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Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 2:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

I will disregard all the political squabbling in this episode and turn my attention to what I feel is a key scene in the last act. We see Captains Kirk and Tracey slugging it out in front of a bunch of spectators. And we see Spock watching them. In fact, he is watching one of them very intently---Sirah, Cloud William's mate, who has been watching with unusual interest. And we see Dr. McCoy asking Spock, rather testily I might add, what he's doing. And Spock replies, "I'm making a suggestion." Yes. What our favorite Vulcan is doing is performing---and not for the first time---something called telepathic hypnosis, directed at Sirah. And he's very good at it. He influences her to pick up a communicator and get it to him and open it---which signals the Enterprise to get a security team down to the planet's surface on the double. No Vulcan voodoo, no magic---just another demonstration of what Vulcans call "wuh tepul t'wuh kashek"---the power of the mind and what it could be capable of: something that I have always found fascinating and which I have been investigating.
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Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 2:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Requiem for Methuselah

I found this to be a tragic love story, Shakespearean in scope, about two men---one an immortal who had lived thousands of lives and the other a very human 23rd-century man, both in love with a woman whose one flaw, a major one, was that she was not human. Following this tale I was sharply reminded of Offenbach's opera "Tales of Hoffman", in which Act One finds the poor goof falling for a woman who turns out to be a robot. I sensed that Flint had bitten off more than he could chew, and he made a costly error in throwing Captain Kirk and Rayna together, because she (it?) not only learned human emotions but also human desires such as freedom of choice, and it was her inability to choose that ultimately destroyed her: her last words were "" Of course, Kirk was really hit hard by the whole thing and when he returned to the Enterprise he disconsolately shut himself up in his room. The ending is one in which I had to choke up because it was so beautiful; Spock and Dr. McCoy had been discussing the situation, and just before Bones left the room he said sadly "I do wish he could forget her"---and I caught an undertone in his voice which told me that he was giving Spock the green light to do what he could to help. And Spock did; he performed not only an act of compassion but also a powerful psychological save---a quiet mind-meld, a whispered suggestion, and a telepathic block to give Kirk the time he needed to recover his emotional equilibrium. And I thought, "If that isn't love, what is?"---I witnessed a demonstration of just how deeply Spock cared for his commanding officer.
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Prince of Space
Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 1:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that Matt liked the turkey leg and caviar scene.
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Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 1:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Detained

At around 21:30 Bakula and Stockwell are stood talking, with Stockwell holding some kind of handheld device. I was almost expecting Grat to start hitting the device and telling Archer what percent chance Ziggy gives of him freeing the Suliban.
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Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 1:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

I haven't watched too many of the Voyager episodes, my preference being the original series, but I found this one to be a real thriller. It was a well written story centering on the trials and tribulations of Seven of Nine as she grappled with a whole slew of invading entities threatening to destroy her, and Jeri Ryan turned in a real tour de force of a performance. And when that doctor, whom I can't stand because he's always so full of himself, failed in his efforts to remedy the situation, he was forced to step back and let the Vulcan, Tuvok, have a go at it---and Tuvok came through, going all-out with a powerful and dramatic Vulcan mind-fusion (not unlike the one Spock used in "The Paradise Syndrome", by the way), joining Seven's mind and helping her drive off the invaders. I always enjoy the mind-meld sequences in Star Trek, and this was one of the most electrifying.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

I agree 100% with "Anonymous" who lashes out at those viewers who have to get sex into every aspect of the series. I have the impression that they are all in the grip of a terminal case of pon farr. I will say that every episode of this series, good, bad or indifferent, has something to say, and what this episode gives us is a provocative investigation into the subjects of truth, beauty and what they mean to all of us. And I have nothing but sympathy for poor Miranda Jones---a prisoner of that most destructive of all human emotions, that all-consuming jealousy which prevents her from attaining her desired objective (becoming one with Kollos)---and a great big shout-out to our favorite Vulcan for breaking through that screen via the Vulcan mind-fusion, forcing her to realize this. This may not be the greatest episode of the series, but it's a good one.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

I really liked the dynamic between Sisko and Eddington here -- good acting job by both. The episode turns into their personal vendetta and Eddington is an intelligent and philosophical terrorist. The "Les Miserables" was a nice analogy to add to the plot.

