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Peter G.
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Thanks for the kind words, Mal.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Fifth Season Recap


How come you only gave Children of Time an 8.5/10? I awarded it a full 10/10, it's my joint favourite episode along with In The Pale Moonlight. In what way would you have improved the episode?
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 10:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

"Rocks and Shoals" is a little masterpiece, with that unmistakable Ron Moore touch.

Essentially a Sum Fuller movie squeezed into 45 minutes - Sam Fuller made low budget WW2 movies, in which little squads of opposing troops found themselves lost in little morality plays - this episode finds Sisko and the gang stranded on an alien planet. Also with them are a gang of Jem'Hadar under the command of a wounded Vorta.

As others have mentioned, the Vorta here is superbly acted by Christopher Shea. IMO it's a performance even better than Jeffrey Combs' Weyoun. Shea's Vorta has an otherworldly quality. He feels like those images of Hindu Gods, humanoid but inhuman, and with a serene, but detached and haughty quality. The guy moves like he's on an entirely different astral plane, and feels far more alien, and even divine, than Weyoun.

Much of the episode plays like a superior version of "Nor the Battle To The Strong", "To The Death" and "The Ship". The Vorta wants Sisko's medic, and Sisko wants the Vorta's communication's relay. Standing in their way is the Jem'Hadar, who the Vorta sacrifices to Sisko in exchange for a pampered prison sentence. It's an interesting triangle, with Sisko torn between the survival of his crew, and the survival of the Jem'Hadar, a species he continues to have sympathy for.

Good location photography, some good fleshing out of Garak and Nog (Nog refuses to ever stand in front of Garak), some great Miles moments, and some great secondary characters (compare Moore's redshirts with Fuller's caricatures in "Empok Nor") help complement Moore's writing, which has a muscular, confident quality.

Equally good is a subplot back on DS9. Here Kira's become complacent with Dominion rule, comfortably pampered and corralled and attuned to a life of submission. It's a slow and gutsy piece of writing, the episode simply watching as a tired Kira goes about her dull daily routines, sipping raktajino and manning her console. When a Bajoran Vedek commits suicide to protest the occupation (the Vedek is played with rare gravity and class by seasoned actress Lilyan Chauvin), Kira snaps out of her fugue. She realizes she's essentially become a collaborator, and resolves to form a resistance movement.

This, of course, echoes Sisko's plight, in which Sisko and the Vorta, Federation and Enemy, collaborate with one another to ensure their comfort and survival. The victims of Kira's collaborations are Bajor and the Entire Alpha Quadrant. The victims of Sisko's are the Jem'Hadar, who in this episode are also asked to swear fidelity to one of two causes.
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Dave in MN
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 10:24am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: First Season Recap

@ Mike

Quantum Leap?!
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 10:24am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Changeling

@Beth, I agree with every single word you wrote! Silly & enjoyable :-)
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 10:12am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Who Morns for Adonias?

Star Trek season 2 episode 2

Gentle Adonis is dying, O Cythera, what shall we do?
Beat your breasts, O maidens, and rend your garments.

- Sappho the Lesbian, circa 500 B.C.

3 stars (out of 4)

The Gods have not had the best of luck these last few hundred years.

Long gone are the days when important men loved and worshiped their gods, the way Shakaar and Bariel and other Bajorans are known to do on Star Trek even today. We may not have gone as far as the Klingons (Worf: "Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millennia ago. They were more trouble than they were worth.”). But so many of our Gods are none the less - as a philosopher once put it - dead. Kirk has room in his heart for only one ("Mankind has no need for gods. We find the one quite adequate.”).

Scotty doesn’t even believe in one.

What if some of those gods came back? How sad would they be to see their temples in ruins, their churches empty, their names forgotten, or worse - their names dragged through mud? Season 5 of Angel does a good job imagining the return of Illyria ("I lived seven lives at once. I was power in the ecstasy of death. I was god to a god.”). The scene where Illyria finds herself back at her temple is very sobering,

Her temple lies in ruins, her worshipers long dead. No one remembers her name.

