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Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Sun, May 19, 2019, 11:04am (UTC -5)
Is it a bad sign that I’m more excited about season 3 of DuckTales than Discovery? :-)
I'm excited for both and enjoy each show differently.

Honestly, I'm looking forward to DSC S3 than to PIC S2.

Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
And that's not to say the Rick & Morty creator isn't an artist (although I'm not a fan), just that he isn't a good fit for Star Trek.
Seth McFarlane came to my mind here. Incredibly talented "Family Guy" writer, but has some serious writing issues on 'The Orville'; just some really bad comedy. I'm a little more optimistic with 'Lower Decks' though. These writers are staying in their wheelhouse. Just writing animation. I think most would agree that 'Rick and Morty' is very well crafted. I guess we'll find out if they are fans of Trek as it comes out.
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Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 9:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

The U.S.S. Cerritos...

Not bad. I'm OK with "different". It's clearly recognizable as a Star Fleet vessel.

Couple questions that popped in my head when I first looked it over...

#1. I think I would have put the deflector dish on the sauce section (like NX-01), but I guess it could work there too. (Galaxy Class)

#2. The saucer section looks like it has a detachable section.... but if that's true, it detaches behind the pylons. Not sure why that would be.

#3. I don't see any impulse engines.
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Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 6:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Not intending to do a full review myself of this episode right now. It is, after all, only the 4th DS9 ep I've commented on here. But after binging all seven seasons in May and June of 2020 mid-pandemic, I feel I should at least leave a comment here... at the end.

In skimming some of the other comments, it seems that the ending not quite being perfect has ruined the show for some... this sounds a very familiar refrain to my ears thanks to having heard/read the fan reactions to shows like LOST and BSG and even the Sopranos and the dissatisfaction with those endings that many hold. I'm not going to try and talk anyone out of not liking specific endings, mind you. Taste is taste. But I would like to try and talk people out of saying it "ruined the show" for them. Come on, folks... if 95% of the show (or even 60%!) was good to great for you... remember that instead of an ending, or aspects of an ending, that disappointed you. It's the journey, not the destination, yadda yadda...

Myself, I finally watched this episode about 10 days ago, at the end of that 52 day run my wife and I had just concluded of watching 7 years of TV in just over 7 weeks, and... I overall loved it. Was it as good as a Duet, Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast, The Visitor, Rocks and Shoals, Far Beyond the Stars, In the Pale Moonlight, Tackling into the Wind... or even (to me, a tier of eps slightly behind the aforementioned) a Necessary Evil, The Wire, Second Skin, the Way of the Warrior, etc. etc.?

No, probably not. Wouldn't make my top 20 in all likelihood. But it would probably make a top 40 or 50 (and out of ~175, I'd say that ain't bad). I'd say I enjoyed almost every aspect of it to some degree, with the least enjoyable parts being the Winn/Dukat bits... but that's been the case for the entire final 10 eps of the show, this super-heavy-serialized wonder of a chain of episodes. When Winn cast out Dukat for a bit and the next ep or two didn't have any scenes of them, things got a bit better for me in that there was no obvious weak spots. But here we are, at the end, with all needing to be resolved.

I think the writers did a very good job. Endings are HARD, man! I think compared to those other shows I mentioned--and many others that people are disgruntled about--this finale leaves little to complain about in the greater scheme of things, even if there are parts that some of us are less fans of than other parts. The main complaint I have is that there isn't a season 8 (or 9... come on! 9 seasons of Deep Space 9... how perfect would that have been?!) to come after it... ah, for a long Return of the King-esque epilogue season. ;)

See you next time, Space Cowboys.
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Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 6:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

Aside from the excellent additional layers of intrigue added to this two-parter by season 7's revelations about Odo and Section 31 and all that as I just mentioned in my comment on Homefront (and it IS a fun game to play "spot the scene/gap between scenes in which it happened")...

