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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Shadowplay

The Odo storyline actually made me cry the first time round! The rest of it was fluff but enjoyable - apart from Bareil. I never understood what Kira saw in him, until we got Mirror-verse Bareil - and then I felt cheated that Prime-verse Bareil was so wooden and uninteresting. Very strange.

I'm glad they didn't delve into the issue of sentience/life for holograms. It was sufficient that they were real and worth restarting, worth continuing their existence.
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Brian Lear
Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Imagine there are two patients, both in need of a heart transplant to live. One of them has a lethal disease that will kill him in just a couple years. The other patient does not have the disease and will likely gain decades of quality life years with the new heart. There is only one heart available. Which patient should get it?

This episode initially asks us to judge the relative utility of saving a race that will eventually die out anyway, versus doing nothing. It then seamlessly transitions to asking us to consider the larger question of whether we should even be concerning ourselves with the first question in the first place. And I think that's where a lot of people fell off the train. The first question wasn't really answered. But the second question was. They decided not to answer the first question, because they couldn't. Not that time, not that place.

That non-answer is what really threw people off this episode. But I urge those of you in that category to reconsider. My enjoyment of this episode does not hinge on the decisions made. If it does for you, I suspect you are too close to the material, and not seeing the big picture. Take a few steps back and re-watch it. Try not caring whether they answer the question or not, and just enjoy watching them wrestle with it. It's the journey people, not the destination.
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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?


Your comment inspired me to watch this and it’s very close indeed. I believe the music you’re referring to is called a leitmotif. It’s used whenever Dr. Miranda is on screen (especially when we see her power).
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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

It’s really just another problem with the episode. Here’s a chance to get into Risian culture and explain why people are freely giving away their bodies and why that might be “decadent” from a certain point of view. But it never gets there.
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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 8:25am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Watching 'Demon' and 'Oblivion' back to back shows this series at both it at it's best and worst. Great technical achievement with amazing effects and true dedication by the design crew, actors and musicians... and failure by the writers and producers to craft a reason for all of it to mean a damn.

Directed by the guy who played 'Potsie' from the tv show 'Happy Days'. I'd rather watch that for some legit substance.

Jammer is right. This is 1 star, just for the people showing up on the set.
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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 2:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Yes and the Federation is the pimp.
Risans give pleasure, the Federation provides tech and everything to make that possible and profits by having a more happy population.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Is Risa like a prostitution planet or something? I don't get it.

Dax in a swimsuit was nice. I also think Leeta is smoking hot so I enjoyed her scenes. Other than that, I concur with the consensus: Gawd awful.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

Watching and commenting:

--Kurn!! I like Kurn. Instead of "Engage," he says "Execute!" Perfect.

--Picard sure can slice a turkey! I'm going to invite him to my Thanksgiving this year. Please pass the potatoes, Jean Luc.

--Great scene between Worf and Kurn as Kurn makes his revelation. But I have to say, it's hard to believe Worf, at the age of five, wouldn't remember he had little brother. But I will accept it.

--Picard makes a wonderful gesture, going with Worf to the Great Hall.

--Duras. Such a slimy guy.

--"It is a good day to die." Such a useful quote. I like to pepper it into my conversation whenever possible. I need to go to the BMV this week. Maybe I'll have an opportunity there.

--Nice bonding and development of Picard and Worf's relationship.

--Lots of references to who's in charge, who's got the power. And lots of references to the past, what can be left behind, and what cannot - what is dead, and what is not, what is unchanging, what has a lasting impact, and what is lost.

--Worf makes a huge sacrifice for his brother.

Nicely done.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

A solid episode.

I liked the beginning, everyone's reaction when they see The Child, and Picard trying to explain his concern to Data is priceless. Spiner and Stewart are great.

Does the crew generally consult Picard before they procreate? I bet they don't, Data.

Picard and Data reminds me of Janeway and the Doctor - yes, the Captains acknowledge the sentience and indulgence and rights of their non-biological crewmen, but not really. Not completely. Not wholeheartedly.

The Riker business in Ten Forward was a great little lighthearted interlude. Wouldn't want Data to miss out on the "dealing with Lotharios" aspect of raising a daughter.

The ep hammers the importance of relationships, connections, when it comes to "being human/truly alive." At a micro-level, literal connections form in Lal's brain, at a macro level we watch the connections amongst the crew (we open with closed-up-in-his-lab Data finally letting his friends in on his little secret, as doors open and shut. Lal asks about everyone's coverings, and we get repeated references in the ep, to sharing our inner lives, to connecting to others). And we watch the connection form between Data and Lal.

