

As is the case with most of the episodes in the second half of season 6, they won't be included on my VOY re-watch list.
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Mark Bogn
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 10:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In the Cards

I'm watching this in 2019 for the first time and found it absolutely hilarious and I'm in complete agreement with Jammer from over 22 years ago.

One thing it seems none of the commenters picked up on--when Jake and Nog see Kai Winn on the promenade, one of them says, "You wouldn't like her when she's angry." Kai Winn was played by Louise Fletcher, who won an Academy Award in 1975 for her role as as the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
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Norvo
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Parturition

What's particularly baffling about this episode is the fact that even a year into their journey back, the Voyager crew still treats the EMH like a talking hypospray.

Hologram or not, the chief medical officer should be informed of day to day ship operations. Telling the Doc off for trying to do his job is a bit hypocritical, especially on a ship that supposedly already monitors the crew's whereabouts and lifesigns.

Of course, in later seasons we learn the EMH has a penchant for gossip, but
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Trish
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 8:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

@Jim Seigler

I agree completely! Your comment is basically the one I came to make: Neither one of them should be considered an "impostor."
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Lupe
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 7:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

Voyager had improved significantly at this point in its run. It may never hold a place in my heart like DS9 but 'Latent Image' and to a lesser extent last week's 'Counterpoint' are worthy episodes that provide a satisfying back-to-back viewing experience on this umpteenth rewatch. Something that was rare in a single episode from seasons 1 - 3. Yes, the over-reliance on three key characters is a major problem (Janeway, Seven and The Doctor remind me of Kirk, Spock and McCoy carrying the whole series in the las season of TOS), but nevertheless the last season and a half has been such an improvement in general. My memory insists this wears thin eventually and seasons six and seven sag in comparison, but considering how much I generally deride Voyager, at this point in season five I'm enjoying it more than I'd expected to on this latest visit.

FWIW I think the young Jammer was a little stingy with this one. I'd definitely give it a solid 3.5. Next week we're back to whocaresville with Chaotica , but I've been pleasantly surprised that a show of which I have so middling an opinion has been so frequently enjoyable over the past thirty-odd episodes.
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William
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 5:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Rise

I was bored to death with this one. Tried my best not to look to my phone ALL the way.
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Top Hat
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Yes, no doubt due to the fact that Colm Meaney was in that film (which, for the record, is about Wales). Ireland does actually have plenty of legit mountains, mostly in Munster.
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Ola Andersson
Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 4:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

No one has mentioned the hilarious reference to "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill..." :)
"I was climbing mountains in Ireland before you were born"
"You mean 'hills', don't you?"
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