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Thu, Sep 20, 2018, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Code of Honor

This is another sorry ep. If I had been the lady-scorned, I'd have sent Lutan to the slave market in order to teach his big, fat self a lesson in loyalty!!

I found this piece of crap to be insulting to both white and black people.

Speaking of Yar, the way she treated so far in the series of TNG, could have been the reason she wanted out of the damn thing and place. Denise was probably treated badly on the set and around the studio. Of course, Sirtis could have done any number of things to be ugly to the Yar character as she had been invited by Majel Roddenberry to live with them since she was in the USA all alone and broke by the time she landed the role of Troi. It is very easy to spot how people are treated by watching the expressions whoever they have to play off in scenes. Try it if you don't believe me. As a matter of fact, I never liked Sirtis, she is not a good actress and until a couple of years I could not figure out her heritage.....she is Greek. But she doesn't actually look Greek. She is probably Jewish-Greek which is what you HAVE to be in Hollywood if you want to be an actor.

Take that as racist if you want to but you will be making mistake to think that way because the truth is the truth.

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Peter G.
Thu, Sep 20, 2018, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Evolution

I haven't watched this one for years as it's usually a "skip" episode for me. I remember the plot as basically being boring to me, and having just rewatched it I more or less still feel that way. One positive note in the episode is the unusual musical score, which is a pleasant reminder of the days before TNG's music became musak.

But the most shocking thing to me watching Dr. Crusher's return to the series for the first time in a long while, and oh man it is so bad. I had always remembered that her return was more or less as unceremonious as her departure had been, but they definitely did make some attempt to giver her a B story in this episode regarding Wesley in order to welcome her back. It's too bad that the B-story is horrible to watch, mostly consisting of her condescending to Wesley (which unfortunately became a theme in the series) and then acting out tired "worried mother" tropes. But all of that could be chalked up to hack writing and the misguided idea to pidgeonhole her into "mother" as her defining trait. By far the worse part of it is her performance. I seldom care about exactly how good the performances are in TNG; usually guest actors and the main cast are at least passable, and occasionally they rise up to real excellence. This is a rare case of just outright bad, terribly bad acting, where McFadden's line readings are so artificial with bizarre cadence that it's actually upsetting to see someone like this working on a serious project. Luckily she did get better over the years, which I think is a credit to the idea that giving someone a chance can help them artistically. But at this point she's not even at the level of a decent acting school student, because at least they usually know how to speak like people. Check out Crusher's last scene with Guinan and cringe. Even Whoopi doesn't know how to interact with her here, and she's the most natural person probably in the entire series, along maybe with O'Brien.

My complaint isn't so much a condemnation of the episode, so much as a reflection that watching this made me embarassed *for* McFadden. It really looked like a humiliation to be taken back onto the show after so much fan requesting, only to look this bad. Others have pointed out elsewhere the 'dancer's gait' where she can't help but walk like a dancer (a trait I've observed IRL many times, and yes, they rarely can learn how to walk normally), but it's saddening to think that I probably agree with Maurice Hurley that she was a detriment to the show at the time of her firing. It would have been nice to have fostered her instead of jettisoning her, but at the same time there are too many good people in the industry to have an attitude of taking on people who aren't up to the job to try to improve them. This was more an issue with the original casting process, I guess, and after that they were stuck (something I think is also true of Voyager for a few of their actors).

Later on in the series I actually do begin to like Crusher to an extent, and Remember Me is one of my preferred eps, but boy did it start off rocky for her.
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Thu, Sep 20, 2018, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Naked Now

I Hate this ep! Not one actor was up to par in their acting in this ridiculous story. Drunk people do not act like these actors who were all trying to act drunk. Can you imagine having sex with a robot? Data probably weighs two thousands pounds at that and I think in some ep they tell his weight along with other details.