Like Jammer, I didn't enjoy this conclusion quite as much as I enjoyed the opening. I think a full star drop-off is a bit harsh, though, but... compared to the 4-star+4-star perfection of an ep pair like Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast in season 3, this one just doesn't quite measure up as well. But still very interesting to go back and revisit, which I certainly will. Soon(TM).
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Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 6:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

This two-parter was very enjoyable during my recent DS9 binge--meeting Ben's dad, seeing Earth for awhile, etc. etc.--but I must say that after going back and reading the review and comments after finishing watching all seven seasons... the knowledge of what the writers were doing with Odo here stands out. Now, it may have been a retcon, or it may have been the plan all along... but either way, that THIS is where Section 31 did their dastardly deed and all to him, I mean. That adds layers to the episode.

Definitely gives the whole pair of eps even more resonance. I look forward to getting to this point of season 4 in my next rewatch. Because ofc, there will be another rewatch. It's too good not to! ;D
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Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 4:25am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

On rewatch, this is a much, MUCH stronger episode than I remembered it to be. Riffing off some of the comments made here, I read the story as a scathing criticism of the "male gaze" and a deeply pessimistic take on how men can ultimately only process relationships as a satisfaction of their own ego.

While it is true that what happened on the last night is left ambiguous, to me it is clear that the writers wanted to imply that Picard did sleep with her. Not that it is necessary to assume so to make this read of the episode: He convinces himself that the metamorph has truly become independent of thought thanks to him, and that therefore she would belong with him if it weren't for duty and obligation. Picard epitomizes the enlightened man, who does not succumb to the base instincts of less evolved males (and we see the contrast being drawn directly with the "lower class" men on Ten Forward) and can in theory establish a deeper connection with the woman, based on their mutual desires and intellectual interests.

But the story shows us that it is all a lie: As many have pointed out here, the metamorph is designed to satisfy the desires of the partner and always tell tem what they want to hear, and in Picard's case this means stating how she has now outgrown what she was and has bonded with him forever, on a deeper level. The script has Picard (whom we could define for story purposes as "the best among men") falling for his own egotistical conceptions of relationships just like anyone less evolved would. It thus tells us that, ultimately, men are doomed to seek out egotistical validation from their partners, and whatever intellectual justifications are built on top of that are lies.

Of course, the message need not be gendered, as it could in any number of ways. But the scenes with Crusher and Picard's initial justification of relationships being used as political contracts in many cultures leads me to believe that it was meant as an examination of the male psyche in particular. At any rate, a deeply thoughtful piece of writing hiding under the guise of a TOS-like episode. Kudos.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Eye of the Beholder

I have a bit of a soft spot for this episode because I'm pretty sure I missed it during its first run and only caught it after the series ended. So as far as I can recall this was my last "new" episode of TNG. Since I had to watch the reruns starting at Encounter at Farpoint, it took quite a while to get back to this point.

That said, this episode just screams Season 7. The cold open (without any sort of establishing shot or Captain's log), strangely empty ship, wallpaper music, actors phoning in their performances, it's as Season 7 as it gets. This is also Voyager-level Brannon Braga with yet more mind screwing, which theoretically allows him to botch intra-episode continuity without repercussions, but which still tends to bite him in the ass since plot threads manage to unravel due to the incoherent story. His complete misunderstanding of science, even in a fictional universe, isn't as egregious as in Genesis or Voyager's Threshold (among others), but telepathic residue? Come on. It's technobabble and psychobabble rolled into one. Psychnobabble? I'd agree though that this is a perfectly OK episode, and it manages to stand out due to where it's located in the series' run.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

SPOCK: An entrance, Captain, but no exit. They go in, but they do not come out.
KIRK: A disintegration machine?
SPOCK: Or an elevator ...
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

The problem is, Data is a totally honest android. Ask him what he is thinking about, and he tells you. When he tries to act romantic it is completely obvious that it's an act. (Though that was a bit at odds with the way that in a previous aspect it was shown that, under the guidance of his mentor, Picard, he had become a very accomplished actor.)

Hunan relationships sometimes require an ability to be deceptive about how we feel at any time - deceptive to other people, and also deceptive to ourselves.

Actually that needn't mean someone else might be quite capable of getting along with him pretty well as a partner. If gay relationships had been allowed to exist in the Next Generation I think it would have been perfectly possible for the relationship with Geordi to be developed in that direction.

Plenty of people, especially men, go through life without indicating much emotion, and manage well enough. That's more especially true in some cultures and some countries. (The stiff upper lip...) The differences in how Data behaves is not really more extreme than that which can characterise some people on the spectrum.