This is one of those episodes where Avery Brooks' style of overacting works as well. It doesn't address the bigger issue of the Maquis -- something I've always struggled to understand is how they could possibly put up much of a fight vs. the Federation and Cardassians (thinking of how costly space travel and making biogenic weapons should be). The other thing that bothered me is where were the Cardies in this episode?? Should we not have heard from Dukat or some offer to help Sisko? (Am I missing something?)

The holo-transporter was neat -- it served to make the barbs traded between Sisko and Eddington that much more meaty.

I was a bit surprised that Eddington gave himself up after Sisko poisoned the planet -- I guess he truly does care for the Maquis (martyr) and is really doesn't have anything against Sisko primarily. Sisko shows he has balls and maybe that seed planted here blooms in "In the Pale Moonlight".

I thought it was great to see how Sisko reacted to having been fooled / his bad judgment of Eddington. He won't let it go -- it's his obsession just as Kirk had his obsessions ("The Conscience of the King" and of course "Obsession"). I like the personal vendetta here as a premise and we finally get the follow up to "For the Cause".

The manual launching (all the verbalizations) of the Defiant didn't do anything for me -- it did seem like a dumb move for Sisko to try to take on Eddington again with the ship in the sorry state it was in (nearly ran into the station!). I also thought transporters weren't working on the Defiant but apparently they were working when dealing with the Cardassian transport. Convenient that the tractor beam would work when so many other things weren't apparently.

Good enough for 3 stars for "For the Uniform" -- So Sisko surmises that Eddington is re-enacting Les Miz and that him being the villain is the right approach. Not bad, I must say. But again, there are no repercussions -- I find this slightly anti-Trekkian that Sisko would poison a whole world. I quite liked Eddington getting under Sisko's skin but trying to emphasize his beef is not with the captain. Nice to tie up this Eddington loose end although what of the Maquis? I liked the personal vendetta thing for Sisko.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

I was bothered by the casual way Crusher let Data see Mrs Soong's scans - really required a suspension of disbelief, but not the only instance it was needed, and what else is new? It was needed to advance the plot. To be expected.

I couldn't so easily dismiss my objections to Data's final decision, however. It really reminded me of what happened to a friend of mine. It was the 70s. Her mom had terminal cancer. The doctors let her dad make the choice on whether or not his wife should be told she was terminal. Her dad said no. He thought she was too emotionally fragile, etc. Up until the end, she was told recovery was expected.

That was wrong, and Data's decision was wrong. She was a grown woman. There was plenty of evidence she was a strong, intelligent, adaptable adult. Let her grieve, let her deal. Tell her the truth.

Just wrong, wrong, wrong. It's wasn't merciful. It was paternalistic nonsense.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

Some nice moments for Odo who goes through the range of emotions with the baby changeling and Mora -- Auberjonois does a solid job portraying all of this -- but overall it's a tad too sappy and somewhat predictable that the baby changeling would die or get reintegrated into Odo. Also the episode spent plenty of time going through in great detail Odo teaching the baby changeling to do this, that etc. -- that part wasn't all that enthralling. The Kira baby B-plot was mildly amusing, although the schtick got repetitive just like parts of the main plot.

I liked the Dr. Mora character here -- him and Odo made a good duet: going from being at each other's throats to developing an understanding of each other and then celebrating when the baby changeling does something.

What bugged me was how did Quark come across the baby changeling in the first place? There was no reasonably explanation given. So these baby changelings were put all over the place by the Founders untold many years ago and only when they are somehow found do they begin to grow etc. And then they have to get back to the Gamma Quadrant to the Founders world to say what's been up for so long? Seems rather inefficient to learn about the universe that way.

I was a bit put off by Shakaar's attitude toward Miles O'Brien -- but this served to turn this subplot into some kind of standard comedy with the men fighting as the woman gives birth. At first it was decent but then it became a bit of a drag -- of course they'd get along better in the end. There were some good parallels between the A and B plots for Odo and Kira's experiences (as Golina states in the above comment) and I like how the two come together in the end to discuss it.

I kept thinking of "The Offspring" as it's pretty similar -- Star Fleet has an interest in the baby changeling and of course it basically dies just as Odo's happiness starts growing. That it integrates into Odo -- well, so much for the human experience -- lasted maybe half a season.