The episode doesn’t tell us how long ago Apollo’s compatriots left. Some faded away into the wind. But others, presumably, went off to find other worlds, other peoples who would worship them. Whatever may have happened, Apollo was left all alone.

But why was Apollo all alone? @Peter G., in his unparalleled write up (please read it!), says it is because Apollo had the power of prophesy. But then so did Zeus.

I believe Apollo stayed behind because of all the gods, Apollo loved us the most. He couldn’t leave. That’s the story of Daphne, Cupid & the Laurel (Kirk: "Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves?”). In this episode, Apollo is the one god who had an abiding faith that one day - some day - he would be reunited with his people. That they would worship him again.

When you read the old stories, either from Greek mythology, or the Bible, or other tales of other gods (Loki, Raam, Baal), do you ever wonder what those gods would be like if you ever met them?

Would they be grand? Or would they be disappointing? Would they be generous? Or would they be jealous? Would you feel yourself drawn to them like Lt. Carolyn Palamas (Palamas is a town in Greece), or repelled by them like Scotty. Or fascinated (Bones: "To coin a phrase, fascinating.")? Or annoyed (Kirk)? Would they make you laugh and sing like Dionysus, or cry out in awe like Jupiter.

This episode imagines Apollo not unlike an aging celebrity longing for the lost love of his adoring fans. The most beautiful of all the gods, Apollo had many lovers, but he never married. At the end of this episode, Apollo dies of a broken heart.

How many of our heroes/celebrities/gods - if we met them - would live up to the idea of them we have built up in our minds?

"Who Morns for Adonias” is a key marker on a long-running TOS omnipotence arc. What started with an examination of a man, Gary Mitchell, as a god, and continued on through Charlie X (an adolescent as a god), and the Squire of Gothos (a child as a god), culminated in Season 1 with the Organians in “Errand of Mercy”. Now we look at things from the other side. From the point of view of the gods themselves. They have everything. Power, so much power. But if the stories are right, what they crave is devotion.

Without it, they die.

Five thousand years ago, man ran off with another lover. We weren’t cast out of Paradise, we eloped. The old gods died of a broken heart.

Very few stories include a credible point of view of the gods. I, for one, am supremely grateful for this one.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 10:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: A Time to Stand

An excellent start to a strong run of episodes, "A Time to Stand" marks Trek's first attempts at a new kind of serialization. And so here we get a long string of episodes, each intimately connected, and each dealing with the Federation/Dominion war, and the Cardassian/Dominion occupation of DS9.

As Jammer says in his review, an air of exhaustion and pessimism suffuses these episodes. The Federation have lost DS9, have lost countless fleet battles, and lost countless ships. To turn the tides of war back in their favor, "A Time to Stand " thus sees Sisko launching a sneak-attack on a Ketracel white facility. Much of the episode observes this operation, including a skirmish with a Federation cruiser. It's all quite tense, DS9 confidently turning its back on TNG/TOS styled SF and Weird Fiction, in favor for outright Military Scifi.

Something I never fully appreciated with these episode is Kira's little arc. She begins this arc as a hotheaded resistance fighter, gets beaten down, becomes dejected and depressed, goes through the motions as a Cardassian aide, sleepwalking through life as a Little Eichmann, realizes she's become dangerously complacent and comfortable with Dominion rule, forms a little resistance cell, loses Odo to the Dominion, and then becomes a kind of vengeful, lone warrior.

This little arc revitalizes the Kira character, who along with Bashir had become stagnant throughout the past season.

We also get lots of great Kira sass throughout this episode, particularly in the ways she repeatedly teases Dukat, poking him like a smaller fish pokes a shark ("What's wrong, Dukat? Afraid we'll take the station away from you again?").

Also interesting is the way the episode shows Weyoun INSTANTLY and AUTOMATICALLY kowtowing to Odo. The way Weyoun immediately gives in to Odo's wishes and requests are shocking, and highlights starkly how revered and worshiped the Changelings are by the Vorta. It's a fascinating and original relationship - the Vorta deemed Gods by those they lord over, the Founders deemed Gods by the Vorta.