I just read a tidbit about the Yar character yesterday and there was a person who did not know why Denise left the series. She and Roddenberry both said she wanted to do movies. She was offered a part and took it in PET SEMETARY and she did a few more movies that were forgettable. She made the rounds on various t.v. shows and so on. But when she was on talk shows she would always tell how she was the illegitimate daughter of one of Bing Crosby's sons of which I no longer recall his name. That sort of thing could ruin a person as far as the Hollywood crowd goes. Shove it down the throats of those who don't like you. Gene R himself sheepishly said he wished he had not let her go and he said the same thing about Grace Lee Whitney who by the way died in 2015.

Let me add this piece: In the same area where I found the above (Yar) I also found this about Jennifer Lien (Kes)....someone in the know said that Jerry Taylor who is the mother of Alexander Enberg (Vorik) approached Jennifer to date her son (Enberg) and Jennifer would not do it. That took place just before her final ep, the Gift. >> And Enberg, in his early forties, had a stroke and was in a coma for a short while.

Back to NAKED NOW. TOS'S Scotty actor did not like this episode either. He said how he and others figured TNG would not make it and guess what(?)... way down the line he appears on the show and has to be "beaten" up mentally by Geordi LaForge! That makes me angry enough to bite nails in half every time I watch it. For a long while I hated Geordi. He was very overblown egotistically and it showed.

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Thu, Sep 20, 2018, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Dark Page

Wholeheartedly agree with Jammer saying: "I guess the lesson of 'Dark Page' is that some storytelling stones are better left unturned." Lwaxana has generally been an annoying character (a shame given who the actress playing her is) so why should we care about her backstory when it doesn't even seem to have much lasting significance for Troi? I guess the episode brings them closer in the end.

Also what sucks is this episode is so similar to "Phantasms" -- the immediately preceding episode -- (bizarre dream/meta-conscious visions, a cast member entering the vision to solve a mystery etc.) I didn't like "Phantasms" and I like "Dark Page" even less. The TNG show-runners weren't on their toes when planning out Season 7, a below-average TNG season (show-runners probably coasting at this stage, resting on past glories).

One good thing is that Lwaxana isn't really annoying here in the sense that she's not on some sexual hormone overload and chasing after Picard/Riker. I thought she portrayed her grief well and part with Troi helping her come to terms with the tragedy was reasonably well done. But still, it's hard to care about it. The story dragged on too long with what the big tragedy/mysterious event could be.

What didn't work for me was the Cairn leader and his telepathic joining. Ridiculous to watch his stupid stare. So they tried to make it difficult for him to speak , which is accurate enough, however it really was frustrating to watch and killed any flow.

As for how Deanna's older sister died -- I assume the dog dragged her into the pond and she drowned. Lwaxana first passes out when the little alien girl went in the water in the arboretum on the Enterprise. I suppose there are some clues etc. to piece together here and there but the exercise is not worth it. The end tragedy for Lwaxana is understandably difficult to deal with / traumatizing but the episode was just difficult to get through.

1.5 stars for "Dark Page" -- definitely a weak episode but not a terrible one. Somewhat arbitrary with how the mental anguish manifests in the Betazoid that is Lwaxana (the sci-fi element) but with some hand-waving can be a commentary on a personal human trauma. Not an episode I'd go back to re-watch -- my enjoyment of it is commensurate with a 1-star episode.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 11:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

Really fun, while still managing to bring a year to my eye at the end.

A nice "first real contact" with home. Brilliant and creatively conceived.

Ok. I'm caught up. Must go to bed now. Good night, don't let the bed bugs bite, Trekkers.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

Oh, I loved this one, if only because I have such a time with dreams. I've had lucid dreams quite a lot of times (though I don't do anything to induced them), and I've also, many times, experienced the phenomenon of thinking I had woken up only to realize I'm still asleep - and how really horrible that is. Never saw it portrayed like this though, and I was riveted.