Barely 2.5 stars for "The Begotten" -- good character story for Odo who we learn a lot more about, although these aspects of his personality aren't that important (not like his love for Kira, for example). There were plenty of parts that were a bit cheesy like when Odo is talking to the baby changeling etc. Yes, that's part of him developing his bond for it, but it's hard to really care much about -- what are we to expect from the baby changeling? The sappier parts didn't work for me and "The Offspring" worked a bit better in that respect.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

To me this is a bit of DS9 does "The Silence of the Lambs" -- it really picks up once Kira goes on her personal mission and confronts the deranged and disfigured Prin. But the first 3/4 of the episode is at best decent enough -- Visitor's acting is solid as the toll it takes on Major Kira is palpable. It makes the point about blurred lines between guilty by association and innocence during war/the Occupation -- darkness and the light -- depends from whose perspective it is.

The episode has some flaws -- like what about Shakaar in all of this? And the herbs Kira takes just happens to counteract the sedative that Prin injects her with? And Kira just happens to rule out the 1st 3 suspects on Odo's list and the 4th one turns out to be the right one? Also wasn't very clear how Prin was killing all these people given the different parts of the quadrant they were in at the time of killing.

It's definitely a good premise and one that makes sense -- a Cardassian nobody with vengeance on his mind vs. Kira who rediscovers the fire in her character. Previously she was telling her 2 Bajoran resistance cell friends to let the authorities deal with it, but after their deaths, things really change for her.

Wasn't sure what exactly happened to Kira when, after the O'Briens' quarters blew up, she got knocked out (after knocking out a few people in her way). Then she self-transports and steels the list from Odo's office. I suppose this is the progression in her determination to take matters into her own hands. The episode doesn't have time to go into any reprimand for her actions -- just leaves it with some Kira waxing poetic about darkness/light and guilt/innocence, which was OK although nothing special.

A strong 2.5 stars for "The Darkness and the Light" -- DS9's twist on the serial killer tale is good and draws on the great background provided by the Occupation. It gets a bit convenient at times although that's not a huge knock. Kira trading verbal barbs with Prin was good and I actually thought some of the Cardassian's ramblings seemed to almost make sense. I don't think this episode does much for the greater Bajoran/Federation arc -- doesn't seem to build off "Rapture" and maybe it could have been done earlier in the series.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Profit and Loss

Teaser : ***.5, 5%

To the accompaniment of the generickest of generic “doo...doo doo doo” wallpaper music, a damaged Cardassian vessel is tractored to DS9. Emerging from the craft are, unless I'm mistaken, the first Cardassian woman in the canon. Professor Lang and her students ask for help with repairs, and recognises the political/personal problems that their presence might cause on a Bajoran station.

Meanwhile, my fanfic is finally picking up where it left off. Garak and Bashir aren't whispering sweet nothings to each other, though. Damn it. Instead, they are discussing history. For about 15 minutes, I scoured The Argonautica for a reference I thought I had forgotten to Yeri from near the Tralonian Lake—turns out it's a fictional planet called Trelonia. Womp womp. Garak and Bashir have very different takes on the same history—Garak's point is that a good Cardassian is loyal to the state first and foremost. What I like about this is that it plays the typical Planet of Hats game that Trek often does, but humans are just another one of those hat-people. Our hat is Roddenberryan humanism, which is a sensible way to go about exploring any sociopolitical question in the Trekkian fashion. Finally, we get:

GARAK: Maybe, I'm an outcast spy.
BASHIR: How can you be both?
GARAK: I never said I was either.

File that one away.

Odo pays Quark one of his usual cordial visits—accusing him of having an illegal cloaking device. The Cardassian professor (Natima) makes her way into the bar and Quark trips over himself with glee to get to her. She recognises him. And she slaps him. And walks away. Quark says it's the happiest day of his life.

Act 1 : ***.5, 17%

Quark chases after the angry Natima. Through Quark's charms, some convenient comments from her students, and prodding from Odo, we get some quick and dirty back-story: she and Quark are old—er, friends (the love of her life, in Quark's estimation), and she is a teacher of political ethics whose ideas are controversial but promising, and she used to be a correspondent for the military well before the Bajoran revolution.

Natima is clearly torn between a genuine affection for Quark and a persistent knowledge that she hates him for some reason. But...when Garak and Bashir pass by, they exchange a look suggesting...something. This does not go unnoticed by the constable. She leaves quickly, citing the fact that she believed there were no other Cardassians aboard DS9. This whole scene is paced really well, and enjoyably stacks different nascent plot threads together, while showcasing DS9's better actors (and a good guest star) effectively.