We also get three brief but interesting subplots. We have the Dominion bending over backwards to seem like "benevolent rulers", hoping to entice future Alpha Quadrant planets into their "federation", and we have Dukat once again touting himself as savior of Cardassia: "Cardassia was on the edge of an abyss, Major," he says. "The war with the Klingons left us into a third-rate power. My people had lost their way. I've made them strong again!"

Finally we have Jake Sisko as a WW2 era novelist-cum-journalist, acting out an archetype familiar at the turn of the century: a Hemingway, Steinbeck or Norman Mailer-esque artist, living behind enemy lines in the name of truth and his art.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 10:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

*love them for it, even if you know they're controlling
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Some of the interpretations of this episode bother me deeply. I did not see some dichotomy with Nerys as strong and Meru as weak, at all.

It is hard, very hard, to be in a relationship with a huge power disparity (like totally reliant on them for food and shelter and the social status disparity is huge and you are required to cut ties with loved ones), where sexual consent is murky or nonexistent (including outright rape) and violence is always an imminent possibility (or certainty, lol). It is hard to be a person and a housepet. One learns to look no further than tomorrow, to struggle to glean good qualities and decent behavior in the person you're tied to and love them for it, if you know they're controlling and brainwashing you, to stamp down on any doubt about running away or ending it all. And relationships that uneven don't stay in honeymoon mode--certainly not with a man like Dukat.

There was no especial indicator to me that Meru was unusually stupid, or ignorant of the moral implications of her actions. She wasn't raring to go on being a "comfort woman" in /general/. When when she saw a long-term, livable situation with Dukat, she predicted that it was best for her children and husband and she was absolutely right. She then threw her mental health and bodily autonomy under the bus for the remainder of her life, and she stuck with it.

It takes a lot of strength to live like that, and that doesn't change however many fancy dinners you get paid in.

PS. even horrid Kai Winn tried to school Kira about nonviolent forms of resistance:
"Those of you who were in the Resistance, you're all the same. You think you're the only ones who fought the Cardassians; that you saved Bajor single-handedly. Perhaps you forget, Major, the Cardassians arrested any Bajoran found to be teaching the word of the Prophets. I was in a Cardassian prison camp for five years, and I can remember each and every beating I suffered. And while you had your weapons to protect you, all I had was my faith, and my courage."

Meru didn't even have the knowledge her some day, some time, her people would respect her for her choice.

PPS. It would be especially interesting to me if Kira's life and physical development was saved by the extra supplies--that would be enabling the resistance through the most unconventional of means.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 8:09am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

So season 1 started with a visit to one of Bones' old flames who turned out to be a salt-sucking monster, and Kirk almost gets killed.

And season 2 starts with a visit to Spock's old lady who turns out to be a cheating whore (Spock: "Logical. Flawlessly logical."), and Kirk almost gets killed.

So what can we expect for the start of season 3?!? Don't tell me guys, I have high hopes ;)

@Rahul, yes the sound track is particularly impressive - that Processional is incredible!

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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:27am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

Trek fans certainly tend to be continuity zealots, and yes that can certainly constrain story possibilities. However, there’s a sure fire way to avoid that issue: don’t make a prequel series.

As for the Ferengi, I think some of the commenters don’t fully get why so many viewers dislike them. Very few people liked Ferengi episodes in all incarnation of Trek. Keep in mind, the Ferengi were a failed concept. They were supposed to be the new antagonists in TNG, but they were so silly, that they were switched over to “comedy “.

Some viewers like them, so kudos if you do, but I dare say the vast bulk of trekkers never liked them at all. It’s kind of like Lwaxana Troi... there may be moments when they work, but most of the time, as soon as they show up on screen, eyes are rolling.

DS9 did some decent work with Quark and his family, but most episodes with a Ferengi theme were just terrible. And you even see this on the comments above— a whole lot of people are saying that’s not bad for Ferengi episode.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

True. You cannot send her to prison for 6 month but sooner or later these things start to break immersion and with Burnham it is sooner. She went from commander to dishonorably discharged back to commander to now something. Maybe they actually have her leave starfleet. That would be interesting, branching her story off. She goes on adventures with Booker and meets with the Discovery every now and then. Like a freelancer.
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Skye Francis-maidstone
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:19am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers


"That's what Walking Dead and Game of Thrones (as I understand it, never watched either) were making a "stunt" out of, in order to generate drama."