It was well done and I wasn't surprised at all when we learned Chakotay was still dreaming. We got subtle cues, but because of the numerous times I've been through this in my own sleep, the times I've struggled so much to wake up and to feel certain I was awake (it is awful, I mean awful), I picked up on it right away.

Years ago, I used to experience this so often that I, too, developed insomnia for awhile. I hated to go to sleep for fear of it. It's plain to me the writer had some experience with this also, and got every note right.

Spooky and affecting. I haven't had a "can't wake up, please let me wake up, let me really be awake this time" dream experience in a long time now, though this ep makes me anxious. Because it's almost bedtime.

Sleep tight, Springy. :)

In general an exploration of Reality - what is it, how do we know it, can we ever really be sure enough?
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 10:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

The afterlife wasn't as Neelix expected and he's upset. An interesting set up for exploring the concept of Death, and the importance of living in the present.

It seems one of the main reasons Neelix was managing to stay alive was because he knew day it would be over and he'd see his lost loved ones again.

Now, he's not so sure, so he has to find enough purpose in the present to continue you want to live. Young Naomi helps. He's needed. He has a purpose in this life that isn't related to, or dependant on, the existence of an afterlife.

The ep gives us no answers about the afterlife, which is good. No preachy stuff, just an exploration, which VOY often seems to do so much better than TOS, ENT, or TNG (haven't seen enough DS9 yet).

Well done.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

Loved it, one I would watch again, if only to listen to Janeway say what my Italian mama used to say when she finally had all us kids ready to go: Andiamo!

Just really fun and an original way to get a Holodeck character out into the world. Some funny lines and really great scene with Leonardo and Katherine flying.

Lovely. A four star for me.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

A good one, relatively standard fare, though. The literal thought police!

Ep seems to be making a statement about censorship and repression, as in: Must be done, but with intelligence and moderation and vigilance.

Didn't really grab me, though.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

Not as good as part 1, but good.

I liked the way it played out. Of course it had to reset, a given in this sort of tale, but I was pleased and surprised by the method of reset, from Janeway's sacrifice to Annorax's very fresh start.
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Peter G.
Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

I can't say the point about the age difference between Marta and Jake should be ignored, however I think this is a bridge too far:

"there is absolutely no excuse for condoning what is, in a very real sense, child-abuse on Mardah's part."

This strikes me as being a very recent and - in my opinion - shaky turn of events, to throw around words like "child abuse" and "rape" when dealing with relations between people who are both of legal age to have 'relations' (which may include various things). While I would admit to having concerns about a daughter (or son) of mine dating someone four years older, at the same time this is a dicey issue because it also depends on what sort of courtship this is. Are we talking about meeting in public and getting to know each other? Or are we talking about getting high and getting it on? And this isn't a trivial matter because some of these concerns may involve leveraging experience against someone too young and naive to protect themselves. But on the other hand it surely cannot be out of the question that people of four years age difference may really be right for each other. Jake is 16 - is that the sticking point? I can see a cutoff being needed, for sure. If he was 18 and she was 22 I doubt there would be any issue. And if he was 14 and she was 18 I guess it would look even worse. In America there are laws about statutory rape, but let's pretend those don't exist in the 24th century and there's a more advanced system to determine whether someone is being taken advantage of. So maybe we need to look at the particulars:

-Marta is 20. But despite Elliott's suggestion that being a war orphan means she may be *more mature* than average, I would argue it's equally likely she's less mature. Not having time to develop normally doesn't mean you develop faster; usually it means you don't develop at all. She might well be emotionally younger even than Jake. And when wondering why in the world she'd be into him (other than the "commander's son" angle) maybe this is part of it. Maybe she still feels more like a kid who had to do hard things.

-I suspect that by making her older the episode was deliberately trying to be progressive in depicting the reverse of what we normally expect in our age: the younger girl and older (college-age) guy. And in this case it's the father being protective of the son to an extent, rather than the "dad with shotgun" trope. And I'm pretty sure their intent was to show that Sisko was trying to be open to this rather than coming down hard on it; a second point in the "we want to be progressive" column. You can say what you want about the result, but there's no way it's sexist to reverse gender stereotypes and show the reverse situation as they did here.