Very reasonable that Jenna could be attracted by these very qualities. They imply a kind of safety, which could be appealing in a condition of emotional turmoil - and as was noted, there's a pattern of behaviour wanted. It's not what she really wants. She was definitely the wrong person for Data.

Fortunately, he's got Spot, who accepts him as he is, and has trained him to provide whatever is required in the way of food or comfort. Data just needs to find a human who is a bit more like Spot.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

I really enjoyed this episode with 3 glaring exceptions:
1. The whole “no Borg has regained their individuality” thing that has been nitpicked to death already
2. The last 2 minutes: “we managed to get another 20,000 light years out of the transwarp coil before it gave out...” Huh??? It just gave out? And that’s it? No replicating it? No studying it to apply its mechanics to your warp system?

Other than that, fantastic stuff. 3.5 stars.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

Correction - The preceding episode with a plot about symbionts, treated in a rather different fashion, was of course not Contagion, it was Conspiracy.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Gravity

I just wanted to point out how hard I laughed when Tom was like “look Tuvok, you need to accept this is home and the crew probably left without us,” and when we first see Voyager, the first thing they mention is that the shuttle’s been missing for an hour!

That was before they explained the time differential, but I still got a kick out of imagining Tom giving up hope after an hour. “Well this is our life now, better cheat on your wife, Tutu!” I could see that in Chakotay actually.....
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

“Itchy and Scratchy” did in 10 seconds to Poochie what this episode took 45 minutes to do to the Silverbloods. I can almost guarantee you that this was made solely for the purpose of tying up that loose end made by “Demon” where fans (and probably quite a few in the writers’ room) were left confused about what would happen with an entire duplicated crew in the Delta quadrant. Yikes, this was their answer?

I just rewatched the ending to “Demon” and the duplicate crew is standing in a crowd watching the real Voyager leave. They didn’t know they were duplicates then? Also if they are exact duplicates, why hasn’t the original crew figured out “enhanced warp?” They needed a Demon class planet to survive, but all their away missions on M-class planets went ok? The entire ship was degrading but they expected their time capsule to not degrade? In the entire quadrant they just so happened to find the other Voyager with minutes left? The Doctor never noticed that the crew now needed a different atmosphere to breathe, an atmosphere he said himself couldn’t be safely replicated?

I understand the emotional payoff of this episode, but with all these ridiculous plot holes, it comes of as manipulative rather than authentic. 1 star
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dawn

Why are there so many people here pretending Darmok was bad? Are they Russian spambots?
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

I just need to notice the use of Star Trek theme song mixed together with Picard theme song on Picard/Rios scene. Good stuff.
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Mr Peepers
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

Sorry, Guinan is no Ben. She doesn't hangout or play poker with junior or senior officers. In fact other than Beverly, Deanna, and and maybe Worf, she doesn't interact with no one else other than Picard. Never cared for Whoopie, and hated the fact she was even on this show.

I also despised Picard for manipulated this young woman into this mission. And if Star Fleet isn't a military organization. then what is it? Is it like the Merchant Marines? And if it isn't military, why are members putting their lives at risk on missions? Also, if the current society is not based on the accumulation of things, but to better ones self and not get paid, why would anyone want to join Star Fleet, and fight like the devil to keep from getting kicked out?

Sito, almost got kicked out of the Academy after covering up a classmates death. She was almost in tears as she told Picard how she no longer had no friends, and almost quit. What would actually happen to her if she did? It seems like you would live an easy life if you weren't in Star Fleet.

I did like seeing how you got to see junior officers, and how they progressed through the ranks. These four Ensigns didn't have a very glamorous life on the ship since they were the bottom rung. They even had to share a room with someone. Makes you think why Wesley wanted to be an acting Ensign so bad, and thought it was the best thing ever. Having been in the military, the first three officer ranks were based on time in grade. That means you automatically got promoted to the next rank. There were special boards where you competed to get accelerated directly to the 3rd rank, but these four weren't doing that.