Not so sure it's stunt in GoT since it's reasonably close to the path the books took. Certainly it could be called that in TWD though.

Stunt or not it's hard to argue that it doesn't make the tension more real if they might actually kill off your favourite characters.

I mean DSC is a bit lacking in any characters for anyone to care about (they killed the blue alien/robot last season and I doubt anyone watching shed a tear). Saru is the exception I guess.

Tears of joy if they killed off Michael? That won't happen anyway obviously.

It might actually be refreshing to have a Star Trek series with a large revolving cast like TWD maybe. Thinking about it, DSC is perfect for that since they don't seem that interested in fleshing out any of the characters anyway.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:02am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

Starfleet is notoriously bad about actually discharging insubordinate or regulation-violating personnel. It's a serial television show, and if you change the status quo, then it's almost always bound to lose you viewers, one way or another. I like to refer to this as the "Moonlighting" effect (After Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd got together, the show was basically over for a lot of people...the 'will they or won't they' tension was what kept people interested).

So, television writers tend to hew very closely to the established parameters of a show, unless they have a very clear idea where they're going with a certain decision, or the show is almost over.

This presents a problem in a show about any ranked organization; you want the characters to experience dramatic situations and do dramatic things, but oftentimes in real-life situations like these, doing the dramatic thing would get you shitcanned pretty fast.

They paid for these actors to do this show, these actors are gonna be in the next episode; it's a conceit that television in general is really not able to do much about. That's what Walking Dead and Game of Thrones (as I understand it, never watched either) were making a "stunt" out of, in order to generate drama. "Oh wow they killed Character I Thought They Wouldn't Kill!"

Star Trek, however, tends to back off from this kind of behavior.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 6:42am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

"Preaching is no less harmful than any other kind of coercion, probably far worse because it stays with you for longer."
That is not true. In Germany the Lutherans are always my go to to explain when a religion is fine. Women can and have reached their highest offices. LGBT+ is completely accepted. No racism of any sort.
Preaching is just a moral argument based on religious texts or believes. It is not coercion.

I'm not defending intolerance or hatred fueled by religion or racism or anything else. That should be opposed.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 6:23am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Harmless? You really believe that? Try telling that to someone who has decades of nightmares and trauma from being told as a child they're going to burn in hell, live with severe anxiety and panic from being made to believe they're a 'sinner' or will be judged in the afterlife.
Preaching is no less harmful than any other kind of coercion, probably far worse because it stays with you for longer.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 6:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Banned for less
Stop it. While Hagins quoting of the bible is certainly not my thing and my believes are more in line of SlackerInc (I'm a scientist so probably never had a chance) when it comes to religion so far what he wrote is fairly harmless.
No reason to go so overboard with your critique.
I almost thought that you are an agent provocateur because your words are so extreme.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 5:50am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Hagins, so you’re threat is not “yours” you simply deliver an existential threat on behalf of your cult. You take no responsibility for the garbage leaking from your lips, the havoc you wrought upon your fellow woman in the name of the cult, nor the misery, suffering, or beguilement of others when the rest of the country looks at your fascism, racism, and illegitism and decides to shine sunlight in.

Hey thanks. But no thanks. You take your kingdom of crap and go castrate bunny rabbits. When your “ilk” decide to join the rest of secular society with laws and rights for all people, especially women and children, we can rationally discuss things. Until then, take your threat, and go have a nice hug filled colonizer Christmas.
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Sean J Hagins
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 5:22am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Desert Crossing

I REALLY liked this episode. I like the fact that Zobral didn't turn out to be the baddie of the piece (like I expected)

This episode shows again that neutrality is best. Rather than taking sides, we try to show people the real solution to problems. I think for the show, they tried to take this road, and it worked reasonably well
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

When Jake and Nog were discussing entomology, I wondered if the universal translator would translate the concept but then Nog asked what entomology was. It's hard to believe a technology like this would leave gaps similar to how a child naturally learns language. That said, the earlier scenes with the alien race is how I'd expect the technology to work: the most common concepts are translated quickly while more obscure and technical language takes longer and doesn't seem to translate exactly. It's a little too fast, though. I think even a super advanced AI would need at least hundreds or thousands of sentences to make sense of things.