-I'm a bit hesitant to accept the logic of this point as well:

" Jake was most recently described as still being at the age where he and his buddy drool over the women arriving on the station."

While we may well call this immature behavior, it's not the sort of immaturity that defines being a "child", as this same behavior can be seen in legal adults of all ages. I've seen 30 and 40 year olds do literally the same thing, and be far more crass and childish about it than Jake and Nog ever were. So should they morally be considered to be "children" and anyone who has sex with them is a child abuser? This is hyperbole, but only to show that this sort of thing can't really be used at all to assess whether a 16 year old is ready to have a relationship with a 20 year old. Aside from the fact that it would depend on many things, this is also the future and we don't know much about their views on sexual mores; at least, we don't assuming we ignore TNG S1-3, as I would suggest we do. But even now in New York you'll see very young women dating men 40 years their senior, and although this would make people in some areas upset over there in that liberal bastion it's considered normal and you're not supposed to say anything about it. Whether that's right or wrong, it seems like standards can change a lot, so it's not clear whether we should take it for granted that 16 is considered to be a "child". I wouldn't, and although when I watch the ep I grimace, sort of in sympathy with Sisko, it's less about just the age and more about the idea that Jake seems to have developed all of these traits under the radar. It's less about him being a child vs an adult, and more about SIsko's worries from Emissary being justified, that being raised on a crazy space station is going to affect someone, and probably in some negative or at least concerning ways. From that standpoint Jake probably *is* ready to date her, and that's actually the scary part for Sisko.

Still, the trope of "dad protecting teenage daughter" could have turned on its head in a different way than making the daughter a son. In some alternative universe where Jake was Jakette they might have featured her dating an older man and had SIsko been ok with it to turn the modern trope on its head. But they did it this way instead since there's no Jakette. Ah well.

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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

Excellent episode, probably 4 stars from me. I love most of the emissary episodes, but I enjoy that sub genre of sci do.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned


LOL, sounds like a plan.

My question on this one is, is Jake’s story supposed to be a metaphor for the young Jem’Hadar growing up too fast? It’s like I can almost see the parallels but I’m not sure the writers intended that. Otherwise I can’t really wrap my head around Jake suddenly getting this woman he doesn’t seem ready for.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Abandoned

I sided against you on the last one so I'll agree with you here. Anything that is gross when you gender flip is gross. And if my girls bring home a college senior when they are HS seniors I'm getting out my Bat'Leth.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 8:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

I've been following along here and chugging on it. I think Eliott is reading the scene wrong (but the scene has problems). Keiko's first assumption is that Molly would stay with Miles and Miles had already assumed Keiko would want to take her. To me that, and this story, is the opposite of sexist. Especially for the 90s. So is it sexist that Keiko ends up taking her? No. And just the fact that it was a possibility that Miles would keep her is enough for me. Especially since this was a clunky "write them off" plot device.

To me it's way more problematic that there really isn't anything to do with her! I how she goes to school on Bajor because there sure as hell isn't one on the station.

And I say this as a really nurturing Dad who rolls his eyes hard when people say it's nice that I babysit. No, I parent thanks. I kiss booboos, give baths, change diapers and am currently reading this to stay awake next to my little one while I sing her to sleep.