In doing this, the ep also explores the definition of love. Data's attentive, concerned, protective actions toward Lal has Dr Crusher believing he loves Lal. Is love ultimately defined by, expressed by, actions?

There's something else we're hitting on here: What did Worf tell Q, when Q asked what he had to do, to prove he was human? DIE.

A lot of nice little moments, well done. A bit too low key for me to think of it as a classic, but definitely a good one.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

Amazing how much the music played close to the end of the episode while Kirk gives Miranda a rose sounds like the Brady Bunch theme.

"It's the story of a lovely lady, who is mind-linked with an uggo named Kollos …"
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

I like it. Before I get bogged down in complaints, I’ll start with that. The overarching plot - a twisted version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, with Q as a snarky and slightly sadistic Clarence - is a delight. Too bad the script used to maneuver our hero through his paces are so transparently manipulative.
This is an episode where, just behind the screen, I can the writers jerking every characters’ strings.

Jean-Luc as a womanizer in his youth? I have a hard time buying it. Wasn’t he a driven, ambitious cadet with a serious personality? But, okay: it wa along ago, and I’ll grant the possibility.

But: the plot point that Jean-Luc never went to bed with the smitten Marta when he was a reckless young womanizer, but then did go to bed with her when he was his “older and wiser” self (on the eve of their permanent separation, no less) seems out of place. The Wise Old Picard is shown taking a risk with Marta’s friendship, flying in the face of the rest of his characterization.

There’s also a distinct ick factor in their coupling. Picard feels himself to be 55 years old. He sees 55 year old Picard in the mirror. He’s been in a young man’s body for less than a day - and he’s using the opportunity to bed an unsuspecting 21-year-old - one that he hasn’t seen in 30 years. It’s grotesque, and not what Captain Picard would do. But the writers yank the strings, and their puppets dance.

To serve the further needs of the plot, the character of Marta is terribly underwritten. Because the writers needed a manufactured fight between Jean-Luc and Corey, Marta is kept out of every discussion about the Nausicans. She sits silent at every table, seeming having no opinion on whether Corey should play them, whether the friends should attempt revenge, and even whether she minds being raped, as the Nausican eventually suggests (her passivity in that scene leads Corey and Picard to come to blows, finalizing their schism). Her lack of opinions comes across as simply bizarre - and calls further attention to the machinations of the writers behind the scenes.

On first viewing, these clunky elements were bothersome but tolerable. On rewatching, they are nearly ruinous.

But no matter the episode’s flaws, it will always be a classic in my book. I will never get enough of Lieutenant Picard in a blue uniform, raging to Q that he’d rather die than live a less-than-remarkable life.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

Hated the way the ending just had to undermine Keiko. She was believable for me in this episode and I wish they'd left it at 'she really does know her husband'.

@Michael I like the revisions!

I did wonder if it was easily curable and less contagious because they were human, and the aliens' physiology was different. I don't think the writers had that in mind though, otherwise they should have mentioned it and not left it to look like a plot hole.

Also, I could be wrong but wasn't altering memory engrams still risky in the 24th C? It's been a while since watching any other Trek though so I may have forgotten or be confused with something else.
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Paul Hardwick
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

I watched this episode today for the first time since I was a kid and I was genuinely impressed with the build up. Very eerie setting and the kids playing havoc with the new grups by throwing things at them at singing the "nyah nyah, na nyah nyah" was just brilliant. When the zombie like creature first enters at the start when Bones takes an uncharacteristic interest in the wheel of trike was an excellent action sequence with some great (for the day) makeup.

The premise is both intriguing and absurd. With a little more care with the writing, perhaps allowing some better character development and maybe playing off the whole Kirk, Miri and Jand love triangle with more aplomb may have led this episode becoming a true classic.

Unfortunately we have some jarring dialogue (Bones : I've never seen so much bacteria, enterprise, send down some virus scanners!) and kirks final speech is pretty lame. The ending left me agog with the Enterprise leaving orbit and leaving the kids there on the planet!

So a great start to the episode but it doesn't meet its promise of a true classic.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

Enjoyable fluff, for me. I would love to know if Bashir's bizarre warm-up was directed or improvised. Rom made me laugh, and I loved Keiko in this. They're not very consistent writing for her throughout the series and it's nice to see her like this (I also thought she was very believable in the Harvesters episode).