In Ops, Miles reveals that his repair requires fixing damage from Cardassian weapons. Natima is forthcoming; she is smuggling her students away from Cardassia, and they represent the planet's political future.

Act 2 : **.5, 17%

Natima explains. She and her students are leading a movement to overthrow Cardassia's stratocracy. Now, Sisko is on the line of violating the Prime Directive in aiding fugitives from a government with which the Federation has an uneasy peace. But, I think this approach is fair—he's going to see that their ship is repaired quickly and that they be on their way. They aren't allies with Cardassia, so I think this neutral port idea is about right. A wrinkle in this is the sighting by Garak. We remember spent the teaser explaining that a true Cardassian is loyal to the state first. But Garak's true nature is, as Sisko notes, a mystery to them.

Speak of the devil, Quark pops into Garak's shoppe, providing us their first interaction in the series together. This scene has to be one of my favourites of the series so far—the two conmen use the euphemism of ladies' fashion to discuss the volatile situation with Quark's old flame. Garak makes it clear that associating with Natima means getting mixed up in a dangerously subversive political movement. He plays on Quark's expected nature as an opportunist to suggest not making this mistake. Quark, enamoured as he is with her, briefly breaks quickly breaks character and pledges to keep Natima safe. Garak is understandably suspicious that the little cheat has the will nor the means to follow through.

In Natima's quarters, we get MORE backstory. Quark sold food to the Bajorans during the Occupation and Natima helped keep him safe from the authorities for this transgression. This scene is far less artfully done. The substance is good, but it's very clumsy the way the characters reveal information to each other that they already know. Unfortunately, this falls more into the realm of soap opera.

Quark wants to rekindle their romance, even going so far as to offering total selfless aid to her if she would agree to stay with him. Of course, she's dedicated to her cause, and more to the point, she knows that this altruism in him is being fuelled by fresh and ardent emotions. As soon as they faded, his Ferengi nature would lead him to betray her again.

Before Miles can finish repairs on Natima's ship, a Cardassian warship locks appears and locks weapons on the station, but something really surprising happens, too: Garak steps into Ops.

Act 3 : .5, 17%

Sisko gets all blustery demanding to know what's going on. Garak is apparently a representative of the Central Command (though a simple tailor), and assures Sisko that Natima's group are terrorists. He points out that the conflict between the two groups is an internal matter, thus impelling the Commander to obey the Prime Directive and let the two settle their dispute without interference. But...there's still just enough wiggle room because Sisko has no reason to believe that Garak is authorised to speak on behalf of the Cardassian government. If the officials on that ship conquer, however, Sisko ought to be bound to comply. Okay? Okay?

[[[[[[[long sigh]]]]]]]]]

SISKO: Tell the Central Command if anyone attempts to take Hogue and Rekelen by force, I will respond in kind. Am I clear, Mister Garak?

Great. Just fucking great. Tell the tailor claiming to be an ambassador to tell the government of a volatile nation that they can go fuck themselves. Brilliant as always, Commander Asshat.

Quark is trying his luck getting to Natima through her students, or terrorists or whatever. They are resistant, but can't ignore his offer to get them safely off DS9—framed as their only option. Er—possibly. Armin Shimmerman gets to be hilarious again as he starts smacking and tasting the furniture trying to ferret out his Changeling nemesis. Turns out—try not to be surprised—Quark DOES have that illegal cloaking device. And he'll sell it to them—no wait, give it to them—no wait—trade it, for Natima. Okay, then.

We get an exterior shot of the Cardassian warship just hanging out. I guess Garak really does hold the cards here. Quark and Natima go back to the heavy melodrama. The character motivation works for me in theory—Ferengi treat everything as transactional, so I can buy that he would see BUYing his true love as a genuine expression, but the way the scene is played is so hammy and unbelievable, that I have a really hard time. Finally, mercifully, Natima pulls a gun on Quark and demands the cloak for herself and the students. He doesn't believe she'll fire, but in the end, she does. Eh. At least he didn't get strangled.

Act 4 : *.5, 17%

Then, we find out—she fired by accident.

NATIMA: I love you, Quark! I've always loved you, even when I hated you!

Okay, there went the last shreds of my patience with this crap. Here's looking at you, episode.

But seriously, this whole scene is one of the most uncomfortable things I can remember sitting through on Trek, and I include watching Kirk beat up a dinosaur and Tasha be kind of into her would-be rapist. If you sat down, wrote down the most hackneyed over-the-top lines you could think of, and strung them together randomly, I don't think you could come up with dialogue this ridiculous.