It was eye opening that within an organization, there were secrets that were kept from even junior officers. Maybe I could see the enlisted folk being kept in the dark, but not officers. The more they pretend this isn't a military organization, the more it looks like one. Uniforms, rank insignia, a hierarchy, and military bearing. I laughed when Riker dressed down Lavelle that a single Aye was sufficient when acknowledging an order.

Having been in the military, there is no way I would join Star Fleet. Not a career I would want to be part of. Until I saw this episode, I used to think being on a Star Ship to be kinda cool. But that's because you only saw life through the eyes of the Senior Staff, who were given great leeway in their jobs. Hooking up with aliens for a few days, and problem solving. What's not to like? The junior officers don't seem to do anything but training and routine work. They aren't seen to have anything to do with missions even though they are sitting on the Bridge. All you ever see is them navigating the ship to the next great adventure, then ignored. Again, I never really thought about them until this episode.

I like the political maneuvering episodes with Worf, and even this episode over the ones when some demon alien gets inside an officers body, or the ship caught in some snare.
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David A Korman
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

The question of how the Doctor was duplicated, always bugged me. Btw Jammer, been reading your reviews since the beggining. I was 13...
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Attached

@P'kard, yes they beamed her directly to the Observation Lounge after she hung up. Riker set up that with Worf before calling:

LORIN [on viewscreen]: Enterprise, I have warned you about these unauthorised communications.
RIKER: Yes, I know, but I think it's about time we all sat down together and tried to work this out. I have Ambassador Mauric here...
LORIN [on viewscreen]: That is your misfortune. We have nothing to say to either of you.
(transmission ends)
MAURIC: Commander, you're working with the Prytt. Putting on this little show for my benefit does neither of us any good.
RIKER: We'll see. Mister Worf.
(Worf works his panel)
RIKER: I believe there's someone waiting for us in the Observation Lounge.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

"I think the clash where Leah finds out would have been far better if Geordi would have confessed everything and admitted that he is lonely and fell for that hologram in a high pressure situation, that he made a mistake and is deeply sorry. AND then Leah warms to his honesty."

I rather took it that that was pretty well what we are meant to assume actually happened, after the initial spat, in the light of the eventual rapprochement. Though I can't see "deeply sorry" as the appropriate level of penitence for Geordi any more than for Leah. Both made errors of judgement which were perfectly understandable.
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Dave in MN
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I love Golden Age Sci-Fi and I also like accurate period pieces and I like thoughtful character studies that let the viewer walk a mile in someone else's shoes and I like seeing the cast stretch their acting muscles and I like seeing them without makeup (because some of the cast look so different in their human state that they might as well be guest actors) and I like that I'm not being preached at but I'm still being invited to contemplate a dark chapter in history and in human beings in general.

What's not to like?
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Baby Mandalorian
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

"The number of comments from racism apologists with critiques that are little more than people clearly feeling discomfort because realistic depictions of the racism in their history is laughable.

This shit happened. This shit is real, whether you think, as dipshit Rogue09 does, that "dwelling on racism is as bad as supporting it". Holy shit you tone deaf imbecile. "

Yeah, this, times a million. How out of touch with reality do you have to be to think the explicit racism in this episode wasn't (and still is) prevalent. Trekkies need to check their privilege and take a walk outside their gated community lol.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 11:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Gamesters of Triskelion

There's a reason Chekov and Uhura had nothing to do in this episode, nor Sulu in any other: SHATNER. It's known now that he would demand for himself lines written for other actors even if they were that actor's only one in the script.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Inside Man

A waste of time in the worst way possible, one that convinces you of it's importance then pulls the rug out from under you, revealing itself as inconsequential nonsense.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 4:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

I agree this is among the best. However, through out the episode, I get the feeling that they are trying to escape their future and destiny rather than trying to change their past history.
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Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 4:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Thine Own Self

It’s reassuring to know that if the ship is ever in jeopardy, Bridge Officer Troi will - if given a few days and several do-overs - eventually come up with the resolve to sacrifice a hologram.

(This plot line reminded me of my beef with Christianity - in which the central event is that God sacrifices his only begotten son for less than a weekend, knowing he’s going to pop back up on Sunday morning.)

Fortunately, the A story was a sweet delight, thanks to Data’s relationships with Gia and the local scientist. “You are an iceman!” will never not be entertaining.
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