This is one I'll happily rewatch - for me the best part of it is Bashir/O'Brien, but the rest is quite fun too.
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Peter G.
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

@ Chrome,

"However, the episode isn't consistently anti-Christian as the solution to beating the machine is telling them how important soul and human spirit are (which is a message aligned with Christian values)."

Yeah, I would say that the message seems to be against what I would call 'fake Christianity', i.e. the sort of society that forces a bunch of conduct and for everyone to walk around pretending to be happy all the time. It's the Christian-shaped tyranny that I think is being criticized, which to be fair many Americans probably equate with Christianity as a whole anyhow. But I think Kirk and co. are effectively operating as "real Christians" here insofar as they see it as their obvious goal to save people who are in trouble and to help them start thinking for themselves.

I also agree that this is another "look for a better structure" type episode, and it's probably most like The Apple in that a happy-seeming people are told it's not good enough. The difference here is that the people aren't really happy, they're just forced into a mode of conduct that in reality leads to explosions. So basically the episode is saying this model doesn't work at all. In The Apple that type of society actually does work, but at the expense of keeping the people like children for all time. The Side of Paradise is actually a funny one and I'm not even sure where that one lands in Trek ethics. Basically it's a strange case of mutualistic parasitism where the spores get what they need and give the humans everything they need, albeit also at the expense of their ambitions. I feel like that one is closer to really asking "do people really need their ambitions, or are those just a means to get to the pleasure they want?"
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Sleeping Dogs

"I cannot believe a race as obstinate, belligerent and primitive as the Klingons would ever have invented the wheel, never mind done anything useful with it. For them to be a warp-capable civilization is incredible. But anyway..."


I forget where this came from precisely, but wasn't it established in canon in an earlier show that the Klingons stole all their advanced technology (including warp) from the Romulans? Of course the Romulans wouldn't have any kind of Prime Directive, and the Klingons becoming warp capable centuries before they naturally would explains a lot.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 11:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

I think Peter G got this right, that much of the phrasing, costumes, and gesturing were trying to mock Christianity to an extent. However, the episode isn't consistently anti-Christian as the solution to beating the machine is telling them how important soul and human spirit are (which is a message aligned with Christian values).

Otherwise, yeah, it's a pretty generic Kirk versus the cult of bad ideology episode. The messages here get better treatment in "The Ultimate Computer", "This Side of Paradise" and even "The Apple". I did find it a pretty fun watch however, and you got to love Kirk being all cavalier the whole episode. The part where he tells one of the law guardians that "you better start looking for a new job" came off really funny considering the circumstances.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 9:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Civil Defense

I always saw this one more in the ok category. 2 stars seems like a good rating.
The only thing that I kind of liked in the episode was Dukat's stupid face when the program turned against him. As you mentioned the Dukat Garak bickering was pretty annoying.

One scene in particular really bugged me about that episode and I know that it may sound stupid but here it goes. When they use rocks to blow up the door, they just make a pile and then puff door open. Either the door is made out of paper or this scene makes no sense. If we assume that the door is relatively tough then the trio should be jelly on the other side of the room. The explosion will not just decide: "Oh boy where to focus my energy. Yeah let's open the door."
No, the explosion should have pushed the minecart back and smushed the guys.
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Top Hat
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 8:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

I always thought this episode (which I mostly like) has an unresolvable plot (or at least thematic) problem towards the end. Odo assembles for Kira a list of 25 suspects:

ODO: My sources on Cardassia have given me a list of possible suspects. They all have the computer skills, the opportunity and the motive to carry out these attacks.

Conveniently this list seems to be nothing but a set of names -- it doesn't detail who they are or their potential motivations or their skill set. Prin ends up being fourth on that list -- a tad convenient but not outside the realm of possibility. But the fact that he was on the list at all means that he is known to be a computer expert with a malicious vendetta against the Bajorans. I guess that sort of is possible -- but does it fit thematically? This sort of flies in the face of "just a domestic servant," no? Okay, so he acquired the computer skills after his disfigurement in order to pursue his eventual revenge but he did it with a sufficiently high profile to be known to Cardassian intelligence.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 7:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Civil Defense

A lot of comments to wade through here so sorry if anyone else mentioned this, but given the jeopardy at the end of the episode - why the hell aren't Sisko, O'Brien and Jake absolutely legging it down to level 34, rather than ambling merrily along?