NATIMA: You painted my face with honey.

Ew. Just. Ew.

Anyway, they make the same point to each other over and over—he wants her to stay 'cause they're SO IN LOVE, she insists that THE MOVEMENT NEEDS HER. And she even fucking agrees to stay on DS9. Oh my Tap-Dancing Christ.

Odo arrives and breaks up this tedium to arrest her. Later, in the brig, Sisko explains to her and her students that he has to return them to the Central Command. And this is because the Prime Direc—oh, wait, what? Oh, apparently the Cardassians are also going to trade for them, in the currency of Bajoran prisoners (I assume previously occluded ones like those on Cardassia IV during the Circle Trilogy). Yep, can't give Commander I-Love-Starfleet-So-Much-I-Ignore-All-Its-Rules-And-Principles a clear motivation, can we? It has to be for the poor faceless Bajorans. Okay, in fairness, Sisko is being compelled to take this offer by the provisional government which he apparently serves *before* the Federation.

A man called Gul Toran lets himself into Garak's shoppe. He's disdainful, and we learn that Garak is indeed living in exile. The mystery is revealed completely—Garak offered up to the CC news of Natima and her group in the hope of returning to Cardassia. Toran says that the transaction needs a bit of gilding, namely, Garak has to kill them. Toran believes—and Garak doesn't seem to disagree—that arranging their deaths should be a wholly familiar task for the tailor.

Act 5 : zero stars, 17%

Quark confronts Odo and begs him to have the trio free. He frames the success of their political movement as being “good for business,” but Odo sees right through it. Quark furthers his plea by accusing Odo of having “the emotions of a stone,” of not understanding what true love is. And, based on what we've seen this episode, neither do the writers. Quark keeps trying to bribe, but finally appeals to his and Odo's friendship—because as someone who has the emotions of a stone, overt sentimentalism is bound to be effective. Finally, he's on his knees again—like in the one redeeming scene of “Move Along Home,” weeping and begging for Odo's help.

And then—grrgh—Odo decides he WILL free them “in the name of justice” (they would be killed for their crimes). AND he's going to let Quark use his illegal cloak to do it. This startling decision can be read one of two ways; 1. As in “Necessary Evil,” Odo's sense of justice is more important to him than the letter of the law, in which case, why is he only deciding to let them go NOW?, or 2. Odo is doing this for Quark, because he cares about him, and needs an excuse, in which case, this is a character moment that could have used a little fucking build-up. And to add to this scene's schizophrenia, the camera decides to show Quark getting to his feet as though he had just performed oral sex on Odo. Wow.

Quark gets them to their ship, but an armed Garak is waiting behind door #1.

So there's some more schmultzy crap with Quark and even poor Garak behaving entirely out of character. And then—I kid you not, a laughed out loud at this next bit—Toran steps out from behind door #2 and proclaims “What do you believe in Garak?” It's like a community theatre production of Rent in here. So, Toran shows up to make sure Garak kills them, but no wait he's going to do it himself because it never really mattered, because they were never going to let Garak go home, so of course he had to bribe Garak into agreeing to kill them because, in the end he knew it wouldn't matter. Of course. So, Garak pulls a second phaser from...somewhere and vaporises Toran instead. More maudlin crap, goodbye kiss and thank God it's over.

Episode as Functionary : *.5, 10%

GARAK: Never let sentiment get in the way of your work. A bit of a cliché but true, nonetheless.


DS9 has a habit of starting out promising and ending in disappointment, but this episode takes the cake. There are exactly two good things to take away from this; the intrigue around Garak's back-story and the world-building regarding Cardassian politics. Until the final acts, every scene with Andrew Robinson is really spectacular, and the opening bits before the romance was vomited into the plot were good as well. But oh my god, the scenes between Natima and Quark are worse than the hop-scotch in “Move Along,” worse than the Sisko whoops in “Emissary,” worse than the screeching of the Skreeans in “Sanctuary.” Between Sisko, Quark, and Odo, the only series regular who was in character at all was Sisko, and that's only because he was being bad at his job again. Without the Andrew Robinson bits, this is the absolute worst dreck DS9 has put out so far. Which is why, just like in the previous couple episodes, I have to apologise to the viewers, because the Garak bits are necessary to the series continuity, and mostly wonderful, so this one can't be skipped. But do yourself a favour; after Act 2, smoke a very large bowl. There might be some it's so bad it's good after that, but that's about it. Oh and the music is particularly sucky.