Keiko thinks that Miles intends for her to go without Molly. That comment alone goes a long way for me.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Yeah, sorry, I don’t think it’s fair at all. In our time, for example, we have pocket computers that would baffle and astonish the characters on TNG with their clunky PADDs because our society currently values greatly computer progress and its applications. Yet our governments have all but given up on space programs which leaves a huge gap between our space exploration and what Roddenberry had in mind. That’s just one example of how technology can progress one way and not the other. It’s not difficult to imagine Kataan, like us, valued other things above space travel.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I adore the episode but it's a fair criticism. The culture as depicted in the episode doesn't have the level of technology needed to create something which is essentially magic (and impractical to boot). For me, a huge amount of the episode's strength is its ending. We all want our lives to have had meaning, we all want to see our loved ones again when we die and discover that our life had some kind of purpose, was part of some grand plan. That's what this episode taps into spiritually and the source of its power.

I think this is 4 stars, but for me The Visitor is better (more sophisticated script, better guest cast, and more solid throughout - the depiction of Kamin's life on the planet is quite hokey and schmaltzy, and the limitations of the set never gives us the feel that this is a real society. Thine Own Self is a lesser episode but I think it did a better job in terms of the set design and communicating an authentic village community feel.)
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

Whoa, this one was incredible. I'm going to watch it again (partly to forget about Extreme Measures) before I finish the series. Awesome review, Jammer!
A few thoughts...
Ezri - her best scene, best episode. I love Worf, and I love Ezri,
and different as they are, they have been great together, and no better than here. I love when DS9 is realistic on the interpersonal level.
Kira - Pure balls. And Nana really shows her acting chops in this one. As Jammer observed: "Nana Visitor again shows her astounding ability to reveal her character's vulnerability and emotions without for one second sacrificing her strength." I couldn't have said it better, she's amazing.

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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

I like the quiet and easy pacing of this episode. It takes place over the course of at least two months, if not a bit longer, though that could've been made a bit clearer. Anyway, I think the Prime Directive debate is important from a narrative point of view, but there should already be established precedent and extensive documentation of how to handle such situations. The Prime Directive has existed for roughly 200 years by the time of TNG, but they're debating it as if it was brand new and wasn't the subject of intensive coursework at Starfleet Academy and innumerable debates and incidents throughout Starfleet's history. Again, I realize it wouldn't work as well narratively, but as soon as Data explained what he did, they should have immediately looked up the most similar incidents in The Big Book of Prime Directive Precedents, and/or immediately contacted Starfleet Command for an interpretation on the situation.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

....doesn't mean he's not a potential threat to the Captain's life.......
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

One thing that bugs me is when Rasmusen beams over, he immediately offers Picard his hand to shake. I can't believe Worf just stands there and let's this happen. It's the CAPTAIN for god sakes. Just because Rasmusen is polite doesn'
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

Been working my way through Voyager over the last month or so each night before bed. Took three attempts/ three evenings to get through this episode. Brutal viewing! Really really cheap set and annoying characters. Soundtrack was even worse.

Although the ending was its saving grace.

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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

Quite a lot of cliches in this episode but,for me anyway, it worked reasonably well until the last reel.

Haven't we been here before with scientists from an isolated society wanting to run away to space?

I concur with the above views and wonder how masterpiece a society it is that lives in a small bubble on an inhospitable world.
Some aspects of this story were missed or ignored when Enterprise was written. Our colonists are from the 22nd century but are shocked at the idea of transporters. Other comments in the show suggest the transporter was invented around the 23 rd century-oops!
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

Upon re-examination, I will say 3 stars for the two-parter as a whole. I remember them being great, but like a lot of Season 5, it was just 'pretty good' on re-watch. On first watch this two-parter is riveting, and this episode resolves the previous episode's threads well, but in retrospect, you get the sense that this is all table-setting for superior future episodes.
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Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 7:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

@Lee McLean

“Come on! It just doesn't make any sense at all: it would have been far easier for them to build ships to take them to another planet than to invent the technology required for the mind probe.”

Are you implying that if you have advanced neurological technology you should automatically have advanced astronautical technology? These sciences are hardly related, and it’s an alien culture anyway so there’s no reason to think their scientific advances will evolve in the same pattern as ours. And that’s still assuming we ourselves will be capable of leaving Earth and colonizing other planets.
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