I agree with above comments that this episode has a season 1 TNG or TOS script leftover feel. Or someone cribbed some Space Mormon ideas from Battlestar Galactica.

Also, why does future music suck so much? it's very often tranquil and sonically boring.

The drama with the Space Lepers wasn't very compelling. The Bajorians really dodged a bullet on this one, for a change. Actually, the big brain move would have been to move Bajor to Draylon II and stick the overly demanding aliens with Bajor's withered husk.
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Sean J Hagins
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 4:16am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Fallen Hero

I actually almost didn't watch this one because I thought it was going to deal with Risa and immorality. I'm glad I read the synopsis, or I would have missed a good episode! I like the Ambassador. She wasn't "out of character" for a Vulcan, but she WAS friendly! Which would be realistic-an ambassador couldn't expect much success if she acted superior all the time'

Good to see the younger actor from Crazy Like a Fox as the alien baddie. I like how the chase played out-suspenseful and interesting!

I also like how T'Pol acted when she thought her "hero" was "fallen"

I guess it is possible that once the Federation was formed, starfleet suddenly achieved Warp 7 (I guess it makes sense that the Vulcans would have a leg up on humans since they already had warp technology when Cochrane did his famous flight-I actually kind of see it as compared to another sci-fi series-Animorphs! In that, the Andalites was kind of stuffy, and Ax (the main Andalite character) told our humans that they were actually a little afraid of humans. He mentions "your species went from their first heavier than air plane flying to landing on the moon in 66 years! Andalites took over 2 centuries to achieve that!" The implication is that humans are very quick to learn and inventive. Perhaps this is the case with humans in the Star Trek universe compared to other races We've met Ferengi and Nausicans already, and while we didn't see much of their tech, it seems that it isn't much different in the 22nd century than it is in the 24th. After all, if those Ferengi thought Enterprise had stuff cool enough to steal, they can't be much more advanced than them, and in the 24th century, it really seemed like their stuff made them a joke compared to Starfleet (maybe I'm reading that incorrectly)

Anyway, it is a good show, and again, I like the prequel feel to it. I'll bet Malcolm is REALLY wishing they had shields like everybody else!
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 3:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

At first I thought "Dishonorable discharge" was too hard a punishment but it is actually the norm in such a situation, at least in the USA. A fellow soldier of mine (German Army) once went AWOL for several month because of some harebrained scheme (he was an idiot) and he was not dishonorably discharged but demoted and had to spent 3 month in prison. On the other hand we see people breaking orders all the time in Star Trek... often without consequences.

And please CBS do not make Burnham captain. To quote Weyoun: "Perish the thought!"
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Sean J Hagins
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 3:01am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

I LOVED the music in this episode! It had that quality of mystery and spookiness that the episode more than lived up to. It was good to see what I think of as a classic Trek episode. In that there were no villains, just communication with a very different lifeform! Great! It was also good to see the captain's hobbies and his friendship with Trip
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Sean J Hagins
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 12:58am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Detained

Ok, now my review of the episode:

There are many different things this episode can be associated with from real life events. It is a shame, but as Ecclesiastes 8:9 says, "Man has dominated man to his harm" I know a lot of people here do not believe this, but I look to God's Kingdom to correct the problems in the world as it soon will. This includes this kind of treatment after the wicked are destroyed and the earth is a paradise.

The episode itself gave a touching example of how these things happen. Racism, fear and prejudice run rampant today, whether it is internment camps, or peoples personal ideas (eg: Someone from Race "A" did something bad to me, so all people from Race "A" are bad) What helps me to fight this prevalent attitude is remembering that "God is not partial, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”​—Acts 10:34, 35.
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Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 12:52am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

Hell, this show, if Seven had beamed in for an improbable fling with Trip, it would have been far better than the stillborn Temporal Cold War “arc”.

And by the way, this one is credited to B&B... meaning, they believed they could get by shaving bits off TNG era...
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