Final Score : *.5
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 4:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Someone to Watch Over Me

They missed a trick by not calling this episode Romancing The Drone.
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Peter Swinkels
Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Doctor's Orders

Traveling a quarter light year in ten weeks? At SUBLIGHT?!
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Zita Carno
Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 9:52am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

At one point Spock asks Bones "Do you think he's strong enough for the Vulcan mind-fusion?" And Bones replies "We have no choice." The mind-fusion is the most powerful of the standard mind-melds, and even there we have a couple of variants. We have a quieter version that occurs in "Is There In Truth No Beauty?" in which Spock becomes one with Ambassador Kollos---a true sharing of information and experiences---and then there's the no-holds-barred version we see here, the one that has to be performed in order to break Kirk's amnesia, in the process knocking the wind out of Spock. Then---in a "Voyager" episode, "Infinite Regress", Tuvok has to go all-out as he joins Seven of Nine's mind so the two of them can repel the invading entities that threaten to destroy her. Three different varieties of the mind fusion, and to someone like me who is fascinated by mind melds in general, most enjoyable.
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Joe Menta
Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Obsession

Great episode. For some reason, though, Netflix is showing the original version, without the new special effects (all the other episodes they’re showing feature the new effects). Not that the original effects are bad.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 7:16am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Identity Crisis

How convenient that Geordi doesn't get infected until long after everyone else. Of course it's the show's main character who isn't affected by anything, while the throwaway extras are the weakest and suffer first/most.

And of course the one and only woman in an away team of 5 would be Geordi's friend, the guy with terrible luck with women...cue the awkward romantic vibes.

The Fun With DNA is putting the episode heavy on the FICTION part of Science Fiction.
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

Well played borusa, well played.
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Prince of Space
Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 2:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

@ Cody B...

I’m sorry that you are also OCD to the degree where captions are turned on if a line of dialogue is hard to understand. lol

Drives me crazy to not know if the line is important or not.

Since TNG is getting on in years, it only happens occasionally. But with a lot of modern TV episodes and movies it seems to be an increasingly common occurrence. As if the microphone is at the end of the hall covered in a towel and the person speaking has a mouth full of gravel.

I back the show/movie up several times and no matter what, I just can’t make it out. Finally I back it up and turn on captioning and I’m like, “Oh you have GOT to be kidding me!!!” haha
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Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 2:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Dagger of the Mind

This was the first instance of the use of the Vulcan mind-meld, and one thing must be mentioned: a lot of credit has to go to Dr.McCoy who pushed the reluctant Vulcan with the urgent "Will it work---or not?" Bones may have called himself an "old country doctor", but he was light-years ahead of everyone else, and knowing Spock's formidable mental powers he insisted that it be tried. And it worked; Spock actually used a combination of the mind-meld with telepathic hypnosis, delivering in a quiet half-whisper two strong suggestions of wellbeing and relaxation and weightless suspension ---and he got van Gelder calm enough to talk about his ordeal.
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Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Dark Page

Ok. I say this as a mom who lost a child: this is a good episode and Barrett does a great job.

The reveal surprised and undid me a bit. Yes, it made sense as a trauma that's just . . . endless, painful, gut wrenching, and unpredictably crippling.

Very unique and well done, despite a bit of cheesiness from the telepath learning to talk (why do they have voices at all, I wonder?).

I can barely stand to watch it, but not because it's badly done. Quite the contrary.
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Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Juggernaut

Mostly basic action adventure here with Dawson/Torres putting on a decent show given what she had to work with. She affirms Janeway's faith in her as Tuvok's faith in her wavered. The idea of disgruntled laborer wasn't bad either, otherwise the plot would have been razor thin.

I get this is a Torres episode and it's about time. Dawson is a good actress and the fiery personality just comes naturally for her. She's supposed to get her anger tested here and maybe develop some control over it. Who knows if she improved in any way. What the writers intended for her character is fine -- for me, they didn't quite pull it off. But it seems they also wanted to play up this notion of "G.I. Torres" as also some kind of sex symbol -- this is where it gets dumb. Why was Torres in a tank-top while all the men were more fully clothed? And then there the shower scene at the end -- gratuitous. She could have her remorse etc. without disrobing...but ratings etc.