Apart from that silliness, I'm in two minds on this episode - it's always been one of my favourites, I love the constant ramping up of tension, and it's great that everybody (even the hugely underused Jake) gets something to do.

But... watching it last night for the first time in maybe 10 years, I agree with the posters who've said this one feels off somehow. I don't particularly mind Dukat's overacting, but the normally reliable Garak seems to be chewing the scenery, and a lot of the dialogue feels stilted. I love the idea of the Garak-Dukat sparring, and it should be great to have them together, but the expected wittiness just isn't there.

Maybe I was in a bad mood last night, but I was disappointed really, since I remembered this one as being great, and it just ... isn't.
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Top Hat
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

Is it clear that McCoy outright lacks the authority to overrule Kirk on this point? It seems possible he has just decided not to, only to register objections.
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Peter G.
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

@ Trish,

"What happened to the Chief Medical Officer's authority in matters of health? Shouldn't he be ordering the captain to take the kids to the starbase for the treatment he believes, in his expert medical opinion, they require? Or at the very least ordering him not to play psychotherapist with them?"

That's a very reasonable question and really does impact on how we read some of these Trek stories (by no means just this episode). Maybe someone who knows officer regs in the current military will comment too, but from what I can gather from Trek itself the CMO has medical authority with regard to the fitness of the Captain and crew only, and does not have any mission authority nor authority over the Captain's decisions so long as the Captain is fit for command. If the Captain gives an order that's that, although the CMO can file a protest if they wish. So the CMO can order the Captain to take leave or dismiss the Captain from duty if the Captain is medically unfit, but other than that cannot issue orders to a superior officer.
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Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

I do think that it is a better episode thannJammer and those who commented before me give it credit for.

It's true that it is thin on motivation, apparently just evil for evil's own sake. I am willing to presume that the evil angel has more of a motivation than that, but I wish we were privy to it.

His way of accomplishing that evil is the one thing of interest, and it underlies everything that happens in the episode: Evil manipulates the specific "beast" in each person, some quality that usually serves them well but has been twisted into a dangerous weakness:

Sulu's enthusiasm for martial arts, a respect that needs but a nudge to plunge him into an abyss of terror.

Uhura's youthful vitality and beauty, betraying a paralyzing fear of the ugliness of death.

Chekov's reverence for Starfleet's hierarchy, which usually gives him unswerving loyalty to his captain but is rooted in a deep fear of disobedience, even when the situation calls for him to question authority.

Scotty's dedication to the physical operation of the ship, perverted into a protectiveness that loses all sense of that ship's purpose.

Kirk's own identity as a natural leader, turned against him as he fears losing control over his ship and crew.

And of course, it all started with the children's beast, their dependence upon loving parents, a dependence they transferred onto an evil being who used their fantasies of power for his own aims.

As for the evil angel himself, he insists, "I fear nothing," but he ultimately fears the most powerful beast of all, the one beast that could have conquered all the personal beasts he had exploited: the truth.

The episode's execution is not always perfect, but the story beneath the plot is a profound one about the universal human experience. This episode implicitly asks two questions of every viewer: "What is your beast?" and then "How can you keep evil from exploiting it?"

Entire spiritual retreats have been structured around such questions. I think they make this episode worth a great deal more than half a star.

I'm not afraid of being alone in that assessment.
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Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

McCoy: "Well, I won't stop you from questioning the children, but it could harm them if you do."

So this DOCTOR believes that Kirk's intended course of action has a real possibility of harming children who have just been through a terrible trauma, but defers to the captain's decision? What happened to the Chief Medical Officer's authority in matters of health? Shouldn't he be ordering the captain to take the kids to the starbase for the treatment he believes, in his expert medical opinion, they require? Or at the very least ordering him not to play psychotherapist with them?

Apparently, that whole "the doctor can overrule even the captain in case of medical necessity" thing only applies when convenient to the story.
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Sleeper Agent
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

The first part was pretty good, the second part, however, is magnificent.

Mostly thanks to Mulgrew, who is absolutely ravishing as dark Janeway. The interplay between her and Chakotay also added an interesting dynamic to the duo (although I can't for the life me understand why anyone would disobey Janeway).

Also, Savage does an excellent job as Equinox's Captain. I thoroughly enjoyed the Doctor without the ethical subroutine as well, reminded me of the great movie "The Dentist".

4 Stars, thanks to the Janeway factor.
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