As for the Malon again, I see it as a quandary for VOY: if it's like every week a new alien species comes along, it gets harder to care, some groundwork needs to be re-laid, different forehead/nose ridges need to be invented etc. It makes no sense that Voyager should be encountering the Malon here but at least there's some familiarity to build on. OK, so they're the toxic waste dumpers but there was an opportunity to do more with them here. Unfortunately, the episode is another twist on their toxic waste dumping.

Why wouldn't the Voyager away team have protective suits when they go aboard the freighter? The whole idea seemed ridiculous at first -- the Malon themselves admit they can't deal with the sabotaged freighter but Voyager boards it believing it can do something about it. So there's plenty of fumbling around the vessel, giving Torres a chance to control her temper.

As for the core laborer, this is like the worker going postal -- so that's all well and good as the unexpected element. Decent suspense with 7 saying he's approaching the team in the control room. Torres has her hero scene when she hits him with the metal rod and saves the day -- she's done this kind of thing before ("Revulsion" and even "Dreadnought"). I don't think she should have too much introspection to do for sending the core laborer to his death.

Barely 2.5 stars for "Juggernaut" -- Dawson does everything that is asked of her well. It's just that the emphasis was excessively on action/adventure instead of character development. Didn't feel like there was very much to this episode. Have to also question this radiation dumping by the Malon, although they do develop a bit more as aliens here as we understand the core laborer phenomenon and a tad more about their homeworld.
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Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

Really it's quite clear, and Janeway was in the wrong here. If Tuvix was not capable of performing the duties of Tuvok or Neelix and those people are essential to the functioning of the ship, then you can argue she acted in the best interests of the crew. But since he could, this is murder. Plain and simple. And it's not murder to not separate Tuvix, because there was no intent to combine him in the first place...murder requires intent. Is it a tragic accident? Yes. But one that she had to commit murder to undo, and murder is what she did.

It can "haunt" her, sure...but she should really be treated the same as any captain who pulls a phaser out and vaporizes one of her crew.....charged and relieved of duty.

But it's Voyager, so she isn't, and by the next episode, everybody forgets that just last week she killed someone because it was tragic to lose those two crew members through no fault of the crew, or her.

What's amazing is, by the end of Voyager's duty, she becomes an Admiral for her crimes. And this isn't even the first or last of them.
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Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Fight

Really not a fan of this kind of pointless excess -- took so long for this episode to have any discernible direction as far as Chakotay's issues. Far too arbitrary with nothing really concrete to take away. I wasn't impressed with the acting from either Beltran or Picardo who just seemed to think that yelling a lot is what's needed. And ultimately, the plot is paper thin -- Chakotay has to face his fears so these aliens can talk to him enough to get him to guide Voyager out of chaotic space. And there's the DNA altering aspect, which is one of the worst Trek cliches.

I feel that given how simple this episode really is, it tries to make it into something big with the special effects, weirdness etc. In fact, the overall impression for me is one of arrogance. It's a shitty premise and the writers/direction are pompous in trying to make it look impressive.

Chakotay does his vision quest -- and we see his crazy grandfather. Are we to understand that his grandfather wasn't crazy and something was trying to speak with him? Or what? Did Chakotay learn anything from his grandfather? We know family and spirituality is important for Chakotay and that this is clearly a "Chakotay episode" -- but it's just unfocused nonsense for the most part. Even the whole confronting the fear or the unknown or whatever isn't instructive.

Not even 1.5 stars for "The Fight" -- so 1 star it is for this mess. Maybe it could have included a B-plot. The whole idea of aliens communicating through a boxing match (altering senses) is too much of a stretch -- TNG has done this kind of thing better, as has DS9 with Sisko's prophet visions. Plenty of weird filler material in here that gets tiring to care about. Just not a good VOY viewing experience.

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Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

If the Enterprise was confronted by a Borg cube rather than a space chandelier there would be no question-kill the Borg if you have a chance.
The overgrown quartz monster is far too dangerous to be allowed to run free .
The Doc was right
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Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

A female starfleet officer commits a grave breach of duty, she is court martialled and sent to a penal colony.
Some time later a senior starfleet officer arranges her release and she is assigned to our heroes' ship where she is met with initial distrust and shunned except for one or two exceptions.
Later we discover that the starfleet officer behind her release has unscrupulous reasons for his actions.

No one yelled their hatred for this plot when TNG did it but when the character is Michael Burnham there was no end of an outcry.
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